October 10, 2016

Halloween in the Philippines

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  • How do Filipinos celebrate Halloween, you ask? Here’s the answer.

    In other countries, Halloween is a big deal: time to plan the best spooky costumes, time to get a whole tub of sweets and goodies through trick or treats, and a time to hop on one party after another. It’s such a merry time to spend a night of terror and fun– that is, when you celebrate it in countries like U.S. where they have a different culture of celebrating this event. In the Philippines, it’s somehow different.


    REPAINTING. A staff here is seen painting the tomb in time for Halloween season.

    A few days before November 1, you’d regularly see news features about cemeteries being cleaned in time for what Filipinos call “Undas,” which means “Day of the Dead.” This happens during November 2 but Filipinos observe this holiday as early as November 1. At this point in time, graves, mausoleums, and tombs get painted, grasses are cut, and it’s being made cleaner as people flock to the cemeteries where their dead loved ones.


    PAYING RESPECT. A mother and daughter visiting their loved one despite the heavy rain. Image by Ted Aljibe, grabbed from inquirer.net

    By November 1, all cemeteries will be filled with people who come to pay respect to their beloved dead. Since Philippines is a predominantly Catholic nation, this event is very significant to Filipinos. It becomes a mini reunion where relatives unite in honoring their dead by visiting them and reminiscing the life they lived.  Most families bring flowers, light candles, and say a prayer when paying respect. Others stay longer; some even bring food and other items that will keep them out of boredom, especially when bringing kids.


    TRICK OR TREAT. Kids in their Halloween costumes. Image grabbed from cebudailynews.inquirer.net

    On the other hand, aside from this traditional culture of visiting the dead, some families practice Halloween just like how it is being celebrated in other countries. Some businesses and schools here hold Halloween parties. Some villages hold Trick or Treat events for kids. The braver ones do ghost hunting in the creepiest attractions here in the Philippines—all in the spirit of fun, of course.

    Now that you know a thing or two about Halloween in the Philippines, you have also already seen the culture that Filipinos have when it comes to this kinds of event. Whatever tradition you practice, it does not hurt to pay respect to your dearly departed by saying a prayer or by honoring the life they lived when they were still alive.

    Recent Comments

    Filipinos do everything better, I feel. I love learning about Filipino culture, and customs. I think if Pilipinos took over the world, what a glorious world it would be. I am NOT Filipino, I am an average white dude with a concern for humanity. We can learn a lot from the Bayanihan spirit. If you don’t know that terms, googling it could really improve your life! God bless and SALAMAT for making the world better! – Blazer, blaisebullwits (instagram).

    8 months ago


    8 months ago

    To the anonymous clod, who can neither spell, nor reason. How dare you denigrate the “idiots” of the Philippines who celebrate “Halloween!!” It is their choice. And if that does not appeal to you. GET STUFFED! By the way, “Halloween” is celebrated throughout the planet Earth. So, crawl back under that rock…where YOU belong…and SHUT YOUR PIE-HOLE!!!!

    An Atypical American

    3 years ago

    For the idiot how thinks Halloween is an US tradition or you celebrating it means you want to be under US rule… Halloween started in Ireland… And I also hope you never watch baseball, football or basketball. You know AMERICAN SPORTS

    3 years ago

    I don’t know why you idiots in Philipines celebrate halowewn,, Its not our tradition and custom,, this is just an example Pinoys would like to be under US rule and would even go this low..

    3 years ago
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