Honoring Traditions and Embracing Values for the Future
As the ber-months usher in a season of reflection and celebration in the Philippines, two significant occasions take a special place in the hearts of the Filipinos — All Saints’ Day (Undas) and All Souls’ Day. At Cebu Institute of Technology – University (CIT-U), these days are not just about remembering the departed but also about cherishing the values they’ve passed down and reflecting on the lessons they continue to teach us.
Undas: A Time-Honored Tradition
In the Philippines, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, celebrated on November 1st and 2nd respectively, go beyond their Catholic roots to reflect a cultural tapestry that is uniquely Filipino. Cemeteries are alight with candles and abuzz with families gathering to pray, share stories, and honor their ancestors. It’s a communal affair marked by a sense of togetherness and respect for familial bonds.
CIT University Reflects and Learns
At CIT-U, students are encouraged to engage with these days with both reverence and introspection. Here’s what they can learn from these profound days:
- Community and Kinship: The university community mirrors the larger Filipino community in its close-knit bonds. Just as families gather in cemeteries, the CIT-U family comes together to support one another — in grief, in memory, and in celebration.
- Cultural Identity: The traditions of Undas help students connect with their cultural identity. In a modern world where other influences are strong, maintaining these traditions is a way to preserve the Filipino way of life and pass it on to future generations.
- Service and Compassion: The acts of visiting the sick and giving alms, which are emphasized during these holy days, teach students about the values of service and compassion — principles that are central to CIT-U’s mission of creating a better society.
- Reflection on Mortality: In the busy rush of academic life, All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days provide a moment of pause for students to reflect on life’s impermanence, appreciate the present, and pursue lives of purpose and meaning.
- Values from the Past: The lives of the saints and the virtues of the dearly departed offer living lessons on courage, perseverance, and faith. Students are reminded that these virtues are timeless and can guide them through their personal and academic challenges.
- Environmental Responsibility: With the Philippines facing environmental challenges, the impact of Undas also includes environmental awareness. Students learn to celebrate sustainably, understanding their role in protecting creation.
Embracing the Spirit of Undas
As we light candles and lay flowers, let’s also ignite the flame of learning and plant seeds of wisdom. The Cebu Institute of Technology – University encourages its students to look beyond the somber atmosphere and see the potential for growth, learning, and a deeper appreciation for the Filipino culture and community values.
This All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, may each student find strength in memory, purpose in tradition, and a renewed sense of commitment to the values that shape not just exemplary individuals, but a united and resilient nation.
Mabuhay ang Diwa ng Undas!