Fears for Cheers-A A +A
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
OR IS IT “cheers for fears”? Who does not love to get scared and get some good screams just for kicks this Halloween?
The answer could be found in the stacks of DVDs or online downloads of the best loved horror flicks ready for serving during movie marathons with friends. Or it could be in the most terrifying character that party-goers slip into when they meet up with other creepily clad “creatures” inside a favorite watering hole.
Halloween has long been observed by Filipinos here in different ways. But there is a continuing tradition in Mandaue, wherein people experience Halloween chills and thrills and extend a helping hand for the needy at the same time. This is the “Horror Booth sa Mandaue,” which is a collaborative project by the Mandaue City Government and Kaabag Mandaue Inc., which is a non-government organization.
The birth of this anticipated Halloween event came about when Mandaue City First Lady, Sarah Walker Cortes, was invited by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. to an event held in line with the Children’s Month Celebration. She brought with her some indigent children in Mandaue to the activity held at the University of San Carlos South Campus.
“There I saw how happy the kids truly were when they ate and were given slippers that we brought as our contribution given to us by a generous sponsor from Mandaue. They told us that it was the very first time in their lives that they have ever felt full,” narrates Cortes.
She also noticed that the children also kept their left over food in a plastic bag which, the children told her, they would bring home to their siblings and parents so they could taste what they just had.
“I could not help but cry at that sight and thought of how I could do the same or more for more indigent kids in Mandaue,” she continues.
Thus the first Horror Booth sa Mandaue was held during Mayor Jonas Cortes’ first term to gather funds for the annual Christmas party for all indigent kids in Mandaue a few weeks later.
“On our first year we were able to have a party for Christmas for 550 kids in which 50 belonged to the Muslim community in (Barangay) Mantuyong.
Right away our ‘Kahadlok mo, Pinaskohan ko’ was a hit,” she says. Indeed, the cause is what made people not just from Mandaue but from other cities and towns here in the province line up and enjoy Halloween inside the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex, which is converted into a spooky lair of “monsters” and “ghouls” for the duration of this activity.
Apart from the Christmas party, the shrieks that echoed through the labyrinth of terror also sent three students to college through the financial help from the organizers of this event. These students have already graduated and Cortes reveals that they have three new students currently pursuing their degrees.
As you have fun inside the Horror Booth, you may also be helping spread some Yuletide cheers to children. That would make up for a truly meaningful Halloween.
However, this year, the organizers have decided to cancel the activity because of security issues of the venue brought about by the strong earthquake two weeks ago. But for sure, there is no stopping the “scarefest” next year.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2013.