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I'm an American living in Cebu province, Philippines, where my wife is from. We've had a few experiences here which I'll tell you about, but first a brief description of the neighborhood along with a couple of events that happened here years ago:

To get to our house, a small concrete 2-story, you turn off of a paved, fairly busy 4-lane road onto a tiny dirt and broken rock alley, turn right at the sari-sari store, go straight for 50 meters or so, then the alley makes a sharp left as it goes around the corner of a large, vacant lot on the left. It goes straight for another 50 meters then turns sharply right again, then straight ahead to a dead end. My wife's mother's 1-story bungalow house is just where the alley makes that right-hand turn, and our house is just next door on the same lot. The entire area along the street is basically my wife's "ancestral home" in that at least half of the residents along the alley are her aunts, uncles and cousins on her (deceased) father's side.

When my wife was still a little girl, in the mid-80s, her family lived with her grandparents in their house which was just where the alley and the main road meet (now it's a small vacant lot). Her parents were just having their bungalow built, and my wife was asked to take some food up to the construction site for the workers' lunch. As my wife approached she heard the sounds of ongoing construction, men talking, etc. But when she got there, it became suddenly quiet and no one was there- the workers had already gone somewhere else to eat.

In the mid-2000s there were some squatters living in the vacant lot next door (the one that the alley makes those sharp turns to skirt the borders of) and which also had a bunch of large and very old mango trees at that time. One of the squatters woke up in the early morning and had to pee, so he went outside. He saw a white lady sitting on one of the branches of a mango tree, just looking at him and smiling. (There are streetlights along the alley so it's quite easy to see at night.) Not long after that some men came and cut down all those trees.

In December 2009 my wife and I, along with our puppy, came to my mother-in-law's bungalow to stay overnight on Nocha Buena (Christmas Eve) we were living in south Cebu City at that time. I hadn't even heard any of these stories about this neighborhood yet. It was 11:45PM. My mother-in-law was in her kitchen preparing the traditional midnight supper of ham, spaghetti and fruit salad. My wife and the puppy were taking a nap, but I'd drunk too much Coke to be able to sleep so I went outside to smoke and watch the fireworks (they have really good fireworks here, like the ones you see only in professional displays in the US).

While doing this I distinctly heard footsteps walking along the alley, just on the other side of the gate from where I was. I went and looked over the gate, and since their house is right on the corner I could easily see for 50 meters down both stretches of road. There wasn't anybody there, yet I heard the footsteps walk past and go off down the road.

In July or August 2010 the 2-story rental house next to my mother-in-law's bungalow was vacant so she offered it to us rent-free, just so there would be some people around to watch over the property as there were some petty thefts occurring in the area. Everything was pretty quiet for several weeks but one Friday night my wife went to a birthday party for one of her girlfriends; leaving me alone with our two dogs (we'd bought a second puppy).

I was upstairs using the computer and at around 8:30PM I heard a young woman's voice call out the name of our oldest dog in a "glad to see you" tone of voice. I thought my wife had unexpectedly come home early so I guiltily dashed downstairs to clean up when I noticed that the dogs were still asleep, not excited as the would have been if it had been their "mama" arriving. Of course, no one was there and Karen didn't come home until her expected time.

One evening we both heard my teenage sister-in-law Kim shouting for Karen (my wife) to come over. Our houses are only a meter apart so it's easy for them just to call out when they want Karen to come over. Karen shouted back that she was busy, but then a few moments later went over to see what Kim wanted. She came back in a few minutes saying that Kim said she hadn't shouted for Karen at all.

Another time the same thing happened only in reverse: one evening we heard Kim shouting at Karen asking her what she wanted, when Karen hadn't called for Kim at all.

One sunny Sunday afternoon Kim was in the bungalow alone as her mom had stepped out to run an errand along with Karen. I was also alone in our house (along with the dogs, as usual). Kim said later that she heard a voice whispering, "Kim! Kim!" like it was calling her. She looked around but couldn't find anyone. The funny thing was, I also heard a voice quietly calling for Kim. I assumed at the time that it was my mother-in-law, having come home before Karen did, but I later found out that it was nobody at all (no one we could see, anyway.)

My wife says that all this activity here was due to "elementals", which are earthbound spirits that aren't ghosts, having never been human. They were originally attracted to the place because of the old mango trees and other large, old trees in the area, she says.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, JayM, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

JayM (1 stories) (2 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-19)
Correction: the sections of the small street, which I called an alley in the original story, are around 25 to 30 meters long, not 50. (I'm still getting used to the metric system.) :)

Also I left out another experience. I don't remember just when it was now, but our doggie pack had already increased to four as we'd adopted two from Cebu City Pound. Anyway, Karen was again out kind of late one Friday evening, attending a church meeting or something like that, and was expected home at around 9:30PM. At around 9:20 I distinctly heard her voice calling my name, "Jay?" I said "What?" and the voice said "Can I ask a favor?", which is what Karen always says when she wants me to do something.

I was in the middle of something at the time, I forget what, so I said "Just a minute." Then later when I asked her what she wanted: silence. I looked out the window then went outside and looked around the lot: no one there.

She arrived home a little past 9:30 and I asked her if she'd actually arrived sooner and called for me. She said she'd just gotten there and didn't know what I was talking about.

We haven't had any more experiences with these elementals or engkanto in the past few years, since the vacant lot next door got turned into luxury rowhouses. It's a pity: we both miss them. They were just playful, just teasing us. They made me laugh.
mollymill (1 posts)
7 years ago (2015-04-11)
I would also like to add that the lot with the squatters has now been sold and developed into a small subdivision.

We no longer experience "them" calling for us pretending to be either me or my husband.

Weird, it is sad actually. I have always regarded them as playful harmless elementals and now they probably have moved out looking for another place to live.

I wish them well.

---original poster's wife---
Cloud11th (4 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-11)
Those Elementals Are Called "Engkanto" In Philippines.
They Are Harmless And Sometimes Playful Like This Story Say That They Keep On Calling People's Name. ^_^ Hope It Help For You Guys.
taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-03)
must have missed this one first time round but glad had chance to read it very interesting.
Liked the update too 😁
Have never heard of this kind of spirit/elemental acctivity but now have will have to look into it thanks for posting a great story,
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
11 years ago (2011-05-03)
JayM - I never commented on your story the first time. I don't know why, because I really enjoyed it.

I love the stories from different cultures. Learning about different beliefs is something I love to take advantage of.

My kids and I, also, have had a lot of experience hearing the voices when no one is there.

Thanks for coming back and updating us.
JayM (1 stories) (2 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-03)
Sorry for the delayed response- I had computer problems.

I used to think that "elementals" were some kind of low-grade spirits representing, or associated with, the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. But that's not the definition they use here.

"Elementals" is what Filipinos call what we in the West might call "fairies": non-human spirits of nature that attach themselves to old trees, or (it would seem in our case) to the memories of old trees. I just found out last night that there used to be an old, large mango tree right where our house is now, and that the house was just built in 2002.

I just had another experience last night. I was washing my hands at around 6:30PM when I distinctly heard my wife call out a greeting to one of our dogs, Joshua (a sweet dispositioned 18 month old Doberman): "Baby Joshiepoo!" in a falsetto voice. I started doing the usual things I do when she gets home, but she wasn't there! I even looked out the open window several times in case she was still doing something outside, and even called out, "Are you there?" She arrived 5 minutes later and when I asked her said that she'd just gotten there, and hadn't said those words to Joshua.
redphx (4 stories) (827 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-12)
Elementals are different than nature spirits. Your activity doesn't follow the typical behavior of the nature spirits. They are a little bit more destructive and careless. Elementals are very very strong and I have never heard of anyone actually meeting one. It sounds like you may have some friendly ghosts though.
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-11)
Thank you for sharing your experience! I always love reading stories of various other cultures' experiences, particularly in the differences of belief systems and lifestyles. It sounds like that land was very active spiritually, likely because of all of the family that lived there. As your wife suggested, it could perhaps be elemental sprits, but from what I understand those types of spirits generall appear (as Lilady4 mentioned) in the form of their particular element. For example, I've heard of fire elementals appearing as a whisp of flame, sparks, or strange shapes in a fire.

Regardless, I enjoyed reading your experiences!
Lilady4 (7 stories) (427 posts)
11 years ago (2011-04-10)
Very interesting story here-I have heard about elementals, but in another way. They don't appear as Spirits, but are just elementals (fire, wind, etc).
Anyway, I have also heard annoying spirits calling my name, and I will think that its someone calling me, but no-one seen is.
Love & Light, Rachel ❤

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