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Stasia Velarde, Phillipines
March 2002

I have a great aunt who frequently visited us before her retirement from teaching. In one of her teaching assignments she told us that the place where the school is located has a resident who owns several sigbin, a filipino term for an animal who sucks the blood of puppies or other small animals (usually the person who owns a sigbin is believed to be possessing evil powers). She said she and her co-teacher once saw these sigbins. It was during the early hours of the morning, the sigbins were believed to be going back home to their master from their nightly hunting for small animals' blood.

I don't really know if it was true or not, didn't fully believe in it although I know my great aunt does not lie. Years later I became a teacher myself and was assigned to teach at the very same place my great aunt used to teach in. I discovered that it's a tiny, quiet village nested in the hills that are covered with palms. I wasn't surprised to hear stories of sigbins. However I was somewhat scared to think that they could indeed be roaming around the big, old house where I was staying with some students - as some stories suggested.

One afternoon I noticed a first year student in the front yard of the house uprooting a crawling plant which was just starting to bear flowers. I asked her why and her answer was, "This is a squash. Sigbins like to eat squash flowers, I don't want them near the house."

Hmnn, an interesting superstition, I thought. Later while chatting with a co-teacher, our talk shifted to paranormal things. The sigbins were soon included. She said that her cousin, tired and annoyed at the fact that their puppies were disappearing, at one time tied live wires around the legs of their bamboo house to ward off the sigbins.

I'm not really sure whether sigbins exist or not, but if you go to the Philippines I'm sure many of my countrymen especially in that village could tell you something about them.

Stasia Velarde, Phillipines
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