KALIBO, Aklan -- A teacher at the Dongon West Elementary School fell unconscious after she allegedly saw Ethan, one of her pupils, during the flag ceremony on June 19.
What was unusual about this was that Ethan had died of dengue fever on June 17, or two days earlier. He was only 10 years old.
Ramie Mansayon, school principal, did not identify the teacher, but said the latter has the so-called third eye, the mystical concept of having the ability to see beyond ordinary sight.
Mansayon stopped the flag ceremony and told the students to offer prayers for Ethan.
Some teachers later reported smelling flowers and candles in some of the classrooms.
Emily Silvestre, Ethan's mother, said the boy fell ill with dengue fever on June 14. The family brought him to the provincial hospital for treatment. The child's condition, however, worsened and he was transferred to St. Gabriel Medical Center, where he died on June 17.
Emily claimed that the family has "felt Ethan's presence on several occasions".
Sharon Navera-Gonzales, a paranormal expert based in Manila who was provided with a photo of the child, surmised in an interview that the boy was afraid to proceed to the "next life."
She said Ethan could have gone back to the school because he probably saw the school as a place of refuge and happiness.
Prior to his death, Ethan wished for a new cellphone. The family bought a new one and placed it on his casket. The family also placed the boy's old cellphone in his burial site.
Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, provincial health officer, said Ethan was among 12 children who died of dengue this year.
From January to June 15 this year, Cuachon said they have recorded 1,254 dengue cases in the province of Aklan.
"The number of victims has increased by 70 percent compared to the number of dengue victims we recorded in the same period last year. We consider this alarming," said Cuachon.
Melrose Lunn, president of the Aklan Blood Coordinating Council (ABCC), said they were intensifying their campaign for blood donations in the province to assist dengue patients who need blood transfusions to raise their platelet count.
On July 3, the ABCC will participate in a region-wide bloodletting activity initiated by the Department of Health at the Citymall in Kalibo.
"ABCC is appealing to all to volunteer to donate and augment the need of blood especially in this season of the outbreak of dengue," Lunn said.
As of June this year, the Philippine Red Cross Aklan has so far collected 130 units of blood but has served 169 units, with some bags coming from other chapters like Roxas and Iloilo.
The local government of Tangalan reported 291 units, while the town of Numancia has 68 units of blood collected in a series of simultaneous mobile blood donation activities held in their respected municipalities. (Jun Aguirre/SunStar Philippines)