Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1 : 'ALL SALES DAY'

In the Philippines, every November 1 is All Saints Day. The Filipino devout observe it by visiting the departed member of their family in cemetery, or in a memorial park. But for the small vendors, they observe it too as "All Sales Day".

Man buying from candle vendor along the road going to cemetery
Man buying candles from the vendor along the road
Small businesses are sprouting near the entrance of the cemetery, and even along the road adjacent to the cemetery to sell candles of all sizes; can, basket or bouquet of flowers. They also sell candies, cigarettes, junk foods, and soft drinks, handy fans, hats, hand towels or anything which a small retail stores can offer.

Ambulant vendors are also abound inside the memorial park and in the cemetery selling their ready to eat foods, bottled mineral water, or anything they could offer to the visiting members of the family of the dead.

Aside from these vendors, there are also handy workers roaming around the cemetery, ready to do a menial job like cleaning and repainting of the tomb, retracing tomb's epitaph, among others for a reasonable fee. They even come a week earlier to find their customers.

Kalan-an or makeshift eateries also mushroom along the road heading to the cemetery to provide meals to cemetery visitors who come from a long way from home.

Before nightfall these small merchandisers earn a hefty income for just a day. It is because their wares are too costly for ordinary Filipino to buy. Yet many are still availing of them. For those who come home for this special day of the year just to pay a short visit for their dead have to bear for that business venture of those vendors' profiteering practice. They have no other choice. It's very difficult for them to bring their own flowers, for they're too bulky or they are in a hurry to catch up with their transportation to go home.

There's a saying in Filipino: "Ang tao ay mabubuhay sa tao. Sa tuwing Undas, ang tao ay nabubuhay rin sa patay" [Man lives by serving his fellow. In every All Saints Day, man earns his living from the dead]

Never be surprised that every November 1 is "ALL SALES DAY!" for the small entrepreneurs here in the Philippines. And All Saints Day for the Catholic or other religious sects.


  1. You got me on the title Sir.In my mind it's All SAINTS DAY, catchy title. All Saints Day means business too which is alright. at least it helps them earn big money in a year. I know how hard they work for their family.

    1. I'm trying to get the reader's mind on how he/she could related the ALL SAINTS DAY with ALL SALES DAY! I mention November 1 if he/she could relate with All Saint's Day to All Sales Day.

  2. interesting. it is like Memorial Day in america. but people in america usual bring along their own food and flowers to the cemetery to hang out for a while with their late loved ones.

  3. nice to know about that.thank you sir for sharing these information....

  4. There are a lot of people who do take the opportunity to earn money during all souls day but as long as they are not overcharging people. It should be OK.

  5. Hi Sir, agree. It was indeed an All Sales Day. In the cemetery where my husband was laid to rest, people have been flocking this tiange because it sells cheap finds, its right smack in the middle of the puntod. haha. Filipinos and their ingenuity talaga.:)



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