FOOD FOR THE DEAD. A visitor at the Davao Memorial Cemetery fills a cup with water to complete the food she is preparing for a departed relative on Tuesday, Nov. 1. As a tradition, she also prepared rice cake, locally called as puto, noodles and mango float as these are the favorite foods of their loved one. (Maria Patricia C. Borromeo/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Aside from the rich, colorful traditions of the country during the commemoration of the dead, Filipinos are also known to be very superstitious whether its about money, on children, wealth, on animals and even death.

As the country takes part on the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days, DavaoToday conducted a random interview to elicit from the public some of the popular beliefs related to “Undas” which are embedded in the Filipino culture.

1 Sharing food to the departed loved ones – Melgie Jumawan, a student of University of Mindanao (UM) said offering foods to their departed loved ones shows they  are still part of the family.  She added that this belief is a common practice of Filipinos during Undas.

2 Cook the favorite food/dish of your departed loved ones– A female teacher from Ateneo de Davao Grade School said that during ‘”Undas”, her now departed grandmother used to cook “kalamay” during All Saints’ Day observance. Now that she’s dead, she prepared a favorite food of her mother for Undas.

3 Connect to the departed loved ones through prayers – After lighting a candle for her departed relative, Arcel, a banana plantation worker said that most Filipinos would talk to their dead loved ones through prayers.

4 No eating inside the cemetery during “Undas”-  While some bring food to the cemeteries to share with their departed relatives, a father lighting a candle to his departed mother’s grave said that one of the beliefs he follows is to avoid bringing and eating food inside the cemetery. He said that the day is for the dead and not for the living to enjoy.

5 Don’t step over a grave or tomb- A group of elders at the Davao Memorial Cemetery said that if you step a grave or tomb, whether it’s on All Saints’ Day or not, it will hurt those who died.

6 Walk over a bonfire smoke– A 21-year old female student of University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) said that during in her childhood days, after visiting a departed relative in cemeteries, they are advised to walk over a bonfire smoke so that bad spirits will not follow them as they leave the cemetery. (

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