Saturday, October 31, 2009

Waxworks 2009: A Negros Museum Presentation Featuring Kilometrahe Trese

This year's Waxworks presented by the Negros Museum in Bacolod City is getting bigger and bigger, attracting more crowds that makes a Bacolod Halloween incomplete without getting "waxed".

Now in its fifth year, The Performance Laboratory's Waxworks halloween interactive exhibit features Visayan/Negrense folklore such as the agta (black ink), a creature of darkness; the kama^-kama^, the Pinoy version of a small creature of the dwarf family; the babaylan, a priestess/quack doctor; and many other interesting creepy characters in a guided tour to the seven themed chambers of the museum.

Kilometrahe Trese, or Kilometer 13, has become a Bacolod landmark that has earned its fame because of a local manughilot or one who practices quack medicine by accupressure accompanied with esoteric rituals and strange prayers. It also earned notoriety for having many road mishaps, coincidence or not.

The show opened on October 26 and many locals as well as tourists have come to experience the thrilling performances in the 15-minute tour. Not to be outdone, I brought along my four girls on its last day, Halloween night. A fabled white lady dressed in wedding gown bathed in white light greets incoming visitors.

My dad, already in his seventies, decided to just wait outside, feeling more scared of getting crushed than by getting scared of the actors.

Luckily, we were batch number 14 and not the dreaded number 13 as the show's Kilometer 13 theme. We waited at the holding area where three other scary creatures, one a headless mannequin, conditioned the audience for a spooky visual treat. While waiting, some had henna tattoo by an artist.

A costumed guide led us into the dark chamber and the group began to scream and shout, just for the fun of shrieking. However, a mother carrying three little children (one was still months old), backed out, probably scared that her kids might fall ill due to fear.

All the tugging and pulling and pushing within the group of around 20 screaming people is enough to scare me with the thought of a stampede. When we finally got out, me and the girls sustained a few damages: Jo-an's flip-flop strap broke, and my newly purchased Havaianas got stuck in the mud at the museum outer back court.

The horrific visual performance though artistic did not quite connect to the Kilometer 13 theme. Probably this was a different Kilometer 13, a fictional one.

Still it was a fun family treat, a first for my three girls. We then went to have dinner, happily discussing our recent not-so-spooky adventure over dinner at a nearby restaurant, the kids learning for the first time to eat Chinese food with chopsticks.

Now I feel waxed.

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