Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I have a story to tell but it is not for the faint-hearted.
It happened about six summers ago yet my recollections are still fresh despite the years for I have never experienced that kind of thing before and I don’t want that harrowing experience to happen again, ever.
As you see, I came from an obscure town in a remote province in southern Philippines where belief in the supernatural is still a way of life.
So it will come as to no surprise when you will hear stories about creatures of the dark-like ghosts, dwarfs, “layog“, “kapre“, “tikbalang“, “manananggal“, etc. in daily conversations of the townspeople although nobody in our town at least to my knowledge had claim to have seen one or have been a victim of one.
Having live half of my life in the capital city of Manila, I brushed off these beliefs as nothing but some sort of tall tales and folklores created by people with wild imaginations and nothing else.
It has no place in the 21st century, so I said to myself until I went back to my hometown for a much needed vacation in the summer of ‘89.
I have a childhood friend whose family had been the victim of vicious rumors and is known all over the town that all of its members are “Layog“…
“Layog” in our folklore are creatures that are cursed to live and look like ordinary people by day but transforms into creatures that can fly and prey on people especially the pregnant and terminally sick people for its blood and innards by night.
It all started when the grandmother of my high school friend who was said to be the original Layog died and it was said that she passed on the curse of the Layogs to my friend’s mother.
For years this single family was the object of wild stories about the supernatural by people who had nothing to do but engage in gossips for almost everyday.
Of course, I don’t believe the rumors for I should know better having spent many days and nights in that household and noticed nothing unusual except for the fact that this family is not very fond of meat. In fact, they prefer to have fish for viand most of the time at least during the times that I was there.
Until one fateful summer night and it was a really hot dry summer night and the moon is full and silver. I was on my way to a card game of “Pusoy” a form of poker in the neighborhood when I passed by the concrete bridge and noticed the mother of my best friend sitting there alone and looking at the full moon.
I approached her and asked her where my friend was. She just looked at me and said nothing. She turned around, looked at me again and without saying a word continued gazing at the full moon oblivious of my presence. Her eyes is transfixed and focused only to the silver moon above!
I was taken aback by her unusual behavior which is a far cry from her usual accommodating self during my visits to her house but passed it off rationalizing that maybe she’s just tired from a day’s work or contemplating on something important and just doesn’t want to be disturbed.
So I went on to the neighborhood and played some poker games with my friends until it was already one o’clock in the morning when we decided to call it quits.
My friends and I went out of the local gambling household and headed for home.
As we pass by the narrow bridge, we heard an eerie sound coming from the sky. It was the unfamiliar sound of a bird harping,” Weeek-weeek” followed by the sounds of wings flapping above our heads!
I looked up in the sky and saw a very dark object that looked like a very big black bird as it makes its descent and gliding towards the three of us-
I shouted at the top of my lungs as we all duck for cover and fell to the ground while our eyes darts out, warily searching for the dark creature into the dark night sky.
From the lights of the lone streetlight we were able to see the familiar silhouette of a woman as it glides and hovers to the lines of Coconut trees on the other side of the dusty road. It stays there for a minute or two and disappeared as fast as we had seen her.
After what it seems like an eternity, we heard a very loud thud coming from the direction of my friend’s house the sound of which is likened to the impact of a bunch of coconuts falling to the ground!It was only then that we realized what it was and fear and horror crept into us as we looked into each other‘s eyes in sheer terror but not for long as we gathered our shaken selves and went on an impromptu Layog- alert watch that night.
Armed with stones and empty bottles of beer we deemed it safer to stick together and decided to spend the night away in the bridge exchanging colorful stories but warily looking up and above our heads once in a while and at the first crack of day went home as if nothing happened.
It took months before we finally broke our silence about the incident and freely talk about it. We do venture out at night for a game of poker but only if it‘s not a full moon.
Sighted by AXN- Asia: 2006