Monday, January 22, 2007


It was undoubtedly one of the most harrowing experiences that I had ever endured; continually, that is, for about a year and a half during my mid-twenties.

After many years of not having talked about it, I mentioned it to my friend and fellow photography enthusiast, Noel, right after he shared with me his ghost hunting adventure in Corregidor two weeks ago.

Noel is well-read in things paranormal and wasn’t at all rattled by what I told him; however, he adviced against my blogging about it. He was afraid that some people, after reading what I have to say, might be convinced that I have a couple of loose screws in my head.

Told him that at my age, vying for popularity is the least of my concern. I’m much more interested to be of some help to those who might have endured similar maddening experiences. Other than that, my writing about it would also be a way to respond to Niceheart’s meme for which I was tagged — Five Things You Might Not Want To Know About Me. This entry would make the second, while the first would be my entry yesterday, Glass Medals.

At any rate, this mind-boggling experience I speak of would occur just when I was about to fall asleep at night. At first I would hear a buzzing sound coming from outside the house. The sound would become noticeably louder as it enter my bedroom. Once inside, it would emit a high-pitched grating sound similar to that created by a circular saw.

Unable to move any part of my body at this point, I would then begin to feel a jolting sensation akin to that of an electrical charge that would penetrate from the top of my head and make its way inside all the way down to my toes. Although there wasn’t any pain involved, my entire body, however, would convulse involuntarily. And as soon as this electrical charge had reached down my toes, I would pass out completely.

The next morning I would awake and head for work like any ordinary workday. It wasn’t until the end of the day that I would begin to remember what had happened the previous night.

In the beginning, it would happen at least twice a week. I was intensely terrified by it that instead of going home from work, I started hanging out all night and would only come home when too exhausted or obliterated to be worried about anything else. It was also at that period that I started to drink regularly just to calm my nerves, but it wouldn’t happen whenever I was drunk or even had a single bottle of beer.

I was working at the record industry at that time and there were many parties to go to with free food and drinks. I could go out almost every night without spending that much money on account of these complimentary passes and invites. Nonetheless, I wasn’t really much into alcohol so I stopped drinking altogether. I also began to encourage myself to cope with this unexplainable phenomenon without getting overly freaked out by it as before. Thank God, the frequency of its recurrence eventually waned down.

It wasn't fun at all. Psychologically, it felt as if some force was pulling me towards some plane that humans don't usually thread into. It was a maddening experience, to say the least; especially when it was something one can't comfortably just discuss with anyone.

At first, it was only my brother Taba whom I approached about it. Since he worked at a hospital, he instantaneously surmised that a CAT scan might yield some answers. I agreed, but then reminded him that these electrical charges emanated from the outside; not at all triggered from within like some sort of epileptic seizure.

Also quite perplexing was that it would only occur whenever I was fully relaxed and about to fall asleep. And come to think of it, during that time, I was not going through any personal unsettling or stressful dilemmas. Life was pleasant, though staid and predictable.

Afraid that the doctors in his hospital might suggest a psychiatric evaluation -- hence opening the possibility of insurance companies having access to such medical records, as well as potential future employers -- my brother suggested that we not pursue getting a CAT scan, and just wait things out.

There was an upside to this whole madness, however.

A couple of weeks after beginning to experience these electrical charges, I started feeling an intense desire to be creative. It was amazing. Although I didn’t develop any incredible artistic skills overnight, I was compelled to learn any aspect of the the visual arts.

At one point, I completely redesigned the company's weekly merchandising newsletter and turned it into an impressive weekly catalog. For that alone, my boss was so thrilled of the outcome he promoted me; hence, I became the assistant to the vice president of merchandising in less than six months of working in that record company.

With copies of our company newsletter comprising my portfolio, I gained an appointment with the dean of advertising and graphic design program at Parson’s School of Design and was immediately accepted for its summer program. From that time forward, instead of going out to party every night to numb my fears, I couldn't wait to get home to work on my school projects until the wee hours of the morning. Despite all those late nights, I never felt exhausted at all upon waking the next day. It was puzzling, but fun.

This nighttime episode with the electrical charges eventually dissipated. And after about a year and a half, it completely stopped. I never did find any probable cause or definitive explanation for it. Subsequently, I’ve learned to accept it as one of those things in life that I was meant to experience for whatever reason. I had to think of it that way for self-preservation. I was afraid that delving into it might only make me slip into the deep end. I’ve come to accept the idea that perhaps, the answers await in the afterlife. Something to look forward to, I guess.

posted by Señor Enrique at 7:20 PM


Anonymous niceheart said...

Wow, that is weird and really puzzling. I've never heard of anything like that before. Sounds like something that would happen in a movie. But I like the way you handled and accepted it. And how you related it to the good things that happened in your life. Being creative and all.

January 22, 2007 11:22 PM  

Blogger cruise said...

alam mo parang naranasan ko rin yan nung bata pa ako, feeling ko nga na abduct na ako ng mga alien at ibinalik lang nila ako. so far wala na naman nag mamanifest na may special skills ako, huhu

January 22, 2007 11:38 PM  

Blogger Cyberpunk said...

hmm freaky! you should have gone ahead with the CAT scan. maybe you would have solved that little mystery already. anyway, you now have a good portfolio, i doubt future employers would be bothered with a simple cat scan result...well at least the attacks have stopped and you've become more creative (reminds me of that John Travolta film hehe)...

you mentioned you experienced the episodes right before sleeping, is this what you were referring to in your comment in my sleep paralysis post? (

January 23, 2007 1:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It was truly astonishing, Irene, how suddenly I felt compelled to draw when in fact I had no desire other than the usual childish doodling. Doing graphics was the closest, and immersed myself into it including hanging out whenever possible in NY's Lee's Art Shop on West 57th Street. But those electrical charges were frightening.

January 23, 2007 6:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That was what my friend Noel immediately attributed it to, Cruise -- alien abduction. But when he asked for any unexplainable scar on any part of my body, told him I had none.

Although I delve into the UFO phenomenon, gutfeel never suggested anything like it so I never explore that as a possible explanation -- but then again, I am not completely discounting such possibility. Btw, Noel has a book on that subject that illustrated a number of abductees as having exact experiences I had with electrical charges and the ensuing creativity.

I'd probably borrow his book to learn more about it.

January 23, 2007 6:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Sleep paralysis is a more common phenomenon, Cyberpunk, which I experience until today now and then. But this is short and more annoying than frightening. The episode I had with electrical charges were longer and would occur before I get into that between awake and sleep state.

But in posting that comment of mine to your sleep paralysis entry I did lump together this more common experience along with the electrical charges and one that occured when I was about 16 years old (I will blog about this next).

What was that John Travolta film you mentioned?

January 23, 2007 6:48 AM  

Blogger BW said...

Eric - The John Travolta movie was Phenomenon. It was a story of an ordinary guy who passed out after leaving a bar after seeing a light that almost blinded him. He thought a UFO was trying to get in contact with him. After the incident he became a genius. He could learn Portugeuse in 2 hours by just reading a grammar book. He became a celebrity, a national icon becuase of his exceptional ability.

The climax of the story was he got diagnosed of some kind of a malignant brain tumor and the medical experts instead of helping him heal were more interested in his brain, asking him to donate his brain to science if he passes.The struggle between compassion and selfishness of the scientists was the drama until the end.

The "religious" moral of the story is sometimes the exceptional power given to you can be a double edged sword. If it can bring you fame and fortune, it could also be short-lived and can bring you down quick. The story was pure fiction so don't even entertain thoughts that you are sick of something :)

The soundtrack of this movie was a pretty song by Eric Clapton - " If I can Change the World".

January 23, 2007 7:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, BW -- I didn't see that film but will try to find a DVD in Quiapo later today :)

In my case, like Cruise, I didn't all of a sudden acquire artistic skills as with the character played by John Travolta. What happened instead was I suddenly had the "indefatigable urge to be creative," though I still lack the essential skills. Graphic design was more linear and easier to get into than illustration and that was the reason I got into it. just had to do something creative. Really weird!

Through it all, I must commend my brothers (especially Taba) who never once even for a minute suggested I had gone crazy :) In fact, my brother James even gave me some money so I can afford to buy this incredible Italian drawing board and those Rotring technical pens :)

January 23, 2007 7:51 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

Geez, where do I start ?

Congratulations on the glass medals. You and Sidney would make a VERY good documentary blog of sorts. I enjoy his shots as well. :)

I envy you. :)

"Actually, my friend’s desire to enter New York’s couture fashion industry was not motivated by the money to be made in it, but by the allure of beautiful women and the notorious partying in that community. Anyway, we originally planned to be in it for only three years the most, but we lasted eight years."

As for the electrical charged nights, could it just be low grade adrenaline caused by excessive exhaustion ? That's the same thing that makes a person sleepwalk ?

January 23, 2007 9:27 AM  

Anonymous bw said...

Here's something that might interest you. In the 20 Things YOu Didn't Know About Aliens - Jan 2007 edition of science magazine DISCOVER :

13. Allan Chyene, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo, Ontario says that those who believe they've been abducted by aliens are often prone to experiencing sleep paralysis.

14. In Newfoundland, sleep paralysis is called the "old hag" because it is associated with visions of an elderly woman crouching on the sleeper's chest. In the West Indies, the phenomenon is said to occur when a ghost baby bounces on a snoozer.

January 23, 2007 9:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That's some compliment, Senorito Ako, for you to rank me along with Sidney. He's already up there on the master level, especially with his street photo documentaries. I, on the other hand, still have not found a personal niche as he had.

Envy not, my friend, for you will soon get your own dSLR yourself (they're getting cheaper!).

My best friend helped me tremendously so when he asked for my help, I gladly obliged. It was a fun and crazy business but we were both young enough to absorb the bruises that came along our way. But in the end, we burnt out.

As for the electrical charges, these started to occur after a significant event which I will blog next.

I was always an active person in NYC (long distance bicycling during the summer and downhill skiing in the wintertime; tennis was anytime possible year-round. here was also work and schooling). You might be right about excessive exhaustion, but how come they occurred earlier?

Again, I am not about to dismiss any possible cause to this madness. I have always remained open to all possible answers; that is, until now.

January 23, 2007 9:56 AM  

Anonymous rhoda said...

Eric, alam mo, hindi ka nag-iisa. Ako din, may mga karanasang katulad nito, although hindi ganito sa iyo na may "electrical charges". There were times, kapag malapit na akong makatulog, mararamdaman kong para akong umaangat, tapos, makikita ko ang katawan kong nakahiga. Sort of "astral projection" ba. But I wasn't into transcendental meditation or any of that sort. I was young (teens to twenties), didn't even understand what it was about. It was scary, actually. I couldn't say how many years it lasted, because they occurred intermittently.

But during that experience, napansin ko na parang mayroon akong ESP. There were many times, I could see into the future. Future events in vivid scenarios would flash in my mind. At nagkakatotoo! I never told anyone of it, for fear too, that I would be misjudged. In the end though, I got really scared and I decided not to take it seriously. I guess by now, I have successful managed to outgrow the whole thing. Ayaw kong maging "Madam Auring". :)

Yes, I also believe these things happen for a reason. In your case, it could be "birth pains" to your "artist self".

January 23, 2007 10:11 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Firstly, BW, many thanks for not considering this maddening experience I went through objectively and not just tossing it to mid-life crisis syndrome ... hahaha.

Anyway, that is indeed fascinating.

#13 - I believe there are intelligent life forms out there somewhere in the billion-plus galaxies of our universe. So I believe in the possibility of UFOs, but not that certain yet as for my experience having had direct links to alien abduction (tempting, but I'm still being pragmatic; however, not fully discounting it, either at any time).

There was no unexplainable scar (trace from an alien surgical probe)on any part of my body that I am aware of. Most people who claim to have been abducted have one to show for it.

#14 - There were no apparitions that accompany any of my experiences which I consider to be sleep paralysis. That would be even more terrifying for me!

I'll compose my next blog entry in a bit.

Again, many thanks, BW!

January 23, 2007 10:17 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Sabi nga ba hindi lang ako, eh! :)

That was absolutely amazing, Rhoda. I had a friend in NYC who had similar astral projection-like experiences, but whenever he wanted to consciously replicate the experience, he would always fail. It would just happen again whenever he least expected it. However, unlike you, he never developed a sharpened ESP. I guess he was so focused on the out of body experience.

Another friend (we met when we worked together at some company in NYC). He was also a working student like myself then. Anyway, when we becamse friends, he confided that once after walking home from school (he was in grade school then) while walking through the grassy empty lots, he sudenly became frozen on his tracks and slowly elevated up to about six feet. After a minute or so, he descended ever slowly. Once he laned on the round, he was able to run out of there quickly. Unfotunately, none of his parents believed him. It destroyed him. He became a difficult child to the point that he spent his pre- and teenage years at group homes. He cried when he related this story to me.

Btw, he is now a lawyer specializing in civil rights. He is so passionate that he often got thrown out of court; but never been hit with contempt charges.

Ok, point to all this: It is undoubtedly maddening and I still wonder why we have to undergo such experiences at the risk of being ridiculed if we complained about it.

Now, you got me curious about "birth pains."

Teka, wala naman atang masama kay Madam Auring, ah ... hehehe.

Thanks for your input, Rhoda.

January 23, 2007 10:35 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...


I meant:

"Firstly, BW, many thanks for considering this maddening experience I went through objectively..."

January 23, 2007 10:37 AM  

Anonymous rhoda said...

Eric, your friend's passion with his civil rights lawyering could be attested from his experience before - you know, being ridiculed, failing to gain his parents' understanding.

Just like you, I also have an upside from this experience. As a parent now, I am more understanding of my children than my parents of me before. I am very sensitive to their inner battles, so to speak, because I know that everyone may undergo this stage at some point. And if ever they do, they know who to run to - I will be with them all the way.

Kay Madam Auring - wala ngang masama. Kaya lang, the whole experience was frightening for me as a young person. Very disturbing, actually, that it could drive me crazy if I nurtured it. And I wanted peace within me. :)

January 23, 2007 10:52 AM  

Anonymous rhoda said...

Correction, Eric:

"...could be accounted from his experience before..." (not attested)...

Shucks, this editor in me. :)

January 23, 2007 11:10 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I always look first at the pictures before I start reading.
The top one deserves a first place medal! Cleverly done and exactly what is needed for this entry. Very mysterious looking image!

The second one is also very strong & strange!

I am fascinated by those stories. I believe some people are more prone to experience super natural events. They are probably more open to it and/or more able to make connection with other worlds.

January 23, 2007 12:24 PM  

Anonymous Toe said...

Eric, I'm not a sleep expert but I think what you're having is a lucid dream or what Filipinos call bangungot. I've blogged about it and it's one of my first posts. I didn't care about people thinking I had a loose screw then because I didn't know anyone in the blogosphere yet. :) It used to happen to me frequently and badly. There is a scientific explanation for it. And it does happen when you're more relaxed. Try searching lucid dreaming. If you're interested about my experience, do check this: Bangungot!

January 23, 2007 7:59 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Rhoda, I think you're right about my friend's passion.

Same with me -- I know what such madness brings to one's being and want to be there to offer solace to those having difficulties coping with it.

January 24, 2007 6:47 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks for the compliments, Sidney! I knew those photos will come in handy someday :)

Yes, I envy those blessed enough not to undergo such maddening experiences, really.

January 24, 2007 6:49 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Toe! Just read your well-written entry on "bangungot." Much like lucid dreaming, bangungot or nightmare usually occurs while in deep sleep (REM). My experiences occured before I even got drowsy and enter that between awake and sleep state. So I was fully awake and aware while it happened, though paralyzed.

I read a couple of books many years back about lucid dreaming and was fascinated by it. My brother, in fact, experienced it quite often -- aware that he was dreaming, he would direct its progression in any way he so desired (as if creating a movie). Now that was fun, indeed :)

January 24, 2007 7:00 AM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

At first I thought this was sleep paralysis but then I remembered a link that mention this buzz. The specific paragraph contains lots of mumbo-jumbo terms but basically this buzz seems linked to acquired savant abilities.

Incidentally, this site is also my main source of 2012 data (which I blogged about, by the way). Perhaps by that year we will unlock these mysteries.

January 25, 2007 11:39 PM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

At first I thought this was sleep paralysis but then I remembered a link that mention this buzz. The specific paragraph contains lots of mumbo-jumbo terms but basically this buzz seems linked to acquired savant abilities.

Incidentally, this site is also my main source of 2012 data (which I blogged about, by the way). Perhaps by that year we will unlock these mysteries.

January 25, 2007 11:45 PM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

Sorry for the duplicate posts, you may delete one if you want. I had trouble posting comments since last night.

January 25, 2007 11:57 PM  

Anonymous carla said...

the first time i saw the pictures here i imagined that something might come out from it. they're really mysterious and kinda creepy at the same time, and they're like something i'd see from mystery books.

great pictures, as always. =)

January 26, 2007 6:16 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Many thanks for your comments, Dave. I've just visited both URLs you supplied.

When you have time, please email me your email address at


January 26, 2007 10:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Carla! Sidney had also mentioned that these two B&W photos are really fitting as accompanying photos to this entry :)

January 26, 2007 10:27 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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