It is known in Hiligaynon as “tigkalalag” – the root word being “kalag” or soul. It is rooted in Roman Catholic tradition owing to the colonization of the country by the Spaniards for more than 300 years. The American colonization after World War II, which continues until now, has influenced the way we remember the dead today.
It is officially called as the Feast of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls by the Church. Catholic priest William Saunders, whose article came out in the Catholic Education Resource Center, said these celebrations evolved “independently of paganism and Halloween” although some elements of pagan practices were “perhaps ‘baptized’ by some cultures or attached themselves” to the back-to-back celebrations.
What the Roman Catholic Church called as the “pagan” connection referred to the practice of the Celts to mark the November 1 “Samhain” or the beginning of winter. Samhain was the Celtic lord of death but most importantly, his name meant “summer’s end.”
It is believed that during this time, the souls of the dead cross over the world of the living, presupposing that there is life after death, that we mortals can ultimately triumph over death that most of us fear.
These photos were taken at the Bacolod Public Cemetery located along Burgos Street.
There are more than 3,000 dead here based on records from 2007 to 2011, the cemetery caretaker said. The yearly rent being charged by the city is P1.50.