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 Urban legends arise from Venado drowning

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PostSubject: Urban legends arise from Venado drowning   Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:20 pm

SUPERSTITIOUS beliefs of spirits having been disturbed from their peace is now the talk among residents and mountaineers alike after a mountaineer drowned in Lake Venado on Mt. Apo last Maundy Thursday.

According to the locals in the area the influx of mountain climbers during the Holy Week must have disturbed the spirits of the mountain, the country's highest peak. An estimated 10,000 mountain climbers took part in the Holy Week climb.

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It was the first time of the 23-year-old victim to climb Apo. The victim, Ian Caasi of Bankerohan in Davao City, reached the peak shortly before dusk of Thursday.

Upon returning to base camp at Lake Venado, Caasi took a dip and then disappeared.

But the urban legend that his death has spawned now claims that Caasi was just sitting on the edge of the lake when a white bird perched on his head. Caasi tried to capture the bird and drowned in the process.

Others are claiming that Caasi quipped about drowning to his friends, telling them that should this happen then they should tell his mother how sorry he was for not asking permission to climb the mountain.

According to eyewitness accounts, he was even able to swim a lap before he was last spotted waving his arms in distress.

Caasi was said to be on his initiation climb in order for him to become a full-pledged member of Mindanao Alliance Mountaineering Club (Malmoc).

In an interview with the locals, they said the mountain was relatively uncooperative despite the number of tourists, the majestic mountain did not show its peak. Rescuers also had a hard time as heavy cumulus clouds continued to cloak the peak of the mountain.

Locals in the area believe that Caasi was taken by "Apo" as a sacrifice.

According to Capt. Erwin Nabayo of the 505 Search and Rescue of the Philippine Air Force, over 13 rescuers were already flown into the area as well as three certified divers from Davao City. Rubber boats and scuba diving equipment were also flown into the area.

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