‘Gabi ng Lagim’

When the Internet and social media were yet in their infancy, radio was king of communication.

Like today, it has wide-reaching capabilities. From Aparri to Jolo, radio was the morning alarm clock which rivalled the cocks’ crooning.

Its sign-off, however, did not come without a scare.

Children — your parents and grandparents now — had to be sent to sleep. Radio provided their own parents with the monsters that tucked them under the sheets — early and surely.

Gabi ng Lagim was the top-rating late-evening drama their generations dreaded. It gave them the chills and the creeps, fed their imaginations with various interpretations of Philippine folkloric characters from the aswang to tiyanak and duwende.

But for one reason or another, they get scarier when the All Saints’ Day is near.

The dead rose long before The Walking Dead.

Bampira was in long before Buffy the Vampire Slayer was conceived.

Then, there were tiktik, engkanto, kapre, mangbabarang, mangkukulam, multo, nuno sa punso, sirena, siyokoy, tikbalang and wakwak.

They were the famous ones.

You may no longer have heard about the bakunawa, the berberoka, bungisngis, garuda, naga, magindara, pasatsat, santelmo, sarangay and the other less popular creatures.

Each of them is equally scary as the others.

Thank the Internet and the social media for the new entertainment they are giving you.

Unlike you, we’ve had our sleepless nights offline.

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