31 Oct2006


Last year I wrote a short post on the origins of Halloween. It has perhaps surprised some Filipinos who now live abroad, that locals have embraced or adopted jack5this holiday with incredible speed. Commercialization more than westernization is probably the key culprit but personally, because it is primarily a kids holiday, I don’t really mind the trend… in the same way that I have done Easter Eggs for decades, gingerbread houses, left money under the pillow for the tooth fairy and well, ate the cookies that were left out for that jolly white haired overweight gift bearer at Christmas… While I understand that we are getting so much more westernized in many ways, I more than most, I think, have also sought to discover more and more of our native produce, cuisine and customs — so I think it balances out. While I am proud that I stradle multiple cultures, that does not mean I would fuse everything together… At any rate, Halloween is probably here to stay… from the outrageous office costume parties (isn’t that incredibly Filipino in a way?), to the ridiculously decorated malls (hanging pumpkins my pet peeve), the made-in-China masks for PHP20 and the excessive amount of sweets…how could it not?

Even before we had our own offsprout (as opposed to offspring), my wife and I used jack4to really get into this holiday… in High School, as a fund raiser, we set up a “Haunted House” at an elementary school to raise funds… the kids bought tickets and they went through this dark labyrinth with spooky music playing and monsters growling and cold hand grabbing their feet. For the most part, they loved it and kept wanting to go back through the maze… we raised a LOT of money from that activity. And if I recall correctly, a very young Nino Muhlach was a customer and he ran rapidly out of the Haunted House absolutely petrified and screaming his head off…heehee. Whatever happened to that child acting prodigy?

In later years, we set up “coffins” at home where I use to lay and when the trick or treaters came close I would blink or move and the screams were worth the effort, believe me. jackNow, in our middle age, we have toned things down a bit, and while The Kid and her friends do the rounds of the village, we stay home and give out upwards of 5,000 candies as a blitzkrieg of trick or treaters starts coming at 3p.m. This is another pet peeve, by the way, holding the holiday at 3 pm, in broad daylight, when it should really be in a bit of darkness so that everyone can see my hand-carved original jack-o-lantern with votive candle inside….heehee. Worse, some villages and malls have changed the date for convenience and so that kids can go to several venues over the course of 2-3 days…now, THAT I find too much. Who would think to change Idul Fitri or Christmas to run over several days instead of one? Then again, isn’t Christmas a three month holiday in the Philippines?

This is one activity that really leaves an impression on kids. For several years, we have also invited the kids of all of our staff to come and trick or treat in the village. jack1They come decked out in costumes and gamely hit hundreds of houses in a short span of time. They come back loaded with goodies and apparently the candy lasts them through Christmas, at least! Every year they are incredibly excited, as my daughter is, to go trick or treating. This year I found these fantastic orange jack-o-lantern backpacks at Shoemart for just PHP50 each and already packed with some candy…but I added about 300 grams more of goodies to really make something special and a bit over the top… guests at our home will receive one of these…

All other trick or treaters will get a handful of this massive pile of packaged candy. jack2It’s interesting to see what some folks give out…some houses used to give out ice-cream, others water or juices, still others fruit instead of sweets. I like the tradtional choice, sugar in all its forms… From our home to yours, we wish you a Happy Halloween!!! (P.S. the carved kalabasa up top is a large native variety…I photoshop-ed it to make it look a bit more menacing!)



  1. Maria Clara says:

    Spread and keep the tradition of Halloween alive. It is healthy for the country’s economy too. It generates revenue to the stores, malls, candy makers, costume makers and to the pumpkin growers. Halloween keeps me young at heart; I am surrounded by kids and act like one and dressed up like a kid too. Great job on the pumpkin carvings – they are great!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 8:52 am


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  3. wendell says:

    hooo!! trick or treat!!!! Man, it’s mah favorite time of the year… heheh

    Oct 31, 2006 | 10:00 am

  4. MRJP says:

    cool jack-o-lantern! speaking of candies, been re-packing chocolates since this afternoon in preparation for trick or treating tomorrow. kids start to come and knock on our door as early as 3pm!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 10:21 am

  5. Cay says:

    “From our home to yours, we wish you a Happy Halloween!!!” it’s as if I hear Paula Dean from food network lol Happy Halloween MM!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 10:25 am

  6. MRJP says:

    Happy halloween!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 10:34 am

  7. Doddie from Korea says:

    Happy Halloween from Korea! We got a pumpkin and it hasn’t been carved yet. Hmmm… it might just end up as pumpkin pie lated. Tonight, we will feast on my homemade apple pie in celebration (no Halloween thing here in Korea except in my hubby’s english tutorial school where they celebrated Halloween last Friday).

    Oct 31, 2006 | 12:35 pm

  8. Zita says:

    Happy Halloween!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 1:36 pm

  9. tulip aka pinaygourmand says:

    Nice lanterns! I have a post about pumpkin carvings too. Mine was more of a table centerpiece or something to put out of at the doorsteps. I’m more embracing Halloween every year. Happy Halloween to everyone.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 3:14 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    tulip, I saw your pumpkins through the link…they are utterly spectacular…total works of art…really cool!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 5:50 pm

  11. Chinachix says:

    HI Marketman,

    Been following your blog with great interest…here’s an article that I thought might interest you regarding Halloween: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/world/europe/31halloween.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Kind regards,

    Oct 31, 2006 | 7:54 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Chinachix, thanks for the link! It’s very timely…and particularly since there is some resentment about the holiday taking over the world…I feel it is mostly commercially driven…but for the kids its fun…

    Oct 31, 2006 | 8:31 pm

  13. Mandy says:

    was about to say that i liked the kalabasa bec it’s scarier looking, pero you “fixed” it up pala. hehe. the pumpking with the candle inside looks very cute.

    a few years ago, in alabang, there was a house that gave away barbie dolls for girls and some other toy for boys. whoa! when they ran out, they gave away lay’s potato chips. lucky kids, huh.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 11:01 pm

  14. edee says:

    we just carved our first ever haloween pumpkin yesterday :)
    our son is so excited, as this will be his 1st time to go trick or treating….

    Oct 31, 2006 | 11:37 pm

  15. Jean says:

    MM, Happy Halloween.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 11:48 pm

  16. tulip aka pinaygourmand says:

    Thanks for checking out my link Marketman. I am honored.hehehe I hope you won’t mind if I include you in my link section.

    Nov 1, 2006 | 3:33 am

  17. Marketman says:

    tulip, it was a great post! Yes, please feel free to put a link… Jean, Happy Halloween! edee, firsts are always the best…take photos…Mandy, I suspect that house are the local distributors of Barbie and other toys… I HOPE YOU ALL HAD A GOOD HALLOWEEN…

    Nov 1, 2006 | 9:59 am

  18. Sidekick says:

    I do have fun making kids even adult scared. One kid cried yesterday during our costume contest when we had our parade visit to tenants… Everybody had fun… That was their first time. Worth the effort.

    Nov 1, 2006 | 11:25 am

  19. wil-b cariaga says:

    wow, nice pumpkin carving. . . I haven’t tried trick or treat when i was a kid, but im sure this could have been really fun. . .

    Nov 1, 2006 | 12:25 pm

  20. mia says:

    do u have a very good pumpkin pie recipe to share? tnx

    Mar 15, 2007 | 5:14 pm

  21. Marketman says:

    I haven’t made pumpkin pie in ages, but one trick I used was actually canned, not fresh, pumpkin.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 6:59 pm

  22. Lilet says:

    Where did you buy/get pumpkin second picture from top? the one you can out the light inside.

    Sep 7, 2009 | 7:30 am

  23. Marketman says:

    Lilet, some groceries carry Western style pumpkins closer to Halloween, try SM or S&R.

    Sep 7, 2009 | 9:12 am


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