Tales of mystery in Guinarona, I

Do you see the mysterious face?

Tale Number One

Mano Palab was the silent and unassuming type.  Yet when you coaxed him to do tell, you could be sure that only the truth came out of his mouth.  Mano Palab was one of our caretakers in our coconut plantations west of Guinarona in Leyte, Philippines.

One time, Mano Palab and Mr. Blank were at Cabunga-an, a barrio along Kunarum Stream, northwest of Guinarona.  They and some friends were having the time of their lives, drinking their cares away with bahalina, the local brew from the coconut.  They had one drink too many and soon it was dark and time to go home.  It was threatening to rain, with some thunderbolts descending from the dark heavens.  Mano Palab was deathly worried about his and Mr. Blank’s safety, and was wondering how the hell could they reach Guinarona safely.

“Pssssst, we are now going home.  Dont say a word, just ride my back,”  Mr. Blank said.

Thinking that there was nothing to lose, Mano Palab did as told.  “If you tell another person about what happened tonight, you sure are dead meat,”  Mr. Blank said.

Pretty soon, Mr. Blank with Mano Palab at his back were floating in the air, flying just over the tops of the coconut trees and not higher.  Although Mano Palab was drunk, he swore he recovered as if he had taken a  magic pill.  They were flying, flying, flying. . . .altogether about fifteen minutes till they landed below the acacia tree at Lubi-lubi.  Which was just fine as the tree was a stone’s throw from Mano Palab’s house.

Although warned by Mr. Blank not to tell anybody, Mano Palab confided to our mother the next day about the harrowing and at the same time thrilling experience.  He did ask Mother not to tell anybody either.  Mother told us about it, making us the third person in the trinity who knew what happened to Mano Palab one fine day in Guinarona.

Tale Number Two

Turoy and us were chums.  We did things together, like rummaging the forests west of Guinarona for exotic seeds and plants.  We then had this handicraft business, fashioning knick-knacks from materials available in our neck of the woods.

As was our wont, we hiked to Malubago Hills one time.   The air and the way were clear.  We did not find much, so we decided to trudge home.  On our descent, a light rain fell, so we sought cover under a banana grove.  Finally the rains ceased and we proceeded our way.

A few meters onward, what would we find?  Hmmmm. . . fresh footprints, each about 12 inches long. . . .but all of them were of the left foot–as in no print of the right foot–ever!  As we traced the footprints, they continued on for at least 500 meters before fadeout.  What kind of creature that leaves only left footprints?

We asked around, and they said that the footprints were of the timawa, a spirit of the woods, who sucks the life force of humans.


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