LOVE LUCY - LOVE LUCY by Lucy Torres-Gomez () - November 10, 2002 - 12:00am
I never believed in love potions before and I honestly thought they had no real effect nor could they inflict any real harm. The only form of gayuma I was somewhat familiar with was the run-of-the-mill, high school variety my classmates used to tell each other during recess.

It varied from writing your crush’s name alongside yours on a piece of paper, tearing it up and laying it under your pillow for three nights (three as in I love you and you’ll love me–how cheesy can that get), stealing a strand of his hair and entwining it with a strand of your own (as in together forever and ever), to stuffing a perfumed hanky (one that you have carried in your pocket for a full week) in his bag, believing that he will be swept away by your scent and seek you (not knowing your cologne or your "scent" was what practically half the school was wearing). All these "rituals" would supposedly enamor your crush or whoever you had goo-goo eyes for and guarantee reciprocity.

It was a naïve, fun thing–a phase young girls (and sometimes guys) go through. As far as I was concerned, it was just as fictional as Peter Pan, mermaids and unicorns.

Well, my view on this changed just recently when I found out about a true-to-life case of gayuma as told to me by an industry insider. This good-looking actor (whom we shall call Magno to protect his privacy), who had the natural talent for juggling a number of love affairs simultaneously, started to see a sexy starlet. As was oft the case, the starlet fell madly in love with him. Unfortunately for her, this was a feeling he did not reciprocate. Although he was not indifferent to whatever it was that they had, it was just more physical than it could ever be emotional. They were both "game", or so it started that way, but what this actor did not realize was that she was willing to do whatever it took to have all of him, body and mind. And try darkly, she did.

Nothing seemed amiss until Chita (not her real name), Magno’s manager, noticed there was something not quite right with how Magno looked physically. He seemed to grow gaunter by the day, but he wasn’t sick. Neither was he on a diet. Dismissing it as some natural effect of puyatan, Chita didn’t fret much about the weight loss. Not until Elena called.

As luck would have it, Elena, the very low-key daughter of a movie producer who frequents the place of a maghuhula, discovered something while awaiting her turn. It bothered her so much that soon as she reached home she called Chita. According to her, she saw the picture of Magno beside a candle and a horrific-looking doll in the altar of the manghuhula, who apparently also moonlighted as a mangkukulam. Without letting on who she was and that she personally knew Magno, she asked, as innocently as she could, who the guy in the picture was and why it was there. The unsuspecting manghuhula gave some vague answer that had something to do with gayuma.

Chita, who is a very practical and rational person, put two and two together and although not much of a believer in things of the underworld, she decided to check out the possibility just the same. Besides, what was there to lose?

The situation took a turn for the peculiar when as soon as Magno heard what Chita had to say, he did not ward it off as most men probably would. As a matter of fact, he said it was highly probable. Why? Because he himself was flabbergasted at how he was acting towards her! First off, yes, there was physical attraction. No doubt about that. But crazy about her, he was not. So he couldn’t really grasp why he was, all of a sudden, like a lovelorn puppy who couldn’t seem to get enough of her. Sometimes in the middle of the night, even as he knew he was headed home to the Quezon City area where he lived, he would suddenly find himself driving to her house that was way out of his route. Nothing really strange there, if you wanted something bad enough, but deep in his heart (and libido) he knew such wasn’t the case. She was like some fever in the blood that he just couldn’t shake off. And he couldn’t find rhyme or reason in that. It simply escaped logic.

Soon enough, his talent manager spoke to Magno’s old mom about the fact that her son may be under some sort of spell that just wasn’t doing him any good, physically and mentally. And at her prodding, they went to a place in Angeles City that did counter-kulam. With Magno were his talent manager and another actor-friend, Franco. The manang there said that if, in fact, it were true that one of them was under a spell they would see proof of it right before their very eyes. She lit a candle and gave all three of them identical spoons with instructions to individually put them over the burning candle. Without any prior knowledge as to which one of them was the gayuma victim, she immediately singled out Magno. Evidently, while the spoons of both Chita and Franco emitted the normal white smoke, Magno’s was starkly black. He eventually confronted the starlet about what she did but as expected, she denied it. He felt no need to prod her into admittance because soon enough, things went back to normal for him.

Here’s another case in point. A good friend of mine once came to Manila to work here. Eventually she met and romanced the scion of a politician who took her for a ride and grandly toyed with her emotionally. Bemused and terribly hurt, she went back to her province and on a whim, tried some witchcraft to get back at him. More than anything, she thought it would be a fun experience as well as some sort of an outlet for the pain she felt inside. It mattered not to her whether the thing actually worked or not, it was enough that she did something to get back at him, even if it were only in theory.

But it turned out to be too spooky. She said it felt like something straight out of a movie. She and a friend of hers concurrently burned three same-size candles – two of which were white, the other red. Under a controlled environment they were shaken to find that after only an hour of ritual under the guidance of a little book, they were breaking out in cold sweat, the air was chilly (and it was the height of summer) and the two white candles looked virtually untouched while the red one had burned down completely! Scared, they wanted to undo everything then and there but didn’t know how. And if that weren’t enough, the spell actually worked! That jerk of a guy all of a sudden was smitten with my friend but only for a particular period each month. He started to profess intense feelings for her and burned the telephone lines with her. Even if he had work or engagements in Manila, he would fly out to where she was even as she refused to have anything to do with him. It was enough that he was in the same soil she was in and breathed the same air she did, so he would repeatedly say when she tried to discourage him. Not only was he turning into putty, he had become a poet almost overnight!

That really spooked my friend out of her wits. At that point, it ceased to be amusing for her, knowing especially that she had tapped into the dark forces and that doing so would have repercussions on her as well. She finally gathered enough guts to confess to a priest who advised her never to dabble in such rituals, even if it were only in jest.

There are consequences for all forms of witchcraft, most especially if it has vengeance at its core. According to a pastor-friend of mine, gayuma, no matter how innocently it is marketed and packaged, IS a form of witchcraft. Its Greek word is pharmalokia which means to use potions, drugs and the like. It taps the spiritual powers for use in the physical world. In the bible, it is called spiritual adultery. Yes, it may be effective sometimes but the force behind it is Satan himself and his angels and if that’s not enough to scare you, I don’t know what will. Unlike the God we know, this bad being never gives anything for free. And what he wants to take in return is always, always far greater than what you were willing to bargain for in the first place.

It just won’t be worth it.

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