Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bio’s ‘Ghost Story’ features Asian encounters

(Published April 23, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

Singer-actress-director Karla Pambid would rather be recognized for her work in the arts instead of her ability to see beings and creatures that most people don’t.

While she doesn’t call it a psychic ability, she has long accepted that her “gift” makes her “more sensitive” than people who don’t have it. Pambid recently appeared on the second season of Bio’s “My Ghost Story Asia,” a weekly series that features three spooky tales from the region per episode.

In Inquirer Entertainment’s exclusive phone interview with Pambid, she clarified that the ability to see ghosts or other entities is innate and cannot be had through other means.

“The ‘gift’ will not present itself unless you’re ready,” she said. “Once you are, it’s just like being made to remember things that you already know. You don’t ‘acquire’ it; it is given. It is not a skill that you hone or practice. You have it or you don’t.”

Pambid cofounded SPIT (Silly People’s Improv Theater) in 2002, and won Cinemalaya’s best supporting actress award in 2010 for her portrayal in the Mark Meily-directed “Donor.”

She is aware of various misconceptions about her unusual ability, and has encountered skepticism from time to time: “Oh, [I’ve been doubted] lots of times. Friends who are not of the same religion and beliefs, and anything that’s not tangible or not agreeable to their beliefs are, for them, the work of the devil. I don’t believe that so, usually I just shut up and stop discussing it with them.”

Having seen some older episodes of “My Ghost Story Asia” has given Pambid a familiarity with the show’s format, as well as insights on things in common with neighboring countries.

“It’s interesting, actually, that they’re doing stories from all over Asia,” she said. “I find it gratifying that [Bio] is doing it. If you are interested, or if you take time to research on the elementals that each Asian country has, there are certain similarities… they have different names in other countries, but they look the same.”

Contacted by Bio to relate some of her hair-raising experiences, Pambid talked onscreen about her supernatural encounters on a tree-lined road near a university, and helped out with the reenactment: “They knew of my experiences on that road, and they asked me to tell them the stories. They needed an assistant director for the shoot here in the Philippines, so I also became that.”

In her segment, she recounted that “elemental guardians,” or horse-headed tikbalangs, would make themselves known to her while she was driving. “I don’t just see. They say ‘hi’ to me… it’s not as creepy as it sounds. Basically, if you know more about the paranormal, [or] at least have an idea of what it is, you won’t be that afraid. It’s kind of fun, actually. It has a fun element.”

As for others with the same gift, Pambid gives them space: “Unless he or she intends to harm others or myself, I let them be and mind my own business—but if any such person opens up to me, we would most probably end up as friends.”

Pambid’s story is one of four Filipino encounters featured on the show. The others are stories from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

(“My Ghost Story Asia” Season 2 airs Thursdays, 9:30 p.m., and Fridays, 11:30 p.m.)             

Summer Toonami
Watch the all-new adventures of Anakin Skywalker and the rest of the Jedi as they fight for peace in “Star Wars: Clone Wars,” weeknights at 6:30 on Cartoon Network. “Dragon Ball Z Kai” follows the escapades of the realm-hopping Goku, airing weekdays at 5:45 p.m. Catch the costumed capers of Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and other sidekicks on “Young Justice,” starting May 6, 5 p.m. 

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