The Malitangtang Bridge, in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, accordingly is the home of unknown beings which became part of urban stories (legends). Even those people who once had been there, give respect to the bridge to an unknown one. When you see it, you'll just thought it's a simple and ordinary bridge, but behind the innocence of the structure there lies the stories of the inexplicable. Many people are feared every time they went there. They're worried of what might appear in front of them.
Engkantos are mysterious beings in Philippine lower mythology. They might curse you once you do something they don't like. They are unpredictable - they may be kind-hearted or wicked. You find them beautiful, but they're actually wearing a mask to hide something. Because of those reasons, many people are frightened to pass through the bridge. According to elders, the Malitangtang itself, where the bridge is, is the home of engkantos. It just happened that the bridge is the ground-zero of every story.
Malitangtang Bridge is far different to Biringan City in terms of engkanto manifestations. Although the two are similar in some aspects - example: being the passageway to another world, Malitangtang Bridge is real and you can even set foot on the place, unlike Biringan which is wholly invisible.
[From an Interview:]
Umaga noon, halos wala pang liwanag sa kalangitan. Naisipan ni Mang Narding (hindi niya tunay na pangalan) na ibiyahe na ang kanyang jeep sa rutang galing Cantilan papuntang Parang. Habang binabaybay niya ang daan, nagkaroon siya ng apat na pasahero. Normal pa naman noong hindi pa nila nadadaanan o nararating ang tulay ng Malitangtang. Yung iba sa mga pasahero ay natulog muna, yung iba naman ay nakatingin lamang sa labas ng bintana.
Patuloy sa pagmamaneho si Mang Narding ng may bigla siyang napansing misteryoso sa kanyang mga pasahero. Sa oras na iyon, lumagpas na sila sa tulay ng Malitangtang. Napansin niyang parang may dumagdag sa mga pasahero niya, ni hindi nga siya tumigil para magpasakay ng isang tao. Basta na lang may dumagdag na isa.
Lima na ang kanyang mga pasahero sa jeep noong oras na iyon. Hindi siya kumibo, marahil dahil sa kaba at takot. Tinitingnan niya kung sino ang dumagdag sa kanila. Natutulog na ang lahat ng mga nakasakay sa jeep. Naisipan niyang isa-isang tingnan ang kanyang mga pasahero. Napansin niya ang isang magandang babae. Maputi at mahaba ang buhok. Pinagmasdan niya ang babae, ngunit sa kanyang pagtitig, may nahalata siyang isang bagay. Wala siyang guhit sa ilalim ng ilong. Hindi lang siya kumibo kahit pinagpapawisan na siya sa takot. Biglang nagsalita ang babae, "Manong, ibaba niyo na lang ako sa isang tabi." Tinuro ng babae ang lugar na pagbababaan niya. Noong makababa na siya, sinilip ni Mang Narding ang babae kung saan siya pumunta, ngunit hindi niya ito nakita. Humarurot na siya ng takbo ng jeep.
It was morning, the sunlight was still not almost visible. Mang Narding (not his real name) decided to start the trip of his jeepney routing from Cantilan going to Parang. Of his trip, he got four passengers. At the start, when they still not pass and arrive at the Malitangtang bridge, it was still normal. Some of his passengers were sleeping, while some are just looking outside the window.
While Mang Narding was driving continuously, he noticed something mysterious to his passengers. At that time, they had passed through the Malitangtang Bridge. He noticed that there was one added to his passengers, it was strange, he didn't even stop to fetch someone. One just add up suddenly to them.
He had five passengers in his jeep at that time. He didn't utter any words, perhaps because of nervousness and fear. He stared at them to find out who was added. All of the passengers were sleeping. He decided to gaze on his passengers one-by-one. Then he noticed a beautiful girl. Fair-skinned and has long hair. He looked at her fixedly, but as he stares, he noticed one thing. She had no philtrum. He just didn't utter even he was wet with sweat because of fear. The girl suddenly talked,
Sir, let me go down on one side.She pointed the place where she's going down. Mang Narding looks at her when she got off, but he saw no one. So he drives the jeepney faster.
[From an Interview:]
Isang hapon, ang magkakaibigang Jerry, Ben, Shan at Kevin (hindi nila mga tunay na pangalan) ay galing sa Silop (isang swimming pool resort) at pauwi na sila sa Cantilan sakay ng dalawang motor, tigdalawang sakay. Habang binabaybay nila ang Malitangtang Bridge, may nasagasaan silang isang matandang lalaki. Ni hindi nila nakitang may isang tao sa harap nila. Waring biglang may lumitaw sa harap nila mismo. Tumigil sila para saklolohan ang matanda, ngunit laking gulat nila, tumayo ito na parang walang nangyari, naglinis lang ng kanyang damit sa mga alikabok na dumikit.
"Lolo, dalhin po namin kayo sa ospital. Para mapacheck-up ka namin." Sabi ni Ben habang inaalalayan ang matanda.
"Salamat na lang mga iho. Dapat nagdahan-dahan kayo sa pagmamaneho eh." Sabi ng matanda.
Naglakad ang matanda patungo sa isang bahay. Sinundan nila ng tingin. Ngunit sa awa na rin, pinuntahan nila ang bahay para alukin at pilitin ang matandang magpaospital.
"Tao po!" Sabi ni Jerry habang kumakatok. "May tao po ba?"
Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Isang babae ang lumabas.
"Ano pong kailangan nila?" Tanong ng babae.
"Yung matanda pong pumunta rito, maaari po ba siyang makausap?" Tanong ni Ben.
"Matanda? Pero wala namang matanda rito eh."
"Ho? Pero may ..."
Kahit pinagpilitan nilang may matandang pumunta roon, pilit ring sinasabi sa kanilang wala. Nakakapagtaka. Tapos, dahil sa takot kumaripas sila ng takbo patungo sa motor nila, at diretsong umuwi.
One afternoon, Jerry, Ben, Shan and Kevin (not their real names) were from Silop (a swimming pool resort) and they're driving home now to Cantilan with their two motors, two passengers each. While at the bridge of Malitangtang, they hit an old man. Actually they didn't notice an old man in front of them. It seemed he appeared abruptly. They stopped to help him, but shockingly, the old man just stood up as if nothing happened. He just cleaned off the dust in his clothes.
Lolo (grandpa), we'll bring you into the hospital for a check-up.Ben said while supporting the old man to stand up.
No, thanks. You should have driven slowly.The old man replied.
The old man walked to the house. They followed him by sight. However because of pity, they went to the house to force the old man to go to the hospital.
Hello!Jerry said while knocking at the door.
Is there anyone there?
The door suddenly opened. A woman came out.
What can I do for you?The woman asked.
The old man who went here, can we talk to him?Ben asked.
Old man? But there's no old man here.
What? But ...
Even though they insist that there was an old man, she also insisted on them there's none. Strange. Then, because of fear, they ran faster to their motors, and they drove straight home.
There is another story similar to these, but they said it was an old lady, not an old man.
[From an Interview:]
Noong may planong magkabit ng linya ng kuryente sa Malitangtang ang isang grupo ng inhenyero, isa sa kanila ay nanaginip. Pinagsabihan siya na wag nilang itutuloy sa lugar na iyon ang plano dahil madadaanan ang kanilang tahanan. Dapat ay ilihis nila ito ng ibang direksyon. Ngunit hindi siya nakinig, ipinagpatuloy nila ang kanilang balak na direksyon. Kinaumagahan, nadatnan na lang nila ang isang buong pulupot ng kuryente na nakapulupot sa isang poste. Imposible iyon na gawin ng isang tao, dahil ang wire ng kuryente ay kasing laki ng braso ng isang tao. At sa sobrang haba at bigat niyon, paanong napulupot niya iyong mag-isa. Marahil kagagawan iyon ng mga engkanto roon. Dahil doon, pagkatapos nilang tanggalin ang pagkapulupot, nilipat nila ng direksyon ang linya ng kuryente.
Isa pang kwento ay tungkol sa pag-aayos ng tulay. Napanaginipan naman ng in-charge na engineer kung paano dapat ito gawin. Sabi sa panaginip ng engineer, dapat taasan ang tulay para hindi sumanggi ang barko nila, sa tuwing dadaan sila sa ilog.
At the time when a group of engineers has a plan of putting a line of electricity in Malitangtang, one of them had a dream. Someone told him not to continue the plan in the place because their house will be affected. The planned line direction should be changed. However he didn't listen, they continued the planned direction. Another morning came, they found their electricity wires winded on an electric post. It was impossible for human to do such thing. The wire was as large as the arms of a man. How can that person do it alone regardless of its weight and length? Maybe because it wasn't a human, but an engkanto. Because of the incident, after taking off the wires, they changed the planned electric line direction.
Another story happened when the bridge was repaired. Another person who was in-charge of the project dreamed to make it much higher so the ship will not touch it every time it will pass the river.
Other InfosThe mountain near the Malitangtang Bridge is said to be the dwelling place of the engkantos who appear on the bridge itself. Some people saw cacao trees on the top of the mountain. No one owns the plants over there. So who planted those trees? Nobody knows. I remember the story of Maria Cacao of this one.
Another info about the bridge is the river under it. It was said that the river was endless. No one knows the end as well as the starting point.