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Of all phases of domestic life, it is in death where many customs and beliefs prevail, unchanged by time and civilization. The inhabitants adhere to them because of fear of death.
There are several omens which the inhabitants believe bring death. And unusual howling of dogs in the dead of the night foretells death among near relatives or, if somebody is ill in the family, that sick person will surely die.
A big black butterfly is a sign that somebody, a relative who is far, has died or is death.
If there is a sick person in the house and a crow a lights on a branch of a tree near the house, the sick person will surely die.
If one dreams of falling teeth or hairs, it should not be divulged to anybody but instead, the person concerned should murmur his dreams to a tree. If this is not done, death will visit the family.
If somebody dies in the house, the clothes worn by the dead should not be removed for it is believed that the same clothes will be the ones that will be used when his soul enters purgatory or heaven, or else he/she will not be recognized there.
If a person dies and his limbs are not inflexible, this is a sign that another member of the family will die.
Members bereaved family should not wail loudly for this will only prolong his suffering, neither should be wet the dead with tears.
The floor should not be swept nor cleaning be done not until the fourth day after the death of the person. In eating, used plates should not be carried one above the other and only one person should wash the plates. These practices are done in order to prevent frequent deaths in the family.
The coffin should be exactly the length of the dead person. The corpse should be fitted in it for if there is space inside, it means that death will occur again.
Old folks used to pull some hairs from the dead person or a piece of cloth is cut so that if somebody gets sick, particularly the children, these things can be used as medicine.
The moment the corpse is brought down, the bed where it laid is brought down also through the window. Everything used by the deceased when death came is placed in the coffin. In carrying the coffin, care should be taken that not a part of it touches the side of the door, for if this happens, another death will occur. As soon as the coffin is carried on from the house, a person throws on the steps or on the stairs
The hearse is first brought to church followed by the mourners. If the dead is an adult person, kin are usually dressed in black. Black is the sign of mourning.
When the hearse reaches the cemetery, the coffin is brought to the grave (either dug or niches). It is a common practice to open the coffin before it is lowered to the grave or pushed into the niche. If the dead is a child, the godmother light the candle that has been blessed by the priest. If an adult, either father or mother, or grandparents, the children are told to kiss the hands of the dead. The young ones are carried across the coffin thrice. This is done in order that the soul of the dead will not visit them in their sleep. As soon as the corpse is lowered, persons near the great throw lumps of soil into the grave.
In the home of the deceased, prayer is said for nine consecutive nights for the soul of the departed (for adults) and on the ninth day, usually there is a great feast after the chanting of hymns and prayers. For children, the feast and prayer are usually done on the fourth day. It is also on the fourth day when the general cleaning of the house of the departed takes place and everybody bathes. No one is allowed to bathe when there is a dead person in the house.
Children are usually dressed in red when they go to sleep. This is done so that the spirit of the departed will not haunt them in their sleep, especially if the dead person’s mouth is open in death for that means that he/she will return to tell something which he/she forgot to tell while still living.
Black clothes are usually worn by the members of the bereaved family, particularly the women, in mourning. The common practice is to use this for at least one year. When in mourning, it is prohibited to indulge in frivolous activities like dancing and gay parties. The wearing of mourning dress is shed after one year, not exactly 365 days, it may be less or more. On the first anniversary of the death, again prayers are said for the soul of the departed. Every November 1, on All Saints’ Day, graves are decorated and candles are lighted in front.
When relatives visit other relatives whom they have not seen for quite a long time, they usually bring gifts, especially for the children.
At the time of [the] meeting, it is a common practice to see young people kiss the hands of the old ones. The same is done when they part.
When relatives or friends live in the same town, [a] visit is made usually on the occasion of childbirth or sickness. The one visiting the sick brings either flowers or food.
Feasts are held during fiesta, Christmas, Easter, weddings, birthdays, and Baptisms. On occasions like the above, relatives and friends come and help in the preparation of the food. Others bring something as gifts. On Christmas, absent members of the family usually come for the particular Christmas get-together.
On birthday parties and weddings, friends and relatives give gifts to the celebrant and to the young people who are married.
Persons with hats on take them off when passing a church or make the sign of the cross.
Family prayer is said at Angelus time. Children run home for prayer. Mothers teach their children to pray. Family prayer is said at night and in the morning at waking time.
Praying before sleeping and upon waking up.
Going to church on Sundays and other holidays.
Children are either scolded or whipped by their parents when they disobey them.
When the children commit breaches of discipline or breaches of etiquette, the father or mother usually advises them on proper behavior. The time is either during meal time or at night when they are ready to go to bed.
In some cases, there are parents who disinherit the son or daughter who has committed a grave offense against family honor.
PART III – PROVERBS AND MAXIMS
(English and Vernacular)
[p. 12]10. Ang salitang matamis, sa puso’y nakakaakit at nagpapalubag ng galit.
[p. 13]25. Mahirap gisingin ang taong nagtutulugtulugan.
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