Have you heard of a city of wonder, which appear and vanish at the same time?
AboutThis story was featured in the GMA Channel 7, Mel & Joey, hosted by Mel Tiangco and Joey de Leon. According to them, this city appears to be somewhat a kind of portal from and going to the other world.
Anyway . . .
In the Province of Samar, the Philippines, the mention of “Biringan” evokes awe, fear, intrigue, knocking on wood and innumerable signs of the Cross.
What is Biringan? It is reportedly an undefined location somewhere between Calbayog City and Catarman, Northern Samar, where a mythic city(ies) of indescribable grandeur is/are said to exist, unvisited by ordinary mortals, known only by magnificent folk stories that refuse to die despite the advent of television and the internet. Other reports extend its area to as far south as San Jorge, Samar.
Biringan’s “now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t” quality indicates it is not of the usual land and water terrain in which we live in. It seems to exist in a different dimension, which explains why its boundaries can overlap with known towns and cities of Samar island. On moonless nights, seafarers aplenty have reported seeing a dazzling city of light. In a few minutes, though, the manifestation is no longer visible. Obviously, Biringan is not likely to be shown on any map or atlas. But specialized (infrared, ultraviolet, etc.) satellite mapping photography have reportedly turned up a shining area in the reported general location of Biringan.
They say Biringan is the legendary home of the encantos (enchanted ones) and half-encanto, half-human progeny. The encantos are most likely elementals, as old as the mountains and rivers in the area. They are apparently shapechangers because they have been reported to appear in whatever form they wish, human or not. But in human form, their distinguishing characteristic is the lack of the philtrum, the indentation below the nose and above the upper lip.
Portals to and from an ethereal city. There are places in the island of Samar that have been described thus.
Supernatural abductions. Quite seemingly out of this world, but reportedly true. Some of the most persistent incidents related to the Biringan phenomenon involve the “relocation” of humans from the mortal world to Biringan.
Heavy equipment for an invisible city? Uncanny but true. In the Sixties, Tacloban City in the province of Leyte, the Philippines was the commercial hub of the Eastern Visayas region. It was the natural port of call of passenger and cargo ships plying the Visayas-Manila route. Who could ever imagine that manifestations of Biringan’s existence would take physical form?
In the late Eighties through the Nineties, the Japanese ventured into Biringan territory. They conducted rural development work focused on the town of San Jorge, Western Samar. The implementing agency was the Japanese International cooperation Agency (JICA). The entire Samareño population was perplexed as to why the Japanese would concentrate on San Jorge when there were a lot more towns in the province which needed the development work more. To implement the project, the Japanese brought in tons of equipment (vehicles and machinery) and Japanese engineers and field personnel descended on San Jorge in full force.
ConclusionWhat really is Biringan? Is it a city or kingdom existing in a parallel dimension with ours? Do these two dimensions interpenetrate at times, causing the meeting of inhabitants from ours with encantos? Does this explain the ethereal now-you-see-it, now-you don’t quality of Biringan and its denizens?
To this day, Biringan remains a mysterious part of Philippine folklore (actually still an urban legend). In addition, everyday stories of encounters with Biringan’s residents continue to be told. If these had simply been figments of the imagination, these stories would have died down a long time ago, what with the advent of 100+ channels cable television and the Internet. Still, fresh stories continue to crop up.
Stories such as spirit possession by Biringan’s encantos over ten school children just because their school Principal unwittingly made a bonfire next to the large balete tree in their school yard. How was the poor teacher to know that the huge tree looming large near the old school building was the abode of a Biringanon? And that she had unknowingly injured the youngest child of the invisible occupants of the tree abode?
Even modern-day kids in the Philippines, well-versed on the Japanese animé sagas of the new century, still believe in the existence of the legendary kingdom of Biringan. This is an undeniable fact. Despite all the terror attacks, all the coup rumors, the hunger, the droughts, the floods, and everything, only one thing remains unshaken by it all … Biringan.