SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Local tourists went on a horror trip to several tourist spots in this city including an abandoned and haunted resort in another town for a ghost hunt to experience the mystery of how to be frightened, an activity during the Halloween here last Saturday.
About 89 participants including members of the “Kararua” tour group gathered at city hall for a brief orientation and designated rides. “Kararua” is Ilokano for soul or apparition of a dead person.
The participants first converged at the St. William the Hermit Cathedral for a prayer of salvation, starting their first spooky or unearthly destination at Pagoda, a Chinese structure, at the Provincial Capitol Hill ground.
The participants walked around the area with several lighted candles in the middle, where they silently prayed and held hands to enable psychic guides to contact the spirits.
Yari “Doc” Andaya, one of the tour guides with psychic ability, said that before praying he heard whispering voices of women and saw a soldier with complete uniform and chains on his legs. Two of the participants also experienced the creepy feeling and said, they saw a soldier carrying his chains and a woman in a rotten dress.
Still at the Capitol Hill grounds, the tourists entered a mysterious tunnel believed to have been built during World WarII but it sunked several meters due to a series of earthquakes. The tunnel was used as a guerilla hiding place and the hill was a battleground for several groups of American, Japanese, and Filipino soldiers. Those who were killed, it is said, were buried in the tunnel.
It was also revealed that several people were killed along the hill including a girl named Angel Joy Valdez, who was found with a bashed face and stab wounds in the body and allegedly raped near a park in the capitol ground on April 11, 2012.
Aside from Andaya, Aiko Nagas, also a psychic tour guide, said that the dead girl whispered to him in last year’s “Kararua” tour, also whispered to him that she was raped in the area.
Nagas and his associates lighted their candles and prayed for peace to the restless soul of the dead girl.
On the second destination, the tour was in an abandoned, decaying house near the Lighthouse, locally known as ‘parola,’ at the Poro Point Economic Zone. Psychics said bodies of several soldiers were at one time abandoned here and their apparitions sometimes manifest themselves.
Another abandoned and “decaying” resort called Cresta Del Mar, in Bauang town, was their third destination. In the 1960s, tourists, local and foreign, were drawn to Cresta del Mar along with Nalinac and Long Beach.
The place was so dark, only the moon lighted the area. Residents near the haunted resort said that at sunset until midnight they see unusual things like a headless man or “pugot, ” Ilokano for a black creature, and a black dressed woman, a giant black man with a tobacco beard, also called “kapri”. Some tourists, they say, were able to take snap photos of a woman attired in black and a single hand with no clue as to which it belongs.
The group members expressed fears while praying and lighted candles while moving around the area, feeling as if several spirits were whispering to them. Several balete trees are also found in the place and urban legend has it that a mythical environmental spirits, or “enkanto,” dwell in them.
The tour went back to the city and members visited the centennial acacia trees along the La Union National High School. It is believed that spirits live in the trees.
The horror tour ended at the South Central Integrated School in Tanqui village. It was revealed that one of the teachers and some students of the school were possessed by spirits after they they found a skull and human bones on a deepwell while excavating for a source of water. According to Andaya, several people were killed somewhere in the village and the area was used as a mass grave for the bodies.
Lorre Jane Rosales, vice-chair of the Association of Tourism Industries and Networks in La Union (ATIN), said that the horror tour was not only a part of the Halloween treat, but also a way of imparting knowledge about culture and tradition with respect to Filipino eerie stories and promoting several historical sites in the province.
The ‘Kararua’ tour is an annual activity in partnership with the city government, the provincial government, Philippine Red Cross, PNP, Department of Tourism (DOT), and Association of Tour Guides in La Union (ASTG-LU).ERWIN BELEO/NPN – northboundasia.com