Halloween in the Philippines

Card trick or treats?
So, what do you know about Halloween? What is Halloween? How would you celebrate it? Have you experienced knocking on the neighborhood's door and shouting, "Trick or Treats?", Nah! that's a kid stuff!, you would say. But it brings great FUN! Or maybe you are wondering, how do Filipinos celebrates Halloween in the Philippines? What is Halloween for them? 

How do Filipino celebrates Halloween?
Just like Christmas ('though not that big, anyways), celebrating Halloween is a big deal to the Filipinos. Most of them are looking forward to this Holiday celebration. Those family members who are working far from home would go back to be with their family to commemorate with their loved ones who passed away. The memorial parks and other public cemetery all over the country are full pack of people visiting the grave of their loved ones. The roads will be in heavy traffic going to memorial parks. The highway patrol people would have 24 hours duty to make the road clear and convenient for people to pass by. You can find vendors along the roadside going to the public cemetery and memorial parks busy selling flowers, candles, food and drinks to those who passed before them.
When will be the preparation for Halloween starts for them?
As early as  31st of October, people away from their hometown starts to travel back home for this special occasion along with their loved ones. Some of them are not going to work, while others will go home early on that day. The whole family are very busy preparing for November 1— All Saints Day and 2—All Souls Day.
Family members are busy, some bring tools for cleaning. Others are simply paying for someone's service just to clean up the graveyard of their dead relatives. Honestly, most of them just visit the tomb of their loved ones, once a year and sometimes only on this occasion which caused them to have a lot of things to do. Cleaning and repainting the tomb, making or building a shelter for them to stay until All souls day—November 2. They will put up tents beside the grave with benches around it in preparation for their wake on the night of November 1. 

What offerings they bring?

You can't spot any area without seeing candles and flowers. I once asked my grandma why we always bring candles for the dead and learned that it's a tradition Filipino learned from Spain. And the flowers? I don't know.

Along with the candles are bouquet of flowers. They would always bring fresh flowers to the grave. It's a great opportunity for vendors to make money by selling different styles of bouquets sold at different prices. People who have no time to make their own bouquet of flowers would not miss the flower offering because there are many for sale flowers at the cemetery entrance. The celebration will not be complete without the beautiful flower offering at the tomb. That's their way of showing their love to their dead loved ones.

What I loved during Halloween?—Filipino Foods
Can you see the tomb?
On the day of November 1, while most of the men and other family members were preparing and cleaning the graveyard, mothers and their daughters were also busy preparing food for the occasion. They consider the occasion as a great FIESTA!, because relatives are there also visiting the family sometimes bringing friends along with them, so they have to prepare extra food. They mostly cook their native delicacies like: puto, suman, biko, ginataan, bingka along with other recipes, beefsteak, fried chicken, pasta, rice, etc. They would also prepare drinks. This is a great fun 
for all the family members and relatives to get together and celebrate.


      As usual, we are in the midst of a freebie drought at the end of the month. Since Halloween is 2 months away, I thought I would put up a list of Halloween themed freebies. Some of these you have seen before and some are new.
      Carving Stencils/Templates

      (under ‘more music’ tab)

      Other Freebies:
      Floating Ghost

      Jack'o lantern