Twitterverse Sends Chills Through #ManilaEncounters
by Pearl Bacasmas, February 27, 2019 1:08pm
Art by Allen Mirambel
Short stories—especially scary ones—have always been part of the Filipino culture: from urban legends gathered through word of mouth from generations and old folklore collection Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang, to short creative exchanges on social media (remember the six-word horror story trend?).
Twitterverse exploded early this week with different takes on the #ManilaEncounters thread. BJ Recio, an independent publisher started the hashtag, hoping to create a tabletop role-playing game where participants write about their characters actions and speech.
Started out #ManilaEncounters so we can have a Random Table for RPGs set in fantasy Metro Manila. If y'all feel like it, feel free to add!— Nosfecatu (@bjrecio) February 24, 2019
BJ started with his notes on Filipino myths and culture inspired by fiction writer Joseph F. Nacino (@banzai_cat):
#ManilaEncounters— Nosfecatu (@bjrecio) February 24, 2019
THE DRAGON OF PASIG, as large as your house and 5x as smelly. Its skin is plastic bags and shit and tetra packs. Its breath is corrosive factory smoke. It eats people, but it is tired of the taste of masa and wants to know what glutathione skin tastes like.
The hashtag gained traction from nostalgic and curious users, who then created their own take based on Filipino myths, historical figures, pop culture, and short horror stories:
The one that made you think of Nick Joaquin
You always wondered why there were so many mirrors in your lola's house. The last time you counted there were thirteen.— ShT (@ceterash) February 27, 2019
Each time you visit her there is a new mirror propped against the wall.
You never asked why. You also never asked why her face no longer age.#ManilaEncounters
When we realized monsters are real and they are all around us all along
It's almost end of the month. A 9 year-old boy passes by selling candies, and the policeman hasn't reached his quota.— Vincent Bong Gogh (@jepoyrd) February 26, 2019
Headline: "Pusher ng ecstacy nanlaban, patay" #ManilaEncounters
You’ll never look at a Sto. Nino the same way again
Almost every house has a Sto. Niño. Each kind is different in size and clothing. In every house I visit, I avoid the Sto. Niño.— safety naruto @CommissionsOpen (@huhsmile) February 26, 2019
I'm not afraid or anything. I just don't like things that pretend to be children. #ManilaEncounters
Society’s myth about beauty is scarier than the entity living in Balete Drive
The lady stands lost in the grocery aisles, her basket was empty save for numerous papaya soaps and exfoliating scrubs. She wants to know why society wants her to become a white lady.#ManilaEncounters— Geri In (@in_geri) February 26, 2019
That church horror story inspired by 'Noli Me Tangere' (or true events)
Ingatan ang bag sa simbahan. May bata raw na nangunguha ng barya sa tuwing nakaluhod ang lahat.— Nicolas Basilio Antonio (@Nicolas_Czar) February 26, 2019
Bali-balita, pinatay raw siya sa bugbog ng sakristan mayor pagkatapos mapagbintangang nagnakaw ng dalawang onsa ng ginto. Nanay niya ang baliw sa labas. #ManilaEncounters
A gift or a curse?
The vagrant on the MRT keeps on saying "Baboy, baboy, baboy" to the person passing by. "Baka, baka" to the next. "Tao, tao, tao" to the one after.— Nicolas Basilio Antonio (@Nicolas_Czar) February 26, 2019
"What the fuck are you saying," quipped one curious fellow. "Oh, I have a gift. I can smell what you last ate." #ManilaEncounters
An alternate Manila with a Twilight Zone twist
#ManilaEncounters— Jay Anyong, The Philippine Gamer (@Philgamer) February 25, 2019
Play the wrong three notes in Manila Cathedral's church organ and walk outside without looking back to enter an alternate-Manila where the Spanish occupation never ended.
And the scariest short by far
#ManilaEncounters— El (@eoaniciete15) February 26, 2019
I went to the bank to withdraw cash and then the guard there warned me never to look on the ATM screen after entering my PIN.
Puzzled by what he said, I still looked at it and I was terrified upon seeing it. The screen displayed: P0.00 maintaining balance.
What other short stories from #ManilaEncounters gave you the chills? Share in the comments below!