THE BLOG

Celebrating All Saints Day in the Philippines

07/17/2013 02:25 pm ET | Updated Sep 16, 2013

In this 3 Minute Postcard from Davao City, Philippines, I present what I discovered when I was lucky enough to be in the Philippines during the holiday known as Undas (All Saints Day, November 1st each year).

Both Halloween and its temporal neighbor, All Saints Day, have their roots in age old Christian mythology, but they're celebrated in different countries with very different traditions. In the United States it's not at all common to spend lengthy amounts of time in cemeteries unless the purpose is incredibly solemn. In the Philippines each year the nation's cemeteries come alive with festivals, prayer, music, food, family, and even camping. An overnight stay with the spirits of deceased relatives creates a beautiful scene, lighting up graveyards in such picturesque ways with a forest of candles. It's an amazing testament to family values, and the strength of kinship.

As a foreigner, it's a special treat to be able to witness such a moving festival. I'll never look at a cemetery the same way again.