Halloween 2020: Treats and tricks in the Philippines

I’m not gonna say “Happy Halloween” because things around the world are … well, dark. The days are shorter. Travel plans are axed or indefinitely postponed. Markets are crazy. Livelihoods are lost. People are starving. The American election has potential to be an utter horror show.

So on this dark Halloween, I felt like sharing an outer inventory of where things stand here in the Philippines.


Halloween 2020 in the Philippines

Treat:

I baked bread for the first time in my life this week. The first loaf was perfect.

My plan is to make and bake loaves once a week for friends.

Trick:

Every loaf after #1 has had … issues. Still edible, but some issues. So, I need practice.


Treat:

Early morning greetings from goats and cows and pigs tied up on land near where I live in Malay Municipality on the ‘mainland’ – Panay Island.

Trick:

Men cast nets from White Beach on Boracay Island, but come up empty. Some people have never fished before, and they are desperate for food since tourism income has not returned.


Treat:

Beautiful White Beach on Boracay Island virtually all to myself — only a ferry ride away.

Trick:

It’s rainy season, and I’m covered in mosquito bites. (I did not shave my legs for two months, hoping the hair would prevent landing areas for bugs. It worked – but I recently shaved because I’m tired of long leg hair.)


Treat:

I get to wake up and write whatever I want from a balcony in balmy weather, barefoot, with coffee, looking at this view. (That’s Boracay Island in the distance.)

Trick:

Another typhoon is going to skirt us. This one is Rolly, and it will bring heavy rain and wind just days after Typhoon Quinta soaked us. (We are under the “L” in “Philippines”.)


Halloween 2020

In the Philippines, it’s tradition for some families or communities to have a late night party into All Saints Day. They make group visits to cemeteries to honor their lost loved ones.

But this year, not many parties will happen, and cemeteries are closed, thanks to the virus.

In stores, masks and costumes were never put on display in stores because who has extra money for such frivolity? And in more recent years, Filipinos started trick or treating. But again: this year, who has money for needless candy?

I had a little money left at the end-of-our-month budget, and so I bought candy for the kids I visit on Saturdays, which happens to be on Halloween this week. I usually try to take the kids something ‘healthy’ — or at least not wrapped in plastic. Things like bakery goods or apples, and candy wrapped in paper or foil (which is hard to find here).

But this time, there’s practically nothing “healthy” going into my goody sacks to bring to them. And the sacks will be filled with plastic for once. What kid doesn’t want candy?

Halloween 2020 can suck it.

Thanks for reading, “Halloween 2020: Treats and tricks in the Philippines.”

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Halloween 2020: Treats and tricks in the Philippines

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