Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween drive and marketing macabre

Let me be macabre tonight. Driving along Manila's Funeral parlour strip (Araneta Avenue in Quezon City), there were signs and other marketing "come ons". Way back when my Dad passed away, there were no such things.

Methinks the funeral biz has become more cutthroat with parlour owners willing to bite necks for more blood and cash! But then again this represents the nature of our globalized society.

For instance, one popular funeral home led the way with free wi fi. Two years ago at a wake of a neighbour, I was to suprised to see the orphaned teenage kids with their late dad's laptop surfing the net. I learned at that moment that free wi fi was part of the memorial package the family had bought. Gee. I thought this was a Dr Arroway "Contact" moment where the young Ellie Arroway tried to contact her recently deceased dad via a ham radio! But the kids were just showing how they can cope with death.

The same funeral home is now offering online "burol" or wakes. This caters to overseas Pinoy relatives who can't come home for the wake due to 1) immigration problems, 2) can't get bereavement leave, 3) can't afford to shell out 2k dollars for plane fare.

I haven't been to a wake with an online burol but I suppose there is a webcam somewhere. Is it above the coffin? I suppose the webcam will be useful for funeral masses. The bereaved overseas relatives can probably view the Mass via streaming video. I don't know if the Vatican considers that real attendance at Mass.

I hope the webcam remains a webcam and not a spycam to sexually harass bereaved pretty lady relatives!

My sister once thought of starting a trend. If retailers can invent special days (it started with Mother's day and now we have grandparents day) that require special presents, how come no one has considered giving funeral presents?! After all this is so ancient. Have you ever seen NGC's episodes on King Tut and Emperor Shih Huang Ti?

So she thought of funeral wrappers, ribbons etc. Beats flowers don't you think so?

Perhaps someone will think of renaming funeral parlours as funeral spas! in a rebranding strategy! Think of it funeral homes also specialize in pampering (obviously pampering the dead, who don't need pampering if we are to follow what the Bible says), so why not extend these services to the living but bereaved relatives? This might help the bereaved move on with their lives and looks!

Well our acts of remembrance are not for the dead. The devout believe the dead are in a better place. The less devout have no idea where the dead are, except in the cold cold ground. But it is needed for us living. The Pinoy undas isn't a sad event, but a party. So happy undas and party on dude!

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