In a world beset by wars and factions, a new battleground was created ­— this one somewhere in the wilds of Florida Street: the annual DAILY TRIBUNE Halloween Party!

An explosive evening was promised with everyone arriving in their “pasabog” Barbie x Oppenheimer costumes.

The editorial (print and online) floor was transformed into an otherworldly realm — with clusters of pink and black balloons, flowing crepe streamers and newsprint-covered walls. The extreme feminine clashed yet combined with some of the darkest equivocations in the tormented mind of the world’s creator of the atomic bomb.

Needless to say, the costumes were a riot in contrasts. From boxed Barbies and Kens to theoretical physicists in suits and mathematical symbols or fiery images on their person, the newsroom became a hub of creative energies and imaginative creations.

Of course, the work flow never stopped for this hardworking crew (the newspaper must run on time!) — but this much-awaited yearly break from the usual offered a kind of bonding experience that makes the KaTRIBU true warriors of grit and resilience.

With prizes at stake, everyone tried to outdo last year’s extravaganza, showcasing their creations to DT president Willie Fernandez and EVP Chingbee. In the end, the online department’s Cheriel Lazo, all dolled-up as Barbie, emerged as the Boss’ Choice — her craftsmanship and attention to detail winning the prize.

It was the ever-surprising twists and turns of World editor Windsor Genovea’s mind, delivering a BarbieWireHeimer costume, that beat all guys in the running for the Most Unique award.

Other winners were: Roderick Villanueva’s “Weird Barbie” (Funniest Costume); Lor Bulacan’s “Zombie Barbie” (Shock and Awe); Pauline Joyce Pascual and Cheriel Lazo (tied as Most Stylish); Maria Thenesse Cornelio with her baby in tow and two dolls strapped to her legs (Best DIY Costume) and Manny Angeles as Oppenheimer in a bombed-out mask face (Scariest Costume).

Kens of the Night in their pastel-themed wholesome outfits — Nick Giongco, Gibbs Cadiz, Raffy Ayeng (“But why am I Ken?”), Mark Escarlote, Marc Anthony Reyes and Ivan Suing (who could have passed for Jose Rizal for all we know) — were given cheers and friendly jeers.

Given extra love were Lifestyle Choice awardees Lade Kabagani (Mindanao Barbie protesting China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea), Kenneth Tabornal (his Blackboard Oppenheimer reflecting the surprising turns of an IT mind) and Edjen Oliquino (Professional Barbie calling for women empowerment). Also recognized were “limited-edition Witch Barbie” by artist Jas Lalog; and “Amazona Barbie,” which was photographer Dianne Bacelonia’s anti-pink color statement.

Delicious eats came courtesy of the Bistro Group, City of Dreams, Stratworks, Newport World Hotels, NGP PR and FooDee Group. From Halloween-themed Randy’s Donuts and Red Ribbon cakes, to creamy carbonara platters and pizzas from Italianni’s, and savory bites from Hawker Chan, Kam’s Roast and MESA.

The program, riotously hosted by the energetic digital director Alvin Kasiban and video editor (and Halloween event lead) Joy Asagra, ‘Barbenheimer’ DT 2023 Halloween Bash was a bombastic success.