Voodoo, apparitions, nightmares and other stories.

Roxas City Travel Blog

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The Volunteers

I was asked to be an adviser, together with a colleague for an outreach project in Roxas City. I had the privilege of working with 6 talented student volunteers who were devoting 2 weeks to teaching Visual Arts and Theater production to students of our sister school, La Salle Roxas.

As an adviser, you had to deal with managing the funds, checking on the safety of the students and coordinating with the school staff and management on the activities that we would be doing.

A 14 day trip that started with an 18 hour boat ride. That was tough, I felt the lull of the waves long after we got off the boat.

The school was new, about 4 years in existence. It was made of concrete, with several parts of the building remaining unblessed by the priest (which is a Filipino tradition after the construction of a building), rough roads that were barely lighted led to the school grounds.

Observing the play practice
It had two 4 storey buildings, a small canteen, a basketball court situated near a swamp with 2 residential houses nearby.

The advisees day's were occupied with running workshops to groups of 12-20 High school and College students who wanted to do something better with their summer than spending it at home. Me and my fellow adviser on the other hand was busy with observing their classes and rubbing elbows with the school administration to get support.

Our last 2 days were spent on applying what the students learned from us. The visual arts class had an exhibit and my team which was the Theater production class had 2 runs of a highly entertaining comedy play. All were done on a makeshift stage and exhibit area in the basketball court. This finale entailed a lot of hard work, late night practices, sweat and tears, and cajoling for props from the school.

Our humble setup
The product was more than we expected, not only did we discover amazing talents and great personalities, we also achieved boosting the morale of the students and helping them believe that they can do anything they set their heart on.

Parting was terribly difficult, we didn't realize that the 14 days would have such a huge impact on not only the school but also on us. We and the students cried all the way till we boarded the boat back home.

Our nights were filled with going out for dinner, hanging out at the beach and drinking with the students. This was not easy though as we had to tread the dark rough road in a city known for a lot of superstitious stories. Below though are a list of my odd but creepy experiences which you are free to take whichever way you want:

1.

Wrapping up!
Let me paint the picture first. We were lodged in the 2 classrooms at the deserted school for the entire trip. The 2 boys were in the other classroom and us 4 girls in another. We had folding cots to sleep uncomfortably in. 5 of the girls beds were lined up in the middle of the bare classroom, one was adjacent to us. On our first night, my advisee who slept in the adjacent bed couldn't sleep. She had a nightmare and had my fellow adviser who was a pastor's daughter, pray for her. After the advisee went to sleep, the girl at the end of our row got roused next but eventually tried to get back to sleep. I was the last to get the nightmare. In my dream, a dark guy's sillhoutte was staring at me from above my head with a pair of glowing, yellowish black eyes. My body remained stiff and I started to get that frustrating feeling of wanting to scream but could not.
Brief intermission at Boracay
When I finally did get to wake up sweating I asked for my colleague to pray for me as well, allowing me to peacefully go to sleep.

At breakfast the day after, we brought up our dreams and discovered that they were one and the same!!! After that night, we slept with at least the toilet light on and made sure to have music playing to kill the deafness.

2. On our 4th day of class, one of the other advisees ran to me panic stricken for advise. Allegedly, one of their students got depressed with the feedback given in class. While the advisee and another student used the toilet they saw a voodoo looking doll in the sink. They wanted me to check it but was gone when I arrived. That afternoon, the picture drawn by the student they gave feedback to was the exact doll that they saw.

A handmade token of appreciation
The incident never happened again but they've remained wary of the student till we ended the the classes.

3. Remember I've mentioned that some parts of the building were not blessed by a priest and that included the 2nd floor toilet. On our second week while doing my rounds I had to use it by myself. The door was oddly shut but I went ahead and used it. Their toilet looked more like a storage room, with 3 cubicles, with the last together with the space in front of it being used to store several oddities. At the time I used it there was a very interesting addition, a close to life sized figure of the Virgin Mary facing the door!!! With goosebumps from the scene, I inched my way to the first cubicle, making sure to leave the main door open. As soon as I had locked the cubicle door, the main door slammed shut. I did my deed as fast as I could and dashed out. Mind you the air was strongly humid so there was no chance of having wind blowing doors and the corridor was deserted. As soon as I got out the door slammed shut again. After that I bumped into my students who had been looking for me all over the school, afraid that something had happened to me (damn right!) since they all had their fair share of ghost stories. I never used that toilet by myself again.

4. We accepted a student's invite to enjoy their 'fiesta' in a barrio close to the city and enjoyed the food and camaraderie of his relatives. We curiously asked if the stories of the 'manananggals' or vampire like creatures that would split by the waist at midnight and eat up people's organs was true. They scared us by inviting us to stay for the night to discover ourselves, which we politely declined.

5. The last but the creepiest was when we got back from our short weekend trip to Boracay. At the time we were enjoying the trip our students used their weekend to rehearse for ther final play well into the evenings. We were welcomed with stories of 2 motor accidents that involved the participants who were just slightly injured and a ghost story. 2 hours before we came back, while 4 students were busy rehearsing in the classroom, a figure of a man crossed the room and walked right through the bathroom and completely disappeared in complete view of all of them. They were of course all shaking from the experiences and my colleague initiated to have us all seated in a circle and pray to give everyone comfort. After dinner, with the 8 of us remaining, we came back to 6 worried advisees who were listening to our only neighbors fight madly. This never having happened during our entire stay, they got suspicious that the spirits we drove out most likely moved to the neighboring house. We all sat again in a circle then and prayed. As soon as we were done, the fighting immediately stopped. All the advisees had their testimonies on what they saw in their peripheral and subconscious that night and we all became believers in the power of prayer after that.

My brief weekend in Boracay was disappointing being my first and last time to go there. The waves brought in a lot of cute purple jellyfishes which I almost touched not knowing what it was and a lot of floating mosses in the salty water. We did enjoy swimming in one of the resort pools and drinking.

This was an incredibly amazing experience. The spirits tried vainly but did not succeed in trying to thwart our excitement and drive to produce a greatly applauded performance. Our mementos other than the experience were tokens from the students and shell plaques in the form of fishes.

 

 

blurbmoi says:
Well to be honest Isabel I only got to go around the school and city area, all very provincial. I'm sure there is a lot more to see though.
Posted on: Aug 17, 2008
Isabetlog says:
I want to go to Capiz!! :D Are there any interesting sites (apart from sightings) there?
Posted on: Jul 30, 2008
blurbmoi says:
Trueness girl! It was really spooky.
Posted on: Jul 29, 2008
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The Volunteers
The Volunteers
Observing the play practice
Observing the play practice
Our humble setup
Our humble setup
Wrapping up!
Wrapping up!
Brief intermission at Boracay
Brief intermission at Boracay
A handmade token of appreciation
A handmade token of appreciation
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