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All Saints' Day Today
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Today, November 1,is All Saints' Day here in the Philippines. The day fell in the middle of the week which is a Wednesday. No holiday on the day before or after this day so that most Filipinos living far from their hometown decided not to go home anymore.

Filipinos celebrate All Saints' Day by going to cemeteries where their dead loved ones lay. The tombs are usually cleaned and painted a day or two before in preparation for this day. During the visit some offer flowers for the dead while most light their candles and offer prayers. They then go home as soon as the candles are melted and prayers have been offered. This is the traditional way of celebrating this once in a year occasion.

The modern Filipino have somewhat modified their way of celebration. In most private cemeteries where the place is very spacious, some put up tents and bring food, liquor, guitar or karaoke or any musical instrument which will help them pass the day with lots of enjoyment. They stay there for the whole day until the wee hours of the night eating and singing together with the tombs of their dead.

Here in Pangasinan, native cakes locally known as malagkit are prepared in most households to be offered to visitors and friends coming over to pay visit. One type of these malagkit is called inlube (in the photo). Inlube is made up of sticky rice and cooked in gata (coconut milk) and sugar. The rice is black in color because it is especially done for All Saints' Day. This black colored sticky rice called deremen is only available in the market during this season.

Deremen is black because it was dried using the smoke coming from charcoal instead of being sun dried after harvest. It was then polished with wood to maintain the color and stickiness. When cooked with the proper proportion of sugar and coconut milk....hmmmm! It's really a delicacy.

posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 10:34 AM  
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Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
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