HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION IN THE PHILIPPINES [UNDAS]
Do Filipinos celebrate Halloween? Generally, Filipinos commemorate the day of the dead.When asked about Halloween in the Philippines or Undas, some of the things that would come out in a genuine Pinoy’s mind are the following:
moon or buwan
candies and chocolates
This is actually the time when people go back to their hometown to be with their family and relatives. Aside from commemorating loved ones who passed away, This is also the time when the cemetery and the memorial parks are jam packed with people visiting the grave of their loved ones who passed away. Expect the memorial parks full of busy people selling candles and flowers, walking and cleaning the tomb and repaint the grave benches.
Most of the people on the other hand use candle to put on the grave of their loved ones who passed away. A special offering to commemorate the dead.
The celebration will not be complete without the flowers as an offering at the tomb and also as a way of showing respect too.
Others prepare for the food. I can still remember, my mother cooks and prepares our own native delicacies, biko is on our list combined with other usual menu like pasta, chicken, steak and drinks too. This is also another way or occassion to unite and reunite with family members and relatives to get closer and get together.
On the eve of October 31, people are preparing for the next days event which is commonly known as All Saints Day.
November 1 is the day of the Saints or the day to remember the souls. You know the overflowing traffic inside and outside of the cemeteries and memorial parks.
On November 2 meanwhile is the All Souls day, also the day when people decide not to join the crowd on the first of November. Some people prefer visiting the cemeteries as its less noisy and crowded.
Halloween in the Philippines is not celebrated like the Halloween in the western countries. Although this celebration is practically observed in the Philippines, Filipino people have a different way to celebrate and commemorate the dead.
Undas is just one of the most popular events in the Philippines. Now, I asked a couple of people as to how they prepare, celebrate Halloween, remember dead loves ones. Here’s what they had to say:
picture above|Photo credits Jeanjer Santiago
“Halloween was a childhood frustration of mine, even when we lived in the US, timing lagi na it wasn’t Halloween. I love making/putting together costumes that are unique and not bought as a set. For my daughter’s first Halloween, she was a garapata and I was the host dog. Last year, she was Alvin, of the Chipmunks while Yaya and I were the other two chipmunks.” –Eileen Campos
“Halloween is the most important day sa buhay ko not just it’s a day of katatakutan but it’s also my birthday..We usually visit our loved ones and then at the office my kaunting Halloween contest like best in costumes, then Halloween party sa office since its my birthday”.- PrinceJosh Chavez
“Costume party required kasi sa work ko before, haha”. – Darwin Miranda Cayetano
“Halloween is a special celebration in other countries – scary stuff mga ganun.. However, tayo sa Pilipinas, ang pagkakaintindi ko after living here for 9 years, Halloween is the term used to mean the days of Nov 1-2. Whether or not we celebrate it, it’s still “Halloween. We light up candles outside our house. How many people we’ve lost will represent the number of candles we light. Most of our family kasi na namatay na nasa Bacolod. And then we present the dead with a complete meal of whatever we’re having the night before. Gagawa kami ng altar and we put the food there and leave it for the night. We also do the rosary and send some prayers as a family.
If I get the chance though, I’d go trick or treating too” – Brenna Bustamante
“We use All Saints Day or All Soul’s Day. Halloween with its associated practices of trick or treating, pumpkin patch, etc is an American tradition that most Filipinos follow naman (thanks to the media and exposure to American culture) w/o fully understanding what it means. Very commercialized na rin”. – Aleah Phils
“Takutan, perya, haunted house”. -Joey Manahan
“Kami nagluluto bago pumunta sa cemetery, parang picnic dun, tapos magdadala ng mga dyaryo para yun ang uupuan. Tapos, usually, the whole day kami at yung mga pinsan ko, nag-aabang kami nung mga tulo ng kandila. Bago umuwi, palakihan kami ng mga nagawang bolang kandila. Sa bahay naman, nagsisindi kami ng kandila and pray para dun sa mga namatay na kamag-anak or para din as respect kung sino man yung mga sumakabilang buhay na na dating nakatira sa place. marami ding handa, then naglalagay ng napakalaking kandila sa gitna ng table. Then my grandfather used to write all the names of the dead people he knows even yung mga bayani, and even si Rizal andun sa list. At 12 midnight, binubuksan niya yung doors, it’s like he prepares a “piging” or salu-salo for the dead. Pwede lang namin kainin yung food the next day, pag tapos na daw kumain yung mga patay and he would always say na “matabang” na yung food kasi nakain na nung mga patay. Nagluluto ng biko, hindi ko talaga alam kung bakit hindi pwedeng mawala yun pero bawat bahay sa clan namin may ganun. Tapos same thing may kandila sa gitna, tapos biko. – Mich Borlogan
“Nung bata pa ako, lagi kong inaabangan ang halloween special ng Magandang Gabi Bayan, tapos visit my dead ancestors sa cemetery”. –Renz Bulseco
“Di nawawala yung sandwich na cheese/egg/pimiento yung palaman. Reunion na rin”. – Dong Ho
“This is my Halloween post in November 2009 where we have Halloween Trick or Treat. Every year has been like that in our Village although I haven’t really posted the others because I wasn’t there in person being on travel – I look forward to participating in one this year”.- Mhe-anne Ojeda
“Watching undas episode of Magandang Gabi Bayan (MGB) by Kabayan Noli de Castro inside our room with my cousins covered in blanket with the lights turned off”. – Paula Antonette O
“I shop for Halloween costumes in Divisoria and sell it since my mom has a small store in the town’s market. I only do that every special occassion to add to my funds 😀 Also, watching Horror episodes of Rated K, Magandang Gabi Bayan, or Jessica Soho, then will make takot to my kapatid”. –Ada Lajara
“We cook food that we bring to the cemetery where we, as family, get together, light candles, offer flowers and pray. That’s how we remember our departed loved ones”. – Pinoy Adventurista
This is the Halloween Filipino version. It’s very unique indeed but equally as interesting as the Halloween celebration in other parts of the world.