TRUE WEIRD

Exorcism in the Philippines

The first time Gabriel Cabaltera* noticed that her mother was different was when she was four. She had awoken at three in the morning to find her mother gone from the bed. She searched the house, then wandered outside, where she found her mother Tina” standing on the roof of their house. “I don’t know […]

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TRUE WEIRD

5 Philippine plants used for space clearing

I spoke to a a local practitioner who is called “Mananabas” (literally “cutter,” as in one who cuts with a panabas or forward-curved sword) because of their ability to walk grey areas, to find out what local plants are traditionally used to cleanse one’s space. This is their answer.

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TRAVEL, TRUE WEIRD

WanderManila’s One Night in Intramuros tour shows the history of the Walled City through the eyes of its deceased

Last Halloween 2020, 24,000 people tuned in to WanderManila’s Facebook Page to watch as host and head tour guide Benjamin Canapi, “B” for short, took everyone through a virtual tour of Intramuros, the walled city that was considered the entire Manila during the Spanish era. What made this tour different from other Old Manila tours is that first, it happened in the evening, and second, it was a historical tour told from the angle of the Walled City’s long dead.

I got to interview Canapi on how WanderManila started, why he decided to start ghost tours, what WanderManila is up to during the pandemic, and if he has any plans for Halloween this 2021.

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TRAVEL

Farmer says there are no spirits in the fields

In the middle of last year, I had to travel to the CALABARZON provinces for work. In the middle of this, I was invited to take a side trip to Candelaria, Quezon to visit Radel Matibag, a young farmer who had just returned from an exposure program in Japan. I wrote about his journey in […]

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TRAVEL

Children’s playground and urban garden at Rizal Park

Rizal Park in Ermita, Manila, isn’t just a beautiful public green space, it played a big part in Philippine history as well. Formerly called Luneta National Park, his was where not only National Hero Jose Rizal was executed by firing squad in 1896, but also where, 24 years earlier, Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto […]

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TRAVEL, TRUE WEIRD

My Siquijor adventure: getting hexed on an island paradise

In 2010, I was sent by a travel magazine to Siquijor, a small island province in the Visayas region of the Philippines. You need a ferry to get there, and I and the photographer took one from Dumaguete. The island was first called “Katagusan,” after the molave (Vitex parviflora) trees that populated it. When the Spanish […]

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