By Carmel Villongco
In our community, Halloween being a big thing is an understatement. We take it to the next level that Halloween becomes HalloWIN!
Throughout the years, we’ve noticed that the residents have being going all out on their participation that giving out candies doesn’t cut it anymore and fancier food carts & treats have taken center stage. This year, a group of friendly neighborhood moms, the Casa Mamas as we are fondly called, have been tasked to organize our annual Halloween event. We saw this as an opportunity to come up with our own take of Halloween and infuse purpose to the activity by bringing the community together not just for a day of fun but also raise funds for our charity event that will benefit our neighboring barangay.
As early as June, we started having our Casa Mama meetings in between our mama duties. Our breakfast dates would extend to brunch and even lunch or until one has to do a school run to pick up their kids. And because we are so close as in we live a few houses away from each other it was easy to just pop in someone’s home and have impromptu meetings or sometimes just brainstorm over wine. Yes, that’s a motivation for mamas to go 🙂
Let me take you to our Casa Mamas planning process which always started with good food, fine wine and great conversations among six moms.
1. Choose a team, pick a theme!
Casa Halloween 2018 was inspired by The Greatest Showman movie. We felt a circus atmosphere to be fun not just for the young but the young at heart. We then designed the banners and had them placed in our playground and lamp posts all over the neighborhood to generate excitement. We used circus elements and parts of the lyrics of the theme song as the main design.
2. Reaching out.
We wrote letters to our neighbors explaining our cause and seeking support for food carts, prizes and game booths. We took it up a notch by also soliciting sponsorships from companies who can support our event through their products that we included in our treat bags.
3. DIY galore.
Instead of hiring suppliers to make our game booths, we had residents make DIY game booths and house them in their garage as part of the Casa Trick or Treat experience. This also meant more fun joining games and winning prizes. Happy note: Less candies this year on their bags and hopefully, less cavities too! Haha.
4. Safety & security is our priority.
We made sure to come up with a system to ensure everyone to have fun but stay safe. We had kids and guests register to receive an event passport they can use to join the costume contest, play in the games, priority on the premium food carts and booths plus a treat bag too. Knowing cars from residents and guests would be an issue, we also sought assistance from TPMO and our barangay aides to handle parking and vehicle traffic. We had a strict no car entry policy before the program since we want the kids to roam around freely and safely.
5. HAVE FUN!!!
Yes, it takes a load of work and time but don’t forget to enjoy the entire process. From conceptualizing to planning the event, soliciting support, sorting & packing 300 loot bags, executing the program, the DIY costumes and booths and up to the trick or treat day itself- EVERYTHING is worth it when done together for the love of the neighborhood and your neighbors!
No matter what kind of halloween you are planning, you don’t have to get sucked into it’s commercialism but just gather friends and tap into your creative juices and come up with something homemade and original. I’m sure any parent can relate how many impromptu DIY costumes we have made at one point. Halloween is the only time we open up our homes to neighbors and even strangers who come to our doors for whatever treats we can share.
Beyond it all, Halloween is about community, creativity and generosity. Let’s have our kids and us too enjoy the sweet candies and treats despite the calories… even just for Halloween.