In the Province of Samar, the Philippines, the mention of “Biringan” evokes awe, fear, intrigue, knocking on wood and innumerable signs of the Cross.
What is Biringan? It is reportedly an undefined location somewhere between Calbayog City and Catarman, Northern Samar, where a mythic city(ies) of indescribable grandeur is/are said to exist, unvisited by ordinary mortals, known only by magnificent folk stories that refuse to die despite the advent of television and the internet. Other reports extend its area to as far south as San Jorge, Samar.
Biringan’s “now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t” quality indicates it is not of the usual land and water terrain in which we live in. It seems to exist in a different dimension, which explains why its boundaries can overlap with known towns and cities of Samar island. On moonless nights, seafarers aplenty have reported seeing a dazzling city of light. In a few minutes, though, the manifestation is no longer visible. Obviously, Biringan is not likely to be shown on any map or atlas. But specialized (infrared, ultraviolet, etc.) satellite mapping photography have reportedly turned up a shining area in the reported general location of Biringan.
They say Biringan is the legendary home of the encantos (enchanted ones) and half-encanto, half-human progeny. The encantos are most likely elementals, as old as the mountains and rivers in the area. They are apparently shapechangers because they have been reported to appear in whatever form they wish, human or not. But in human form, their distinguishing characteristic is the lack of the philtrum, the indentation below the nose and above the upper lip.
Portals to and from an ethereal city. There are places in the island of Samar that have been described thus.
There’s one story of a bus plying the night route from Catbalogan City to Tacloban City. Somewhere halfway, when the bus had been emptied of its passengers, the driver and conductor stopped to pick up two young lady passengers. Their stated destination was quite off the main route but the driver consented because the two had offered triple the usual fare. When the two mysterious passengers had alighted, and the driver turned the bus around to get back on the highway. But, to his utter bewilderment, he could no longer distinguish the dirt road they had taken just moments ago. Conceding that they were lost, they decided to spend the night at that very spot.
At dawn the next day, they were confounded when they found themselves and the bus at a desolate mountain top. A large tow truck had to be sent through rough mountain trails just to bring the bus back to civilization.
There’s the story of a bus that somehow lost its way and the driver stopped to pass the night at some sort of depot. When he and his passengers woke up the next morning they were in the middle of a clump or bamboos with no roads anywhere around them that would have brought them where they were.
Perhaps the most classic example of these gateways involved two motorcycle riders riding tandem on one bike. They were traveling the highway at night from (Western) Samar to Eastern Samar. It was around nine o-clock in the evening and they were negotiating the foggy, winding passes halfway to Borongan, Eastern Samar. The night air was chilly and only their motorcycle headlights split the dark ahead. The deafening silence was only punctuated by the occasional chirping of insects.
Suddenly, as they rounded a sharp curve, they were suddenly engulfed in a bedlam of sound! It was as if they had entered a very busy freeway, invisible to them but its sound assaulted their ears. Shrill air horns blared from every direction and sudden gusts of wind rocked their motorcycle as if huge trailer trucks were passing them by on all sides. The driver tried his very best to keep the motorcycle handlebar steady.
It was only after they had round the next curve that the noise suddenly died down and the night air was deathly still once more. Still, these two motorcycle riders and scores of other highways travelers will never forget their encounters with Biringan’s portals.
Biringan : Supernatural Abductions
Quite seemingly out of this world, but reportedly true. Some of the most persistent incidents related to the Biringan phenomenon involve the “relocation” of humans from the mortal world to Biringan.
What happens is, whenever a Biringan inhabitant takes fancy on a mortal (usually a fair maiden or attractive lad), he or she is taken away from the mortal world by was of bugkot (a Visayan vernacular term). The transition usually takes the form of sudden “death” (i.e., accidents, fatal illness lasting a few hours at most, sudden disappearance from any physical location). In reality, the mortal never really dies but his/her consciousness or spirit is taken by the Biringan entity.
The anguished kin of the victim are left with the “lifeless body” where in fact it is not the actual cadaver but a log or similar physical object configured to look and feel like a real lifeless human body. All the while, the victim now resides in Biringan as the wife, husband, or servant of the supernatural being which took her away.
I once knew of a very beautiful lady in Catbalogan City in the province of Samar in the Philippines who was separated from her husband and had three good-looking kids. One day, in the mid-Seventies, the car she was driving suddenly turned turtle on the highway near San Jorge, Samar causing her sudden untimely “demise.” The bereaved family held a decent wake for her and had her body properly buried. Until the present, however, there are persistent recurring reports of this lady being seen in the reported location of Biringan City and she is reportedly now queen of the encantos who live there.
No wonder a portion of the population of the city are thought as half-encantos, half-human. It is these progeny who are reportedly fond of frequenting places where mortals abound for relaxation and entertainment (i.e. parks, beaches, nightspots). This is a direct result of all the cases of supernatural abductions.
Biringan: Heavy Equipment for an Invisible City
Heavy equipment for an invisible city? Uncanny but true. In the Sixties, Tacloban City in the province of Leyte, the Philippines was the commercial hub of the Eastern Visayas region. It was the natural port of call of passenger and cargo ships plying the Visayas-Manila route. Who could ever imagine that manifestations of Biringan’s existence would take physical form?
One particular incident which is still word-of-mouth to this day involved the arrival of a large lot of first-class heavy equipment from the United States. The shipment consisted of bulldozers, graders, payloaders and hauler trucks. Post officials were astounded when they examined the freight documents and discovered the entire consignment listed the destination as Biringan City. Since the fabled city’s reputation had spread far and wide in the Eastern Visayas region, people were in a tumult of speculation as to who will claim the equipment.
Following prescribed port rules, the heavy equipment were unloaded and neatly parked in the concrete confines of the Tacloban port under heavy guard. Months passed and still no one came to claim the shipment. The elements were taking their toll on the equipment. Conflicting reports have it that the entire lot was either sent back to the shipper or hauled to the junkyard. Was this a matter of mistaken port of delivery of heavy equipment for an invisible city?
Biringan: The Japanese Venture
Into Biringan Territory
In the late Eighties through the Nineties, the Japanese ventured into Biringan territory. They conducted rural development work focused on the town of San Jorge, Western Samar. The implementing agency was the Japanese International cooperation Agency (JICA). The entire Samareño population was perplexed as to why the Japanese would concentrate on San Jorge when there were a lot more towns in the province which needed the development work more. To implement the project, the Japanese brought in tons of equipment (vehicles and machinery) and Japanese engineers and field personnel descended on San Jorge in full force.
One story involved a team of Japanese who went into the forest accompanied by a Filipino guide. Inexplicably, the guide lost track of the terrain. The Japanese promptly whipped out a very detailed satellite-generated map of the area and the team immediately found its bearings again. A related report had it that infrared, ultraviolet, or similar satellite pictures of the area kept registering a shimmering effect right on the location where the JICA was concentrated. This led to further reports that an enormous deposit of uranium is embedded deep in the bowels of the earth beneath that particular area. Others speculate that a mother lode of gold has been detected in the area. The thickest deposits are reportedly under the San Jorge area with the ends tapering as far a San Juanico Strait to the South and the San Bernardino Strait to the North.
Could there be a connection to the reported location of Biringan in the area? In Philippine folklore, elementals supposedly guard vast treasures hidden deep in the forests or deep underground.
Nevertheless, the Japanese left the area without any tangible results of their “rural development” work. That ended the Japanese Venture Into Biringan Territory.
What really is Biringan? Is it a city or kingdom existing in a parallel dimension with ours? Do these two dimensions interpenetrate at times, causing the meeting of inhabitants from ours with encantos? Does this explain the ethereal now-you-see-it, now-you don’t quality of Biringan and its denizens?
To this day, Biringan remains a mysterious part of Philippine folklore. In addition, everyday stories of encounters with Biringan’s residents continue to be told. If these had simply been figments of the imagination, these stories would have died down a long time ago, what with the advent of 100+ channels cable television and the Internet. Still, fresh stories continue to crop up.
Stories such as spirit possession by Biringan’s encantos over ten school children just because their school Principal unwittingly made a bonfire next to the large balete tree in their school yard. How was the poor teacher to know that the huge tree looming large near the old school building was the abode of a Biringanon? And that she had unknowingly injured the youngest child of the invisible occupants of the tree abode?
Even modern-day kids in the Philippines, well-versed on the Japanese animé sagas of the new century, still believe in the existence of the legendary kingdom of Biringan. This is an undeniable fact. Despite all the terror attacks, all the coup rumors, the hunger, the droughts, the floods, and everything, only one thing remains unshaken by it all … Biringan.
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How can people forget about the sweet darling of the mass, Julie Vega? Anna Liza played by Julie Vega
Before we have Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Barretto, there was first Julia Pearl Postigo, popularly known as Julie Vega, an admired actress and singer during her generation up until now. She began her career at an early age of three as a television commercial model. She starred in the film "Mga Mata ni Angelita," a 1978 hit, which was considered to be her first major lead film that earned her respect, admiration and popularity. Julie Vega's career also include "Mga Basang Sisiw," "Durugin Si Totoy Bato," "Mother Dear," and "Daddy's Little Angels."
She even blossomed more when she was chosen to play the lead role in GMA-7's soap opera "Anna Liza." This earned her sympathy of the viewing public and eventually made her the newest "darling" in the industry.
Not long after, Julie's health deteriorated which lead to broncho-pneumonia causing her death. The people deeply grieved on the sudden death of the young actress (who was then 16 years old) whom they love greatly as she touched many lives as an actress and singer.
This tragedy did not escaped controversies of the rumored death, not merely caused by weakened health, but by elements not of this world. People believed that she and her family was influenced by other forces they can't control.
It was rumored that Julie's health degenerated after filming the movie "Lovingly Yours, Helen." It is a Sunday afternoon program aired on GMA-7 from 1980 to 1996, which then turned into an anthology movie on 1984 because of its popularity.
Julie has been sick since last year but this was a well-guarded secret. "Mga sadista kasi ang ibang press people at konti lang ang nagmamahal sa kanya," her father said in grief.
- The Times Journal
In the first movie episode of "Lovingly Yours, Helen," Julie Vega starred as a girl possessed by an evil entity. The film was done in an old house in Mt. Manalmon, located in the town of San Miguel, province of Bulacan. They say that Julie used to be very lively and active, until the time they were filming the horror film. They believed that the spirits felt they were disturbed and disrespected by the people doing the film. The spirits or Engkanto's might have taken a liking to the pretty star which causes the illness that seemingly struck the actress unexpectedly.
One of the accounts, said that when Julie and the crew were filming the movie, Julie saw a child with beards several times in the temporary comfort room that the staff built. They even sacrificed a chicken to appease the being and to show respect to the place.
The Albularyo's (folk healer or medicine men) strongly believed that Julie Vega's body just appears to be dead but actually is not. They say that the Engkantos (Enchanted Ones) have taken Julie Vega's soul to go with them but the body is still alive. They said they could have performed a certain ritual so Julie Vega could go back to her earthly body, but it was too late already. And of course, most of the people won't believe such things.
Still, some say that Julie Vega now resides with the Engkanto, dancing with them around the woods of Mt. Manalmon.
While this is the belief of the townfolk, others believed that the family have faced several unlucky events after Julie purchased their house.
People at the chapel who condoled with the family recalled that the Postigos weren't lucky in the house they had bought with Julie's earnings in 1982. Less that a hundred days after the purchase, second son Jeffrey was stabbed to death inside a car.
- The Times Journal
Mrs. Postigo have just realized what the omen of the manghuhula (clairvoyant) meant:
"When Mrs. Postigo sought a clairvoyant to identify her son's killer, the woman told her: "Misis, may anak ba kayong babae? Ingatan ninyo sya. Ipagdasal nyo sya. Malapit na siyang mawala sa inyo." Mrs. Postigo remembered the warning only when Julie became seriously ill..."
- The Times Journal
True or just a coincidence? After hearing something like this and that something really happened in an approximate estimated time, one would really think deeper if it is in fact that the manghuhula saw what was about to come and the family didn't heed the warning?
One thing is for sure, the family was very grieved with what had happen in their lives, having lost several members of their kin.
"Dr. Postigo could not contain his grief. "Bakit ganito? Bakit mabigat ang buhay para sa akin?" he asked relatives at their home.."
- The Times Journal
Several reasons emerged regarding the death of the beloved star. Whichever is true, the only accepted truth is that Julie will always be in the hearts of fellow Filipinos who are witness to her role as a public icon.
Julie's role in the horror film is a tough one and takes a lot of effort and dedication, but it should not be the last impression that the angelic face of the actress would imprint on her audience.
Despite everything that had happened, Julie Vega's beauty and talent will forever be cherished by the Filipinos.
I have numerous experiences with ghosts or whatever they might be but this one I would never forget. It happened when I moved up to Calamba from Paranaque due to my new job location.
I rented a penthouse; it's on the rooftop on a two story building apartment. I'm living with my girlfriend and in the first weeks we began to experience strange things, at first we tried to hold these from each other but then began to discuss them among ourselves. I told her at times I would hear a male voice whistling in a merry tone or some people (a female) conversing in the middle of the afternoons which to my surprise she hears them too. She then told me she would catch at time in the corner of her eyes a silhouette rushing through the door which I do also encounter.
Her elder sister one time visited and stayed with us and during the first day she said she sense something in the house but told us it was guarding the house or we and we need not to be afraid. She told us these even we don't tell her any stories of it.
Now, the worst one, we are experiencing this scratching, something like crawling or walking in our roof, at time we would hear thuds. I already have hints it's an ASWANG, I was so angry at it that I would curse at it when when we heard the sounds.
I got 2 handguns with me a.38 and.45, a samurai and a number of knives which I collected. I would get out of the house armed and with a flashlight and threw stones on our roof, ready to shoot anything that comes off of it.
It was one night my spitz dog which I tied to the backdoor was crying in the middle of the night and I knew it's starting again. Slowly with all the lights off I approached the backdoor and I heard the only sound that I cannot decide what kind or where it was coming from. It was somewhat coming afar, it says Kaaaak! Kaaak, sounds like a bird or what ever that is scaring the hell out of my dog. I was told that the aswang sounds afar when it is near you.
My dog was really scared with her body pressed against the backdoor crying. I was just waiting for the doorknob to turn and I'm really going to blow this aswang away if it intends to go through my backdoor so I click on the hammer of my gun and got into a position. Suddenly the sound stops. Probably heard the gun-clicking, my eyes were all over the place, looking the window direction or any. It was dark and I don't if he already managed to slip in the house.
I let out a curse for the aswang to hear seconds later there was nothing. Soon I was back in the bed and we heard rattling on our roof and again with my gun and a knife, my girlfriend along with me we went out of the house. I'd say past 12 midnight maybe and checked out our roof. I told her to throw garlic's and salt in the roof and around the house especially on the doors path. It was then that it all stops for months.
It was then we are sitting outside the house enjoying the moon that night when she notices something flying, flapping it's wings at points it to me, to my surprise I cannot make something to what I see, brown in color maybe the size of a dog some 100 meters away maybe and my girlfriend and just look at each other and we both agree its no big bird or bat it is, it was flying slow and I'm totally sure its now owl too, I've seen owls they don't get that big nor fly that way.
Today I sleep with my guns and knives beside me, I was told to wet the bullets with my saliva to have them penetrate these beings the same way I did with my samurai and knives sharpness. Who knows I maybe the first one to kill some of things or whatever they maybe.
My family is renting two apartments in Mandaluyong City. The apartments are just beside each other. What we did is put a passage at the back so we can go through our second apartment.
Anyway, I was with my two children and my parents. We had a relative, she's about 50 years old I think, taking care of my younger child who was about two months old.
Each apartment had two bedrooms, the room of my younger sister is at the second apartment. On that day, there's no one in the second apartment since my sister went out for party. It was past midnight when my relative decided to go to the first apartment with my baby. Suddenly, they heard someone saying "wak-wak" several times, which was then imitated by my baby. When they were already inside our first apartment, she asked her daughter, who was living with us, if she was the one who said "wak-wak." Her daughter denied it. She said she had just went down from upstairs.
The next night, my baby was in the living room playing with my youngest sister. My sister said that my baby is covering her eyes and wasn't moving around. She was just still. Then, my baby was pointing at something at the door. When my sister went to carry her, my baby held on very tight. Then, my sister finally went to let my baby down but my baby's legs are wrapped around my sister. My baby held on for about 10 minutes.
Several days after, it was siesta time, my relative who was taking care of my baby, decided to close her eyes and rest for a while, letting my baby play inside the room. They were sleeping in the same room. Then, she was surprised that my baby wasn't moving around and making any noise (my baby is always hyperactive). So, she opened her eyes to check on my child. She then saw my baby covering her face with the pillow. She as like that for about 5 minutes, our relative said. It was very weird.
Are aswangs always in solid form? I mean, the ones who can shape-shift into animals, insects or such? Or is it another supernatural being lurking inside our house? We just thought that the thing my baby saw was something so scary that she was covering her eyes for so long.
Story shared by b9qtmg