Kauranan is one of the hills west of Guinarona in Leyte, Philippines. So named for “uran” or rain. It is also where the creek “Kauranan” is located. Until most of Kauranan became a prolific coconut plantation, it was first a primordial forest. Even now, Kauranan teems with other trees, mostly second-growth forests. Kauranan is the gateway to the virgin forests further west: the Mt. Lubi range, which includes Mt. Amandiwing, a dormant volcano.
If you were to spend your retirement years at Kauranan, what could you expect? Well, hiking the 45-degree slopes is a good exercise. Then the air is cooler than the lowlands. The air is certified oxygen-rich. If meditation is your cup of tea, Kauranan is very well suited. And the enkantos (nature spirits) are more than willing to oblige you. They even appear voluntarily on your videos and in your snapshots.
In February of 2009, we did a spirit feast at Kauranan. Here’s our sister’s account:
On the eve of the appointed day, we checked all the requisites: candles, incenses, food, wine, water, cd player for the drumbeat music–the works. When we reached Kauranan, you would think everything was hunky dory. Not. When we filched through our backpacks, the candles and the drum beat cd just disappeared. We conducted the ritual, only making do with the incenses, which we brought from Qatar specifically for the purpose. A few minutes into it, the ritual leader was dumbstruck and appeared ashen: He could see all sorts of spirits descending on the makeshift altar, circling it. At his behest he offered them the food, wine and water. They did munch on the food and made sips of the wine, but–take this–they were all agog at the imported sandalwood incenses, taking all of them from the altar and the backpack. And holy of holies, although the drumbeat cd was missing, we could hear it being played repeatedly in the background.
Yes, they do have magic at Kauranan.