For people (young ones specifically) who do not know Julie Vega, she was this very popular child actress back in the early 80’s who starred in the hit TV series, Annaliza, competition of another hit TV series, Flordeluna, top-billed by then child actress, Janice de Belen. Julie Vega also starred in one of the episodes of “Lovingly Yours, Helen” the Movie where she scared the hell out of movie-goers playing a demon-possessed girl. After that movie, she died of broncho-pneumonia. However, media played up her death as the work of engkantos from shooting in a remote location. I will never forget that front page photo of her in full demonic possession make-up in People’s Journal.I got to remember her because of the movie I watched with husband. We watched Ouija which is a version of the popular game called spirit of the glass. I will not review the film. What I want to share with you (as I shared it with Mark Darcy) is my experience. At this point, I ask you to keep an open mind…
(cue haunting music, dissolve to flashback)
Circa 1986. My friends were cheering for me to climb over the fence of our school since the main gate was being locked at 1:00 p.m. since our school believes in discipline. Yup, as early as high school, I already realized that public school education is the best when it comes to discipline. Therefore, I looked at the fence, hauled my ass over and as my feet landed on the ground, my tropa cheered–it was my first time to cut classes. (What can I say? I lived dangerously back in high school. Hahahaha!) What was this urgent situation that made me–consistent honor student-slash-editor in chief of our school paper-slash-role model to the entire student body–to cut classes? Well…I could not resist the opportunity to play SPIRIT OF THE GLASS…Still in our uniforms, we arrived at our house (Our circle was composed of 5 boys and 4 girls and we called ourselves Rated K. Hey, give us a break! It’s high school for crying out loud. Hmph). Four of our girl-friends who were veterans in spirit of the glass gave specific instructions that only they have to open the portals bridging the worlds of the living and the dead. (To reader: stop the eye-rolling, I saw you.) So, the 5 boys left our girl-friends in my room for them to open the portals. For those interested, these are the materials you need:
- A mock ouija board made out of simple paper. Before, we used the back of a large calendar–you know? New year giveaways of hardware stores? Hahahaha!
- In the center of the paper, trace the glass rim (preferably the thick one used in carinderias or anything small) to draw a circle. Label it with HOME. This is the spirit’s “home base.”
- On left and right sides of HOME and with an inch of space, draw two circles and label them with YES and NO.
- On the top and bottom of HOME, draw two circles and label it with GOOD and BAD.
- Around the perimeter of the paper, eyeballing a half-inch border and even distribution, draw 26 circles using the same glass and label each circle with the letters of the alphabet.
- Below the alphabet circles, draw 10 circles and label each circle with numbers from 0-9.
To start the game:
- Place the inverted glass over the HOME base.
- Players should place their index and middle fingers on the glass, just enough to touch it. DON’T PRESS.
- Players would then close their eyes and pause for a minute of silence, concentrating on the glass.
- Start praying one “I Believe in God”, one “Our Father”, one “Hail Mary”, and one “Glory Be”…WITHOUT “AMEN”…
- After the amen-less prayers, leader should ask, “Spirit of the Glass, are you there?” If you are effective, the glass will move to YES. (Except kung pilosopo ang spirit, pupunta sya sa NO. Hahahahaha!)
- Ask the spirit if the is a good or a bad spirit, if it says it is a bad spirit, press on the glass to stop it from moving, order it to leave.
So, the Magic Four did all that. One by one, us boys were given permission by the spirit to enter my room and talk to them. I was the fourth one to be called in. I walked in my room, 3 of my friends were like a pinwheel while they were touching the glass. It was moving. The scientist in me ordered me not to jump in excitement. I told them with utmost skepticism, “Are you sure you are not just pushing the glass?” The lead told me to sit down and just touch the glass myself and ask the spirit a question. Slowly, just like how the Red Sea parted, my 3 friends cleared the board to allow me to prove the authenticity of the phenomenon. Everyone fell quiet as I sat down and I placed my forefinger on the tip of the inverted glass, barely touching it, and asked my first question: “What’s your name?” And blogfriends I swear on my life…the glass moved and spelled a name: JULIE VEGA. Oh my dear! Goosebumps!!! But of course, I wanted proof. I asked again: “If you are Julie Vega, what is the title of your hit single?” Glass moved again and spelled: SOMEWHERE IN MY PAST. Yaikks!!! I was in to it. I was saying something to my friend when the glass moved again and spelled what later turned out to be a request: CAN YOU SING MY SONG? My friend Noemi heeded her request and began singing her song. And guys, you would not believe this but while my friend was singing, the glass slowly glided the entire perimeter of the board as if it was Julie Vega dancing! Ugh. I was barely touching it, blogfriends, promise! When it returned to home base, we continued our conversation for another 2 hours asking lots of questions. After 2 hours of relentless conversing, Julie said she wanted to rest. I asked the lead what we can do next. She said we can still call for other spirits. Apparently, the scariest moment in the session is the first spirit who is an unknown—it can be a good or a bad spirit. Tip is, if it is a bad spirit, you just have to order it to leave and it will. But if it is a good spirit, you can go ahead and talk to it and ask for someone specific afterwards. Before Julie Vega, my friends informed me they were able to talk to one of my friends’ father, one’s grandma (they said the glass kept on misspelling. Apparently, grandma can’t see well so they took the extra mile and “oriented” grandma on placement of letters on the board. To the reader: there you go again with the eye-rolling. Hmph).
Anyway, after Julie Vega, we asked her if we can talk to…NINOY AQUINO. And when she left, Ninoy Aquino was there. He gave proof by stating his birthday, the title of Kris Aquino’s TV show back when she was still a teeny bopper (sige nga? Anong title? Hehehe.), the date of his death, etc. Naturally, questions revolved around his unsolved death. He said it was the Marcoses who had him killed and that there is only one person who has evidence that can prove it. The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in us asked the million dollar question: WHO HAS EVIDENCE TO PROVE YOUR DEATH? Glass slid…C-O-C-O-Y-L-A-U-R-E-L then back to home. Of course since I was the only gay guy in the group, I gasped, while my other friends were confused as to who the hell Cocoy Laurel was. I said, “He’s a stage actor.” (friends still have no idea) “He’s Nora Aunor’s current boyfriend.” Then they exclaimed, “Aaaaah. The one with the weird, fake eye!” (rolls in laughter) Anyway, we got impatient with the spelling so one of my friends asked Ninoy: CAN WE TALK TO YOU? I said, “Wait, wait! What the hell are you doing?” The glass slid to YES. We were alarmed at that moment. My friend continued asking: DO YOU WANT TO USE ONE OF US AS A MEDIUM? It slid to YES. Internally, most of us were panicking. So I just said to Ninoy, CAN YOU JUST USE SOMETHING ELSE? LIKE THE TV, FOR EXAMPLE? Glass did not move. We looked at each other. Minutes passed, no movement. We were asking each other, “Do you think he already left? Then the glass moved and spelled: GO TO CHANNEL 6. I said, “But it’s a dead channel” The glass moved and spelled again: GO TO CHANNEL 6. COUNT TO 10. We were excited and afraid! I turned on the TV and turned the dial to channel 6. All of us stood by the door, some carrying their shoes. We counted:
only the TV noise accompanied by that rainy texture on TV signifying the lack of feed. We could hear our hearts beating. I asked, “Ninoy, are you there?” TV noise continues. Everyone was silent for another 5 minutes, all of us staring at the TV screen for any sign of communication. One of my friends went to the TV to adjust the volume then the joker in our group just let out a growl! Everyone friggin’ screamed!!!! We pummeled on the jerk while one of the girls sobbed and cried from fright. We returned to the board and asked if Ninoy was still there. Glass slid and spelled: I TRIED. I’M SORRY. I’M TIRED. We thanked Ninoy and promised we would do everything to solve his crime. After that, we bid goodbye to him…he was gone. After everyone recovered from the fright, we went on discussing and farming out tasks to reach Cocoy Laurel. Of course, to date, Ninoy’s case remains unsolved. But that night, I got to think: WAS THERE ANY TRUTH TO EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED? Since we used my room, are they still here? I prayed hard that night.
It was nice to remember my encounter with the supernatural. It has reminded me that in keeping an open mind, one can discover more things. J