AN URBAN legend, according to Merriam-Webster, is a story about an unusual event or occurrence that many people believe is true but that is not true.
In Cebu, there are stories that have been told time and again from generation to generation, and whether there is a hint of truth to these or not, there is no denying that these contribute to the colorful oral history of the Cebuanos.
Here are five of the most popular urban legends Cebuanos know too well:
1. The kugtong in a milling company in Lapu-Lapu City.
Locals of the island city of Lapu-Lapu know too well the story of a grouper fish living under a milling company. The fish is said to be so big that it can swallow a person whole. Some people would say that it has razor sharp teeth and scales allegedly because it mutated due to the biological waste products of the milling company.
A variation of this story states that the owners consider the fish lucky and that it is fed a live person to continue bringing in business abundance.
2. University of San Carlos' Minda Mora
If you are a student of the University of San Carlos, you have probably heard the story of Minda Mora. The stories have it that she is a student who loves to perform, until one night, tragedy struck and she was raped by several security personnel. Her body was said to be buried within the USC Cultural Center. Because of her gruesome death, she continues to haunt people.
How old were you when the story about Lily spread like wildfire?
According to stories, Lily was a witch, an aswang or a mangtas. She is said to devour people especially at midnight when the moon shines so bright. People wanted to capture her but whenever people hear news of her whereabouts; she is already nowhere to be found.
4. A mall owner's "snake twin"
You've probably been warned about going to a certain mall, especially inside the fitting room as allegedly, the floor will suddenly open up and you will come face-to-face with a man-snake, allegedly the twin of the owner. The target? Beautiful women.
Even Alice Dixon, who was very popular during the '80s and '90s was said to be a victim but the snake fell in love with her and set her free. So what happened to him?
5. Cat meat siopao
If you're eating now, don't read this.
Rumor has it that during the war, there was a great scarcity of meat that people resorted to using cat meat as substitute stuffing for the steamed bun. Long after the war though, this story continues to circulate.
Which of these urban legends have you heard?
(Illustrations by Geraldine Sypieco)