**Feel free to troll, Poni’s trolls and make fun of me ??
I grew up in a middle-class family in the Philippines. At least, in our family we lived a middle-class lifestyle. Meaning, we live comfortably without excess and luxury (no excessive money allowances, no personal cars, no branded shit etc.). My parents prioritized our studies, food, and basic daily needs. We are lucky enough not pay monthly rent because my father is smart enough and practical enough to buy a house and a lot. They have always instilled in us not to live beyond our means, which I strongly apply in my life. I don’t really care if other people think we are poor or we don’t have a good life just because we don’t post pictures on social media of every single thing we shop for or taking pictures of our properties. We have an ok life (it could always be better but there’s this thing called contentment :D)
If some aspects of our culture were not heavily influenced by other countries, I think Halloween is something that the Philippines will not be celebrating.
As a child, I didn’t have a concept of rich and poor. I have a concept of poor and good hygiene, though. 😀 I was around 5-6 years old when all these happened. I have a lot of vivid childhood memories. I credit this to having a happy childhood. I know, Poni is amazed on how vivid my memories are from childhood whenever I tell I him about them.
In the Philippines, we live near a US base, Clark Air Base. So we know a couple of Americans, (from my father’s connections of course). I remember this American family that we used to be friends with. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep in touch. But I remember they brought us to Baskin Robbins in their caramel colored Chevy van that Poni would love to have if ever. And they gave me some children’s books. And they have a couple of adopted kids (also Americans). Anyhow, they’re the ones who gave me an idea what Halloween is.
There’s a gated village in the Philippines where the residents are 80% Americans (don’t shoot me if my rough approximation is not 100% accurate). 😀 It’s called Carmenville, which is a 15-20-minute drive from our house (without traffic). Some of my father’s best-est friends live there. We went trick or treating there once. And me being a child savage didn’t have a costume. My sister did had a costume. This is not the Halloween worth remembering that I am referring to in this blog post.
When I was 5-6 years old, (he was working there longer before that) my father works in a meat/cow plant turned meat processing company of some sort as a manager. My father has a background in agriculture. And the person he worked for comes from a very prominent family in our city perhaps also in our region. One of his boss’s brothers is one of my father’s closest friends from childhood up till now. They’re a real big, affluent family, even influential I think. But they are really nice at least the ones I personally know. I know my father’s best friends since I was a child and they’re really good people.
Halloween day…I think my father got invited by his boss to go to their Halloween party. They lived in a big house that has hills for a gate, landscaped, really nice. This left a long-lasting impression to me as a child. They lived in that gated village I was talking about. I think during that time if you don’t have a car you will not be able to get there. It’s exclusive! 😀
I remember, my sister who is 5 years older than me and my guy cousin who is also 5 years older than me went with my father to that Halloween party. I was wearing house clothes and flip-flops. In the Philippines, we have this term “pambale” (clothes you just wear inside the house). My cousin and my sister too were wearing the same thing. I was bringing this cardboard mask with rubber bands to hold it on your ears. And then as soon as we arrive at the party I felt so poor. I didn’t have the concept. But that was the feeling I had. I felt so small and poor. I saw someone dressed as a cow with udders! Everyone was in full-effort costumes. And me, there I was, small, in my house clothes and my cardboard mask on my sweating hands. I just wanted to go home. I remember we were friends with some of their nieces when we were kids. But some of them are really nice and entertained us and I forgot about feeling poor or anything like that. I remember I saw someone dressed as an astronaut. They had some good costumes and it was really a big party. I remember on our way home I felt happy. I had candy of course. But I was thinking why my parents didn’t buy me a costume or why we went there in our “house clothes”. Well, my father is properly dressed and my cousin is wearing some leather loafers with his “house clothes”, so he’s good. 😀
Here are some examples of “house clothes” in the Philippines:
From that time on, I now have a concept of rich families, middle-class families, poor families. The reason why we are wearing “house clothes” is because my mom was left behind with my brother. Because my brother is too young to come with us and my mom most likely needed to catch up with some house chores. So she really didn’t have time to deal with us and assumed that my father dealt with dressing us up and all that. I didn’t have a costume because it is not practical. It’ll be something I will wear once and will not wear again and expenses like that are not a priority in our family.
I recently told my mom about this childhood memory. And we were laughing about it. Halloween is something I am not really interested in since it’s not really part of our culture. The American-ized part of our culture, definitely. But Filipino culture no way.
Fast forward to when I moved to Germany. My first year here, Halloween is not that commercialized. We didn’t have any trick or treaters. 2nd year we had some. I make sure that I buy fun-sized Gummy Bears to give away. There was even a year that I have to give away some of our personal stash because there were just too many trick or treaters. When we moved to a different city 2 years ago, we didn’t have any trick or treaters. So I don’t bother preparing anymore. Well, this year it’s different. Halloween is very commercialized here this year. And we had one trick or treater.
3 days ago was Halloween. Poni visited his family so I was home alone. And I admit I enjoy this alone time. Poni is my husband and my oldest child at the same time. 😀 He can be a handful but that being said, he is a great provider and he takes care of me and goes out of his way to make sure I am ok and happy. 🙂 All in all, he’s a very good person so don’t cross him, because you don’t want to see me go on Mama Bear Mode, Level to the roof!
Being 32, I’m slightly feeling “old”. I have some lower back pains that have been bothering me for days. So I decided to take a hot bath thinking that it will be good for my lower back pains. After my bath, I wore my trusty oversized white Hanes shirt, my cozy fleece robe and just wrapped my wet hair with a towel and comfortably sat on my couch and started watching some Lizzie McGuire episodes on YouTube. As you all know by now, I am streaming. My Twitch friends and I have talked about Lizzie McGuire and That’s So Raven. So I decided to watch some episodes since there’s NO WAY Poni will be tolerating these shows. 😀
Someone rang our doorbell. I got worried, scared and was quite skeptical. The doorbell was rang from inside the building. Outside and inside the building doorbell, sounds are different. So I have to admit that I got a little scared. I assumed that something went wrong with Poni’s trip and he came back early and is trying to scare me. That’s why there was no hesitation for me to answer the door looking like the Queen of the Couch, I even mumbled “what a dumbo?” while opening the door. Because I was dead set that it was really Poni at the door. And I don’t know who has the more shocked face me or them. The young boy was even wearing a wig with his costume, and his parents are also in costume. And it’s not just a “let’s wear this” and call it a costume kind of costumes. Because they’re wearing make-up. They spent some time dressing up. The boy greeted me in a very enthusiastic tone “Süßes oder Saures” which is the trick or treat counterpart in German. And I have a stupid grin on my face trying so hard to hide the awkwardness that I feel. I was struggling to find the right German words to tell them I don’t have anything. It was pretty much a good 3 minutes trying to rack my brain. I said sorry, I didn’t have anything in German. And the parents were really understanding but the look on the boy’s face didn’t lie, he was sad and perhaps baffled with how I opened the door. I think the parents got it that I was “relaxing” with my get up.
After that, I felt really bad for not having anything to give to the boy. I was racking my brain and thought I could’ve given him a piece of soap or some money. By the way, Poni arrived before 11 p.m. I think and told him what happened. I told him, that I want to buy him something the next day. October 31st is a bank holiday here so everything is closed. We usually have a snack stash of some sort but we usually end up eating those “emergency” snack stash when it’s not an emergency.
The next morning I bought him a box of Toffifee and hung it on their door. A few hours after that our doorbell rang and it was him saying thank you with matching karate poses with his mom. His mom said that I should’ve not, that I didn’t needed to do something like that. But I was more than happy to do it. He was so happy and heard him say that he has a whole box of Toffifee. 😀 It was cute and it made me happy and made me miss my nephew more. ?
Lessons I’ve learned from this:
- to be prepared next year
- to be prepared if ever I’ll have a child in the future and make him/her a DIY Halloween costume
- and be always practical like my parents
- don’t always assume that Poni is always trolling me
These are just some Halloween memories I’ve had over the years. I actually made a Halloween-themed video on my YouTube channel and went crazy with the text effects in my video editing software.
That’s it see you on my next post! 🙂 ?