Today is very exciting because we have Faye from The Social Potato on the blog with a guest post on why she loves Halloween.
Blogger Guest Post: Faye
Whenever we think of Halloween, the first thing that comes to mind is trick-or-treat. This activity, where you put on a whacky costume (the scary factor seems optional now) and knock on the doors in your neighborhood hoping you impress them enough to give you a treat, pretty much symbolizes what Halloween has evolved into since its conception. But if you’re me and you live in Manila, Philippines, where such a thing is rather uncommon (read: nonexistent), Halloween is just another excuse to put on something sexy (with a touch of scary?), go to a club, and dance the night away. Who cares about ghosts?! It’s a social event, ladies and gents.
But if you’re me, and if you spent the first 16 years of your life in a province far, far away from the busy and lively Capital, then Halloween may mean something else. No, there’s still no trick-or-treat (I have no idea why this never became a thing… it must be so fun to go on stranger’s doors to ask for food!) and there’s definitely not much partying, but there would be allegedly true ghost stories on news programs, a lot of ghost hunting and hiding beneath blankets.
Ahhh, that was the life.
I remember, more than ten years ago, when it was Halloween, my cousins, siblings and I, would huddle around the TV waiting for the primetime news program to go on, because there would be a one hour segment that would exclusively broadcast “true” ghost stories. This would range from white ladies appearing in the middle of a certain street (that’s infamous for the huge Balete trees planted by the sidewalks), to kapres (giant tree guardians eternally smoking tobacco), to aswangs (a vampire-like ghoul-ish being that has wings. She is very scary…) landing on roofs and visiting pregnant women to eat their unborn children. I remember each of us would be scared out of our wits, but we would still be entranced and would keep watching despite our imaginations growing wild with the dark creatures.
“Do you believe any of it?” we would ask ourselves.
“Naw, I don’t believe it! It’s all just in your imagination!” one would respond back.
“But, I saw one once! A ghost!” another cousin would reply. “And just last week, a classmate of mine heard the flapping of wings coming from their roof.”
And on and on our conversation would go, until we would be in one bedroom, huddled together again and sharing ghost stories that they swear were true, and we would eat it all up and treat them as fact. We would be scared, but excited, and would go out into the empty streets (and imagine that across the world, they would be full of children carrying sweets and candies and we would all go, “Man, I’m so envious…”) masquerading as ghost hunters, and run away at the first sign of a rustle from the bushes. We would consider playing the Ouija board to contact a spirit, then pale at the very last second and withdraw, pretending to be bored of the game just so we can squeeze our way out of it.
No trick-or-treating, no partying, but we all had fun just the same. We had each other’s company, and we felt safe knowing we weren’t alone in our fear for the unknown. We took our camaraderie as safety, and even though we were afraid of that shadow or that rustle, we braved checking them out because we had each other.
Yes, Halloween may be more fun than scary for many people, but for me it was both, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t do those things anymore and my cousins and I have all drifted away when we got older, but with the impending Halloween this year, I reminisce back to those joyful years and remain thankful that I was able to experience this once-in-a-year event meaningfully with friends and family who I trusted.
PS: And if you’re wondering, yes, I do believe in ghosts and have encountered many of them. And aswangs are real. Don’t believe anything saying otherwise.
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