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The Myths and Superstitions of Siquijor Island

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Indulging in superstitious beliefs is widespread among Filipinos. They have fear with the Supernatural beings, especially those that concern with malign magic, sorcery, and witchcraft. Some of us, me included, are excessively credulous, disposed to believe on very little evidence. Even in the absence of facts, we are incredibly easy in believing or receiving dark propositions as true.

Siquijor Island is one where there are stories or reports circulating about uncertain or doubtful truths. I have heard everything about the myths like, a number of consequences will happen to an individual as a result of “barang” or “pactol” (translated as malign magic or sorcery or evil witchcraft) which is done by an individual possessing magical skills, and which are mostly evil in nature and its effects are malevolent.

I had a chance to visit the island last week when typhoon “Senyang” was there too. I was with my spouse and kids. Their families and in-laws came too. They were reluctant to come at first because of this widely held, but unjustified belief in supernatural causation. However, I had successfully lured them with the beautiful sites that they are going to see, the fresh air that is not felt in the cities,, the cool green leaves of old trees… they could not afford to say no… they finally travelled with me.

And so we roamed around Siquijor. We noticed everyone were so respectful and naive. But we have observed also, that some trees, like the “Balite” trees, looked very old and enchanted. Some roads going up the mountains are deprived of electricity. Without the car, we would not dare go around. The absence of street lights during the night would give one that intense feeling of fear, as you see the dark night engulfing your shadows.

But there were no signs of Supernatural beings wandering around the trees and mountains, and in every place that we had been. There were no monstrous appearance of people we met on the streets. There were no signs of monsters or witches capable of doing harm to us.The island was completely peaceful and beautiful.

I have come to conclude, after a few days of stay in the island, that this irrational and unfounded belief may have arisen out of fear and ignorance. This can be eliminated if we take the pains of educating them,those who live far from people capable of enlightening individuals, and we can bring the facilities to their areas. This effort will give them a chance to receive systematic instructions and learnings that they have been deprived of.


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