Saturday, October 19

Treasure Hunt

photo by SHANA ANGELA S. CERVANIA

I SELDOM come home to the province, but whenever I do, I always run to our garden to check if the gate of that house is unlocked: the home of my late aunt. I can still remember how I would always go to that house to visit her. She rarely had any visitors, perhaps because of the house; the rumors surrounding it are always the kind that leave one with shivers.

The elderly used to say that it is haunted by a malevolent being that abducts children at mid-noon when they are left unsupervised, or that there is a terrible beast lurking in the garden that tricks young girls into marrying them.

Even if all these hair-raising tails were true, I continue to believe otherwise. My aunt has always loved that house, and she would tell me stories about its origins. My favorite story is about how it once belonged to a pair of star-crossed lovers who met a sad end. In the tale, as the two got separated, the man swore on their wedding rings that they would meet again. Their rings were said to be heirlooms that were only to be given to one’s chosen partner.

Until now, I still find myself searching for those rings, wondering whether the promise was fulfilled. ISABELL ANDREA M. PINE

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