Halloween celebrations are quite big in the Philippines, they start a week before October 31 when people clean and decorate their houses. However, these celebrations don't copy Western Halloween traditions. For Filipinos, this holiday is primarily associated with Catholic holidays—All Saints’ Day marked on November 1 and All Souls Day marked on November 2. On these days, thousands of people visit cemeteries to commemorate their loved ones and stay there for a long time. Some even stay at the cemetery for the night. Filipinos also have trick-or-treating called Pangangaluluwa. People go door to door, sing a song for the dead and get money or food in return.
Semana ti Ar-aria Festival in Laoag City
Laoag City hosts the largest Halloween celebration in the Philippines that somewhat resembles Western festivities. The festival held in Ilocos Norte province is called ‘Semana Ti Ar-aria’ after All Saints' and All Souls' Day. The most exciting traditions of the festival include Parada Lloca-Llocana and Tumba where different Paoay neighbourhoods compete in honouring the dead spirits.
Parada Lloca-Llocana is the main highlight of Semana ti Ar-aria. The major streets of Laoag City turn into a ghost town overrun by thousands of people wearing the most creative and scary costumes. The parade is the unique Paoay tradition of remembering the dead.
Halloween Parties in Manila
In Manila, the week before Halloween is filled with parties at its numerous clubs, bars and restaurants. Santelmo Halloween Music Party in Muntinlupa City is the largest Halloween bash in Manila. Costumes are a must! There is also Boos & Booze Party at RM-16 in Pasig, Thriller Night at Buddha-Bar and other special events.