Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Silay Stories: Remembering Idad Buang

Everyone who lived in Silay in the 50's up to early 70's knew of her. She would go around Silay in a black baro't saya, a veil, face fully made up and would kneel on the houses' stairs or doorsteps and start chanting in a singsong voice.  What you thought sounded like latin prayers were really more like incoherent words.  The "chant" would take about 2 to 3 minutes after which she is given money and then she quietly leaves to go to the next house. This happens in my Grandfather's  house at least once a week.  We all called her "Idad Buang".  The children were all a little bit scared of her because she looked like an old witch with her black hair and clothes. She never says a word except for her chanting and although she rarely looks at people, when she does, she had a really scary look.  I remember the househelp would use her to scare us everytime we start being unruly.  But who exactly was she?  Was she really crazy as everyone thought? Was she a beggar?  What was her story?  The story I later learned was that she was not the crazy woman beggar we all believed.  It seems that she was not really destitute (funny that people thought that, when she was always neatly dressed) and that the reason why she went around houses and doing the things she did was because of a vow or panata. And it was not to all houses in Silay that she went to because although she regularly came to my ancestral home, I don't remember her going to my grand aunt's home behind us. I also noticed that she usually went to houses with balconies and where she can kneel on the 3rd or 4th step.  People said that she was quite sane and functioned normally as soon as she finishes her "rounds". According to them, she looked quite different once she changes to her ordinary clothes.  To this day nobody really knows why she made that vow and nobody has really claimed that she was their family. I still don't know who she was...nobody bothered to know who she was then and on hindsight, I could have asked her but was too afraid for fear that she would put a hex on me if I even dared talk to her (...talk about the househelp's conditioning).  One day, she just stopped coming to my grandpa's house and we all assumed that she must have passed away. I remember that there were other "crazy" people around Silay in those days, but for sure, there was no one quite like Idad Buang.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome and please identify yourself. Anonymous comments will be deleted. Thank you!