WAKE AND VIGIL FOR THE DEAD: TIME TO GAMBLE IN THE PHILIPPINES
Olongapo City, Philippines
Whenever someone is dead among Christian Catholics in the Philippines, the vigil nights become times for gambling with the end purpose of generating money in the form of tongs which is a percentage out of every win in a card game, mahjong or any form of game to be given to the bereaved family. This is very common in rural communities and also, in towns and cities.
There are more people attracted to the gambling tables than those who actually view the dead to express condolences to the surviving members of his/her family. The gambling overshadows the solemnity of wake and vigil for the dead. This is a practice that deviates from what Jesus Christ Teaches. In this practice, one has to gamble and win to be able to chip-in financial assistance (tong) to the family of the dead. The practice degrades the integrity of the Filipino.
Probably, there is a need to study the cultural dysfunction implications of this practice and legislate measures intended to provide financial assistance for the surviving family of the dead and ban gambling during wake and vigil nights.