How to Celebrate Halloween with a Philippine Twist
If your kids are like ours, Halloween is one of their favourite holidays. Any excuse for candy, dress up and getting spooked is always a fun time. Why not give your celebrations a Filipino twist this year? Check out our ideas for a fun fusion Filipino twisted Halloween celebration!
1. Read Spooky Filipino storybooks
By Jomike Tejido from Tahanan Books
This fun book is a great introduction to monsters of Philippine folklore. Little kids will love the fun and friendly illustration and enjoy the rhymes. A great read for young and old.
Learn Filipino words and find strategies to help bring lessons from the book into real life to extend your family's enjoyment of the story in our FREE Parent Book Guide. You can also access free coloring pages by Jomike Tejido in the guide!
by Christina Newhard from Sari Sari Story Books
A lovely story about embracing your differences and standing up for who you are. It celebrates the power of friendship and play told through the eyes of a little girl names Kalipay and her friend Gamay, a vegetarian Tiktik or Manananggal.
2. Wear Filipino mythology-themed costumes
Get inspired and give your dress-up Filipino flavor by dressing up as a Filipino god, goddess, ghoul, or monster. Have fun sharing the stories with your kids and maybe even show off at the party with a costume that will surely spark some conversations. Check out some ideas here.
3. Observe All Saints Day & All Souls Day
Filipinos gather to celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day on the 1st and 2nd of November. The 2 days after Halloween. Families will visit their departed loved ones at the cemeteries. It is tradition to head there in the evenings and hold a vigil. Families will usually lay down mats by the tombstones, light candles, offer fresh flowers, and say a novena prayer.
Did you also do this?
[...] on Nov 1st, I remembered gathering candle wax drippings and forming it into a ball… by the end of the night all the kids will compare who has the most colorful or largest wax ball. - IG @cherubs_msmarie
I remember doing this when I was younger too but wasn't sure if it was an experience other people shared. So happy to be able to have these collective memories of what it was like growing up.
Maybe this could be a fun Halloween activity to do with the older kids? Let us know if you give it a try.
4. Serve up some Filipino candies as treats
This great idea came from our wonderful Campfire Crates community. Many thanks to Lyra at Read Filipino for the suggestion!
"How about some traditional Filipino candies like pastillas de leche (soft milk candy) or candied sampalok (sweet tamarind)?" - IG @readfilipino
Here's an easy kid-friendly Pastillas recipe from foxyfolksy.com.
Yum yum! BRB craving pastillas right now.
5. For the older kids - watch Shake Rattle & Roll (all 15 of them)
Dating back to 1984, this Filipino horror anthology film series that cover supernatural beings, superstition, urban legends, cults and demonic possessions. For me, these films were my introduction to the monsters of Filipino folklore.
Odd fact: most of the films debut during the Christmas season. Mostly due to the timing for Metro Manila Film Festival where only Filipino films are allowed to play in cinemas.
Another horror favorite is Tiyanak (1988) where a woman takes in an abandoned baby and discovers it is actually a Tiyanak (a vampire-like creature of Philippine mythology in the form of a baby or a toddler). It is also where the famous "OMG ang anak ni Janice" line comes from (ask your 80s titos and titas for reference).
Many thanks to our lovely campfire community kaibigan @cherubs_msmarie for the inspiration for this, and for suggesting the costume of an undin (must google and warning: NSFT not safe for toddlers).
Funny costume idea : “undin” google it 😂 bonus point if you can get a toilet seat around your neck. - IG @cherubs_msmarie
Many thanks to the talented Christina Newhard, author of Kalipay and the Tiniest Tikitik from @sarisaristorybooks for coming up with this great Filipino halloween phrase
Happy Halloween Everyone! Ma-BOO-hayyyy!
Hope you enjoyed our ideas. Do you have some of your own? Tell us in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.