Culture

Saliva, good for what ails you part 1

My introduction to Philippines Folklore was not the aswang. That would come a couple years later. My first encounter was actually my sponsored child’s mother. I’ve sponsored a child (Allyn Bongat) through an organization called Children International for 12 years now. Children International allows sponsors to visit sponsored children and my first visit was scheduled in October 2001. Sept. 11, 2001 was the day of the World Trade Center attacks and Children International called asking if I was still traveling to the Philippines. I said sure and their recommendation was not to go due to the recent 9/11 attacks and terrorist activity in the Philippines. So I canceled that trip. It would be two years before I got around to scheduling another visit in Oct. 2003.Allyn had been diagnosed with a type of nephritis. It is basically an inflammation of the kidneys and the kidneys have problems processing protein. It was quite serious and she was being treated with steroids to improve kidney function which has its own set of side effects. I was pretty worried and since the time was right for me to travel I scheduled a trip to the Philippines.

We met Allyn and Mrs. Bongat at the Children International Center and soon after paid a visit to their home in Quezon City. Chatty Pinay, her brother Kevin and the social worker accompanied me.

While we visited in the home I noticed Mrs. Bongat was missing, but thought nothing of it. Then I noticed Chatty Pinay and her brother had disappeared. I started to wonder if something was up. Then Kevin pops in asks if someone can borrow my saliva.


– Tashi

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