The name “Halloween” comes from “All Hallows’ Eve,” the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day (All Saints’ Day) on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. Remembrance and celebration of the saints and martyrs were held primarily in springtime. It was held on May 13th in the 4th century.
In the 9th century the Church shifted the date of All Saints’ Day to November 1 and November 2 later became All Souls’ Day. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter. Over time, Samhain and All Saints’/All Souls’ Days influenced each other into the modern Halloween.
Halloween, with its current traditions, did not really become popular in the US until the late 19th century. “Trick-or-treating” did not become a widespread practice until the 1930s. Dressing up in costumes was prevalent in Scotland and Ireland at Halloween by the late 19th century.
One author suggested that by dressing up as creatures “who caused us to fear and tremble,” people can poke fun at Satan. In 2021, according to Google, the most popular costumes are witch, rabbit, dinosaur, and Spiderman. Some of the least popular are fairy godmother, zebra, Fred Flintstone, and Spider-girl.
But what do people fear more than clowns and vampires? Corruption: the dishonest or fraudulent conduct undertaken by a person or an organization entrusted with a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits for one’s personal gain.
Everyone is afraid of something from alektorophobia, the fear of chickens, to zeusophobia, the fear of gods. However, repeatedly, corruption ranks at the top with “very afraid” or “afraid.” In 2015, 58 percent of Americans ranked “Corruption of government officials” as their “Top Fear” followed by Cyber-Terrorism with 48 percent.
Two years later in 2017, “Corruption of government officials” was still No. 1, followed by “Pollution of Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers.” But the No. 1 fear was now felt by 74 percent. There were no changes in the “Fear Index” in 2018. But this year, 2021, and even with the pandemic, “People I love dying” ranks second at 58 percent and “Corruption of government officials” now comes in at 80 percent.
The World Economic Forum estimates the global cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion, or 5 percent of the global gross domestic product.
If the Philippines carries that global average, that means P900 billion is lost every year to corruption or P8,000 for each Filipino. “Candidate vows to catch “big fish” in fight vs corruption, including Cabinet members.” “To Corrupt Officials; You will be out.” “Not corrupt? Show us your SALN.”
The reality is that the problem of corruption is not necessarily at the higher level. Perhaps the candidates should read the GAN Integrity Inc. “Risk and Compliance Portal.” “Corruption risks are high in the judicial system. Bribes and irregular payments in return for favorable judicial decisions are common. Companies report that they cannot rely on the police services. Businesses rate the National Police’s commitment to fighting corruption as ‘poor.’”
Further, “Corruption risks in the land administration are high. Two out of five companies report expecting to give gifts when obtaining a construction permit. Businesses have insufficient confidence in the protection of property rights. Companies operating in the natural resources sector face a high risk of corruption.”
If local and foreign businesses cannot trust first the courts and cops, all the public disclosure of SALNs is not going to make a difference. And neither will changes in the foreign investment laws and rules.