Rotary Club of Tagbilaran
October 29, 2014
The night of October 31 is All Hallow’s Eve or All Saints’ Eve, contracted to Halloween or Hallowe’en, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the departed believers. It revolves around the theme of using humor and ridicule to confront the power of death, a Christianized feast initially influenced by harvest festivals, but with pagan roots.
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, costume parties, decorating with skulls and skeletons, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns (in the West, but not in Pinoyland where the squash would rather be on the table as staple food) visiting hunted houses, playing pranks, telling scary stories, or watching horror films. Predominating the Christian religious observation is attending church services and lighting candles and placing flowers on the graves of the dead, which morph into bringing food for a “picnic with the dead”, replete with “morning-the-night mahdjong.”
Lately, in Pinoyland (again!) urban centers, the vogue is going away from the razzle-dazzle of cosmopolitan living, which in Metro Manila means heavy traffic, dust, heat, flood, noise, criminality. etc., etc., etc. (name it, it’s there). If the Boholanos save money to come home during fiestas, other multitudes save the last penny to be home during the undas. Thus, as early as Monday NLEX and SLEX traffic is as slow as the Death March. Terminals, Airports and Seaports burst with humanity. Those with holes in their pockets take the road and the sea. Those who can afford fly.
The best way to commemorate “All Saints Day” and “All Souls Day” is to visit the church and the cemetery. A candle or two, or flowers picked from the garden, could be more significant. And, perhaps, a means of alienating oneself from the hollow and pagan manner of celebrating.
What is the Rotarian way? Boracay? Coron? Macau? Hongkong? Not Basilan. Abu Sayyaf is waiting for you.