SALIN NG PAG-UUSAP:
Jennifer, a college freshman is at home with her grandmother, Lola Toyang. Grandma had recently arrived in the U.S from the Philippines.
Jennifer: Lola, what are you cooking? It smells good!
Lola: Oh, this? glutinous rice with coconut milk.
Jennifer: Is that biko Lola?
Lola: Something similar, but you don’t eat this with latik.
Jennifer: Who’s birthday is it Lola?
Lola: No one’s. This on the plate, is not for eating.
Jennifer: What is it for (respect particle)?
Lola: This is Atang.
Jennifer: What is atang (respect particle)?
Lola: The food for the dead.
Jennifer: Can that be eaten afterwards?
Lola: Yes, it can be eaten. In the Philippines we pray for the dead during undas.
Jennifer: What is undas (respect particle)?
Lola: Todos los Santos. All Souls Day, Day of the Dead. A few days before all souls day, we go to the cemetery to remove the weeds, clean and paint the tomb of your Lolo, my Mother and Father.
Jennifer: What about at night?
Lola: Others stay overnight in the cemetery. We did that when we were young. And then on the Day of the Dead itself, we go to the cemetery and pray for the souls of our relatives.
Jennifer: I thought it would be sad.
Lola: Oh no. Sometimes there’s even a Ferris wheel.
Jennifer: Ah, Grandma, then Day of the Dead is like Halloween. They’re both happy occasions. Only here people wear costumes and go trick or treating.
Lola: Oh yes.
Jennifer: Grandma, would you like to come with us to Knottscary Farm? There are scary ghosts and skeletons. It’s just for fun.
Lola: No. That’s only for the young. If you want to get scared, I’ll tell you stories about aswang and tikbalang.