Boo is beautiful


Tomorrow starts the weekend encompassing All Hallows’ Eve, All Hallows, and All Souls’ Day, aka Allhallowtide, Hallowtide, Allsaintstide, or the Hallowmass season. Halloween tomorrow is a self-inflicted scaring of the shit out of our souls that nuclear winter used to do but has since been replaced by global climate change with just a bit of doomsday fright.

Cuss words in English refer to body parts mostly to that part below the belt that gives so much pleasure. The puritans and pilgrims of old were horrified at the excitement they derived in the exercise thereof, giving it derisive meaniHng. Sexual was morally taboo. We use the lower case to indicate that we refer to the early new Americans as a metaphor rather than as a specific group of people.

The looseness of our tongue flowing into the fluidity of pencil reveals a relationship of the day to ghosts and goblins, inhabitants of the world of the imagination more than my parking lot where fenders get scraped and scratched.

My neighbor, more than a month before Halloween, had the flying broom and ghastly creatures of the moonless night grace her portals. Ghastly specks and Jack-o-lanterns pasted on her door got blown to my side of the walkway, signaling expectation of the kids to come “trick or treating” on the hallowed evening.

The weekend is actually a tridium of religious observances that evolved through Rome’s blessings. There was the Celtic tradition of illusory flyers in the night. In its wisdom to accent local celebration, it supplanted traditional meanings with the slant that it wanted as it usually does when it takes over holidays. Thanksgiving (the harvest festival) and Christmas (the winter solstice) are examples, but let’s focus on the tridium.

Demons are the scare of Hallowed evening (thus, Hallowe’en, duh!), followed by holy darlings of all Hallows (All Saints Day), and to be ecumenical, the third day includes all of the departed in All Souls’ Day.

For now, we are into Halloween, promoted by the Chamber of Commerce for the sales it engenders. Of course, generators are the hum of the times in Saipan but still, Halloween sales are on by hook at every nook all the way in three days onward to T- Day dinner and bouts under the mistletoes.

Korea incorporated ancestral memory in its Chuseok festival held earlier, separate from China’s Ching Ming, the latter exclusively for folks to tidy out the tombstones of those who “went ahead”. Late October into November is the Christian’s turn to move its rituals in the direction of the gravestones, with ghosts to “scare” us to obligations, venerate the memory of the exemplary ones we call “saints”, then affirm all souls who wandered off.
We light candles, nibble on nuts and munchies, and imbibe on favored wine and brew all night at the CK cemetery, some bringing mahjong tiles while others decks of cards. Who said medieval mind did not have any sense of fun at all?

Halloween is when we spook everyone. What is it about being witless that makes us be human? It must be the uncertainty and wonder that overwhelms us in the scheme of existence; inhabiting the area between emotion and cognition that entails “belief.” The specter of death waits at the terminus and we are scared stiff, leaving us fearful of the unknown.

Thus, the tendency to bring in someone to get us out of any predicament we get into, a Redeemer and/or a Savior, an Avatar and/or an Exemplar, or a Rambo. We lean on dread rather than wonder, the fear of fate. We long for drama. Look at all the TV tearjerkers (Korean, Filipino, and Chinese), akin to the Days of our Lives as the World Turns.
Fairies and leprechauns are messy though being of “spirit” is often just Merlin the Magician’s hocus-pocus that promises illusion of a world outside of this one.

I live in a world in the midst of this world, a veritable choice and a meaningful one. Earthrise consciousness permeated the globe since Apollo 8 sent back pictures of the blue orb from the lunar horizon in ‘68, a conviction of the interrelatedness of the whole planet, with its consequent reality of Earthbound commitment, a citizen not a bystander, a critical part of billions of humans inhabiting the Earth.

This mysterious consciousness is my Hallowe’en. My being is active (not passive) totally (not just piece meal) and corporately (a hard one as we tend to ignore others and set our own pace) in meditation, contemplation and prayer. I openly declare truth rather than be party to secrets; I create with others ex nihilo, out of nothing, beyond innovation of what already is. I do not do so from a distance but from being present in the middle of it all. My integrity lies in caring for the planet and its humanity with nothing but sheer effulgence!

We are scared by the immensity of possibilities, and that’s probably why Halloween is part of a tridium that sets apart hallowed saints and all the souls. But “scared” and “sacred” differ only in letter placement. Not scared; life is sacred. Boo!

Jaime R. Vergara | Special to the Saipan Tribune
Jaime Vergara previously taught at SVES in the CNMI. A peripatetic pedagogue, he last taught in China but makes Honolulu, Shenyang, and Saipan home. He can be reached at

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