Halloween, a seemingly harmless tradition, is celebrated by several countries in the world including the Philippines. People of all ages dress up as ghosts, vampires, zombies and other dark characters hoping to creep out other celebrators, while others prefer to depict lighter characters like fairies and superheroes.
But did you know that behind the sweet treats and plastic pumpkins, Halloween has a dark history?
Halloween: A Pagan Practice
In his interview with ABS-CBN News, Pastor Ramil Corpuz of Sola Scriptura Christian Church disclosed that Halloween started from a pagan practice known as Samhain by the Celts in Asia Minor and Europe.
During the feast, people would light candles outside their houses in order to help visiting spirits find their way back to the afterlife.
Department of Education senior high school research coordinator and sociologist Professor Fe Atanacio-Blas said people also dressed up as ghosts in order to be one with the wandering spirits.
These practices were eventually brought from Europe to the Americas, which were then shared to the Filipinos during American occupation. Since then, Halloween celebration has become a common practice in the country as parents passed on to their children the tradition.
Dress up as Lighter Characters
Nowadays, the dark pagan practice has evolved into a celebration that mostly involved trick or treat and dressing up activities.
Professor Blas suggested that parents dress up their children as lighter characters.
“Kung masyado dark, gawin natin medyo gray, pag-costumin natin ng fairy, ibang characters. It will not do harm to children. Sa inosenteng isip ng bata, it’s all fun kasi naka-costume siya, may candies. Pero pagtanda niya, how are you going to process it?”
Is it alright to celebrate Halloween?
Pastor Corpuz noted that the celebration of Halloween is “the work of evil spirits” based on the Bible.
“It is God’s command for believers to stay away from any guise of the devil. So Halloween activities today teaches wrong doctrines and it is often characterized by exaltation of imaginary evil characters like Dracula and zombies,” he explained.
However, Corpuz stressed that it is alright for people to celebrate Halloween as long as they don’t focus in the dark aspects. He also reiterated that Christians should pray for the deceased on Halloween.
What can you Say?
Netizen Exposes Gas Station Scam, Warns Car Owners to Stay Vigilant
With gas prices rising everywhere, a lot of people are trying to find ways to save money on fuel. Many resort to buying from lesser known companies because these offer cheaper prices than the big time brands.
Sometimes, however, this might mean you are actually getting less fuel for your money because some unscrupulous gas attendants have mastered some clever ways to scam their unsuspecting customers. But the same could happen even in ‘branded’ gas stations.
A netizen who goes by the name Jahaziel Selosa Falla on Facebook shared one of these scams which he was able to uncover himself while getting gas for his vehicle.
According to Jahaziel, he bought gasoline for his vehicle at a gas station in Angono, Rizal when he noticed that the gas attendant did not return the nozzle properly. He took a photo of the nozzle to warn other motorists, particularly car owners of this type of scam.
Jahaziel insisted that he knows the proper way that a nozzle should be returned because he also works in a petroleum company.
According to him, this is the way that the gas boys can cheat their customers because the number on the machine won’t return to zero; thus, the next customer who buys gas from this pump might see the amount he’s supposed to pay on the machine but didn’t know that he was getting less than what he had paid for.
This scam often targets car owners.
For example, someone (usually a motorbike rider) buys gas for Php100. Because the gas attendant didn’t place the nozzle properly, the reading does not return to Php0. When a car owner buys gas for, say, Php1,000 and was distracted that he didn’t check that the pump reading didn’t start at 00, then this means that he paid Php1,000 but actually just got Php900 worth of gas!
That’s really bad, right? But Jahaziel was quick to add a disclaimer that this could happen to any gas station because it’s not really the company’s fault if there are just bad workers who are not afraid to cheat others of their hard-earned money.
Palarong Pambansa Athlete Wins Medals, Offers Them on Mom’s Coffin
Death is inevitable, we all know that; however, it hits you harder when the death of a loved one happens at a time of great rejoicing. For how could you really celebrate that beautiful, fun moment when you are also grieving?
That’s what happened to a young athlete whose mother died while he was winning medals during the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
On Twitter, user Alex Christian (@xtian197) shared the heartbreaking story of his young cousin, Ronie C. Trinidad, Jr.
According to the post, the young boy had just arrived home from the Palarong Pambansa. And while everyone else was celebrating the medals they won, this young boy offered the ones he won on his mom’s coffin.
It turned out that Ronie’s mother died while he was still in Vigan. In a reply to a friend’s question on his Twitter post, user Alex revealed that his aunt had died due to Stage 4 lung cancer. While her cause of death meant Ronie and the rest of the family knew that she might die anytime soon, we’re sure they didn’t also expect it would happen really soon and that Ronie would be away at the time, winning the medals.
While his mother was not able to see the medals he won, Ronie made sure to display them on her coffin in her honor and to make her ‘see’ these medals before she is buried.
The heartbreaking story has touched hearts across the country, with the Twitter post garnering close to 30,000 likes and more than 3,350 retweets. Many offered condolences to the bereaved family, especially to this young boy.
We’re hoping that the experience won’t bring him down and make him quit dance sport. We bet his mom would have been very proud of his achievements…
Enforcers Throw Illegal Vendors’ Goods on the Street, Earn Mixed Reactions
A photo vendor frantically picking up his goods off a street in Cebu City after enforcers these to the ground has gotten mixed reactions from netizens.
Many of the busy streets in cities and towns across the Philippines have sidewalks that are almost impassable to pedestrians because these are blocked by illegal vendors or illegally parked vehicles. This is especially true in the big cities but is also seen even in small towns whose public markets are often situated right next to the highway.
Government officers tasked to clear the roads and sidewalks often encounter fierce resistance from these illegal vendors and vehicle owners. The vendors often plead for mercy, telling the officers that they are doing ‘nothing wrong’ except sell these goods to earn money for their children.
The cycle is unending. The vendors get caught or are able to run away, stop selling for a day or two, then sell again once the enforcers are busy someplace else.
But the photo of the illegal vendor shared by Cheng Sabellaga Gines has gained mixed reactions from netizens.
According to Gines, the incident happened at Colon Street in Cebu City. In a post on Facebook, she wrote that while she is not complaining about the clearing operations because the government officers are just doing their jobs, she wishes for them to be more humane in their approach.
Instead of throwing the vendors’ goods to the ground, Gines hopes that they would just tell the vendors to pack up and leave.
Many people sided with Gines, saying that the vendors are also humans who are just trying to earn money for their respective families. Gines and many netizens defended the vendors, saying that they surely know they were doing something illegal but continue selling on the sidewalks to earn something in an honest manner.
But others also took the enforcers’ side, saying that force is definitely needed in such operations because these hard-headed vendors will just come back again and again.
What can you say about this?
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