Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ghostbusters of the Philippines: Tony Perez and the Spirit Questors

Tony Perez

My mind is still on spirits and ghosts and I thought I'd let you know about Tony Perez, a writer and professor at the Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines, who is famously known as a "Ghostbuster." Tony Perez also works or worked at the US Embassy in Manila. I met him years ago when I did a USIS book tour in the Philippines, and I recall that when we were in Zamboanga, the hotel rooms that I, Tony, and the other USIS representatives occupied, had ghosts. Tony and I felt them (but that is another story).

In 1995, Tony Perez started the Spirit Questers, and the group  had the mission of providing their services to reach out to spirits who had not been able to cross-over. I'm pasting an excerpt about them from the Inquirer:

 "The Spirit Questors was founded in 1995 by Tony Perez, a writer and professor at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Fernandez recalls that Perez saw the need to expand the group to Northern Luzon, particularly in Baguio, which was devastated by a killer quake in 1990.

Tony was a frequent visitor here. He saw the need to expand here because the earthquake was still fresh in everyone's mind back then. There were spirits who had unresolved issues after the quake struck, so maybe they needed the Spirit Questors' help,he says.

At one time, the SQB had 20 members, most of them professionals working an 8-to-5 routine. But the group is now down to five active members as the others have left the city or have become busy with other concerns.

Aside from being trained in developing their psychic abilities, Fernandez cites books and constant conversation with fellow questors as being instrumental in honing their ability to reach out to spirits.
There are a few caveats in the group, with no questor being allowed to contact the spirits without the other SQB members. It has to be a group effort. There has to be a minimum of four in a circle because each one has a task. One has to lead the prayer and open the communication with the spirit, another serves as the medium, another is designated as interpreter while another affirms what the interpreter says, explains Catajan, a reporter for a local daily.

But unlike the ghostbusters in the 1980s movie of the same title, SQB members are not flashy, gadget-toting spirit seekers.

Says Fernandez: Most questors encourage prayers. We are not bound by rituals. We talk to the spirits and wish them the best. We do not force spirits to cross over just because they are already dead. It is their decision.

He adds that those who come to them for help are mostly in search of answers or just want to appease the spirits.

But it's not always spooky, says Catajan who remembers a session with a nagging mother whose teenaged daughter had committed suicide.

The mother started nagging and questioning her daughter's spirit. She would not stop. I looked at the spirit and she was covering her ears! Catajan recounts.

While having psychic ability is definitely an advantage, anyone can develop skills in reaching out to spirits, Fernandez says.

The potential questor should understand the spirit world and he or she should give good advice, he continues. He or she should have a sense of history. We encourage members to learn the history of Baguio and learn why things are the way they are.

Fernandez says it is not the fog, the pine trees and the old buildings that give Baguio that eerie feel. He says spirits linger in so-called haunted areas of the city because of historical events that are loaded with powerful emotions.

Events like World War II and the 1990 earthquake were devastating and emotional occurrences that attract spirits back from the world of the dead. We are talking about thousands who died during these events, he says.

He cites other places, like the Diplomat Hotel and the cemeteries on Loakan Road where people claim they see spirits of nuns, priests, Japanese, American and Filipino soldiers as well as White Ladies.Yes, it is true, they linger and some of them do not know that they are dead.?

But Fernandez says these spirits should not be feared.

The dead are walking among us. They are not angry; they are just lonely."

Here's Tony Perez's bio: 
Tony Perez was born on 31 March 1951 in San Fernando, Pampanga. He is a fictionist and playwright in English and Filipino, lyricist, visual artist, and clinical therapist; psychic trainer and adviser to the Spirit Questors, a group of young psychic volunteers he brought together in 1996. He conducts workshops in magic, shamanism, psychic powers, dreamwork and dream analysis. Among his works are the Tatlong Paglalakbay trilogy [ Bombita, Biyaheng Timog, and Sa North Diversion Road ], Oktubre, Noong Tayo'y Nagmamahalan Pa, Noong Akala Mo'y Mahal Kita; the musicals Florante at Laura and Sa Pugad ng Adarna; Cacho Publishing House's Cubao series and Anvil's transpersonal psychology series which includes The Calling: A Transpersonal Adventure, Mga Panibagong Kulam, and Mga Panibagong Tawas.

Tony Perez is also an accomplished artist - visit his Art Gallery.

Read also
True Story - The Ghost Children in Amboise, France
A Ghost Story from Joan Cuyugan Bohlmann

Tags: paranormal, supernatural, ghosts, spirits, ghostbusters, stories
This is all for now,

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