Sunday, October 07, 2007

On dreams, rituals and out of this world experiences

Me: Kumusta kau amin dita,d2y ket madama pay lang ti bagyo.nagpigsa angin ken tudo
(How's everyone doing there? Typhoon's in here now, winds and rain are so strong.)
Daddy: Mayat met nako.Agtudtudo pay lang.
(We're doing ok my child.It's still raining.)
Me: Nalawa garud sakop na daytoy nga bagyo
(This typhoon's scope is wide.)
Daddy: Isugarud.Kalkalpas pay meeting mi.istay agsakit pay ni grandpa u.awan pay kwartak
(Yes. We just finished the meeting. Your grandpa almost got sick. I don't even have money)
Me: Anya kuma sakit na?
(What's would he be sick of?)
Daddy: Panggep minatay. awan pay kwartak.
(Something with the dead. I don't even have money)
Me: Imisaan u na lang ah.Ket agparti kayo manen?
(Why don't you offer mass instead? Will you butcher again?)
Daddy: Haan nga umobra kenya mi ta isu ti kadawyan na.
(It wouldn't work for us because it's our culture.)


I texted home yesterday via chikka to check how they're doing. As I usually do, I sent the first message to everyone hoping anyone would send back a message. I didn't get a quick reply so I thought the signal back home is poor that they might have not received my message. But when I saw my dad online and got a response, I was glad to know that they are doing fine.

On the other hand, I know my father had a concern as he emphasized is his 2nd and 3rd text messages. I am guessing that somebody from the family (not from our direct circle but maybe in my cousin's side) had a dream related to a family member who has passed away asking for something. It is not the first time that this happened. When we went home last summer, my sister narrated to me how two of my cousins somehow got "possessed" with our grandma's soul, and yes, she is my father's mother and my grandpa's wife. One of my cousins did something unlawful and he reasoned out that "someone" urged him to do so that he can't control himself from doing it even if he knew it was not right. My other cousin on the other hand seemed to be so bothered and he related to his family that he dreamt of our grandma asking for something. They resorted to doing the usual ritual of "agparti ken ag-atang" - butcher and offer, but not really the whole canao practice. I also remember that years before that (I think I was still single then), my father and grandpa called a "mambunong" - tribal priest or spiritual leader in our house and they butchered chicken and offered several clothings including a pair of shoes. This was the result of my father's dream that his mother is asking for clothings because she fells so cold in her place.

On second thought, my father mentioned grandpa so this time, it could be him being reached by grandma's soul or so. When we were home for a vacation, I knew that he was on a regular medical appointments and I believed it was really health related. Now, I am thinking that they have seeked someone besides the doctors and were told that his health problem is not really health related but somebody wants to tell something by making him sick.

It's not that I am against the ritual practices but since my father joined the Knights of Columbus and attended regular meetings and religious seminars, he tried to do away from the practices and stick to the Christian way already. But I guess he cannot really do away from that afterall; else his family will put the blame on him and us as well. But then, look, it's not as simple as doing the ritual but it needs finances. It's not as simple as butchering a native chicken that would soon turn into pinikpikan but it could be starting from a chicken, then if not satisfied, they'd ask for an offering of a native pig, or cow or carabao and so on. That is something that my father and grandpa cannot afford at this time. They'd rather spend it for the check-ups and medications. But then, it's not as simple as saying that. I haven't heard back from my sisters yet but sooner or later, I'll know what's the real reason.

I had my own share of our father's experiences being possessed, not just once but several times. But I don't remember him doing the ritual at home or he could have done that in their home in Tublay Central. Way back college, we were all going to sleep when he arrived quite drank. He went to his room and dozed off for a while until he started to utter things then started to cry. We were all surprised and also afraid because he might start shouting again like what he used to do when he's not sober. Then we realized he was telling that he is somebody else. That was indeed scary. Mama went to his room and she talked to that somebody. It was really something I'd never forget. He started introducing himself as my father's cousin, they met somewhere and he mentioned how they used to be together for drinks, and started to speak in straight English. We first thought it was a product of him being that drank but then mama started to realize it's not, he was possessed. She started praying over him in an attempt to drive away that somebody while that somebody kept on telling stories. I took the courage to join mama in the room and asked him several questions which he did answer willingly. Then the voice changed. I went to get the recorder and my sisters went to the room with me. We engaged ourselves in a conversation and recorded it. Mama went to call our neighbor and they continued to pray over my dad. He was talking then crying then laughed from time to time and continues to talk. It was hard for me to convince myself of what I witnessed but I knew it was true that it wasn't my father in there talking back to us. One thing that struck me most is what he said about my father in some sort of personal trouble - I mean something related to his feelings. I pondered on that, so did my siblings. Then exactly at 12MN, that somebody decided to leave and the next thing we heard is our father's usual loud snore. We all went back to bed but I knew, all of us had troubles getting to sleep that night. The next day, we told our father about the incident and he told us that all he remembers is that he was humming on his way home and suddenly stumbled in one of the stairs then when he got up, he felt that he was like soaring in the clouds. Creepy huh! Then when he told him about the possession and all that, he didn't want to believe and even told us "ows, aglaslastog kayo lang ta nabartekak gamin" (you're just lying because I was drank). We attempted to let him hear the recorded conversations but to our surprise, there was nothing in the tape. But we knew that deep inside him, he believed specially when he learned who that somebody was. I guess he consulted his father after that.

That was not the first time our father experienced that. There came this time in our family life that we dreaded Thursday nights because for no reason at all, this is the time that he gets into that kind of thing again. I really didn't have much of that experience because I stayed in a boarding house way back college but my siblings did. They'd told me that at one time, he was eating his dinner then suddenly he started to murmur, cry and speak of some unusual things he never used to talk about. There's even this change of voice again, not just once but three times. My, I could imagine how scared my siblings were. They would just ignore him at times or they'd go down talk to him and talk to those whoever are inside him to go away and leave him and the family.

I myself would want to stick to the Christian/Catholic ways but I couldn't do away from hearing comments which I sometimes choose to banter or just keep silent. It's of course very good to keep old practices but then it could be a choice not to when it starts to contradict the Christian belief which you choose to stick to. My sister once told me "haan ka kadi nga agin-agin tu nu kuwan kenyam nga mangyari" (don't be pretentious, you may not know it would happen to you) - knock it on the woods, I pray it doesn't. Don't you worry, I still had my daughter wear the "bengaw" (dried wood believed to drive away evil spirits) when we went home for a vacation.

2 comments:

lovelyn said...

Creepy indeed Jane.

We also witnessed some same instances. We call it,"man-dapo".

There are really things you can't explain like when husband and I were still in Malta. He got really sick and our employer took him to a specialist-the best doctor in town. But, he diagnosed "nothing". Then he dreamt of his dead uncle and we asked our employer for a live chicken which is hard to find there. To make the story short, we made 'atang' and the husband got well. When Boogs relates this story, he says, "makasid-sida ak lang gayam ti pinikpikan!".

jane said...

Lovelyn, I agree with you. There are just some things that can't be explained in the fields of sciences inc. medicine. Funny how your hubby relates his experience by saying that. What could be his line if the chicken didn't work and you had to look for a pasture? Just trying to make a joke out from it but I know it's not really that funny.
My sister also did some atang when she was pregnant of her 1st child because of some unexplainable things she felt.