Photos by BobCat Gregorio.
Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day or collectively called Undas in Tagalog and KalagKalag in Bisaya are three Filipino days which we as a people celebrate.
We celebrate by remembering our dearly departed loved ones through prayers, reunions in cemeteries with some even going home to their provinces to be with family and through gatherings around food.
Yes. Food. Top on the list of foods during these days are: Binignit (Ginataan), Biko, Cassava Cake, Sapin-Sapin, Suman Balanghoy, Puto Taktak and all those kakanin or Filipino snack delicacies.
I can still recall going with my mother to the market to buy ingredients for the Binignit--- mature coconut for coconut milk (gata), sago, camote (sweet potato), gabi (taro), langka (jackfruit), rice flour for bilog-bilog, sugar, banana and landing.
A huge pot was prepared over wood fire and we would all contribute by peeling the camote, saging and gabi, cutting them and pouring them on the big pot when it was time.
We would all wait for it to be cooked so we could all gather and eat.
Each bite was savored because we took pride in having contributed to this delicious dish.
On the table were biko made by the neighbor, sapin-sapin, cassava cake, puto taktak from the market, suman from the other neighbor.
The big pot of Binignit was also shared with the neighbors in exchange for the biko and suman.
This “tradition” of sharing was accompanied by a good ribbing in Bisaya, “Na-a ba moy kalag dinha?” (Literal: Do you have a soul there?) But it just meant, do you have something to eat or feast on?
After the meal, everyone would gather around and say a prayer for our departed loved ones.
Food is indeed a part of the Filipinos’ make-up, Undas/Kalag-Kalag or not ?
How To Get There:
Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. From Manila, Davao City is an hour and 40 minutes by plane and 3 days and 2 nights by land and sea. Taxi Flag down rate is PhP40 (US$0.93).