Underpass: They want to scare you
By Laurice Penamante, October 27, 2009
They want to scare you.
Creeping down into a world inhabited by murderers, demons, ghosts and other members of local lore, Underpass mixes the familiar with something new, says Budjette Tan.
“We have always heard about the haunted house at the end of the street…we’ve all heard of manananggals and kapres,” says Tan, “so it’s a question of how [to] tell these stories in a new way, in a different way, and place [them] in a familiar setting, not anymore in the province, not anymore in a house where a manananggal [would] come and break through the roof.”
Underpass brings together some of the most noted names in the Philippine comics scene: Gerry Alanguilan (Wasted, Elmer), Kajo Baldisimo (Trese), National Book awardee David Hontiveros (Dhampyr), Oliver Pulumbarit (Dhampyr), Ian Sta. Maria (Skyworld) and Budjette Tan (Trese). The anthology was launched Sunday at the 5th Philippine Annual Komiks Convention (KOMIKON).
SPOT.ph asked each of the writers to talk about their respective stories and talk about their worst fears:
Gerry Alanguilan, on his story, The Sim: “Let’s just say that one day I picked up a sim [card from] the floor of a tricycle and I [wondered] what I would see if I put that sim in a cellphone, and this is how the story came out. I don’t want to say that my story is based on true-to-life experience, but [just let me] say that I am here, alive, to tell you the story.”
David Hontiveros on Judas Kiss: “It was originally a short story which was written for an anthology that never got published, so when Budjette came up with the idea for Underpass we decided we’d adapt it into comic book form. And it incidentally got me to collaborate for the third time with Oliver [Pulumbarti]. So there’s a ghost, there are murders, and there is a twist.”
“It’s so scary that Oliver had to take a step back before finally drawing the pages,” says Budjette Tan.
David Hontiveros: “[It’s Ian Sta. Maria’s character, but] I wanted to lay down the foundations of the…idea of hell in this world, the idea of condemnation, of souls being punished.”
“It’s a departure from the usual Trese sory that Kajo [and I] have been doing…It’s all about an upcoming starlet who discovers she’s pregnant and her manager tells her you need to get an abortion. And they go to a very special clinic where they discover a different side of showbiz.”
Spot.ph: In a way, Underpass might make readers confront their worst fears. What is your worst fear?
Ian Sta. Maria: Takot ako sa babae. Alam mo yon, takot ako sa babae.
Oliver Pulumbarit: Worst fear would be, maybe the popularity of stupid politicians. And unflushed toilets.
Budjette Tan: Greatest fear would really be deadlines which we don’t get to beat. Thankfully I have not experienced a supernatural occurrence and I’m happy to just write about it and not experience it.
David Hontiveros: My greatest fear…having to answer questions like that. [Laughs] I’ve been into horror since I was a little kid so I don’t really think I have one, a lot but not a singular one.
Gerry Alanguilan: Yung aking personal fear is yung fear na, fear of the unknown really, di ko alam kasi minsan diba may tatawag sayo di mo alam kung ano yun, nakakatakot diba kung may tumatawag sayo ng hating-gabi, naku pano yun ano kaya kung may magbabalita sakin ng…siguro phones din, laking takot ko sa telepono.
Budjette Tan: What do you mean phones? Why are you afraid of phones?
Gerry Alanguilan: Kasi marami na akong experience na may tatawag sa phone tapos bad news eh. So t’wing magriring ang phone biglang, “Wheh!” lalo na pag gabing-gabi.
Kajo Baldisimo: Worst fear ko public speaking.
Underpass, P175, is available wherever Summit Media magazines are sold.