Strange Things Maan Takes for Granted

Weird things tend to happen to Maan, so much so that they’ve learned to just roll with it now.

Do you believe in the supernatural?

I spook easily. I can’t sleep with the lights out. I guess I have been experiencing things since childhood, but I didn’t think that they were supernatural at the time. My dad has his third eye open, he sees dead people. One tried to choke him when he was confined at a hospital for surgery. For this, I am glad that I can only feel them most of the time. I only saw one spirit, and I never want to see one again. So, yes, I believe in the supernatural.

Being a believer in science, how would you explain these encounters?

Since we are a Catholic family, and I am a lifelong product of Catholic schools, I am supposed to subscribe to the fact that there is an afterlife, but also that after life, we are supposed to go somewhere and not linger. I guess my interpretation of spirits that do stay behind is that they have unfinished business or do not even know that they are still around and scaring the heck out of anyone they encounter. Or maybe they just like it here, who knows? My arm hairs are actually standing on end as I type this, so I guess someone is reading over my shoulder. Great.

I believe that there are good spirits too. I talk to them sometimes, asking for guidance, help, or good luck. I think whatever vibes you send out to the universe is what determines whatever/whoever you attract — good vibes and you get the good ones by your side, send out the opposite and well, you’d better get yourself a bunch of St. Benedict medallions, stat.

Story One: The Mystery of the Five Peso Coins

P5 coins began dropping from out of nowhere for no apparent reason. This has happened to me thrice already. Twice in my room, once in the bathroom. So much for privacy. I would hear a coin drop and I would check to see where they fell from–once just beside my bed, a bed with nothing near it, not even a side table; another from the foot of bed, from a box that my fan is placed on top of. There would be no reason for me or anyone in the house to put money there. The bathroom one–while I was getting ready to take a bath, a coin fell on the tiles from my pile of clothes, and I don’t have pockets.

Story Two: Remote Remote Control

Whenever I am in a hotel room by myself, I make it a point to leave the lights on and leave the TV on a 24-hour cable channel for company. I was on a staycation at a hotel, and my room had two twin sized beds even though I was by myself. I distinctly remember channel surfing before I went to sleep because Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were just showing reruns. I am very sure that I fell asleep with the remote beside me. I woke up the next morning and was looking for the remote to try and watch the news before I go down for breakfast and the remote control was on the other bed.

Story Three: No Photos, Please

I was traveling with friends and we were taken to the Diplomat Hotel in Baguio. Outside the ruins is a nice garden with all these flowers in bloom. I told my friend Lester to take my photo and handed him my iPad. I stood there for some time but he kept telling me that the camera wouldn’t work. He kept pressing the button, and it wouldn’t click. This took three tries, so I told him “wait, let me check”. As soon as I move out of the frame, the camera clicks, and all I got was a photo of my sleeve as I walked towards him. When we got back, I posted the photo on facebook and tell the funny story. A friend who has a third eye open commented that he saw an American-looking lady in the background a few feet away from where I was supposed to have stood.

Story Four: White Lady

I read about bangungot, or that dream Filipinos have where they feel paralyzed and this pressure on their chest where they can’t breathe. I think it is not a dream but a state between sleeping and wakefulness. I experienced it for myself with the bonus of seeing a faceless lady in white hovering beside my bed. I knew I wasn’t asleep because I was able to get up and switch on the light, and she disappeared. I remember calling on Mama Mary to protect me and that was when I felt able to move again. Then I hung a medallion of St. Benedict on my bedpost and prayed for his protection. I was in college at the time, and thankfully it never happened again.


Photo from Pexels.




Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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