7 illustrators draw their worst nightmares

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

What's your worst nightmare? For artist and illustrator Tokwa Peñaflorida, it's the possibility that someone will take away his family, depicted above in a digital and watercolor illustration. Illustration by TOKWA PEÑAFLORIDA

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Anything is possible when you sleep, when reality becomes clouded by the surreal imaginings of your consciousness. You could be transported to places you’ve never imagined; or you could be fulfilling your deepest, most desperate desires. But you could also be transported to the farthest recesses of your mind, inhabited by your darkest fears and worst nightmares.

It’s perhaps a blessing in disguise that dreams and nightmares fade as soon as we wake up, but what of those which stay and imprint themselves in memory? And what of those that haunt our waking hours in a living nightmare?

CNN Philippines Life asked illustrators to draw their worst nightmares — however they interpret what a ‘nightmare’ is — to give shape to what most of us would rather not face or remember.

elle shivers.png Illustration by ELLE SHIVERS

Elle Shivers

“One of my absolute worst nightmares is getting lost in an unfamiliar area while driving. It definitely doesn't help if it’s in the rain, in the dark, or both. My sense of direction is pitiful at best, and Waze and I never seemed to get along much, for some reason. Thinking about finding myself in that situation really sends chills down my spine. But thankfully, it hasn't happened to me ... yet."

rombutan.jpg Illustration by ROMBUTAN


“I sometimes watch myself sleep and see all these weird figures around me. I can see them staring at me.”

jerwin dee.jpg Illustration by JERWIN DEE

Jerwin Dee

“My worst nightmare was quick but it felt really vivid. I was on my way inside my condo unit, something was off, like everything was huge. There's a nun-like figure in the end of the hallway standing still, I couldn't see her face so I walked towards her. Suddenly a huge deformed baby came running out of nowhere screaming ‘TAKBO! TAKBO!’ Then the nun shouted something I couldn't comprehend but her voice was demonic. I woke up panicking.”

tokwa penaflorida.jpg Illustration by TOKWA PEÑAFLORIDA

Tokwa Peñaflorida

“With all the stuff that's happening in the country right now, the economy, the environment, I'm so scared for my family's safety. I feel helpless sometimes that I can’t always be there to protect them and just thinking about it (and illustrating this) stresses me out. My worst nightmare is that one day while I'm away, someone that I care for will be in harm's way or be taken away from me by things that I can’t control.”

Rob Cham

“I have an overactive imagination.”

Nightmare-Delfin.jpg Illustration by CLAUDINE DELFIN

  Claudine Delfin

"I saw and felt myself die in a dream once. A part of me was inside a car that fell and crashed, while another watched it all happen. The darkness that came after felt like an eternity. I woke up feeling like I've just lost someone and for an entire week, I was alone in mourning my own death."

CNN Life - Nightmare - Tim Lopez.jpg Illustration by TIM LOPEZ

Tim Lopez

“I see my biggest nightmare as an interpretation of an actual recurring nightmare I get every now and then. I'd always wake up from the dream crying because of how vivid it all felt. The scene is a regular dinner with my family. While we’re talking having idle family talk, I turn to my sister and begin breaking her limbs one by one. She’d always be staring right at me with a blank expression while I snap her joints effortlessly. What I got from dismembering my sibling was that the thing I fear most is to hurt the people I care about.”