By Edilberto K. Tiempo
I am a fan of horror stories and mysteries especially when it comes to local folklores here in the Philippines. I have heard a lot of stories about different creatures that lived in the provinces like the “tikbalang”, “aswang” and “kapre” when I was still a kid and I would like to know more about them. The “mangkukulam” (witch) is the one that interests me most which is why I chose to read this story. Although the story wasn’t really about witches, I still found it intriguing because of the mysterious effect the author made on Minggay Awok. The plot of Edilberto Tiempo’s The Witch is a classic plot because it follows the Freytag’s pyramid. The genre of the story is mystery since we wonder why Minggay is considered an “Awok” or a witch in their community. I believe that the conflict in the story is Man vs. Society both externally and internally. This is an external conflict in the story since their society hated Minggay because she was different and many people feared her. It was also believed that she cursed those who have wronged her and nobody had ever escaped her vengeance. Man vs Society is also an internal conflict in the story because the 12 year old boy didn’t know what to believe because what he saw in Minggay was different from what society dictates. What he saw was an old woman who was very kind to him while what society says is that Minggay was a cruel witch whom everyone should stay away from. The climax of the story is when the boy realized that the old woman, who was kind and gentle that even helped him catch shrimps, was Minggay Awok. After telling him where she lived, Minggay saw the fright in the boy’s face and this could have offended her which is why she only smiled queerly and this became the point of no return. The story ended with the boy hurling the shrimps he was able to catch with the help of the old woman because he got confused whether to believe if there really is a witch or not. I can say that the...
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