When I die

I was motorbiking at Rizal St. in Laoag when I passed by this funeral carriage infront of the Aglipayan church.  Although the sun was sizzling hot, I just had to go back and take a pic of it.  I want to be in that vehicle when they bring me to to my grave.

I hope you do not find it morbid, karikna.  Death, they say, is the only sure thing in life.  While no politician is assured to win the election (unless unopposed), everybody is bound to die sooner or later.

When I die, I do not want any of those bands which will destroy the solemnity of my wake and burial.  Some bands even perform green, sex-laden songs during ‘last nights’ would you believe?  One song they performed at a wake I attended goes, “Sisid marino, naglaing toy nobyok, iyunana toy baba santo ngumato. (Marine dive. My boyfriend is so good, he starts down below then works his way up).

I also do not want those annoying speakers playing religious songs at my funeral march, I would have had enough of noise during election periods when I was alive.

My remains I pray brought directly to the cemetery, no stopovers at the church.  I would not want to make the church richer by my death.

I want all the Ilocano rituals and practices for the dead observed.  And please don’t call Atong King, no gambling please.

I want to be aboard this when I am laid to rest.

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

51 thoughts on “When I die”

  1. Hmm, my old man was carried with the same hearse 3 years ago. If and when somebody would have a crematorium earlier than my future plan, I would opt to be burned to ashes when I expire. No need for a coffin; no lengthy wakes, 3 days at most; prayer service at home before being submitted to the oven. I would wish that my ashes be painted over my portrait and be displayed on the wall for all my love ones, my children and grandchildren to see.

    1. I think there is now a crematorium here in Ilocos. I would want to be cremated too. That’s a nice innovation to have your ashes mixed with paint. I have an aunt whose remains were cremated, but the ashes were buried too.

  2. it is awful to say that this carriage is soo beautiful.so herdy did you put this all in your will? although it is very sad that you do not want any church service it is your own prerogative .. and i agree about the band being noisy and ruins the solemnity and quietness of your last night on earth ….you were baptized catholic and you should end up catholic..amen

  3. Comeooon Sir Herdy- we need to consider the death and burrial of a person as a business to spread out the bounty. A person can not be at low profile before and after death and I will provide you the sequence of events:

    First stage- you call the 911 for the emergency paramedic crew to come to your house and assess your medical condition<<<kaching kaching money to the crew and ambulance service

    Second stage- confined you to the hospital with all the artificial life support that you could imagine<<<kaching kaching money to the hospital

    Third stage<<<while on life support and before the doctor ask the extended family to shut the oxygen life, the hospital priest will come for the final ritual<<<kaching kaching money to the priest.

    Fourth stage<<<then the brave member of the family will shut-off the O2 valve, then here comes the funeral parlor operator telling the extended family, " do not worry, we will take care everything for you at this moment of grief."<<<we are going to the most expensive stage

    Fifth stage<<< at the funeral parlor office, this is where you will be given a menu with all the options and prices like cremate, in an appartment like in a musoleum, or six feet under…hehehe the six feet under is the most expensive one<<<<kaching for the funeral parlor

    Sixth stage<<<the viewing at the parlor where in all your friends and enemies will come to say their final respects and disrespects while soft musics not "rap" music by the way<<<money for the parlor again depending on the capacity of the room and number of days

    Seventh stage<<<this is where you have the options to use a funeral car or a carriage as you posted to bring you to the church for final visit<<<kaching again for the preist who will officiate the special mass, but do not forget the police motorcycle escorts who will always there from the parlor -to the church -to the final resting place<<<kaching to the police escorts

    Eight stage<<<chibugan after all the above<<<kaching to the restaurant owner coz McDonalds do not hold this much sitting capacity..

    Final tab approx $25K…told you Sir Herdy, it is a business at its best.

    1. Wow, it’s very expensive to die.

      Here in Ilocos, it’s fiesta everyday at wakes, you have to feed people all the time. That’s why I want the whole thing to be very simple.

      I’d want the cheapest coffin, rented only because I’d be cremated anyway.

      And no budget for priests, pls.

      Just call the mangluallualo, the modern-day babaylans.

  4. i know i should not have said you should but for sure your mom and i are in the same wave length.

  5. i know how it is my parents passed away nine month apart..i am glad we had prepared the cemetery long before they did….

      1. my husband and i already have bought ours in a cemetery for veterans and their wives..you would think it would be free because these veterans fought for their country ..but over here it is a day or 2 viewing max 3 days ,then church service and a litlle family gathering there after with simple food not the lavish ones we have there ..no 9 nights of feeding people no fiesta on the day of burial no fiesta on one month or 40 days.. no bands…very solemn

  6. Hey Bill. Here in Ilocos, we have many choices. Actually, some of my cousins who are good carpenters did a homemade coffin made out of wood and plywood, for one of our dead relatives last year. Libre ang labor, merienda lang; wood and plywoood are chipped in by relatives! Hospital bills at the provincial hospital could be haggled into miniscule or even free, once a destitute is the patient. No doctor fees even. The RC Parish office could consider for free prayer ritual on a poor soul, since the Cathedral does simultaneous death rites on more than two parishioners on Saturdays.
    So, there is now a crematorium here in Ilocos, sir herdy? It was one of my retirement plans, to have a crematorium and a chapel-cum-calumbarium…

    1. Re: crematorium, I think I saw a sign somewhere, just can’t remember where exactly. I can be wrong. Sir asiong, should your plans push through, I’d appreciate a discount for myself. 🙂

      1. Sure, maestro! Actually, my wife and I may provide such discounted rates to all MMSU staff, teachers and non-teaching personnel if they would avail our services, inshallah (God willing!) my plans would push through…

      2. Sir Herdy- I jokingly told to my wonderful and loving wife that whoever goes first, my preference is to rest six feet under because it is much cooler. At least this will compensate the extreme temperature if I run out of luck and my soul gets mobilized in the gate of purgatory.

        1. hehe… Theologians now agree that hell is not a place, but a state of being, a condition. Asiong, isn’t being buried in the cemetery a better idea of rest than staying at home (through your ashes) where you continue to be amidst the hussle and bussle of daily life?

  7. we have, more or less, the same wishes amigo. but i don’t want anything “performed” when i die. just bury (dispose) me… unless my relatives can meet my standards for a spectacle.
    perhaps just one night to allow my friends ( and enemies) to grieve, to view my remains in a SEALED casket. just one night. after that, bury me. and, hopefully, forget me.

    1. aian, hahaha… you made me laugh. Dapat talaga mataas ang performance level at production value hanggang libing? Snooty cadaver.

      Why sealed casket, amiga? Why not allow the masses to take a last look at your fabled, well-loved chin?

  8. when people view a dead body, may mga comment particularly on the physical. ayokong ma-judge when im already dead. hindi ako makaka-rebut amigo.

    1. you are really amazing, amiga, wala ako masabi, galing. Baka I’ll go for closed casket na rin, with my best pic on top.

    2. I have never witnessed a dead body in my life as in a carcass of a dead animal in the middle of the busy street. I hope that I will never experience to witness that scenario in life. I can still recall back during my childhood years in Laoag after a swimming spree, that came a news about the death of our swimming buddy. As an “alikuteg” boy in the barrio at that time, we hopped by to their house and witnessed- the mother is crying while washing his boy with lavacara and timba of water on the side. My swimming buddy did not drown coz we all went home after that session, I do not know what happened but I still remember that incident to this date. Also, it is my belief that parents should not witness the funeral of their children, it should be the other way around.

      The viewing of a repose body in an open casket could be more traditional because of the availability of talented make up artists who could put up the best show in your behalf. Somehow, all the viewings that I have visited are Ilocanos back home and here in the US and believe me, I always use the final parting words as I view them—“aginana ka metten apo” or “tata” or “lakay”

    1. hehehe, they do that in retirement parties, but we did a subtle necro for my dad during his 70th birthday three years ago. We wanted to say the things we wanted to say while he could still hear it, words of gratefulness and admiration.

      1. Hindi lang sa retirement parties Herdy. May nabasa ako somewhere na nagkaroon ng memorial service para sa isang cancer patient sa Hongkong.

  9. The cemeteries are already a circus of sorts in our locality come Nov 1 & 2. That’s why I dream to have a chapel-cum-calumbarium where the kins of the dead could meditate with solemnity. I’ve seen one in Singapore and how I wish I could really muster enough fund for my dream project! Maybe in a smaller scale; fancy finish and decors could come later. Mine could be hung at our home so my heirs have the comfort of privacy. Still, I abide to anything my love ones would do for my remains, though. When our old man died, my siblings and I made out a simple mausoleum at Maharlika for him and laid him aside close to the cemented bench. As such, there’s a big space for more, sayang din kung hindi magamit, but I want to be cremated…

  10. Anticipated death rituals should not be termed as necrological or memorial service. “Necro” means death.If a person is still alive, such a thing is a sort of a pre-departure well-wishing occasion to provide cheers and good felicitation to a terminally ill love one. I have seen a video footage of a eulogy program on a Siazon kin who was diagnosed by US doctors to expire within two months due to the big C (Cancer!). Her co-workers in US hospital provided her with good cheers, reminiscing the good times and other anecdotes, telling her that she will be missed. She smiles with tears sitting on a wheel chair, acknowledging all her friends’ loving gestures. Eulogy is generic for speeches praising for both alive and dead persons. It should not be confused with elegy or other mournful rituals like necrological services which are for people already dead. As sir Herdy have described me, I’m quite a purist. But hey, we should try to know the real scores…

  11. Ha,ha, chuva or chubachuchu terminologies as the comedian artists say would have quite a stir on tita Lita’s head. Yes, sir herdy, testimonial program is the most formal terminology for such activity. ‘Pre-departure chuva’ is my own making, he,he…

    1. asiong..you are perfectly right ..there is quite a stir on my head right now as always when i do not know what a word means…chuva or chubachuchu ?

  12. Eulogy is a non-ending buzz in a daily basis from my wife everytime I cook her favorite foods like pakbet, inabraw, dinardaraan, igado and other Ilocano delicacy. My daughters also express their “consuelo-de-bobo” eulogy to us both parents everytime we swipe our plastic cards to pay for their shopping cart.

    I hope my enemies will not eulogize me while I am still alive otherwise I will just politely tell them, “no, but thank you.”

    1. I hope the people who will eulogize me will make the audience laugh. Not wanting to be deified when I die, I’d prefer to be humorously roasted.

    2. i hope i will not be eulogized while i am still alive because i will defend myself to the max and they will be sorry they even started it and get tangled with the “dragon lady” please do it when i am gone and celebrate because death is not the end but the beginning of life. i would like sunflowers all over my casket and bougainvillea or (scarlatina) because sunflowers are soo full of life and scarlatina grows wild and yet have thorns to defend themselves thus it is” top wildflower” to some

      1. Manang Lita- how about a “fire-works” spectacles for you when the time comes. I was told that Chinese New Year celebrates with lots of lots of big “bangs” to drive away bad lucks- who knows you might hit the big “lotto” jackpot at the start of the new beginning of life. If that happens you will have lots of company – ala always “happy-hours” at the beginning there after….please do not forget the “invite” notes for your blogger buddies. Do not worry, we are easy especially Sir Herdy who is contented with just one pop of SanMig…

        1. william i will make sure that all my blogger buddies. will be given an invitation.i want people to rejoice and i want to go with a big bang .sir herdy will have a special treat for he is the initiator of it all..i will make sure he will get more than one pop of san mig…fireworks is awesome

  13. I’ve seen early last year on youtube of a Japanese mortuary service that provides a very nice video presentation on a large projection screen while the coffin of the dead is transported, from the viewing pedestal to the doorway of the undertaker’s cubicle, in a conveyor. The hall also provided good backdrop of drapes on the doorway end that would automatically open then close with soft musical/spiritual rendition and lighting effects while the casket/coffin enters the undertakers’ cubicle where they will feed the dead into the fiery pit, salvaging the casket/coffin for future services. The viewing kins are truly enthralled with the service, which I think was the first of its kind yet at the time!

  14. Tita Lita,
    “Chuva” or “Chuvachuchu” or “Ek-ek” are just accompanying fancy words implying that the subject word or phrase being said is being taken into account at face value. (Hey, sir Herdy, did I correctly provide a good explanation? Ha,ha, narigat ti mangi-explain…)

    1. hmmm… I will try to simplify further sir asiong but, am still zeroing in on the words… Ang mga ito ay mga salitang balbal.

      From the Filipino wiki:

      Ang balbal ay ang di-pamantayang paggamit ng mga salita sa isang wika ng isang partikular na grupo ng lipunan. Tinatawag din itong salitang kanto o salitang kalye.

      Ito ang mga salitang nabuo o nalikha sa impormal na paraan. Ito rin ang mga salitang nabuo sa mga pinagsama o pinagdugtong na salita.


      1. Yeah, the ever-ready wikipedia.org is truly a dandy search engine on any language. Still, some words like ‘chuvachuchu’ elude me. wiki entries vaguely interprete the term as something like “inspirasyon/nakakaengganyo/nagbibigay sigla” or whatever…

  15. ‘Chuva’ is Portuguese word for “rain”. How such a word evolved into the ‘Pinoy balbal’ that is different in meaning, is something to reckon with. There is aplenty of very indiscriminate corruption/alteration by some un-scrupolous people that is being ignored, nay, tolerated, by the illustrious members of academe and society. Languages interacting with another but in different strokes…? It could have been during the early times that multi-lingual dictionaries on-line and web-based search engines are not around…

    1. Language grows not just because of the coinage of academics but also from the vibrant language of the streets, by the masses. If we adopt a purist attitude, sir asiong, languages will stagnate.

      I agree though that spelling must be standardized, I do not allow SMS way of spelling in school requirements, and I appreciate that nobody does so in this blog.

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