In the heart of Santa Rita, Pampanga, the Gosioco ancestral manor stands as a living testament to history and heritage. Completed on May 5, 1841, by Don Tomas Gosioco, this venerable structure proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving ancestral house in Santa Rita. With a storied past that includes surviving two world wars, the Gosioco ancestral house has played a significant role in producing pioneers within the town.
Don Tomas Gosioco, who served as Capitan Municipal in the late 1800s, left an indelible mark on the community. His legacy continued with his son, who also held the position of Capitan Municipal in the early 1900s. Further enriching this family’s history, Narcisa Gosioco established Santa Rita College (formerly known as Santa Rita Institute) in the 1940s.
This magnificent ancestral house, with its distinctly Chinese-influenced “bahay na bato” architecture, reflects the Gosioco family’s Chinese roots.
A History of Halloween Theme Park
Turning the pages to more recent history, in the early months of 2016, the Gosioco family’s current generation, led by May Gosioco and her eldest, Jon Gosioco, embarked on a unique endeavor. They conceptualized a Halloween-themed attraction, originally designed as a pumpkin patch-inspired experience to be set up in Becuran, Santa Rita, Pampanga. However, the family and associates decided to host this spine-tingling adventure within their ancestral mansion, driven in part by the local perception that old houses are inherently eerie.
Over the years, the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park has become a beloved tradition, except for the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. This year marks the theme park’s triumphant return for its 6th season.
Why a Halloween Theme Park in the Christmas Capital?
Pampanga is renowned as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, where the festive season is celebrated with unmatched zeal. However, the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park offers a fresh perspective on celebrations. In a predominantly Catholic country, Halloween remains a somewhat unconventional holiday. The theme park provides an opportunity for families and friends to come together and celebrate the Halloween season in the hauntingly beautiful setting of a 182-year-old ancestral house and its captivating gardens.
The Gosioco Halloween Theme Park, spanning 760 square meters, promises a captivating array of attractions. Visitors can expect to encounter life-size Halloween statues, some towering at 10 feet in height. Live characters, cloaked in chilling costumes, add an extra layer of spine-tingling ambiance.
The Haunted House and Camalig Trail promise a heart-pounding experience, as brave souls embark on a 7-15 minute journey through the historic house and the former candle factory, now known as Camalig. To complete the Halloween spirit, the Salaria Coffeehouse serves up Halloween-themed drinks and pastries.
Adding an exciting twist for this year’s theme park is the introduction of Archery101 – Santa Rita branch. It invites young and old alike to try their hand at archery and test their marksmanship at the archery range.
Pricing and Schedule
Tickets to the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park are accessible to all, priced at 70 pesos each. This includes entrance and one entry to the Haunted House and Camalig Trail. If you’re eager for another stroll along the trail, it’s available for a nominal fee of 20 pesos.
Mark your calendars and set your alarms because the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park runs from October 27 to 30, 2023, on Friday to Monday, between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Don’t miss your chance to embark on a journey through history and mystery in this one-of-a-kind Halloween adventure.