HUNTING GHOST – The New Tourist Excuse

By Randy Bolante

My friend once told me that I’m darn crazy and fool in the head for not believing in ghost. His statistics says that 90% of Filipinos believe in them, but me? NO. I never saw one!  Or at least I always said that I did not see what I see.  Maybe ghost have become not too frightening anymore?  Myabe the tables turn round and that instead they scaring us, we scaring them? After all I found out that these places, instead of “haunting” places becomes “hunting” places, where monster cowboys explores the dark kingdom of Aswang. And why wouldn’t we? These spooky places probably are best place to scratch the ambience of mother Philippines.

Baguio-Philippine Military Academy, the Teacher’s Camp, and the Hyatt Hotel. Okay so who wouldn’t be afraid of ghost of the past from World War II to tribesmen who were said to be forced out by American colonizers, not mentioning the ancient graves of warriors who was said to hunt the whole city? But statistics show otherwise, and than to be afraid of it, Baguio became the summer capital of the Philippines, (Winter capital too!), and the teachers camp - a spiritual retreat house. The showcase of ruch culture, and grandiose nature sites like Burnham park, Botanical garden, Japanese garden, Mines View Park, Woodcarvers village, Bencam Museum, etc. The ukay-ukay is superb, while there’s a lot of restaurant and Café’s to be enjoyed notwithstanding the local cuisines.

Corregidor -  became the subject of films in Halloween seasons. Walking ghost of soldiers, the cries of trapped souls, and orbs seen in the photographs are reported by tourist coming in this ruinous fortress. This historical site should not be forgotten because of these tales. Corregidor, is the Rock, the epitome of Filipino gallantry to fight in futile attempt to defend their country in war. Amazing Race and tour in island in foot are the best recreations made there.
Mount Banahaw – the Jerusalem or “Holy Mountain” of the locals and Rizalista was considered to be place of different elements and spirits good or bad. Reports of dwende or tikbalang grazing the nights are common for mountain hikers. It did not stop them though, and it seems that we should invent more terrifying stories because pollution and litters made by thousands of visitors have proved hazardous for the volcano’s environs.

Siquijor – is traditionally considered homes of babaylans, mangkukulam, enkatado, and all sorts of superstition that makes tourist uncertain whether they stay overnight or not. But Siquijor is actually a very enchanting isle. Rocky island, hilly terrain and white beaches with caves and caverns, and little springs and waterfalls seems paradise-like than the domain of these Aswang that are popularized.

We pride ourselves for being Happiest in all times, and Religious, Spirituals, ardent faithful to God. But it seems Ironic that we find ourselves in the midst of moronic and childish situation when we let our fears lord over our reason. Fear is rot. It is a waste of time, when we should be living in this modern times of success and appreciation for what we have. Our country is one of the nature’s blessed for diversity and beauty.

Maybe these stories are made not to abuse these gifts, so that we would always held dear the sacred tranquility of forest and springs that are so often face and did suffer extinction from corrupt exploiters.

Maybe these stories are made by our ancestors to have ethical check up. Or that Friars set these up, to darkened the former Anito belief, and  convert these spirits into demons, that if encountered, the divine protection of Jesus through his church is needed. Christian charms, and sacraments, quickly popularized not only for their appeal but also as they give additional and better shield to the so called feared entities that lurked in our shadows.
Or maybe these aswangs are true. Maybe they are watching you now? 
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  1. I think you missed, Capis, they said there are lots of aswang there, manananggal and kapre ; and Abra as center of mangkukulam or witch.

    Well, people still believe such "creatures" specially in the province. you even watch or hear it from the local news.