Saturday, May 15, 2010

Silliman Workshop Day 13: Siquijor

Oh my goodness, I've just begun writing about this day when I realized how serendipitous it is that this is the day my co-fellows and I went to Siquijor!

13

Wow, that's pretty...cool (creepy), isn't it?

I've heard lots of stories about Siquijor. Aside from being told that going to this island is an age-old tradition of the Silliman Writers Workshop, I've heard that this is where the mangkukulam reside--their headquarters. If Harry Potter has Hogwarts, Juan Dela Cruz has Siquijor. Yes, and the tuition is probably much, much lower since it is in pesos, though I'm not sure if they use the same currency. For all I care, they may prefer babies and human liver. :)

Of course, Juan is much cooler, since he practices both the dark and "white" arts. There are said to be mambabarang in the island, a type of mangkukulam that utilizes insects  (barang) to perform magic. I've heard stories about people dying from strange diseases, and when their relatives look at their corpses, they see insects--wasps, ants, centipedes (you get the picture)--coming out of the victim's mouth.

Another story I heard is from my co-fellow, Gel, who told me about what happened to her friend. Apparently, once you get to the island, you're supposed to bite the tip of your little finger. Otherwise, the witches and fiends can easily put a curse on you. Gel's friend forgot to bite her finger, and what happened was that she (or was it "he") fell really sick. That person was brought to an albularyo, a practitioner of (mostly) the white arts. The albularyo held out a water-filled glass over the body of the victim, just letting the glass hover around in circles, and within minutes, the glass was brimming with insects.

See? Is Hogwarts all that cool?

I meant to just blog about a normal day. About me leaping from a cliff in Salandoong Beach and nearly cracking my pelvic bone against the water's surface. About the oldest Balete Tree in the Island. About the fields of brush, coconut, and bananas. About the oldest convent in the Philippines (Can't quite remember the name).

But as I run out of time in this internet shop, I guess maybe I'll just google it later and add pictures and edit this darned entry. I hope the internet back in Writers Village has been revived, cuz really, I can't even facebook properly with that thing. The cicadas are sending far stronger signals than the Smart Bro. Haha.
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