Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Threes

My mom and aunt flew home to Bohol last May to celebrate our hometown’s fiesta. While there my aunt suffered several mild strokes; the last one landed her at the community hospital in Tagbilaran. My mom extended her stay in Bohol to take care of her older sister. My younger brother Andrew eventually followed to Bohol to help my mom.

A couple of weeks ago my brother texted me, saying they were flying back to Manila on Friday the 15th. He said my mom misses the city life; besides, taking care of my aunt was slowly taking a toll on her too. Then his last SMS was a bit cryptic: “Ay Kuya, may ikukuwento pala ako sa inyo ni Ate pag-uwi namin. Parang pang-Supernatural!”

* * * * *

A few days before my brother was to fly to Bohol, my aunt was discharged from the hospital. She and my mom moved in to my another aunt’s house in Bilar (if they stayed in our house they’d be the only two ones there). My mom shared a bed with my aunt so she can always be ready to help her during the night.

One evening my mom woke up with a start. At the foot, on my aunt’s side of the bed, stood four hooded figures. (When we asked her for more details, my mom said one held something like a sickle, while another had something like a pitchfork.)

My mom is not the type who believed in supernatural stuff. I got my skepticism from her; but unlike my preference for a logical and scientific explanation, hers is a belief that “ghosts and supernatural beings” are the products of a weak faith in the Lord. So what she did next was classic of her: she made the sign of the cross at them. When they refused to go away, she said to herself, “That’s it! Might as well approach them and see who they really are.” So she turned around to get up from her side of the bed, her back towards the hooded figures. When she stood up and turned around to face them, they were gone.

She didn’t bother to tell my aunt about them the next morning. And by the time my brother arrived in Bohol, she completely dismissed it.

* * * * *

One evening my brother and my mom stood at the doorway to my aunt’s bedroom, discussing their plans for the next day. My aunt was already in bed, still awake. The light in the bedroom was already switched off; the only light source was coming from the small bulb lighting the hallway outside.

My brother and mom were whispering so as to allow my aunt to fall asleep. So they were both startled when my aunt exclaimed in a loud voice, “Kinsa man na?!”

My mom was already tired from a long day, so she just snapped, “It’s just Andrew.”

My brother went back to his room. (Later on he would tell us, “There really was panic in auntie’s voice.”) My mom went over to my aunt’s side. “Why were you asking who I was talking to? It’s just Andrew.”

“Hindi!” my aunt insisted. “There were three of you at the doorway!” She insisted it was another man, but she couldn’t tell who because his face was in shadows.

And that’s when my mom remembered the four hooded figures.

* * * * *

“They say that Death comes in threes.” That’s what the old folks in our quiet town of Bilar, Bohol believe.

My mom and aunt have three cousins who lived a few streets away. (We used to call their house pikas ba’y or “the other house.”) They were sisters who never married; they were fondly called “Tres Marias” (“Three Marys”).

While my mom and aunt were in Bohol, one of the Marias died because of Alzheimer’s disease. A second Maria was rushed to the hospital the same day my aunt was hospitalized. She is also expected to follow her other sister soon.

Upon hearing from my mom about the third shadow in the doorway and the four hooded figures, my brother concluded, “Let’s get Auntie out of here. I think Someone’s trying to pick her up.”

* * * * *

Now at home in Marikina, my aunt stays in my room because it is the one beside my mom’s bedroom (although she still sleeps with my aunt at night). My aunt sleeps with the door always ajar, but with the light in the hallway switched off (she finds it too bright). Only an angel-shaped night lamp provides light inside the room.

So far my brother, mom or sister have not reported any strange happenings or sightings in the house.


Dats said...

Joel, natakot ako sa entry mo...
baket ngaba binasa ko pa eh... tsk...
and Bisaya di'ay kamo?

palma tayona said...

Seeing spirits ain't so bad. I am used to it since I've been living with 3 ghosts in my apartment since I moved here. (You've been here, right?)

This used to be a lying-in maternity clinic and prior to that, was formerly a site of an 'Ang Tibay Shoes' building that got burned down in the 60's. Urban legend has it that the old 'katiwala' died in the fire on the second floor right where my apartment is now. I guess that's the ghost of the old man my cousins and guests have seen on separate occasions. The second 'ghost' I simply call 'Marita' - probably the spirit of a mid-thirties woman who died giving birth here before in the late seventies. Dunno her name though since the doctor who once rented this place is long died. And the third, well, couldn't place whose spirit he is, but has been 'seen' by a male guest of mine when he was watching tv. From the corner if eye, he saw a young teenage boy walking from the stair landing on the third floor to the comfort room.

Personally, these three entities keep me company. but sometimes can be annoying especially when I feel they're restless and I can't sleep. It makes me feel like I am living with a baranggay of spirits.

However, seeing spirits like in your narration with one of them carrying a sickle-like rod, now THAT can give one the creeps.

ana said...

Taga Bohol ka pala... I've never been there and sana before the end of the year ay makapunta ako doon...

joelmcvie said...

@DATS: Well... my mom and aunt ang talagang Bisaya; we offsprings were born and raised in Manila na. =)

Anonymous said...

oooh, this entry sent shivers up my spine.

Ipe Wacka-Wacka said...

buti sa office ko na to binasa.

Fritz said...

Hmmm... the Philippines has its local version of the Fates called "Kumakatok". I read about them in "The Balete Book" by the Paraiso Brothers published by Giraffe Books, 2003. It was said that after WWII the Kumakatok was never heard from again... are they having a come back? >_< Here's a link mentioning them