Monday, November 04, 2013

Halloweenie, the Fat Man in Bah, Humbug Mode

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So I just heard that October 31 wasn't a national holiday. This, despite the growing popularity of the Halloween celebration in the country. I have nothing to say about this proclamation other than good.

not so great pumpkin

Yup, that'll be me in the jack-o-lantern hat.

See, I've never been that partial to Halloween. I've only ever gone to one Halloween party in my life, and I dressed like a cake-faced vampire. I didn't really enjoy the celebration, since it involved a kind of cheeky determination to go up to random strangers and ask them for candy. Also, I guess I didn't really enjoy the company of my club members in the Lantaka youth club, whose names I can hardly remember now.

My point is: Halloween isn't even a local tradition. A good counterpoint would be that neither was Christmas, but my rebuttal to that would be the fact that the Roman Catholic tradition is ingrained like a benevolent tumor in Pinoy tradition and society. All Hallow's eve, on the other hand, is just an excuse for kids to get free candy, and yet another reason for Pinoy grown-ups to have a party.

Now, I'm not against parties, OR free candy. But I can't get myself to like Halloween, for some reason. Out of all the commercialized holidays in this country, this feels like the one that's most in tune with the hum of merchandisers. Even in the most hectic, money-lacking point of Christmas, you can step into an empty church with a choir practicing in the background, and still sense the reason behind the season - which varies depending on your point of view. But there's that fleeting sense of spirituality in the air during Christmas. Or even Easter.

Halloween has nothing of that. There's no commemorative dinner emulating or celebrating the way our pagan forefathers warded off the spirits before November 1st. Heck, there isn't even a minor saint to celebrate during the day - in ANY religion. It's like a party playing like it should be a holiday, but the other cool holidays won't let him join the club because he's bedraggled in sheets, and is missing a couple of teeth due to over exhaustive candy eating.

Go ahead and celebrate your holiday. Don’t let me put a damper on your festivities. But if you want to get me interested in Halloween, invite me to a party that is held in an open area, where the blood of animals pour like rivers along with the sweat of maidens, and plenty of christened alcohol. Make sure there are plenty of herbs or wild fruit. And if there's a sham human sacrifice, then all the better. Otherwise, you'll find me at home, drinking coffee, reading books, and muttering "bah, humbug" under my breath every so often.

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