Events & Conferences 9 min read
Skeletal Soiree: A Look Into Propelrr’s Online Halloween Celebration
- Ming Lagman
- 06 Nov 2020 8 min read
Cackling at the face of horror that is the year 2020, Propelrr celebrates a fun-filled virtual Halloween party last Friday, October 30, 2020.
Admittedly, with all the horrors that currently face us all, one can’t help but debate the value of celebrating Halloween and trying to scare one another witless during an already terrifying time.
After all, why push through with the Skeletal Soiree when most of the world is already deep in spine-chilling fear or ironically laughing at our everyday digital marketing horrors?
To which we’ll answer: for us, it’s our way of honoring all that we’ve lost to the times and, for just a short while, make the fears feel a bit smaller than they already are – concepts that are true to the essence of our chosen theme and the spirit of Halloween, respectively.
Our Theme of the Night: Skeletal Soiree
This year’s selection process for the theme of our Propelrr Halloween party was a striking contrast to the previous years in that heated, yet friendly, debates at the office turned to quiet polls.
Going for a steady streak to shake things up, even our chosen theme starkly contrasted that of last year's in a ‘meaty’ sense, quite literally. See for yourself:
This year, however, we came a bit gaunt but no less appealing, as the theme that won the days-long debates ended up being ‘Skeletal Soiree’, a theme inspired by Mexico’s iconic Dia de Los Muertos. Funny enough it is pretty much an accurate representation of how we try to still gracefully get through the grim and daunting year.
No Zoom party would be complete without a custom background fit for the occasion, which our Creatives team designed in a virtual space-worthy fashion just for the event. This garnered high praise from Propelrr CEO Gary Viray who said, “I don’t change my FB (Facebook) cover photo that often, but I did [change it] because I really liked it.”
We don't blame him, it is a share-worthy logo if we may say so ourselves!
Building Up a Splendid Soiree
The party was celebrated on the eve of October 30, but ask anyone from the team and they’ll tell you that extensive preparations were done as covertly as possible; from planning the costumes down to the tricks and treats.
Weeks ahead of the celebration, the Halloween committee (yes, we created a committee just for the occasion!) cooked up spooktacular fun activities for and leading up to our night of horror. Our regular Friday activities for the entire month featured horror and thriller films which included fun games, like ‘Among Us’ and ‘Call of Duty’ tournaments between our two most competitive departments: Marketing and Tech.
Last October 23, 2020, a week before the event date, Halloween-themed TikTok challenges were led by the Social Media Team. More than inviting everyone's participation, these challenges awakened the competitive spirit that dwells inside all of us. Plus, there were a lot of cool prizes up for grabs.
There was the ‘I’m Just a Kid’ transformation challenge inspired by the iconic punk rock song of Simple Plan, which allowed us to creatively reminisce the Halloweens of our childhood.
While the spooktacular pets challenge got fur parents bonding with and pestering their babies to get into their own costumes – a feat that’s no easy task to accomplish – let alone be able to take a decent still photo of them in it.
On top of it all, the entire team also received individual Jack-O-Lanterns heavy with sweet treats, because is it even really Halloween without the treat basket filled with candy? Of course not!
Out of the Casket, the Skeletons Came to Play
If you’re thinking that our fuse for fun burnt out after the build-up, then think again. When Friday finally came, each of us showed up with deathly looks painted on each of our faces – looking to take the kill for the ‘Best Face Paint’ Award.
Sporting individualized styles of skull make-up, each of us demonstrated remarkable creativity and dedication to display our best brushwork.
We saw an almost complete cast of Coco show up on that night. Although two showed up, one Miguel Rivera shone above the rest. Complete with a guitar and the characteristic red hoodie, Copywriter Caleb Gasilao showed up as the inspired protagonist of Coco, minus the song number, unfortunately.
There were even polar opposites when it came to colors. Where some explored vibrant and bright colors, others fashioned themselves in monochrome.
Our Mobile Software Developer Hennah Yu, as detailed as a developer should be, demonstrated fine and delicate outlining work with the swirls and petals that embellished her skull look.
Bright and high-contrast were the looks sported by both Tech’s Ryan Balbarona and Marketing’s Gio Jiorgo. By going bold and vibrant with accent points and even the entire face, they showed us that color is not to be feared but rather, embraced when it comes to face make-up. Also, cradling your cat, like a witch with her familiar, really helps to provide a high-impact counterbalance that completes the look.
Creativity meets innovativeness with the element of a black light installment and neon markers for our Mobile Development Team Lead, Vino Bolisay. The night's Halloween hardballer who, should we say, might really give us nightmares if they ever popped out of nowhere in a dark room.
Although, the joke’s on them because nothing can get scarier than the fears of digital marketers we face on a daily basis. Glowing skull what? We only cower in the face of spirited-away conversions.
Taking a more traditional and classic route with their Day of the Dead looks gave no less of a fright than the others. Looking dapper and elegant in their makeshift suits and flower crowns, the Catarins and Catarinas of the night sent eerie chills down our spines with the meeting of beauty and death.
Piquing our interests with a look that could be considered a unique interpretation of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ was Senior HR & Admin Specialist Hazel Yu's make-up. Because, yes, those are actually Christmas poinsettias adorning her head.
True to tradition was Nicole Cadorniga from HR & Admin and Tech’s Ryann Bartolome. You can see Nicole’s look was one elegant interpretation featuring a relatively bare face countered by detailed line and shade work topped off with a flower crown semblant of the traditional marigolds and chrysanthemums used in Mexico.
Looking no less eerily entrancing was Ryann, all dashing in his suit and meticulously embellished Day of the Dead make-up accented with a bright red bow. He even smoldered for the photo.
True enough, with all the well-made skeletal looks that night, our judges who also came in their best Day of the Dead looks, were given quite the headache while choosing the star (or skeleton) of the night.
Ultimately, the most memorable look that took home the prize of ‘Best Face Paint’ was none other than Ernesto – err, Elwin Dela Cruz.
Playing for Screams and Laughs
Virtual spaces are no tombstones preventing us from popping out of our graves so we can celebrate Halloween. That much we proved way back when we celebrated our 10th Anniversary.
Like any other night of celebration, our virtual Halloween was just as packed with activities that brought all the best ways in which we’d normally celebrate the occasion.
We played a virtualized game of Trick-or-Treat, a guessing game of iconic horror movie characters, and, lastly, a virtual escape room – all with unique game titles. And, yes, raffle prizes were up for grabs all the while.
By the end of all the fun and games, toasts, and stories were shared. And while many had to leave our tiny Zoom room of horror, some stayed behind to share their own scary stories, real-world or imagined.
There’s no questioning that this year may go down in the annals of history as one of the most horrific periods in the modern age. The COVID-19 pandemic compounding perennial problems of society is dreadful enough. Never mind the fearsome momentum 2020 has sustained in terms of bringing bane.
Perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn from this is that even the biggest of our fears can begin to feel small and even forgotten in the company of those who will always share a big, ironic laugh with us at the troubles.