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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THIS is not about the movie of Director Pierre Morel and Producer Luc Besson. This is not the shoot-ém-up, pile-ém-high action flick of Liam Neeson. My attention was caught by the editorial of Sun.Star-Bacolod dated October 12, "Time for DepEd to act." It touches on the alleged demonic possession or mass hysteria that occurred in two schools. This is not new.

People in the area could always come up with an explanation more believable than the law of gravity. The editorial wants DepEd to conduct a study and formulate guidelines in dealing with an occurrence like this. There could be a medical or scientific explanation behind this.

Let us not just dwell on our ignorance or fear of the unknown. We do not blame anyone here including our teachers, religious leaders and faith healers. They just want to help.


I have my own experience on this. It was school year 1984-85. It was my first period morning class in Communication Arts with Fourth Year Section 8 (all girls). I requested one of the girls to read a paragraph. That was not hard but I observed that she was struggling while reading. "Is there anything wrong?" I asked. 'No, Sir . . . I just can't see the words. Someone is covering my eyes," she answered. Then, she fainted. Her classmates assisted her. I applied first aid.

When she recovered after seven minutes, she seemed to be a different person. She was looking sharply at everybody. She was like a volcano on the brink of eruption. And, there was eruption! She moved like the Incredible Hulk throwing heavy chairs in all directions. There was a rumble. Her classmates were wrestling with her. The principal came, my department head was there. Everybody prayed the “Our Father” followed by the singing of the Christian hymn.

The girl was brought to the clinic. One teacher called up the priest but the priest did not come. He sent his sacristan with holy water. Some rites were performed. Later, the principal ordered that the girl be sent to a hospital. That was good. One hour later, I received a phone call. The girl wanted me to see her. I asked permission from my department head. At first, the department head did not allow me but I was able to convince her that it was my moral obligation also to attend to the need of my student.

At the hospital, I asked what happened. She told me that while she was reading, two groups of elves appeared; the white group and the red group. The red group did not want her to read. Of course, I did not buy that Snow White Story. "Sir, I know you don't believe but I know that the department head does not want you to see me. I know also that my classmates are not in the classroom. They are in the playground playing baseball." Her statements were all true.

When I went back to school, her classmates told me that while they were praying the "Our Father" and chanting the Christian hymn, they felt that they were being choked by unseen hands.

At 4:45 p.m., the principal received a phone call that the girl was already with her family in a hacienda house. She was with her sister who is a member of the household staff of the haciendero in that big hacienda house. Something went wrong. The principal and the COA officer (my friend) accompanied me. And, I don't want to tell you what happened in that house from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. It was my good friend Ed Locsin and his prayer group who saved me.

What I am telling you is not an episode from Shake, Rattle and Roll. This is from a sulking experience. This incident gave me sleepless nights and I found it hard to grapple with my insomnia. Sun.Star editorial is right. DepEd should educate educators and students to deal with this strange occurrence. We don't want our students to be taken.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 16, 2012.


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