Fifth ‘Semana ti Ar-Aria’ Halloween Fest to bring Ilocos Norte’s creative community together

Oct 20, 2015 ...

A series of strange and frightening events from October 23 to November 2
will take place in Ilocos Norte this Halloween season as ‘Semana ti
Ar-aria Festival’ comes back on its fifth year highlighting the
province’s unique tradition of remembering the dead.

Annually organized by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN)
since 2010, this year’s Halloween fest will kick-off on October 24
through the opening of the ‘Ar-aria Food Strip’ along Llanes St.
beside Ilocos Norte’s Dap-Ayan.

Ilocanos will also be treated to a scary film fare as the ‘Ar-aria
Short Horror Film Festival’ is once again set to showcase the
creativity of the Ilocano youth during its three-day free film-screening
beginning on October 26 at La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center in Laoag.

“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,” said
Rey Arcangel, coordinator for the film festival.

Drawing thousands of Ilocanos, the Parada Iloca-locana’ (Ghost Parade)
on October 31 becomes bigger as it highlights the weeklong Halloween
fest.

The said activity is expected to be headlined by the award-winning
actress and country’s horror queen Lilia Cuntapay who hails from
Badoc, Ilocos Norte and has become the icon of the province’s horror
fest.

Meanwhile, the ‘Taray Ar-Aria’ (Zombie Night Run) comes back on
October 29 and will be bringing Ilocanos on their feet as participants
escape a relentless horde of zombies while crossing horrifying courses
and obstacles.

The following day, October 29 will welcome hundreds of children on their
creative costumes at Provincial Capitol to be transformed into a haunted
place filled with freebies and surprises for the annual Capitol
Halloween’s Trick or Treat.

“For the past five years, the ‘Semana ti Ar-aria’ has become one
of the biggest events in the region that promotes our province’s
unique culture of commemorating the dead,” said Xavier Ruiz of the
Ilocos Norte Tourism Office.

Completing the ultimate Halloween experience, festival-goers are
encouraged to experience the distinct way Ilocanos honor the spirits of
the dead through the centuries-old cultural tradition highlighted at
Tumba Festival of Paoay on November 1 to 2.

A terrifying night also awaits everyone who is ready to have the best
Halloween experience through the Paoay House of Horror which will run on
the same dates.

Ruiz added that “the events of Semana ti Ar-Aria has always been tied
up with the birth anniversary of the great Ilocano Juan Luna.”

In honor of the first global Filipino artist Juan Luna, Ilocos Norte
will lead a celebration on October 24 at Paseo de Paoay.

The event will feature a ‘Bigote Contest’ showing the most
attractive and creative facial hair of Ilocanos across the province akin
to Juan Luna. In addition, the Johnny Moon Theater Festival, which
fosters the up-and-coming talents of the youth in the field of theater
arts and screenwriting, will also happen at Mariano Marcos State
University’s Teatro Ilocandia, Batac on October 27.

by John Michael Mugas



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