Thursday, April 16, 2015

Paul Walker

I can't help it! The feeling of sadness after watching the latest Fast and Furious 7 (2015). My friends even cried after we watched it in the theater. They obviously were in love with Paul Walker.

Paul Walker died after a car accident. It was a surprising death of an actor who you always see riding a cool car in a movie. No one even thought that the one which brought him to stardom will be the cause of his death.

It was November 30, 2013 when the accident happened. His friend, Roger Rodas, had been driving the car at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour or 100 miles per hour before it hit a concrete pole and several other trees. Then, it bursts into flames after, although it was believed that Paul Walker died through those impacts they'd been.

Paul Walker (Paul William Walker IV, his real name) was born on September 12, 1973 in Glendale, California, U.S.A., and died at the age of 40.

Before he died, he co-hosted a charity event for the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) victims in the Philippines in Santa Clarita, California through his non-profit organization, Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW).

Anyway, I always heard this conspiracy theory on what really is the reason of his death, and that's what we're going to talk about today.

The Origin

According to, below is the post that originated rumors about Paul Walker's death:

[Taken from the Internet:[1]]

"Paul Walker and his friend were killed shortly after they discovered a conspiracy to supply victims of Typhoon Haiyan with a prototype permanent birth control drug hidden in medicinal supplies and food aid. They had a damning recording and they were on their way to rendezvous with an ally who would have helped them get in touch with the right people. Turns out they were betrayed and someone rigged their car's breaks to malfunction after a certain speed. Now that the loose end has been tied up, and the recording destroyed, the people responsible have nothing to fear as this will become another "conspiracy theory" no one will take seriously."

I don't know if the creator of this is trying to connect it with the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines, which is as of now been discussed. Philippines continuously grows in terms of population, and such act of including a pill for birth control in relief medicines is one way of reducing the population, but one thing is alarming here, it says that it was a permanent birth control.

Well, obviously the person really dislikes the idea of birth control and RH Bill.

Another one, with a different story, came, which was posted on the same forum as the one above:

[Taken from the Internet:]

"Apparently, Paul Walker had discovered dirty money in the Philippines disaster relief and that would make sense because he owned a company that specialized in rapid disaster relief."

It was suggested that the money in the relief funds was being pilfered by the corrupt officials of the Philippines. These are not an unavoidable case of doubt for Filipinos, especially the Pork Barrel Scam was still fresh that time.


These rumors only mean two things: First, they can't believe that Paul Walker died just like that. And second, they don't want to believe that it's really just an accident. On the other hand, people are trying to make stories behind what's happening in the Philippines. I strongly believe a Filipino created such stories if not then I'm wrong.

2013 had been very harsh to my country. Small typhoons unexpectedly flooded places which usually don't flood at all. Earthquakes struck Visayan provinces and cities, then the gigantic and ferocious Typhoon we named Yolanda destroyed and wiped out a great city into a desert of debris. Then 22 days later, an actor who helped Filipino victims suddenly died.

Every time I see videos of the Typhoon Yolanda victims, I can't help regretting I was celebrating my birthday the same time it was destroying and killing hundreds or thousands of my countrymen.


Friday, February 20, 2015

The First European

When I was still an elementary pupil, our teacher in history taught us that the first Europeans who made it in the Philippines were Ferdinand Magellan and his troops, that they arrived in 1521 and died because of Lapu-lapu. But actually, they were not the only Europeans who had set foot in the Philippines, and even not the first Westeners who came here.

It is not known who really was the first European, but there are records written by those who came here evidencing their presence. Some of them just arrived here by accident, maybe driven by weather as it was a custom to sailors to find the nearest island so they can take refuge on it. And some are traders from our neighboring countries.

The First Europeans before Ferdinand Magellan

Tomé Pires

Tomé Pires was a Portuguese pharmacist who went to Malacca from Lisbon, and spent almost four years of his life in the Orient. He wrote a book entitled Suma Oriental Que trata do Mar Roxo ate aos Chins (Summa of the East, from the Red Sea up to the Chinese). At that same book, our country was mentioned. Of course, Philippines was not yet named as Philippines that time, so they named our ancestors Luções, as it was also the name they call themselves that time.

In his book, he described our people as heathens, and that they (the pre-Hispanic Filipinos) are traders of gold and foodstuffs. Though he also mentioned that our golds are of very low quality.

Pero Fidalgo

He was mentioned in a Contesão commentary. According to it, in June 1545 a Portuguese named Pero Fidalgo left Borneo and was driven by winds towards the north where he found an island of which they called dos Luções because thats what the inhabitants called themselves.

Others with unknown identity

In addition to that, the Contesão commentary also said that it is possible that many Portuguese had already gone in the Philippines maybe by accident or by purpose, because when Magellan arrived in Malhou (an island south-eastern of the Philippines) the natives said, they've already seen people like them (Magellan and his comrades).


Hippalus was a sailor who made it in southeastern Far East and called it Maniolas which is probably Manila, then told Claudius Ptolemy about this Beautiful Islands south of China. Even Jose Rizal believed that on Ptolemy's map, Philippines was depicted. But this fact was dismissed by Trinidad Pardo de Tavera.

Shanti Deva

Reincarnation. Past Life. That's one mystery that people still believe there is. For what I know, Hindu believes in this kind of life cycle. When you are a wicked person now, in your next life, possibly you are an insect or some kind of unlikable animal, but if you lived in a good and promising life then in your next life you're still a human.

I wonder what I am in my past life.

Anyway, I just stumbled upon a bizarre article which amazes and wonders me. It even made me think, is there really a past life? As a Christian, I do believe that the Spirit of a deceased person goes directly to heaven or hell and never comes back to Earth, well, except if God wants that ghost to stay or go back from heaven.

The Story

Reincarnation and the case of Shanti Deva

For many, the coherent and cohesive descriptions of different environments recounted by very small children are altogether more persuasive. One benchmark case is that of Shanti Deva. In 1930, aged 4, Shanti told her parents that she had once lived in a place called Muttra, that she had been a mother of three who died in childbirth and that her previous name had been Ludgi.

Only when they were continually pressed by the youngster did the bewildered family from Delhi investigate. They discovered there was indeed a village called Muttra and that a woman named Ludgi had recently died there. When Shanti was taken to the village, she lapsed into local dialect and recognized her previous-life husband and children. She even gave twenty-four accurate statements that matched confirmed facts, an impressive feat for such a young child, and one that it would be impossible to hoax.

Since 1967, psychiatrist Dr Ian Stevenson has pioneered the scientific study of spontaneous past life recollections among infants. Usually a youngster is aged between two and five years old when they describe what went on in a previous existence. In most cases, although not all, recall has faded by the age of seven.

Having interviewed thousands of children from all over the world, Dr Stevenson has discovered some interesting facets to the phenomenon. In some cases, the mother had experienced a prophetic dream, announcing or implying the past life identity of the child in her womb. Meanwhile, a number of children claiming a previous existence bore birthmarks that corresponded to wounds inflicted on them when they lived before. For example, a boy in India who was born without fingers on one hand remembered that in a prior existence he had put his hand into the blades of a fodder-chopping machine, amputating the digits. Dr Stevenson aimed to corroborate the verbal evidence of a child with relevant death certificates and interviews with witnesses to both existences.

Critics think the prophetic dreams are no more than wishful thinking. They credit Dr Stevenson with collecting anecdotal rather than scientific evidence.

Yet some of his cases are compelling and strangely thought-provoking. On one occasion, Dr Stevenson made an unannounced visit to a Druze village in Lebanon to see if any children there were subject to past life statements. He was immediately dispatched to the home of 5-year-old Imad Elawar, who had for several years been talking about another life in a different village some 40km distant. Young Imad had even stopped a former neighbour in the street to share recollections about the life he once lived. His first words as a child were Jamileh and Mahmoud, the names of his mistress and uncle in his previous life. Stevenson noted more than fifty-seven separate claims by the child about his past life, the majority of which could be supported with evidence from elsewhere.

While the study of reincarnation has leapt ahead recently, it is a subject that is by no means the preserve of the modern age. In 1824, a Japanese boy called Kastugoro recounted details of a village where he had once lived and the family that was once his own. Despite his tender age, the minutiae he recalled were sufficient to persuade investigators of the day that past lives were a reality.

Throughout the ages, belief in reincarnation has been powerful and widespread. Perhaps we are closer to history than we imagine…

For more about her, you can also vist:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

May Day Eve

Pumasok na naman ang buwan ng Mayo.
(May has arrived again.)

I can still remember the way how my Grandmother mutters those words everytime May 1 has arrived again. She's the one who told me everything about Agua de Mayo (literally, The water of May; The first rain of May). She said, the first rain water that pours on earth in May is considered a holy water. If you take a bath on the first rain, your illnesses, especially your skin diseases, will be washed away. Not exactly an instant healing just like a magic, but it cures slowly through time.

On the otherhand, the month of May is also the month of town fiestas, when every house prepares delicious and tempting foods for their neighboring town's people and relatives. That's the time when families are buried with debt. Flores de Mayo (Spanish word for Flowers of May), when beautiful young maidens and handsome youths of the town were chosen to take part on the famous parade, is also celebrated in the same month.

Overall, May is one of the busiest month in the whole year for Filipinos.

But not only good things prevail on this month. Many people believe that May is also one of the mysterious month of the year. I think, second to the month when the Holy Week is celebrated. Witches fly everywhere, collect herbs, create many powerful talismans, gathers inside a cave, and do their rituals (though it usually happens every Holy Week).

Aside of that, one story tells us some kind of a magical ritual that anyone can perform on the same month. And that's what the May Day Eve short story of Nick Joaquin tells about. But before we proceed with the story, let's first have a brief history.

May Day Eve

May Day Eve was used by Nick Joaquin, a classic Philippine Literature writer, as title to his short story of a lady, named Agueda, who wanted to know her future husband, performed the May day eve ritual, with Old Anastacia's direction of how to do it.

Old Anastacia warned her of the results she might face in doing such a deed. Thus, instead of seeing her future spouse, she saw the devil's face on the mirror.

Anyway, May day eve is actually an evening in the month of May (whatever day you choose). It's when people can perform paranormal or supernatural activities like playing with the ouija board, divinition, and many more, which will give you a better result.

One famous ritual still performed today was the same ritual used in the Bloody Mary urban legend from the Western countries.

"You must take a candle," she instructed, "and go into a room that is dark and that has a mirror in it and you must be alone in the room. Go up to the mirror and close your eyes and shy:

Mirror, mirror,
show to me
him whose woman
I will be.

If all goes right, just above your left shoulder will appear the face of the man you will marry."

A silence. Then: "And hat if all does not go right?" asked Agueda.

"Ah, then the Lord have mercy on you!" "Why." "Because you may see--the Devil!"
That's the direction given by Old Anastascia to young Agueda.

Nick Joaquin's story gave a large influence on many Filipinos. In those time, people are scared going on a dark room alone with a mirror hanged on its wall or standing by its feet, because they said, they might see the devil just like what happened to young Agueda.

[Here's the whole story:]

May Day Eve
By: Nick Joaquin

The old people had ordered that the dancing should stop at ten o’clock but it was almost midnight before the carriages came filing up the departing guests, while the girls who were staying were promptly herded upstairs to the bedrooms, the young men gathering around to wish them a good night and lamenting their ascent with mock signs and moaning, proclaiming themselves disconsolate but straightway going off to finish the punch and the brandy though they were quite drunk already and simply bursting with wild spirits, merriment, arrogance and audacity, for they were young bucks newly arrived from Europe; the ball had been in their honor; and they had waltzed and polka-ed and bragged and swaggered and flirted all night and where in no mood to sleep yet--no, caramba, not on this moist tropic eve! not on this mystic May eve! --with the night still young and so seductive that it was madness not to go out, not to go forth---and serenade the neighbors! cried one; and swim in the Pasid! cried another; and gather fireflies! cried a third—whereupon there arose a great clamor for coats and capes, for hats and canes, and they were a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage rattled away upon the cobbles while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tile roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wile sky murky with clouds, save where an evil young moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable childhood fragrances or ripe guavas to the young men trooping so uproariously down the street that the girls who were desiring upstairs in the bedrooms catered screaming to the windows, crowded giggling at the windows, but were soon sighing amorously over those young men bawling below; over those wicked young men and their handsome apparel, their proud flashing eyes, and their elegant mustaches so black and vivid in the moonlight that the girls were quite ravished with love, and began crying to one another how carefree were men but how awful to be a girl and what a horrid, horrid world it was, till old Anastasia plucked them off by the ear or the pigtail and chases them off to bed---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobble and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee, and the mighty roll of his great voice booming through the night, "Guardia serno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o.

And it was May again, said the old Anastasia. It was the first day of May and witches were abroad in the night, she said--for it was a night of divination, and night of lovers, and those who cared might peer into a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry, said the old Anastasia as she hobble about picking up the piled crinolines and folding up shawls and raking slippers in corner while the girls climbing into four great poster-beds that overwhelmed the room began shrieking with terror, scrambling over each other and imploring the old woman not to frighten them.

"Enough, enough, Anastasia! We want to sleep!"

"Go scare the boys instead, you old witch!"

"She is not a witch, she is a maga. She is a maga. She was born of Christmas Eve!"

"St. Anastasia, virgin and martyr."

"Huh? Impossible! She has conquered seven husbands! Are you a virgin, Anastasia?"

"No, but I am seven times a martyr because of you girls!"

"Let her prophesy, let her prophesy! Whom will I marry, old gypsy? Come, tell me."

"You may learn in a mirror if you are not afraid."

"I am not afraid, I will go," cried the young cousin Agueda, jumping up in bed.

"Girls, girls---we are making too much noise! My mother will hear and will come and pinch us all. Agueda, lie down! And you Anastasia, I command you to shut your mouth and go away!""Your mother told me to stay here all night, my grand lady!"

"And I will not lie down!" cried the rebellious Agueda, leaping to the floor. "Stay, old woman. Tell me what I have to do."

"Tell her! Tell her!" chimed the other girls.

The old woman dropped the clothes she had gathered and approached and fixed her eyes on the girl. "You must take a candle," she instructed, "and go into a room that is dark and that has a mirror in it and you must be alone in the room. Go up to the mirror and close your eyes and shy:

Mirror, mirror,
show to me
him whose woman
I will be.

If all goes right, just above your left shoulder will appear the face of the man you will marry."

A silence. Then: "And hat if all does not go right?" asked Agueda.

"Ah, then the Lord have mercy on you!" "Why." "Because you may see--the Devil!"

The girls screamed and clutched one another, shivering.

"But what nonsense!" cried Agueda. "This is the year 1847. There are no devil anymore!" Nevertheless she had turned pale. "But where could I go, hugh? Yes, I know! Down to the sala. It has that big mirror and no one is there now."

"No, Agueda, no! It is a mortal sin! You will see the devil!"

"I do not care! I am not afraid! I will go!"

"Oh, you wicked girl! Oh, you mad girl!" "If you do not come to bed, Agueda, I will call my mother."

"And if you do I will tell her who came to visit you at the convent last March. Come, old woman---give me that candle. I go."

"Oh girls---give me that candle, I go."

But Agueda had already slipped outside; was already tiptoeing across the hall; her feet bare and her dark hair falling down her shoulders and streaming in the wind as she fled down the stairs, the lighted candle sputtering in one hand while with the other she pulled up her white gown from her ankles.

She paused breathless in the doorway to the sala and her heart failed her. She tried to imagine the room filled again with lights, laughter, whirling couples, and the jolly jerky music of the fiddlers. But, oh, it was a dark den, a weird cavern for the windows had been closed and the furniture stacked up against the walls. She crossed herself and stepped inside.

The mirror hung on the wall before her; a big antique mirror with a gold frame carved into leaves and flowers and mysterious curlicues. She saw herself approaching fearfully in it: a small while ghost that the darkness bodied forth---but not willingly, not completely, for her eyes and hair were so dark that the face approaching in the mirror seemed only a mask that floated forward; a bright mask with two holes gaping in it, blown forward by the white cloud of her gown. But when she stood before the mirror she lifted the candle level with her chin and the dead mask bloomed into her living face.

She closed her eyes and whispered the incantation. When she had finished such a terror took hold of her that she felt unable to move, unable to open her eyes and thought she would stand there forever, enchanted. But she heard a step behind her, and a smothered giggle, and instantly opened her eyes.

"And what did you see, Mama? Oh, what was it?" But Dona Agueda had forgotten the little girl on her lap: she was staring pass the curly head nestling at her breast and seeing herself in the big mirror hanging in the room. It was the same room and the same mirror out the face she now saw in it was an old face---a hard, bitter, vengeful face, framed in graying hair, and so sadly altered, so sadly different from that other face like a white mask, that fresh young face like a pure mask than she had brought before this mirror one wild May Day midnight years and years ago.... "But what was it Mama? Oh please go on! What did you see?" Dona Agueda looked down at her daughter but her face did not soften though her eyes filled with tears.

"I saw the devil." she said bitterly. The child blanched.

"The devil, Mama? Oh... Oh..."

"Yes, my love. I opened my eyes and there in the mirror, smiling at me over my left shoulder, was the face of the devil."

"Oh, my poor little Mama! And were you very frightened?"

"You can imagine. And that is why good little girls do not look into mirrors except when their mothers tell them. You must stop this naughty habit, darling, of admiring yourself in every mirror you pass- or you may see something frightful some day."

"But the devil, Mama---what did he look like?"

"Well, let me see... he has curly hair and a scar on his cheek---"

"Like the scar of Papa?"

"Well, yes. But this of the devil was a scar of sin, while that of your Papa is a scar of honor. Or so he says."

"Go on about the devil." "Well, he had mustaches."

"Like those of Papa?"

"Oh, no. Those of your Papa are dirty and graying and smell horribly of tobacco, while these of the devil were very black and elegant--oh, how elegant!"

"And did he speak to you, Mama?"

"Yes… Yes, he spoke to me," said Dona Agueda. And bowing her graying head; she wept.

"Charms like yours have no need for a candle, fair one," he had said, smiling at her in the mirror and stepping back to give her a low mocking bow. She had whirled around and glared at him and he had burst into laughter.

"But I remember you!" he cried.

"You are Agueda, whom I left a mere infant and came home to find a tremendous beauty, and I danced a waltz with you but you would not give me the polka."

"Let me pass," she muttered fiercely, for he was barring the way.

"But I want to dance the polka with you, fair one," he said.

So they stood before the mirror; their panting breath the only sound in the dark room; the candle shining between them and flinging their shadows to the wall. And young Badoy Montiya (who had crept home very drunk to pass out quietly in bed) suddenly found himself cold sober and very much awake and ready for anything. His eyes sparkled and the scar on his face gleamed scarlet.

"Let me pass!" she cried again, in a voice of fury, but he grasped her by the wrist.

"No," he smiled.

"Not until we have danced."

"Go to the devil!"

"What a temper has my serrana!"

"I am not your serrana!"

"Whose, then? Someone I know? Someone I have offended grievously? Because you treat me, you treat all my friends like your mortal enemies."

"And why not?" she demanded, jerking her wrist away and flashing her teeth in his face. "Oh, how I detest you, you pompous young men! You go to Europe and you come back elegant lords and we poor girls are too tame to please you. We have no grace like the Parisiennes, we have no fire like the Sevillians, and we have no salt, no salt, no salt! Aie, how you weary me, how you bore me, you fastidious men!"

"Come, come---how do you know about us?"

"I have heard you talking, I have heard you talking among yourselves, and I despise the pack of you!"

"But clearly you do not despise yourself, senorita. You come to admire your charms in the mirror even in the middle of the night!"

She turned livid and he had a moment of malicious satisfaction.

"I was not admiring myself, sir!"

"You were admiring the moon perhaps?"

"Oh!" she gasped, and burst into tears. The candle dropped from her hand and she covered her face and sobbed piteously. The candle had gone out and they stood in darkness, and young Badoy was conscience-stricken.

"Oh, do not cry, little one! Oh, please forgive me! Please do not cry! But what a brute I am! I was drunk, little one, I was drunk and knew not what I said."

He groped and found her hand and touched it to his lips. She shuddered in her white gown.

"Let me go," she moaned, and tugged feebly.

"No. Say you forgive me first. Say you forgive me, Agueda."

But instead she pulled his hand to her mouth and bit it - bit so sharply in the knuckles that he cried with pain and lashed cut with his other hand--lashed out and hit the air, for she was gone, she had fled, and he heard the rustling of her skirts up the stairs as he furiously sucked his bleeding fingers.

Cruel thoughts raced through his head: he would go and tell his mother and make her turn the savage girl out of the house--or he would go himself to the girl’s room and drag her out of bed and slap, slap, slap her silly face! But at the same time he was thinking that they were all going to Antipolo in the morning and was already planning how he would maneuver himself into the same boat with her.

Oh, he would have his revenge, he would make her pay, that little harlot! She should suffer for this, he thought greedily, licking his bleeding knuckles. But---Judas! He remembered her bare shoulders: gold in her candlelight and delicately furred. He saw the mobile insolence of her neck, and her taut breasts steady in the fluid gown. Son of a Turk, but she was quite enchanting! How could she think she had no fire or grace? And no salt? An arroba she had of it!

"... No lack of salt in the chrism
At the moment of thy baptism!"

He sang aloud in the dark room and suddenly realized that he had fallen madly in love with her. He ached intensely to see her again---at once! ---to touch her hands and her hair; to hear her harsh voice. He ran to the window and flung open the casements and the beauty of the night struck him back like a blow. It was May, it was summer, and he was young---young! ---and deliriously in love. Such a happiness welled up within him that the tears spurted from his eyes.

But he did not forgive her--no! He would still make her pay, he would still have his revenge, he thought viciously, and kissed his wounded fingers. But what a night it had been! "I will never forge this night! he thought aloud in an awed voice, standing by the window in the dark room, the tears in his eyes and the wind in his hair and his bleeding knuckles pressed to his mouth.

But, alas, the heart forgets; the heart is distracted; and May time passes; summer lends; the storms break over the rot-tipe orchards and the heart grows old; while the hours, the days, the months, and the years pile up and pile up, till the mind becomes too crowded, too confused: dust gathers in it; cobwebs multiply; the walls darken and fall into ruin and decay; the memory perished...and there came a time when Don Badoy Montiya walked home through a May Day midnight without remembering, without even caring to remember; being merely concerned in feeling his way across the street with his cane; his eyes having grown quite dim and his legs uncertain--for he was old; he was over sixty; he was a very stopped and shivered old man with white hair and mustaches coming home from a secret meeting of conspirators; his mind still resounding with the speeches and his patriot heart still exultant as he picked his way up the steps to the front door and inside into the slumbering darkness of the house; wholly unconscious of the May night, till on his way down the hall, chancing to glance into the sala, he shuddered, he stopped, his blood ran cold-- for he had seen a face in the mirror there---a ghostly candlelight face with the eyes closed and the lips moving, a face that he suddenly felt he had been there before though it was a full minutes before the lost memory came flowing, came tiding back, so overflooding the actual moment and so swiftly washing away the piled hours and days and months and years that he was left suddenly young again; he was a gay young buck again, lately came from Europe; he had been dancing all night; he was very drunk; he s stepped in the doorway; he saw a face in the dark; he called out...and the lad standing before the mirror (for it was a lad in a night go jumped with fright and almost dropped his candle, but looking around and seeing the old man, laughed out with relief and came running.

"Oh Grandpa, how you frightened me. Don Badoy had turned very pale. "So it was you, you young bandit! And what is all this, hey? What are you doing down here at this hour?" "Nothing, Grandpa. I was only... I am only ..." "Yes, you are the great Señor only and how delighted I am to make your acquaintance, Señor Only! But if I break this cane on your head you maga wish you were someone else, Sir!" "It was just foolishness, Grandpa. They told me I would see my wife."

"Wife? What wife?" "Mine. The boys at school said I would see her if I looked in a mirror tonight and said:

Mirror, mirror
show to me
her whose lover
I will be.

Don Badoy cackled ruefully. He took the boy by the hair, pulled him along into the room, sat down on a chair, and drew the boy between his knees. "Now, put your cane down the floor, son, and let us talk this over. So you want your wife already, hey? You want to see her in advance, hey? But so you know that these are wicked games and that wicked boys who play them are in danger of seeing horrors?"

"Well, the boys did warn me I might see a witch instead."

"Exactly! A witch so horrible you may die of fright. And she will be witch you, she will torture you, she will eat

your heart and drink your blood!"

"Oh, come now Grandpa. This is 1890. There are no witches anymore."

"Oh-ho, my young Voltaire! And what if I tell you that I myself have seen a witch.

"You? Where?

"Right in this room land right in that mirror," said the old man, and his playful voice had turned savage.

"When, Grandpa?"

"Not so long ago. When I was a bit older than you. Oh, I was a vain fellow and though I was feeling very sick that night and merely wanted to lie down somewhere and die I could not pass that doorway of course without stopping to see in the mirror what I looked like when dying. But when I poked my head in what should I see in the mirror but...but..."

"The witch?"


"And then she bewitch you, Grandpa!"

"She bewitched me and she tortured me. l She ate my heart and drank my blood." said the old man bitterly.

"Oh, my poor little Grandpa! Why have you never told me! And she very horrible?

"Horrible? God, no--- she was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen! Her eyes were somewhat like yours but her hair was like black waters and her golden shoulders were bare. My God, she was enchanting! But I should have known---I should have known even then---the dark and fatal creature she was!"

A silence. Then: "What a horrid mirror this is, Grandpa," whispered the boy.

"What makes you slay that, hey?"

"Well, you saw this witch in it. And Mama once told me that Grandma once told her that Grandma once saw the devil in this mirror. Was it of the scare that Grandma died?"

Don Badoy started. For a moment he had forgotten that she was dead, that she had perished---the poor Agueda; that they were at peace at last, the two of them, her tired body at rest; her broken body set free at last from the brutal pranks of the earth---from the trap of a May night; from the snare of summer; from the terrible silver nets of the moon. She had been a mere heap of white hair and bones in the end: a whimpering withered consumptive, lashing out with her cruel tongue; her eye like live coals; her face like ashes... Now, nothing--- nothing save a name on a stone; save a stone in a graveyard---nothing! was left of the young girl who had flamed so vividly in a mirror one wild May Day midnight, long, long ago.

And remembering how she had sobbed so piteously; remembering how she had bitten his hand and fled and how he had sung aloud in the dark room and surprised his heart in the instant of falling in love: such a grief tore up his throat and eyes that he felt ashamed before the boy; pushed the boy away; stood up and looked out----looked out upon the medieval shadows of the foul street where a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage was rattling away upon the cobbles, while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tiled roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wild sky murky with clouds, save where an evil old moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable the window; the bowed old man sobbing so bitterly at the window; the tears streaming down his cheeks and the wind in his hair and one hand pressed to his mouth---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobbles, and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee, and the mighty roll of his voice booming through the night:

"Guardia sereno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o!"

Philippine Short Stories, 1941 - 1955: 1941-1949, Part 1. Leopoldo Yabes Ed. UP Press, 2010. ISBN 9715420842, 9789715420846

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pedro Flores: Yo-yo

I can still remember my first time to have a yo-yo. I was only 8 years old that time. (I once lived in a very rural town in Mindanao. So don't be surprised if I tell you I didn't know what yo-yo is that time.) My Grandfather brought me to a river we called Suba. It was his everyday routine to visit our small house (a hut) nearby the river and took his fish baits he put the other day to gather the fishes and crustaceans trapped inside. I was playing on a river shore when I notice a round-shaped colored-green thing floating. i didn't know what it was and it has no string connected on it. I took it by curiousity, and showed it to my Lolo. (Till now, I still have this kind of attitude of picking thrashes with interesting look.) Then, he told me what it was. The next day, he gave it to me with a white string attached to it. I was amazed when he demonstrated how to use it, and then he taught me how to do it.

There was this Japanese anime about a kid who is a prodigy in playing yo-yo. He had these tricks that really amazed many other yo-yo enthusiast. I forgot the title of the anime. And because of this, I really thought that Japanese started this kind of craze. Later on, I learned that it was actually a Filipino-made toy. Then eventually, many people claimed it was originated in the Philippines.

It was said, back in Pre-hispanic Philippines, our ancestors used yo-yo as a weapon. Well, I think, many of you were aware of this information. But is it really TRUE? If you will asked Pedro Flores of where did he found out this toy, he will answer you 'from the Philippines.'

Anyway, who is Pedro Flores? (Note: He's not connected with Agapito Flores. Okay?)

Pedro Flores

Pedro Flores was born in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, and came to United States in 1915 where he studied college.

He is considered the first yo-yo maker in the US, and often described as an inventor of the yo-yo but he never personally claimed to have invented it. Flores always mention about its history as a centuries old Philippine game. Unfortunately, we don't have a strong evidence to prove it.

Pedro Flores started and ran a Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California between 1928 and 1932, but he never patented his works.

Between 1930 and 1932, he sold his interest in yo-yo manufacturing company for greater than $ 250,000.00 to Donald F. Duncan Sr. After that sale, he was still involved in selling yo-yo under Duncan and was instrumental in setting up large number of the promotions in the cities where the early Duncan contests were being held.

The Yo-yo

To those who don't know what yo-yo is, it is a toy with an axle connected to two disks and a length of string looped around the axle. If you wanted to know how to play it, go to youtube and watch a hundred of videos uploaded there.

Accordingly, it was first invented in ancient Greece in 500 BC. However, it was also believed that the yo-yo originated in China and was played there at a much earlier date.

Back in ancient Greece, there were records describing toys made out of wood, metal or painted terra cotta pointing out what we called now yo-yo.

Take note, the 'yo-yo' probably came from an Ilocano language or a cognate of Philippine languages. Well, it is obvious, the first make who created the toy is a native of Ilocos Norte.


Whether the yo-yo really came from the Philippines or not, we are still part of its fame in the whole world. Tayo ang pasimuno niyan.

In my own opinion, it is really impossible that the toy actually originated in our country and was used as a weapon by our ancestors.

First of all, if the toy originated from China, the first trade between some barangays in the Philippines and the Sung Dynasty was probably in the year 982 AD. So if we assumed that the yo-yo was traded that same year, and was continuously used till then, therefore yo-yo is thought by some natives to be ours because of too old forgotten transaction back in 982 AD.

About using it as a weapon, well, I have no idea. But I think, it is possible that the toy can really be used as a weapon, the same way how the Australian aborigines used boomerang as weapon.


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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Comfort Room Stories (Halloween Article)

Of course, everyone knows what a comfort room is, except maybe to those who don't really know what it is.

We've heard ghosts haunting cemeteries, old houses, deserted buildings like in the case of the Diplomat Hotel, hospitals, and even vehicles. But there is another peculiar setting of these tales, the comfort room/rest room/powder room. What could be the reason why ghosts also appear inside these places? Are they also victims of abuse in the same area? Or it was just an imagination?

Japanese horror movies and urban legends also had stories of dangerous ghosts dwelling in a particular cubicle. First one is about Hanako san. I don't really know her story but she was so famous that almost all high school students have their own Hanako story to tell. Then another one is about Kashima Reiko, a female ghost who had no legs. She often ask where her legs are, then you should answer 'Kashima reiko.' And yet, another legend is about Aka Manto. He is a male ghost who haunts in the last stall of girl's comfort room. He knocks, then asked anyone which to choose - a red paper or a blue one. Either you choose, you'll still die.

Do you also remember Moaning Myrtle of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? She also haunts in the lady's room because she was killed there by the Basilisk being a mudblood.

Another one, there was a Thai horror gag show in which one of there gag was set in a comfort room. Putting a mysterious portmanteau or large suitcase inside, they made it bleed as if a corpse was hidden on it, then a ghost coming from a cubicle appeared in front of the victim, scaring them as if to death.

I'm mentioning these things because it only mean that we (Filipinos) are not the only ones who have stories of CR ghosts.

Variations: Cause

In layman's view, I enumerate possible causes of their haunting.

Note: All the stories here are local tales.

It was a result of an accident.

The Cubicle
by: Isabella

This story was related to me by a close friend of mine who was also my classmate. Stories of our school spread very quickly, but this one was enough to make my spine tingle.

We had a friend who claimed that she had the third eye. One day she went to the CR, which was just near our classroom. When she was about to go out, she heard a low moan behind her.

Warily, she tried to go out of the cubicle, she discovered she was locked inside. The cubicle also had a lock outside and someone must have locked her in!

Looking behind her she saw a white figure, but it was blurry. Totally scared now, she pushed on the door with all her strength and the door finally gave.

She ran out of the CR screaming.

The following day, we asked some old teachers and janitors about the aforementioned cubicle.

Manong John, one of the janitors, told us that a second year high school student was once locked in that cubicle, but she died trying to climb out of it.

She tried to use the toilet as leverage to get to the top, but slipped and hit her head on the toilet seat.

The janitors found her lifeless body the next day, her skull cracked open and blood spilled all over the floor. Her spirit haunts the cubicle in our CR because she's trying to find her way out.

Suicide in the bathroom.

The Comfort Room Lady
by: Shineth Tadrilan

We have an exam that time, I really need to use the comfort room so I asked my teacher to go out to pee, and to have someone to go with. However, my teacher didn't bid me to go with someone else. She told me to fight my fear.

Scared, but I need to go to CR alone than just stay there and pee on the room.

There's only one comfort room, so I have no choice but to use it. It was said that a teacher commit suicide on the said comfort room 5 years ago.

After I flush the bowl, a bloody woman went out suddenly on the other cubicle. I ran out faster not even finishing my business there. I forgot to wash my hands. I ran and ran till I reach our classroom.

I thought that if I reach our room, everything will be okay, but as I was taking my exam, the bloody woman just appeared in front of me. She's not alone, she got a headless ghost with her. Because of terror, I ran out the room not even considering what my teacher or my classmates would say just to escape and never see them anymore.


St. Paul College Urban Legend

You will be shocked to know that there are no mirrors in some of the comfort rooms in the campus. It is for the reason that an anonymous lady appears in the mirror unexpectedly ans really scares the students. It has been said that one student committed suicide in that comfort room.

Unknown cause.

The Little Girl
by: Rei Buesing

A college student of a well-known university was coming home late at night to finish off a project to be submitted the next day. On her way out of the campus, she left a sudden urge to go to the ladies' room. So she looked for the nearest restroom and luckily she found one at the oldest building in that said campus. Upon emtering the rest room, she saw a little girl of about 6 years old, wearing a little blue one-fashioned dress with long hair and a very angelic face. She was washing her hands at the sink. There was nothing unusual about the little girl; however, the fact that the university doesn't have a grade school department mystified her a bit. She was also wandering why that girl was still inside the campus sinse it was already late at night.

"Hi! Why are you still here, kid? It's almost 11pm. You should be at home now..."

"Ay! Sorry po... I am still waiting for my father who works here as a janitor. I just had dinner that's why I am washing my hands here..."

"Oh I see. You wait for me, okay?" the college student said then she entered one of the cubicles there. The little girl just smiled and nodded. When the college girl was doing her business, she heard the little girl came in the toilet next to her. For some reasons, she looked down to check on the little girl. Everything seemed pretty normal and the girl was just there doing her own business in the toilet.

"When the college student was finished, she suddenly felt uneasy as if someone was looking at her. So she looked up and what she saw next made her scream and slip of the toilet! She saw the girl's head detached from its neck and it was staring madly at her with its red eyes, and her blood shed all over her face! What happened next made her stand up and ran because the headless little girl said, "Ate, are you done already?"

The college girl ran out of the restroom screaming her head off.

Victims of abuse or a cruel death.

Adamson University Urban Legend

A girl was by the sink in one of the comfort rooms in the building, washing her face.

When she looked in the mirror, she saw that on her face, instead of droplets of water, were little drops of blood. And standing behind her was a man. A headless man in a soldier's uniform.

Every year, students would encounter various but similarly scary experiences in that toilet. According to research, the St. Vincent de Paul building, where the comfort room was, is the oldest building of and was used as an execution station by the Japanese army during the World War II.

Rumor has it that countless heads had been chopped off in the toilet itself.


Feati University Urban Legend

At 10 pm one night, one ROTC cadet was relieving himself in one of the comfort room at the third floor of the Paterno Building. He was just about to finish when he made out the unmistakable figure of a woman dressed in white floating in the air. The vision made him scream in intense fright, catching the attention of his other companions. Upon their arrival, the ghostly apparition was still there.

It was seven in the evening at another instance, when a janitor getting ready to go home noticed a mysterious lady enter one of the restrooms at the third floor. He followed the lady to warn her that the part of the building was strictly prohibited. He entered the restroom and saw no one there.

According to stories, the Paterno Building, which had existed even before the outbreak of World War II, was used as a garrison by the Japanese during the war.

Peeking ghost.

I heard a story of a ghost who peeks on someone in the bathroom. Usually a male ghost who peeks on women taking a bath. Another version is about a gay ghost. In short, MALIBOG PA RIN, KAHIT PATAY NA. Well, they could be succubus.

Just following the person.

Not all ghosts dwell on comfort room, some of them possessed an individual and follows this person anywhere (s)he goes. And it just happened that they appeared on the said place.

[1] The Best of True Philippine Ghost Stories. 2008. PSICOM Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines. ISBN 978-971-0372-85-0
[2] The Best of True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 2. Alexie Cruz, Ed. 2011. PSICOM Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines.
[3] True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 2. Gianna Maniego et al. Ed. 2003. PSICOM Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines. ISBN 971-8995-90-0
[4] True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 14. Kresta de Guzman Ed. 2005 PSICOM Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines. ISSN 1656-6246
[5] True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 1. Gianna Maniego et al. Ed. 2002. PSICOM Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines. ISBN 971-8995-67-0

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Maria Anna Abiera

I found a story that resembles that of Maria Labo's. They almost, or should I say, really have the same tale.

Maria Labo is a Visayan aswang, particularly a Panay resident, as what the stories about her says. On the other hand, Maria Anna Abiera is a Mindanao aswang, whose short biography accounts a similar experience as that of Maria Labo's. I am talking about the short tale I wrote on the article dedicated to her.

I thought, this should be put to Maria Labo article, but the problem is, they have different name. One thing, I consider Maria Anna Abiera an another case. I saw her story in a book published in 2005, and according to it her story rose in 2001 when fear sat in their city. I also think that this story is just a revision or retold of Maria Labo's story.

The Story

[Taken from a Book:[1]]

Maria Anna Abiera
by: Laughing_Angel

I am a resident of ****** City here in Mindanao. Contrary to the portrayals of television and newspapers, my place is actually not a battlefield between Muslim rebels and government troops.

But there was a time in 2001 when fear sat in the whole city.

When darkness fell, no minor was to be seen roaming the streets. Elders made sure that their homes were locked. Curfews weren't imposed, neither war was about to broke out. Local authorities were anxious too. All of these uneasiness was caused by an alleged aswang wandering the streets of the city at night. Local radio and TV stations denied the rumor, telling everybody that there was no such thing as aswang. But that didn't appease the whole city.

It all started when a seven-month-pregnant woman was found dead with her abdomen opened and the fetus was nowhere to be found. Then another gross incident took place when a toddler was discovered at a dump site. Deep scratches were said to have found on the back and chest of the poor toddler, the kind of scratches that couldn't have made by an ordinary person.

Many have suspected that it was done by the aswang they had named Maria Anna Abiera. As told, Maria Anna Abiera went to work in Transylvania as a private nurse to a very rich man. After several years, she went back home in Mindanao.

One day, relatives visited the Abieras but were surprised to find the house empty. They asked the neighbors where they could be but no one from the neighbors noticed them leaving the house. When they were able to get inside the house, they were shocked to find several body parts inside the refrigerator. Some of the limbs were missing while some body parts were scattered as if they were chomped or bitten off. It was such a horrible sight! Further investigations revealed that the bodies found were that of Maria Anna's husband and two sons.

The lady has been missing since then. Some have accounted of seeing her walking on the streets during nighttime as if searching for something or following someone.

People said she had gone insane. But many believed that she had transformed into the likes of flesh-eaters and blood-drinkers. Transylvania, according to ancient history and literature is the home of Count Dracula.


The story, as the writer wrote that Maria Anna Abiera put their city in fear, reminds me of what Marcos did sometime in the past to scare the rebels in Mindanao.

The Transylvania thing cast doubt on me. First of all, let's discuss about it.

Transylvania is not a country but an old province of Romania, which was formerly the eastern part of Hungary. Yes, it's true that the place was alleged home of many vampires. Bram Stoker used this place as setting of his novel Dracula. And Dracula is actually NOT A VAMPIRE. Historically, he is a Prince of Wallachia, a kingdom in Romania. His real name is Vlad Tepes Dracula. He was just suspected to be a vampire because of his deeds - he loves seeing people impaled in front of him. There's even a picture of him eating while watching his servants butcher and impale people.

Secondly, the only difference it had compare to that of Maria Labo's is the place where she worked as an OFW. Maria Labo worked at the Spain or Canada, while Maria Anna Abiera worked at Romania (or Transylvania). So, this could be an evidence that her story was really Maria Labo's and she was just a product of imagination.

See the article about Maria Labo for more information.

[1] True Philippine Ghost Stories 14. Kresta De Guzman Ed. PSICOM Publishing Inc. 2005. Quezon City. ISSN 1656-6246.
Vampires and Other Monstrous Creature. HarperCollins Publishers. 2007. Great Britain. ISBN 978-0-06-145412-7
The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. J. Gordon Melton. Visible Ink Press. 1999. ISBN 1-57859-076-0

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