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About Last Night

Did you catch last night's return of Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween Special. Technically, it wasn't MGB. It is more of an ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs documentary on local paranormal beliefs.

I was one of the many people who eagerly waited in extreme anticipation (redundancies intentional) to catch the NCA special called Kababalaghan (which, I will still refer to as MGB for purposes of clarity for those who knew MGB. It's arbitrary.) Twitter was also abuzz last night, making me wonder what people are doing at home on an extremely long weekend with Halloween parties happening everywhere.

Going back, MGB 2011 is not your old MGB. The old ones were mostly sharing of ghastly and diabolical experiences by people who experienced these forst hand (or second or third hand). Coupled with the signature MGB style re enactments, these stories were what made us organize group viewing parties with the lights off and the kumots ready.

This year's MGB tried to explain everything, scientifically or otherwise. The first two segments on restless spirits and antiques were all right. The possesions and their back stories are so so. But when it came to the faith healings, I together with most of the people online felt we were watching a home tv shopping ad for a faith healing service.

Thankfully, the last segment on the kid with an imaginary friend brought back the chills. It is effective because, this could happen to any of us. It happened inside their very homes and it could very well happen in ours.

I think MGB 2011 could have worked better if it stuck to its formula of simply telling stories that are well within our scope of experiences. I looked for the stories on haunted schools, hospitals, workplaces, etc. I wished it was more about the stories of normal people experiencing extaordinary unexplainable occurrences rather than being about the psychics and the healers.

But then last night's docu was a News special. As a news docu, it is more than ok, and how it looked and sounded on TV was excellent. But truth is, when MGB 2011 was announced, we didn't get excited because it is news. We got excited becuase of the frights and chills we've associated with it. We got excited because it is our childhood.

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