My First Brush With The Unknown
My first brush with the unknown happened when I was about three years old. I don't know why it happened but there were two consecutive episodes that introduced me early in life into the mystical and supernatural world of the paranormal.
The first incident was after the death of my grandmother, Lola Titay, back in 1971. The announcement of her death coincided with one of the worse typhoons ever to hit Olongapo that time. I don't remember its name but it brought so much damage and destruction. I remember of flying roofs and uprooted trees and waist-deep floodwater. The whole family had to go to the province of Nueva Ecija in Bertese, Quezon to get ready for the funeral and burial.
It was my visit to this place that started a lot of mysteries that has happened in my life since. I can only recount what happened as related to me by my mother as I was still too young to remember all the details but I did have vague memories of the events. Life in the barrio was very different than in the city. First, there was still no electricity that time so they used candles for illumination at night. However, there was no need for them during the day. So I found it really odd to smell burnt candles on the first day we arrived. Not only that, but the scent of Sampaguita flower also permeated the house.
The most unusual thing about this whole incident was that I had no idea at such a young age what death is all about. So while all of them were mourning around the coffin I would be going around wandering in every room of the house and in the backyard. It didn't occur to me then what it meant to lose my grandmother because to me, she was still around. That's right, I could see her every now and then in different parts of the house. She stands there wearing a white baro at saya and smiling at me. She didn't talk to me though. Another unusual thing that I hardly bothered to worry about whenever I see her was that each encounter was ephemeral in nature. One minute I would see her and the next she would be gone.
Now I kept all of these to myself and never told anyone - yet. That incident happened when we were about to leave Bertese to go back to Olongapo. Saying goodbyes to our relatives we were leaving behind, I was waving my hand to my Lola Titay who was with them sending us off. Somebody must have noticed me waving at an empty space and asked nonchalantly, "Who are you waving to, bunso?" to which I replied "Lola" and at that moment everyone froze and looked at me. Somebody said, "No, your Lola is gone now." I said, " But she's right there" and pointing again to the direction where there was nothing but air. At that point they finally realized what was happening and a lot of them had the goose bumps. That was my first encounter with the paranormal. The second one happened soon afterwards when we got back home in Olongapo.
- To be continued-
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