|My very first pumpkins in the house.|
Back when I was in the Philippines, Halloween was not really celebrated the way people do here in Canada or the US. What I can remember is that this holiday is mainly regarded as " All Souls' Day " and "All Saints' Day" and is equated to families going to the cemeteries to spend time with the departed loved ones.
Yesterday afternoon, me and my friends at work were talking about how All Souls Day in the Philippines is such an effective way to reunite families in one place as they gather around the graves of their loved ones. As a kid, I remember that we all rise up early in the morning to get ready for this big day. My father, me , my two brothers, a number of cousins, my titos and titas all prepare to leave early just so we can avoid extreme heat of the sun during our commute to the cemetery.
Armed with our packed lunches and drinks, we all load a jeepney going to the cemetery, and we arrive there to meet more of our relatives. We stay day there for about half a day with lots of eating, chatting,catching up with relatives and praying. Graves we visit includes that of my mother, who passed away when I was 4, that of grandmother, grandfather and a few other elders. Before heading home we always stop by and dine at this one favorite little eatery to have noodles ( pansit) and burgers.
This time of the year was a special time and we never missed practicing our traditions. Nowadays, the Philippines has also become westernized in that they observe the Halloween too, in terms of American practices like dressing up in costumes and doing trick or treat.
When I arrived here in Canada, I really did not care much about the Halloween traditions- pumpkins, costumes, decorating the front yard with spooky things, although I enjoyed a bit giving out candies to little kids during trick or treat. But now that I have a daughter, that all changed.
Yesterday, I find myself picking out pumpkins in the supermarket. I find excitement in picking out the costume for my little girl. Suddenly, it's is different.
Suddenly, Halloween is exciting. Suddenly, I am involved.
Oh the joy in her eyes when she sees me and her ninang carve those pumpkins! And her amazed look when she saw the pumpkins all carved and lit!
These things, that sight of her face. They are all priceless.
And I know I will be looking forward to this every year from now on, And it is all because of her.
It is all for a rich childhood. It is all for my daughter.
Don't you find Halloween exciting because of your kids too? I bet you do!
Happy Halloween from my three pumpkins!