Tuesday, May 31

writing challenge: casaroro.


the setting could have been perfect that day.

we were in the midst of casaroro, valencia’s beautiful waterfalls and the municipality’s gem that is frequented by tourists who bask in its almost ethereal beauty. casaroro falls is every trekker’s dream, and although it is inaccessible to even the most daredevil habal-habal drivers in this sleepy town of negros, several hikers still choose to endure the two-hour uphill climb that is ridden with sharp rocks and red soil that turns to mud once it is drenched by heaven’s tears. casaroro’s beauty, after all, is unmatched in all of negros, and once one is captivated by its natural serenity, the ordeal of trying to get there would not matter at all.

but this day was different – for amid the beautiful backdrop of casaroro’s poignant beauty, several people were huddled together in different groups: most of them were trying to subdue their sobs, while one of them, imelda’s mother, was wailing uncontrollably. as i was standing next to my brother, and merely observing the intensity of human anguish that had so consumed most of the people there that day, father vincoy was saying mass.

father vincoy is known in dumaguete as the priest who has the gift of exorcism, and several times before, he had been instrumental in purging the demonic spirits from those who were possessed by elemental beings. and while he endured the glare of the midday sun as he raised the sacristy for consecration, my mind had drifted towards the tragedy that happened four days ago.


five young souls who just graduated from high school were itching for an adventure before college would devour them whole in the coming school year. casaroro was their destination of choice, so before the break of dawn, they were well on their way to the treacherous trail that would lead them to one of nature’s finest creations. and at eight in the morning, all five of them were already bathing in casaroro’s freezing waters, and the morning fog had enclosed them in a world that was suspended in calming silence.

the water was rather peaceful that day, they all noticed, for they heard nothing but the soft ripples of water and the concoction of sounds from the birds and the early morning breeze.

but nature, they would later on learn, can be deceptive and inconspicuous with its wrath. for in an instant, the uneventful silence of casaroro was replaced by the anguish of large rocks that stampeded from the mountains – its hell path wreaking death on whatever or whoever it came in contact with. the sound of rock gritting, one of them would later say, was the very sound of death itself.

as they all scampered to the land for safety, one of them was caught by surprise by the sudden ambush of rocks, and as she flailed helplessly in the water to keep afloat, a rock hit her on the head. as the rapids continued its onslaught downwards, imelda’s body was helplessly tossed around like a twig by the wrath of the boulders – until finally, her body had drifted out of sight, and her companions were left crying for help on that fateful morning when nature, it seemed, decided to show its might and unleash its fury.

it would take three days and a massive manhunt operation for the authorities to finally recover imelda’s body. 300 meters down from where she initially was, her lifeless body was discovered entangled in a group of large rocks near one of valencia’s rivers. she barely had any hair left on her head and had swollen up beyond recognition. her body was in an advanced state of decomposition and it bore distinct wounds and bruises from being ravaged by the turbulence of the unrelenting rapids. the news spread like wildfire in dumaguete that by nighttime, numerous candles were lit at the altar for the eternal repose of her soul.


it was during the recitation of the apostles’ creed when i noticed that father vincoy seemed uneasy from time to time. ‘i believe in god, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth…’, then he would momentarily pause for a good five to ten seconds, look up to where the water slowly descended from the mountain, and then continue on with his recitation of the creed. and because the midday sun was in its most imposing state as the mass was about to end, his face was lined with heavy streaks of perspiration when he was finally done with the eucharist.

it was during family dinner with father vincoy, one year after that unfortunate incident, when my father would once again revisit the grief that ensnared our small community when imelda had met her untimely demise. at the mention of the incident, the clairvoyant priest’s expression suddenly turned serious.

alam mo ba andy, may nakita ako nung araw na yun.’

everyone, upon hearing him say this, huddled closer to the table.

habang dinadasal ko ang apostle’s creed, may dalawang malalaking boses na nagmumura sa akin galing sa itaas. at nung tumingin ako sa itaas, may nakita akong dalawang maiitim na pigura na nakalutang sa ere.”

he suddenly paused, as though to pace himself for the clincher of his story.

at habang nakatingin ako sa kanila, ay nanlilisik ang mapupula nilang mga mata, habang sinisigawan nila akong umalis na dahil nasa kanila na si imelda.”


at nang tumanaw uli ako sa itaas, ay may nakita akong isang babaeng nakapatong sa isang malaking bato, katabi ng mga maiitim na kaluluwa. at kahit napapaliguan siya ng sinag ng araw habang nakaupo sa malaking batong yun, ay nakita ko ang maamong mukha ni imelda.”


other entries for the horror writing challenge:

louie's joshua.


Will said...

wag mo kong pagbintangang nag-skipread ha. binasa ko talaga. lol.

kawawang imelda. sana di ko sya mapanaginipan! ayoko na tuloy magdumaan sa dumaguete in the future. joke. :p

claudiopoi said...

skipping rope alert! haha :P

okay lang yan @will, mejo napahaba din kasi ang entry na to. pero in fair, thrice ko ng prinune to ha.

Will said...

hindi ako skiproper, kahit iquestion and answer portion mo pa ko. lol

claudiopoi said...

sige nga, ano ang last name ni imelda? :)

Nishiboy said...

tangina lang. patay na ako sa takot.

orally said...

shet kinilabutan ako.

btw, is this the very same falls that's featured in oro plata mata? (movie)

hArTLeSsChiq said...

Yan kasi umakyat pa sila,nakuha tuloy si Imelda ng mga engkanto.

claudiopoi said...


kaya mo yan. nakayanan ko nga yung LARO PA TAYO ni renato eh. hehe. :)


uhm, hindi yata. i think that movie was made sa negros occidental. sa oriental kasi kame, sir.


kaya nga eh. malungkot sobra. and to think, personal friend ko din siya. tsk.

iya_khin said...

waaah! now lang ako nakadaan dito...nabasa ko kay glentot..

have an entry last week also about sa nakakatakot..here's the link..


glentot said...

Binasa ko ito kaninang madaling araw LOL. I can just imagine kung paano nadurog ang katawan ni Imelda sa avalanche ng bato. At ang creepy lang na nilihim ng pari for a long time kung ano ang nakita nya.

At least ikinwento ng pari, eh si Will ayaw magkwento nang buo, withholding information LOL!!! kakabitin

Mugen said...

Naalala ko tuloy yung picture sa isang ilog kung saan ako naligo na may kasama akong doppleganger/engkanto.

The Gasoline Dude said...

Parang nabitin ako. Is this a true story?

Ar-Ar Malalis said...

I didn't skipread pero nag nose bleed ako! :))

Nabasa ko ung kay glentot's horror story challenge.

Kung itong story mo at ung sa kanya gagawing Shake,Rattle and Roll movie, sabi ko sa comment ko sa kanya..bebenta uli ang horror stories!

claudiopoi said...


welcome naman sa bahay ko. sige, babasahin ko yan mamayang madaling araw. pakamatay na ako sa takot mamaya. hehe.


actually, dun ako natakot sa part na yun. kasi basag basag na yung mukha nya. parang isang bloated na ulo lang, kasi parang nawala na yung ilong and other facial parts nya.

at oo nga, ang hirap tuloy igoogle kung anong building ang nitutukoy ni will. hehe.

claudiopoi said...

@gas dude,

actually, mas mahaba pa yung original nito. kaso lang, baka maging corny na, so i had to cut it sa part na yun.

and yes, true story yan. totoo ang lahat ng kaganapan, at makikita mo silang sa dumaguete lahat. personal horror story experience ko to eh.


kaano-ano mo ba si carlo lelis? char lang. hehe. :)pero sana nga ibalik ulit ang shake, rattle, and roll series! sobrang fan ako nyan eh. at hindi ko pa nababasa yung kai glentot. mamayang madaling araw nalang, para conducive for takutan much!

claudiopoi said...


sorry, hindi ko nakita ang comment mo. hehe. anyway, isulat mo kaya ulit yun sir. sobra akong natakot sa PGH story mo eh. :|

Nowitzki Tramonto said...

syet. kinilabutan ako claude. ahaha. mag-isa pa naman ako dito sa kwarto habang gumagawa ng thesis. galeng-galeng. si father vincoy na! sya na! sya na ang nakakakita ng mga lumulutang na kaluluwang itim...

still give me the creeps... ooohh...


Valencia is the next town from our city :) Ive been here :)

Scary naman ng post na ito. :)

Louie said...

Alam mo bang nabasa ko na to kagabi, but guess what?! Biglang nag brown out! Seryoso!

Pero ito lang ang masasabi ko!!!! Waaaaaaaaahhhh!!! This reminds me of the days nung nasa Bulacan pa ako, we lived in a dike, so ilog ang likod, often at night time, may bumabaswit na parang mama coming from the river. According to my tita, great great granpa ko daw un, siya daw ung pinaka-unang nagbuwis ng buhay on that side of the river. :|

We should do this more often, my friend. Wahaha!

claudiopoi said...


ay oo. lalo na pag narinig mo yung kwento nya mismo. grabe daw talaga, ang lakas. tapos nung sinasabi daw nya na 'i believe in god...' ay pinagtatawanan siya ng malalaking boses. tapos parang malungkot na nakatanaw si imelda sa misa. shet talaga, as in.


taga asa diay ka? i heard that hindi na pwede ang mga visitors sa casaroro ngayon. after that incident kasi, hindi na talaga ako bumalik sa falls na yun. pati halos lahat ng mga kaibigan ko.


totoo? ang creepy naman. pero bakit naman nagbuwis ng buhay ang lolo mo don? :|

and anyway, yes, we should definitely do this more often! pero dapat, iba-ibang genres naman. nakakaubos ng lakas ng loob pag horror lang parati eh! :D

Louie said...

Naglalaro daw sila on that river a week before his HS grad, nahulog daw siya and drowned on that river. Simula nun, yearly may namamatay sa ilog na un. Usually mga graduating HS or College Students.

Agree, agree! Nakakaubos ng lakas ang ganitong klaseng genre! Haha!

Diamond R said...

bakit ba merong mga pangyayari ganito umiikot sa mga studyante at parang lumalabas na may naghihigante sa paliguan. meron ding ganito sa amin. basta na lang silang nalulunod na parang hinihigop daw. nakakatakot naman ito.