On my second day in Siquijor, I wanted to visit the old enchanted balete tree again. It was located in Lazi, just along my way back to San Juan, where the resort I was going to transfer to was located. My guide suggested we drop by Salagdoong Beach first, still in Maria.
The beach wasn’t how I remembered it to be. It used to be less crowded, and the sand, finer. There were many tourists when we arrived. Sure, the water was still clear and enticing, but for me, its charm had diminished. The sands seemed coarser, the ambiance, tarnished.
The same could be said of the old enchanted balete (banyan, genus ficus) tree. Before, only the 400-year-old majestic tree stood as the focal point of attraction, sans the commercial aspects of tourism. Now, a tourist center had sprouted, a cafe or restaurant in the works, and a mini zoo. The spring that flows from the base of the tree was still there, and had been turned into a fish spa.
Though no more sorcery rituals were performed here, the locals believed the tree remained home to elementals up to this day.
Our next stop was a “sorcerer” in Lazi. Before I left the resort in Maria, I told some friends where I was going. I was assailed with requests for love potions (they want to hoard this lol!), money charms, talismans, readings etc. My guide swore this man has helped a lot of people, and doesn’t practice black magick. I was curious, but excitement in check, I asked the guide how far the sorcerer’s house was. I told him I didn’t want to travel that far like we did the previous day. He assured me that this time, we didn’t have to wander far. He wasn’t lying.
We arrived at the home of an unassuming old man in his late 50s. He was blind in one eye. He specialized in reconciling couples, bringing back wandering spouses, love problems, and helping businesses prosper.
I was ushered in by this cordial old man. He asked what I need help with. I told him it wasn’t for me, but for a friend. Honestly, I just wanted to see him in action. I was curious if he was for real. I told him a friend of mine, let’s call her M, has problems in her marriage. Her husband has an affair. I purposely brought up M’s problems as it has already been confirmed that her hubby has a wandering eye. By the way, M asked me to plead her case with the old man. I was hitting 2 birds with one stone—I get to confirm his accuracy and see him in action.
The old man told me to buy 3 white candles. “What for?” I asked. He said that if the candles drip, the hubby wasn’t having an affair. If the candles don’t drip, he is having one. This I’ve got to see! I secretly let out a small squee. Yeah, I’m weird. I get excited by scary, weird stuff. I bought 6 candles. I’ll explain why I did.
The old man took the candles to his altar, prayed over them while murmuring something in a language I couldn’t discern. He lighted the candles in front of me. I was waiting with bated breath at this point. The candles didn’t drip! The odd thing was, even if they weren’t dripping, they continued to melt like how normal candles were supposed to do. But where was the wax residue? Are these magical candles? It can’t be, I was the one who bought it! When you hear hooves, think horses, not unicorns. There has to be a rational explanation to this! He then proceeded to describe the hubby, my friend M, and the other woman, their circumstances accurately. At this point, I felt a sudden chill in the air. No way he could have met those people.
He told me he had helped a very famous personality in the Philippines. I was skeptical at first, but when I was showed proof, I realized he wasn’t lying. For personal reasons, I won’t be disclosing name of the famous person. I asked him how much does he charge for his services. He said it was up to me, he only accepts donations. When I gave him the money my friend M asked me to, he didn’t accept it. I was told to put it at the altar. Apparently, he wasn’t allowed to directly receive the money.
I know some people would say pictures or it didn’t happen. Sadly, pictures or videos were strictly prohibited. He said it wasn’t allowed. I’ve heard his reasoning before. Real healers/sorcerers shun the camera as their spirit guides prohibit it. They were not supposed to advertise their skills or get rich out of it. As for the 3 extra white candles I bought, I lit them when I was out of the old man’s house. The candles dripped like they normally would.
I was in daze when I arrived at John Lhea’s Beach Resort around noon. The resort was okay, but the food was great and affordable. I got a room that was big enough for 3 people for 1k. Cellphone signals are difficult to get, and internet was slow to nonexistent. The resort has a beach, but it was a little rocky. The sunset views from my hammock though, were awesome! After I got settled, I asked the owner, Lhea, to call for a massage therapist as my back hurt from riding the motorbike. She said she knew of a good one, and he wasn’t just a masseur, he was a healer as well. Great, another healer!
As soon as he started, the masseur told me he was glad I came back. Huh? What did he mean? I was confused. He said I almost died two years ago, and came back to the living. What the…?! How on earth did he know about that? Suddenly, I wasn’t so tired anymore. I was spooked. He detailed what ails me, and he was spot on in everything. When he was massaging my lower back, he paused and said I had a miscarriage last year, and that I should try to give *pahinungod to the baby girl I lost. I burst into tears. I couldn’t help it. He touched a raw nerve. There was no way anyone in that resort could have known that. They were all strangers.
He chanted some words over me, and blew something above my head. He said that everything will be all right. He gave me some **pangontra and some oils. He also gave me the number of his wife, in case I will visit again or anyone needs help. He told me that I will sleep soundly that night, and I did. I woke up very refreshed. I haven’t slept like that in a long time, and all felt well with the world.
*pahinungod — Visayan word for to remember; to give pahinungod is to light candles for the dead, say prayers and masses, offers clothes or food
**pangontra — could be a talisman or oil to ward off evil eye, poison, malicious intentions, nefarious supernatural beings, hexes
Update: As of this writing, my lower back hasn’t bothered me so far. I’ve always had dysmenorrhea, and that too, was gone.
To be continued…