Here are some shots I took during the 2010 Kalag-Kalag (All Saints Day/All Souls Day) celebration here in Cebu. I visited the Carreta Cemetery and the Calamba Cemetery – two of the city’s biggest cemeteries. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Note: There’s been a dispute about the use of the term ‘kalag-kalag.’ Apparently, it is incorrect to use the term when referring to both All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. I have no idea what the correct term is. So, please feel free to tell us what you guys know. Thanks!


Calamba Cemetery in Baranggay Calamba, Cebu City.

The Dakong Krus (Big Cross) of Carreta Cemetery. The Big Cross is where you offer flowers and prayers and light a candle for those whose graves you can no longer locate.

Statue of Jesus Christ with a flower offering.

This lady oversees the collection of candles at the Dakong Krus.

Trash to Cash: These young girls collect plastic water bottles for a few pesos.

A worker paints the tombstone as the old man (customer) looks on.

According to practice, before leaving a cemetery, you have to soak yourself in smoke to make sure that you do not bring bad luck and negative energy to your home. At the exit, it is normal to see kids burning grass and creating smoke. You can ‘use’ the smoke that they make, of course, for a small fee.

A new structure inside the Carreta Cemetery.

Burial chambers still under construction.

This looks like Ayala Center Cebu. Hehehe.

View of the cemetery from the second story of the u/c structure.

Note that each block has a different name.

The busiest part is the ‘chapel’ where masses are held hourly.

The Sto. Rosario Parish ossuary.

An old structure which serves as the main entrance to the cemetery.

More organized this year.

First Aid station.

Police help desk.

‘Lapida’ for sale.

Medical Station set up by ERUF.

Calamba Cemetery main entrance.

Kids playing with candles.

A young kid doing a grown man’s job.

View of the cemetery from the top.

This section is a little quiet.

A young kid with ‘Potter’ glasses and very interesting hair.

I asked him how much he spent for his hairgel. He said that he used candle wax. Hahaha.

I guess he’s trying to make a statement.

The Dakong Krus of the Calamba Cemetery.

More people arrived just before sundown.

18 thoughts on “Kalag-Kalag

  1. thought ‘kalag-kalag’ word/term not to be used for Nov 1-2 anymore as it has no significant meaning, according to some members of the catholic church. does ‘purifying with smoke’ really put off bad karma, or it is one of urban myth.

  2. As far as I know the term ‘kalag-kalag’ is used to denote the food offerings being laid in altars and not to the dates themselves as being opposed by some members of the church. It is not much as different as to the fruit offerings which are also done traditionally on New Year’s Eve. Nevertheless, time has erased its real meaning and is now understood (or misunderstood) to mean the event.

    I guess the usual ‘smoke purification’ can be equated to the incense being used during church rites. We are just innovative for cheaper resources.

  3. Hi Ley. Couldn’t help but comment on this blog entry. Back when we were kids, we used to call that day Adlaw sa Minatay and I have very fond memories of camping out in Queen City before it got so crowded.

    Great site by the way. I’ve been a long-time lurker and your pics definitely bring back memories. Thank you.

  4. thanks ley, i actually went home for the celeb of adlaw sa minatay for my dad… and petsa uno pagkadaghan tawo sa cemetery and nov 2 mingaw kaayo, mao diay na karon and nov 2 mingaw na coz’ when i was there ingon cla declare daw sa gov’t “working holiday ang nov. 2” wow…

    may my dad’s soul Urbano Taneo rest in peace….

  5. I read in Sunstar yesterday that there are 9 cemeteries in Cebu, daghana no. Where about the one look like Ayala Center? Second story naman. I miss binignit for kalag-kalag.
    Happy Halloween and all Saints Day.

  6. I visited my departed inlaws last Saturday. Gee! mingaw man ang cemetery dere oi, maybe only 20 people. Typical Aussie people.

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