Big Halloween bash for the I. Norte folks

LAOAG CITY, Oct 16 — Activities are set for the 2012 Ghost Festival in Ilocos Norte from October 24 to November 3, as the provincial government treats Ilocanos and tourists with an unforgettable Halloween bash for the feast of the dead.

Dubbed “Semana ti Ar-Aria,” the event is a week-long festival jam-packed with activities especially organized to highlight the distinct traditions, customs and superstitions of Ilocanos in remembering their departed loved ones.

(At the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol, Gov. Imee Marcos, brainchild of the events, walked amazed while visiting every office room decorated with horror-packed presentation. Real empty coffin is displayed at the Sanggunian Panglalawigan office. Moving friendly zombie figures may scare visitors at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office. The General Services Office virtually turns its room into a make-believed graveyard. Improvised markers (Lapida) of provincial figures who already passed away are a head turner at the GSO. Other offices show other gimmicks that frighten and curl the hair.—Editor).

Different local government units (LGU) in Ilocos Norte, students from high schools, state colleges and universities are expected to participate in the “biggest Halloween bash” of 2012.

“The ‘Semana ti Ar-Aria’ is also organized to pay reverence to the horror genre through artistic ghost disguise pageantries and other Halloween treats, which will keep both the Ilocanos and the visitors zombiefied,” the provincial government said in a post at their official Facebook page.

Set of events that awaits Ilocanos and tourists are: Johnny Moon Acting Workshop, which will be carried-out in the La Tabacalera, Laoag City, October 24 to 26; Horror Film Viewing featuring classic horror movies and independent films to be viewed simultaneously for free in towns of Paoay, San Nicolas, Baccarra and Batac City, October 24 to 27; Grand Masquerade Halloween Party at the Plaza del Norte in Paoay, October 25; Bakeries and Restaurants Association of Ilocos Norte (Brain) Concert at the Aurora Park, Laoag City, October 27; Food Strip and Tienda ti Ar-Aria at Llanes Street, Laoag City, October 27 and 31; Lantern-Making Contest, October 28; Kid’s Trick or Treat, Bone Hunting, Short Horror Film Competition Awards Night at the Capitol Grounds and Zombie Race at Rizal Street, Laoag City, October 29; Halloween Nail Art Session, Mustache Monstrosity Contest, Exhibit of Lantern-Making Contest to be carried-out at the La Tabacalera, October 30; Parada Iloca-locana in Laoag City downtown and Black Party at the University-Belt in Laoag City, October 31.

The “Parada Iloca-Ilocana” is a ghost parade to be participated in by the different LGUs and Ilocanos with their scariest Halloween or ghost costume.

On All Saint’s day, November 1, the provincial government invites tourists to have a glimpse of the “Tumba Festival” in Paoay Ilocos Norte, a Halloween cultural tradition in the town of Paoay where the villagers set up their own altar with the images of saints and food that is intended for the spirits.

Finally, to culminate the event, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte also prepares for a scariest photo contest, face painting and a henna tattoo at the La Tabacalera in Laoag City on November 3. (ANL/CJG-PIA1 Ilocos Norte)