I’m a college student in Iloilo City and this happened during my semestral break. I didn’t want to spend it in our house because I was already bored to death. “mama, may alam ka bang lugar kung saan ako puwede mag-spend ng break ko ( Mother, do you know of a place where I can spend my break)?” I asked my mom. “Nasabi ng tita Delia na may bago siyang tayong rest house doon sa Capiz, maganda raw doon ( Aunt Deli mentioned that she put up a new rest house in Capiz, and it’s said to be beautiful there),” my mom said.
Sounds exciting, I though. Wasting no more time, I asked for Tita’s cell phone number and called her. I asked her if I could stay at her rest house, and to my delight she said yes. She would send a driver to fetch me that Sunday at 8 a.m. Tita Delia is a professional businesswoman and still single.
We have a special bond between us and she treats me like her own son. As much as she can, she gives me anything I ask for. “Ano ka ba, darating na ang sundo mo’t hindi ka pa nakabangon. At ayusin mo ang gamit mo (What’s this, you’re about to be fetched and you haven’t gotten up. And fix your things)!” my mom said as she shook me awake. I immediately took a bath and packed my things. I brought my player and my CDs of Eminem and the Gregorian Chants to keep me occupied during the trip.
“Mag-ingat ka, huwag mong bigyan ang Tita mo ng sakit sa ulo (Take care, don’t give your aunt any headaches),” mother said before I left. “Opo (Yes ma’am),” I replied.
As we enter the province of Capiz, I looked out the window and felt an eerie ambiance. “Manong , may mga kababalaghan ba na nangyayari dito ( Mister, have there been strange happenings here)?” I asked the driver.
“Malay ko. Basta marami na akong narinig na kuwentong hindi maipaliwanag, mga mahiwaga at kababalaghan ( I don’t know. I have heard stories that cannot be explained, the miraculous and the strange),” he answered.
I didn’t bother to question him further for the rest of the trip. Instead, I increased the volume of my CD player and bobbed my head to the beat of the music. Finally, we reached my Tita’s rest house. It was quiet and tranquil, and the chirping birds nearby added to its serenity.
When I entered the house, I saw a couple of traveling bags on the floor. My tita was there to welcome me. The housemaid helping her with her bags. “Sorry ha hindi ko nasabi sayo na may seminar kami ngayon sa Aklan (I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to tell you that I have a seminar in Aklan),” She said as she fixed her dress. “Paano yan (How’s that now)?” I asked worriedly. “Naipagluto ko na po kayo ng ulam. Initin ninyo na lang mamaya pag gutom na kayo ( I have cooked food for you. Just heat it when you get hungry),” said the housemaid. “Sorry talaga ( I’m really sorry) I need to attend this seminar. Hindi pala matutulog and katulong dito. Uuwi siya pero babalik din bukas para asikasuhin ka. Kaya mo bang mag-isa ( The maid won’t sleep here. She’ll go home but she’ll be back tomorrow to take care of you. Can you handle things alone)?” My Tita asked me. “Opo, hindi po ako takot mag isa (Yes ma’am, Im not afraid to be alone),”I said.
“Feel at home ka lang ha. May mga snacks diyan, may mga CDs diyan kung gusto mong manood ng sine. Eto tandaan mo: matulog ka ng maaga, huwag masyadong magpapagabi( Just feel at home. There are snacks there, some VDCs if you want to watch a movie. Just remember: sleep early and don’t stay up late,”she added” Bakit po (Why)?” I asked. “Basta sundin mo ako ( Never mind, just follow what I say),” my tita said as she left.
As darkness filled sky, the maid came up to me. “Iho, aalis na ako . Babalik din ako bukas (Sonny, I’ll be going now. I’ll be back tomorrow),” She said. “Opo manang , mag-ingat po kayo (Yes ma’am take care),”I replied. Before I could turn away, she said seriously, “Ikaw ang mag-ingat, iho (You’re the one that shoud take care).”
I was taken aback and I was starting to wonder if I heard her correctly. I asked her why I should take care. “Malalaman mo rin . Basta kung may marinig ka huwag kang sasagot; kapag may nakita ka, huwag kang lilingon (You soon find out. When you hear something don’t answer; if you see something, don’t look at it),” She said. Manang dumito ka nalang (Manang, please stay here),” I begged ger. “Aalis na ako, iho. Bago ka matulog budburan mo ng asin ang pintuan para hindi makapasok and kung sinumang espiritu. Aalis na ako’t mag-ingat ka (I’m going, sonny. Before you sleep sprinkle some salt at the door so that the bad spirits won’t get in. I’ll go nowand take care.” She said.
To keep my fears at bay, I watched the movie The sweetest Thing, a comedy starring Cameron Diaz. I didn’t notice that it was getting late and forgot to sprinkle salt on the door. Thinking that everything was all right. I decided to hit the sack. I was wrong. I was almost asleep when I heard a whistle. I didn’t mind it at first. But the whistle became louder and louder.
I remembered what the maid told me. My curiosity got the better of me as I bravely through the window. I didn’t see anything. Then I heard a loud BANG! from downstairs. It sounded like something hit the door. I cautiously went down and I saw the doorknob twisting, as if somebody wanted to enter. I felt a chill run down my spine and felt my hairs stand on end. I immediately went to the kitchen and grabbed some salt.
When I returned to the front door, the knob had stopped twisting. I don’t know why but I turned the knob pulled the door open. I saw a very dark shadow of a man flash in front of me very quickly. I dropped the salt and quickly locked the door. As I was going up back to my room, I heard a sinister laugh, as if coming from the pits of hell, I couldn’t move, it was as if the voice was making me go to him.
Not giving up, I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the remaining salt. While walking back I sprinkled salt on the floor, all the way up the stairs, on the door to my room. Lastly, I pured the remaining salt on the four corners of my bed before getting into bed again. I stayed awake, waiting and dreading what might happen. I still heard the voice but now it seemed angry and wanted to get inside the house. I heard someone knocking on the front door but I didn’t go down.
The wind blew, so strong that I felt that the thing I saw was still around. I gave a last look through the window and I saw a tall man standing outside. He was draped in deep shadow but his eyes were red. He saw me looking out the window and he looked straight at me.
I felt his anger through his stare and I could feel that he really wanted to get me. I continued staring at him, trying to stare him down. But he was too strong! I lay back down and rested for a while. I snuck a peep through the window but he was still there.
I gathered my strength and courage and said (in a shivering voice), “Kung sino ka man, huwag mong gambalain ang hindi gumagambala sa iyo, huwag mong takutin ang hindi gumagalaw sa iyo. Imbes manahimik ka, at kung may gumambala sa iyo doon ka magalit (Whoever you are, don’t disturb those that don’t disturb you, don’t frigthen those that don’t pester you. Instead, be quiet and be angry at the ones that do disturb you).”
There was no effect. I lay down on the bed very tired, not caring what may happen next, I soon fell asleep.
The next morning, I heard someone knocking downstairs. It was manang, the housemaid. “Nagkalat and asin dito ah. May nangyari ba ( Salt’s all over the place. Did anything happen)?” She asked.
“Opo. Ano po ba talaga iyon (Yes, manang. What was that thing)?” I said. “Hindi mo ba alam na may namatay na lalaki dito mismo sa tinatayuan ng bahay na ito? Ayon sa kuwento pauwi na ang lalaki nang may tumaga sa kanya na di malaman ang dahilan, tapos tinusok ang mata niya. Kaya ayon sa mga nakakita sa kanya matangkad daw siya at mapula ang mata ( Don’t you know that a man died on this very spot where this house stands? According to the stories, the man was on his way home when he was stabbed for unknown reasons, and his eyes were stabbed too.
And so according to those that have seen him, he is tall and has red eyes).” manang said. I was so exhausted because of what happened last night.
I called my tita and asked her if she could have the house blessed. She agreed and did the blessing right after her seminar.