Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Doppelganger in Samar

Never in my wildest dreams would I ever concede that there are doppelgängers in the Samar, a province of the Eastern Visayas region in the Philippines. And the uncanny thing about it is I was the object of the phenomenon.

From Wikipedia, “a doppelgänger has come to refer (as in German) to any double or look-alike of a person—most commonly an "evil twin". The essential meaning of the German word is "doublewalker", someone who is walking the same way as another person.

The doppelgänger associated with me first manifested itself around two years ago. A lot of my friends began confronting me as to who the long-haired woman I was being seen around with. Their encounters with “me” usually happened late at night at some nightspot in town. My friends insisted it was “me” they saw. In fact, they said, “I” even waved at them during those encounters.

One particular incident had “me” with an unidentified male companion at a certain nightspot. The friend who related the incident told me “my” male companion even tried to start a brawl with my friend’s group!

All the while during those incidents, the real I was at home asleep at such late hours. That was when I became very apprehensive. Here was an entity masquerading as me and possibly doing some very unsavory acts. I was worried I might be left holding the bag and be the object of repercussion as a result of this entity’s actions.

A full year after the first reported incident, I sought the help of a well-known faith healer in our locality. He revealed to me that I was being mimicked by a shapechanger. The faith healer performed a ritual focused on the Third Eye area at the top of my head. I distinctly recall him making sweeping motions with his hands as if in the process of cleansing my aura. He also gave me a sort of amulet which would supposedly protect me from the recurrence of doppelgänger manifestation.

Since then, there have been no reports of my phantom double. Still, I will never forget the time of the manifestations of doppelgänger in Samar.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Biringan (Part 6) : Conclusion

What really is Biringan? Is it a city or kingdom existing in a parallel dimension with ours? Do these two dimensions interpenetrate at times, causing the meeting of inhabitants from ours with encantos? Does this explain the ethereal now-you-see-it, now-you don’t quality of Biringan and its denizens?

To this day, Biringan remains a mysterious part of Philippine folklore. In addition, everyday stories of encounters with Biringan’s residents continue to be told. If these had simply been figments of the imagination, these stories would have died down a long time ago, what with the advent of 100+ channels cable television and the Internet. Still, fresh stories continue to crop up.

Stories such as spirit possession by Biringan’s encantos over ten school children just because their school Principal unwittingly made a bonfire next to the large balete tree in their school yard. How was the poor teacher to know that the huge tree looming large near the old school building was the abode of a Biringanon? And that she had unknowingly injured the youngest child of the invisible occupants of the tree abode?

Even modern-day kids in the Philippines, well-versed on the Japanese animé sagas of the new century, still believe in the existence of the legendary kingdom of Biringan. This is an undeniable fact. Despite all the terror attacks, all the coup rumors, the hunger, the droughts, the floods, and everything, only one thing remains unshaken by it all … Biringan.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Biringan (Part 5): The Japanese Venture Into Biringan Territory

Biringan (Part 5): The Japanese Venture Into Biringan Territory

In the late Eighties through the Nineties, the Japanese ventured into Biringan territory. They conducted rural development work focused on the town of San Jorge, Western Samar. The implementing agency was the Japanese International cooperation Agency (JICA). The entire Samareño population was perplexed as to why the Japanese would concentrate on San Jorge when there were a lot more towns in the province which needed the development work more. To implement the project, the Japanese brought in tons of equipment (vehicles and machinery) and Japanese engineers and field personnel descended on San Jorge in full force.

One story involved a team of Japanese who went into the forest accompanied by a Filipino guide. Inexplicably, the guide lost track of the terrain. The Japanese promptly whipped out a very detailed satellite-generated map of the area and the team immediately found its bearings again. A related report had it that infrared, ultraviolet, or similar satellite pictures of the area kept registering a shimmering effect right on the location where the JICA was concentrated. This led to further reports that an enormous deposit of uranium is embedded deep in the bowels of the earth beneath that particular area. Others speculate that a mother lode of gold has been detected in the area. The thickest deposits are reportedly under the San Jorge area with the ends tapering as far a San Juanico Strait to the South and the San Bernardino Strait to the North.

Could there be a connection to the reported location of Biringan in the area? In Philippine folklore, elementals supposedly guard vast treasures hidden deep in the forests or deep underground.

Nevertheless, the Japanese left the area without any tangible results of their “rural development” work. That ended the Japanese Venture Into Biringan Territory.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Biringan (Part 4): Heavy Equipment for an Invisible City

Heavy equipment for an invisible city? Uncanny but true. In the Sixties, Tacloban City in the province of Leyte, the Philippines was the commercial hub of the Eastern Visayas region. It was the natural port of call of passenger and cargo ships plying the Visayas-Manila route. Who could ever imagine that manifestations of Biringan’s existence would take physical form?

One particular incident which is still word-of-mouth to this day involved the arrival of a large lot of first-class heavy equipment from the United States. The shipment consisted of bulldozers, graders, payloaders and hauler trucks. Post officials were astounded when they examined the freight documents and discovered the entire consignment listed the destination as Biringan City. Since the fabled city’s reputation had spread far and wide in the Eastern Visayas region, people were in a tumult of speculation as to who will claim the equipment.

Following prescribed port rules, the heavy equipment were unloaded and neatly parked in the concrete confines of the Tacloban port under heavy guard. Months passed and still no one came to claim the shipment. The elements were taking their toll on the equipment. Conflicting reports have it that the entire lot was either sent back to the shipper or hauled to the junkyard. Was this a matter of mistaken port of delivery of heavy equipment for an invisible city?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Biringan (Part 3): Supernatural Abductions

Supernatural abductions. Quite seemingly out of this world, but reportedly true. Some of the most persistent incidents related to the Biringan phenomenon involve the “relocation” of humans from the mortal world to Biringan.

What happens is, whenever a Biringan inhabitant takes fancy on a mortal (usually a fair maiden or attractive lad), he or she is taken away from the mortal world by was of bugkot (a Visayan vernacular term). The transition usually takes the form of sudden “death” (i.e., accidents, fatal illness lasting a few hours at most, sudden disappearance from any physical location). In reality, the mortal never really dies but his/her consciousness or spirit is taken by the Biringan entity.

The anguished kin of the victim are left with the “lifeless body” where in fact it is not the actual cadaver but a log or similar physical object configured to look and feel like a real lifeless human body. All the while, the victim now resides in Biringan as the wife, husband, or servant of the supernatural being which took her away.

I once knew of a very beautiful lady in Catbalogan City in the province of Samar in the Philippines who was separated from her husband and had three good-looking kids. One day, in the mid-Seventies, the car she was driving suddenly turned turtle on the highway near San Jorge, Samar causing her sudden untimely “demise”. The bereaved family held a decent wake for her and had her body properly buried. Until the present, however, there are persistent recurring reports of this lady being seen in the reported location of Biringan City and she is reportedly now queen of the encantos who live there.

No wonder a portion of the population of the city are half-encantos, half-human. It is these progeny who are reportedly fond of frequenting places where mortals abound for relaxation and entertainment (i.e. parks, beaches, nightspots). This is a direct result of all the cases of supernatural abductions.