Stories are a large make up of our being. So much so, that the quality of the stories one hears or tells can make a difference between achieving and failing. Or so says modern psychology.
Guinarona of the Philippines has so many stories: macabre, benign, supernatural–name it. This one is about Queenie, who holds fort in Kauranan, on the slopes of Mt. Lubi, six kilometers from Guinarona. Queenie is so vain that she has her visage imprinted on a rock in Kauranan.
Our psychic friend, Herb Howell, has channeled Queenie, which goes:
I see you coming down the bluffs, carrying some such bag, which looks heavy. What are in it? Your two female companions are in your wake, and they look nonchalant. Maybe they are from an exotic place far from Leyte? I wouldn’t say they are arrogant, but noisy they are.
I caused the rain to stop a while ago, as I know you are coming. I always do. I merge with anything I fancy, and I become that thing. My realm is vast, extending from Kadahunan in the East to the Hitungnob river in the West. They say that I am wicked, but there is no such thing. As in there is no absoluteness to things. I maybe bad one moment and a saint the next. You call it mood swings
The rock where my face is etched is where my palace is. I live alone, as I am what you call a spinster. Marriage will not work for me. I’d rather be solo, tending to my empire. And no, I am not lonely. Being lonely is just a state of mind. You just focus on the here and now, the present moment. And you won’t be lonely. Ever. What you call reality is in fact illusion. A mirage, if you will. I know because I am reality. My spirit dimension is pure magic. Magic alters your reality.
I can see that you were meticulous in preparing for your trip here. I admire your stick-to-itiveness, it’s like clockwork. I could see that you intended to bring a CD player. Like you were going to dance here? That’s very quaint.
My face on the rock shoos away intruders, more so those with black hearts. You know that their heart is black when they chicken out. But not you. You embrace my image as if it were your obra maestra. That’s the first reason that I like you. The other is your being meticulous. I like people who have that trait, as they are the doers of the world. And they produce things.
“Melba, you stay here. Under the balete tree.,” you say. “Don’t worry, nobody will touch you here. Only Evelyn and I will go for the feeding.”
I can hear the creaks of twigs that you trod on. You and Evelyn are trying to find a place for your gimmick. You go hither and dither, finally spotting my rock, my home, my abode. You grab a coconut shell to get water from my spring. I can see the smile from your face, having slaked your thirst.
“This is it, Evelyn. We set up our altar here,” you say. “On top of this rock. Hmmm, do you see a face?”
“Actually, no, ” Evelyn says. “Where is it?”
“Oh, never mind. Just take out the things from the bag.”
“Candles, check. Bottle of honey, check. Sandalwood incense, check. White cloth, check. Candies, check. Bottle of rum, check. CD player, check. Drumbeat CD. . . .ummm, no CD? I swear it was the first thing that I tacked.”
You and Evelyn are searching for the CD. Of course, you don’t find it because I pilfered it. I don’t want any dancing here, you hear?
“Okay, we’ll just do the ritual sans dancing. Help me set up our offerings,” you say.
I cause some breeze to caress your face. “Wow, the scent of the forest!” you blurt out.
You lay out your offerings and light the candles and incense. “Let’s do our centering. . .breathe in, breathe out. . .breathe in, breathe out. . . ”
“Spirits of Kauranan,” you begin. “I beseech thee. Find favor with my call and summons. On the seven winds I beg thee travel. And greet me in my presence, and partake of these offerings that I lay out for thee. For a speaking of things that need to be spoken. From this moment hence, thy powers do I wish to invoke. For things that need to be done. . .”
Then I see the transformation of your face. It becomes as pale as sheet. For I know that you see me and the other spirits descend on your altar. You see me with the jewels in my hair glistening like fireflies in the night. The others are not that gaudy because they are just my peons. Oh, how we love the sandalwood incense. How did you know it was my favorite? In fact, we collected them all.
“Evelyn, do you see them? Do you see the spirits?”
“In fact, no. But I see that all the incense is gone.”
“Okay, you may tell them now what you want to happen.”
“My dear friends, I just want you to know that I appreciate your coming over and partaking of our feast. This is just to let you know that we acknowledge your presence and at the same time request your permission to develop Kauranan into a resort for paying guests,” Evelyn said.
You could say that my jaw dropped at Evelyn’s pronouncement. Not in a hundred years would I allow the rape of my pristine place. Then and there I caused a heavy rain to fall, which signals my disapproval.
You and Evelyn just stood there dumbstruck. Of course, now you know my answer.
I am, after all, Diwata Queenie, the top dog at Kauranan.