A mythical city rumored to exist somewhere on the island of Samar has both enthralled urban legend lovers and frightened locals for decades. But no one has ever able to locate where exactly it is.
If you think beautiful enchanted cities like Rivendell, Dalaket, Encantadia, and Engkantasya, exist only in movies and TV dramas, think again. At least to Samar locals, this city they call ‘Biringan’, does, in real life. Numerous accounts featuring local testimonies that such a city does exist have fascinated tourists, and the story has been in fact, a favorite subject among television documentaries.
While this ‘Biringan’ has been given massive attention in many TV specials, residents of Samar are not too keen on discussing the subject, in public. Some claims suggest talking about it out loud attracts the attention of the enchanted city’s dwellers.
Seasoned director, Chito Roño, explained on a Kapuso Mo Jessica, Soho special, that ‘Biringan is a fantasy place…’. It’s a city where all residents are extremely wealthy and beautiful. In some accounts, the city is also known to be populated by shape-shifters who take the most beautiful forms of humans to lure mortals into coming to their city.
Coming to the city, as interviewees of the KMJS special told, may mean not being able to return to the mortal world, ever again. They said that residents of the city offer variety of foods whose color may dictate whether or one can come back to the mortal world. Choosing to eat black-colored food items–is said to mean you can not leave the city, again.
Interestingly, Biringan, actually literally means “hanapan ng nawawala” or a place where the lost are found. Many accounts have suggested that the cases of people suddenly disappearing are just Biringan residents being able to lure mortals into staying in their city—that or the rumor that human abduction (with Biringan residents as culprits) is also true.
While being forcefully brought into the city’s premises has persistently discouraged many to discuss the subject, those who may want to come to the city at their own will can make their wishes come true, through some secret portals. Mel Tiangco of GMA News narrated in another documentary that there are seven hidden portals, that lead to the city. City dwellers who develop a penchant for humans are told to put those they like in a trance, and quietly take them to the city. Locals who know some people who are now reported missing may most likely allude to the city and its dwellers, as culprits.
There are also accounts from fishermen who describe a floating city, whose skyline is ruled by towering skyscrapers. Some also describe it as a city of gold, whose golden lights from afar, mesmerize sightseers and attract them into its premises. Most locals, however, believe that it takes a strong belief, for people to see the city in flesh.
Some scientists, however, offer possible explanations for those weird sightings, which fishermen claim as proof of Biringan’s existence. There is this atmospheric optical phenomenon caused by refracted lights, which makes vertical beams of light appear above the horizon, making them look adrift in the air. While this phenomenon is mostly observed in cold countries, local scientists and photo experts offer the most possible explanation for such sightings.
So what is the truth? This is what we know: there are only claims of people being able to come to Biringan and return to the mortal world. But there is no physical evidence, or other solid proof, that the city exists. There are only suggestions of the reallocation of the city on the map, but no one can prove where it exactly is, hence the absence of any compelling evidence.
That being said, Biringan seems poised to fascinate in many years to come. This may be largely attributed to the belief and apparent possibility that people will remain attached to stories because of the sense of escape it offers to those who are prepared to believe them.