Aswang Festival is a culturally significant and controversial celebration in Roxas City, Capiz intended to change the negative connotation attached to the province popularly called domain of aswang by turning the monster into Capiz' premier attraction. This annual festivity runs towards the end of October, in time for the yearly observation of All Saints Day or undas in the Philippines. It has been commonly known as the local version of American Halloween celebrations.
During this time, people of all ages await the parade of participating individuals wearing costumes of the most horrifying mythical creatures like tikbalang, wak-wak, and kapre. Going simultaneously with this event is a trade fair of the famous Capiznon sea food products and other local delicacies.
In 2004, the first-ever Aswang Festival received tremendous negative feedback from the local church, which strongly disapproves of belief in such mythical creatures. But the organizers defended the concept of the festivity. According to them, the festival is aimed at changing the negative impression of Capiz as a home of aswang by recognizing it only as a myth and hopefully removing the stigma attached to the word. It intends to showcase Capiz as one of the country's top tourist destinations having its fine beaches and scenic landscapes. Also, through the trade exhibits, entrepreneurs of small businesses can promote local products to help uplift the economy of the province.
- Aswang Festival at You Tube
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- “All systems go for 'aswang' festival of Roxas City”. Newsflash. http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/ht/ht004768.htm (accessed on October 22, 2007)
- Unexplained-Mysteries.com. http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=81909 (accessed on October 22, 2007)
- “UCAN: Philippine Catholic Church leaders stand against witch fest”. Catholic.org. http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=21779 (accessed on October 22, 2007)