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For Men

D’Scream

POGI FROM A PARALLEL UNIVERSE - RJ Ledesma - The Philippine Star

There is something very haunted in the bowels of Pasay City.

And it is not The Amazing Show at the Manila Film Center.

If you can pee in your backyard without worrying that a nuno sa punso will go all masochistic on your pink part, if you can drive down Balete Drive without the fear that you will catch a White Lady glaring back at you from the rear-view mirror, if you can brave watching a replay of Sen. Bong Revilla’s privilege speech, then it is time to take your fear threshold to the next level. 

It is time to pay for your fear (which is about P650) at Scream Park, the first horror-themed attraction in Manila.

Although I was reasonably certain that there were no real ghosts in Scream Park (unless they had some on loan from the Film Center), I made sure that I was adequately prepared when I visited the park: I brought a sense of humor (that is my sixth sense), holy water, bimpo, a change of underwear and an extra yaya.

After my adult diapers were fastened on snugly, we approached the park’s entrance through a wrought iron gate that was lovingly festooned with human skeletons. However, before we could make our way through the gate, we were blocked by several zombies who wanted us to take pictures with them and upload those pictures on Instagram before they ate our entrails.

Once inside the Park, I didn’t find it initially scary save for the several hundred or so zombies that were loitering in the makeshift forest while munching on the bituka of parkgoers. I also noticed several perya attractions — like ring toss (of the dead), knock down the cans (of the damned) and darts (of the screwed over) — that were not that scary unless you count the gaunt, toothless man who was manning the booths (he was a bit squeamish to look at). The scariest I had experienced thus far was a “zombie bar” that was blasting rap music — the sexually suggestive lyrics and foul language of those rap songs made my adult diapers heavy with fear.

The first attraction of the park was a walk-through uniquely named “Old Town.” Prior to entering Old Town, the organizers informed us of a few rules that would ensure that our hair stood up without the benefit of Spray Net.

First, we were not allowed to take pictures or videos inside any of these attractions. I found this rule rather disturbing.  What if these zombies treated me like a Max’s Fried Chicken and ate me to the bones? Then there would be nothing left of my remains for posterity, for elevation to sainthood or for medical science. 

Second, we were not allowed to touch the zombies but the zombies were not allowed to touch us either. That has the makings of a good ceasefire framework, but how could the organizers tell if there was no touching that occurred if we were not allowed to take photo or video evidence? Meron bang CCTVs or matinong security agency ang mga zombie?  My goodness, it is difficult enough to file sexual harassment charges as it is, what more to file sexual harassment charges against the undead?

Lastly, we were informed that there was a human to zombie ratio of seven humans for every umpteen hundred zombies to ensure that the attraction would provide “unli-fear” levels. To ensure my fear levels would not reach the point that it would dilute the efficacy of my hair-loss prevention treatments, I had my wife stand in front of me for protection and I had a D.O.M. who resembled a zombie stand behind me for misdirection. Then I painted epoxy on one hand and held on to my yaya’s hand, then painted epoxy on the other hand and held on to extra yaya’s hand. 

Upon entering Old Town, it was pretty obvious that it’s look was inspired by historical Calle Crisologo in Vigan, especially if the Calle Crisologo had a zombie infestation. There were some zombies that lunged towards us while hissing and groaning. There were other zombies that languidly walked right beside us while giving us the evil eye. Then there were zombies who stuck their faces close enough to your personal space so that you could smell the regurgitated entrails on their breath. And there was one zombie who lovingly stroked a cat before turning him into an undead siopao.

At first, I found that the behavior of these zombies was rather inconsistent. But I later realized that their erratic behavior was probably the result of inter-breeding of the zombies from The Walking Dead, World War Z, 28 Days Later, Zombieland, the classic Night of the Living Dead and some Shaun of the Dead thrown in for few good measure (zombies with British accents always sound more menacing). (Little-known fact: zombies aren’t afraid of catching STDs from one another because, well, they’re already dead.)

As a score of zombies stared and hissed and gnashed their teeth at us, it made me think: how did they get so many zombies to work at Scream Park? Is it because zombies are such cheap labor? Is it because they don’t demand overtime or holiday pay? Is it because they are willing to take on the graveyard shift? Maybe all the moaning and groaning of these poor misshapen creatures is because they don’t receive a food allowance? 

The next attraction we visited was a self-guided tour through the “The White House – Curse of the White Lady” (It appears that the White Lady of Balete Drive has become so popular that she has begun to open up franchises). The description of the attraction was very inspirational, it inspired me to change into a new set of adult diapers — “Truly evil in every way, the White Lady will take anyone she desires. If you see her, you are already dead. Uncover the secrets of the house of that only brave souls dare to explore.  Follow your way through the terrifying house, where captures souls linger between this world and the next. Be careful, your soul might be next.” Wow, this White Lady is quite the cougar.

The organizers warned us that we should not attempt to run away from the zombies inside the house because there would be some areas there that were pitch black. If we ran, we might accidentally trip over some cadavers, step on some involuntary bladder discharge or fall into a death trap.

After hyperventilating for several minutes, we were ushered into what resembled an ancestral Pinoy mansion that has not seen a general cleaning since the invention of the vacuum cleaner (It took a lot of self-control from yaya not to rip her epoxied hand from mine and start dusting off the place). 

Every room you passed through in the White House appeared to pay homage to classic horror movie clichés. But on the whole, I would rather watch my favorite horror clichés on DVD than experience them in real life. It was difficult to write down my thoughts as I went through the mansion because of all the screaming that was going on, which was mostly mine. However, there were a few images that were Instagrammed #nofilter permanently into my mind’s eye: a living room with an unliving person swinging from his neck from the ceiling; a kitchen where human body parts were the main course; a possessed woman trying to escape being shackled to her bed; a slaughterhouse of choice human remains; a little girl sobbing quietly in the corner of the room; a shadowy figure playing cacophonously on a piano; a woman crawling out from a television set; and a condominium unit in Forbeswood Heights.

After escaping that 20-minute ordeal and having my wife slap me 689 times before I came back to my senses, we enjoyed a pleasant, moonlit stroll through the final attraction of the evening: a graveyard. According to the organizers, it takes a good three minutes to appreciate this attraction. But you can finish the attraction in 15 seconds if you are fleeing from zombies popping out from behind cardboard graveyard markers.

 

I

 was just about ready to go home and let my testicles descend to their proper place when the organizers herded us towards the “zombie bar” for the highlight of our Scream Park visit: the “zombie group dance performance.” 

A zombie group dance performance? I wasn’t sure if heard them right because I had gone temporarily deaf from my own screaming. But a zombie group dance performance? That sounded like a highlight from an ‘80s Tito, Vic and Joey movie. Is this for real or is this bangungot? 

That question was academic as the zombies we encountered from all three attractions lumbered towards the zombie bar. It was too late for me to escape the zombie horde because I knew they could smell the fear on me (which smells a lot like dried urine). My testicles lodged themselves firmly in my throat as the zombies started congregating all over the dance floor. But then, much to my surprise, these zombies started busting out into some spine-chilling dance moves — break dancing, shuffling, jerking, cranking, popping, locking and dropping, stanky legging — and other hip-hop steps that usually need the approval of a chiropractor, a life insurance agent and a priest before you can execute them. I was surprised at how agile these zombies were despite their level of decomposition.

As they hip-hopped into the climax of their performance, no self-respecting horror slash zombie slash dance entertainment number would be complete without channeling the vibe of the late, great Michael Jackson. So the DJ unloaded a Thriller re-mix which saw the uneaten parkgoers squealing (in glee, this time around) while the zombies started grabbing and gyrating their crotches in honor of the sequin-gloved one. I tried to grab my crotch as well in solidarity, but it was hard to do so while my hands were still epoxied to both yayas.

After 15 minutes of a spirited performance that included a full-bodied zombie chef (the same chef whom we saw in the Mansion’s slaughterhouse) twerking his behind in my direction (I will write more about this after my counseling session), the “zombie group dance performance” died down as the zombies picked up whatever limbs they had left on the dance floor and shuffled back to their respective attractions to start scaring again people in groups of seven. It is truly a hard day’s night for the undead.

I can safely say that my Scream Park experience has prepared me for the next level of horror: Amazing Show, here I come. Let’s go, yayas.

* * *

For comments, suggestions or used underwear, please email [email protected] or visit www.rjledesma.com. Follow @rjled on Twitter or @rjled610 on Instagram.

Check out www.halloweenhaunts.ph.

 

AMAZING SHOW

ATTRACTION

OLD TOWN

PARK

SCREAM PARK

WHITE LADY

ZOMBIE

ZOMBIES

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