MUNI > TRENDS
Halloween season at Muntinlupa City had a twist.
From October 20 to 26, Pitong Gabing Takutan became a total hit for residents of Muntinlupa and nearby cities. Hundreds of people lined up to the horror maze, but you may ask, what’s the twist? The horror maze took place at Libingang Panglungsod ng Muntinlupa, a public cemetery (yes, you read that right). Not your typical horror maze unlike the ones in the amusement parks. Creepy isn’t it?
The unique Halloween celebration in the cemetery has been going on for four years now. Malou Enriquez, administrator of Muntinlupa City Public Cemetery, shared how back in 2015, she and her group of friends came up with the plan of having a film showing at the cemetery. “Nag film showing kami, ang daming tao. Lagay kaming projector dito, projector doon. May mga nakatago na mga zombie walk sa loob ng mga pasilyo. Hindi nila (audience) alam yun. Nanonood sila, tapos kapag biglang kapag matatapos na yung pelikula, isasara namin yung gate. Tapos tsaka namin palalabasin yung mga zombie.” The unsuspecting audience got the scare of their life. “Ang saya! May umaakyat sa bakod, may mabilis pala umakyat ng puno,” Malou laughingly shared as she recalled the memory.
The first year was only an experiment, but soon enough, it got the attention of the citizens and it became a yearly event in the city of Muntinlupa. “Sabi ng mayor namin dito na, bakit hindi niyo gawin na tradisyon na yan? Total kinakagat ng tao. So ginawa namin, sige yearly na.” They come up with different themes each year, even adding prosthetics to level up their scare tactics. And this 2018, the theme circled on haunting stories of certain people buried in the cemetery. One creepy story was about three siblings who hanged themselves one after the other. Every three years, one by one, the siblings hanged themselves in a particular room of the house. Up until now, it is still a mystery why they did such a thing.
Maybe for others, having a horror maze in a cemetery is a very unusual or bizarre idea. But Malou says throughout the four years that they have been organizing such event, there have been no complaints. People enjoy the out-of-the-box idea of celebrating Halloween in a spooky area; there’s that added fear factor, the eerie feeling of being inside a cemetery. “Ang gusto ko nga lang dito, kultura ng Pilipino na nawawala na. Eh diba mayaman tayo sa ganitong kultura: tradisyon. So kung mawawala ito, parang hindi na tayo Pilipino.” Malou even added how in other countries, people celebrate Halloween ala fiesta style and she wants that to be done here too. “Tsaka gusto ko alisin yung takot ng lahat ng tao sa sementeryo.”
When asked if she had any scary experience in the cemetery, she told one wherein during her usual rounds on an ordinary day, she heard someone calling her. “Pssst! Pssst!” it went. “Sabi ko, ‘sinisitsitan mo ako?’ Parang nagsasalita magisa para hindi matakot. ‘Sinisitsitan mo ako? Anong gusto mo’?” She did so to lighten the mood and the tension, but when she neared the stairs, she ran (for her life haha!).
muniTALKS correspondents took on the Pitong Gabing Takutan Horror Maze challenge, braving through the dark and ghostly pathway of the cemetery. With lots of haunting creatures scattered around the area, shouts and screams of fear and panic were audible as people went through the horror maze.
Filipinos always have been creative when it comes to traditions. The horror maze in Muntinlupa City is one proof how Pinoys are game for anything. And hopefully, we’ll see more unconventional ideas when it comes to celebrating Halloween, Pinoy style.
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