2017 November Features In Season

Halloween, Philippine Version

Little Mikay showing off her axe of death and pumpkin basket. She’s ready to prowl the street trick-or-treating on the eve of Halloween.

“Inay, tapos na po ba?” (“Mom, is it done?”) anxiously asked a seven-year old Mikay, her voice overwhelmed by the whirring of a sewing machine. “Mag-antay ka naman. Ang kulet kulet mo!” (“Can’t you wait? You’re so annoying!”) shot back her mom, Nisa, irritated from the urging of her daughter. “Excited na po kasi ako, eh. Nandun na silang lahat sa baba,” (“I’m just excited, they’re all downstairs,”) replied Mikay, referring to her peers waiting downstairs. A few more stitches and a red Halloween costume retrofitted with flowers finally done. “O hayan, isuot mo na at nang makalakad na kayo ni kuya mo” (“Ok, wear this so you can go with your brother”) said Nisa, helping Mikay to her costume. “Yeheey, tapos na rin!” (“Yahoo, it’s done at last!”) shouted Mikay in jubilation. “Huwag mong kalimutan yang pumpkin basket at palakol mo anak. At mag-ingat sa mga sasakyan” (“Don’t forget your pumpkin basket and axe, my dear.  And watch out for vehicles”) Nisa reminded her daughter. “Opo Inay!” (“Yes Mom!”) Mikay shouted back as she and her older brother scampered off to join their friends.

In the corner of Gov. Pascual and Goldendale Avenues, in Malabon, traffic screeched to a halt as gaggle of kids wearing spooky costumes knocked on private car windows, spoofed at motorists declaring ‘trick or treat’, oblivious to the danger of being squished over by moving vehicles. Some kids jumped at public jeepneys, one frailty hand dangling from the overhead handle while the other spreading wide open towards the passengers, relentlessly asking, begging, even demanding. Some passengers looked away ignoring the poor kids. But beyond the callous ones, others showed kindness, reached down to their pockets and purses and produced some change. Other kids swarmed pedestrians, chased and ganged them up for treats (or money) before they could cross the street, where in the other side different group of ghouls, goblins and kobolds await preying on their victims.

Two hours later, back in their house, Mikay excitedly emptied her pumpkin basket full of treats and some cash. “Inay, meron na akong pambili ng bagong damit sa Pasko.” (“Mom, now I have money to buy a new dress for Christmas.”) she said waving twenties and fifties in her hand. There goes the story of Mikay, one of the many that came to life on the eve of Halloween in the Philippines. There are certainly many more identical stories but Mikay’s is sufficient to capture our imagination. Despite the children’s creative choice and effort in selecting and fabricating their costumes and the time they’ve spent painting their faces and bodies to make them scary trick-or-treaters, the event pointed ostensibly to the material aspect of Halloween. At such young age, Mikay consciously valued more her stash of money over her treats of candies.

Ted Fullona
“Fray Ted” entered the Dominican seminary in 1973 at Peñafort Hall in Aquinas University of Legaspi (now UST-Aquinas). After completing the novitiate at Villa Lizares in Jaro, Iloilo, Ted majored in English at Letran (and cross-enrolled for journalism in Lyceum), where he served as reporter for The Lance, vice-president of the Letran Chorale, and president of the Humanities Literary Circle, up to the time of his departure from College and the seminary in 1978. Ted briefly worked for a stock brokerage firm in Manila before joining Saudi Aramco in 1981. While there, he managed the publication of the weekly Oasis Times. He married Mayette in 1982 and two years later was blessed with an unico hijo, Thomas John. The family immigrated to Canada in 1988 where he landed a job at Cadbury. The computer knowledge he acquired from Aramco made Ted indispensable as Technical Support Coordinator. In 1990, he augmented his credentials in the field of Computer Systems at Sheridan College. In 1993 he founded Cadbury’s in-house graphics department where he catalyzed and transformed several in-house graphics systems. As graphics manager, he led his team in developing and designing advertising and marketing collateral for a variety of Cadbury iconic brands. Ted’s tenure with Cadbury, and later became Mondelez Canada Inc., was capped at 27 years when he took advantage of an early retirement offer in 2017. Not wanting to be sidelined, he attended George Brown College for a Copywriting course. Ted is now managing his own design company, Artyoom Inc., contracting product catalogs design projects and writing brand style books for a number of brands.

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