My wife is returning from a week long work with students at Baler, Quezon. She left on Sunday, October 25 when I have just returned from a two day stint at Naga College Foundation with Robert Reyes. My wife and I have not seen each other from the time I left on October 23 until today when she arrives here in DLSU where I have been waiting since 2:30 pm.
It is good enough that I was with Henry when I got here at Taft. This made the library accessible to me as I don't think I could have stayed here waiting for my wife on my own. I don't have a library card and although I worked here, the people I know are no longer here. Anyway, while waiting for my wife, I figured the best place for me is to tinker with the computer. I can go on for hours in front of this remarkable machine.
The long wait gave me time to ponder the eve of what we know as All Saints' Day and its transformation. I say transformation because how we celebrated November 1 is by far way different from how we do this today. During my childhood, I have always wanted to become a Boy Scout thinking what a remarkable job they do at cemeteries doing their best to assist elders with the mayhem on what we celebrate as All Saints' Day (or is it All Souls' Day really? I am a bit confused!) All I know is that living beside the Tugatog cemetery, growing up jumping from tomb to tomb while flying a kite. On the last days of November, I would see my friends earning a few cash painting the tombs with white and marvel at Boy Scouts having to camp out at the cemetery so that they could help (I was of the impression that they look for lost children, send them to the station where the parents could pick them up).
I know that the celebration has had some sort of transformation already. How many, I don't know. I recall my sisters talking about a tradition where young men would go from house to house to what they call "mangaluluwa". I don't know how this goes but if I recall correctly, these young men would go to a house, maybe sing or do something while one fellow would go to the "silong" to steal some eggs. The source of fun will always go with the times, won't it?
In the nineties, when I was still a budding teacher at DLSZ, trying to learn the ropes, I noticed that the children has started going Trick or Treating! For several years, this has been going on at Ayala Alabang until the nearby villages caught on. Several years thereafter, the practice spread like wild fire and now, trick or treat has infected most of Metro Manila. Ah yes, Bob Dylan's right when he sang "The Times they are a-changin'! And how fast they do!