31 Oct2005

Happy Halloween!!!

by Marketman

I have been away for several days over the weekend, madly testing ensaimada, leche flan, halloween1lenguas de gato and other recipes for my Christmas special at my far away test kitchen… suffice it to say I started with 100 eggs, a sack of “primera” or hard wheat flour, 15 pounds of butter and 5 kilos of sugar, but I’ll leave that story for another day. We dashed back to Manila so my daughter could trick or treat with friends… at 10 years of age I suspect it’s more the social aspect of roaming like nutcases through a tropical village in mid-afternoon (who the heck thinks trick-or-treating should start at 3pm???) rather than the candy count in their bags at the end of it all. At any rate, what is Halloween anyway? And why do we give candy (tons of it, as you can see by these photos taken by my daughter minutes ago) or treats? Does anyone really do tricks anymore?

My 18 second research has yielded the following answers from the wilstar.com website on holidays. halloween2They are enough depth for me… thanks. “Halloween” is the short version of “All Hallows Eve” – the night before All Saints Day. About 25 centuries ago, the Celts in Ireland believed that on the 31st of October, their equivalent of New Year’s Eve, all of the souls of people who died in the previous year were looking for live bodies to possess so they could stick around the planet. All the living folks obviously didn’t want to be possessed so they would don costumes to scare away the dead souls… Cool, huh? The custom of Halloween was brought to the Americas in about the 1840’s by Irish immigrants. They used to pull pranks like tipping over outhouses (boy, would I be annoyed if someone tipped over my toilet while I was doing my business!) and other such silly things…

Trick or treating is believed to have originated from a European custom called “souling” where folks used to go door to door begging for “soul cakes” made of bread with sweet currants on November 2, or All Soul’s Day. The more cakes people gave, the more prayers they would get on behalf of their dead relatives. Folks got confused one day and merged the concept of “souling” with the concept of costumes and tricks and voila… Halloween as we know it today. So that’s the super speedy explanation for Halloween. I better don my costume right now before I am potentially possessed by recently deceased relatives who I DO NOT want to be taken over by. My body is too good for them, so well-fed, so carefully exercised…heeheehee. On the other hand, Marketman and family have always been generous with the sweets so we must have major prayer “credits”… so I am hopeful that all of my good dearly departed relatives are right up there in heaven in the equivalent of the Presidential Suite and flying First Class…

As for anyone doing tricks, we did once set up a real haunted house in our garage for revelers to go through before they received a treat. We had areas that were dark and dingy, where iced hands would grab exposed arms and legs, where kids had to dip their hands into dark covered vats and search through “worms” (cold noodles), “slime” (chopped melting gulaman), etc. We had real tombstones on the front lawn, a coffin with a live person inside, and basically went thoroughly over the top! It was lots of fund but oh so much work. At any rate, Marketman and family wish you all a very Happy Halloween!!!



  1. Ivan M. says:

    Interesting post MM…

    Somehow, inspite of its seeming popularity these days, I never quite grew up with this custom of knocking at people (tweak or tweeting) and asking for candies!

    I think its pretty much a very recent (mall) phenomenon.

    I had, however, one experience with tweak or tweeting at one those exclusive communities south of the Metro, well, lucky us, we got an invitation from a friend and just for experience of it, we braved through Undas traffic to get that place!

    It was quite an experience…I mean, walking, getting in the car, getting off and having a few candies just to fill up the jack-o-lantern plastic candy container…oh, and with a 1 year old nephew in tow too. Whew!

    I think I’ll just buy my candies at the nearest candy shop, thank you. ;o)

    But to all out there who enjoy this activity, Happy Halloween and dont forget to brush your teeth at night!

    Oct 31, 2005 | 4:15 pm


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  3. aleth says:

    so that wa sthe history of halloween! gee. . never knew that :) anyways, happy halloween to all …

    Oct 31, 2005 | 9:06 pm

  4. ANNE says:

    Our nearby resident were usually americans lived, when they were still at clark air base @ angeles city. They made my childhood memorable during halloween. We dressed up and go house to house for trick or treat. I enjoyed the walking and running. And afterwards you go counting and comparing the candies you’ve got. :) It was fun!!!

    Nov 1, 2005 | 1:15 am

  5. sha says:

    when I first started visiting Switzerland 9 years ago they have NOT practised this trick and treat.. these days however they do. sad not even their culture…
    oh i actually wanted to carve a pumpkin today but am sure the greeks will be bewildered.

    just arrived back, kitchen will be up soon… missing my fave boulangerie already

    Nov 1, 2005 | 6:36 am

  6. Marketman says:

    IvanM, we adopt holidays that give us sweets, lots of sweets… Actually, as a kid, I used to trick or treat in Makati as early as the mid-1970’s. At that time, our wonderful neighbors used to sometimes give a milky way bar (like gold in those days of no importations, you had to get these through the embassies!) or even an apple! So ANNE, I know what you mean, the Americans know how to treat young kids to an eye popping display of sugar in all its brilliant forms! Sha, welcome back, hope you settle back in and start blogging soon…I miss all your comments!

    Nov 2, 2005 | 7:22 am

  7. carol says:

    Our house is located at the end of the trick-or-treaters’ path. In anticipation of their thirst and exhaustion from walking around the village, we always set up a “drinking station.” I figured, why give them more candies to dump when they get home?

    For the past five years I’ve been serving them strawberry juice or iced tea, labelled VAMPIRE COOLER, dead-cold and bloody refreshing. One time I even put a gummy worm in each plastic cup. It’s always a hit with the kids, even with their yayas and adult companions who look forward to this stop. Their smiles of satisfaction, the requests for refills, and one girl who said “This is one of my favorite stops” are more than enough to make this an annual Halloween tradition.

    Nov 2, 2005 | 11:03 am

  8. chrissy says:

    While living in manila (late 80’s to mid-90’s), we had trick-or-treating in our makati village. We used to carve melons for jack-o-lanterns and my cousins from other areas joined our village tradition. We started trick-or-treating at 4pm (some village policy. not too warm or dark, i guess)

    Nov 2, 2005 | 1:49 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Carol, that sounds like a terrific idea. Water or juice stations are necessary in our tropical weather. Costumes also are better in cooler weather… Chrissy, sounds like you recall the halloweens Manila style… have you moved to a country that also celebrates Halloween?

    Nov 2, 2005 | 7:51 pm

  10. Ivan M. says:


    One of the more memorable experiences I had with (post) halloween parties was that after the day itself, practically every type of candy (including my fave chocolate almond roca) was on mega-bargain sale at Walmart!

    Ahhh, for a third world creature like me, it was candy heaven! ;o)

    Nov 2, 2005 | 9:46 pm

  11. sadstephen says:

    Speaking about third world, I don’t know if this happens in most provinces, but in my province Nueva Ecija, the kids have their own version of trick or treat-ing, which is more like a Halloween carolling. They have a standard song that they sing on each house they visit, and of course they expect you to give them money, they’d appreciate than more than candies (or they get yelled at – “tawad!”, sorry next time. As early as a week before Halloween, the kids start going from house to house doing this Halloween carolling. I can still remember the song, it goes “Kaluluwa’y dumaratal, sa tapat ng durungawan, kampanilya’y tinatantang, ginigising ang may bahay. Kung kami po’y lilimusan, dali-dali nyo pong bigyan, baka kami’y mapagsarhan, ng pinto ng kalangitan.” And then, “tao po!”. Of course if you give them something, they sing the “thank you thank you” song. If not, you get yelled at “ang babarat ninyo! Thank you!”. Haha. Nostalgia.

    Nov 7, 2005 | 7:35 am


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