Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pavia’s TIGKARALAG Festival: A Time of Celebration and Superstition

Halloween in the Philippines is celebrated with a variety of somber, spooky and fun traditions. The observance is much more popular in rural areas as local beliefs and customs mesh, creating a distinctly Filipino version of Halloween.

It has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. People would share stories of the dead, witchcraft, tell each other's fortunes and mischief-making of all kinds. Ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too.

Halloween is traditionally the time when common superstitions, folklore, myths and omens carry more weight to those who believe. Bad fallacies far outweigh the good, especially around Halloween when myths run rampant. When it comes right down to it, many people still believe that omens can predict our destiny and misfortune such as avoiding to cross paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck or avoiding to break mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt. And as they say, those who follow Halloween superstitions can ward off evil spirits and improve their luck, and they may even gain special abilities or uncover mysteries that pertain to their destinies.

Over time, the celebration of Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child and adult-friendly activities. While relatives tidy the gravesites of their departed family members by snipping weeds, making repairs, and painting the grave decorated with flowers, or wreaths and candles, Halloween parties became popular activities and has been the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties are focused on games, foods and of course, "frightening" and "grotesque" costumes.

It is almost that time again, another Halloween is quickly approaching leaving many searching for ways to get in the spirit of Halloween and make it a fun and memorable event.

The celebration of Halloween in Pavia, Iloilo is not to be missed. Pavianhons are getting ready for a night of trick-or-treating as they celebrate their annual Inter-Barangay Halloween Dance Drama competition through TIGKARALAG Festival, the only one of its kind in the entire province on October 30, 7 p.m. at the municipal plaza.

Tigkaralag from the Hiligaynon root word “kalag” meaning soul is Pavia’s way of celebrating All Soul’s Day. Now on its 20th year, 18 contesting barangays in scary masks and costumes will amuse its visitors with their horror stories and creepy tales interpreted through dance amidst a very large crowd on a chilly evening.

Conceptualized in 1991 by former 2nd District Provincial Board Member, Hon. Cecilia H. Capadosa, Tigkaralag Festival in Pavia has grown to become the most-anticipated Halloween event in this side of Iloilo. With coordinated Halloween characters, costumes, make-up and decorations imaginable. And if you thought the event is just about costumes, think again. Tigkaralag just might surprise you.

Tigkaralag will open at the Pavia public plaza with a Foot Parade of contesting barangays carrying torches and marching towards the area at 6:30 p.m. to be followed by the contest proper where individual, group, Best Arch, Most Horrible and the Most Amusing awards will be given.

Pavia is looking forward to carry on this local tradition. And if you have not witness this event, we hope that you will try and take time out to see this wonderful celebration that the town offers, make life more fun during Halloween. Because isn't that what life is all about?

A prosperous town of dynamic people headed by their ever-supportive municipal mayor, Hon. Arcadio H. Gorriceta, Pavia has come a long way to being the regions’ Agro-Industrial center. Quietly situated north of Iloilo City, this 2,703-hectare town with 18 villages is just 9.6 kilometers or a 30-minute jeepney ride away from the main urban district.

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