Did you know that there is an actual place in the Philippines that many locals refer to as “Voodoo Island?” Siquijor is that island and it is located in the Central Visayas, near Cebu and Negros Oriental. While touting the moniker of “Voodoo Island” may be seen as negative, many Filipinos travel to Siquijor seeking advice concerning spells and the breaking of spells. There are also many faith healers located on the island of Siquijor. Another famous folklore is about the many White Ladies who reside on the island. A white lady is a ghost and there are many locations all over the Philippines which have their own White Lady Legend. There is one street in Quezon City, Metro Manila where veteran taxi drivers refuse to drive because they believe about one famous white lady commonly seen on the street. Some taxi drivers have even reported seeing the white lady in the back seat of their taxis and they claim they did not pick up her up as a passenger. Are you scared yet?
In my previous article, “Tik Tik Times Running Out,” I wrote about the famous aswang legend, which is believed by many Filipinos. There are many superstitions in the Philippines and while some are known nationwide, other areas have their own beliefs, which are only known in that particular province.
One of the more humorous stories I have heard in the Philippines concerns the kapre. A Filipina wife scolded her American husband and told him to stop smoking cigars because the local people think he is a big, hairy, white kapre! The legendary kapre supposedly lives in a tree and smokes either a cigar or a ganja pipe. The kapre is not always associated with evil unless he is angry with someone. I have only heard of male kapres in the Western Visayas. Some kapres allegedly enjoy friendship with people and other kapres supposedly enjoy playing pranks on people.
When one mentions voodoo to some expats in the Philippines, they automatically think about the famous Voodoo Bar located in Subic. One expat told me that there are real voodoo dolls in that lounge! I never promote the bars in the Philippines but they are also part of the culture and an attraction to some.
Some may be concerned about the superstitions and paranormal activity in the Philippines, however, every place I have traveled in the world, including where I lived in the USA, also had paranormal legends that many local people believed. Nevertheless, one should be aware that almost daily, one will hear about superstitions and interesting legends, such as the kapre. This colorful aspect of the Filipino culture is one attraction that I find while living in the Philippines. There is never a dull moment here unless you just sit at home, never go out and never interact with Filipinos. After living here for four years, every day in the Philippines continues to unfold a new adventure!