A family in Oas, Albay pays tribute to their patriarch, the late Jose Reodique Relleve, every All Souls Day ‘(Nov. 2) through a unique tradition of “grave branding.”
Daughter Angelle Roa Relleve said in an interview Friday that ever since their father died, they started the tradition of painting his tomb to make it appear like his favorite brands of consumer items such as shoes, clothing, and food.
For this year, she said they painted the tomb of his favorite food chain brand of fried chicken, which is also his standard when it comes to this kind of dish.
Angelle said her father, who died in 2011, was a government employee. “We remember him as a jolly joker, and loving, though (a) disciplinarian father,” she said.
“When we were still kids, every Sunday, our father always cooked fried chicken for our lunch, which he fondly called Jollibee, even though there was no food chain in our province during the early 90s. And, that’s the reason why my two siblings and I called fried chicken Jollibee during our younger age,” she narrated.
“Upon opening the first branch of the food chain Jollibee in the mid-90s in Legazpi City near the St. Gregory Cathedral, we were overjoyed as we experienced and tasted Chicken Joy for the first time with the family. When my brother and sister, who were living and working in Manila, come back home, Papa always asked them to treat us at Jollibee,” Relleve said.
She admitted though that their grave branding tradition has been drawing attention from people, who would always be amused or even laugh when they see their father’s tomb.
“We don’t mind them. We just shrug our shoulders. What we want is a unique way of remembering our departed father. We find joy to do it as we found it most fitting to his character while he was still with us. This branding tradition will always leave a lasting imprint of his memories to our family,” Angelle said.
Their family tradition, she said, is their way of paying their love, respect, and tribute to their loving patriarch, and reminded the younger generation to love and treasure moments with their parents.
“Sometimes we have misunderstandings and unhappy situations with our parents which we cannot avoid. Even if it hurts, just don’t fight back. Be a responsible child. You will never be complete once your parents are gone, so learn how to honor and love your parents while they are still on your side,” Angelle said.
“Wherever you are Pa, our love for you will never change, your memory we will always treasure. In our hearts, you will stay forever,” Angelle said.