Dreams and Premonitions
By Apolinario Villalobos
I have second thoughts about sharing the following experiences as their absurdities shall definitely make a bad impression on the state of my mind. I am taking the risk anyway, with a hope that others have similar experiences, so that I will finally free myself from the nagging thought that I am alone in this weird situation.
When I was about six years old, while playing at the town plaza, just across the street from our house, I saw a guy giving something to my elder sister who was standing outside our gate. Suddenly the face of another elder sister who was in Manila in the care of our aunt entered my mind. My familiarity with her was limited to the picture hung on our wall, in which she was wearing the “mestiza” dress that she modeled for a fashion school in our town. She went to Manila while I was much younger, then. When I went home for a drink, I found everybody crying – my elder sister in Manila was dead, and what was handed to my other elder sister by the guy was a telegram.
Still on that same year, when I and my younger sister were left at home, I saw a long-haired lady in our dining area who was smiling while staring at me. I was not afraid as I thought she was one of our relatives sent by our parents to check on us. As she turned to go inside a small room where dirty clothes for washing were kept, she suddenly vanished into thin air.
When I started going to school, I usually wake up to a light and cold touch every dawn, and as I turn to check who did it, I would find the same long-haired lady who then, would leave the room as I opened my eyes, just in time to see her vanish while going out the door. I would then, check my brothers who soundly slept with me in the same room. On a table in the corner of our room was a small kerosene lamp that was kept lighted the whole night.
When I was in Grade Six, I dreamed about old folks with unfamiliar faces and with them was my father who was sick during the time. A month later, he died. Months after, when I was in first year high school, I dreamed that I was talking to him, innocently asking him why he was still around, to which he answered that he missed us, adding still that he was waiting for someone. My mother during the time was also sick. One afternoon, while I was on my way home from school, I suddenly felt sick and weak. As I entered our gate, I found many neighbors in our yard, with some of them crying. When I went up our house, I saw my mother lying on the bed in our sala – dead!
When I was in third year college, I always dreamed that I was working on a typewriter. During the time, I was a student assistant in our school and my job was to clean the rooms of the elementary department, as well as, its grounds. Before the end of the first semester I was called to the Mayor’s office where a guy told me that he was interested in hiring me based on the recommendation of the people he asked at the town hall. He was Mr. Claudio Estante who just opened the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) Office in our town. On the spot, I accepted the job but with a request that I be made to report only on Saturdays and Sundays during which I would be free from my classes, but with a promise to work till late in the evening. He consented so that from then on, I worked in the office finalizing lists of evacuees, pounding their names on the keyboard of the typewriter using my forefingers and thumbs. Later, together with a few of my classmates, I learned the rudiments of “real” typing from Mrs. Emma Jamorabon who patiently taught us the skill in the Conference Room of our school, as an optional subject for our Bachelor of Arts course.
Two months before my graduation from college, a guy from Koronadal, a neighboring town, visited his friend, Tito Esoy, who was my officemate in DSW. The PAL guy was Virgilio Manocdoc, who was connected with General Santos station. Jokingly, I asked if there was a vacancy to which I received a hanging reply. From then on, I kept on dreaming about the PAL guy who seemed to be giving me instructions. Three weeks before my graduation, he sent me a telegram saying that I must report for an interview the following day which was a Saturday. I immediately sought the permission of our boss at DSW, and the following day I left for the PAL office in General Santos City, where I was interviewed by the then, Supervisor, Mr. Francisco Abiera and his assistant, Mr. Maning Vega. Four of us, with me at the last line of interviewees, bested the more than 80 applicants.
I again dreamed that I was going up the stairs of an airplane and was waving to a long-haired lady who was among the crowd outside the fence of the runway. Just days after our graduation which I did not attend, I passed the PAL senior panel interview in Davao City, conducted by Mr. James Hannen, the Mindanao Area Director, Mr. Ricardo Paloma, Regional VP, and Mr. Ed Guatelara, Supervisor of Standards and Coordinations who came all the way from Manila. The following day, I was sent together with three others to Manila for our medical check- up and training. In my small bag were two extra shirts, three underwear, two denim pants, and a toothbrush. I was in the company of Boy Asistido, Fred Derequito, and Abet Yu. We were escorted by the late, Bud Aseoche, a supervisor of Davao station.
Many years later, while I was driving along a highway in Cavite, I saw a truck speeding towards me on my lane. I panicked and turned the wheel suddenly. I saw nothing for a few seconds after that, and when I recovered my senses, I found myself still clinging to the wheel – unhurt, but my wristwatch and shoes found their way to the passenger’s seat behind me. I was told later by bystanders that the car with me inside, turned turtle in mid-air and was thrown 6 meters away from the highway, landing upright in a rice field with knee-deep muddy water, so they thought I was dead. In front of me, I found the rosary which Celso Dapo gave me as a present from Holy Land still swinging from where I hung it. That rosary had a “defect” for having an extra bead in one of its decade – for one extra Hail Mary. The beads were made of olive wood. I gave the rosary to an old woman I befriended in Divisoria, and whose job was a “barker/dispatcher” in a jeepney terminal. Any of the parked jeepneys became her “sleeping quarter” at night. I gave the rosary to the old woman, with a hope that it would protect her, too.
Four times lately, I dreamed about a big cross tumbling down a hill. Another dream is about big ocean waves that deface an island causing coconut trees to topple down. There are many more dreams that even give me chills as I wake up heavily sweating, and which I find unpleasant to share….or, perhaps, some other time, just to unburden me of such thoughts.