LAOAG CITY (PIA) – On its ninth year of installment, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte continued to promote longtime Ilokano traditions of remembering the dead through the annual conduct of Halloween bash.
This year’s celebration highlighted Ilokano mythology and folklores such as “Lam-ang”, “Ibong Adarna”, “Amihan (White Bird)”, “Saguday (Wind)”, and others. Popular local fantasy characters like “Bagani”, “Darna”, “Krystala”, and “Mulawin” were also showcased.
From Oct. 26 until Nov. 9, the provincial government opens an “Ar-aria Night Market” at the western part of the Provincial Capitol building which is an open area for public viewing of entries of the “Ar-aria Film Festival” and live performances of local buskers.
The Halloween fest was another way of promoting healthy lifestyle and exercise as “Taray Ar-aria (Zombie Fun Run)” was staged wherein runners went through obstacle courses while trying to escape from horrifying gang of zombies.
The “Parada Iloka-Ilokana (Ghost Parade)” was the main highlight of the Halloween bash as this featured street dancing activity in Laoag City.
Moreover, kids were welcomed in joining the spooky bash as a “Capitol Halloween Trick-or-Treat” were held on Oct. 31 for some 3,000 children and parents wearing creative costumes. Participants were treated with mystifying surprises when entered the provincial capitol.
“It’s always nice to know that our local government units and private sectors are organizing and pushing for events in addition to what the Capitol is doing. So, it’s good to see that they are interested,” Xavier Ruiz, tourism operations officer of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office said.
Other annual event was the “Tumba Festival” in Paoay which is one of the oldest Ilokano traditions. Residents continue the tradition by preparing an exhibit that features food made out of glutinous rice and traditional songs and prayers offered to the departed loved ones.
“We are pushing this celebration as an option and attraction for our tourists because technically, this is the start of peak season in Ilocos Norte, heading towards Christmas Holidays until the fiesta season in February. So, it will be nice to have activities like this for added attractions for tourists,” Ruiz ended. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA Ilocos Norte)