By Jullie Y. Daza
Hello, Halloween, meet Christmas!
What fun, to be in the springtime climate of Baguio – no sun, no typhoon, the temperature a balmy 13 to 19C – and witness children costumed for All Saints and All Souls with their elders indulging their spirit of holiday. What a thrill to dress up to look like ghosts and goblins while all around, the vibe was merrily and already that of Christmas – the coolish weather, the obligatory lights, shopping for presents, the anticipation of that most wonderful time of year just as Nov. 1-2 was surely but slowly dying away.
Baguio Country Club was made up (or down?) to spook the most evil of spirits with a house of horrors, actually a function room stripped to look like a cemetery, including a real coffin with a real body in it (that body alive and 20-something years old, you can imagine the rest). Children in their ghastly-grungy costumes took part in a contest for the most boo!tiful costumes. Witches with long hooked noses and Jack-o’-lanterns with their black crooked teeth hid in every nook and cranny of the hotel. It may have been make-believe for the kids, but it was the real thing for the ladies of Soroptimist International, who wore formal gowns inspired by the national dress of various countries, to celebrate United Nations Day at BCC’s Cordillera Convention Center.
A hop away at Camp John Hay, Christmas was in full swing, lights blazing to welcome arrivals, diners in the garden, young and younger, seniors and juniors basking in the glow of an evening designed for selfies. Not to be outdone, John Hay Manor’s neighbor, BCC’s Christmas Village, was festooned in lights synchronized with music and artificial snow – a trick of the imagination or a wintry treat sans winter?
Did the creepy playfulness of Halloween replace the RIP prayerfulness of All Saints Day because it has been delisted by Rome as a holy day of obligation? (The feasts of the Virgin Mary have likewise been drastically reduced, leaving only the Immaculate Conception for Catholics to observe by going to mass.) Bless the youngsters and other innocents who were too busy playing their ghost games to hear the news that a world away, in New York City, a terrorist had killed eight people, including two children, by running over bikers with his truck and then slamming it against a schoolbus.
As our elders taught us, don’t be afraid of ghosts, it’s people you should be scared of.