Thursday, October 5, 2017


An old custom from Spanish times was to keep a light on all day and all night before the images of saints and our Lord.

Although there were more lights or candles lit before these images during prayers, those were blown out when the prayers were done. That one, special light that was never allowed to burn out without being immediately replaced was called the kåndet Yu'us, the light of God.

No matter what, the kåndet Yu'us was kept burning. If the oil was running low, it was refilled. If the wick (mecha) was about to born out, it was replaced. If the candle was near its end, a new candle was lit.

Here is how one lady explained it :

Gi gima'-måme nai, todo i tiempo guaha kåndet
(In our house, there is always a light)
pues an maleffa 'u, guaha na maleffa 'u nai, ni kandet,
(so if I forget, at times I forget about the light,)
man dåkdak gi petta ya ma ågang na'ån-ho.
(there is a knock on the door and my name is called.)
Pues ilek-ho gi as asaguå-ho, "Maleffa hao adei ti un po'lo i kandet."
(So I tell my husband, "You forgot to place the light.")
"Oh yeah."
Pues un biåhe lokkue' maleffa, kontodo guiya,
(So one time he forgot, even him,)
somebody knocked on the door,
ya ma ågang na'ån-ña.
(and they called his name.)
Pues på'go nai tåya' nu man maleffa ham ni kandet.
(So now we never forget about the light.)
Always. Uno para si San Antonio, uno para i ånimas,
(Always. There is one for Saint Anthony, one for the Poor Souls,)
an uno para si Santa Maria.
(and one for Blessed Mary.)
Ya i kostumbre-ta ni ngai'an para u måtai i kandet
(And out custom is never to let the light die)
ya ti ma songge ta'lo. Nuebo.
(and not light it again. A new one.)
Todo i tiempo ennaogue' mafanague-ko ni nanå-ho biha
(All the time, that's what my grandmother taught me)
sa' ma poksai biha 'u nai.
(because I was raised by a grandmother.)
Eyo na kalan biha diddide' i kostumbre-ko.
(That's why my customs are a bit like a grandmother's.)

Notice she said that there was knock on the door, and a voice calling out her name, if she (or her husband) forget to keep the flame burning. These are actions of the Poor Souls, or angels or the saints, reminding the people in the home to keep the flame alive.

There were some families who discontinued the custom due to one thing : fire.

One elderly lady told me that, before the war, they used an oil lamp for their kåndet Yu'us, and a rat came along and played with the wick and took it out of the lamp and it lit the cloth draping the altar and caused a fire in the house. After that, they no longer kept the kåndet Yu'us lit all the time. It was lit only for prayers when the family could keep an eye on the flame.


  1. My grandma kept a kerosene lantern burning day and night in front of the saints.

  2. Interesting... my grandmother used to do that also and now, my mother does the same thing. A candle is always lit year in and year out at our tatblitan santos.