Dying Art of Funeral Joss Paper Crafts

We visited a distant relative of a family friend who died an old age, lie in state on 3rd floor at Sanctuarium located along Gregorio Araneta corner Quezon Avenue in Quezon City.

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Mansion made from paper with Christmas lights and funeral wreath

The person was his great grand father was 95 years-old and the family wasted no time to give him a grand send off in the after life. Instead of the usual black and white cloth which covered the room, most of the cloth were colored red and white.

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Sanctuarium

According to the expert, the person lived his life to the fullest. He was able to produce 6 generation of descendants. In a country which had an average life expectancy of just 71 years-old ( 2017 data) living beyond 71 is already a big blessing.

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servants are found in the entrance of the paper mansion with small photo of the decease person and special sleeping chamber

Dying Art of Joss Funeral Paper Building

In my previous article about recuerdo de patay few years ago. The funeral wake of my maternal grandmother had some funeral paper building, mercedes benz, rickshaw, sedan chairs, mahjong table, paper lanterns and airplane was held few decades ago at Funenaria Paz in Quezon City.

IMAGEMercedes benz made from paper

Burning the traditional paper ‘money’ along with miniature items like houses, cars,  appliances, all the modern amenities are also burned to make sure the deceased continues to enjoy the same things in the afterlife. However, fewer Filipino-Chinese are practicing Taoist and Buddhist. Hence, the art of making these paper joss funeral items are getting rare.

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paper sedan chair with carriers

They immediate family members bought an elaborate mansion made out of bamboo and paper. The entire structure was about 7 feet high complete with television set, appliances, rooms, servants and is well lighted during the entire wake.

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a small photo of the decrease person, polo shirt, airplane ( partly hidden) to be burned along side the decease person

This happened when Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was lifted. Since most of their relatives, friends and business associate were already within Metro Manila. The family decided to have a short mourning person of just 6 days.

According to the geomancer whom the family have hired, It is important that the dead person have the 5 M‘s to bring in the afterlife.

The burning of joss paper ‘Money’ equates to making advance deposits in order to bribe the keepers of hell or to be use in the afterlife. A specialized marker was made to indicate the name of the decease person in Chinese characters.

The practice of burning paper luxury goods is believed to keep the spirits of ancestors happy and prosperous as they continue to watch over living relatives.

Mansion – Having a big mansion or building to bring to the afterlife.

Mobility – These includes sedan chair with people to carry the dead, airplane, car and even wheelchair.

Material Wealth – appliances plus all the necessities is a MUST. Some may include air-condition, electric fan, television set, cellphone, washing machine, animals, mahjong table and even a personalized ATM machine!

Maids or Men in order to lead a comfortable life. Other props may also include paper lantern and other stuff that the decease person wanted or have.

The art of making funeral joss paper craft is slowly dying with fewer craftsmen were able to make these items. Having these extra joss paper building add cost to the funeral expenses. Some elaborate master pieces can run thousands or even tens of thousand of pesos.

It is good that Sanctuarium also had a crematorium and columbary units at the upper floors. The family decided to keep the ashes in a Chinese temple nearby after he was cremated.

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