Lucky beggar! That's what a tita of mine would've said about my second day in Dumaguete. Lucky is an understatement. I tagged along with the fellows for a glorious day in Antulang Beach Resort. Annabel Lee-Adriano and her family were our gracious hosts.
We went cruising through Tambobo Bay, where yachts from all over the world are docked. And then we stopped offshore to snorkel and revel in the sea.
We were treated to sumptuous lunch, merienda, and dinner. I don't remember everything we ate but I won't forget the spicy native chicken soup, the ubod salad, the budbud and tsokolate, the halo-halo for dessert, the pandan iced tea, and the marvellous company and conversations with our hosts.
In the evening I swam alone in the pool in Villa Alamanda while Ian stayed inside listening to music and reading. He had already had his solo swim earlier. I stared at the full moon and relished having the pool to myself, gliding back and forth and turning somersaults underwater. "Playing dugong" my cousins and I call it.
Something rustled in the tree beside the pool. I quietly swam to the edge of the pool to take a look. A mouse-like creature about the size of my hand scampered back and forth along the branches of the tree, busily picking something I could not see from the nodes of the leaf stems and nibbling on its finds. It had a beige back and a white tummy and tail, and beady black eyes. I stayed still but eventually it sensed my prying eyes and it looked at me and froze. We stayed like that for a while. I didn't move, didn't blink. And then it decided, I guess, that I wasn't a threat and it went about it's business and I continued being its voyeur. It scampered away when I finally decided it was time to get out of the pool.
Later I told Ian what I saw and asked him if he knew what it was.
"A sigbin!" he gasped! There was something about the way he said it that made the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stand on end. I quickly covered my ears and begged him not to continue!
I don't think the sigbin exists in Baguio, unless Junior Kilat's song has the power to summon the Original Sigbin. Feeling brave and safe in my own territories I asked Ian to tell me now what a sigbin is, and he found me a sigbin on wikipedia! I don't think what I saw was a sigbin, though Ian insists haha! If it was indeed that frightful creature, then it was deciding whether I was worth its time, and not wondering whether I was a threat. But if the sigbin sucks its victim's blood from the victim's shadow, then I was lucky the sky was hazy that night and so I cast no moonshadow.
Taking the cue from Ian, I googled sigbin and found the story The Witch by Edilberto Tiempo. But of course!
Sigbin or no, I dream of returning to heavenly Antulang some time in the future -- the near future.