Every year, the Philippines celebrates Halloween or Undas by visiting departed loved ones, having family reunions after, and attending various activities inspired by the Western world. With COVID-19 looming, the Philippines’ centuries-old Halloween tradition has to adapt.
Don’t lose heart. There are still ways to commemorate your deceased beloved without breaking social distancing or compromising your safety. Here are some activities you can do this Undas 2020 long weekend.
Schedule Your Visit to the Cemetery
Traditionally, Halloween in the Philippines centers on cemetery visits that double as family reunions and camp-outs. But with the government issuing a nationwide closure of cemeteries and crematoriums from October 29 up to November 4 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is not wise to have gatherings in a cemetery, whether public or private.
Visit your deceased loved ones earlier to avoid the crowd catching up to fulfill their Undas 2020 tradition days before cemeteries close down. Take note of your city or town’s regulations regarding visitations to avoid inconveniences. If you want to avoid crowds, take a trip to the cemetery or columbary a day or two after the final day of the closure. The bottom line is to remember your departed loved ones, even if it isn’t specifically All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.
Have a Small Gathering at Home
Schedule a small outdoor gathering at home instead of eating outside. Do this after visiting your deceased loved ones to avoid the influx of people going in and out of the cemeteries. While many areas in the Philippines are under GCQ until the year ends, it is best to have small gatherings instead of grand family reunions. The risk of getting infected with the coronavirus is higher in massive crowds. Likewise, mass gatherings are still banned, so it is best to limit celebrations for now.
Have a Movie Marathon
Movie marathons are a great way to spend the long weekend with family, friends, and even with yourself. Choose from the hundreds of horror, psychological suspense, and murder-mystery films fitting for the occasion. If you want films suitable for the Halloween spirit but don’t want to be frightened to sleep at night, go for films such as the Harry Potter series, The Addams Family, Hotel Transylvania, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Bewitched, and any movie by the legendary Tim Burton.
Watching these films may give you flashbacks of your childhood and delight your family while you stay safe and comfortable at home.
Enroll in Online Art Classes
Jumpstart your creative juices by delving into online art classes. These lessons range from florals, illustrations, inking, and digital art to drawing the human face and figure. They are available on various online platforms such as Domestika, Udemy, and Skillshare. YouTube also offers a wide array of art tutorials ranging from beginner to advanced skill levels for free.
Online art classes are also perfect for keeping your kids productive and active during the long weekend. Your kids’ painting and drawing classes will let them explore their creativity and keep them from spending too much time on their gadgets. Take advantage of these online art lessons to bond with your kids.
Decorate Your Home
Check DIY Halloween home decoration tutorials to spruce up your home for the spooky season. Create pumpkin decor from papier-mache and paint to recreate most Western homes’ fall, “harvesty” look. Upcycle toilet cardboard rolls and newspapers to create a haunted mansion or castle; double it as a dollhouse to save money and the environment. Use cellophane to create glow-in-the-dark window decorations with the shape of ghosts, bats, pumpkins, witches, skulls, and tombstones.
Make your small gatherings spookier with these chillingly yummy Halloween recipes. Turn cupcakes and cookies into chocolate bats and spiders. Make a fruity punch with a bloody color and garnish it with eyeball candies, shrunken apple heads, gummy worms, vampire teeth, and ice sculptures of hands. Bake a cake and make it a miniature graveyard for a more gothic and Undas feel. These desserts will make the gloomy and supposedly dark holiday a little bit sweeter and jollier.
Take a Quick Trip to the Mall
The COVID-19 pandemic may have crippled many businesses, but the Philippines’ mall culture continues to thrive, albeit a little bit slower and less crowded. Shopping malls, such as SM North EDSA, offer you and your kids many activities starting October 21 up to November 2. Enjoy virtual shows, food tripping, and mad scientist experiments showcased at different stations. Check this brochure for more information on the activities and partnered restaurants and shops offering deals for this event.
Ayala Malls Alabang Town Center and UP Town Center also have different activities for adults and children starting October 20 to 31 and resuming on November 16 to 22. This link shows you their adjusted mall hours. The Megaworld Lifestyle Malls also changed their mall hours to accommodate those who want to take a step outside of their homes this weekend.
The pandemic may have changed a lot about Filipino traditions, but that shouldn’t stop you from remembering your dear beloveds who have passed on to the afterlife. There are still many ways you can celebrate Halloween without compromising your safety and health and without going against your town’s restrictions.