Monday, January 7, 2008

The Mountains of Good and Evil

In the Philippine province of Quezon, two majestic mountains lie side-by-side, both of them extinct volcanoes with craters at their peaks. One of them, Mt. Banahaw, is renowned to be a mystical place of good spirits and healing. Beneficial energies supposedly converge on Banahaw. This is precisely the reason why thousands of faith healers make the annual pilgrimage to the mountain on Good Fridays to meditate and recharge their powers. In fact, several places of spiritual retreat have been built on Banahaw’s slopes since the mountain is regarded as hallowed ground. Benevolent spirits are said to bestow their blessings on believers who faithfully visit the sacred mountain.

Mt. Banahaw’s sister mountain, on the other hand, Mt. Cristobal, is known as the devil or dark mountain because it is said to be filled with evil spirits of all sorts. Malevolent elementals reportedly predominate the mountain’s lush forests. The common targets of these spirits’ malevolence are those who defile the mountain through acts of littering, cutting trees or branches, or relieving themselves anywhere. Stories abound of mountain trekkers who dared go up Mt. Cristobal never to return. Yet no human remains have been found.

More on the mountains of good and evil tomorrow …

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