Now being from the Philippines, we are, of course, Catholics and Catholics have a general belief in Heaven (where good people go, of course) Hell (which would be the exact opposite) and also not a lot of people know this but there is that concept (which I think is for all Christians) that souls don’t just go either to Heaven or Hell, sometimes when your life on earth hasn’t been that perfect and your sins aren’t that “heavy” and aren’t that “grave”, souls, apparently, go to “Purgatory” where they are (from what the root word might suggest – “purge”) your sins to allow them passage to Heaven. Prayers offered in mass or simply any prayer that are uttered for the souls in Purgatory is believed to speed up the time that souls get into heaven. But Purgatory would not be a “kinda ok, kinda terrible place” it is plain and simple “terrible” (or so that is the held notion)

Now I’m not really that religious, but my friend is. She’s the type who goes to church every Sunday with her family. Has a lot of prayer books at home. Never fails to volunteer for her church events, always can be seen doing the Sign of the Cross when passing by a cathedral, a church or a small chapel, her ideas are often has something to do with religion like for example when my puppy died she went “she’s peaceful in a better place now” (huh?) and generally, she’s simply THAT religious.

Now it never bothers me that she’s religious nor do I think she’s weird. Although sometimes I tend to think she is “over-doing” it. One day, we went to her house to prepare food for the upcoming “fiesta” of our local town. We decided to do it in her house since it is bigger than ours, plenty of room to work in.

Later, I realized that it got really late. Her mom told me to sleep over. That night, we prayed before going to sleep. Now there is something about her prayers. She would pray for many people (i.e her parents, friends, relatives, our local parish priest, her teachers, classmates) but she would do an all-nighter praying for the souls in Purgatory. I would often joke her afterward “you pray so hard for the souls in Purgatory that one day I think it’s going to close because there’s no more souls in it!” and we’ll both laugh.

Now that was when we were younger around 1992

Now back in 2000, my friend told me that one night, she just felt so tired from work and went straight to bed. Suddenly she felt a cold wind over her cheeks. She looked down and saw the windows were closed, she also looked up to see if the air conditioning was on and saw it wasn’t and went back to sleep. After a few hours, she felt somebody as if poking at her feet. She looked to see that it was 3am sharp. The “poking” really felt real so she turned her head down to see a man standing by the foot of her bed. The man then said…

“Why did you stop? It was supposed to be my turn…!”

My friend then had a fever the next day and was rushed to the hospital. When I visited her, that is when she told me this story.

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