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Concluding the Saga of the Strange Cuenca Fires

Just to conclude the saga of the strange spontaneous combustions that suddenly made the little sitio of Mambog in Cuenca, Batangas so famous, TV Patrol Southern Tagalog reported this afternoon that Mang Joe’s orasyons seem to be working. For those who do not know who Mang Joe is, click here or wait till you read the whole story. I will have another link to his story at the bottom.

At any rate, according to the TV Patrol news crew which returned to the sitio today, the spontaneous burnings have subsided enough to enable residents to enjoy a semblance of normalcy.

“Ah malaki, malaki ang naging ano pamulâ ng magamot ni Joe dahil ang mga iyan (meaning the residents) ay nakapagbalikan sa trabaho,” one resident told the news crew.

The same resident said that, according to his observations, the only occasions when combustions would occur would be when “may dumadayong medico na tila baga nagpapapansin.”

Yesterday, for instance, two female medicos arrived and so “Ayun ngâ nagkaroon ng kaunting sunog.”

Reminds me a lot about the 70s horror film ‘The Exorcist’ which I could not watch then but subsequently did years later when I was not so naïve. The demon inside Linda Blair would act up everytime the priest came to her room.

Although the spontaneous combustions have died down significantly, the residents continue to remain vigilant and still keep buckets of water readily available just in case.

Nobody in the neighbourhood is as yet prepared to say that the engkantos who are believed to be the source of the spontaneous combustions have completely disappeared, particularly as there was one small incident just yesterday.

They continue to pray, which I suppose is what people are supposed to do, anyway, engkanto or no engkanto. Perhaps, with the residents resorting to prayer, the engkantos – or demons, as some paranormal researchers seem to think of spirits who cause spontaneous combustions – started to think that their plan was backfiring.

Who really knows?

At any rate, whether it was Mang Joe’s orasyons or the prayers of the sitio’s residents themselves, I am just happy that the neighbourhood’s troubles are starting to subside. It cannot be a good thing to have an enemy one cannot see.

Deviating from the TV Patrol story somewhat, a former player who hails from Cuenca sent me a message that, according to an albularyo who went to the place, a child of one of the engkantos was actually harmed when one of the neighbourhood lads set fire to a balon.

I guess we will never really know…

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