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Luminous night at the Talisay Cemetery

    Every November 1, the Talisay Cemetery in Cebu comes to life as dusk sets in and graves are lit up as people visit their departed loved ones and relatives. This follows the All Souls Day Catholic tradition that is observed not only here but replicated in much of the Philippines as well in the whole Catholic world.

    The undas/kalag-kalag tradition is paying homage to the deceased and is a well observed holiday. It is similar to the Dia de los Muertos of Mexico with less pageantry. In the Philippines, it’s one of the biggest public holidays when ports and seaports are full of people who are going back to their provinces.

    A few days before November 1, graves get busy. Overgrown grasses are trimmed or weeded out. Graves are cleaned and flower and candle prices spike. This is also when relatives and family come together at the cemetery, bringing food and exchanging stories. Although the evening is a big highlight when the whole cemetery brightens up with lit candles and light bulbs, these necropolises also get busy during the day

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    The central cross of the cemetery where people light candles
    Talisay Cemetery
    Niche apartment along a main path of the cemetery
    A section of the Talisay City Catholic Cemetery
    Talisay Cemetery
    A quieter moment
    Paying respects to the dead
    Praying for the deceased
    Talisay Cemetery
    A child lights a candle on a departed’s grave
    Talisay Cemetery
    Apartment type graves
    Grave of Francisco Echavez
    Talisay Cemetery
    Palina, is the act of passing through smoke which people believe will will not make the spirits go with them back home