Growing up in the Philippines, I never experienced the fun and hassle of clan reunions and feasts in cemeteries on All Saints Day because our dead relatives were all buried in Cebu while we lived in Quezon City. Thus my take of Todos los Santos was more geared towards the supernatural: the onset of darkness on October 31 and November 1 were white-knuckle times, when I would keep the light on all night to ward off the ghosts and goblins, the aswang and the maligno that were roaming the earth. Of course, I never really encountered anything remotely paranormal, but I'm one of the millions who-- if psychological studies are to be taken seriously -- actually take pleasure in being scared, for whatever escape or expiation it may relieve my psyche from.
In keeping with the spirit of Halloween, we hope you enjoy three stories of the supernatural contributed by our writer-friends: Elizabeth Ann Quirino writes about "The Old Lady and the Balete Tree," first-time contributor Kathleen Joaquin Burkhalter tells us the story of her childhood encounters of a different kind in "Supernatural Memories of a Tropical Childhood," and Pete Sandoval relates a childhood story, "How My Cousin Jimmy Became a Butterfly."
Back to the real world, another first-time contributor Carolina Esguerra Colborn introduces us to an RV (recreational vehicle) lifestyle in "Cruising to An American Dream," a treat for seniors considering options for their retirement years.
To cap our Filipino American History Month celebration, we go back in time with Helen Ragsac Sanchez's story of her brief appearance in a 1943 documentary called "Filipino Sports Parade" when she was 15 years old, as well as introduce to you the current roster of "Fil-Am Media Makers To Watch." It has been a long, storied journey to the American mainstream but we can proudly proclaim that Filipinos are not [just] in the farmlands anymore.
For those who belong to the over-50 set, please click on the AARP button below and take advantage of the benefits that the organization offers. Our Partner post this week: "Filipino Americans Struggle with Caring for Aging Loved Ones."
And our Video of the Week transports us to Hong Kong: "The Evolution of Hong Kong's Maids"
A meaningful Todos los Santos to everyone.