The Wheel and Axle

Magandang Gabi ng Kababalaghan

by on Oct.29, 2016, under Film & TV, Travel & Culture

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My 90s experience, as with a lot of Filipinos in my age bracket, would not have been complete with the Halloween specials of Noli De Castro’s Magandang Gabi, Bayan.

Every year, I looked forward to the Saturdays just preceding Halloween. It was when the show, which was a typical somewhat square news magazine program, would switch gears and feature interviews, footage, and reenactments, documentary-style, of supposed real life supernatural tales around the country: ghosts, aswang, tikbalang, dwende, the living dead, white ladies, black ladies, possessions, ghouls, fucking floating caskets, and more.

As a fan of horror, I loved it! So did my friends, and in some years, we’d even have sleepovers just to watch it and scare the shit out of each other afterwards. France, in particular, was a favorite victim of my post-viewing pranks (thanks to long hair and loose white shirts), and it’s too bad he’s now in Sydney; just you wait when I visit you soon.

Magandang Gabi, Bayan ended back in 2005, so we’ve been deprived of new Halloween specials for over a decade and must content ourselves with uploads on YouTube of classic episodes.

Despair no more, however! Noli returns this year with Gabi ng Kababalaghan, a Halloween special in basically the same vein. It’s scheduled for tomorrow, but hopefully it becomes an annual thing because, really, Noli may have been the most useless Vice President this country has had, but dammit, he was an excellent host for this. Other programs have created similar specials, but there’s just something different with the way “Kabayan” does it. It might be the voice and how he took it oh-so-seriously.

So here’s to tomorrow’s comeback, and in the meantime, here are some classic features from Magandang Gabi, Bayan‘s Halloween specials through the years to tide us over.

Happy Halloween!

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