The Boy in Sanke

Exactly 8 years ago today, I saw a ghost.

We were in our aunt’s house in our home town in Negros Occidental and it was night time — past 11 o’clock. We just finished watching a movie. We stepped out of the house and walked to our grandparents’ house next door. Between the two houses, there was a footpath lined with trees and bushes and other kinds of plants. My brother walked on ahead of me while I stopped next to one of the shrubberies because I wanted to take a leak, so in a few seconds I found myself alone.

When I looked up to my right, I saw a boy walking outside the wooden gate. He was dressed in white and I couldn’t make out his face. Immediately I knew it was unusual. People in the provinces, especially in far flung towns like our home town, usually sleep early in the evening because they did not have electricity. Most of them used kerosene lamps at night. It’s even more unusual for a child to be walking alone at that hour.

The boy disappeared behind our car, which was parked outside the wooden gate. I walked toward the gate and peeked in in order to see the boy again. But he did not reappear in the other side of the car. I couldn’t see him behind the car, either. Beyond the car was a vast expanse of land and he was nowhere to be seen.

Since that night I’ve been praying for him. I prayed for him every night for several years. I still pray for him occasionally.

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