Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Story of a Sea Creature Living Below the Church

Like I mentioned in an earlier blog, the Church of San Fernando Rey in Liloan is the subject of a few myths and urban legends. Well, perhaps not just the church itself but the general vicinity of the church. Let me say first that these are just stories, passed down from generation to generation, that some of the things I have heard might differ from those that you might have heard.

Most importantly, it has not been proven that such stories have some truth to them. I will not claim anything for that mater.

For years, there have been stories that an underground cave network or tunnels exist beneath the foundations of the San Fernando Rey Church and the immediate grounds. It is said that when you try jumping on the grounds behind the church, near the sea, you'd find that the sound is hollow suggesting the presence of a tunnel below it.

I've heard stories from people there that this supposed underwater cave terminates right below the altar of the church itself. What makes it more interesting is the legend of something big, a sea creature, living right below the altar in the underwater tunnel. Of course, Swerver and me hasn't seen it, and I doubt anyone did and lived through it. All we know are the stories.

There have been several versions of what creature is supposed to live there. Some say it's a big fish, maybe a primordial fish called a cogtong in the local dialect. Still, some of the current generation of Liloanons were told that it's a giant squid or octopus. Whatever it is, the creature is said to spit something out from time to time into the church. It is said to eat something, and then regurgitate it the same way anacondas do with their prey. In another version from another person that Swerver interviewed, though, the cogtong's catch is never found.

And, yes, the cogtong is known to swallow a person whole. Not much unlike the anacondas in the Anaconda movie series, to give a more vivid description.

Even the nearby Suba channel is linked to the story of this underwater creature. One of the people we talked to in one of our visits told us that, once a year, there is a very big whirlpool in the channel. Legend says that it is a sign that the creature below the church is pulling something -- or someone -- to eat. Scary huh?

Then again, legends are legends. It may or may not be true. However, this makes the Liloan all the more interesting. I can't help but think what other interesting stories does this wonderful town have for the imaginative and the inquisitive?



ethan[ol] said...

Once upon a time, in Cebu, there was a news [an expose?] that says officials are digging tunnels under a church because they are treasure hunting. To hide it from the rest of the citizens, they cover the dug site during church services, thus, when people walk on the church floor it seems/feels hollow underneath.

I don't know anymore what church that was.

Anonymous said...

May I use this for the purpose of my assignment? I am from Lilo-an and we were asked to look for stories about our towns and I find this one very interesting.

I'll give you proper credits on this. Thank you very much!