Part II – The Story Behind The House Of God

Hello World,

First of all, Happy Easter to you all! I wonder how other religions (non-Catholic) or those non believers like the Atheist spend their Easter Sunday. If you know, please do tell me. I mean, I want to know what’s the difference.

Anyway,  before I talk more. I would like to share the second part of my post entitled “The House of God” with its subtitle “The Story Behind The House of God. I’d like to mention this again that I am not trying to promote a certain religion here, just sharing Filipino culture and tradition. If you think the story is boring, blame my father :p …. For those who haven’t read the Part I , please click this link if you are interested to read it.


Enjoy Reading!

“The House of God”

Part II – The Story Behind “The House Of God”

narrated by: Jimmy Gonzales

The following day was Black Saturday and it was our 3rd day of the lodging house. From the veranda of our lodging house, the view of the antique building can visibly be seen. The landlady of the lodging house noticed me and asked me if I wanted to see the entire and contents of the building that the folks there called as the “House of God”. Hearing her suggestion, I told her, why not if I am allowed to do so. Our landlady had assured me that there is no problem with it since the villa administrator, a certain Chita Arnaiz was a friend and schoolmate of hers. So without hesitation and delay, I decided to go to that villa. After all, I didn’t have anything to do at the lodging house. My companion not wanting to be left alone at the boarding house in boredom was also eager to see what’s inside in that villa whom they called as the “House of God”.

At the villa, our landlady introduced us to Mrs. Arnaiz who was too hospitable to accommodate us. She must be in her 70’s  but still possessed eminent beauty that must be her possession in her youth. Though she could not speak fluently the Cebuano dialect, she could understand us and preferred to speak in Tagalog. She then proceed to tour us to the different rooms and to the salas of big the villa where the many sculptured images of Jesus Christ were being kept. There were also numerous statues of most of the saints of the Catholic Church that were being kept there. I was amazed of that rare collection of antique relics. The Santo Entierro that was processioned the previous day was already there. That time, there were also caretakers that dressed up the Blessed Virgin Mary  and the image of the Resurrected Jesus Christ , purposely for another procession to take place on the following day, the Easter Sunday.

The villa Bayot in Masbate, Philippines

We learned from her that the  villa Bayot was built in 1880 by the original owners; Don Francisco Bayot and Doña Jose Zurbeto. At the closing years of the Philippine revolution against the Spanish regime, the whole town of Masbate was being torched by the “Insurrectos”  in order to drive The Spanish soldiers from their garrison. It was a miracle that the villa was among the few buildings that survived the fire hazed the whole town. Also, during the liberation of Masbate by the U.S forces, a bomb pierced through the building and into the chapel which was located inside the building. But the bomb failed to explode , as if it just rested there in front of the altar. The house was also used by the Japanese as their garrison. The house remained unscathed even after the bombing. The villa Bayot must have some sort of historical value. Its sala was used as a Court of Justice by the Spanish Judges.   She also told us that the original statue of the Santo Entierro was made in Spain like other statues of saints and were brought to the Philippines by the original owners of Villa Bayot. After the end of the Philippine revolution against Spain, the couple returned to Masbate from Manila. They found out that of all the statues of their collection, the Santo Entierro was prominently missing. After searching all over the island of Masbate, the couple almost gave up when one day a sort of miracle happened. One of their servants noticed something that was floating in the sea water. At first, it resembled like that of a dried coconut. Curious to verify by the object, he paddled towards it using a small boat. He was astonished  to find out that it was the missing Santo Entierro’s head.

Like the act of Joseph Arimathea and Nicodemus who took down the body of our Lord Jesus Christ from the cross wrapped the body with linen cloth and buried him at the Holy Sepulchere, the couple lovingly and carefully laid the Santo Entierro’s head atop on their matrimonial bed. Though the original body was never found, the couple had it restored in Betis San Fernando Pampanga. The restored Santo Entierro came the object of veneration of the entire clan and the people of Masbate. They considered as miraculous and to procession it every Good Friday became the tradition of the succeeding generations.

The "Sugat" (in Cebuano) "Salubong" (in Tagalog) and literally in English it means 'to meet" - is the highlight of the Easter Sunday in the Philippines (for Catholic believers)

Our talk with Mrs. Arnaiz lasted for almost half an hour. Deep inside me, I craved for more time but she was too busy for the preparation of the Easter Sunday. She politely excused herself from us to go back to her chores. The night that followed, I had a friendly argument with my protestant companion. He resented on the traditional beliefs of idolatry and being also a devout Catholic, I had to defend my faith.Our discussion almost lasted the whole night. Hardly had I taken a sleep when I was awakened by a sound of a brass band for the Easter Sunday and the “Sugat” was the most anticipated occasion of the celebration. As I opened the window of my room with my companion, we were able to have a glimpse of the two groups of processions; one of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other, that of the Resurrected Jesus Christ. The two groups met and converge right there in the street beneath our lodging house. My companion could only sigh. I chuckled; we had already a long discussion so we had to go back to sleep to to have a strength for a long trip back home.

The rare chance for me to visit the “House of God” in Masbate was a treasure that I will kee throughout my life.

The End………….

Thank you for reading :)))))))))))))))))))))) and again, HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!

The House of God – Part I

Hello World,

I was supposed to write my experience at Cuchi tunnel in Vietnam when I woke up today. But, I saw this yellow paper  with my father’s handwritten so I tried to read it. He just used a pencil so I could hardly read it and plus, with so many words in front of me, I got bored and ignored it. When I put it away, I noticed the title that put me in curiosity because the introduction seemed to be different from the title so I patiently read it ’til i reached the part what he meant about the House of God and that will be in the Part II of the story. I am just tying to summarize this as it is very long and even his introduction is quite long. I wonder if his hands don’t get tired of writing. I realized then that it is Black Saturday so maybe the story wanted me to post it today. By the way, for non believers , I am not trying to promote a certain religion here, I am just trying to share a story and a little part of our history and Philippine tradition. Oooops! I talk a lot :p ( like father like daughter tsk tsk tsk)

This is divided into two parts:

Part I – The Santo Entierro

Part II – The Story Behind the “House of God”

Enjoy Reading!

“The House of God”

Part I – The Santo Entierro

narrated by: Jimmy Gonzales

It was April 1991 when I was able to witness a religious procession of the “Santo Entierro” in the city of Masbate. We were stranded in that city because of the cancellation of the trip of “Princess of the Orient” of Sulpicio Lines. The ship schedule was supposed to pass the port of Masbate from Manila every Friday evening but we were not able to know of its cancellation. That ship’s schedule was my only hope to be with my family in Cebu before Easter Sunday. All the other boat trips from the different ports of Masbate province were likewise cancelled on that day because it was “Good Friday”. It was our first time to be in that island so we were not familiar with the schedule of the trips of the shipping companies. Forced with no other resources, we decided to take a lodging house until Sunday.

A photo of Santo Entierro

That day “Good Friday” was already our second day in the lodging house and we were already short of money. There was nothing to do; the lodging house had no TV and no newspaper either to read while passing away the house. I had a companion who was a Protestant denomination. He had a bible to read in order to escape boredom. After our dinner, I decided to go to the church to watch a religious procession of the Santo Entierro. My companion, though he was protestant decided to go with me. He didn’t want to be left alone in the lodging house.

The procession of the Santo Entierro in that place was so far, the biggest and most ardent crowd I had seen  compared to other places during Good Fridays. After the procession, a lot of believers flocked around the Santo Entierro and shoved with each other in an effort to touch the icon and to get anything from the body like a piece of clothing or a strand of hair. Even the flowers that were showered by the caretaker of the icon were being collected by the believers for they’re convinced that it could bring them luck in business, good health and protection the whole year round. Such was the enthusiasm of the crowd and my companion who’s a protestant and doesn’t believe and worship in icons could only shake his head. After, we just leisurely walked and passed by a bakery where we bought a hot bread. There were many customers, obviously like us hungry; so, the newly cooked bread were easily fading away like bubbles. While waiting for our turn, I turned around my eyes to the structure of the old building where the bakery was located at the ground floor . An old villa , made of bricks that could easily be regarded as antique. There was a tinge curiosity as my eyes  surveyed the whole structure of the old building.

A photo of Filipino Catholic believers following a procession of Santo Entierro

Part II –  The Story Behind the “House of God”

to be continued…………………..

The Corpse That Refused To Be Buried (Part III)

Hello World,

First of all, I’d like to thank you for visiting my page.

The Part I of the Story is here –>

Part II is here —>

The Corpse That Refused To Be Buried

Part III – He Is Done With His Wife

Written by Jimmy Gonzales


A man with tuberculosis

Then his illness again became worst and for the second time, the man died. As in his first death, also a few  had gathered around to bereave the family. The same people carried the corpse’s coffin that went through the same sinuous, rocky and narrow path. As in their first burial of the man, they failed to pass through the most difficult portion of the passage. For the second time, the coffin fell down hard and for the second time the corpse was resurrected. For the second time also, the man told them that the old bearded gatekeeper told him to go back for he was still not through with his wife. So, his wife got pregnant again and another child was added.Image

Finally his fragile health  gave in for the third time, the fellow died and just like his previous two deaths, only very few neighbors had gathered around. The coffin carriers for the third time were to pass through the same ordeal again. They were murmuring their resentment but what could they do? They cursed the corpse for doing that to them.

Off, they went trekking down the same sinuous, rocky and narrow path to bury the corpse for the third time. This time, the dead man’s wife wanted to be sure. As they negotiated the most difficult portion of the passage where her husband had resurrected twice, she took a good position on top of a rock and yelling the men on top of her voice to be extra careful.


They must not make the mistake of dropping the coffin again for the third time. They now used ropes to tie and lowered the coffin from one end of the bend to opposite end. Finally, after too much hazzles and nerve tingling attempts, they succeeded. Everybody was able to sigh a feeling of relief for a task that was finally done. Finally too, they were able to bury the corpse that refused to be buried. He was already through with his wife.


The End……………………… Thank you for reading 🙂

The Corpse That Refused To Be Burried (Part II)

Hello World,

I posted the part I of this story before I slept last night —->

Here’s the Part II

The Corpse That Refused To Be Burried

Part II – The First Attempt

written by: Jimmy Gonzales

The place where my friend lived was located in a community that was quite distant from the mainstream of civilization.  The patient died without even brought to a doctor or to a hospital. It was only an “albulario” or a quack doctor that had attempted to care him. The only way for someone to reach the town was by hiking or by riding in a horseback. From this place, the corpse must be carried on shoulders by men down to the cemetery which was located in the vicinity of the town. The coffin was made of lightwood and was painted with a black color.


An albularyo usually has a handkerchief wrapping his/her head and smoke "lomboy", a leaf of a fruit tree that looks like grapes. During the healing session, they chew guava leaves and spit on their patient's forehead.

Embalming a corpse was not also in practice that time in that place, so when a person died, he must be buried immediately the following day. Because of the dead man’s caused of death, only few neighbors  came to help mostly only men. Women and children stayed away.


A photo of people carrying a coffin

To carry the corpse and the coffin, four men were required. Two pieces of bamboos were tied on both sides of the coffin. Another person would carry the wooden cross on this shoulder and he must lead the pack. There were only six or seven men who can take turns in carrying the coffin. The path going down to the cemetery was sinuous, rocky and narrow that at times only one person can pass. So the corpse’s carriers had to be extra careful; one foot that slide or tumble could loose all their balance. Negotiating perhaps the most difficult curve of the pass, their exhausted shoulders finally gave in. The coffin was dropped and the force caused the woods and nails to loosen up thereby splitting it. The corpse body was exposed.


My friend was among those who carried the coffin. They barely had taken their breath when they noticed the corpse’s hand moving; then the head  attempted to rise. Scrubbing their eyes, they wanted to be sure but the corpse who was first shaking his head like someone who had just awakened from a bad dream was now slowly rising his whole body. At that sight, nobody was left but the corpse. Their hair grew and suddenly their feet had wings; in fright they fled in all directions.

From about a hudred meters, they heard the corpse calling for their names; one by one. Slowly, they realized that the corpse was alive again and so they gathered back around him. The first act of the resurrected corpse was to ask for a water. Then he narrated how far he had gone passing through a hot barren desert. Until he reach a place that was fenced with high walls.  Outside its gate, he had seen his parents and relatives who had long died, now about to welcome him. At the gate, there was an old and bearded  gatekeeper with many chains hanging on his waist. Now there were also those that were slowly approaching the gate and were some steps ahead of him. Each one was allowed to enter the gate one by one by the gatekeeper. As his turn came, the gatekeeper told him that his name was still not in his record books. At first he insisted; he was wanting to meet his long lost parents and relatives who were waiting for him. But he was pushed back by the old bearded gatekeeper and told him to go back to his wife. He was pushed and pushed until he fell down in a cliff. His fall made him wake up. He showed the scratches in his hands when he tried to hold the rocks on the side of the cliff as he was falling down.

Nevertheless, they were happy to have him back resurrected. They fixed the coffin and kept it just in case. His illness was still troubling him but through the old and bearded gatekeeper’s words, he realized he was not through yet with this wife. His wife got pregnant and a child was born.

Part III – to be continued……………………….

The Corpse That Refused To Be Buried (Part I)

Hello World,

I was very busy at work today and no time to write. I remembered that back in highschool, I read some short stories and essays my father had written and often used them  in my homeworks and essay writing contests. Other stories were written before I was born and no one had read them except the writer, my father. I think even my mother didn’t dare to read them as they were all written in English. To post something different other than my travel silly stories, I looked for his so-called “book of knowledge” where some of his articles about sports, religion, politics, his adventures, other short stories etc. were kept. There were so many of them so I didn’t dare to read all but I got curious of this story about  an extraordinary corpse so I read it. I will divide this into Parts with subtitle as I am too sleepy to write the whole story tonight 😀

It is up to you to the judge if this is fiction or not.

The Corpse That Refused To Be Buried

Written by: Jimmy Gonzales

Part I- Tuberculosis As A Disease

This narration was being told to me by a friend who swore to the high heavens that his narration was not fabricated. Whether he was telling the truth, half truth or lies, it was beyond any means for me to discover. In the remote province of Zamboanga del Norte, a man with a tuberculosis had died three times, so three times he had to be carried on a coffin to be buried.

In those days, tuberculosis was still very difficult to cure unlike now. The person suffering from this illness had to be isolated from the rest of the family. The belongings that person would use; like his plates, spoons drinking glasses, etc. should not be used by other members of the family and should be sanitized. In severe cases, persons suffering from it would vomit large amount of blood. It was believed that when one poised to render first aid to a tubercular person who’s in the state of vomiting blood, he must not turn around himself at his back, least that person would die. There was no clear reason for this, but it was proven in many cases. But unlike in many other kinds of acute sickness, a person suffering from tuberculosis still possessed  a strong and active sex urge 😀

Part II – The First Attempt (  to be continued……………….)

Will be posted tomorrow as the “beauty is sleepy” :p