Here's another one of my un-timely posts.
Think back to November 1...
Day after Halloween...piles of candy...bite-size candy bars, hard candies, soft candies, the luscious, highly-prized chocolates...and the consumption of more candy than you've had since, well, last Halloween!
All the world was still on-edge wondering who the next president of the United States would be.
And millions of Filipinos were congregating in cemeteries throughout the archipelago observing All Souls Day. I was there with my camera and I've selected a sampling of the shots to share with you here.
Filipino cemeteries are crowded places, with the graves built one on top of another and extremely little space in between.
After sitting your kid atop the family grave you hand the candles up to him to light. Being an adult gives you the freedom to stay down on the ground so you don't kill yourself trying to climb up or down. And what could be worse than being killed climbing all over the family grave?!I was shooting these pictures while Edson's brother walked with me, to make sure I didn't get lost. It really took both of us to figure out how to navigate our way through the maze of graves. We were at the Catholic Cemetery of Bocaue, and all throughout people were shouting at me to take their pictures. (By the way: in the provincial areas I'm still "Joe" to Filipinos. In Manila nobody calls out to me that way. But in areas like these where foreigners are few and far between the old ways persist...or they all thought I'm Joe the Plumber...but that I doubt. One little boy was truly fascinated by me, so I took his picture and showed it to him...and boy, did that bring a smile to his face! Here he is with his mom:
Everyone who looks at this picture feels it is pretty creepy. Given the freshly cleaned graves all around with families congregating about, I just felt sad that this was the only grave in the entire cemetery left in total neglect. Vandals had even spray-painted on the cross in the wall.
Some more scenes.
This woman was one of many people who were selling snacks and refreshments inside the cemetery, and was nice enough to pose for me.
Another group who shouted at me to take their picture. They couldn't get the girl in front to turn around though.
The beauty of the candles illuminating the markers as the sun began to descend was great!
Edson and his family gathered around the grave of his grandparents, aunt, and great-grandparents.
A few more before the sun set: