Spooky Encounter in the Mystical Agho Island of Concepcion, Iloilo

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The moment I stepped on Agho Island’s white domain and seeing how Where the Wild Things Are would be perfect to shoot in this location (should it plan for a sequel) was the moment I knew there will be spooky moments to our overnight stay at the island. Who’d blame me for feeling that way when it was depressing, cold, and the sun was setting in a if-I-were-you-I’d-leave-immediately fashion when we arrived?

Ha! Just kidding!

I was actually enthralled by the mystique aura the whole premise was emitting as we journeyed to meet our contact in the island. Sand bars slithered like snakes wounding the seaside, lush trees covered the island in a tinge of green, and mountains scattered like humongous pellets nearby; I was feeling it, baby!
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When I was invited to go to Agho Island and was informed it would be nothing like Boracay, I asked these questions:

Will there be a clean toilet?
Are there any militant groups?
Can we run around naked?
How do we prepare food?
How far is the nearest clinic in case of an emergency?

Of course I never voiced them out, for I understand I was an extra, so it was expected I’d go cowboy mode if ever I’d come. But yes, my first concern was the toilet. As the island is accessible via a municipal permit only, I was impressed by the group for securing such pass. There’s a family living in the island; they became our Greek Gods providing us with hot water, utensils, light, and fire. They've set-up a bathroom and a separate toilet for privacy. So accommodating.

Fueling our aching body with sandwiches, sweets, and drinks, we indulged in the scene around us akin to newly bought pets in a new home. It truly was magnificent. I could see the nearest island with its foggy mountain and lit houses preparing for the night. The group decided to roam the area before nightfall as we’d go swimming the whole day on the next day.

With my camera on and my thirst for dramatic shots imminent in my actions, I somehow felt guilty for subjecting my friends to poses and emotions they did not expect to be doing/portraying in those very hours. Ever the game boys and girls that they are, we produced pictures too hot for this blog. But I’ll post them anyway.
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And then, night has fallen. It was a different story from then on.

Dinner was sumptuous of course, but for reasons unknown to mankind, we decided, after, to share spooky tales to kill time. Are You Afraid of the Dark Agho Island style! Yes, it was fun hearing all these horror stories and all of us had something to share. Unknown to my group, I’m kind of sensitive to the presence of what we call the elementals. We have them in our home town.

To make it simple, think of the elves; stoic and pretty vegan creatures with pointed ears, wearing satin clothes and sings in angelic voices. Totally harmless little creatures - at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself what they really are. Not sadistic, hairy, and with red eyes like embers.

Finally, we retired for the night. My first time sleeping in a tent was uncomfortable in a noticeable absence of a soft mattress and extra pillows to cuddle. Not complaining here. I was excited to try ‘tenting’ for a long time and that dream was fulfilled now.

I didn't sleep that night, for it was hot. Was expecting the sea would blow its cold whispers to us but no avail; it was so silent and still. While I was apprehensive when my tent mate decided to open the window (well, not really a window), it did help with the ventilation. 3 hours later, I wished I voiced out my apprehension.
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I could hear these peculiar footsteps, getting nearer and nearer to our tent. If I could describe the sound, I’d say it’s a cross between a ballet dancer trying to walk normally in an old man’s pace, wearing a rough material for slippers. So graceful yet slow, curious.

Our care takers wouldn't prank us like that and we’re the only people in that island. Plus, it was like 2 am.

While it was not the horrifying wolf cry or some child crying (I can’t with ghosts. Really. I can handle Gollum or Joseph Estrada, but not ghosts), just the mere fact your ear was having trouble transmitting the sound for the brain to depict was enough to freak you out. I pretended to be fast asleep of course.

The footsteps suddenly died, and my hair started to rise. It was near! There was a tugging sensation at back. My tent mate was not asleep and has heard it, too. But unlike my horrified reaction, he's was curiosity. Fool wanted to see who or what it was. I was vehement, for I know the fate of witnesses: they get disposed!

The footsteps came again, this time it was checking on the other tent (we have two tents). And then it disappeared, just like the wind. Our curious visitor was gone.
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Two tongues were unstoppable the next day as they babbled to the other campers about last night’s encounter (while eating breakfast at the same time). They said they were too asleep to have heard such ‘noise.’ Of course, they were just tactful to admit they don’t believe us. I mean, it could be a dog or an animal not known to us. (I love zoology, by the way).

We decided to give it up. After all, what gain will it serve us?

Ooh, Arwen visited and thought you were Aragorn, but you so ugly she turned away. Big effin' deal.

All of last night’s spookiness was immediately forgotten as we swam the whole day. With the sun brights and mighty up in the sky, Agho Island was a magical sight to behold and to enjoy. I can't blame them for guarding this paradise.
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