This is going to be controversial…

I hate Halloween.

There.  I said it.

Of all days of the year it’s my least favorite. In fact, the only costume I’ve had since I was 13 is my current costume.  The Halloween Grinch!

In the US it’s a day where we teach our kids to disguise themselves as something evil and dark, then go from house to house begging, and if the people don’t give you sugar for your begging you’re allowed to do something mean to them (“Trick or treat!”).

Then afterwards my kids and I have a battle about how much of the candy they “worked so hard for” that they get to keep. I say none. They say all. 

And one more thing…It’s not a “holiday” (schools don’t have it off…banks don’t have it off…)!

Ok…my rant over…on to the Philippines…

Halloween is on October 31.
All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are on November 1st and 2nd.

Here’s what Julia wrote:
Quick trivia. Did you know that the Philippines celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day around the same time Mexicans celebrate Dia de Los Muertos? And there are a lot of similarities to how we celebrate it. We both go to cemeteries. And we both offer food and drink to our loved ones. We also have altars. We don’t do the parades and costumes like Halloween. But in some places around the country, there would be parties in the cemeteries.  

The reason is because the tradition came from Mexico. Back when Spain colonized the Philippines, Mexico and the Philippines had strong trade relations through the Galleon Trade ( Our celebrations aren’t as elaborate as the Mexican Day of the Dead, but it’s still a beloved tradition nevertheless.

Typically, your OFS might ask to take November 1 and 2 off to celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day (we call it “Undas”) with their families at the cemetery. But since 2020, cemeteries have been closed during the week of Undas to discourage people from celebrating at the same time and avoid crowding the cemeteries. 

Even though a lot of places are slowly opening up for vaccinated people, most local governments have deemed it necessary to continue with the closure of cemeteries during that week. 

What does this mean for you and your OFS?

Even though most can’t go to the cemeteries, there’s a chance that your worker might still ask to take holiday leave. So if they open up the conversation, you’ll have to talk to them about it.

Because of the ongoing restrictions, some of your workers might opt to ask for leave before or after the first week of November. If they’re already vaccinated, and their city allows cemetery visits, they might want to go and continue with their traditions even if it’s not on the exact day.

Some might still ask to take a holiday leave on November 1 or 2. They might opt instead to celebrate at home and participate in online Mass or remembrance events.

Some might opt not to take their holiday leave at all. Even though local travel is now allowed, the quarantine requirements might discourage them from going.

Now that’s the kind of holiday I can get behind.  Gather with family. Celebrate your ancestors and those who have gone before to make you who you are.

It’s no wonder why Disney’s Coco is one of my favorite movies.


PS. there are a lot more cultural things I talk about in my book The Outsourcing Lever.  It’s free.