I will not tell my mother's hometown's name for privacy and security but it was near the hometown of my father. They were in the same province. We usually spend our vacation in my mother's hometown.
The very mysterious hauntings at that place was the river. Yearly, the river is always taking a man or "nangunguha" and mostly are male visitors. If you are a visitor on that place and tried to swim on the river, something will happen to you. You would suddenly drown and die even if you're a good swimmer. The floor of the river was sand like you were at the beach. Sometimes if your standing even the water was at your knee level, the sand will suddenly become soft and you are actually sinking slowly. Our elderly have this story of why that river became aggressively haunted.
Way back centuries ago, maybe it was Spanish era in the Philippines, there was a man from Manila who visited Pangasinan. He was invited by his co-worker who lived there. In the Philippines, we have this culture to invite guests and visitors from other places to go to our feast. He met a certain woman in that place and he fell in love with her because she was so beautiful, and they became lovers. The women got pregnant and became happy. When the woman told the man that she was pregnant and needed them to get married, the man refused and confessed that he was already married and had his own family in Manila. That was the reason why the woman got angry at him and cursed him to death. She stole the church bell of their church and went to the nearest bridge. Before the woman jumped off the bridge, she cursed the man that they will see each other again and all pregnant women that will hear the ringing of the bell before night has come, will experience a miscarriage.
Our elderly told us too that during those days they could hear church bells ringing at 6:00 pm. But as far as I can remember, they didn't told us if there were pregnant that had a miscarriage. So I didn't believe that. But the curse, that they will see each other, I strongly believe, because I am a witness of many incident that I know. I will tell you the scariest one.
It was new year (I forgot what year it was), our family on mother side is having our annual family reunion at my grandparents old house.
One of our neighbors will be having a wedding event of their daughter, and my sisters and other cousins will be the bride's maids.
Early morning of the wedding day, one of the make-up artist of the bride wanted to see the river. He actually a homosexual. He insisted not to see the beauty of the river because he wanted a refreshment and to ride a boat. He was told of the parents of the bride that the river will take a man or "nangunguha" and this year, the river hadn't yet taken any soul. If danger will happen to them, that will be the first again for 2 years. He didn't listen instead he went to the river along with a woman, the best man of the wedding and one of the residents to be their tour guide. The 3 of them were all visitors.
They were 4 in the boat and the resident was the one who do paddling. The gay was enjoying the ride and to his flirty, he shaken the boat and they all fell in the water. The resident and the best man were good swimmers and they helped the other two. But the gay was drowning so the best man tried to swim harder to get him. The best man pulled the gay to a shallow part of the river but something pulled him to deep part. The gay was saved but the best man was missing.
It was early in the morning when we woke up and the news spread throughout our community. Almost all of the residents were standing and looking in the riverbanks if the body of the best man will float soon. Some of the residents that were good swimmers and all fishermen helped each other to find the body of the best man. I was there when that happened. The gay told the story that when they were on the water, there was something holding his feet and pulling him down to deep but he was saved by the best man.
The wedding was soon to start so they need to pull someone to replace the best man because it's almost lunch time but his body couldn't find. And even the wedding already finish, the best man's body was not found.
Days had passed and we already left my mother's hometown because classes at school will soon to start.
The parents of the best man tried to call the help of "albularyo" or herb doctor/faith healer (even my father was a faith healer, he was not around at that time). Some albularyos told them that they couldn't do anything because the entities of the river were more powerful. One of them expressed that they could see their son in the river with a beautiful woman and they already live in the world where the woman was, but their son was unhappy. One of them also told the parents that they need to offer something like a live chicken and put a candle on the spot of where the best man last shown and pray for mercy to give back their son's body.
Our relatives told this story when we came back for a vacation. The parents did that suggestion with the help of the albularyo. They made a miniature of a boat and put the candle on it and floated it on the spot where the best man last shown. They offered a live chicken and slit the neck of the chicken then the albularyo did a ritual. I don't know if days have passed or on actual ritual, the body of the best man real came back but it was already in decomposed state. And they thank the entity for giving back their son's body.
I also encountered the sudden deep of the water of that river when I and my cousin went to the other side of the river to gather some shell that could help a breastfeeding mother produce more milk. This was happened January of 2012. We needed to cross the river without boat because that time it was low tide. When we were in the water the first part was knee level then walked few steps, the water was in your waist level. At the middle was above your ankle level then from there until you reached the shore, you can make a "U" shape but the level of the deep part was at your stomach.
My cousin asked me if I could speak in Pangasinense. I told him yes because I know that the river could only get a man that was a visitor. Then he told me we can talk in Pangasinense but if we noticed that the water becomes deep he would tell me to swim. I asked him if the river didn't get anyone from the past few years. He told me yes so our situation was more dangerous. Then I said okay I could swim but don't leave me behind. So we walked across the river and got wet. When we reached the "U" shaped we suddenly felt the water was slowly deepening and the water became above me (I was 5'6" so the water was like 6 feet). My cousin shouted at me to swim and grabbed the grass on the shore. And that was I did when I reached the shore, I grabbed the grass and felt the land on my feet. And we reached the other side safe. But how about when we need to return?
We get to the bank and look for someone to tell that we were there. We used to go to the nearest house to have a companion. After we got some shell, and had our meal, we need to go back and walked again on the path that we used previously. But when we started to cross the river, we noticed that the water level was actually on our stomach level. My cousin laughed and said bad words and told to me that we were played and we actually swum in a shallow part. But I told him that the water was actually above me and I knew it. And we just laughed until we reached the opposite shore.
Thanks for reading.