The eerie and gaping mouth of Lobo Cave in the municipality of Jiabong, Western Samar reminds me of the whispered stories of my childhood. "Never cross anybody from Samar. He/she could be a mambabarang (sorcerer) or an aswang (witch)," my aunt used to say. Any mention of the place quickly elicits innumerable signs of the cross and makes old women utter the names of saints. According to the elderly, black magic is a common practice in the province.
The mambabarang, when angered, secretly obtains his enemy's hair strand, a piece of clothing or even a photograph, which he would affix on a rag ...
Covering the rain forests of the three provinces of Samar.
Our family (well, my wife's family but that makes it our family) is from Guinob-an, one of the coastal barangays of the municipality of Lawaan on the southern coast of Samar. Most of the time when we talk and think about Samar, it's the coast that comes to mind. But last night I started thinking about the interior. I realized that because the population is concentrated along the coast, that's where much of the focus is — but the interior of the island is fascinating in its own right. First of all, understand that Samar is the third largest of the 7,200 islands that make up the Philippines. ...