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Kalag-Kalag 2021: Flower, candle business ‘still crawling’

By: Mae Fhel Gom-os October 31,2021 - 08:00 AM

Flower and candle vendors at Carbon Public Market entertain their customers amid the Kalag-Kalag season this year.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Vendors of flowers and candles at the Carbon Public Market expressed worry that their businesses are still struggling even as the pandemic situation continues here.

Wen Tenchavez, a 40-year-old flower vendor, said his business has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic.

He said there is a huge difference between his sales this year compared to the previous years or pre pandemic.

“Sa pagkakaron, makaingon gyud ko nga lahi ra ang sales karon compared sa mga niagi pa gyung tuig. Di sa ingon nga last year, kay last year, ingon ani man gihapon ang nahitabo,” said Tenchavez.

The former performer at a floating restaurant in Lapu-Lapu City added that despite the observance of Kalag-Kalag (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), they noted that only a few customers bought flowers this year.

Carbon Public Market is usually the place where most buy flowers and candles, considering that its products and services are way cheaper than any other establishment in the city.

Tenchavez, who has taken over their family business from two generations, said that he did not buy many flowers from different suppliers this year, as they expected sales not to improve this year.

“Mao bitaw nga wa gyud mi mangumpra og daghang buwak karon kay na experience na namo og unsa ka [lisud] last year. Mao nang unsay paninda namo sa kada adlaw, mao ra gihapon paninda namo karon. Wai nausab. Mao ra gihapon,” he said.

It can be recalled that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered closure of cemeteries starting October 29 to November 2, 2021, which also covers the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Tenchavez said this is also the reason why they didn’t expect an increase of sales this year.

“Wala mi magdahom na ana. Kay nahitabo man gud nga gi-close ang mga menteryo, mao lagi na nga gadahom mi nga mohalin na, pero wa diay,” he said.

“After November 2 nga gipoen ang menteryo, mura ra’g wala gihapon, mura rana’g inadlaw ra gihapon. Di pareha atong open gyud siya from November 1 and 2, ang sales naa gyud siya. Di man tuod ingon nga dako kaayo pero at least naa gyud makita gyud nimo nga income ang imong gipuhunan,” Tenchavez added.

He, however, emphasized that they are still grateful for the reopening of their businesses, where they could at least earn despite having lesser sales.

Meanwhile, Leah Mae Oporto, who sells flowers and candles adjacent to the stall of Tenchavez, expressed the same sentiment with the latter.

Oporto, who is doing the business with her 60-year-old mother, noted fewer customers buying candles, unlike the previous years or prior to the pandemic.

“Okay raman siya pero ana gyud usahay mingaw kay dili man jud pareha sauna bitaw nga ingon aron jud adlawa mao na ro’y pamalitay para makaduaw sila sa menteryo. Hinay jud ron, di jud ingon nga akusog kaayo compared sa wa pa’y pandemic,” said Oporto.

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TAGS: Kalag-Kalag 2021

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