For two weeks, I had conversations with a Pepe who maintains several blogsites to his name. The highlight of those conversations were about scary stuff, those that would cause you goosebumps or your split ends to stand and look like snakes’ forked tongues.  Last Tuesday, what started as jokes turned seriously scary conversations unintentionally to let us to remain awake for the duration of our overtime.  To some extent, I still continued even when I was told to stop; but it was all in the name of fun.

All the office workers within our floor seemed to have gone home already and I was alone at the office.  I went to the men’s room to urinate around 12:00 m.n. when I sensed an eerie presence along the corridor.  Although, I have been told stories about it several times before by some of our clients and visitors, I just did not mind it.

By 1:00a.m., I was done with my work.  I was about to don my barong when I had the strange thought of meeting someone also clad in barong along the corridors.  The mere thought of it caused me to leave my barong behind and instead, I just left wearing my white undershirt.  I hurriedly walked past the other rooms and I could only hear the sound of my footsteps; I imagined my footsteps echoing through the entire floor.

At the stairs, I saw my image vaguely reflected on the glass door.  But as I came to walk past it, I also some erect image facing front when I was sideways.  In a flash, I was already at the first floor.  I bid the security guards goodbye and did not tell them about the image I just saw. Was there really a Ghost At the Stairs?!?   It was just pure imagination, I suppose.

I went to Buendia Avenue to take my ride home.  The moon was still shining bright and it gave me a clearer view of two black rats playfully running after each other in the middle of the street. The other passersby were taken aback and stayed on the sides while the rodents, much bigger than kittens, looked like they owned the street at that moment.

Ghost or no ghost, rodent or no rodent, I have to go home to rest my weary mind and be ready for another working day.  My boss just might scare my brains out if I am unable to work efficiently and execute my work satisfactorily.  Or maybe, I just might need a ghost to scare my boss. 😀

Ka Omeng

Over-the-counter drugs could no longer lower the fever Ka  Omeng was suffering for three days straight.  It was getting unbearable for him and he badly needed medical attention.  He called his employer to ask for financial assistance, and the request was granted.  By Tuesday afternoon, Ka Omeng was confined in a nearby hospital.

Ka Omeng’s condition became better by Thursday afternoon and would be discharged by Friday morning.  But then,  Ka  Omeng’s   health came to a serious decline on Thursday night.  He had difficulty swallowing food, he had low appetite and at times, he was gasping for breath.  He also frequented the comfort room,  dragging along his dextrose stand; and he was hard up in letting his  urine out.

Way into midnight, Ka Omeng was  tired and exhausted.   He was profusely perspiring while shivering in cold.   The attending doctors were alarmed but could not make the proper diagnosis.  Various symptoms were  going plenty and  Ka Omeng could not be stabilized.  At   about 4:00 a.m.  early Friday morning,  Ka Omeng told his wife,  “Steady ka  lang. Pahinga muna ako.” (Be steadfast.  I am just going to rest.)

Minutes  passed and Ka  Omeng was gone.   The hospital  was  right,  he was discharged that Friday morning.  The hospital  had to request  for  an autopsy to  determine the cause of death.  Ka Omeng had contracted leptospirosis.

Ka Omeng’s wake  lasted  a week and his remains was later interred at the Manila North Cemetery.

Two weeks after  the interment, Ka Omeng was replaced as office messenger by Derick,  a young lad from Tondo.  Derick  started work immediately after  his interview with Sir  Miguel Vasquez,  the office manager.  Derick  had to take  Ka Omeng’s  duties and responsibilities;  and he adapted well into his first job.

One Wednesday morning, Derick and Sir Miguel reported early for  work.  Derick  was  busy cleaning the office tables and furnitures when Sir Miguel  called him to his office.

“Give these documents to Taribong for his review and comments,”   Sir Miguel instructed Derick.

“Yes, sir.” Derick replied,  and then, proceeded  back to work.

About thirty minutes passed, Derick  was  reading the newspaper at his desk, on top of which were the documents to be given to Taribong.

When Sir  Miguel came out from his office,  he asked,  “Derick,  have you given the documents to Taribong?”

“Not yet, sir.” Derick answered.

In a booming voice, Sir Miguel further asked, “Why haven’t you given the documents to him yet?   He needs to study them and we have to discuss them this afternoon.”

Derick, in a surprised tone, said, “But sir,  Taribong has not arrived yet.”

Sir Miguel was near to getting angry, “No, I saw him with you this morning.    He also  entered the pantry area and I saw him walk into his cubicle.”

Derick  was  puzzled, “Eh, sir.    It’s   just the two of us here.”  He walked into Taribong’s cubicle, and remarked, “Look,  sir,  Taribong’s bag is not here. He really has not arrived  yet.”

Sir Miguel felt cold but sweat  trickled his face. “Sorry, Derick,  but I think I saw Taribong walking inside the office a while ago.  He was  clad  in long-sleeved, white barong.”

Derick shook his head, “No,  sir. I have not yet seen him today.”

When the two secretaries  arrived.   Derick told them about the incident.  The ladies were dumbfounded.   Lisa, the most senior office personnel,  suspected  that  Sir Miguel saw Ka  Omeng’s  ghost in the office,   because hwe was also wore long-sleeved  white barong when he was laid to rest.  Lisa  told  Sir   Miguel about her thoughts and suspicions and Sir  Miguel   told her,  he suspected the same thing,  too,  but he would not want to dwell  on it anymore.

Around noon,  Taribong  arrived in the office.  His officemates relayed to him  what transpired.    At one time or another,  they said they felt some cold air in Taribong’s  cubicle.   They pointed out that, although he not admit  or show it, Sir  Miguel was scared because he now kept the usually-locked-door to his office partially open.

The day’s  work  went smoothly; and the employees began to leave, Sir Miguel asked Taribong to stay awhile to talk about the documents given to him.  After  their discussion,   Taribong  excused himself but Sir Miguel  asked  Taribong to wait as he was already getting ready to go home.  There was  tension in Sir Miguel’s  voice.

Sir Miguel and Taribong rode the elevator at the fifth floor;  Taribong  pressed  the 7th floor button before pressing G button.   In Taribong’s  mind, this was the opportune time to talk about the incident (hehehehe).

Taribong then curiously asked,” Sir,  if you don’t mind me asking, what was it you saw this morning?”

Sir Miguel hesitated to talk and just glanced at Taribong.  They were only two in the elevator which was going up when they should be getting down.  The elevator  opened  at the 7th floor but no one got in.

As the elevator  door closed, Sir  Miguel  said,”  Let this be my last account of what happened.  I’m getting goosebumps again.   See,  I thought I saw you as the man in barong,   walking to and fro in the office,  but you haven’t   arrived yet.  It  was only Derick and I at the office then.  Lisa  said it may have been Ka Omeng,  and I agree with her.”

Taribong  only smiled.

Sir Miguel  continued,” I also remembered when my family visited Boracay.  Around midnight, my wife and I heard footsteps inside our hotel room.  We did not mind the sounds but early the next  morning,   we  found sand at  the foot of our bed.    There were no traces or tracks where the sand may have come from.”

Taribong was  about to alight at the ground level when Sir Miguel  requested him to hold some documents and to accompany him  to the basement  parking.  Taribong’s smile grew  even wider.

After Sir Miguel  got to his car,  Taribong’s smile was  fixed in his face  as he walked back to the elevator.  Did Ka Omeng really visit the office?

(Ka Omeng, thank you for sharing your faith, your views,  your dreams,  your life.    May you rest in peace.  -Taribong)

A Strange But True Ghost Story

Countless ghost stories have been told and retold especially when All Souls’ Day nears.  Whether true or not, they don’t fail to scare, horrify, amaze and/or amuse a willing, curious audience.  Their growing popularity has gone mainstream as books, comics and magazines of this genre now line a shelf or two in bookstores and magazine stands.

People close to me have their own ghost stories to tell.  Similarly, I, too, have personal accounts of similar ghost experiences.  Most often, I keep them to myself, especially those which I think have significant impact to me, symbolic or otherwise.

One of the most vivid ghost experiences I can remember happened about a year ago and was captured on my cellphone video camera.  That was when I went to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on a work-related trip.

Immediately after I arrived from Manila, I attended to my work and was finished by late afternoon.  Then, I was brought by my hostess lady host/client to the hotel resort where I was billeted.  My host/client left and said she’d be back with her company members at dinnertime.

I then brought my things to my assigned room at the second floor of the  hotel.  As my work was about done, I went downstairs and went to the cottages near the beach.  The hotel security and personnel were at the lobby area and there was activity in the kitchen area of the hotel.

There was still light coming from the sun which was about to set.  I was all alone at the cottage, and there was no people at the beach. It was before dusk and I decided to take a panoramic view of the beach. I panned my cellphone camera on video mode from right to left when suddenly my cellphone went off.  My cellphone rarely malfunctioned; I waited for a while and then turned it on.  I was not able to save the video clip and so, I repeated the video-ing process to record the sight for another try.  I was able to save the second video clip I took.

I did not bother to review the recorded video clip as the lady host/client arrived.  With her are one male friend, a female member of her company and her child.  We had dinner of freshly cooked seafoods:  sinigang na isda (di ko alam ang pangalan, pero super sarap), fried squid rings, large prawns super sarap din heheehe, and assorted inihaw.  After dinner, we had drinking spree and some videoke (limited to plain listening and cheering on my part as I am no-good singer).

The fun was called off before twelve midnight as I excused myself to rest my already tired body.  I declined going for nightlife tour and some extra-curricular activities hehehehe. There was an eerie presence in the room but I shunned all thoughts of it as I need to have my rest.

I was roused from sleep very early the next morning.  I went to the beach for a stroll and/or for some jogging.  As I was walking past the cottage area, I brought out my cellphone and scanned the video I took the other day.  To my surprise, at about two seconds before the end of the video clip, there was a shadow profile of a man standing right next to me when I panned the camera to my left.   The contour of the head, eyes, nose and lips were very prominent but very dark.  I was all alone at the time, and I had goosebumps all over.

I still proceeded to the beach, after all, it was already morning and the sun was about to come out.  At the beach, I looked back at the cottage, past through of which was the hotel, then I started to stroll past them southward, and guess what  I discovered?  Several meters past the hotel resort, where the image of a man’s face was recorded on my cellphone, was a cemetery: tomb after tomb, crosses one after another!

I immediately went back to my hotel room and prepared my things for the flight home.  Then, I went back to the cottage at the beach to wait for the lady host/client.

As soon as they arrived, I told them about what I had captured on my cellphone camera and showed it to them.  They could not believe what i had recorded and they too had goosebumps hehehehe.   The lady host/client hesitated at first but later tod me that that was nothing compared to what she had experienced from her previous house which she had then recently sold, the house which they originally wanted me to stay (ngyeh!), the house where her husband  had died in from bone cancer, the house where she heard frequent thumping of feet and sounds of heavy steps inside the house in the dead of night, where doors would close for no reason at all, where sounds of anguish and moans of pain would be heard even at daytime and its source could not be located, etc.  Surely even the thought of what she related to me would have kept me awake all night and even my dead-drunk body would have turned sober until the next day.  (Would I then call myself lucky being billeted in the hotel?)

When I got  to Manila, I showed the video clip to my friends and officemates, and they had similar reactions.  Some were very vocal of their own experiences, others just kept mum and not share their own scary stuff.

But then, I forgot all about the video clip when I gave my cellphone to my niece, who then deleted all gallery images and video clips.  How I wished I had that copy of the video clip preserved for posterity’s sake.  Now, only those who had seen the video clip could confirm this story to be true.  At least, if they still remember.