Tumba, Atang ken Dung-aw

October 30-31, 2011

An Installation of the Ilocano Tradiitional Way of Honoring the Dead


Referred to as a catafalque, is an elevated platform upon which a casket rests during the wake. A religious icon, such as a patron saint or another holy image preferrably the Crucifix is also enshrined, with flowers and candles surrounding it.


An offering of indigenous Ilocano delicacies set on altar as offering to the departed one. The same delicacies will be served to those who gathered together in the prayers for his repose.


A spontaneous chant eulogizing the departed loved one lying in state by a member of the family or a neighbor close to the family whose inexhaustible lamentations highlighting cherished memories evoke mournful tears among those present in the wake.

Fiesta Dagiti Kararua
All Souls’ Day

Ilocanos are by nature passionate and demonstrative in expressing their respect and reverence for their departed loved ones.

In Ilocos Norte, this is a day of celebration in its unique traditional style held in the cemeteries. In the evening of All Souls’ Day, the cemeteries come alive with families who have come flocking around the graves of their departed loved ones. The graves are profusely decorated with fresh flowers and multicolored candles, Traditional indigenous delicacies are set aside for a feast which will ensue after the mass and blessing. The atmosphere is congenial as friendship and cheerfulness pervade with everyone understanding the meaning of this celebration.

In every Ilocano home, “atang” is offered in front of the family altar from three o’clock in the afternoon till sunrise.

Twilight sets a pensive mood. Amid the joy, there is a touch of sadness as cherished memories of the departed loved ones flood the hearts. With somber emotions, there is an uncanny feeling of their spiritual presence. There is, indeed, a communion of the living with the spirits of their loved ones.

Fiesta dagitti kararua is a reunion of the living and the spirits of the faithful departed.


You may also like