Have you watched the movie Babadook where the mother read a creepy pop-up storybook to her child?
That’s it. Except for the part of the book.
We don’t have a book or any bedtime storybook.
It’s usually our helper/nanny who puts me and my brothers to sleep. So bedtime story is like an are-you-afraid-of-the-dark series for us.
Of course, we didn’t tell our parents about it because we liked it.
If you ask me, in our country, grown-ups tell scary stories to children to frighten them so that they will behave and will try to fall asleep as soon as possible. Don’t worry, it’s a typical Filipino thing. I grew up normal, I think! 😀
“Go to sleep or the boogeyman will get you!” This is the most common adult-demanding-us-to-sleep-right-away phrase.
“What is a boogeyman? How will I prevent it from eating me?” Oh, asked the little me from 26 years ago.
“Well… the boogeyman is a …”
So, the storytelling begins.
By the way, it depends on what kind of boogeyman people mean.
A boogeyman could be… yes, the obvious shadowy figure from the closet. It could also be a manananggal, a beautiful woman who splits her body in half after rubbing a special oil on her body, grows a pair of wings and flies in the middle of the night to look for her victims. Or a tikbalang, a man with a head, and a tail of a horse. Or a kapre, a big black hairy man with red eyes who smokes a cigar and lives in a tree. And more and more…
When I was 9 years old, my father would come home for 3 months after being deployed from other parts of the Philippines. Every night, he would turn the radio on and listen to horror radio anthologies.
Imagine what I have to go through. 🙁
No wonder I can’t sleep alone at night.
How can you sleep when in the middle of the night, you can hear tiny people (duwende or elves) arguing on your pillow, right in front of your face?
Ask my younger brother, he heard them too.
My childhood bedtime stories influenced me a lot. It gave me a wild imagination, running freely in an enchanted forest found at the end of a rainbow.