Halloween Through the Years

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This Halloween post was posted originally on October 26 2006.

halloweenIt was my dear husband who reminded me to dress up the little girls into witches for Halloween. “Halloween?” I thought Halloween was only done in the Western countries. ” Yes you have to dress them up as witches”. As a little boy in the late sixties, he pranced around the neighborhood begging for candies and yelling “Trick or Treat” . According to him, the Halloween “Trick or Treat” originated in the Philippines in the sixties when the Americans living in the village started the tradition. In the early nineties, Halloween was not yet commercialized. The Trick or Treat was limited to Ayala Land villages, where most American expatriates lived. There were a few masks and simple decors in National Book store but that was it. No costumes. I had to be creative. I designed a witch costume with yellow piping and a dressmaker executed it. A balikbayan sister from San Francisco brought in the hat, the candy corn candies, the fangs gum for props.

2.jpgWe drove all the way to visit the kid’s grandparents in Alabang just for the spooky Halloween experience. As usual, the beaming stage mother dressed up her adorable girls as cute little witches. The Trick or Treat party at the club was fantastic. The kids were dressed in typical Halloween costumes like vampires, ghosts, witches, and devils or even pumpkins.The eerie decors added to the thrilling experience.

halloweenThe Trick or Treat adventure in this swanky Alabang village is something else. The houses compete with each other on the scariest theme. Most of these houses had tricks. In one house, the kids were terrified of the candle-lit pathway that led to a vampire rocking on the chair. Complete with spine-tingling music as you walk towards the vampire, it even freaked me out. Four year old M scurried as soon as she saw the ghoulish figure. For many years, the girls spent their Halloween with their grandparents in this Alabang village until Luijoe arrived in our lives.

LuijoeLuijoe’s first Halloween in 1994 was spent at his aunt’s village. She started the Trick or Treat experience in her own village. 1994 saw the year when malls and the like started to sell costumes and more Halloween decors. My husband just adored his little boy. It’s no wonder that Halloween is such a painful experience for my husband. The past years, he hibernates in our bedroom avoiding the little kids knocking at our doors. But that is just how he is. I love giving candies to these kids as I imagine my precious Luijoe hovering nearby. I am sure Luijoe is around me all the time.

5.jpgMy little boy posed his cutest smile ever. “sigh” I miss my boy. As I gathered the photos for this entry, I could not help being misty-eyed pouring over these precious memories . “Was he really that cute?” “How I wish I can just rewind the past and hug him all over again!” Pictures and memories are what is left of him. Of course, his love rings true in my heart. But yes, I digress. And the tears well up again as I write this.

The girls who were then in their pre-teen years continued to be witches until their early teens. That’s when they designed their own costumes or innovated their wardrobe.

6.jpg7.jpgLuijoe’s last two Halloween was dressed up as a little devil. How he liked playing the naughty little imp to the hilt. This little devil is now my angel . His impish grins just makes me smile. Kids are just so adorable aren’t they? I miss my kids as little kids and being the stage mother fussing around them. Now that they have grown up, I’m just there when they need me.

8.jpg12.jpgAfter Luijoe died in 2000, the girls continued the Trick or Treat tradition with their younger cousins. Costumes are now based on themes other than traditional horror, such as dressing up as a character from a TV show or movie. AHH, I miss the traditional Halloween costumes. L in this photo is behind the fence because she was traumatized by an 11 year old bully who grabbed her whole bag of candies. Demand for candies is just so much that after an hour, we always ran out of treats. I can’t believe that Halloween “Trick or Treat” in our village is TODAY! October 28? Hello?? Halloween Day is on October 31. According to M , it doesn’t feel right that it’s NOT celebrated on October 31. Since I had nothing better to do today, I dressed up our kitties with their own Halloween costume. “Trick or Treat” anyone?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1386 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • The kitties are so cute! We won scariest costume today! Will blog about our Halloween tomorrow…

  • @Cathy- oh how cool. I hope you took lots of photos 🙂

  • Hi Noemi- i was surfing re. chat silayan and somehow i got to your site and can’t stop reading. First of all, my deepest sympathies for the loss of your beloved son. I had 2 daughters who were stillborn and i often wondered about the impossible.
    Anyhow, life is a journey and we do move along and i seem to identify with your journey a lot.
    God bless from down under and thanks for sharing.

  • halloween in alabang has always been amazing! i have many years’ worth of memories going around the village, dropping by friends’ houses and getting lots of candy! 🙂 too bad though that it’s not as extravagant as it used to be years back. the parish is trying to downplay the “evil” part of halloween kasi, i heard.

  • @Vicky- Thanks VIcky for the sympathies. Oh dear stillborn girls must have been hard to bear. I have a friend who is working hard to works towards the positive resolution of her grief over the loss of her baby (died of stillborn too)

    @Cris- I didn’t know it”s not as extravagant. I believed those houses felt like they were even more horrifying than carnival scenes. I remembered one house that had a coffin whose casket opened now and then with a zombie scaring the wits of the kids. My balikbayan sister was amazed at the Halloween preparations which is just more elaborate than in the states. The girls treasure these memories.

  • Thanks for this informative post. I was wondering when trick-or-treating started in the Phils. As far back as the 70’s pa pala.

    Ah yes, sometimes looking at pictures bring back bittersweet memories. Your children look so cute in their costumes. And of course the kitties too. 🙂

  • @niceheart- I think Halloween in Manila started in the sixties since my husband was a little boy.

  • Sam

    Hi. Your Luijoe is adorable and extremely huggable! I can’t say any more than that, your entry for today is very touching.

  • @sam- yes my precious child is truly huggable

  • Your son is cute 🙂

    I really admire you and your family for being able to pull through with your loss. My family had gone through some incredibly painful stuff too—I know how hard it can be. It really does make a lot of difference when you help each other through sufferings, doesn’t it? Our ordeals brought our family closer, and I can see that yours did too 🙂

  • I get teary eyed every time you talk about your son. So I can only imagine how you must feel.