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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in the Philippines, Season 1, Lesson 17 - All Saints' Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17, All Saints' Day. In Filipino, it’s called Araw ng mga Santo.
All Saints’ Day is regarded as an important day in Filipino culture and is observed every 1st of November. It is so important because this is the day that family members gather to remember their loved ones, or mahal sa buhay, who have passed away.
In this lesson, we will discover how Filipinos remember their loved ones during All Saints’ Day.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What do people usually expect to find featured on TV during All Saints’ Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On this day, people pray for the souls, or kaluluwa, of the dead so that they may reach heaven, in Filipino called langit. Filipino Catholics believe that the souls of the dead remain in purgatory if their relatives don’t pray for their salvation. As a symbol of prayer, people light candles on All Saints’ Day and set them up outside their houses.
In preparation, people normally clean and repaint graves, or puntod. At the cemetery, visitors will light and set a candle on their loved one’s grave, spend a moment in prayer, and offer some food to the dead. It’s also common for the family to bring a photo of the deceased.
Usually, Filipinos stay in the cemetery overnight, from November 1st for All Saints’ Day, to November 2nd for All Souls’ Day. There isn’t a big difference in how these two days are observed, but strictly speaking, the 1st of November is for remembering the saints while November 2 is for remembering the dead, or in Filipino yumao.
Instead of being a bleak and lonely day, as some may imagine it, All Saints’ Day typically is recognized as a happy celebration, as it is an opportunity for family members to come together. They take the occasion as a chance to recall the happy times they spent with their loved ones and to talk about their continuing lives.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What do people usually expect to find featured on TV during All Saints’ Day?
Aside from news regarding traffic and congestion at cemeteries, usually TV channels choose to broadcast horror stories, in Filipino kuwentong horror. These stories usually feature things like “aswang”, which is a vampire-like creature; “tikbalang”, which is a half-man, half-horse type creature; “kapre”, which is a smoking giant tree demon and other characters from Philippine folklore.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What do you usually do on All Saints’ Day?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!