Ghosts of Undas past


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

Because pandemic protocol closes Campo- santos during Spanish-introduced Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day), TikTok video calls all dearly departed souls to visit the living.

Home for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are Abraham “Butch” Leotivo and fellow OFWs from Brunei.

Pre-Halloween TV special “Quarantine Hotel on #KMJSGabi ng Lagim,” is this Bicolano’s “Pistang Kalag” (feast of the souls) entertainment.

On Hallows Eve, Butch posts ghost OFW tales overheard during week-long mandatory isolation: Opening drawers, shaking beds, on-and-off light switches.

“Same here, kabayan. I wake up surprised, thinking someone is beside me. I want to scream: Flickering are lights on the ceiling, headboard, comfort room. I tell myself, maybe I did it myself. Scary. What can I do in Quarantine? Live with the noise. I put on my headset. The door boommmmmms! loudly. Hard on ears is the screeching of chair being pulled on floor. Aircon sounds like raindrops falling.

“The voice sounds like male’s. I carry holy water and holy icon. I pray for them and sleep well without a light. Never mind unseen but disturbingly noisy friends.” …Laughing emoticons follow.

OFWs stay free stay in Japanese harmony themed, government-provided quarantine hotel chain with a Geisha face and fan.

Candy-hunting children get treats or tricks in the new normal.
Pandemic Halloween kids wear weightlifter’s suit and hoist barbells to celebrate Hydilyn Diaz’s Olympic gold medal.

Front Man in black mask and black uniform joins Squid Game players in numbered green tracksuits whom masked guards in pink jumpsuits watch.

At 6:20pm, Oct 31, anniversary of her earthy arrival, Sara Elysia in or-ange jack-o-lantern dress and smashed pumpkin hat blows candle on purple cake carrying one giant and tiny orange pumpkins.

This day of her latest granddaughter’s birth, golden caped Mother Ima parties on wooden deck atop Begawan’s Salambigar Hill.

Candles flicker from inside brown paper bags around the abode with crawling spiders spinning silvery cobwebs and black bats on glass walls.
Ghostbuster call for monsters. Hunchbacked zombie in a black coat draws piercing screams.

Imagine a tikbalang half man, half horse prancing Gangnam style to that south of the river song, jumping, kicking, and riding Psy’s invisible horse.

Santana’s Black Magic Woman percussion, organ and piano give that “voodoo” feeling.

During that scary, scary night, beauties and ghosts masquerade in oil town Kuala Belait, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Black paper bats fly overhead. Cardboard skeletons rattle. Broom-riding crones wish everyone “Best Witches”.

1970s Syvels fashion designer Rudy Fuentes is Mr. 1993 Halloween.
Ms. Halloween is Cat Woman Gina Castro, Freego model from Pampanga.
A head h(a)unter is there amid rumors that blood is poured on foundation of burned houses in centuries-old Water Village on stilts.

Queen of the Birds Arnel Cartiguerra spends three weeks sewing feathers to win Most Fantastic Costume Award.

Begawan hairdresser Danny as Black Butterfly parades night’s weirdest costume.

Black garbage bags wins Best Halloween Costume for hairdresser Doods Banega.

Happy Covid19 Halloween!

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