Nestled in the heart of Santa Rita, Pampanga, the Gosioco ancestral manor stands as a testament to history, resilience, and the enduring spirit of its family. Built by Don Tomas Gosioco on May 5, 1841, it proudly holds the title of being the oldest surviving ancestral house in Santa Rita. This magnificent structure, steeped in heritage, has weathered the storms of two world wars and has been a cradle for pioneers in the town.
Don Tomas Gosioco, a Capitan Municipal in the late 1800s, and his son, who followed in his footsteps as a Capitan Municipal in the early 1900s, played significant roles in the community. In the 1940s, Narcisa Gosioco founded the Santa Rita College, formerly known as the Santa Rita Institute, further enriching the family’s legacy.
The Gosioco ancestral house, known as a “bahay na bato,” bears a distinct Chinese influence, reflecting the family’s Chinese roots.
History of Halloween Theme Park
Fast forward to the early months of 2016, and a new chapter in the Gosioco family’s history unfolds. Led by May Gosioco and her eldest, Jon Gosioco, the current generation of Gosiocos conceived the idea of a Halloween-themed attraction. Originally planned as a pumpkin patch-inspired event in Becuran, Santa Rita, Pampanga, it found its home in the ancestral mansion. The choice was made partly because locals often regard old houses as eerie, making the setting all the more fitting.
Since its inception, the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park has provided a unique and immersive Halloween experience. Its doors have remained open for most years, with the exceptions being the challenging COVID-19 pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. As it returns for its sixth year, it continues to captivate the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
Pampanga: The Christmas Capital
Pampanga is renowned as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, a province where the Christmas season is celebrated with unparalleled enthusiasm and grandeur. However, the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park adds a distinctive twist to this tradition. In a predominantly Catholic country, Halloween remains a somewhat taboo celebration. This theme park offers a fresh perspective on the holiday, encouraging families and friends to bond and revel in the Halloween spirit within the walls of a 182-year-old ancestral house and its enchanting gardens.
The Gosioco Halloween Theme Park, spanning 760 square meters, boasts an array of spooky attractions. Life-size Halloween statues and towering 10-foot specters greet visitors as they enter. Live characters, adorned in chilling costumes, add to the eerie ambiance.
The Haunted House and Camalig Trail promise a thrilling adventure—a 7-15 minute journey through the historic house and the former candle factory, now known as Camalig. The experience is designed to send shivers down your spine.
To complete the Halloween atmosphere, the Salaria Coffeehouse serves up Halloween-themed drinks and pastries. A new addition this year is Archery101 – Santa Rita branch, inviting visitors of all ages to try their hand at archery.
Tickets to the Gosioco Halloween Theme Park are affordably priced at 70 pesos each, which includes entrance and one entry to the Haunted House and Camalig Trail. Should you desire another walk along the trail, it’s available for a nominal fee of 20 pesos.
Dates and Hours
The Gosioco Halloween Theme Park opens its doors from October 27 to 30, 2023 (Friday to Monday) between 5:00 in the afternoon and 9:00 in the evening. It’s a limited-time opportunity to experience Halloween in a setting that combines history, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural.