December 19, 2015

Funeral Etiquette in the Filipino Context

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    The Filipino culture has a unique set of traditions for every event. Be it a holiday celebration or even a funeral, there will always be a customary belief to accompany each of these events. When going to funerals in the Philippines, it is important to observe local customs to show respect to the families of the deceased. To help you out, here are some things you need to know about proper decorum when condoling with a Filipino family or friend.


    1) Proper dress code

    In the Philippines, when people die, it is a tradition to hold a wake (vigil) that lasts up to 5 or 7 nights. It is the chance for the family and friends of the deceased to pay their last respects to the dead. When going to a wake, it is expected of you to wear white, dark, or sombre-colored clothes. For closely-related family members, they usually wear black or white. Usually a black pin is fastened at the relatives’ clothes as an indication that the person is a family member.

    2) Offerings

    It is often traditional that visitors or those who cannot attend the wake send in flowers or monetary help to the family of the deceased. It is a sign of respect which tells that you remember them even when you’re afar. For the monetary aid (abuloy), you may donate any amount you want.

    3) Superstitions

    A lot of Filipinos are superstitious especially those who live in the provinces. It is important to know some of the common superstitions so you can show respect to the families’ beliefs as well. Some of these superstitions include avoiding sweeping during a wake (for it is believed to bring bad luck), avoiding tears from falling on the casket, and not taking a bath or combing your hair during the wake.

    4) Food

    When it comes to food, you can eat whatever is being served at the wake. It is a common Filipino tradition to serve the guests food and drinks, as a way of saying thank you for paying respects to their departed loved ones. You can eat but still you should observe manners like silent chewing and drinking. If you don’t feel like eating, you can politely decline.

    5) Visiting

    When going to a wake, you may be asked to sign on a registration book. You can opt to add your address on it because some families send thank you note cards to sympathizers. Also, it is customary to go to the immediate family members and express your condolences. If you do not plan on staying for long, a 15-30 minute visit should be enough.

    Recent Comments

    Straightforward and informative. Very Helpful, thank you.

    2 months ago

    Very helpful this info to understand the Filipino culture. Thank you so much…I love it.

    5 months ago

    Thank you for the helpful information.

    2 years ago
    What do you think about this article?
    ★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★


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