The “kulam” hit on Mano Yakong
He was tall and muscular–and the fiercest in Guinarona. Mano Yakong was. When he was mad at you, you better hide in a secure place because he will be after your ass. His forte was to thrust his machete into your innards or your heart as the case maybe, and he had no qualms doing that. Just don’t cross him, else you will rue the day you were born. Just like what happened to Junie, whom Mano Yakong slaughtered without mercy.
Mano Yakong elicited fear, but at the same time he commanded respect. Mama Zosing, his aunt, knew him well enough not to antagonize him. But a time came for this altercation over an inherited land, which was Mano Yakong’s share, but which Mama Zosing jealously coveted.
One day Mano Yakong fell ill–seriously ill. He did not know what hit him, as healthy and as able bodied as he was. He was breathing rather shallowly. Then all of a sudden his stomach ballooned, and he looked as if he was pregnant with a baby. His complexion was akin to a black, overripe banana. His stomach being bloated would last for 12 hours, then it would gradually deflate to its original size. But that was only for the first 12 hours because in the next 12, his stomach would bulge again. . . and this pattern continued on a daily basis. Which reminded you of the ebb and flow of the tide. Yes, more like the tides!
Mano Yakong knew who did it to him. Maybe it was his intuition telling him. Somebody close to him had a “kulam” hit on him. He knew Mama Zosing it was who commissioned a “barangan” from Guiuan, Samar for the deed. Apparently, Mama Zosing had someone steal a worn t-shirt of Mano Yakong ‘s, which the barangan utilized for the devilish hexing operation.
Mano Yakong suffered a great deal. Imagine being hexed so that you get bloated to the point of bursting, in conjunction with the tide’s ebb and flow. The spell was so potent that no one could undo it. Eventually Mano Yakong died a horrible death, with icky cockroaches and centipedes coming out of his orifices.
On the night of Mano Yakong’s passing, his spirit showed itself to Mama Zosing, its eyes as red and flaming as embers. Needless to say, Mama Zosing got the scare of her life. A few years later, Mama Zosing herself died, and we were wondering if she and Mano Yakong would reconcile and bury the hatchet beyond the grave.
The outing that turned bizarre
The roads along the irrigation dikes from Guinarona to Ormocay to Patong to Tabon-tabon were sleek and inviting, as they were newly constructed. Thus it occurred to Fred and Pablito, both National Police officers, to ride their motorbikes on a lark, as far as Tabon-tabon. They had a drinking bout at Pablito’s brother’s house. They were not really roaring drunk when they started out back to Guinarona.
The weather was A-okay. The full moon was hanging like a silver disk. The cool breeze was caressing their cheeks. It was almost midnight when they reached Kalansan near Barrio Patong. Their cruising was uneventful. . . .until. . . .
From out of nowhere came this silvery animal, the size of a small deer. It was blocking the road. It did not budge as they approached, and Fred and Pablito kept shooing it away. All of the sudden, the creature just flew over their heads and scared them out of their wits. They became white as linen with fright. The animal landed behind them, and they each pressed their accelerators, but the bikes just froze! The creature then flew again to its previous spot, blocking their way again. Now they regained their sanity, and the alcohol in their system seemed to dissipate. As they were trying to plot their next move, the creature just vanished into thin air.