Siquijor in the Philippines is known as “an island of witchcraft and the unknown.” A strange psychic phenomenon witnessed by many is the dancing paper doll. Philippine Journalist Jaime Licauco wrote his experience watching a Siquijor sorcerer brought the paper dolls to dance.
A strange psychic phenomenon we witnessed, which apparently takes place only on Siquijor Island, is the ability of one practitioner to cause ordinary paper cut out dolls to dance energetically to music without touching them. The better-know practitioner of this art is Jess Butalid, but I was informed that he already lives in Pagadian in Mindanao.
We were lucky, though, to witness Siquijor Sorcerer Frank Vios, another (but relatively unknown) younger practitioner of the dancing doll phenomenon. There were several reporters and many curious people present during the demonstration. Even congressman Orlando Fua and Provincial Fiscal Wilfredo Dominguez were there.
Frank Vios took a long time preparing for the demonstration and when he finally emerged from the room, he appeared nervous.
When he first attempted to make two paper cutout dolls) one male, the other female) dance, he could not do it. The dolls simply collapsed on the floor. He next requested everybody to get out of the house. So we all moved outside. He then positioned himself across the front door and we all looked in from the outside. He requested that no TV lights or flashlights be used, but it was visible enough for our curious eyes to see.
After several more attempts to make the dolls dance, he finally succeeded. We all saw the male and female dolls energetically dancing to some fast-paced music being played. Frank Vios did not appear to be holding a string. He was naked from the waist up, so he could not have been hiding anything. All he was holding were three pieces of bamboo ribs, like the walis tingting we are familiar with. He held them with his right hand and beat them lightly on the floor like a conductor’s baton to the rhythm of the music.
The movements of the dancers were highly suggestive and sensual. They danced with so much energy that at times they would tumble over.
One interesting thing that happened during the demonstration was when the male dancer collapsed on the floor but his female partner continued dancing. Frank tried to prop up the male dancer several times but he was unable to do so. After a number of attempts, he was able to make the male doll dance but only for a few seconds. Then he collapsed again. The female dancer never got tired, it seemed, until the end. Finally, he stopped the demonstration and left the dolls and the bamboo ribs lying on the floor. I picked these up and examined the dolls. They were ordinary paper dolls with no strings attached to them.
How do I explain the phenomenon? I can think of three possibilities. First, psychokinesis or telekinesis, that is, mind over matter. Second, he calls upon an elemental or some lower spirit under his control. Third, it’s a trick.
Source: My Siquijor