Pacete: Mysticism in tourism

Ver F. Pacete

MYSTICISM is a belief in the spiritual world or other dimension that cannot be perceived by the human eye. It was Alex who met me two weeks ago with his proposal that he will be bringing his friends who are interested in paranormal tourism. I met Alex three years ago (when I was still the tourism officer of Silay) with a group of Indonesian journalists having their familiarization tour in Negros.

The old houses in Silay, Talisay and Bacolod attract him. “In Indonesia, paranormal tourism is a best seller. We can start it here. We have a wide playing field with no competitors.” This may sound crazy but there are other people who are interested in what is crazy. When we speak of “paranormal,” we are referring to something which cannot be explained or is beyond human perception.

I got some experiences on this. There was that female student from a midwifery school (few years back) who was in my house tour with her classmate. She casually told me that she is attending a party with male and female visitors who are in the turn-of-the-century attire. There is a long table overflowing with food and at the foot of the stairs is the orchestra. She even made mention some names who are members of the “buena familias.” After that, she fainted.

When she recovered, she could not remember anything. I told myself that it could have been a case of synchronicity, the interconnection of coincidences and their hidden meanings. That student was able to enter a separate dimension in the past and at the same time present in the dimension where I am with her classmates. That is a clear example of what is paranormal. Alex wants some more of that for the itinerary.

Director Peque Gallaga’s latest short film, “Tabang”, with location in Silay (houses of the late Mayor Romulo Golez and the late Senator Jose Locsin) was about a doppelganger, a spirit or ghost who haunts its living double or twin. The film featured our local talents in Negros. That was well attended during its special presentation at the Senator Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center.

This paranormal tourism may employ some locals who are psychic, having the ability to read minds or predict the future. We could gather the astrologers (those who excel in the pseudo-scientific art of divining one’s character and by the positioning of celestial bodies), clairvoyants (those with the ability to perceive what cannot be seen in the physical world), and the dowsers (those who search for underground water with the use of divining rod).

We can add in our list the faith healers (those who heal illnesses by prayer alone), palmists (those who understand the art of reading palms to divine one’s fate), revenants (those who claim that they return from the dead), and those with third eye (those with psychic ability; extrasensory perception; ability to see the future), or we even include warlocks. My good friend, the late Father Jose Silverio, was even telling us that in this world we have to understand who the unseen are so that we can fight if needed. The late Father Marcus Pilar was practicing “luy-a luy-a” to drive away spiritual enemies. Messenger Danilo Paderna even warned me not to sit down at the end of the table in my former office because that place is reserved for a poltergeist (a noisy ghost who moves things around).

We are not just aware but many of us have a gift of precognition, “seeing” or “knowing” what will occur in the future. We are not just aware of our gifts. One afternoon Alex and I were on top of the hill in Sitio Lantawan. “Ver, are you aware that the western part is bright red because of the sunset? Look at the east, it is clear bright despite of the sunset. The opposite sides are still clear.”

He gave an explanation about planetary alignment that even Nasa and President Trump do not want to comment officially. “This has something to do with zodiac that gives us earthquakes, typhoons, change in climate, and even change in the mental state of normal people.” He added that the “Resorts World incident” is a “hoodoo” (bad luck) for Philippine tourism.

For Alex, paranormal tourism is not just for fun. “It brings intelligent people together to understand and enjoy the supernatural, that which is beyond the understanding of science and the physical world. Before we left the hill, he described the aura he saw in me. I am not aware that I am surrounded by a mystical radiance. My wife will not believe that.