Posted by : Cebu Blogger Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kalag-Kalag comes from the word "Kalag" that means Ghost. It is famously known and observed in Central Visayas, specifically in Cebu. In other part of the Country, this tradition is followed during All Souls' Day (November 2, after All Saints' Day - November 1) which Filipinos visit their departed loved ones in Cemetery. Even the Catholic Church always suggests to say prayer during these Solemn Days, we always tend to follow our Ancestors' traditions like offering Flowers and lighting of Candles outside our House or near the Doorstep and lighting at the Cemetery's Big Cross. In addition to this custom, Cebuanos prepare and offer Foods in the Altar and in Tombs. But why do we prepare foods and celebrate a little feast during Kalag-Kalag?

Food Offerings for the Soul. Photo Credit: Sunstar Cebu
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I've done research online and even came to the point on asking Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Consultant, Ka Bino Guerrero regarding this random question.

According to, "The customs and traditions associated with All Soul's Day are various and differs from culture to culture. It is the common belief that the dead partake of the food in spirit which the living eat later. Therefore an altar is prepared at home with an offering of food upon it. The offerings (ofrendas) are beautifully arranged with flowers such as marigolds which are the traditional flower of the dead."

One of our traditions during All Souls Day is to light a candle in Cemetery's Big Cross. Photo Credit:

According to Ka Bino, "Philippine Catholicism is quite unique. Many of our pagan practices were not eradicated by the Spaniards. Offering Food as well as the Sinulog are all but vestiges of our animistic religion during the pre-colonial period. I can't say it was allowed by the church, but there were no conscious effort in stopping it. Thus it continues until these days"

According to belief, as we put lighted candles on our departed loveones' tombs the brighter the lights they can see as guide going to heaven. Photo Credit: Sunstar Cebu

So, if you have your idea why we offer or prepare foods in the Altar during Kalag-Kalag, please submit using comment box below. :)

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