Originally, the Philippines does not have Halloween and Filipinos did not bother to dress up as ghost, ghouls, demons and elementals to celebrate it. Nor did we prepare candies to give away to kids in costume who knocked on our doors asking “trick or treat?” . Most prefer to choose treat over trick. But in the context of the sentence, isn’t the one in costume supposed to provide treats??
Filipinos, well those from the Ilocos region, have “pangangaluluwa” . This term is derived from the Filipino word “kaluluwa” meaning soul. This is a tradition where in kids go around their neighbourhood dressed in their normal clothes singing about a group of souls singing to the owner of the house asking for spare change in a hurry as they might be shut out of the doors of heaven. I tried to recall the actual song but can’t. This tradition, I have experienced for myself and have made a few bucks which me and my family members used to buy treats for ourselves.
As much as I would like this tradition to be alive, it is slowly being overrun by Halloween. Well more like, Halloween has ran over pangangaluluwa and left it as road kill. Who wouldn’t want to see kids trying to be ferociously like Frankenstien, Dracula, witches, zombie, ghost or a mummy? Or kids trying to look like fairies, fauns, angels? That is why the allure of Halloween have taken over pangangaluluwa.
In my opinion, parents should put into consideration the Philippine folklore as inspiration for their kids costume. Well maybe not for their kids. They should stick to the Western monstrosities and fairy tales. Those young at heart who want to dress up should try dressing up as kapres, manananggals, tiktik and unding. They can draw inspiration from Philippine horror movies which have been coming to life and becoming greater than that of Hollywood movies. I mean what could be more frightening than a refrigerator coming alive and eating people who open them like in the movie ‘Prigider”! Ooooohhh! Super scary <rolling eyes> . But seriously, there a number of Filipino horror movies that have really raised the bar. I’m taking about the movies like “Feng Shui”, “Ouija”, “Sukob”, “Sigaw”, “Halimaw sa Banga”, “Tiyanak”, and of course the longest running movie title ever which normally shows on Christmas day called “Shake, Rattle and Roll” .
At least in these movies, there are just that certain points where in the ghost, spectre, demon or whatever the evil being is about to get the protagonist in those “run bitch run” moments. But imagine those who can “see” these kinds of things everyday.
Thankfully I found a way to tune out things that I see. But in the spirit of the Halloween, I would like to share to you some stories of the things that I saw. It is up to you to believe is this is real or not but for me it’s just as real as you and me:
- My nieces and nephews (they were around my age but by blood, I’m their uncle) and I were spending our summer vacation in our province so you can imagine the time the things that we did to spend our entire day. One day we decided to walk around town then we eventually decided to visit the graves of our relatives in the cemetery which were a long walk from town but since we were together, we did bother thinking of the distance. To get to the cemetery, we had to cross a bridge. While crossing the bridge, I immediately noticed the temperature become colder. Mind you, this was in the middle of summer around 3:00 in the afternoon. Our grave site was located on top of a hill so we had to pass a lot of graves to get there. I already saw a couple of spirits looking at us as if thinking “what are these kids doing here?” . We got to our site, said our prayers then went down again. As we were going down, I know there was something following us so I decided to look back once we got back down from the hill and saw three kids following us, joking and giggling to each other then looked at our group and waved goodbye. We got back to our place and had to face an inquiry since we were gone a long time and we didn’t as permission. We told them where we went and I told them what I saw and the elders said that there were three kids buried on our family’s grave site. I guess they just wanted to say goodbye and thanks for visiting.
- I was part of our college’s student council and we had to move our stuff to the new office which was previously a guidance counsellor’s office that comes with some spooky incidents based from the previous occupants. The building was indeed old and was I think one of the oldest structures in the entire university. Going to and fro the old and the new office I already saw a few spirits that were just around the new office There were: a white lady, a black kid, a man in his funeral clothes and a man who has shaved his head. They were just lingering around, looking at what we were doing. I didn’t take notice of them since there were a lot of things to be done. That day we were able to complete the move and arrange everything from the selves, to the furniture, to the pigeon holes. Everything. That night, I dreamt that I was in the new office with everything just as we left them but all four beings where there on the couch and talking to me. Welcoming us as the new occupants of their space.
- Our TV set was placed parallel to our stair case so that when you are watching TV, you can see the entire stairs out of the corner of your eye. I was the only one up and ,as was expected of a kid with cable television, burning hours watching the TV. I noticed that there was something gray that was on top of the stairs. It was a gray head of something with yellow eyes that was not human in nature. What was freaky was the head moved across the bottom of the top wall as if it’s body stood straight. I ignored it and watched TV.
- We were at a resort in Batangas from an incentive trip. After having dinner and playing drink shots for the sake of GCs, we all went out to this gazebo near the pool but close enough to the sea to hear the gently crashing of the waves on the shore. More drinks were on their way and we were already laughing at someone who was drunk and babbling away. My roommate at that time was also gifted and sure enough the topic of spirits was brought out. We answered all their questions about them, shared our experiences also. I noticed the changes in the surrounding while to talk was on going. There were already around 7 spirits moving their way towards us. I alerted my roommate and confirmed the numbers. We had to drop the subject already since one of them reached us as was already holding on to my roommate.
- We have just moved in to our new office building. And when I mean new, as in NEW! Our floor was the 3rd on the left side. While working, I was surprised to see a woman with a reddish right side of her face with her hair all tangled up just standing there and staring out of something. I went back to work as I am being paid to work and ogle at spirits.
There you have it. My personal ghost stories. Honestly, I think these experiences are just mild compared to what can really happen but I don’t think I can handle anything intense. Who would right?
I’m just gonna leave you with this message: if you feel the hairs at the back of your head standing up, look behind and for sure you would see something.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOLKS!