Halloween is a funny way to celebrate your fears.
When October 31st settles in, everyone has the right to be scared. Scared of ghosts, scared of large creepy crawling spiders, scared of those who play dress up during the season, or whatever and that’s perfectly fine because technically this is the date that we rejoice the freaks.
But for the past months, what scares me the most is the applause for the bravery of others to kill a soul.
Reports say that over 3,800 people faced death due to President Duterte’s war on drugs and there have been 2,000 killings for unknown reasons under this administration.
The irony of it – there are people who belittle the numbers and think that at least something is being done. That madness is the answer to the chaos. That words like “Kasalanan naman niya iyan,” can comfort the families. When a teenager was accused of being a drug dealer and was killed right on the spot we just say that he should have stayed at home to avoid his unfortunate fate.
We celebrate the fact that the Duterte administration draws us nearer and nearer every day to hell, while others are still in search of mercy. We celebrate the fact that just to eliminate evil, we do evil.
You see, I am not against parties, trick or treats, and horror movies the way you are not against bloodbath and guns. It has been a debate online that Tatay Digs is only doing what he promised us. But didn’t he promise us a lot more than just seizing the drug addicts? I believe he also swore to eliminate the transportation problem, corruption, poverty, and give us the best: the freedom to live without fearing the government. It seems that we are prisoners than freemen.
It sucks. It sucks to live in this world that feels like a thriller film that doesn’t have an ending. Countless times I’ve imagined myself walking on the streets with a ghost behind my back following me, stopping only to see if anyone is around. And it doesn’t disappear even when I run.
This country, for once, has turned into a haunted nation and somehow we approved of it.
We approved of it that a time will come that costume parties will be vigils to pray for those shot dead. We approved of it that a time will come that instead of filling our baskets with candies, we fill it with bodies to dump somewhere else. We approved of it and let that sink in.
Halloween is a funny way to celebrate your fears. Only, I am not up for celebrating. But I will never lose hope that when you witness a killing or heard of it from news agencies, you will stop, think about the comments you will share to the world, and realize how your support to the bad side will not create a better place.
I won’t lose hope that in this time when we remember our loved ones and pray for them, we won’t also forget the 3,000 men and women who we killed not only by our choices but by our words.
Maybe, when it is finally happening, I could celebrate these fears for we have overcome them.
Illustration by Madel Crudo