Dili Ingon Nato: A Love Story from Another Dimension

Filipinos believe that there is another race of beings that live among us but not with us, that look like us but are not like us, that co-exist with us but whose world should never collide with ours.  They are called in Bisaya as “Dili Ingon Nato” or literally translated, “Not Like Us.” They also go by the name Engkantos, or Enchanted Beings.

Old folks believe that these fairy-like creatures dwell among us but in a different dimension.  They live, they love and go about their way, usually at night but also during the day, bothering nobody unless they themselves get bothered first.  They look like us except for one distinct feature: they do not have that indentation between our nose and mouth called canal-canal in our dialect.  Also, they are averse to salt, that’s why their food is so bland.  It is also said that although they co-exist peacefully among us, they get offended easily.  So it is not uncommon for Filipinos especially the more superstitious ones, to put their hands sideways in front of them, making an imaginary path and murmur “Tabi, tabi” or “Excuse me” or “Let me pass,” when they are making their way through dark, secluded areas where these beings may be resting.  God forbid you bump into them, step on their toes or cause any other unfortunate mishaps.

Occasionally there have been reports of these entities, usually the guys, falling in love with mortals.  When they do, they make themselves visible to their objects of affection.  They usually try to entice the maidens into their world and even bring them there for visits.  (Word of caution.  Do not eat any of the food they offer you.  If you do, you will become part of their world forever.  If you find yourself in their world and are looking for a quick way out, ask for some salt.  This will offend them enough that they will kick you out of their world.)  If for some reason, the said maiden falls in love and want to stay with her lover forever, she can never return to the physical world.  She will appear dead to the world, and then her family will have no choice but to bury her.  Several days later, if her coffin is opened, no one will find a body there.  In its stead is the trunk of a big banana tree.  At that point, the maiden will have left this world to join her lover, never to see her family again.

Now all this may sound like total nonsense to most people.  Being a city girl, I was as big a skeptic as anybody.  Even when I heard it straight from the mouth of the witnesses, if was still too much to digest.  Years have passed and my mind still goes back to that time to try to make sense of it all.  Let me share with you the story then so you can decide for yourself.

My mom’s hometown of Pilar is a sleepy remote island at the farthest tip of the cluster of islands known as Camotes.  It is blessed with balmy breezy weather all year round and the nights are just as magical.  Back then, electricity was limited so around dusk, the flourescent lights were out and the gas lanterns were up.  On moonlit nights, people would go for a stroll around town or just down to the pier.  This setting was idyllic for the romantically inclined.  Also very ideal for those with an active imagination for creatures that go bump in the night.  Looking at the brooding shadows cast by the trees and the many dark nooks and crannies where goblins and spirits can hide, it was not hard to believe that the twilight zone was just around the corner, waiting to happen.

Nothing could be a more perfect setting for a ghost story than the ancestral house of my mom’s aunt, my Lola Diding.  This white three-storey house has been the subject of so many ghost stories by the locals.  Whispers of unexplained sightings and strange noises have plagued the house since time immemorial.  Many a housekeeper has left hastily after restless nights hearing the swish-swish of gowns and the pitter-patter of ballroom dancing, as well as the animated conversation  of  invisible revelers.  Guests have wondered why my Lola Diding keeps the radio on full-blast at night.  Perhaps to drown the hustle and bustle of china being set for a grand dinner in the middle of the night, as many have reported?  Even Lola Diding’s kids, who are professionals and are not people to tell wild stories, have reported that one time, they were all sitting in the sala when they heard their names being called by someone.  They looked around at each other because their sister who was supposedly calling them from the upper floor was right there with them.  Somebody was pretending to be their sister and calling out to them in her voice.  Creepy.

Now this reputed haunted house had an infamous doll that also had its share of stories.  This doll was just a regular looking doll with painted-on features.  It was placed at the foot of the staircase leading to the second floor.  People swear that this doll has winked at them.  Some claim that while they were climbing up the stairs, somebody would whistle at them.  When they turned around, there was nobody there but the doll staring blankly at them.  There was also a story that Lola Diding’s kids begged her to finally get rid of the doll, because they were not comfortable at the thought of her being all alone in that big house with the doll.  Not too long after, Lola Diding had an accident and fell down the stairs.  The doll, which was usually on a stand by the second floor staircase, was found at her side.  Coincidence?  I leave that to you to decide.  Now all these stories, I have personally never verified so I am repeating them to you to believe or ignore as you wish.  Because eerie though these stories may be, that is not what I am writing about.

Her name was Bebe.  She was a distant cousin who lived in Manila and was there in Pilar for the summer.  Apparently, nobody had warned her about the house or maybe she was just one brave soul ready for adventure.  Fair enough.  They said she was pretty and quiet and liked to keep to herself, qualities, I might point out, that Dili Ingon Natos like in mortal women.

Things started out normal enough.  Bebe liked to water the plants and was out in the garden a lot.  She would go out with my cousins late afternoon and return at night.  Slowly though, her behavior started to change.  While she was watering the plants, she could be seen seemingly talking to somebody, smiling, tossing her head back and laughing at a private joke.  When asked who she was talking to, she was evasive with her answers.  She also started going home earlier and earlier, and when asked why would mumble about somebody being jealous.  One day, my cousins decided it was time for an intervention.  They enlisted the help of the parish priest and led Bebe to church.

When they were inside the church, Bebe seemed restless.  One by one, the church people closed the heavy wooden doors of the church.  My cousins surrounded Bebe and told her that they were concerned about her, told her about the reputation of the house and asked her what was going on.  Bebe was hesitant to talk at first, because she said that she had promised Dixie that she wasn’t going to tell anyone about him.  My cousins were alarmed.  Dixie.  He had even revealed his name to her.  Apparently, Bebe was in deeper than they thought.  They finally persuaded her to tell them the story.

Bebe confessed that one day, she was watering the plants and found this very fair-skinned gentleman lurking among the trees.  He came out and introduced himself as Dixie.  Every day they would talk while she was tending the garden.  Since the gentleman appeared very friendly and was good-looking to boot, it wasn’t long before Bebe fell for him.  At night, he would take her upstairs where she met a lot of people singing, dancing and having a good time.  He warned her though to never tell a soul about him.  Bebe never thought to question why.  Increasingly though, Dixie had become more and more jealous, demanding that she spend more and more time with him.  When she would be late for their rendezvous, he would get into a rage.

In the middle of her story, the church bells rang, signaling time for the Angelus, prayers to be said at six pm.  All of a sudden, Bebe became really agitated and demanded to be let out of the church, that Dixie was waiting , and that he was going to be really upset if she was late.  My cousins tried to reason with her, but she was like one possessed, clawing at the thick wooden church doors, screaming to be let out.  Six of my male cousins grabbed her to try to restrain her, and she threw them off her like she was a burly quarterback throwing off a petite cheerleader.  She easily lifted the heavy church door beams which normally require two people to lift, and raced towards my Lola Diding’s house with my cousins and the priest in hot pursuit.  She got there way ahead of everyone.

When my cousins and the priest arrived, the house was very quiet. Eerily quiet.  My cousins searched the grounds.  No sign of her.  First floor.  Nope, she was not there.  Second floor.  Not there either.  They went to the third floor and called out her name.  No response.  They searched further and found her lying in bed, still as death.  They tried to nudge her awake but she remained motionless.  The priest started an exorcision rite and placed the communion host on her forehead.  As soon as he did, steam started coming out of her forehead, like her flesh was burning from the impact of the host.  She also started to roll her eyes and thrash around and cuss at the priest.  My cousins had to hold her down so the priest could finish doing what he was doing.  When the priest blessed her with holy water, there was so much hissing they did not know if it was from her flesh burning or from her actually making the noises.  It was a scene straight from The Exorcist. Finally, the priest intoned “I bless you in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.”  When he and everyone else said “Amen”, there was dead silence in the room.  The trashing stopped.  The hissing also stopped.  All that was left was Bebe slowly stirring and opening her eyes, like waking up from a dream.

When she saw everyone in the room, Bebe was startled and asked them what they were doing there.  They gently asked her “Do you recall what happened in the last few minutes?”  She said no.  They asked her the last thing she remembered and she stated, “I was rushing home because I was late.  I did not want Dixie to be mad at me again.  When I got here, Dixie said that he had been waiting for me, that he had a surprise for me.  He said that he was going to take me somewhere where we would always be together and no one could separate us anymore.  He was getting ready to take me there when he suddenly got angry and started cussing, and I just   blacked out.  When I came to, I found myself surrounded by all of you.”

Everybody fell silent.  Then one of my cousins started to explain to her about Dixie being a Dili Ingon Nato, that he was getting ready to take her to his world where her family and friends would never see her again.  Bebe would not believe him.  She said “He is real.  Look.  This is the doorway that leads to the fourth floor where he takes me dancing every night.”  My cousins told Bebe to open the door.  She did.  It was a broom closet.  There was no doorway leading to a staircase.  In fact, there was no fourth floor.  The house had  only three storeys.  With this, it slowly started to sink in for Bebe.  His secrecy.  The fact that she had never seen his friends out in town at any time other than those nights.  His promise to take her somewhere away from here.  Bebe started to realize that without my cousins’  timely intervention, she might just have ended up in a place where nobody would indeed find her.  It was a staggering thought.  My cousins took her away somewhere safe that night.  The next day, she went back to Manila, cutting her vacation short.  Who could blame her?

I arrived in Pilar a few days after Bebe left, so the incident was still very fresh in everybody’s mind.  That was all the townsfolk could talk about.  Haunted as the house was, there had never been an incident like this and so far, nothing since then.  I interviewed my cousins and friends who all swore by the same story and even took me through all the steps.  That story has haunted my imagination since.  It seemed incongruous in this modern day and age, yet people swore that it happened.  A real true-to-life ghost slash love story or a mere fabrication of my cousins and the priest?  You heard the story as it was told me.  Now you be the judge.  Believe it…or not.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ildebrando Millares
    Apr 30, 2010 @ 11:47:33

    Nice story,,Mura ug katong nostalgia Filipino movies..Ingon ang mga tiguwang na farmers before, ayaw gyud ug pag-duwa sa ilaom na dagkong kahoy, kay ang mga “Dili Ingon Nato” mangawas sa hapon..


  2. Achie Ychuk
    Apr 30, 2010 @ 15:42:40

    Drumming of “taro” and making lots of sounds will annoy the Dili Ingon Nato. Sometimes, “iuli” na nila ang ilang nadani nga tawo.

    Czy Girl, this is another “Obra Maestra”!


    • emmblu
      May 07, 2010 @ 23:02:13

      Tata, thank you for the info. A lot of guys have shared with me nga kung mangihi sila sa kasagbutan, mag- “tabi-tabi” gyud sila. Ayo! Maputlan unya ang ilaha!
      Czgrl, thanks sad for the tip. Now we know what to do if we want someone returned…
      Mura man nig more of “Obra Impakta.”


  3. alex
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 00:39:32

    this is similar to several stories in my hometown. thanks also for visiting my site. stories such as these are very “normal” in Samar.


  4. dexter
    May 30, 2011 @ 19:48:28

    Hello. Kinsa nang nakablack sa picture sa may bintana? Mao na nga house ang naa sa picture?


  5. emmblu
    May 30, 2011 @ 22:38:08

    Yes, this is my Lola Diding’s house. Eerie thing about that picture, my brother took it and did not even notice that figure in black by the window. He actually took three pictures in one sitting. One was normal. The other had that black figure standing by the window on the second floor. The third had another figure in white by the window on the third floor.
    That house is usually deserted and he did not see anyone go in or out of the house at all. Even he was surprised at the outcome of the pictures.


  6. dexter
    Jun 04, 2011 @ 06:42:40

    Thanks for the respond. Naa man ko kauban sa work nga gifted with paranormal thingy. I’ll share this picture with her. How old is the house? Naa pa ba’y tawo nga nagmaintain sa house? Is your Lola still alive?


    • emmblu
      Jun 07, 2011 @ 22:15:40

      Thanks for the interest. Actually, my Lola Diding passed away a long time ago. Her kids did not have the heart to sell the house, and I doubt if any locals would buy it anyway. They do have someone who comes in regularly to clean the house. I don’t know how old the house is, but I saw it on a tourism pamphlet once. They dubbed it as the oldest house in the Camotes area. Your friend will find this house interesting. Daghan kaayo ug stories surrounding this house, told by housekeepers, neighbors, guests , and even by Lola’s kids.


  7. dexter
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 06:31:35

    I hope you can post their stories. Very interesting.


  8. Ben
    Sep 23, 2018 @ 05:00:34

    Nice story. I’m from Bohol and my parents ancestral house like your Lola’s has many, many unexplainable things that are happening regarding the people from another dimensions. My parents ancestral house was built by my grandparents and as the youngest of the family I inherited the property. I remodeled the house to a more modern set up but still until now weird things still happening almost every week from the ‘ Dili Ingon Nato’. I remembered when I was on my young age, my Dad used to tell me about them and that they’ve been here for a long long time now. Just yesterday after a short trip from tagbilaran, I parked my white ford ecosport on my driveway, I went straight inside all the way to the kitchen area. About 15 minutes later my Aunt and her daughter showed up and asking me the whereabouts of my car cuz it was ccnot on the driveway when they came in. We went together to check it out and my car was there in one piece! My Aunt and her daughter were totally shocked and at the same time already knew that somebody was playing on thier minds like hypnotism referring to the ‘ Dili Ingon Natos’. I do believe that they aren’t bad people at all, they do their own chores every day just like us mortals until we ended up hurting them and they retaliate. As old folks saying ‘ tabi-tabi ‘ to protect you from getting harm and I’m a 100% believer on that. I knew a couple of old people that was befriended by this people and they can see and talk to them like regular people and hopefully I can do the same cuz I want to know this people more and make friends with them if I can, am I crazy? I hope I’m
    not, Lol!! Thank you Emmblu.


    • emmblu
      Sep 26, 2018 @ 09:28:29

      Dear Ben, thank you for reading my blog and for sharing your very interesting story. There are so many mysteries in life that are hard to explain. It’s cool to swap “horror stories “ in the daytime, but at night, all alone in the dark, things can feel really scary. Nindot ta no if there was a forum where people, especially the older ones, can swap stories ?


      • Ben
        Sep 30, 2018 @ 02:43:38

        Hey, Amen to that!! A forum sounds good huh? Like those alcoholic anonymous sharing their experiences Lol!! For real a forum sounds good cuz on my side I have a lots lots lots of stories to share. More power to you emmblu…

      • emmblu
        Oct 01, 2018 @ 14:26:47

        Ben, why don’t you get the forum going or else write about your experiences? That would make for an interesting read. My uncle compiled a list of mythical creatures found in our folklore for his thesis.

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