Filipinos love a good horror story, with all the kids huddled together in the living room. Hilakbot gives its listeners exactly that: essentially a podcast featuring a heartfelt mix of horror stories from Filipinos, both true and fictional. When the clock strikes nine every evening, Hilakbot TV releases horror stories that are sure to give listeners goosebumps.
Hosted by Jahred Christopher Vince Delos Santos — a.k.a. RED — Hilakbot speaks to those who want to experience great fear. Horror-lovers can decide how far they want to go with each podcast that RED shares: from a scary apartment, a Hell Mary, to a strange doppelganger. Through these stories, everyday Filipinos can share their very own creepy encounters.
Behind the Podcast
Hilakbot came about from a Halloween drinking session between friends. An exchange of ghost stories and creepy experiences led to a thousand video views on YouTube the following morning. Right there and then, Rhiko Loko and his friends decided to arrange everything: story writing, editing, sound design, recording. They named the channel: Hilakbot TV.
As batang 90’s themselves, Loko and his friends were inspired by Gabi ng Lagim. They believed that they could provide the same storytelling for Pinoy scary story junkies of today — especially because only two other horror platforms existed during that time.
RED is a Mass Communications graduate, a former radio DJ (2007), and a full-time call center agent and events voiceover since 2010. On the weekend, he keeps himself busy as an online article writer.
By the second quarter of 2019, the podcast already built a loyal following in the country, led by RED’s storytelling. Despite its loyal following, however, the Hilakbot team leverages the constructive criticism they receive to continue improving each episode.
“The majority of our solid Pinoy listeners would tell us that listening to our stories helps them avoid homesickness (OFWs). Since this is a barkada passion project, we only hope that more horror stories will be aired soon,” shared content producer and editor Rhiko Loko.
So the big question is: What sets Hilakbot apart from other horror podcasts?
“We make sure that the selection of sound effects and scores really match the type of storytelling, where listeners feel the suspenseful ambiance. Listeners play a part in the story. Bukod sa story flow, the narration, and sound design were also given top priorities,” Loko added.
Indeed, Hilakbot provides all things horror-related. But beyond a collection of scary stories, Hilakbot is a platform where everyday Filipinos can share their experiences. Listeners have the opportunity to get a taste of the scariest stories from all over the country; sharing the same love for the horror of Hilakbot.
Most podcast listeners crave true ghost stories and real paranormal encounters. The content producers of Hilakbot keep this in mind when choosing stories to feature. So if a dark fiction story is featured, they ensure that there is a plot twist for its listeners to keep them on their feet.
Beyond the podcast, the team behind Hilakbot is already making content on Sindak Short Stories — a side channel of HTV — as well as Hilakbot TV. Documentaries are also the insight, so listeners can look forward to that too!
You can tune into a Hilakbot TV podcast through several platforms: Anchor, Youtube, and their Facebook page among others. Apart from their podcast channels, you may also like to stay connected with Hilakbot TV through Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Written by Emee Marjorie Dy