I don’t believe in Halloween, or at least I do not believe that it should be celebrated in the Philippines. Halloween is so Western. It’s like throwing a Thanksgiving dinner in the country. Looking at Filipino kids dressed as Frankenstein or fairies or Dracula doesn’t amuse me at all. What’s more irking is the sight of these children in costumes with plastic pumpkins, roaming round the neighborhood yelling trick or treat.
RC told me once that when he was younger, he joined a Halloween kiddie party in Zamboanga organized by Jollibee, where he wore some black cloth and a cape, with a supposedly horrifying mask. He went with his cousins whose costumes also did not fall under the category “amusing.” And when they entered the venue, they were quite taken aback because most of the children were in lavish costumes with realistic make-up. He thought it’s ridiculous–good thing he was wearing his horrifying mask. Haha.
Well, I remember when I was a kid, there was no Halloween. There were no decorations and all those fancy thingamajig. What we have were:
1. Magandang Gabi Bayan Undas Special. You’re a 90’s-early-2000’s-kid if you know this TV show, plus ten points if you watched it every year. I still stand under the conviction that it’s the scariest TV Special I’ve watched so far. Every year, Kabayan would feature stories of different ghostly paranormal scary shit. After watching an episode, you’d feel really dirty and devastated, haha. The stories linger in my mind until now, like that of the black lady and the haunted mansion in Baguio City. I wish they didn’t cancel Magandang Gabi Bayan.
2. Pre-All Soul’s Day Grand Cleanup Time. I remember when families would go to cemeteries to clean and restore their loved-ones’ tombs or mausoleums. The most common things inside their toolbox would be: grass cutters, broomsticks, white paint, and paint brush. I don’t know why, but it’s always white paint. I’m pretty sure many families still do this “tradition” but some just leave the job to the sepulchers.
3. Pangangaluluwa. This I did not experience or witness exactly. The tradition died in my province years before I gained consciousness. But basically, pangangaluluwa is like our version of trick or treat, but more meaningful and solemn. What happens is that every evening of October 31, people would roam the neighborhood in groups and would sing songs for the departed souls, presumably those of the house owner’s. Then the house owners would give them kakanin or rice cakes in return. Remember that families often make kakanin as merienda for the next day’s visit to the cemetery. It’s like caroling; it’s the intro to caroling that sure would come a month later.
But of course nowadays, we have the trick or treat concept, and the skeleton/web decorations, and Halloween sale at malls. It’s just so convoluted from us. From me. But this year, now that I don’t have the time to go to the province for All Soul’s Day, I’ll just stay inside my house and finish paper works. Because it’s what adulthood has made me, haha. Getting fired from work has become scarier than the black lady.
And oh, my house is free from today until Monday (roommates will be on vacation and I’m alone awooo!) so if you need company or if you want me to have company, come visit! Please? HAHAHA! Happy Halloween!
Ugh, did I just say, Happy Halloween? I’m turning into a Western monster! Wrouaaaagh! asdfghjklqwertyuizxcvbncvsdfg