Halloween is the shortened term for All Hallows’ Evening (hallows refer to saints and gods). It is celebrated every 31st of October of each year to celebrate the night before All Saints’ Day. In olden times, Halloween incorporated traditions from pagan harvest festivals and festivals honoring the dead. In modern times, Halloween is celebrated through costume parties and trick-or-treating. For the adventurous ones, it is a season for ghost hunting and divination! And for our family, it is a commemoration to the memory of our late grandmother, Luz Bala Olandesca (who died on the 1st of November of the year 1985).
G-ma (Grandma) Luz was a Physical Education (PE) Supervisor in the Division of Ozamiz. She was such a brilliant teacher as they say for she could arouse interest to her students in every subject matter she taught. Too bad, I was only three years old when she passed away and the only memory I have of her was her sick days in bed and her burial.
However, her traits were genetically passed on to her offspring. Say for example, Auntie Bebot. They say that she possesses much of G-ma’s traitsfor she always initiates get-togethers and throws parties! Another one is my sister April Love. They say that she also inherits my G-ma’s leadership. She’s truly a leader for her classmates, friends, and colleagues always follow her and listen to her. And last, our little niece Ella Venice. She’s such a generous giver that’s also one of the wonderful traits of our G-ma. See? Three generations have a fraction of G-ma and thinking of this, I haven’t lost much of my G-ma’s touch anyway.
I guised as my G-ma
When we were kids, we always looked forward for Halloween because it meant cemetery hopping, making balls out from melted candles, eating plenty of foods, and playing Bingo, scrabble, and cards! All cousins were present and we always had a lot of fun! And every time my other aunt, Mommy Becky comes home, we had Halloween parties!
The first Halloween party I had was just held at our ancestral house. We decorated it like a haunted house (as its potential before. Hehe.) We made gravestones in the front yard and we lighted plenty of candles. I was a white lady then. The scariest part of that party was when my cousin Nonoy let a white dress float in air.We were all frightened thus he had the first prize of the show!
The second Halloween party was held at the Philippine Independent Church (PIC) Cemetery at Brgy. Lam-an. I missed this one for I was somewhere else at that time doing my studies. Our late Auntie Titit was the highlight of the show. I didn’t know exactly what her guise was but all I know is they all had a very memorable experience with this party. For the very first time, a party was held at the cemetery in Ozamiz until twilight and only the Balas could afford to do that!
The third Halloween party was held at Bethany Gardens. This time, we leveled up! It was three years ago and we already had digital cameras so I could now show you some pictures. It was great for we were not the kids anymore. Some of our cousins already have families of their own and their kids were now the highlights. Jingkong’s son was the most adorable Dracula of the show!
Cute Babies and Adults Trick-or-Treating
Faces Fully Painted
Disco Time w/ Cuzzes
And now, down to our latest Halloween party. It was held at Casa Esperanza. We booked it there for we anticipated plenty of guests to come. Unfortunately due to inevitable circumstances, only a few came. In spite of that, it was another night to remember! The party was all about “Bala’s Got Talent”. Everybody showcased their talents may it be dancing, singing, and posing for the cameras! We had such a joyous celebration that everybody had been taught how to dougie!
Nothing Beats the Bala’s Talents
For all time, Halloween means a reunion to us Balas. Like Christmas, it is the time of year wherein everybody comes home. The main reason is to visit our deceased loved ones of course. It is an act of tribute to them for without their strife, we could not enjoy the fruits of their labor that we are having now.Thus, we honor them through merry-making and most importantly, through loving each and everyone in the family!