Thursday, October 29, 2015

Panaghiusa Multipurpose Visit

Core Shelter residents honor the death of a community member by playing games, eating food, and sharing stories at the multipurpose hall.
Each time I visit Core Shelter community and the multipurpose hall, I learn something new.  Today, I happened to witness an unexpected event.  Foundation U. workers and I were visiting Core Shelter to assess the building condition for maintenance and improvements.  As we approached the community,  residents were gathered at the steps of the multipurpose, playing bingo and eating food.  It appeared as if we stumbled upon a fiesta celebration of sorts.  I soon came to realize after speaking with ma'am Johna David, that two elderly women had passed away within a weeks time of each other, and the residents were using the multipurpose to hold the wake and funeral services.

It is Filipino tradition to honor the death of a loved one by hosting a wake at the family's home.  The casket is typically placed inside the home where family and friends can commune and visit day and night.  Funeral wakes and visitations can last up to two weeks.  They believe in celebrating their life, by playing games and sharing food and conversation while also comforting family members, so that they are not alone.  It is a time of celebration and in this case, Core Shelter homes are very small and it would be cumbersome to have a casket inside the home for so many days.  The multipurpose hall is suited for the residents, friends, and families who will visit over an extended period of time.  The building design is open to receive many visitors, at all hours, without compromising the family's domestic life.  It's great to know that the building has served so many uses for very special occasions.

Funeral casket placed inside the multipurpose.
Foundation worker climbs the ladder to patch a hole in the gutter while the funeral wake activities pursue.
Anna Koosmann (myself) pictured with Johna David.

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