Happy Halloween!

I read in the news that the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBCP) treats Halloween as un-Filipino. The bishops believe that, during this time of the year, we Filipinos should remember the dead by attending Holy Mass and offering prayers for the deceased. According to them, the dead are feared because they are being portrayed as horrible ghosts and spirits in horror movies and TV shows.

I am a practicing Catholic, but I also celebrate Halloween. In fact, our home is presently adorned with Halloween decor and I am proud that ours is the only home in the village that is decorated with plastic pumpkins and dangling skeletons. But then, being raised by Catholic parents, I and my siblings were taught to hear Mass both on All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Soul's Day (November 2). At night, we pray the rosary with the Litany of the Saints and the names of our deceased relatives and friends. Then, we feast on home-cooked biko and sotanghon. We place a portion of our food in saucers and place them by the altar for the souls.

I am also teaching our child the same practice I witnessed growing up. This is aside from the Trick or Treat and costume parties that he has attended and will still attend in the years to come. We will still be decorating our home with the same ghoulish skeletons and plastic pumpkins. But at night, we'll light candles and place them by the altar and pray for our departed loved ones.

I believe that the Catholic bishops are only reminding us Catholics to not forget the religious side of this holiday. As a parent, I also believe that I should be responsible in teaching my child about this. So,tonight I say "Happy Halloween" because it's the 31st and it is indeed Hallow's Eve. But tomorrow, we will fulfill our religious obligations. Please understand that this is just my personal view of the matter.

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