This urban legend can now be crossed out from the books. The tayog-tayog or ghost ships that some people in the coastal town of Lazi, Siquijor claim to appear offshore between 1 and 2 a.m. are just products of a wild imagination or ignorance.
The alleged ghost ships became the topic of the TV show “Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho” (KMJS) last week and a psychic that appeared in the episode to explain the phenomenon somehow gave some semblance of truth to an old fisherman’s tale about his encounter with the tayog-tayog and the noisy creatures aboard it. According to the psychic’s vibe of Bulwarte, the wild forest near a cemetery in Barangay Maria where the phantom ship is believed to dock, a beautiful “white lady” lives there.
The show’s depiction of the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t tayog-tayog as a sailboat in the night and the coast guard’s initial denial that ships sail in the area during ungodly hours even tried to make the myth creepy. But Filipino Ship Enthusiast Coalition (Filsec) explained that on those times commercial ships pass the area when traversing from Cebu and Tagbilaran to the ports of Dapitan, Ozamiz and Cagayan de Oro.
“We checked the appearance of the ship that they claim as tayog-tayog to the database we had in our group. With the help of our colleagues, we found out that one of those ships being spotted as tayog-tayog wasn’t a ghost ship after all. It was a passenger RORO from Cokaliong Shipping Lines, the MV Filipinas Iligan,” Filsec founder Leslie Chow said.
The KMJS confirmed Filsec’s findings after verifying it with the shipping line. The crew of the Filipinas Iligan also identified the other ship that they encounter off Lazi around 1:30 a.m. It is the Trans Asia 1, which travels from Ozamiz to Cebu and vice versa.
Chow also debunked the ships’ vanishing lights as giving mystery to the tayog-tayog with a common-sensical explanation.
“Surely the ship disappears after a few minutes since it is moving,” he said.