Do You Believe In Psychic Abilities?
In the mid to late 1970s, I was part of the fund-raising concerts for indigent heart patients at the Philippine Heart Center for Asia. We had Andy Williams, Jack Jones and Tony Bennett. The last concert I was involved with was the Tony Bennett Show, and I was in-charge of advertising, solicitation and the distribution of tickets. We were targeting executives of multinational companies and other large companies in the Philippines. The ticket for this dinner concert was Php 5,000 per plate. In those days, minimum wage was Php 13.00 per day (Php 260 per month). You can gauge how much the price of the ticket for this concert in those days.
The Manila Hotel.
One morning, I went to Manila Hotel to see the guy running the hotel, an official business regarding the concert. As I sat at the hotel’s restaurant, waiting for my breakfast order, a guy in Barong Tagalog approached my table, smiled and said:
“May I join you?”
The place was full of people, and I was the only one sitting alone at a table, and I told the guy:
He sat across from me, and the waiter came. The guy in-front of me ordered his breakfast, and the waiter turned away. I felt the goodness of the person in-front of me.
“Since we’re sitting at the same table, maybe we should introduce ourselves to each other? My name is Brother John.”
“Now, that’s unusual,” I said. “You’re telling me that your first name is Brother, and your last name is John?”
He laughed nervously. “You already know my initials, but you refuse to concentrate to find what they mean.”
“Actually, no. I have no idea.”
“Okay, my name is John. John Edralin. I used to be a seminarian. My dream was to become a priest. Now, people I know simply call me Brother John.”
“And what happened to your dream?”
“Didn’t you know? Some are called, and others are chosen.”
“Interesting,” I said. “Did you know that my original dream was to become a priest as well? I’ve always dreamed of helping people of their spirituality. I’ve always imagined myself delivering the sermon, inspiring the congregation to have hope, believe in love, and learn charity. Man, it would have been the noblest thing I could have done for my fellow man.”
“We’ve actually known that, didn’t we?” Brother John said. “I have chosen your table because I felt you.”
“You felt me? What do you mean?”
“I guess I can’t encourage you to participate in an exercise.”
He took out his pen and several sheets of writing paper. He started to draw. Four hearts. Then a TV screen. Then he said: “You’re connected to these things, aren’t you?”
Is this guy trying to bull shit me? He must have known that I was involved in Imelda Marcos’ fund-raising campaign for the poor heart patients confined at the Philippine Heart Center for Asia. The hospital’s logo of course has the image of four hearts. And the TV screen, why, I was also involved in television.
But, before I could do anything, he spoke again: “You’re missing the Bicol Region. You adore the place. But, you were heart-broken once and you’re afraid to revisit sad memories of your adolescent.”
I felt violated, and I got up to bolt out of the restaurant.
“Your father is very sick right now. I am so sorry. It won’t be long now before he leaves us. But then again, this is no longer news to you, is it?”
I couldn’t believe what he said. I sat down.
A lone coyote in the memorial park. I tried to lure it to come towards me but it just went away.
“Please don’t play with my emotion right now. I’m so emotionally drained because of my father’s illness. If this is a joke, please stop it.”
“Why do you refuse to acknowledge what you have?” He started writing again. This time, a name: Erlinda.
“She misses you like the way you miss her. You bid her goodbye when you were thirteen. Tears were running down her cheeks when you kissed her lips. You miss her so much, don’t you?”
I felt a cold chill on the back of my head. This guy was pushing me to the brink.
“I do,” I said, totally succumbing to his words. They were all so true.
“You were not meant for each other, and you know that already. You have to think of her as one of your friends. You will meet other women and will eventually find your partner. You will be very happy, but it will be short-lived.”
“Short-lived? And why is that?”
The waiter came. He placed our order at the table. For me: Mango juice, Cassava bibingka, and a fruit platter. For him: Coffee, several toasted bread with butter, strips of fried bacon, truffled egg benedict.
“You already know the answer,” he said after the waiter went away. “Why do you still ask me? You still can live your life to the fullest despite all the outcome. When the right moment comes, you’ll be okay. It will be difficult, but there’s nothing that you can’t overcome.”
“You’re a fortune teller” I said.
He smiled like an imp.
“You know I’m not. You know exactly what I am. What I read, feel, you also do. We both know the past, the present and the future. You know you’re going to the USA, but you will live in a country that begins with a letter C,” then he laughed, almost giggling, teasing me.
“Not really,” I said.
He smiled: “Why do you still refuse to recognize your gift?” He said. “I know the things you see, you felt. They were trying to reach out for you since your childhood, yet you refuse to listen to them. You know what I’m talking about, and I won’t insist that you embrace it. Whether you accept it or reject it, there will be no significant effect in your life. If you decide to go for it, join the Rosicrucians. It will reinforce what you already have. I developed my gift fully after I joined the group. Don’t deny the things you’ve seen since your childhood. You’ve pulled the shut off valve to the spirits in the house, the evil ones trying to hurt you. You’ve shrugged your shoulders at them instead of acknowledging them. They will not leave you until you face them and pay attention to them.”
Mountainview cemetery in Vancouver, BC. Hundreds of Hollywood films were shot in this cemetery, including TV series such as Highlander, The X Files, Vampire Diaries and many more.
I didn’t say a word. I knew what he was talking about.
Finally, I told him: “If you’re indeed for real, tell me at what age I will die.”
“Is this a test?” He replied, smiling sweetly. “Here’s a piece of paper. Write down a number. Make sure you cover it so I don’t see it. I will write a number. I will hide it so you won’t see it. Then, both of us will reveal what we’ve written on the table.”
I took the paper, and I wrote a number. He also wrote something on his paper. Then, we both placed our pieces of paper on the table. Both papers said: 78.