The Philippines has its own share of wonders like these and among many enchanted places, the city of Biringan evokes the most awe and intrigue among the people.
Biringan is said to be a place of the engkantos in the humble area of Northern Samar in the Philippines. According to the lore, Biringan is a glimmering city filled with magnificent architecture and high-rise buildings, which are unusual to exist in such a rural area like Samar. Its beauty and grandeur are said to lure humans to come into their realm and stay there forever.
The term Biringan means "a place to look for lost people." It has long been believed that whenever a person suddenly goes missing, they will suspect that the engkantos have taken that person to Biringan.
There are different theories as to where the exact location of this marvel city is. Some people believed that Biringan is situated somewhere between Calbayog City and Catarman in the northern part of Samar. Whereas, other accounts point to the southern locale of Samar in around the region of San Jorge or Pagsanghan.
The mysterious city of Biringan is said to be inhabited by engkantos or "the enchanted ones." Engkantos are elemental beings that are believed to be as old as mountains and rivers that flow in these parts of Samar. They have the ability to change their form in whatever creatures they want. Some believed that they walk among humans and when they meet a beautiful lady or a handsome lad who are suitable partners for them, they would put that person in a trance to convince them to come along to Biringan. You can tell if a certain person is really an engkanto if he lacks a philtrum or that vertical crease that runs from below the nose to the upper lip.
Bugkot: Spirited Away
The lore of Biringan is deeply engraved in the hearts of the people of Samar. While some individuals have openly told people that they have indeed been abducted by the engkantos of Biringan, others are afraid to even mention the name of the place in fear that the engkantos will take them too.
In some parts of Samar, it is believed that whenever someone was involved in an accident, caught a mysterious illness, or suddenly disappeared, it is possible that that person is being taken by an engkanto to Biringan, especially when that person is attractive. The Warays call it "bugkot" or being spirited away.
In "bugkot," it is believed that the lifeless body of the person is actually a log of some sort that is casted with a spell to make it look like a person, where in fact, the spirit or the consciousness of that person is being taken to the realm of the engkantos, leaving the log behind appearing as a dead body.
What do you think? Is it real? Or just a product of wild imagination?