Itlog (The Guest)

Jan 2, 2016

At five years old, Pablo considers himself lucky for having a happy home with two loving parents, Benjamin and Rita. Martin Jr. and his siblings are well taken care of and the fact that he never see his parents fight does not create a space for sadness in his heart. Everything is fine until they take in Simon—a stranger who has nowhere to go when he shows up at the place of worship where Benjamin and Rita work as pastors. Three years later, Pablo starts to notice strange things in their household. Simon disappears at night, while Rita starts to treat her husband critically. Pablo also notices the changes in Rita’s physical appearance. One night, Benjamin is found dead. Pablo’s relatives perform a Manobo ritual to find out who the culprit is, and its result points to Simon. Pablo and his relatives discover cult items from Simon’s belongings. Pablo’s relatives say that these items were used to put Rita under a love spell. The police bring Simon in for questioning, and he confesses to the murder of Benjamin. Pablo feels relief from Simon’s arrest. But, when Rita leaves their house to rent a place near Simon’s prison, Pablo feels anger towards his mother. Pablo becomes responsible for his younger siblings. He works at the farm at dawn, and does petty jobs to sustain their financial needs while their mother is away. One year later, Simon is granted pardon. Simon and Rita move in together, taking in the latter’s children. Pablo refuses at first, but later gives in because he misses his mother. As time passes by, Pablo constantly notices the strangeness in Ronnie’s actions. He follows Ronnie near the stream and sees him wearing a black hood, kneeling and praying in front of a lit black candle and bottles of unidentified liquid. Aside from fear of living under the same roof with Simon, Martin also feels sad because Rita is not the same person anymore. A couple of months later, Simon is found dead inside their home. Pablo does not feel bad over what happened. However, seeing his mother go through depression because of Simon’s death saddens him. Pablo decides to take good care of her mother until she recovers. A year later, Rita is back to her old self. Even though Benjamin is gone, their family is back to normal as well.



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