All That Darkness Allows: 13 Tales of Horror and Dread

All That Darkness Allows: 13 Tales of Horror and Dread is an anthology of Filipino horror stories published by Summit Books in 2016. It contains 13 stories by 13 Filipino authors. It also features black-and-white photographs by Shaira Luna. It has a Foreword and a section "About the Authors". If you are just starting to dig into Filipino horror books, starting with this anthology will be a good start.

Here's a list of the stories in the book:

1. All That Darkness Allows by Don Jaucian
2. The Skip by Joseph F. Nacino
3. Dalaw by Nicole V. Ignacio
4. Mama's Here by Mich Lagdameo Roque
5. The Invite by Marla Miniano
6. Sunshine by Chiara Cui
7. All the Birds by Yvette Tan
8. Going Down by Kara Ortiga
9. Fire Tree by Weng Cahiles
10. Analemma by Eliza Victoria
11. Stigmata by Chinggay Labrador
12. Phantoma, Towards a Pharmacology by Karl R. De Mesa
13. Inked by Anton D. Umali

Back-cover blurb:
The moon takes on an ominous form, threatening mankind as it hangs from the heavens. A woman must confront her past and accept her fate when her dying best friend ask her to inherit an ancient power she might not be ready to handle. An LRT skip train sends passengers to an alternate dimension, where manila is ridden with strange creature hungry for flesh. 

A troubled little girl tiptoes around her stern mother after gaining a creepy new playmate. A mysterious all knowing entity manipulates the concept of time, sending a pair of friends on a descent into madness. A young ink aficionado unravels after getting tattoo, possessed by an unknown force that threatens the very fabric of her being. 

 All these stories and more are part of All That Darkness Allows- a modern horror anthology containing 13 works of speculative fiction from today's brightest young literary voices and the country's most prolific author in the genre. Written in blood and penned in the shadows, these are fearsome tales of horror and grief, sick humor and sheer evil, and how the macabre and the mundane can coalesce and coexist, allowing darkness to eventually take over.

The Foreword:
There are already rough sunshiny stories about life grounded in reality. Said tales can have themes that include, but are not limited to: romantic love, budding friendships, adventure, coming of age, family dynamics. They can sometimes be so hinged on a painfully rose-tinted reality that readers might find themselves blinded, unable to explore darker facets of the human condition. Not to say that these narratives aren't important or haven't contributed to the canon of fiction as a whole, but not everyone enjoys rainbows, unicorns, and happy endings. Harsh truth be told, some just prefer literature that deals with blood, guts, and the cold, inescapable kiss of death.

The Best and most popular works of horror have elucidated on themes that include, but are not limited to: the trappings of mortality, spirituality, sexuality, the supernatural, the occult. And when horror successfully navigates these deep, often murky waters, it is able to elevate the form's role in pop culture from mere pulp entertainment.

The common denominator, however, is fear. In this collection of 13 short stories, it comes in many forms: fear of parenthood, fear of accepting one's fate, fear of relinquishing control, fear of confronting the hidden demons that lay dormant until shaken awake. Horror can't exist without fear - they are close cousins entangled in a morbid embrace.

One of the most valuable functions of horror (and speculative fiction in general) - outside of scaring an individual shitless, of course - is to dwell on the questions that can't be answered by genres bound by laws of the real world. For example, how does a Cardinal of the Catholic Church gain true deliverance by feeding on the blood of young prostitutes? Is there another dimension, where ravenous alien-like creatures litter the city streets? Can a new, overprotective mother save her baby from the clutches of an otherworldly intruder? If a woman's menstruation cycle heightened her ESP, how would she use it to her advantage? Would you still call it rape if the victim were a bloodthirsty manananggal?

These are just some of the questions this anthology wishes to answer. In the end, you might discover that those answers were not the ones you were hoping for, and find yourself lost even deeper in the shadows. Don't feel too morose if you do, because sometimes, when you let the macabre consume you whole, when you allow the darkness to come in and blanket your being, it's only then that you actually see the light.