November 1 is one of the most important days in the Philippines when kinship is celebrated either very solemnly or with gaiety (including parties and mahjong), where some family members who hardly see each other, or may even not know each other, meet across the graves of ancestors.
This year, it will not be celebrated like how we Filipinos have always celebrated it. Covid-19 changed all that.
Where we usually gathered as a family and as a clan to visit the graves of our dead, visits during this year’s Undas (Todos los Santos, Araw ng mga Patay) will be done in small numbers if at all. If safety protocols would have it, there will be no traffic snarls around cemeteries. Barangays are even assigned dates prior to November 1 to visit their dead.
What Families Mean to Filipinos
Filipinos consider their families as top priority, sometimes more important than the teachings of the Catholic Church. This is not surprising. We were a tribal people before Christianity was brought to our shores by the Spaniards in 1521.
Taken to an extreme, a communitarian society would prioritize the members of the tribe rather than religious doctrines, and sometimes even the rules and laws of the state.
Mobility has made us more cosmopolitan but beneath the skin, blood is everything. We may not have rigid social hierarchies like India but we do have our own social classes. We constantly define ourselves by our family names, our social connections, schools we went to, companies we belong to, the work we do, the islands we come from, the region in the Philippines, the languages we speak…
Then it becomes wider in scope when we travel the world, we think of country and become very nationalistic when the Philippines gets bad press. Woe to the person saying anything negative about the Philippines (even if it is warranted), he will be clobbered in social media and may even be declared persona non grata.
The Beauty of Family
Family is the ballast for a group of people, the anchor that prevents us from drifting away from our values and mores, the ties that bind. Family gives us a reason for living.
The Filipino’s definition of family is extensive. We consider more than just our parents and siblings as family. We include cousins who are once-, twice-, thrice-…removed. If we can trace someone through a common ancestor, he’s family. Then there are those who are connected by marriage and adoption. But we also don’t stop here. Family friends are considered family too. People coming from the same village? Could be family.
The KINSHIP Color Palette of Color Trend 2020
When the Boysen Color Team discussed the Color Trends 2020 in mid-2018 (yes, that’s how long the process takes), we identified socio-economic, political, and cultural trends in the world and then extracted the local directions. We came up with four color palettes that relate to human behavor—ORIGINS, NOSTALGIA, KINSHIP and META. Read more about them by clicking on the links.
What we didn’t see, and no one else saw, is the pandemic. Despite that though, we are spot-on with four trends that correspond to these color palettes.
- ORIGINS – We see how our roots act as a compass to guide us to where we should go and how we can navigate the turbulence of the present world.
- NOSTALGIA – We yearn for a past that was gentler, and hope that our children can experience those kinder times too.
- KINSHIP – We reach out to family to share experiences and make sense of them.
- META – And we hope that technology would help us move out of this health crisis, get us to a safer shore, and build a better world for us and our children.
The color palette KINSHIP is made up of light and dark browns and black, an intense yellow, and a bright purple. These colors work well with many interior styles like modern rustic, traditional Filipino, or contemporary. It all depends on how you combine the colors, the patterns, materials, and furnishings that you will use.
Earth tones help ground a space and that is what many of us need in these times. Add to that is the movement towards a more biophilic design style, which is simply welcoming the natural world into interiors, symbolically or physically.
KINSHIP during Undas
On November 1, whatever rituals you have to do without, just remember that you can celebrate family and your roots in other ways and not only going to the cemetery to visit your loved ones who passed.
Think about these following rituals, and choose one that works for you:
- Send the names of the people you want prayers for, to a church which does online masses.
- If you don’t have an altar at home, then choose a corner (or a table top) which you can turn into a temporary altar. Decorate it with flowers or plants. Light some candles, and pray together for your deceased family members.
- Have a meal together in honor of those loved ones. Say something about how they have impacted your life positively.
- Have a virtual meeting with family far away and do a ritual together. Connecting with others is as much for you as it is for them.
- Take some time to quietly pray for those who are no longer with you, and remember the blessings they have brought into your life.
Please feel free to suggest below what other rituals we can do for Undas when going to the cemetery would be difficult.