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It's not about wedding. One must read the article first before you arrive with the conclusion about the title😅
Yesterday was a free day from the tasks on the farm. It happens that we have someone in the community who died a day after another. Yesterday was his burial and as a custom we stayed at home in respect for the bereaved family. Yes, the whole community satyed at home. We can go to town though but not on the farm.
Our funeral are categorized into two. One is the sad funeral while the other is the joyful one. You might wonder why?
It's like this, when somebody dies at a young age or middle aged, we treat it as a sad death because the death hasn't arrived late and the dead one didn't enjoyed his youthhood and life to its fullest.We mourn terribly with this kind of death.
When it is an elderly, we treat it as a happy farewell because they have already enjoyed their life during their younger days.
As a custom in our village, we don't go to the field after the burial. It was a long time belief that when someone dies in our village and after burial, you stubbornly went to your field, your crops will get infested with pest, will wither, or be destroyed with a calamity. This belief has been passed from generations to generations. And because people in our village are pagans, they connect any mischiefs and infestations in your farm to your past deeds during "tengaw" cultural lockdown or stay at home day. You see, we already have lockdowns in here before. 😊
However, these modern-day beliefs have been altered. When Christianity entered the community, there are some good changes while some lead to negative effects. In some instances, like this burial situations, though most of us remain in our homes, some continue their task on the farm as long as the farm is not visible to the townspeople or else you may hear criticism that says, "as if you do not die someday" "inconsiderate" . It is an insult to the bereaved family that one is busy with his task while they are doing the wake. Even the neighbors, for instance, there are carpenters who are working near the wake, they posponed the day of work until the funeral was over.
Nowadays, we put it in our mind that the dead one has no worries anymore. They don't bother what to eat the next day or what to do the following day, so why not we, who are still alive and faces the concerns and struggles of survival continue the usual task but in a respectful way? The reason is acceptable but as I mentioned above, we do it considerably.
In times of sickness, we visit the sick member of our community. It doesn't matter whether he is a relative or not.
In every situation where we all meet misfortune, we, people within the community are supporting each other, we share the burden in preparing foods for the visitors from other villages. From coffee and snacks to meals during the vigil until the burial, women- youth and mothers alternately distribute the food to those who attended the wake. Men prepared and collect firewood for cooking beforehand and butchered pigs for viand. So if one doesn't do the usual way of supporting the community by showing your presence of helping, don't expect that they would do the same to you 100%.
Whenever there is a community celebration, we celebrate together. In times of death, we mourn together But, I tell you, if your presence in any gathering is confirmed that you are not always active, people will judge you for it. However, they appreciate you more if you show your presence in times of difficulties than in times of joy. But don't worry, we are still good people at heart. We still care about our people. It's just the intensity of help depends on your actions and character towards your fellow in here as well. If you are good at getting along with others, "Pakikisama" in Filipino as it is called, they will treat you the same. It doesn't need a lot of effort to have friends here in our place, we are friendly individuals, you only need to pick the true one's. I only have few true friends which I can count on my fingers. Usual hypocrite people are everywhere so I only stick to originals🤣.
I believe that giving help can't be and should not be measured, but base on our culture that still runs in the community, those who love to help will receive help as well. Those who don't will accept less. It's just that simple. If somebody dies and you find fewer people in his/her vigil, that shows that the person has an unfavourable character. On the contrary, if you find many people who attended the wake, you will know that the dead person is a good one. A man needs not to be a known person in here. The first time I came into this place, my hometown, even the poorest one receives attention as long as you do good and not a worm in the community.
Same situation with Bayanihan in house construction in here. Many times I attended Bayanihan in construction of a new house, transferring of a house and pouring of cement in its flooring or roof. You can distinguish that the person who owns the house is a good person by looking at the number of people who come and attend the Bayanihan. It would only take few hours to finish the work. It is like investing in a good deed to harvest a good deed.
This images below I took during the bayanihan of my brother-in-law. I had no photos of funerals since it it not appropriate to take pictures while people are on grief.
We thought at first that few people will come because the location was above the community and people doesn't know the plan. But we were surprised as the sun began to rise, one by one,men came with their shovels while women with their goods came to attend the activity.
In deeper thinking, I believe this is the only kind of helping others that you have to expect to reap something in return. This situation differs from normal giving and helping, we believe in here that one will never know what would happen next. There's no man an island. We need others to help no matter what, especially in situations where there's no one by your side to help you. Though this is an action that breaks the saying "Give and Expect Nothing in Return". But if you are such a good giver and a good helper, there's no issue about it.😁