Have you remember this line in a famous horror movie that shortly explains an urban legend? Well, every time I watch the movie, it always give me that feeling of fear. But even so, I do love it very much.'Where did this story come from?' Asakawa-san asked.
'Nobody starts these kind of stories. Whatever people feel anxious about becomes rumor and starts to spread.' Ryuji-san answered.
'Or people start them, hoping things will turn out like this.'
I am talking about the 1998 Japanese Horror film - Ring. The quote itself somehow explains the origination of urban legends.
Urban Legends (also known as Contemporary Legends) are modern folkloric stories or false information or representation which affects the lives of people in a particular country where the said story was told. Not all urban legends are false, some of them came from real origination or the story itself is actually real. They became untrue once the story was outraged and exaggerated or added with excessive details.
The Philippine urban legend stories focus mainly on paranormal creatures, business competition strategies, historical figures, health issues, and western influences. These tales are similar to what Filipinos called as Kwentong Bayan, however, in a modernized way. Other names are Kwentong Kotsero (Driver's Tale), Kwentong Kalye (Street Tale), and Kwentong Barbero (Barber's Tale or Parlor Tale), which are often used to refer to stories of modern times. The main elements of these stories composed of supernatural events, heard from a friend-of-a-friend or foreign tale-tellers, and real-life experiences.
No doubt that the modern Filipinos still remember their traditional lower mythical creatures even though they were influenced with western culture. Other example for that is the urban legend about the Manananggal in Tondo, the Sigbin as cure for AIDS, and the Ghost (White Lady) of Balete Drive. Those depicts traditional lower myths although in a modern setting and event.
The Proctor and Gamble's issue of being connected to a satanic organization which spread out from overseas to the whole country; the Romblon Triangle; the Alien Abduction ; and Moviegoer scare are examples of western influences which made a large impact to Filipinos of this time. Taking this as an evidence of affection to the outside culture, make the Filipino more modernized.
These legends also give cautionary effect to the people of what should they do to prevent going to that place and even buying that kind of product. But there are some legends which only give bad image to a company or to an individual person; some give meanings to why that person look like that of the famous one; and some just want to scare everybody. And because the country was composed of many different kinds of traditions and customs, every single group of ethnicity has there own urban legend.