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Be Hunted Or Be Haunted

To be more concerned of my safety was not so much of my concern in the past years since I got into development work. I have been assigned to remote tribal areas in Mindanao where comfort in not even discussed.

It changed when I was assigned in Jolo, Sulu. Every move I make is calculated and place to go is prescribed. In October last year, I read in the local news in the Zamboanga City that as of October 2008, there were around 3,120 kidnapped victims released in the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawitawi. The number does not include those who were still held captives. Very few of these incidents where heard in the news and those who reached the headlines can be counted by hand. One of the more popular was the kidnapping of the famous newscaster in the country. If I would be victim, I doubt if I would even get listed.

The reason for kidnapping, however presented, is money. How much are you worth and the wealth of those who will be willing to help you out would be the worth of your ransom, I was told. Given that premise, I am still worth nothing.

I was advised to stay in college dorm (they just call it “house”) in the Jolo. It is safer than staying in a hotel. Four of the school staff also lived in the house.

There was no problem at all during my first, second and third time stay in the house. I usually stay in the house 2 to 3 nights in each of those trips. But, on the last night of my fourth trip to Jolo, I experience something unusual, something creepy.

I refuse to believe in ghosts and spirits but I won’t deny that there were times I was scared of them.

When I was about to tell the staff who are also staying in the house during breakfast, they pre-empted me by asking if I experienced something unusual in the house. So instead of telling my story, I asked them of their stories. I was more scared when all the people, transients like me who stayed in the house, left with stories to tell, as told by the staff.

There are other available rooms in the house and there is another house available for guests like me. I asked the staff if I can stay in other rooms or in another building when come back. They told me that the room I am staying was the most sanitized, spiritually. Whew!

Now, I am going back there. The question of preference runs through my mind while I am writing this article here at the airport. What would it be when there seems to be no other option? What would I prefer, be hunted or haunted?


  1. im back!! sorry for not being here in the blogsosphere for almost 2 weeks...
    but now im happy to tell you that im back from th field again...
    and im so sorry again for missing some of your post...my apology
    may you have a great year my friend
    have a great day and God bless! !

  2. Yay i am about to sleep! Just pray Brother! Hope to hear more creepy stories from you! LOL

  3. I just got out of Jolo one day before the kidnapping happened. But when i was there, some prisoners broke out of jail...yikes!

    I slept with the lights on... i woke up still tired. I am not used to sleeping with lights on... another scary incident happened.. whew!


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