Undas

I used to think that I had a really bad memory of what life was like here in Manila before I moved to Papua New Guinea. It wasn’t until I found myself looking out the window of my small one-bedroom apartment… onto the bustleless streets that are usually filled with honking jeepneys and impatient drivers that I can remember more than I thought. For some reason, the silence brought it back. All Soul’s Day always used to be a very important day for me and my family. We would camp out at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina, kids (including myself back in the day) running around a tent that surrounded my grandmother’s grave. We used to sleep at the cemetery despite the fact that it was exactly just that; a cemetery. It didn’t matter back then though. You were with family, you were with other cousins. And that thought in itself was enough for us to enjoy those trips. Despite the circumstances of families breaking apart, or families moving to different ends of the world… I think we just grew up. And now I realize that the kids in the 3rd or 4th generation will never be able to experience that ‘fun’ that we had of scaring each other and ending the night in laughter and giggles. We grew up, and now as a grown up, we have to find ourselves making time to actually drive through the car infested roads and walk through candle-stained paths to search for our grandparents’ graves. Something that our parents had the responsibility of doing… And never had I have to worry about getting lost in the whole memorial park trying to remember where the grave stood. Of course, now that’s an excaggeration. For the past few years since being able to drive here in Manila (if I happened to be home on November 1), I have been visiting my grandmother’s grave (and now my grandfather’s too since 2009) on my own and finding the site with no trouble. I guess it only hit me how different things are now… That I’m nearing 30 and responsibilities are piling on. I think we just grew up.

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