The Shoot

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By:  Jerwin

This story happened during  my college days.  I was a graduating student taking  up Mass Communication at a College in the University belt in Manila. A requirements to  graduate is for our class to  produce a short film, My friend Chad (not his real name)and   I wrote the  script, with me taking on the responsibility of the director. The story was a  suspense- thriller like the like the movie scream.

We had to do location hunts that will  suit  every scene.  The climax of the story was a barkada (clique)  outing where the serial killer will be revealed. I chose a beach   resort in Naic,  Cavite as a good place for us  to shoot the scene.

Before we  arrived at the resort, we encountered different kinds of trouble: One of our actress was not physically and mentally prepared for the shoot; I had no spare  tire for my car’s flat tires the day before the shooting day; some of my crew had gone  missing the night before. We were nearing the deadline of for the film, so as director and team leader I decided to proceed with the shoot. “Whatever happens,  happens,” was  my attitude.

As we arrived  at the resort I was shocked by its ambiance. Shocked, but happy.  I had been to the resort a couple of months before but now it  was totally different from  when I first came there.  A storm had gone through it  recently, wrecked cottages  and fences, dead plants and trees. There was no one else there but a few caretaker and a  little white dog.  It looked like an  abandoned beach resort. And that suited the scenes we were about to shoot! I ordered everybody to prepare before the darkness fell.  Together with the  production team, I studied the place,  checked the angles for the cameras and lights,  ready to film just as the night fell.

We took our dinner break at around 8 p.m.  As I finished eating, I glanced at  the place where I  will film Sharon,  the actress that wasn’t  mentally and physically ready.  As I checked the place, I felt  somebody watching us. I saw a tall man’s shadow walking  around the area. I immediately went back to the cottage to get  my rosary. I didn’t tell  anybody about what I saw to prevent any commotion.  My classmates knew beforehand  that I could perceive with my third eye.  We continue filming after the break. By 11 p.m.  I felt exhausted. I asked  my assistant  to take over to allow myself a short nap.  During the nap I had a mind-boggling dream. I dreamt of a man.  around 40 to 50 years old, wearing floral-designed polo and  white shorts. He was  pointing and walking  around us while we were filming. With him  was a white dog, the same dog that I had been ignoring  the whole day.  When I  woke up  I hurriedly ran to  the shore where the crew  was filming. The white dog was still there, staring at me as I ran towards the group. I didn’t tell anybody  about my dream or anything that might panic my crew. We continue filming. By 12:30 a.m.  we were about to shoot in the place where I saw the tall man’s  shadow. As we checked on the camera angles, Sharon approached me  and told me  that  she wasn’t  comfortable with the place. “Parang ayoko yata dito mag-shoot, kinikilabutan ako . ( I don’t  think  I want to shoot here.  It’s giving me  the creeps.),  she said.

Even though I knew what was there, I made them believe that I didn’t feel  anything.  I told myself,  ” We have to take the  risk.  We have to finish this film.” The scene was this: Sharon, holding  a flashlight, walking towards the camera while shouting for  her missing friend.  To speed things up,  I manned the camera. Take one; Sharon was  afraid to walk; she  could barely act. Take two: I saw the man’s shadow following behind  her. Sharon stopped walking and told me  that she heard  somebody whispering near  her while she was walking. Take three: Sharon run towards the camera, screaming. She  looked to her right and collapsed.

When I turned my head in the same direction, a demon’s face was a few inches  from my face.

Everybody panicked as Sharon collapsed. One of my crew carried Sharon to  our cottage. Everybody in the cottage was shocked and curious about what happened.  Sharon was placed on the bed, still unconscious. Some of my classmates were already  crying as we told  them the story. We didn’t  know what to do with Sharon. Then I remembered that we left one  of our cameras at the sites the camera that I had been using,  and  I left it on and still recording. I asked for a volunteer to come with me to get the cam but  nobody was brave enough. I was left to do it myself.  But as I  opened the door,  a heavy wind slammed  the door in my face, making me  lose courage.

My classmate who used to be a volleyball spiker slapped  Sharon across the face to bring her back to  consciousness to no avail.  Then Sharon opened her eyes in  a different manner.  She stared  at us and started to lose her head- she shouted and  screamed. Six of us,  big men including me, held her down. I was  holding her right arm.  She was growling in a very deep voice. I asked her  who  the spirit was, thinking that it was the one I saw in my dreams. As we held her  we heard noises  banging everywhere  on the walls, floor, ceiling,  and even the lights were turning on and off. It was like a Shake,  Rattle and Roll episode. We prayed as we held her.  When she calmed  down we asked her to pray with us. She was  eager to pray at first but the spirit that was in her wouldn’t  allow her to continue. The second time  she calmed down, she hurriedly  told us that it was “Paciano.” Her description of him was the same as  the man I saw in my dreams. Then she started growling and shouting again.  I was so afraid of what was happening  that I couldn’t  control myself from cursing  Paciano  and commanding  him to let Sharon  go. When I looked at Sharon  I saw a different  face, like  she had thicker eyebrows.

I was sure  that our  group  prayers  urged  the spirit  to let go of her, but it took  us hours to do so. We were  able to  expel  it from  her but it was still roaming inside the  room, choosing its next victim.  I commanded  everyone to  guard each other  and never  let fear conquer our faith. We held hands and formed  a circle while continuing our prayers. The sun was rising when we finally  felt calm.

When morning came, I immediately went back to fetch the camera that I left. It was still there but it was off. We checked for damage or detect, turning it on. We played the scene that scared us; the cam had captured it all.  Sharon running towards the camera, shouting then collapsing. We heard our shouting voice as we left the film  gear on the ground. And there it was, the tall man’s  dark  shadow walking   from right to  left and back while staring at the camera. Everyone saw this  video clip  and we were   horrified. We  decided not to finish the film and went  straight to the nearest church to get  blessed. We hoped that our professors would believe our story since we had captured it on film.

As we packed  our things,  we had a  chance to talk to the caretakers of the resort.  When we told them what happened, they told us that they heard the  shouting  from  the night before.  They thought it was part of the film so they ignored us.  I asked  one of them if  there was any story  about a man named Paciano.  They knew  his story: Paciano  had died in the ocean decades ago.  There were a lot of stories about his  spirit guarding the resort. According  to them,  his spirit was harmless; he was one of the good ones. If  that was  the case, I thought,  we were not battling Paciano  last night  but a totally different spirit.  After packing  up we went  to the nearby church.  At first,  the priest wouldn’t  believe us.  He was  a skeptic about these things,  but just to make us relax he would  offer  a mass  for us. When he  started  the mass, I knelt down. As I did,  felt a spirit beside me.  It went  out from  the resort  to join us.  The priest ordered us to fall in line to bless us with holy water. There were five of us  who could  strongly feel the spirits around us and we  were in the last line. When  our turn came,  the priest stopped and said” Ayoko na, hindi ko na kaya. (I don’t  want to  anymore. I can’t do it anymore.)” It seemed that the  demons  were with us and the priest was too weak to face them.  On the way home,  we still  had the  frightening  experience in our minds. We talked to our professors and told  them the whole story. Some  believed  us, some didn’t. When we showed  them the video  clip. it was  all gone; it seemed  like it  was a new blank  tape. Mr.  Reyes, one of  our professors also has the  third eye. He told us that it was neither an ordinary lost spirit nor a simple  black one; it was  the fifth demon that we faced.  He told us that if  God had his  angels so did Satan. Paciano was one  of the good guys; he gave us signs and guarded us. If he  wasn’t there the  time  Sharon was possessed we might have lost her. Until now, every time I tell this incident, I feel their presence- Paciano and the  fifth demon.

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