An Encounter With Satan (capri, aswang, devil)
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Tita's encounter with the devilClick thumbnail to view full-size
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IT WAS August 23, 1955 and Catbalogan, now working hard to become a city, was celebrating its Vesper Day. Among the many-splendored, colorful and eventful activities lined up for the day, was the early morning parade that would crawl snake-like through all the thoroughfares and bring profound joys to all Catbaloganons, visitors and viewers alike.
Catbalogan Vesper Fiesta Parade
Among the school participants slated to grace that grand affair was the Samar School of Arts and Trades now Samar State University where Tita was schooling- a junior in high school. After the mandatory around-the-town parade- Tita exited herself silently from the scene and boarded a bus homeward 29 kilometers towards Paranas where she would act as surrogate mother for the next hours more or less to her 10 siblings. Tomas and Pilar her parents would-.in the early hours of the 24th the Kaadlawan or Patron Day- catch the bus to hear mass, attend the celebration and partake to themselves all the good things the religious festivity has to offer.
The children went to sleep early
After taking their supper and attending to every individual needs of her younger brothers and sisters, Tita requested them to close the windows and door of their house to sleep. It was 7:00 PM. Pedoy- Tita's elder brother by Pilar's first marriage- and Julio- Tita's first cousin- slept with them in the house that moonlight night.
Tita awoke to find a hairy hand
At about 9:00 in the evening when all was still and nothing could be heard except the singing crickets and the howling of dogs in the distant- a shrill, loud cry of "Aswang! Aswang!" ["Witch! Witch!] reverberated through the night. It was Tita. She was awakened by a tickling, sensational feeling that make her hair stands on end. Opening her eyes- she beholds something strange and unbelievable.. A hand of unusual length and size had bolted itself through the nipa-thatched walling. With fingernails unkempt and hand unusually big and hairy- it was trying to reach Tita's breast and face. Mustering enough courage- the now horrified teenager shouted at the top of her voice.
Julio and Pedoy ran after the intruder
Awakened, Julio and Pedoy took stock of the situation. They maintained their composure and armed themselves ready for any eventuality. With sharp bolos- they rushed outside to run after the intruder. They saw nobody outside. They overtook nobody outside.
By and by neighbors led by Tay Candy trooped to Tita's house. These elders were still awake and having a little drink of tuba when the commotion ensued.
The witness' story about the Capri
Tita and the whole house occupants were all ears when Tay Candy- their neighbor- began his horrible tale: "I saw a giant two-footed Capri peering into your house. Just a second after Tita's cry- the Capri changed form into a dreaded amamayong. It looks like a huge, grown-up carabao. But it bears no horns. Instead- it has two drooping ears almost touching the ground. Alarmed, the now four-footed serpent trotted southward towards the church. It jumped over the church and disappeared headlong into a big, sturdy and spreading dao tree. The old dao tree was the home of the amamayong.
This story actually happened. Believe it or not. Tita or Julita was then 16 years old. Tita, now 73, is still alive and she happens to be my wife.
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