Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Revisiting an Old Haunt

Well, I found out from charles that Jeff and Ann Vandermeer are holding a 'weird' contest at their blog and I dug an old post up. However, I decided to edit the post a bit to fit in their 500 word limit. To read the whole piece, go here.

For those who don't know, Baguio is a small city situated on a plateau in the middle of the mountains of Benguet. Because of its height, the city is an ideal place for vacation during summer. It's a beautiful place: pine trees can survive in my country there and flowers bloom all year 'round because of the cool temperature.

Likewise, any city has its own share of ghosts and spirits but Baguio seems to be well-known for them moreso since the Hyatt Hotel collapsed in the 1990 quake and killed 1,300 people. I suppose the primeval appearance of the pine tree forests, combined with the late night mists, make Baguio a choice spot for hauntings-- and haunted imaginings.

Among my friends who went up to Baguio with me several years ago was (Jester). It was on our second night in Baguio that I found out (Jester) has a kind of “second sight”, which was a surprise as he never struck me as a "spiritual" kind of guy. And well, it’s one thing to know a friend can see ghosts. But to actually see him do it…

After an an incident that early evening involving a fun yet jumpy visit to the Baguio Mansion—another weird story too long to mention here and which I wasn’t present at that time anyway-- (Jester) seemed a little nervous when we all trooped back up to the condo where we were staying. For the evening, we decided to hang out and watch TV in the condo’s living room.

It was only then I confirmed that (Jester) was acting right strangely when he asked if anyone was upstairs despite everyone being right there with him. Later on, I surreptitiously saw (Jester) was looking around the unit from the corner of his eyes. And when I checked to see what he was looking at, I noticed his gaze always kept returning to the top of the stairs, which was in front of us.

(Jester) didn't know I was looking at him. It was a weird feeling: if he was just pulling our leg about the “second sight”, he wouldn't have known I was observing him at that time. But looking at him at that time, I thought he really looked like he was seeing something at the top of the stairs.

Was it a ghost? I'm still a bit of a skeptic to really believe in that, preferring to trust my own senses. Still, the feeling that these invisible spirits are around you unknowingly has inspired a lot of my own short stories.

Interesting to live in this country, no?

No comments: