LAOAG, Ilocos Norte: The unique tradition of remembering the dead during the Halloween season in this Northern Luzon province is a weeklong series of “strange and frightening” activities for the young and old.
The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte has organized the events every year since 2010.
For this year’s 5th Halloween season, the “Semana ti Ar-Aria Festival [Ghost week Festival]” started on Saturday with the opening of the “Ar-aria Food Strip” along Llanes Street beside Ilocos Norte’s Dap-Ayan or food court.
Rey Arcangel, coordinator for the “Ar-aria Short Horror Film Festival,” said Ilocanos and visitors will also be treated to scary films.
He said the film festival is set to showcase the creativity of the Ilocano youth, which started on Tuesday at La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center in Laoag City.
“We’ve been doing this for four years now and it is truly a great way to bring the creative community of the province together,” Arcangel said.
The highlight of the Halloween fest is the “Parada Iloca-locana” [Ghost Parade] on Saturday, October 31.
“We are also expecting award-winning actress and country’s horror queen Lilia Cuntapay, who hails from the town of Badoc and who has become the icon of the province’s horror fest, to headline the said activity,” Arcangel said.
Another highlight of the Halloween fest called “Taray Ar-Aria” [Zombie Night Run] will be held on October 29.
“This [Zombie Night Run] will be bringing Ilocanos on their feet as participants escape a relentless horde of zombies while crossing horrifying courses and obstacles,” Arcangel said.
The other activities include the Capitol’s Trick or Treat, the Tumba Festival of Paoay, the Paoay House of Horror experience, the “Bigote Contest” showing the most attractive and creative facial hair of Ilocanos across the province similar to that of local hero, the renowned painter Juan Luna.