Ded na si Lolo
The cultures of the Filipinos are unique among the other cultures in the world. This thought was actualized when I watched the movie Ded na si Lolo. For me it was a beautiful and typical movie I’ve ever watched. It covers all the reality of what a true Filipino was. The distinctiveness projects the original attitude of a true Filipino both in personality and characteristic.
In my reflection paper I will discuss the two dominant cultures of the Filipinos: the strong family ties and the superstitious beliefs during the “lamayan”. Familiarity to one’s family is a major factor that supplies to the success of the society. Our family is the essence of our existence. For the sake of our own true love, we give them the best world could live. They are our important investments. A father strives for perfection to be able to succeed so he could fulfill the needs of the family. A mother likewise does her share to augment the family income. This particular situation of a strong family ties were visualize by the family of Manilyn. The poverty did not hinder them to continue the ultimate goal of life. I was deeply touched in the first scene of the movie. It was projected the ideal family setting during the eating time. The family gathered together to share the grace that comes from the bountiful hands of the Lord. Each one of them became an active agent of love in the heart of everyone. Their overwhelming presence means a lot to the members of the family. Nobody ever taught us to be loving and caring for our family. It’s inborn instinct of every human being. The only difference is that Filipinos are deep and when our family is in question, the tendency is to fight and defend it.
The second is the ‘lamay” in the house from where the family of Manilyn grew up with their father who stands also as their mother. In this experience of lamayan one comes to realize that different meanings may be attached to it, depending upon the perspective taken up. In our culture we pay much respect to our departed love ones. We deem in life after death and we lengthy and colorful funeral ceremonies and rituals. We multiply the news that someone is dead by word of mouth, just like the man in the movie. When the corpse of the dead was sent in their house, he immediately went ahead. He kept on shouting that the body will be placed in the house.
If there will be a lamay we expect our relatives and friends to condole with the members of the family of the dead, to give financial contributions in condolence and to keep vigil until the burial days. During the lamay the house was cloaked with superstitions. The movie projected how the members of the family followed some of the superstitious belief. I have listed my observations as regards to their approach in the belief.
The members of the family must wear a black mourning pin. It signifies that they are in great grief, and so, they need to wear this as a sign of sadness. A container should be prepared for the limos. Since the dying is expensive, this is helpful for funeral needs. The money collected will be spent for the foods, coffin and other expenses. This will at least lessen the need for money. No taking a bath and you should not comb your hair within the vicinity of the funeral. When Rainer took a bath inside their house, his mother immediately let him came out and took a bath in the neighborhood.
Don’t let your tears fall on the coffin. This is for the soul to go on with his journey peacefully. When the daughter (second wife) of Lolo came, she instantly went to the coffin and cried aloud. But his step sister told her not to let her tears fell down in the coffin so that their Father will journey peacefully. Before the coffin is brought to the funeral car, all relatives should pass under the coffin so that moving on is easier for the loved ones. Lastly, the family together with the mourners will work their way to the Church for final blessing, then to the cemetery. This is called hatod which means bringing the dead to his destination.
If we try to define the feeling we have in lamayan, we would undoubtedly say that it is one of deep-seated sorrow, sorrow over the loss of our dearly beloved. However, this sorrow not only pertains to the dead, for it also is sorrow over ourselves, in the stark realization that we must continue on living. It is grief in the realization that this beloved of ours is no longer around to bear with us the burdens of existence, which he is no longer around to console us, to partake in our share of injustices, hardships, agonies and all the brutalities of this world. This grief is more sorrow for ourselves, in our naked realization that we have been deprived of our beloved companionship.
Finally, with these realities revealed in the experience of lamayan about the true personal character of the Filipinos, an undeniable realization that dawns upon us is the fact that the Filipino, no matter what his condition in life is, may he be rich or poor, is ever willing to the rescue of his fellowmen in their times of grief and distress- may his fellowmen be his friends or strangers. This gentlemen and compassion comes from his ability to perceive and visited by death, and from his awareness that as a human being he could never escape this painful experience of someone dying within his own family.