By Katherine Marajas
A local cemetery in Mountain Province was illuminated as Kankanaey residents of Sagada remembered their departed loved ones on Thursday by lighting up, not just candles, but torches of pine to form small bonfires.
Sagada folks call this tradition of honoring the dead as “Panag-Apoy,” which means to produce fire or to light a fire.
After attending an afternoon mass, the residents will use the “saeng” – a torch made of pine that has been blessed by the priest – to light up the graves of the departed.
A Kankanaey explained that instead of lighting up candles, they use saeng because its flame can endure cool winds on the mountains.