Sunday, November 04, 2012

Todos lost Santos

When I was a kid, we didn't have Halloween.

Back then, dressing up in costumes was a totally foreign idea. Sure, we'd scare ourselves silly watching the scary episode of Magandang Gabi Bayan and other scary movies, but Oct. 31 was just the day before the BIG day. Todos Los Santos or All Saints Day. It's supposed to be the day honoring the saints but somewhere along the way we lost the saints and turned it into the day to honor our departed relatives. Maybe it's because we assume all our departed have become saints?

We looked forward to November 1 because it meant seeing our cousins at the cemetery where we would tell stories while we'd gather melted candle wax which I would turn into fragile roses or animals even though my titas would warn me that playing with candles would make me pee on my bed. (Tee-hee! I was a bed wetter...) One of my cousins was more business-minded and would collect the wax to sell for a few pesos. He even tried to con the wax buyers by wrapping a stone in candle wax so they'd be heavier when weighed. I don't know if he succeeded, though. :D
A tubload of traditional ginataan

Pancit for long life on the feast for the dead

Tapang kabayo. Horse meat, a rare meal

Afterwards, we'd go to our tita's place in Pasay and wash the smoky snot form our noses and we'd ask permission to either sleep over at the Pandayan or bring the cousins over to our house where they would sometimes be unnerved at how quiet the nights were compared to their bustling city streets.

Now it's all about dressing up as ghosts and getting candy for trick or treat, an American tradition that has finally wormed its way into our culture. I bet it'll be the kids' dentists who'll be laughing all the way to the bank

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