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What some Cebuano athletes miss from pre-pandemic Kalag-Kalag

By: Dale Rosal - CDN Digital | November 01,2021 - 05:00 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are two of the most important days Filipinos look forward to each year. 

But ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in 2020, the ‘Kalag-Kalag’ season has been different.

The health crisis forced government to close all cemeteries to prevent another spike in the number of cases. 

This is now the second year that people have to pray for their departed loved ones from home.

For many, this is not how they remember the ‘Kalag-Kalag’ season.

Just like others, some of Cebu’s talented athletes miss a lot of the usual things they do during these days.

Cesafi men’s basketball MVP Shaquille Imperial, multi-titled cyclist Khalil Sanchez, and sharpshooter Roy Barro shared with CDN Digital what they miss the most during the Halloween season.

athletes kalag-kalag

Reigning Cesafi MVP Shaq Imperial. | contributed photo

For Imperial, the 5-foot-10 crafty wingman of the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras, family gathering every All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is what he misses the most. 

According to Imperial, this time of the year is when he and his relatives gather together at the cemetery to bond, offer prayers and respect their dearly departed loved ones. 

“Tradition nato na gather as a family and mo visit sa cemetery para offer og prayers, flowers and dagkot candles for our dearly departed. Mao ni ang time for us to reunite sa atong family,” said Imperial. 

Aside from that, Imperial, who is playing for Medical Depot in the FilBasket, said he also misses the delicious home-cooked dishes that his family and relatives bring at the cemetery to share with everyone. 

READ: Cesafi MVP Shaq Imperial brings talent to FilBasket

“Hopefully next year maka balik nata sa normal lives and be able to celebrate this season the usual way that we do it,” Imperial said. 

athletes kalag-kalag

Multi-titled shooter Roy Barro. | contributed photo

Meanwhile, the 21-year old Barro, a multi-titled practical shooter of the Laguna-Practical Shooters Group, misses the crowd and the traffic he usually experiences during Halloween back when everything was normal. 

READ: Barro bags multiple shooting titles in 3 month campaign

He also misses the street food stalls lined up near the cemetery. 

“One thing that I surely miss is the mass gatherings in the cemetery held by families who are remembering their loved ones. Also,  the experience of traffic jams caused by a lot of people who are packed in the perimeter of the cemetery, and famous food stalls that are filled by many families who just came from the cemetery,” said Barro, who is also a football player of the De La Salle University Green Archers. 

“In addition, the people who wear costumes in the street are just one of the many  things that I miss when celebrating Halloween.”

Since the cemeteries are currently closed, Barro and his family plan to visit their departed loved ones a week from now to avoid the flock of people. 

“Given the situation that we have right now, my family has decided to visit our departed loved ones a week after the celebration to avoid the packed crowd and instead, pray for their souls in our homes and have a simple family dinner as well,” said Barro. 

Khalil Sanchez. | contributed photo

For 16-year old cycling phenom Sanchez, it’s the thought of the days when everything was still normal that he misses the most. 

READ: Khalil Sanchez, 16, wins Getafe MTB race, notches 27th 1st place finish in cycling competitions

“Gimingaw ko atong mga adlaw na wa pay pandemic kay pwedi pa makabisita satong mga loved ones nga ni panaw na,” Sanchez stated. 

But he, like Imperial and Barro, understands that what’s important now is to comply with the government’s instructions so everything can go back to normal the soonest.

What they can do now, is offer prayers and respect to our dearly departed loved ones from the comforts of our homes.


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TAGS: Kalag-Kalag 2021, Khalil Sanchez, Shaquille Imperial

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