Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Day of the dead

I FIND it entertaining to swap horror stories with comrades during Halloween. It’s even less frightening to hear their ghastly real-life experiences at the cemetery. I would usually the first one to relate some stories and the rest would just grippingly unveil theirs. Afterwards, we would play some sort of prank like spirit of the coin, and see if lost spirits wandering around would cooperate.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m gutsy enough because I’ve never in the flesh encountered paranormal creatures or supernatural elements. As to admit that I’ve seen one, for skeptics I might sound stupid; but to say ‘I believe’ even without even seeing one, for me it sounds more stupid. You see, none of those ‘true’ stories from my close peers would convince me that these unearthly beings exist. Unless there is an apparition of a dead neighbor with a knife stuck on his chest who jeers me at 12 midnight sharp, or a quick catch of a floating coffin passing by the peripheral of my eyesight, I won’t be scared. I’m not your average scaredy-cat, but gee seeing is believing.

I wonder how our lolo visited me on November 1st (I assume he paid me a visit since I had failed to light a candle on his grave, or at least uttered him a prayer during ‘their’ day). Perhaps, I don’t like the idea of going out on that date to avoid the stampede of visitors flocking to and from the cemetery.

While they did, I was chilling out myself scoffing some helpings of suman and valenciana while drastically abusing my eyes from blockbuster hits and horror movies at home. You know, I barely had a rest and this was my typical idea of spending a semestral break, whereas some people I knew were having the time of their life at the hottest night spots in town. In my case, I just relaxed at home.

Halloween, which falls on the eve of All Saints’ Day, is also known as Allhallows or Hallowmas, a holy day in the Roman Catholic Church. Hallow means to make sacred.

Well, it’s funny to note that many could still afford to have fun and go party-crazy on that ‘holy day’ while they forget to remember the dead ones on their resting grounds whose spirit would want to commune with the living. The occasion would even translate as bread to some. While taxi drivers, hotel owners and disco bars are excessively squeezing partygoers’ pocket from their trick-or-treat publicity stunts, some of our business-minded folks are peddling their overpriced flowers, candles and jack-o’-lanterns in various sidewalks.

Paying homage to the dead must be done not only during this time but everyday in our lives.

(Published in The Augustinian, Oct. 1- Dec. 31 issue)

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