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Kalag-Kalag 2021

In Mandaue, tradition continues amid pandemic

By: Mary Rose Sagarino - CDN Digital | November 01,2021 - 06:41 PM


Marketgoers in Mandaue City are seen buying ingredients for dishes they will be cooking for their departed loved ones on All Saints’ Day. CDN Digital photo | Mary Rose Sagarino

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—The pandemic didn’t stop some people here from continuing tradition of cooking food to honor their departed loved ones during All Saints’ Day.

Agustina Salinas from barangay Mantuyong was one of the thousands of individuals who bought ingredients at the Mandaue City Public Market on Monday, November 1, 2021, so she could cook food she always prepared during All Saints’ Day.

“Para ihalad sa mga patay, sa mga kalag ba. Tradition na gyud ni, maghatag tag higayun nila kay ka isa sa kada tuig ra baya na sila pod,” said Salinas.

(So we can offer to the dead, to the souls. This is really tradition, that we remember them because this is only once a in a year.) 

Salinas bought ingredients for rice cake when this writer caught up with her at the market on Monday morning.

In the Philippines, the practice of cooking for departed loved ones on November 1 has been around for centuries, and though it has been different these past two years because of the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos continue with this tradition.

The food is usually brought to the cemeteries when visiting the dead but since cemeteries are closed this year, some still cook but offer it in altars at home.  

Salinas was just one of many who trooped to the Mandaue City Public Market for this reason.

Edgar Seno, the market administrator, said that most people flocked between 4 a.m to 7 a.m. He estimated about 2,000 individuals who went to the market early Monday.

Seno said from noon onwards, the operation went back to normal with only around 300 marketgoers.

Earlier, market guards and cleaners were spread around the market to monitor and implement health protocols.

There were also hand washing stations at the market’s entrances so that customers could wash their hands before and after shopping.


READ MORE: What some Cebuano athletes miss from pre-pandemic Kalag-Kalag

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TAGS: All saints day, All souls day, Kalag-Kalag 2021

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