Halloween in the Philippines Goes Western

This year I’m seeing far more Western influence on Halloween in the Philippines than I’ve seen in the past. Jermain, our five year old is going around making ghost sounds and say “Pa boo” to me. I usually act scared. Yesterday he kept coming to the door while I was sitting on the porch watching Jessie and her friend play cards. He was trying to scare me so I waited and as he opened the door I growled good and scared him back.  He was okay with it but didn’t open the door any more. He did his future scaring through the window.

Halloween In The PhilippinesJessie got the kids mask for pasalubong on one of her trip to Cebu City and she came back with glitter in her hair from trying on the different costumes. SM Mall in Cebu City is filled with Halloween props and mask and on Friday night there was a Halloween party in Bogo City. I am tempted to go but since Jessie has her high school friend with her, she is likely to drink too much and stay out too late. And I really don’t need to be out walking around. Also Philippines TV is filled with scary movies and shows. I’ve never seen this in the Philippines before. It probably has been building and our TV was not working last year. I finally broke down and got it fixed this month.

I don’t expect to see kids at the door asking for candy on Halloween night, I do not think things have progressed to that point but it wouldn’t surprise me. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a few Christmas carolers though. I have not seen any yet this year but the malls are full of Christmas music now and I expect the carolers to be showing up soon.

Traditional Halloween In The Philippines

Usually Halloween in the Philippines is all about going to the cemetery with your family to honor the family ancesters. Like most things in Filipino culture it is all about. I haven’t been to the cemetery during one on all saints day but this year I do fully intend to be there, at least for a short period of time. I hate that my video camera is mostly dead. It will record but for only a short period of time. The battery will no longer hold a charge. I bought a battery in Cebu last month but after trying three of them, they were all dead. However, I’m sure it will make for some good pictures.

There are also lots of barangay festivals booming their music out getting ready for the big event that will occur on November 1st and 2nd.  All Saints Day is on the first and the bigger day for this event. I hope nothing spoils my plans to witness this remembrance of the departed family. It is suppose to be a mostly solemn observance but lots of food is sold near and in the cemeteries. The Philippines department of Health usually comes out with warnings about buying food in the cemetery. And the police in Cebu usually warn families about thieves that look for signs of family away from home over the holiday weekend.

Western culture has now moved into another Filipino holiday. Though Halloween in the Philippines will take on more of a Western influence you can rest assured that old family traditions will remain strong.

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Filed under: Filipino Culture

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