“No pictures,” our guide says as our boat enters a narrow river. I lower my camera and she adds, “Not until the ritual.”

The tribe’s elder, Kuya Boyet, conducts the ritual just as darkness engulfs the marshlands. Two candles, bottles of beer and Royal, and a plate containing an assortment of candies lie at his feet. He chants in his native tongue, conversing with the spirits inhabiting the marsh. Then, he drops each item into the gray waters.

After the last one, he smiles, signaling the end of the ritual.

I snap a shot just before the lights come on.

This is part of a small seriesĀ called The 100-Word Travel Stories. Why 100 words?

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