Ilocos Norte pays tribute to "Philippine Horror Queen"

Oct 27, 2017 ...

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) pays tribute to Lilia Cuntapay, the "Queen of Philippine Horror Movies" through a short horror film competition and a look-a-like contest as part of the 6th "Semana ti Ar-aria" Festival.

Now dubbed the "Lilia Cuntapay Short Horror Film Competition," at its fifth year the contest has amassed a total of 19 entries from local filmmakers, allowing them to showcase their skills in the craft. Entries are being screened at the Dap-ayan Food Park in Laoag City from October 26 to 29, starting at 5:30 pm.

Meanwhile, the "Lilia Cuntapay Look-A-Like Contest," a search for the next horror queen, is a featured event at the "Parada Iloca-Ilocana" on October 31.

Lilia Cuntapay, born on September 16, 1935, rose into popularity after starring in the 1991 movie "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" as an aswang who was terrorizing the village. With her iconic acting, Cuntapay was chosen to portray similar roles in other horror films,  earning her the title of "Queen of Philippine Horror Movies."

The year 2011 was her major breakthrough in film when she won the "Best Actress" award in the Cinema One Digital Film Festival for the movie "Six degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay." Directed by Antoinette H. Jadaone, the indie-mockumentary movie was a bittersweet fictional account of Cuntapay's life as a Philippine showbiz extra.

PGIN, headed by Governor Imee R. Marcos, supports the celebration of Ilocano culture and ingenuity:

"Masaya iyon, sa kabila ng pagdadasal natin at pagdaraos ng mga nauna satin, importante rin na may kaunting saya at ligaya sa ar-aria, at sana lahat makilahok. Mami-miss natin si Lilia Cuntapay."

Since 2012, Cuntapay would come all the way to Ilocos Norte from her residence in Cagayan for the annual "Semana ti Ar-aria," joining the major activity which is the "Parada Iloca-Ilocana."

Other events of the provincial Halloween festival include "Capitol Trick or Treat" on October 28 and "Taray ti Ar-aria," a zombie-themed fun run on October 29. The parade which is the main highlight of the celebration will be led by employees of the Provincial Capitol, other local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and representatives coming from the private sector.

Cuntapay suffered from spinal cord illness and died last August 20, 2016 at the age of 81 in Pinili, Ilocos Norte.

by Edison Justin Deus

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