30 October 2008
The Americanization of All Souls Day
We never had Halloween but All Souls/Saints Day. We never do the "trick or treat" thing. And we always do the trick part. It is not Filipino custom to give treats to children who do more pranks than ask anyone "treat or treat".
Ours are souls coming back on November 1 and 2, not ghouls and witches on Hallows evening, which is October 31 for the rest of the world. Our ghouls and witches are everyday occurrence. The white lady in some mansion or in a remote road somewhere. The agta (kapre for the Tagalogs) on the balete. The headless priest. The dwende. They are seen everyday.
But suddenly, when American influence invaded the country, a horde of plastic jack-o-lanterns or carved pumpkins are being sold in the malls. Filipinos have never really seen pumpkins but we love buying them plastic made in China. Our ghouls and witches are gone and being replaced with plastic swords, plastic reaper blades, plastic ghoul masks, plastic witch hats and brooms, plastic glowing horns. All made in China.
But still we don't give out candies and treats to children on Halloween.
It is not just our custom.
Pumpkin pic from prairiemod.com