Do you believe in ghosts? When I was younger I used to believe in ghosts. Upon reaching college, my belief in ghosts was slowly weakened by my reading of philosophy books, political science, and the application of logic to every situation or experience. I believe that everything I feel or experience must have some kind of scientific explanations. I was like that for so many years since college although I have considered divine intervention to also play a role and as an exception. But lately, I had this unusual experience for the first time in my life that somehow convinced me to revive my lost belief in ghosts.
My partner's uncle died a couple of days back but we only were able to pay his wake a visit on Sunday since Monday to Saturday are working days. We traveled by bus towards the southern part of Cebu province, central Philippines. Upon reaching my partner's uncle's house, I didn't immediately went on to take a glimpse of his face inside the coffin but followed and taking a look at my one year old son becoming very busy walking and playing around during that time. We stayed there for several hours, my wife talking to her cousins in tears, but the time for us to leave was wearing thin as we're planning to get back to the city right on that very same day before the sun sets because the next day would be local election day which we're both going to cast our votes as registered voters of the city of Cebu.
The moment we're about to leave the house I took some amount of money and looked for the donation tray. It took me a few minutes to figure out where the tray was being placed. It was placed just beneath the coffin on the floor crowded with colorful flowers. I reached out to put the money in the tray, my body bent to some degree so as to form an arc with my back, but my forehead accidentally bumped hard at the coffin at that.
While we're about 5 minutes since leaving the house of my partner’s uncle on the way to the bus stop bound for the city, I smelled something. It was like a very strong perfume. I remembered it was the same kind of odor I smelled during my paternal grandmother's wake when I was only 10 years old. Yes, it was exactly the smell of a particular make up used by embalmers for a deceased person.
At first, I ignored about the scent I had smelled thinking maybe somebody else along the way has been using that kind of perfume and I just mistakenly recalled it to be something that's commonly used for deceased people. It was not until when we're inside the bus that my suspicion grew. The smell's still there, never gone.
My partner also smelled that same kind of strong scent even while we're inside the bus already. The odor followed us through the usually two hour travel by bus which was extended to three after a one hour traffic jam at Naga, Cebu following a vehicular accident happening ahead of us involving a bus, isuzu elf, and a multicab.
The last time I smelled the odor was inside the taxi we're riding from the bus terminal towards the place we lived. The moment we entered the gate of the house, we could no longer smell it. I was thinking about anything I could put some logic on with that kind of thing I experienced, but it would only lead me to one thought: A ghost was accompanying us through our entire trip home to keep us safe.