Tag Archives: etiquette

All Reds Aside

The Unofficial Guide to Wake and Funeral Etiquette and Some Superstitious Beliefs

When anything bright especially red must be set aside for a year.

When anything bright especially red must be set aside for a year.

It’s easy to wallow in Misery Avenue when a love one passes away. But being as we are, we manage to smile, even crack a joke and laugh like a loony at certain times. A way of coping, perhaps.

I realized then that you don’t grieve 24/7. You grieve at the time your loved one passed on, and then you put your grief on hold to do what you have to do. And grieve again when all’s quiet and all you hear is his voice when he jokingly says “Good morning in the morning” to his grandchildren or when he greets us over Skype, “Hello darling” (he mostly tells my sister this since she lives far away; the only time he called me that was when I got deployed in Hong Kong for a few months).

So, in our case (and in our haste), we thought we had everything ready for those prepping my father’s body and then we realized (we’re already far from the house) we hadn’t packed his boxers.  We were mortified! Because father will turn in his grave (or in his urn?) if we let him went commando. And then we laughed. Then went silent again.

So I tasked myself to take care of dad’s boxers and the nibbles and drinks that we must ready for those who will visit him. Now this is where all the etiquette comes in and what we have to prep for the next few days. Phew! I finally segued to what this is all about. 🙂

Pasiyam and 40 Days

We got lost in counting when his pasiyam will be as there was confusion as to when is day 1:  the day of his death or the day he’s  buried/cremated. We opted for the latter as that was the day we started the novena prayer. Forty days, on the other hand, begins on the day of his death.

“Proper” Response When People Say “Condolence”

The old folks told us that when people text or tell us that they’re condoling with us, we MUST not say “Thank you”.

I’m like, so what do we say then? “Same to you”? Or if crush texted or dropped by, you say, “Love you too”?

Since this is a first for us, plus my siblings and I are not really ‘old school’ so we still say ‘thank you’, especially if it’s a text message. I’m thinking it’s rude not to reply when people went out of their way to make you feel you’re not alone.

But if someone personally condoles with you and you don’t want to say thank you, then a handshake  or a hug will suffice. Actually if someone you care about, ok fine, you’re crushing on does that… naman! Parang naka-score ka lang. 😛 What a fleeting relief from sadness.

What to Bring to a Wake / Funeral

It is customary to give mass cards, flowers (yes, the one with the stand. And no, you don’t give that kind for Valentine’s 😛 ) and abuloy (monetary assistance). 

Some bring food (e.g. sandwiches, biscuits) and this is actually very helpful and practical since there is an off chance that food is the last thing on the grieving family’s minds or it can serve as an emergency stash for the guests.

Clothes to Wear and the Appropriate Color

As respect to the family, refrain from wearing loud, bright, neon colored clothes. Unless of course their grief and misery give you much to be happy about (eh kung ganun din lang, wag ka na pumunta at baka isama ka dun sa pinaglalamayan).

And yes, shorts that can be easily mistaken for underwear has no place in a wake. Ang burol ay hindi isang okasyon para mag boy-hunting. 

Should An Ex (Bf/Gf/Friend) Personally Visit? 

For me, Yes. Especially if you live within a reasonable distance  and you have personally met the deceased several times. You go there not for your whatever-kind-of-ex but for the deceased who welcomed you to their home at pinakiharapan ka ng maayos at di ka binastos inspite of all that the deceased knew about you.

There’s No Buffet in Grief

Clearly, you are going to a wake and not to a party, therefore, please do not expect the grieving family to have a buffet prepared. Unless they are part of a society who can manage to have a funeral coordinator and take care of these things for them. Take Mang Dolphy’s wake; there was a separate function hall for the buffet and a place that Annabelle Rama chose to showcase her classy behavior.

The family usually prepares nibbles and drinks since people traveled to condole with you; that’s the least you can do for them. Offer coffee, juice, soda, or water and sandwiches, biscuits or chips because the horrible traffic may have gotten them all hungry even if they have already eaten earlier.

Some Superstitious Beliefs One Should Know:

Don’t sweep the floors during the wake.

Because your whole family might be swept away by the Grimm Reaper. But since we opted to have the wake in a funeral place, part of their service was to keep the place tidy. But I noticed they don’t sweep. They mop the floors instead.

During the wake period, don’t take a bath at your house; take a bath somewhere else.

This I don’t get why and so we still took a bath at our own house. So far, we’re all ok. 😉

If you will put a rosary in the hand of the deceased, make sure you cut it.

So there will not be consecutive deaths in the family.

The deceased should not wear shoes.

I don’t know the logic behind this. But I’m thinking, maybe so they won’t make a sound in case they visit you late at night. Well, they don’t like scaring you, right?  😀

Don’t go home straight after visiting a wake or attending a funeral.

This is so you don’t bring home the negative vibes (i.e. sadness, grief, misery) with you. So shake these off by going to a resto, coffee shop or mall before going home.

Change your clothes as soon as you get home.

Same reason as above but make sure you stash those clothes outside your house, like your backyard. Basta outside your house; if you care to take it literally, go! 😉

Never take home food that you prepared for guests or food offered to you during the wake/funeral.

For families who held the wake at a funeral home, food served to the  guests must not be taken home. Leave it there. Malas daw. In the same manner that food offered when you visit the wake, must be eaten there, even candy. Wag mo na ipabalot. 😛 


I bet there’s a lot of things I missed but this is it for now. With all that’s happened between then and now, death has a funny way of letting you see both the dead and the living, a little  differently; with a little more love or a lot more disdain that you can possibly feel.



Filed under Random Blurbs

Commuter’s Etiquette

Commuting everyday to work allows me to experience things that people bringing their own cars do not have the privilege… I get to experience the kindness of strangers when they let you have their seat in a crowded train or the simple act of giving your fare to the driver when you’re too far to reach and give the fare yourself.

And then there are some who can irritate you because of their sheer lack of etiquette, whether in queues or inside the public transpo. So here’s some that I learned, observed and wanted to share.

1. Queue and don’t overtake.

Translation:  wag makipagunahan at sumingit! Kaya nga may pila eh.

In queues, there’s neither rich nor poor.  We’re equals regardless of how high your salary is or how crisp your polo is. Wag maginarte. Wag makipagunahan sa front seat kung hindi naman ikaw ang nasa unahan ng pila.  There are sooooooooo many people who think that they can get away with this. Uunahan ka sa pila dahil gusto nila sa front seat.  It happened to me a number of times and I don’t let them get away with it; not because I’m being a b*tch but to let them know that this is precisely the essence of queuing.  Keep in mind that the people ahead of you have the option on where they want to sit.  If you’re the last, then that leaves you with no choice but the last available seat. That’s just the way it is.

2. Occupy only the space that’s available to you.

Translation:  wag ipagsiksikan ang sarili sa kakarampot na espasyo… lalo kung di ka naman kapayatan.

This usually happens when the last passenger boards the vehicle.  Imagine this scenario.  Just one more passenger and then you’ll leave the terminal already. So there you are, sitting quite comfortably. Then here comes the last passenger, he/she will sit with the butt almost up your face in the hopes of letting the balakang get as much space as it can tapos gigitgitin ka para umurong ka, when there’s no more space to move.

You have the option anyway to wait for the next ride but since you opted to take this ride and you’re the last passenger, just take the available space and bear with it. Wag mong ipagsiksikan ang sarili mo lalo na kung alam mong di ka na kasya. Don’t belittle yourself. What I mean is, wag mong isipin na isa ka lang tinga na pwedeng sumingit sa ngipin. Tao ka… tao!

3. Adjust your ringtone so that it doesn’t holler inside the vehicle.

Translation:  wag papansin. Nahihinaan ang ringtone. Wag pasikat na polyphonic ang phone mo…. Marami na’ng may ganyan.

There are those who let the whole darn song end before they answer the text or call (pretending they didn’t hear it) just so you’ll know what their ringtone is. Aysus! Juvenile and jologs at best!

Then there are those who holler themselves while talking on their phones. Naman! Di tayo close para malaman ko pa ang juicy details ng buhay mo. Wag mong isipin isa kang megaphone… once more… tao ka… tao (kang nakakairita)… hehehe…

4. If you’re listening to your music player, adjust the volume so that the person beside you is not listening to the vehicle’s radio and to the music screaming out of your earphones simultaneously.

Translation: durugin mo man ang eardrums mo, wala akong pakialam pero wag mong pasakitin ang ulo ko dahil hindi nakakatuwang makinig sa dalawang magkaibang tugtog ng sabay!

These are the new breed of co-passengers that’s getting my goat lately. Parang ano ba??? Kelangan ba talagang ganon kalakas ang tugtog ng iPod mo? So loud that it’s actually blasting out of your earphones???!!  Not good for your ear… and not good for my heart! Nakaka-stress kayo!   And when my patience finally runs out… hindi magiging maganda sa kalusugan mo ang mangyayari.  hehehe

5. Sit properly. Don’t cross your arms nor sit with your elbows poking your seatmate’s side. Instead, sit with your arms extended on your lap.

Translation: umupo ka ng maayos nang hindi kabwisitan ng katabi mo.

I’m not sure if you notice it but crossing your arms, squares your shoulders thus making you occupy more space than you normally do. Sumisikip lalo.

And these people who sit with their elbows folded at their sides will really irritate you because every time the driver hits the brakes, their elbow will surely poke your side and it’s really uncomfortable (painful especially on sudden brakes). Gusto ko magka dimples… pero hindi sa tagiliran ko, ok?

6. Guys, don’t spread your legs far and wide (it’s smaller than you think it is). You and junior can be comfortable without taking other’s space.

Translation:  Kelangan ba talagang naka-180° ang hita mo?

Spreading your legs unnecessarily occupies the space of another passenger, who paid the fare just like you did and yet you sit as though you own the vehicle.  Unless of course you paid twice the fare, then occupy twice the space as you like.

7. Girls, if you’re wearing a skirt (knee-length or shorter), don’t put your bag across your lap; place it horizontally instead. Just so you won’t give the person sitting right across a splitting headache or stiff neck.

Translation:  wag mong bigyan ng kasalanan yung lalake sa harap mo… wag mo din bigyan ng stiff neck yung babaeng kaharap mo (kakaiwas ng tingin kasi medyo….. ewwwwwwwww).

Most office girls wear skirts that reach their knees or slightly above their knees.  And when they sit, the skirt hikes up a bit. Please, use your bags to cover your assets.  Unless you don’t mind showing the color and design of your undies to the person in front of you, then stay comfy with how you sit. It’s your call. Naku Lord! Wag Nyo naman na ipahintulot na mangyari ulet sa’ken yun… medyo… masakit sa mata, sa ulo at sa sikmura. hehehe

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