Again, it’s All Hallows Eve

Noel Sales Barcelona
2 min readOct 31, 2023

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The celebration of Halloween should not be reduced to partying and putting up some costumes. There is a deeper meaning to the occasion, and that’s remembering our dearly departed and honoring the spirit of our great ancestors.

Here in the Philippines, Undas (the Filipino term used to describe the celebration) has a deep religious meaning. Hence, the term Todos Los Santos or All Saints’ Day is also used to call the occasion. It is when people visit the grave of their loved ones, offering them candles, incense, flowers, and, most importantly, prayers.

When I was younger, I used to do novena for the souls in Purgatory. Using the holy rosary, formula prayers are uttered, asking God to have mercy on the souls suffering because of the purging fire that constantly engulfs them. I do this as a form of spiritual service and also to keep the tradition of praying for the dead loved ones alive. As far as I can remember, it is only the old members of the family who are accustomed to doing this and have memorized — and prayed — these formula prayers with much intensity and devotion. Besides that, there is also a beauty to it.

Tomorrow, I will be visiting my in-laws’ graves and will offer candles, flowers, and prayers to them. I will also pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory who are hardly remembered.

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Noel Sales Barcelona

A former freelance journalist, art and cultural critic, and an intuitive from the Philippines. I am the new species of weirdness.