The hiatus between October 31st to November 2nd is almost always a family reunion during the 80s. Folks from Manila, Tuguegarao and La Union would all visit our hometown to pay respects to our departed relatives by offering prayers, as is the Catholic tradition.
I've had precious memories from these visits, being in the ancestral house that my grandfather resided. Folks would take me with them, not only to visit the graves in the cemetery, but more to go around town to visit other relatives in nearby towns. An added plus is staying at our uncles' San Fabian resthouse eby the popularly known Holiday Resort! There were plenty of us families there, I imagine the house with 4 rooms so cramped that some of us had to sleep by the living room / terrace. But the days were so much fun playing boardgames, going to the beach, exchanging knock-knock jokes and getting to know our cousins more!
For a long while since 1983, when our grandfather Roberto De Guzman passed away, it was only me and my Big Sister Cousin Edith who would visit their graves at the cemetery. The practice was solemn then and we would pass by the Catholic church in the afternoon to offer prayers first before going to the cemetery. At the cemetery we would keep vigil until the sun sets, just exchanging family stories and the latest. I miss that too.
Yes, I miss those times and wish we could have a repeat of those for the next generation (read: my young boys) but then all my relatives are now settled in the US and Australia for good, that I miss their huge crowd sometimes. Yes, I'm the only immediate relative left here in the Philippines, so you could imagine the quietness of the occasion for my family now. And I've also changed with traditions during All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day as we don't celebrate nor participate in it now, except with the clean-up of the grave sites since we converted to Christian faith.