It’s that time of the year again. The end of October means Halloween. In my auntie’s neighbourhood, houses have evoked the scary theme, garnishing their fences with cobwebs. While not as celebrated here as in the US, the thrill mongers chip in when they could. It isn’t all about spider webs. There’s the carved pumpkins or jack o lanterns, complete with a lighted candle inside. There’s dressing up as figures, both historical and creepy. Of course, Halloween won’t be complete without trick or treat. Again, it’s not as widespread here as across the pond.
I like the terrifying pictures. When I was in uni, I had a blood and gore phase. I would go out and rent unpalatable DVDs. I saw all of the Hostel franchise. I watched the remake of The Hills have Eyes and Wrong Turn as well. They usually featured half man half monsters who become either cannibals or psychopaths. Take your pick. If it’s not the cold blooded, then it’s the foreigners. The gorgeous Eastern Europeans turn out to be gold digging, callous witches.
Every year for a decade or so, a new Saw film would be released at the cinemas. I wasn’t updated on the franchise but it was really prolific artistry. No doubt, the title of the biggest scary franchise belongs to Halloween. Through the decades, the instalments have become box office hits. A couple of years ago, I got my first Halloween tasting at the cinemas. This was a well received picture that topped the chart.
Not in Oz
This year, Halloween would fall on a Monday. For most Aussies, this would be another ho-hum day. There won’t be many pesky kids asking for candy. Most of us won’t bother with dressing up. For those who will, they must have been planning this for a while. Picking your antihero isn’t an easy decision. We will mostly leave our pumpkins and scarecrows alone.
In truth, Halloween does not have to be on a set date every year. For Aussies across the continent, it’s ravaged them already. The year started with bush fires and deluges, as I’ve already mentioned in a previous post. Indeed, some of the areas got inundated thrice in less than a year. By winter, the whole Sydney region was ground zero for torrential rain. It was one of the coldest editions on record. The threat of COVID remained, with strict rules in place. The signage and regulations were constant reminders of the past lockdowns.
Speaking of spooky, how about Nick Kyrgios? I remember talking about Tsitsipas.
‘Don’t you like Nick Kyrgios? He’s Greek-Australian.’
‘I don’t like his attitude,’ I replied. Fair enough.
I already dedicated about 2,000 words on a post about Wimbledon 2022. Basically. You’ve got two versions of Kyrgios: he’s either scary good or just plain scary. He’s either hot or cold, a great showman or a great disappointment. This altogether makes him a delightful watch. You never know which Kyrgios you’ll see: the showman or the pretender. They should make a Halloween tournament that features all the tennis firebrands. Nick must be the top seed.
In the Philippines
In the Philippines, Halloween isn’t really celebrated. FYI, the country was under American control. However, the US Halloween tradition didn’t gain much ground in the former colony. As trick or treat isn’t widespread in Oz, it’s very rare in the Philippines. Christmas carols are more prevalent. Indeed, the Christmas tradition begins as early as September. Chances are, the houses have Yuletide decors instead of webs. There are no pumpkins and scarecrows. With the huge typhoon hitting the islands, people are more concerned with rebuilding their houses than some obscure foreign tradition.
Gaudy and glittering
I recall once attending this uni lecture. Our professor showed us clips of The Exorcist. This was my first look at the original. The crucifix scene was disturbing. The head twisting take was likewise unnerving. However, the eerie male voice was funny. Ditto those backflips, which showed that she had mad skillz.
Halloween occurs on the eve of All Saint’s Day. I remember visiting our ancestor’s graves on 1 November. Like Holy Week, many Pinoys would travel interstate in order to visit their fallen relatives. So Halloween is like the prelude to the day of the dead. We must remember that the former is not just about the deceased. It’s a chance for us to celebrate the living and be thankful for our family and friends. The message may be tempered by dazzling costumes, gaudy blockbusters, and glittering candy. However, being appreciative denizens, it’s never about the cost. Rather, it’s dressing up and sharing for a cause. Count me in.