Showing posts with label mantiyanak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mantiyanak. Show all posts

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Memories are forever

My "visita cementerio" this year was limited to Tagbilaran cemeteries. I, sighed, failed to visit some great cemeteries in Guindulman, Calape, Loon and Anda.

I am not morbid but I always make it sure that every Kalag-Kalag I practice my "visita cementerio. " To this I have three reasons: (1) To give me spiritual theme that we have left to live a life united to G-d's merciful love, (2) to know more of our cemeteries, and (3) to know the people who passed away.

I just contented myself visiting first the Dampas Catholic Cemetery where it  houses the remains of the dean of Boholano journalists lawyer Zoilo Dejaresco and wife Rosario, Miguel Parras, Bernardino Inting, Asuncion Mira, Alberto Cainglet, Lucio Guy Lim,  Dr. Margarito Lim, Zenaida Darunday, Uly Dolojol, among other respected Boholanos who went ahead of us.

Victoria Memorial Park (ViMPark), laid out in 1975, houses notable people like Doña Basing, Obdulio and Juana Caturza Sr., Antonio Ong Guat, Carolina Alvarez, Erico Aumentado, Prisco and Socorro Tallo, Nelson Rio Sr., Will and Cristeta Tirol, and many others.

An interesting trivia about Victoria Memorial Park is via Aurelio "Ondoy Kalag" Gahit, whose name is synonymous to ViMPark.

He has spent most of his life at ViMPark that he, well, perfectly memorize all the names and locations of your loved ones.

He is also famous for his “graveside etiquette” to behave during a graveside service with the same attitude of respect and courtesy.

Ondoy said people might think a cemetery would make us feel sadder because it is a very stark reminder of the reality of our loss. But for him, although sadness is pronounced, a cemetery is a reminder for closure and healing.
There is no dull moment with Ondoy. He has lots of stories---love and ghostly stories.

He said he could not forget a man who spent over 10 years holding vigil at his wife’s grave every day, arriving when the cemetery opened and heading home when it closed.

He said he was touched of the man's loyalty and undying love.

Being more comfortable living with the dead, he recalled one horrific incident in 1993.

A mantiyanak (a woman who died in labor), who stirred the neighborhood appeared to him. Many people were said to have heard her singing lullabies to her baby, causing hair-raising chills and making them tremble in fear.

He saw the mantiyanak seemingly asking for help.

“She appeared to me,” he said.

He went to see a Catholic priest and he was told to pray at the grave of the person. After praying, the ghostly apparitions stopped.

Just this Friday, November 1, I spent the night at the Victoria Memorial Park to visit the graves of my sister, aunts, uncles and relatives.

As I watched each grave sites, I realized life has meaning and purpose. And some day it will end.

The cemetery will remind us of that. But it will also give us clarity and focus to use in charting the path ahead.

When I went home, I played (I never get tired playing and replaying) one of my favorite songs "Dust in the Wind," especially in this season when we are overwhelmed by intimations of mortality.

Listen closely and be humbled by the song’s message:

Dust in the Wind
by Kansas
I close my eyes, only for a moment
And the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water
In an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground
Though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever
But the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money
Won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind    

* * *
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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Spooky places in Bohol we can’t resist

Halloween is perfect time to raise the dead. While you can creep yourself out at haunted places, why not go for the real deal.  As Halloween draws near, you’d probably stumble upon a lot of spooky stories that would send shivers down your spine.

1)The Old Capitol Building (now Bohol Museum) – Many people state they get an eerie unnatural feeling when visiting the Bohol Museum. Lately, visitors have noticed of the mysterious baby footprints roam around the museum.

Others are sharing their own experience with the said mysterious footprint, saying that it happens from time to time.

The footprints from the mysterious toddler sometimes even come with mud and grease.

According to some visitors, the footprints appear early morning in different places of the museum.

Aurelio “Ondoy Kalag” Gahit on visiting the cemeteries
 on Nov. 1 and 2: ‘Cemeteries are sacred and beautiful to find solace
 and peace.’  Photo by Leo Udtohan
The plot thickens as it turns out that the baby footprints are sometimes accompanied by an adult footprint.

One even pointed an eerie detail seen on the footprint. Seven fingers!

And when janitors try to wipe the footprints off the floor, the other pair of footprint would appear.

Years ago, a high ranking official confirmed that he saw small footprints on the toilet at the governor’s office. He also heard a flush coming from the toilet and it was really weird because no one had seen someone used the toilet.

The Capitol building became a concentration camp of the Japanese’ prisoners and hostages. Because of this, people can’t help but buy the story of headless priests and nuns prowling around at night.  

Until now, some guards and employees swear to hearing strange noises and disturbing shouts.

2) Tagbilaran Streets- Tagbilaran City is a good place to start your “ghost tour.”  Even though Tagbilaran is now a bustling city, it is a home to a lot of the “scariest” places.

Still many people claim to see sightings of the supernatural along Marapao Street. People share that they see “white ladies” and other strange creatures at night.  Cats going around, looking for trash to thrash, do add horror to an otherwise stagnant scene.

The Binayran Road in barangay Dampas is said to be the most haunted road in Tagbilaran City. Drivers have reported everything from strangely dressed wanderers, to ghosts, to phantom vehicles that chase them to its end.

A lot of habal-habal drivers have already encountered agta and big black dog including this woman who would walk to the middle of the road to stop a passing vehicle. Naturally, a driver would stop to avoid hitting her. She would then ask to be brought to the water reservoir, but would disappear before getting there.

3) Schools.  Schools are scary, too. All school campuses especially those that have seen and survived the war have stories of haunting.  And most of the schools in Tagbilaran City were built on what used to be cemetery grounds.

The Imelda Building at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School is famous for the apparition of the white ladies and duwendes. Until now, stories of strange apparitions and aromatic smell coming out of nowhere are consistently reported.

Sightings of the mysterious headless nun are reported by students and teachers of the abandoned Holy Spirit School.

4) Cemeteries.  Anda cemetery has reports of cold presence and menacing feelings. It is unique because it houses an “ark” (similar to Noah in the Bible) where believers of a cult are waiting for another flood. While many ghosts are rumored to call this place their home, Inday Potencia, the local saint of Anda, reigns supreme.

But for Aurelio Romero Gahit, popular known as “Ondoy Kalag”, cemeteries are peaceful place for contemplation.

“You have to respect the dead,” he said. “You must constantly pray for our beloved dead.”

Gahit noted that cemeteries are sacred and beautiful. He said they are places of prayer and community.
“It’s also a place of solace and peace,” he said.

Are there ghosts and spirits?

This has been a common question to Gahit; he said that in all the years he’s been working in Victoria Memorial Park, the closest he got to paranormal activity was goose bump.

However, he shared his encounter with the mantiyanak in 1993. The mantiyanak stirred the villages of Taloto and Booy that people heard the mantiyanak singing lullabies to her baby, causing hair-raising chills and making them trembled in fear. 

The mantiyanak is the mother who died while pregnant, while a tiyanak is the ghost of the unborn child.

Ondoy Kalag who was at the Victoria Memorial Park saw the woman floating in the air. He lost his nerve at the sight of the mantiyanak.

“She appeared to me,” he said. He went to see a Catholic priest and he was told to pray at the grave of the person. After praying, the spirit was gone.

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.