Online Burol: Mourn for the dead via the net (St. Peter’s E-Burol)

James Ryan Jonas

St. Peter Memorial Chapel E-Burol You’re working in the US and you received an unfortunate call informing you that your father in the Philippines passed away. You wanted to fly back but you’re strapped on cash. How do you mourn for your deceased father thousands of miles away?

The answer: log on to the internet and avail of St. Peter Memorial Chapels’ E-Burol or Online Burol (Online Wake) service.

Yesterday, November 1, an advertisement of St. Peter Chapels’ Online Burol appeared on several newspapers. Apparently families and relatives from all over the globe can now take part in the wake of their deceased loved one.

If you conduct a wake in any of St. Peter Memorial Chapels, an online webcam facility which “broadcasts” the wake will be set up. Relatives and friends who cannot personally attend just need to visit the website of St. Peter Chapels to watch a real-time broadcast of the wake.

Creepy but useful, nevertheless.

What’s more interesting is that the Chapel also offers free wifi connection. This is probably for those attending the wake so that they can chat with relatives and friends “viewing” the wake. Sample conversation:

Online Viewer: Ano daw bang ikinamatay ni Tatay?
Wake Attender: Inatake sa puso.
OV: Sorry ha, hindi na ako makakauwi kasi mahal ang pamasahe. Magpapadala na lang ako ng pera. I-send ko ba via Paypal o Western Union na lang?
WA: Wag na Paypal, baka ma-hack pa account ko. Western Union na lang. Pag na-send mo na, text mo sa akin yung Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN).
OV: Ok, np. Marami bang tao pala jan ngayon sa burol?
WA: Marami-rami naman. Nakikita mo ba sa webcam ngayon, ayun si Tiya Adela sa unahan.
OV: Hindi pa, baka may lag itong streaming. Ayun, ok na. Aba, tumataba si Tiya Adela! LOL.
WA: Onga, pero nagda-diet na raw siya hehe. Oi, teka BRB muna ako kasi sasalubungin ko si Tiyo Mario, kadarating lang.
OV: Sige, GTG na rin ako kasi shift ko na sa hospital.
WA: Bye! Log in ka na lang uli later ha?

For some, this may take away the solemnity of the occasion but for those without the means to personally attend a wake, this is their way of joining in the mourning.

Ah, the wonders of the internet!

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.