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Arabel Joie G.

Arevalo
Soc Sci 1 WFV 11:30-1pm
Kababalaghan o Katotohanan?
It’s the 11th month of the year! We all know that one thing or two people talk about
mostly during November: Halloween and All Saints’ Day! That time of the year has come when
people devote a day of their busy lives to visit their deceased relatives in the cemetery to give
respect and to remember the dead. It’s also the time of the year when you would see kids
roaming the streets with faces smothered with powder and red lipstick to show their best
impersonation* of spirits and knock on the door to ask for treats. I bet some people don’t know
that Halloween is a tradition we got from the United States. But what most people don’t know is
that we already have our own form of Halloween even before the any foreigner came to colonize
the Philippines.
This and a lot of other things related to the supernatural were discussed during
Anthrosoc’s Kapihan last week. As I said earlier, we got Halloween from the Americans but we
already had our own form of Halloween way back before we were colonized. Pangangaluluwa is
a dying Filipino tradition where kids go around the neighborhood singing a certain song asking
for alms and if you didn’t give them any, they would play a trick on you. These tricks range from
something as simple as getting the laundry you forgot to take inside to stealing your chicken.
We all know our practices today are mixtures of traditions from all over the world
because of two main factors: one is the colonization by* foreigners especially the Spaniards.
Within those 333 years that they had governed* us, it’s no question we got most of our customs
from them. We used to bury our dead under the houses or just hang them by a tree but when the
Spaniards came, they taught us to place them in a fixed place which we call now the cemetery.
The idea of All Saints’ Day is something that we got from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos. But,
visiting the cemetery during this day is a practice that we didn’t get from anyone but is originally
our own.
Despite the Philippines being a mixture of traditions from all over the world, there are
still practices that are originally from our country. For example, we didn’t get the notion of
“lamay” from any other country. This started from the natives’ belief that we should guard the
dead during a wake to avoid aswangs from stealing the body of the dead. We’re also the only
people who hold wakes that last three to five days. This could last even longer if we’re waiting
for a relative from abroad. I think it has a lot to do with Filipinos being heavily family-oriented.
The ties among members of the family are so strong that if one of them dies, they would wait
until all of the relatives and immediate family of the person had visited before they bury the
dead. Sometimes, wakes serve as a way of reuniting and bonding with relatives. This could also
attribute to Filipinos having high regard for respect. We consider it disrespectful if someone dies
and you fail to visit them. Even people who are not close relatives of the dead go to the wake to
pay respect.
Among countries in the world, it was said that we’re the only people who visit the
cemetery during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Although this practice is a mixture of native
traditions, the Mexican’s and Catholic’s, we’re still the only ones who pay visit to the cemeteries
to clean their graves, offer flowers and prayers and lighting candles. Some people even camp

Dr. our folks in Palawan have this burial jar with a drawing of a boat for belief that this boat is something that takes the souls to the afterlife. . Recently. Also. It is mandatory for people to visit the cemetery to clean their dead’s grave. We’re intrigued as to what lies beyond what our senses could normally perceive. I recently have just realized it could be that people from Visayas are strong believers in traditional creatures such as dwendes. This is something that I disagree with. This just goes to show that humans’ belief in the supernatural is passive. that’s why whenever they see or hear something unusual. Maybe it’s because of our tendency to be curious and to be big over-thinkers. The Catholic Church teaches its followers to commemorate and pray for the souls of the saints known and unknown and the souls of the dead especially those who are still in the purgatory so that they may attain peace. we were told about the story of how a chimpanzee mother came to realize that her baby is dead. a question lingers: Are we wired to look for the supernatural? I remember this story we were told in Anthro 1 about the dwendes in CP Garcia and how they were only noticed by the Visayan helpers when they came to the village. For example. it is believed that sweeping at night could cause bad luck. Castro also mentioned how only Homo sapiens have the ability to mourn and pay respect to the dead. Some people today still use garlic to fight off aswangs. She kept doing this for hours until she finally carried the baby to a group of chimps and left it a day later. Could we then say that we got this from our common ancestor before we finally separated with the chimpanzees? We also have practices that are similar to some people we had no direct contact with. The mother stayed and kept checking her baby’s fingers for what I can only assume as her confirmation that her baby is indeed dead. Avoiding eye contact with people is believed to be a form of social etiquette and Filipinos’ way of saying that he trusts the person that he’s not an aswang. there also exist superstitions related to it and beliefs in mythical creatures. Religion has contributed a lot to this practice. we can formulate a hypothesis that mother chimpanzees also form some kind of bond towards their young that’s why they grieve and mourn for the loss of their child. But before they arrived. we then set a standard look for an aswang. From these burial practices. These days are usually declared as national holidays so people would have no excuse for not visiting their dead. each of the chimps came forward and touched the body. they would immediately assume that it was a dwende.until All Souls’ Day. these aswangs were believed to not have a fixed look but instead changes it form but due to Hollywood movies about vampires and werewolves. offer prayers and flowers and light a candle for them. For example. People from Egypt also have this burial jar. We could see that this is similar to the way people grieve for people’s death. From this. natives already avoided sweeping at night for belief that the aswangs could identify how many people are living in their house and if there are any pregnant women around. In a world where people heavily relies on science these practices are evidence that we. We all know we got the concept of luck from the Chinese. The body of the baby was laid on the ground and one by one. still trust our instincts and still believe in things that are unexplainable by science. With this forum. They don’t realize that they are quick to correlate unexplainable things they see or hear to the supernatural. Filipinos. All of these beliefs are in some way modified by the colonization and globalization from Hollywood.