10.6.11

A haunted Balite tree



Centuries old balite tree in Guiwanon, Baclayon. (Photo: Tom's Blog)
 
In many places of Bohol grows the balite tree or dakit. Most of the people are afraid to get near it for to them the tree is a haunted place. According to the beliefs of the old people in the province, the balite tree was the favorite dwelling place of the fairies. There was a particular balite tree that grew in the cross-section of trails near Bali-out, a barrio of the town of Baclayon. Bali-out is a spring along the sea coast. This spring had never been short of water, not even in the worst drought. Persons tried to avoid being under the shade of this balite tree lest harm might fall upon them.


One day, a boy whose hobby was hunting birds, happened to be near this balite tree for he saw plenty of birds, perched on its branches. The boy shot the birds by means of a sling shot. After he caught some birds, he went home. A day later, the boy became sick. He could not move and could not talk. Later on, he became ensane. He disliked food and could not sleep. After two weeks, the parents were alarmed. A physician was consulted but there seemed to be no relief from the medicine that was administered. Quack doctors were asked to visit the sick boy. An old man, named Juan, came to the house and asked the cause of his malady. The parents related the story of how the boy shot some birds from the balite tree. Juan suggested that offerings should be made to appease the angry anitos who dwelt in the tree. These offerings are called diwata. He suggested to prepare the offerings which constituted a whole rooster, and buyo leaf that was not torn. The offerings were brought before the tree and were left there. The old man murmured something and walked around the tree three times. Finally, he shouted with joy and cried: “Thank God.” All left the tree and brought back the food silently, then, they went home.

When they arrived home, everyone was surprised to see the sick boy move to call his mother to give him food. So he was able to move, talk and eat again. Could you believe it?

Reference: Pajo, MC 1954. Bohol Folklore. Unpublished Master’s thesis. University of San Carlos, Cebu. 288 p.

This folklore was reported to MC Pajo by Santiago C Achacoso of Jagna, Bohol.

Diwata is the name for spirits. It is also the name given to ceremonies performed to appease or prevent the anger of the spirits.

1 comment:

  1. The story about the boy is really scary.. My lola also told me that story when I was young, Coz i use to shot birds also.. SCARY!!! :D

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