Light a fire for the souls
I noticed since I was young, Halloween here in the Philippines has been greatly influenced by the American culture. Adorned in many houses especially in subdivisions, are numerous decorations from pumpkins, spiders, cobwebs and the usual monsters we grew up liking to fear like Dracula, Frankenstein, witches and the local mix of Aswangs, tikbalan, manananggal and white ladies. Those talk of ghost and other supernatural phenomenon that seems to populate our TV screens and print media whenever Halloween approaches have waned my interest recently. I used to like them growing up.
Twilight cemetery fire
I hope our media feature more on the interesting traditions of our locals and indigenous people. Once such tradition that only a few people knew is the Festival of Lights celebrated high up in the mountains of Sagada. I wrote about this before but I’d like to feature some photos I wasn’t able to post then. It’s a very interesting practice that should be included in your itinerary in case you decide to visit the place during Holloween.
All Saints day or Halloween has somehow, like Christmas, been reduced to commercialism. Although a lot of people still flock through the cemeteries to visit their departed love ones, I hope that it’s not just a mandatory practice to clean up the graves and socialize with the next graveyard neighbor and catch up on their lives. All Saint’s Day is about remembering our departed loved ones and let us remember in every candle lit and prayer. Happy Halloween!
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.