Before the celebration of All Saints Day, I was able to attend a funeral of a grandmother of my boss. It is customary for Ilocanos to pray for the eternal repose of the departed ones at home after the interment. This is usually led by the lady seniors in the community. There was also a preparation of food to be offered during the prayer. Since it was taxing to do it by the family, they just resorted to order one big set from a maker. This costs around Php 3,500 to 5,000.
There was a total of 12 plates displayed on the surface of the bed being used. It was covered with an inabel cloth and the plates were placed on top. The number of plates varies from one town to another. Some may have 13 or some may even have 21 plates. The whole set is referred to as umras. It is composed of baduya, sinuman, pelaes, busi, linga and additionals are the beetle nuts, cigars, eggs, rice, and candles.
The food offerings have to be put to stand from afternoon until the wee hours of morning. One is usually stationed to keep watch of it. It is believed that the spirits roam around this period of time. Afterwhich the food are being taken off from the offertory table or platform and its being eaten by the family members and shared to the neighbors.
In Pangasinan, I was lucky to have tasted again the inlubi at home after a very long time. It’s a black pinipig which is a glutinous rice just right after its harvest in its shell burned and pounded to give that black color. It is being cooked with coconut milk and being stirred continously until it binds and sticky. My mom bought the pinipig for me then my brother cooked it for me. This is what I really missed during the Halloween. It can be turned into a rice cake or simply blanced and added coconut milk and young coconut meat. These are yummy Halloween delicacies.