Bulacan towns stage anti-Halloween parades
STA. MARIA, BULACAN—Ghouls, monsters and assorted creatures of the night are the usual stuff of Halloween, but in this town and in neighboring Bulakan and Pulilan, children dressed up as saints to join Thursday’s parade and bring to life the true meaning of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Some 50 children garbed in veils, soutane or cassocks walked sedately through Barangay Bagbaguin road for this year’s “March of Saints.”
All Hallows’ Eve
St. Martin de Porres was represented, and so was San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, who looked very contemporary in a “camisa de chino” (a collarless shirt).
The girls looked angelic in similar saintly outfits.
“Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve is the night dedicated to all that is holy,” said Msgr. Andy Valera, parish priest of Baliwag, in his regular social media program, “Itanong mo Kung Bakit.”
How we celebrate
The Catholic church, Valera said, is not against Halloween nor those who enjoy the occasion.
“What the church objects to is how we celebrate Halloween,” said Valera, who also serves as the liturgy and faith director of the diocese.
“We pray for the dead and all who are holy, and not the ghosts, mythical monsters, or the devil,” he added.
The March of Saints was organized in 2009 by Fr. Nick Lalog of the Saint John de Apostle and Evangelist Parish Church of Bagbaguin to remind Catholics that it’s not right for children to dress up as evil creatures or to play trick-or-treat during Halloween, a Western tradition.
“Instead of using decapitated heads and bloody torsos to remind us of death as something to be feared on All Souls’ Day, we should view death ‘as a glorious occurrence for the human being,’” Valera said, quoting St. Peter the Apostle.
“Death allows the soul to join God and have everlasting life,” he said. “God is more powerful and gave his grace to the saints. Let us honor the saints whom children should emulate, and not the aswang (ghouls),” he added.
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