Up until I was 9, we used to visit the parents of my Grandpa. It was upon my grandpa's orders that we needed to go to the cemetery every November 1. We would go very early and would go home in the afternoon. I never met them. And then when I was 10, it was my grandpa we were already visiting. And then it was upon the order of my Dad that we had to go the cemetery every November 1. He would prepare flower arrangements the night before. Ikebana with a mix of Filipino taste to it. But visits became shorter.
Yesterday, we went. I brought my 2 boys with me. We visit 4 people at our family plot- my grandpa (1991), dad (2004), mom (2005) and my grandma (2006). In the next years, it will be my pleasure to share with my boys stories of their great grandparents and grandparents - who they were, why we love them, funny stories about them, sad and painful stories as well. It will be my turn to warm their hearts through these stories. It will be my privilege.
For many Filipinos, November 1 becomes a festivity of sorts.
For me, I think it will always be a heartwarming experience that I will always look forward to year after year after year.