Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Trick or Treat in the Philippines

For those who are not too familiar with Trick or Treating in the Philippines, this activity is mostly unknown except for certain small communities, like Ayala Alabang Village which is called the Halloween capital of the Philippines.

However, in recent years, the malls have started getting into the act. Event coordinators will now have a yearly show and trick or treat for the kids.

Trinoma Halloween Trick or Treat Event 2009

Last year we went to Trinoma Mall. I had with me my niece, my helper and her daughter. So in our group we had two kids and two adults. The activity was very simple, people who wanted to participate would register and receive a Halloween loot bag and a list of all the establishments in the mall who were participating.

It was then up to the parents to go around the mall and visit the stores that were giving away candy. Many of the places had run out of sweets by 11 a.m.
Jewelmer Trinoma - the kids get candy

After the Trick or Treat.

This year we went to Robinson's Nova Market (formerly known as Robinsons Place Novaliches) with the same group plus my nephew. We registered but unfortunately this time, unlike in Trinoma last year which was fairly hassle-free, it took forever to sign up the three kids.

Halloween Display at Robinsons Nova Market

We were there by 10 a.m. but finished at around 12 noon. Since the Halloween event was going to start at 12:30 we barely had time to find a restaurant and order food. In fact, we weren't able to finish our lunch before we had to go to the gathering place for the Trick or Treat event.
Nice stage design. A long line of people at registration area.

I was very much taken aback when the event coordinators insisted on separating the kids from their guardians.  I would have just opted out of it entirely but, of course, the kids would have thrown a tantrum especially since we had waited in line for two hours just to attend the event.

Robinsons, are you sure about this? The kids were basically running around the entire three floors of the mall without their adult companions. What if some of the kids get seriously injured? Think of the enormous bad publicity that would result when people find out you separated the kids from their guardians and they got hurt while under your care!

The parents and guardians are outside looking in.

So they took the children and made them line up. They then went around going to each participating store. Predictably, this resulted in chaos and even injuries as the kids would all rush to the stores en masse. Kids would push and shove the others just to get a cheap P0.50 piece of candy.

The kids who were smaller or less aggressive got left out and ended up in tears since they would get no candy at all. Of course, this resulted in the parents shoving kids out of the way to get candy which just made everything worse.

The stores also ran out of candy, which IMO is silly since it's not like there were thousands of kids there. It wouldn't cost that much just to buy 200 candies. Lol.

After the Trick or Treat event they then had some games and a magic show.
Halloween games
Despite the problems we had, the kids did have a good time and I must say the Robinsons' staff were quite good. I would have torn my hair out with 300 screaming kids running around but they kept their cool.

I look forward to next year's Halloween events.

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