Tales Of Mystery In Guinarona, III

Anibongpalm's Blog

Ours was a haunted house!

For more than three decades, ours was the biggest house in Guinarona.  It stood regally at the corner of Real (Main) and Aragon Streets.  It was a two-story affair, with all living quarters on the second floor, the first floor being used as a bodega of sorts.  One time the National Irrigation Administration had its offices there.  This was after Father converted the ground floor into a coop for his Texas fighting cocks.

As the story goes, people would skip our corner because a kapre (giant) would park himself beside our house, puffing away at a big cigar.  We knew he was there during moonlit nights as a consequence of chickens cackling like mad.  But being inside, you could not really make heads or tails of the kapre.  But the smell–that smell of mud, that reeked all over! Besides, we would be scared shitless to…

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A Guinarona Story (1)

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Stories are a large make up of our being. So much so, that the quality of the stories one hears or tells can make a difference between achieving and failing. Or so says modern psychology.

Guinarona of the Philippines has so many stories: macabre, benign, supernatural–name it. This one is about Queenie, who holds fort in Kauranan, on the slopes of Mt. Lubi, six kilometers from Guinarona. Queenie is so vain that she has her visage imprinted on a rock in Kauranan.

Our psychic friend, Herb Howell, has channeled Queenie, which goes:

I see you coming down the bluffs, carrying some such bag, which looks heavy. What are in it? Your two female companions are in your wake, and they look nonchalant. Maybe they are from an exotic place far from Leyte? I wouldn’t say they are arrogant, but noisy they are.

I caused the rain to stop a while…

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A Guinarona Story (2)

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. . . And They Dabbled in Sorcery Too!

Not one of us saw them alive. From what we’ve heard, they were the richest in Leyte, Philippines back in the day. But they died of a broken heart because the properties that they garnered through the sweat of their brow and their meticulousness–their being chipipay even–more than 100 parcels of land–had been bid off by the government. As in trust gone berserk.

San Pascual Baylon de Guinarona Documentary.avi from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

And the lesson not lost on us is that trust is okay, but too much of it will kill you. Especially if the beneficiary of that trust has a dark motive, to begin with.

Guaco was his name, and he stole into our grandparents hearts by introducing himself as a blood relative. Bringing unsolicited gifts, doing errands and what not. He was into petroleum products–and he…

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A Guinarona Story (3)

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He Came to Us in a Dream. . .

. . .And he wore the same shirt with floral prints, like the one he wore when we saw him last. He might as well be saying how come we don’t try to make contact with him, why don’t we write about his arse.

He was our third cousin, and we were classmates in grade school. He belonged to the attractive side of our gene pool. He was full of mischief, as far as cousins go, one time suggesting to us to bathe and just leave the soap lather on, so we could have a nice skin. Whoa, what a joke it was.

The moment he was through with Grade VI, he transplanted himself to Manila and landed a gig as a house help for a well-to-do family. And because he was good-looking, one of the daughters fell for him and…

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A Guinarona Story (4)

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Formal, Sweet and Impish

She was all three, our Auntie Tancing was. She was Father’s first cousin and our Grade IV teacher. And what a teacher she was: We were wondering if she took pleasure in hitting our heads with the knuckles of her clenched fist. That is, at the first sign of our being dense, i.e. not knowing the answer to a question. Yes, everybody got his/her head hit. The other punishment that she would mete out was to pull our side burns to the point of our scalp levitating. Argh.

She was a mainstay at our house for every function and the preparations thereto. We would watch in amazement at how skillful she was at churning out sweet things: muffins, kurukod, suman, moron and our favorite coconut sweet of varying colors. She was Father’s favorite cousin, obviously.

Although she was a blood relative, we held her at a…

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