I am from Manila, probably the loudest city in the world. But today is a totally different Manila. It’s freaking quiet! There literally are no cars on the streets, no ear splitting karaoke buzz emanating from households, the malls are closed and everybody is out of town. Manila today is a dead zone.
For me, the most horrific day of the year is Good Friday. It is scarier that Halloween and most horrendous than a Physics exam at school or a day you need to pay for household bills. It is so petrifying because today is the day God died.
This fear has been inculcated in my moronic brain since childhood. Since childhood as a tradition, today is the day that we couldn’t make noise before 3:00 PM because God is in misery and we couldn’t make noise after 3:00 PM because God is dead.
It is a common and ancient convention in our family’s compound in Pasay that we would receive fierce looks from the elders (starting with Lola Teray and Lola Anghiling) and say “Shhh! Patay ang Diyos!”, if you happen to have been the cause of any sound or noise.
This was fossilized into my deepest subconscious that up to this point, I made sure to zip my luscious lips all throughout the day. This also made me terrified that if God is dead, then it connotes that evil spirits and other loathsome creatures wanders the entire planet lurking in the aparador or lying in wait sa ilalim ng kama (under the bed) ready to suck your blood or devour on little children.
Now that I am grown up, what really solidifies my red and while corpuscles is that horrifying monsters need not wait for Good Friday anymore. They ramble and scramble the earth every single day and need not manifest in those horrible appearances like fangs, horns and tails with leathery wings on a bad hair day. Today they wear ordinary clothing like that of a taxi driver, a street dweller or an office worker. They may even be dressed in over-priced suits, drive luxury cars and live in opulent houses. They simply look like everybody else so you can’t identify them on sight.
Aswangs nowadays no longer sap and suck up your blood what they simply want is either: your hard-earned money, your livelihood or your reputation.
Makahulugang Biyernes Santo sa ating lahat…