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VIRAL: What is #ManilaEncounters

March 4, 2019 Victoria Luz

Started out as a fun tabletop RPG thread in Twitter, the hashtag #ManilaEncounters became much more than that!

In the past few days, it became the talk of the town. It archived and shared unusual and spooky “Manila Encounters” or experiences.

Somehow, it made me think about what power lies beyond the Manila as our eyes can see. Or even from the people you see or meet wandering in the bustling Manila streets. The hashtag crowdsourced the fictional modern Manila, glamoured with an abundance of Philippine folklore, mythology, legends, superstitions, and ghost stories. Eventually, the hashtag evolved into creative hugot about love, career, life, and everything in between. And I’m quite amused myself, so to speak. All stories are dripping with mystery, culture, and wonder. And if you are looking for a past time while waiting or traveling home, then you better read what #ManilaEncounters has to offer.

Those entries for the hashtag are downright creepy. Imagine living your mundane and boring city life, only to find out that you’re living in the center of your best and worst fantasy, right? Even in these simple stories, they bring out the rich Philippine culture from history books and tales that were once forgotten. Think your neighbor is an aswang? Or your roommate is a mangkukulam? Wondering whether there’s more to the story of the white lady in the Balete Drive? You’ll just get more and more enamored of the stories you’ll find in this hashtag!

The Hugot-Themed #ManilaEncounters stories

So aside from the Philippine folklore, superstitions, and urban legend inspirations, we can’t forget those that got the hugot-theme. People know how to tug the heartstrings of others about their very own lives. Some Twitter users use #ManilaEncounters to tell how their broken dreams, healing hearts, and messed-up lives come to haunt them every day in city life. And it’s quite relatable, especially for the young adults who are looking for themselves out on their own. But some users are not happy about it. They think that the hashtag was supposed to pool the Philippine folklore, mythology, superstitions, and urban legends fantasy in a modern Manila setting. An archive of the spooky, the creepy, and the unknown. And not just an ordinary mainstream hugotserye.

Personally, I agree with them. But somehow, the hugot-themed stories do inspire some people. If you think about it, mixing reality with fantasy can be engaging. And using hugot can inspire people who might be at their lowest point in life.

But hey, #ManilaEncounters is doing wonders in our writing community. So maybe we can just stop the hate and appreciate the stories we read. Everyone has a story to tell, it might be good, it might be bad. So what? We all have our own Manila encounter that we want to share. So why not, right?

Anyway, if you want to check out the best #ManilaEncounters then you better check it here! @MillennialofMNL compiled short entries for the hashtag, featuring both horror-stricken and hugot-themed stories.

Which #ManilaEncounters story do you like? Do you have your own story to tell? Share us your thoughts on the comments down below. Or hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.