This October, we don’t mean to scare. Our #PreenSupernaturalSeries will be crossing over to topics of the supernatural, the occult, horror, and fear. It’s okay, we’re with you on this.
ThoughI write stories that deal with the supernatural, I myself have—until recently—thankfully never experienced them myself. I’m always asked if I’ve seen or felt things. My answer had, for the longest time, been, “Nothing that I knew was going on at the moment.”
If you’ve read my previous installments, you know that my cluelessness has kept my experiences supernatural-free—at least until way after the actual event, when the pin suddenly drops and I’m like, “Wait a second!”
That all changed a few years ago when I was taking a vacation at a friend’s beach house in Romblon.
Romblon is where the wonder is
The property was composed ofa parcel of land next to a cliff, as well as a beach below. When we arrived, my friend’s mom told me about how Romblon is a magical place, and how their land was especially enchanted. I believed her; the place is gorgeous. It was easy to forget all your worries there.
I had to sleep in her parents’ living room for a couple of nights before transferring to a guest room, which would be freed up by then. The living room, located outside my friend’s parents’ bedroom, was a beautiful Balinese-inspired area simply decorated with mats, a low table, and some cushions. A table that was used as an altar stood next to the lone wall, the other three sides fitted with sliding doors that opened up onto a balcony that allowed sitters to enjoy Romblon’s beautiful land and seascape. It was traditional for everyone to gather there every day at dusk to watch the sunset. (If you haven’t been to Romblon, you must go; it’s a magical place.)
When it happened
That night, my friend’s uncle and I were assigned to sleep in the living room. Her parents were in their room, whose door led directly into the living area. Everyone else was in different buildings on the property. Her tito put down a mat beside the altar, while I took my place in the middle of the room, near the table. In a few minutes, her tito was asleep.
I decided to read a bit before going to bed. No matter how warm it is, I have to have some sort of blanket that I can hide under. This is what I did, covering myself entirely, like a cocoon, while reading a novel on my phone, whose light was enough for me to see. I was happily immersed in the book’s imaginary world when I felt it: a steady but irregular dripping aimed directly at my forehead, as if I were sleeping underneath a dripping air conditioner.
Remember, I was in the middle of a room. It was a clear night, and the room didn’t have air conditioning. Where was the dripping coming from? I was too scared to whip off the covers and see what was going on, but I did so anyway, at least three times that night. And I always saw the same thing—that nothing was amiss, that my friend’s uncle was sound asleep, that no one had exited her parents’ room. I’d cover my head and read underneath the blanket, and the dripping would start again. Whatever it was, it didn’t feel malevolent, just curious, and a little playful.
I didn’t get any sleep that night, though I did end up finishing two novels. I raced out of the living room at 5 a.m. the next day, drowning my drowsiness in copious amounts of coffee. I told everyone about my experience; no one seemed surprised.
“The elementals: you may add that guard this place were saying hello,” my friend’s mom said.
What a way to say “hello!”
I figured that they were gently letting me know that there was nothing to fear. The next night, I switched places with my friend’s uncle. I squished myself underneath the altar table and made sure that even if I covered my face, my forehead was showing—my way of saying, “I really do sleep this way, please don’t worry!”