Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Updates on Spirit Possessions

The Dep Ed Regional Staff went to the school, as a result of the letter from the concerned guardian. If happened that these people are friends of the school management, and they seemed having good times seeing each other again. Never mind the purpose of the visit. Apparently, the Dep Ed staff agreed with the decisions of the management, and agreed that the students were just overacting. They said to just let them have their acting and wait till sober again! What the heck! Is that suppose to be how these Dep Ed professionals (?) act on situations like that! My blood pressure seem to shoot up.

Fortunately, the PTA adviser and the Teacher-Adviser were not convinced by management's decision. They still went to fetch the suggested exorcist. However, he is so busy with much appointments that he was not able to see the school. He just taught the PTA adviser some paranormal strategies as precautionary measures perhaps.

I wonder what happens next. It is a one-week semestral break for the students. Let's hope that the suggested strategies were effective enough, that when classes resume no more possessions and chaos ensue. That is a fervent prayer, because the one week of consultations, planning and contacting the seemingly endless numbers which might prove helpful took credit from the concerned guardian. That whole week provided not much accomplishments in the actual guardian's office.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Have you any encounter with spirit possesions?

My sister is a teacher in a town school with small college but mainly high school students. My niece is also a freshman in that school. Since it is a small school every section is confined to a room and can leave only during lunch break when they can eat at the canteen or just inside that room. The main gate is closed during school hours to refrain students from going out and maybe meet dangers outside. This policy lessens the responsibility of the school for unusual occurrences.

However, spirit possessions happened, which started with the star section of 3rd year students. It went on and on since 01 August 2008. Pastors were sent there for prayers but nothing happened. When repeated occurences happened, the parents of the possessed children brought in 'albularyo'. They can alleviate sufferings and can bring consciousness faster, but still the number of children suffering from attacks increased. The management of the school happened to be 'born again Christians' and 7th day Adventists. Most of the teachers and the principal are Catholics, and they cannot impose anything on the matter. They just laid back and wait for the management decisions.

Unfortunately, the last two weeks seem so alarming. Many attacks occurred and not only confined to the original room of the star section, it is happening also with other years and sections. Some students under spirit possession can now even run to the premises and start to punch whoever will come near them. A male adviser even suffered a punch from a female student under the influence of the spirit.

A concerned guardian contacted exorcists suggested by a known paranormal personality. The Office of Exorcism of the Catholic Group in Manila was also contacted. Since this group needs a long evaluation period and has a long protocol before they can act, the paranormal exorcists were contacted. An address in Lipa City was also given to the president of the PTA and some teachers of the school. Last Wednesday the Management already agreed to allow anybody who can help to enter the premises. However, in the afternoon this decision was reversed and no 'albularyo', priests, exorcists or anybody will be allowed in the premises. Teachers agreed to close the school on Thursday and Friday (Oct 16-17) so both students, staff and teachers can rest because they have been practically monitoring and helping students for the week. Possessions aggravated this week that they barely had classes at all. Everybody is tired, afraid and helpless.

The concerned guardian coordinated also with the president of the PTA, asked for their moves, and called for the Dep Ed for decisions. However, lots of numbers and people called were not able to give advice. Even the Administrative Officer of the Division of Batangas, who was pointed by everybody to have the responsibility, also laid down hands and said that he cannot do anything because the responsibility lies on the school management. The guardian does not believe in his decision, so calls to other Dep Ed officers were done. Finally, a certain Assistant Director for the Regional Programs was receptive, and an email to her was sent. She said it will be copied and given to the Director for the final decision.

GMA and ABS-CBN were also emailed so that they can put pressure to the management of the school. Besides the teachers and the parents are meeting continuously to have a rally on Monday instead of letting their children go to school. They are already afraid for their children. What will happen if a stampede or physical accident will ensue due to the freight of children? I think the school management does not have the moral responsibility and do not have the right to lead a school with their incapacity to make right decisions. If the school will be closed, it will be the students and the parents who will suffer because time will be lost from their lives. Will the school be able to compensate for the lost knowledge, lost time, and psychological damages to these children? Dep Ed must be decisive enough to put the correct decisions.

The Mekong Delta Tour

Mekong Delta Tours can be arranged for 1 day or many days. We got only the one day tour. We took a bus for about 2 hours to the pier, then a bigger boat and then smaller boats. Tourists in our company used 3 busses and we mixed in a big boat. We came from maybe all continents, but i recognized and talked to some from Australia, Canada and South America; also recognized some Chinese, Koreans, and Americans. We visited the islands Phoenix and Unicorn. We are fortunate that our tourist guide is good in English and memorized a lot of statistics about Vietnams population, agricultural production, exports, etc. He certainly did his homework well.
We took small boats of 3-4 persons per boat in going upstream to the islands. Nipa palms grow on both sides of the river. Inside one of the islands we visited coconut candy making. The tombs you see here are children's. Maybe because they are so far from the mainland they just bury their dead near their houses. The tombs are scattered and not placed in a sort of cemetery.

During lunch all of us ate at the same time in a big covered area, and everyone had fun. We were also delayed in the island by a strong rain. The Venezuelan guy and i joked about everyone having a bench for the evening to sleep on if wind will not stop. The brown murky waters of the Mekong suddenly had big waves. Fortunately it stopped and we were able to return to the boats safely. On the way home in the busses again, we were confronted with a deluge of motorbikes in every intersection. I tell you it is a wonderful sight to see. Ladies on 3 inches stilletos riding on motorbikes, can you beat that!
Our last night in Saigon was spent at the Water Puppet Show. It was beautiful. We were thankful Nico did not make a scene, contented himself breastfeeding.

More pictures from Saigon

The first tour we explored in Saigon is Benh Than Market. It is a big market where you can find anything, 'parang malaking tiangge'. It is clean and organized. We went there at 11 am and went home at 3pm. Our lunch is at Pho 24, recommended by most of the sales ladies at Benh Than. I realized maybe pho means noodles, because they only offer noodles and spring rolls. But the food is great. Actually we ended again there on Friday when we returned to Behn Than, as highly requested by Mommy Josie, Joyce's Mom. The first day Dennis bought a Vietnamese man's formal shirt so i bought one for Marlowe too. I hope his disappointment will be eased by this shirt. Dennis said they can use this when we go view concerts at the CCP. I just hope they will not use them at the same time. On Fri i bought a Vietnam dress and a blouse for Leony, and a lot of T-shirts for my friends because Mom Josie bought a lot too. My interesting finds are the art sketches, which actually are more expensive than the long formal dresses. I found them expensive, but eventually decided i really like them. The typical ladies in traditional dress with 'salakot' on bicycles is a common subject for these sketches. I got 5 for my closest friends and 1 for myself.

Entrance to the Benh Than Market

Colorful dried fruit and vegetable preserves
Colorful layers of bags

This are mounds of different colors of sugar. I dont know the differences. I actually smell them and these are really sugar-smelling crystals.

Do you know what these are? Dried sea cucumber or 'trepang' for Chinese (yata).

I love this one, a finely sculpted young coconut for the juice (buko). I wonder why their buko juice is really sweeter than ours, even if ours is really very freshly harvested. It could be the variety. I remember Vietnamese buko is as sweet as the Thailand buko. However, the Vietnamese is more nicely sculpted. Both remains white and not oxidized for long periods. The postharvest people knows what they do to let it stand white for a long time, but i will not tell you how. Secret!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In Saigon at last!

The promo flights are at midnight, coupled with one hour delay, so we were all groggy at the Saigon airport. Moreover, some people in our flight were 'bwisit siguro' or irritated because Nico did not stop crying inside the plane when about to land, wailing hysterically for maybe 30 minutes which seemed to be 2 hours. Some people transfered to vacant seats, some covered their ears with their fingers, and some approached Dennis for help and some advice. Poor Joyce, Nico is so strong and 'ubos lakas' talaga. I think it was not only due to the pressure in the ears, some are tantrums.

At the Saigon airport we felt hilarious at 3am (4am Philippine time), we became instant millionaires. Twenty five pesos is 10,000 Dongs! If you want to be millionaires go to Vietnam. The US$200 Dennis changed at the exchange counter is 1.6+ Million Dongs. At least we did not have to use a 'bayong' because one Note is 10,000 and so on. I think the lowest is 500 Dongs. Great we felt so rich!

This is the Que Hong Liberty 3 Hotel. I love it because we are given a suite, very clean, with free coffee/tea and water boiler, cable TV and matrimonial bed. The Hotel is great and the breakfast buffet is great, too. If i have croissant, bacon and coffee, i will be happy for the whole morning.

Do you know that Vietnam is the 2nd largest exporter of coffee, next to Brazil? Joyce Mommy and Dennis always end up drinking iced coffee, while mine is either watermelon shake or 'buko'.

Saigon Holiday

We excitedly waited for this trip. Marlowe and I and the Gumpals booked for the holiday to Saigon, 22-26 September '08. Gumpals mean Dennis, Joyce and son Nico. At the airport we realized Joyce's and Dennis's mothers are with us. Moreover, to our dismay Marlowe was not allowed to come because his passport lacks 1 week in the required 6 months from expiration! It was really frustrating for both of us. Cebu Pacific did not advise us of the problem when they got the details of our passport during booking. Now, they did not allow him to go because of that requirement. I dont know whose fault is that, but definitely Cebu Pacific has to be blamed for it. Maybe Foreign Affairs should be faulted also because we haven't heard at all of that regulation, nor found it earlier in any of the media. Kakagigil talaga! Airline staff said 'marami na raw nabiktima ahead of us'. Hinayang na hinayang ako sa plane fares and accomodations ni Marlowe. To add insult to injury, suppose he can get the passport on 23rd, the next available flight will be on the 24th, . But he has to pay for another flight because the original is non transferable, non-negotiable, non-refundable, bwisit! He ended not following us for the lots of expenses and the already lost time. Besides, DFA will release the renewed passport at the shortest time of 3 days. Can you imagine our disgust, disappointment, anger, and most of all hinayang and bwisit!

Anyway, i ended up to be with the Gumpal family and their two mothers. Huh!
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