Monday, October 24, 2016

Tigkaralag: Getting Into Pavia’s Bone-Rattling Halloween Spirit

photo by Joel Miles Molina

Pavia, Iloilo, is bringing you Iloilo’s biggest and scariest Halloween Festival---Tigkaralag or Pangagaluwa or Soul-ing.

Uniquely where it all began, the town started hosting the celebration 25 years ago to showcase the creativity and talents of the different participating groups coming from the town’s 18 barangays, as well as to prevent youngsters from getting into trouble. And it has grown almost every year since.

photo by Joel Miles Molina

There is a parade with a lot screams that starts at 5:30 p.m. If you like a good scare there is the spectacularly spooky Halloween costume and make-up competition. The highlight of the festival is certainly the annual dance-drama competition, pretty awesome for such a small town.

Costumed characters, like the Headless Priest, zombies, werewolves and ghosts bring this historically themed spot to life.

photo by Joel Miles Molina

Although the fear factor is always there in the minds of many especially kids because of the obvious association of cemeteries with the dead, Ilonggos do not celebrate Halloween as festive as other cities. There are no costumes, not so popular trick or treat, no holiday mood. In fact, by the 31st of October, the city starts to empty slowly, with fewer vehicles on the streets. 

photo b Joel Miles Molina

As early as the 29th of October is the expected exodus of students and individuals from their usual place of residence and work in the city to go back to their hometowns where resting places of their dead loved ones are located. There, they visit their cemeteries to clean up the tombs of their departed loved ones in preparation for All Saints Day or Todos Los Santos every 1st of November. It is the day to remembering the dead, the day seen as a chance for family reunions to strengthen family ties. Families set aside food for their loved ones who have already passed away.

In the city, with less people and vehicles, the only crowded places are found in the vicinity of cemeteries.

photo by Joel Miles Molina

No matter, it is quite evident that Tigkaralag of Pavia has become an anticipated yearly event especially for the young.  More than spookiness and fright, Tigkaralag has become synonymous to fun, costumes, and treats for the Ilonggos. Pavia is a mere 30 minute drive from downtown Iloilo.

The Agro-iIdustrial town of Pavia is located 9.6 kilometers north of Iloilo City. The town is politically subdivided into 18 barangays and is known to be the smallest in the whole province in terms of land area. Pavia is bordered by the municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Mrs. Susan Jovero – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09173006041.

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