I didn’t know I had it, I thought people can see what I can. When I realized that what I was seeing were beyond the ken of the average third eye blind person, it got a little weirder for me. It all started when we moved to the province to live there for a while. Here in the city, there’s no time for reflection – everybody’s busy, there’s always noise, several things are competing for your time and attention.
In the province, you can see the stars more brightly. There’s more time for conversation, and even though there’s TV, it’s more fun to hang out with friends at the seawall. There’s also less noise and no streetlights, and therefore, it’s darker and quieter. And you notice more things. Like ghosts.
The house we lived in was a nipa-roofed bamboo-floored affair, and back then it was the only house in the block full of talahib. One night, while we slept inside a mosquito net, I dreamt that a woman with red eyes was outside the window playing peek-a-boo with me, while I was being dragged feet-first towards the window. When I woke up I was indeed outside the mosquito net with my feet near the open window, and I know it was closed before we went to bed because my grandmother would pull my hair if it wasn’t.
I also got to spend a night inside a very old church, during my great-grandfather’s wake. You know what they say about sleep in a cemetery but not inside a church? It’s true. It seemed like 300 people were milling around, dragging their slippered feet. Sometimes I felt like I was being poked, but I’m not sure because I kept eating candies three at a time and trying very hard to focus on my Sweet Valley High.
There are a lot of ghost stories I can tell you but it I’m sure you’ve heard similar stories before. Like the one where I took a nap inside a meeting room then woke up when I felt something heavy pressing on my shoulder. I could even feel her breath, she was begging me to take her away from there. Imagine waking up to something like “Isama mo na ko, ayoko na dito, hirap na hirap na ko.” I swear, it would make your heart stop and beat a hundred miles per hour at the same time.
There were also those episodes in our previous apartment, right after my father died. Suddenly a lot of strange things are happening, and we kept seeing people - three, to be exact - appearing to members of the household separately. From our different stories we concluded that there's a little girl, an old man, and a young-ish man doing the rounds. But nobody can prove anything because no two people experience things at the same time. Then one day, we were having a late lunch and I dared the ghosts to appear in front of all of us. I know, I was just being crazy. Then I lifted up my glass to drink and the next moment I was wet. The bottom of the glass was still at the table, very neatly sliced, like a machine would. The next day we were house-hunting.
To make use of my talents I even joined the Spirit Questors at one time, we were made to "tour" a partially-abandoned office building. Afterwards they tried to talk with the entities, and I wasn't able to sleep for three days after that. But when things in my life are all too frequently present, I get desensitized. I don't care anymore.
When we're together and I see one, I'm not going to tell you, don't worry. It will be my little secret. Unless it starts poking you.