Siquijor Diaries Day 2 — Of Sorcerers, Healers, And Potions

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!

San Juan sun­set


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.

Heal­ing oils, potions, herbs, and tal­is­mans

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…

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