It’s been a whirlwind month for our family: three sacraments in a span of three weeks, excluding the Eucharist. Each culminated a week apart.
Three weeks ago, our neighbor got married. Reception was at Alessandra Garden, a favorite venue for events located within the neighboring subdivision. You know, I kinda find it funny that one greets the groom “Congratulations” and the bride “Best Wishes.” It seems like one’s telling the guy “Lucky you (score!)” and the girl “Good luck (you don’t know what you got yourself into.)”.
A week later, the Catholic community celebrated the Feast of Santo Nino (Holy Child Jesus). Got an invitation to the christening of a friend’s baby which I had to decline. My niece was also to be baptized at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Guadalupe, Makati, along with a few other babies. Was amused that people, right after the rite, rushed to the altar to get prime spots for picture taking instead of adhering to the superstition of rushing with one’s baby to the church’s main entrance. It is believed that the baby who gets there first will always be first when he/she grows up.
Lunch was at Chowking, a local QSR which offers Chinese/Oriental cuisine. My mom, dad, sis and of course, my youngest brother were the ones who went for the “pamanhikan” last year, so it was the first time I got to meet the in-laws, a very warm family. After lunch, they invited us over to their place where we ate again. Heh!
We also trooped to my brother’s rented unit. Awesome view from the building’s rooftop. You can see the buildings at Pioneer and a few in Ortigas at one side and the Fort on the other.
Two days after, the wife of my deceased uncle (my dad’s brother) passed away. We were back in Guadalupe, Makati as the wake was at one of the Loyola Memorial Chapels.
My aunt-in-law would always make sure that we were comfy when we visit. My memory of her was of plush sheets and pillows when I stayed overnight with them once and hotdogs in the morning. She’s someone who’s usually in the background but would check up on you to see if you’re okay.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve seen a death certificate. You can download it from this site. I was not able to see the paperwork and my parents said that a medical certificate is required for the death certificate. Old age is not accepted as cause of death. Multiple organ failure sounded like she died in an accident. Ugh.
My aunt-in-law was laid to rest in our plot at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina. Walkways are far apart that one has no choice but to step over someone else’s plot to get to the plot one wants to visit.
Some questions that have arisen during the wake:
1) How much does a funeral in Manila costs? I’m posting cost estimates to give readers an idea, based on what I heard from my parents. My parents were offered a plot at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina in the 90s for P50k. A plot can house 2 caskets. As time goes by, the bones may be dug up and buried again (at cost) to make space for two more burials.
They were able to avail of senior citizen’s discount for my aunt-in-law with regards to services so it was already deducted from the following amount: P2k for medical certificate, P7k for setting each knee (before rigor mortis sets in, try to straighten their knees so they would fit into the casket and you could use the amount saved on other expenses), P33k for casket, embalming, makeup, transfer to and from the chapel (hearse included), P50k for four day viewing at one of the chapels. My aunt-in-law’s chapel had colored glass windows, a table for the mass, 2 chandeliers, 4 pews and some folding chairs. It has a separate kitchen with refrigerator, no sink and a toilet with wash basin.
Other expenses you will incur: flowers (we got ours, 2 standing sprays, 1 casket spray and 1 large spray in front of the coffin made of anturium and white chrysanthemums at P5.5k, from my brother’s officemate.), clothes for the dead, food for the wake, transportation, donation for the priest who will be officiating the last rite.
2) When does “pasiyam” start? Starting on the day of the burial, prayers are offered for the recently departed for nine days.
3) When does forty days start? Forty days after date of death, relatives and friends get together again. Often, mass is offered for the deceased and a small spread is shared.
“Pagbababang luksa” happens after a year. My parents believe that it is only then that the period of mourning ends. Others believe that forty days are enough for a period of mourning.
Thank you so much to everyone who went to the wake and funeral, especially to my brother’s in-laws who cooked food and was there to support my brother, who did some gopher tasks, all the way. And to another relative who was my brother’s wingman.