This is a grim situation my brother is fighting nowadays. It began eighteen years ago by trusting other people whom he befriended in the city of Manila here in the Philippines. Fernando, my brother is a victim of barang, a Filipino kind of witchcraft which is rampant in the country. It is derived from the western occultism and dark art of witchcraft that cause too many havocs in so many innocent lives.
My brother finished his college in the early 90s as a mechanic. Eventually, after graduation he was hired by a big multi-national company owned by a well-known personality in the country as a chief mechanic. His role ranged from supervising his people and assembling heavy trucks used for commercial purposes.
Being new in Manila brought him to a boarding house in one of the main cities of the metropolis. The family, composed of the couple, son and daughter, parents in law, lured my brother to live with them without knowing their ulterior motive to enslave him to a kind of witchcraft called barang.
At first, they treated my brother as their eldest son. In return, he gave them all the gratitude he could offer even his weekly wages to support his newfound family in the city. He even brought his landlady to our home in the province. I was irked and disgusted because rumors spread the she is my brother’s woman. She is old enough to be his mother. I asked his landlady why he accompanied my brother when in fact she is a married woman.
The frank words that I uttered to the woman triggered her to abuse the kindness of my brother. My family and I didn’t know that she knows how to use barang or witchcraft.
A year later, we heard the news about the freak accident that my brother encountered while repairing a television set at the woman’s house. It’s raining outside when he adjusted the antennae at the rooftop of the house. The woman’s son was watching my brother when he accidentally grab the main line of electricity. The kid ran for help while he fought for life by resisting the effects of the 3,000 volts of electricity that left him with wounded right hand. His pulse exploded and also his tummy and the back of his upper legs. My mother was very angry at that time. She immediately went to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) while my father was left in the province to tend the farm. The woman claimed that my mother didn’t spent a single cent for the expenses of my brother opposite to the truth that my mother exhausted our resources for the hospital bills. She didn’t even said sorry for what happened to my brother. Even his husband didn’t clear and explained what happened to my brother at their house.
In 1998, when my father was hospitalized at the PGH for lung cancer, the couple who was summoned by my elder sister visited the death bed off my father. They said that they’re not collecting the earnings of my brother whom we thought that he’s in some kind of limbo because he didn’t show any sad emotion like crying when my father died.
A year later, I graduated from culinary school. I was ready to go to Manila for a further training at the seaman’s center and complete my requirements to work overseas on board a merchant vessel. I borrowed P10,000.00 (ten thousand pesos) from my brother. Later, I learnt that it was borrowed by the older woman from a loan shark which she later claimed that it was her own money contrary to the truth that it was my brother’s earnings.
The dark side of barang
This kind of witchcraft is killing my brother slowly. He is experiencing memory lapses and the only thing that he wanted to do everyday is his job as chief mechanic. He don’t even have a clear account of the death of my father in 1998. He don’t even remember that he wore a pair of eyeglasses when he attended the burial. He looked like a 50-year old man when he escaped from the room that his landlady-witch used for her dark and deadly schemes.
Just recently, he quarreled with the old woman when he realized that he acquired bruises and insect bites without actually knowing its cause. He said he see the woman praying whenever he’s awake at night. With all the candles, surrounding his picture and a voodoo doll full of insects (ants, usually) and cement on its head, and small plastic basin full of water, he ignored the eerie environment because someone is always whispering in his ears just to concentrate on his work. He also retold the incident that the old woman gave her a cat as pet. The unusual thing about the cat was it was chained by the woman. The woman said he should take care of it that he did.
Luckily, another woman became his ‘guardian angel’. Not far from his work, he met Melda while he was walking going to his work. Their eyes met and the thing that caught her attention was my brother’s way of dressing (closed-neck flannel long sleeve shirts and a bull cap. Melda own a store which my brother frequently visit. She noticed unusual markings on my brothers arms and face. She told him that he should wear appropriate clothes for the tropical climate of our country. She was horrified of what he saw in my brother’s arms. Aside from insect bites on his arms, she saw bites all over his body. My brother said it didn’t itch a bit, so she didn’t have to worry.
When the old woman knew that he was befriending another woman, she got angry and nearly cut my brother’s right finger. She took care of my brother for nearly a year until the woman discovered. My brother said that he never use the old woman, sexually. Although, he had memory lapses, he claimed that the only thing clear to him is his work.
When my brother decided to seek my sister’s help the first day of the new year, the old woman insisted to accompany him. But my brother declined instead he ask the help of Melda to accompany him to my sister’s house. There, my sister sought the help of our cousin who knows how to oppose the effects of the witchcraft.
The next events when retold by my brother seemed bizarre to me. The pieces of hardened cement on his head, the white sticky sap of jackfruit on his left arm and many insects (ants, etc.) form his right arm awakened me to the reality that evil deeds are spreading in the world right now!
Aftermath of the curse
My sister immediately sought the help of the local officials at my brother’s place. With the help of Melda, they asked bystanders the whereabouts of the boarding house. The barangay tanod or local guards led them to the abode of the old woman. The door was slightly open when they call the woman. My sister was aghast when they found out in action what the woman was doing. She’s into an actual ritual of barang with all the candles around the picture of my brother! She didn’t recognize my sister but when she saw Melda, the old woman went berserk shouting at the top of her voice that it was Melda’s fault why my brother left her.
At present, my brother’s belongings: clothes, appliances and mechanic’s tools were brought to the barangay hall for clearance. The lupons or elder local judges of the barangay heard the complaints of my sister against the older woman who used to be my brother’s landlady. I said to them to file for theft because the woman didn’t want to return my brother’s ATM (automated teller machine) card. All my brother’s earnings went to the woman and her family. Even, we cannot accuse her and put her to jail because of witchcraft, at least the case for theft or robbery can put her inside the cell.
Furthermore, the old woman was ranting my name because she claimed that she helped me with my training before going overseas which was a blatant lie. How can she have money without having a job? The worst of it, I also experienced the bizarre consequences that my brother felt. When he came home three days after the new year here in he province, we went to the beach for two days to soak our bodies in the seawater. But you will not believe what I’ve found when I felt an itchiness on the left side of my neck: it’s an ant!. There’s no ant crawling on the beach. Where did it came from?
Fighting the ‘barang’
Although, I am skeptic at first, we can fight evil people around us. I we read the Holy Bible, there are many passages in the Books of Old and New Testaments warning us against the minions of the Devil or Satan. Our belief for the Creator of God Almighty should be strengthened, because materialism is apparent nowadays. Most of us are lured into the worldly gains that we often forget that these blessings comes from the Lord.
These evil people can never destroy our physical and spiritual bodies if we surrender ourselves to God. I admit that I was blinded by the material world. I we are strong in our belief to the Creator, evil deeds will never defeat us.