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By: Luis Mondejar, Jr.
The Virtudazo family was overjoyed when they moved to a subdivision, just near the city. Everyone was excited including the 20-year-old boy who was completing his course in one of the private universities in Metro Manila. They cleaned the house, arranged the furnitures, assigned rooms. There was a basement where they could store away carpentry tools and other things. They arranged for a house blessing. After the ceremony, a sumptuous meal followed. It was then that strange things began to happen. Carlos, the 20-year-old son of the Virtudazos, saw a mysterious character in the corner of the dining room, sitting in one of the seats there. He was over twenty, slim. Carlos offered him food. Half smiling, he accepted the offer. But he did not say anything. He didn’t utter in single word. When he turned his back, he disappeared so quickly, leaving behind the plate Carlos offered him-untouched! Surprised, Carlos began asking everyday in the house. “Did you see him?” “See what?”
“A man there,” he pointed to the chair where the man was seated. “We didn’t see anyone there,” they said.
Carlos was speechless. He was perspiring. Did he just have an encounter with a ghost?
“What happened to you?” asked his mother.
“Strange! The man there just disappeared,” he said. “You were just hallucinating. Come on, go take a bath. Everything will be okay,” cajoled the mother. Carlos rarely had dreams but that very night, he dreamed he was a soldier during World War II. In his dream, he saw that he died in the battle. He woke up, wheezing and perspiring. He dreamed he was hit by a bullet that pierced his heart, causing him to die instantly. “I had a nightmare,” he told his mother who brought him water to drink after he called out for her. “Maybe you ate too much,” his mother told him. The following day. Carlos started behaving strangely. he was pale with sunken eyes, signs he was not able to sleep well that very night. He was trying home for the day. He suddenly shouted, “Take over!” He bent his knees, cringing under the table. He was seen making signs as if he was firing a gun at someone. “Carlos, what’s happening?” his mother was hysterical. Moments later, Carlo calmed down. He was looking at the wall blanky. Carlos was brought to a psychiatrist for examination. Carlos was perfectly normal. “But, Doctor, my son was behaving strangely,”the mother complained.
“That’s beyond medical explanation,” said the doctor. Carlos hated eating chocolates, but that very morning he was looking for a brand of chocolate only found in the United States. “Find out from Lt. Sorongon if he has some.”
His mother was aghast. She didn’t know any Lt. Sorongon. “Where I am?” Carlos asked and looked around. “Who are you?” asked her mother. “I am Pvt. Fruto Tumamot,” he answered, further enumerating which battalion be belongs to. “Where are my companions?”
“Your companions are gone,” said the mother, feigning knowledge of their where abouts. “They had abandoned me. I was hit by a bullet on the chest. I was lying here,” pointing to the basement of the house. “I don’t know what transpired next. I was wearing my dog tag around my neck. Serial number 030561.” Then, Carlos suffered a convulsion. He lost consciousness.
The mother wrote down his serial number as dictated. And without much ado, rushed to the Philippine Veterans Administration Office to verify the matter. To her surprise. , Pvt. Fruto Tumamot was real. He was an enlisted soldier. The serial number given to her was correct. He was reported missing in action. His widow and children were contacted. The basement was dug. Bones were found. They also found the soldier’s dog tag.
Tumamot was buried in his home province down south. He was given a hero’s burial. Better late than never. Carlos was back to normal again, never was he bothered by the spirit anymore.