I never had a concrete Halloween experience; no decorations in the house, no costume parties, no pumpkin pies. The littlest taste I had of it was a bad Trick or Treat night. You see, when one walks around the village as a hunchback, he probably deserves more than Halls, Mentos, Kopiko or any of those candies found at the Suking Tindahan.

The Stork did it for me…

Let’s face it, Halloween is not something pinoys know how to celebrate. Sure there may be bits and pieces of western freaks who become draculas on that day but the general public would rather spend time at the cemetery or watch Magandang Gabi Bayan. Our Latin background have put such importance on the passers-away that we’d rather just call the occasion Araw ng Patay …meaning, Dawn of the Dead.

And true to its title, it is not a day when we dress our little Catholic kids in ghoulish costumes to go around knocking on doors begging people for candy just as the pagans did 1000 years ago (and the Christians were killing them.) Rather, it is a day when we pray to our descendants in the hope that at least one of them lived their life good enough and is now spending eternity in heaven. And maybe, just maybe, they could hook us up. It’s called Intercession.

But there are other players in this fiesta: the supernaturals. I call them the saling ket-ket or the epals. For one, they were never alive but they somehow take part in our celebration for the dead. I guess it’s because of our folklore …passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. Ah yes, the word-of-mouth is a pinoy trait. No wonder these things continue to thrive.

  1. The Manananggal – She can fly but she has to split into two first and for some reason, she can only make her way around the Philippines. She must be patriotic like this, or maybe she doesn’t have a visa to come eat the white meat of America.
  2. The Mangkukulam – The scientists are already studying the science of voodoo. So I guess it is real. I think it’s good for business – “Mangkukulam For Hire: Hurt Others without Revealing Yourself” I already have someone in mind. Lolz!
  3. The Kapre – A very tall man that nobody sees. hmmm…
  4. The Duende – Famed to have kept Cinderella and Santa Claus company, the dwarf is probably the only meaningful contribution the Irish have had in this world. (and St. Patrick’s Day, of course)
  5. The White Lady – You don’t know if she’s a lady, but everybody considers her to be one. I think there’s a bit of political incorrectness in that. Guys dont appreciate their sexuality to be trampled like that.. maybe that’s why they’re always stopping people going to Baguio. Lolz!

Ok, that’s it for me. I’ll mention the others soon…

15 thoughts on “ARAW NG PATAY = DAWN OF THE DEAD

  1. My mom…sees…things. Haha.

    I’ve never seen the point of All Souls Day and All Saints Day in the Philippines. The only thing I understand is that Pinoys have this penchant for scaring themselves. I’d really rather sleep than do something “the usual way.”

    The only reason why the supernatural creatures exist is because the Spaniards made them to scare the Filipinos and prevent them from going out at night. So yes, there really is a historical basis.

    But then, that’s coming from me, someone who seems to have inherited her mom’s unusual “talent” of “seeing things.” Damn spirit visions. And I’m not even a Cherokee!

  2. Filipino folklore surely is interesting. Actually, there are more beasts to be mentioned like the fireball-like thing my uncle is telling me. I forgot the name.

    I’ll just look for an article about it. I think I have one in my home.

  3. … the dwarf is probably the only meaningful contribution the Irish have had in this world. (and St. Patrick’s Day, of course)

    But how about Bono? Just kidding, heh. He’s lame.

  4. I love halloween, even though it’s not widely celebrated when I was a kid.

    Now you see halloween stuff everywhere, it’s so cool! 😀

    I believe in spiritual beings btw … not the usual creatures from folklores but of the dead. Because I’ve seen a few, and no I’m not crazy.

  5. i don’t understand why parents dress their kids up as princesses or superheroes on halloween. they’re supposed to look scary. goo dripping bloody from their foreheads, a fireplace poker sticking out of their heads…they’re supposed to *scare* the neighbors into giving them treats. it’s like they’re practicing extortion. hahaha.

  6. Since you are now an “expert” on the subject, pakipaliwanag nga ito: ano ba talaga ang “mumo”/”momo”? Wala naman kasing ganun sa amin sa Bisaya. Pagdating ko ng Maynila, lahat yata ng nakakatakot, mumo ang tawag.

  7. @aryo
    mumo is babytalk for multo. You use it for when you wanna be sweet and scary at thesame time. Sadistic.. but true. Lolz!

    and ..multo is a ghost.

  8. LOL. Aren’t there variations of the white lady as well? There are stories of “The Black Lady” and even “The Red Lady”. Tapos parang yung difference is the degree of their maliciousness. haha.

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