The Robinsons' Half-Human Half-Snake

The belief of a snake twin is very old, way back 17th century, when Fray Ignacio Francisco Alzina's 1668 History of the Bisayan Islands mentioned about it. Remember Amaya - the main character in GMA Channel 7's TV series entitled Amaya herself? The idea of snake twin of Amaya came from him.

While for Chinese, snakes are good-luck charms for businesses, that's the reason why some of them keep snakes in their house, more especially in bodega. Well, animals should be fed. (You'll know what I mean.)

An undying famous Philippine urban legend rose from no where. It was about a half-human half-snake son of a wealthy Filipino-Chinese tycoon. The rumor started sometime in the mid or late 1980s and sometime in 1990s (but these dates are not absolute). It made a stir in the public and it's still existing in the present Filipinos' minds. Because of the legend, Filipinos avoided going to the said mall and even in other different malls. Whenever, they need to go there, people avoided going to the fitting rooms.

The Legend

[Metro Manila Legend:]

A famous Filipino-Chinese tycoon had twin children - the one was a normal baby girl, and the other was a strange humanoid creature. It was said that this baby is a half-human and half-snake. No one knows what it trully looks like, if the upper or lower limb is either a snake or human. They hid it from other human's eyes to protect the family's reputation and to protect the child himself. They even pay those people who saw him to put it in secret. The child fed in animals' fresh meat, not in humans' at first. But one time, he tasted a human blood and he seemed to like it.

He grew inside their house without any problem; however, he grew in an enormous size that the house's space is not enough to support him. In addition, his appetite to human flesh became very dangerous. Thus, a plan was made to still hide him from human's hazardous attitude.

The plan was to create a shopping mall in the city with a very large chamber under it that can support the creature. The architects who constructed the secret dungeon was hired from abroad.

He was placed there after the completion of the building. And for feeding him, few of the girl's dressing rooms was customized. Some spy cameras were installed in those fitting rooms, and the floors are remote-controlled that can be opened by someone handling the remote. Or should I say, girl's dressing rooms are traps.

According to rumors, the creature was enamoured with beautiful women, thus only pretty girls were victimized. Some sale's ladies were rumored to vanish suddenly. Their parents went to the mall to find out and ask them where their daughters go, and why they didn't go home anymore. Their managers just replied they don't know. When they checked the time cards of the lost employees, they found out that they didn't go out of there work yet. No one knows what happened next.

One day, a beautiful actress happened to go in the said mall for shopping. Unfortunately, she entered the wrong dressing room, and the creature saw her and fell in-love with her. He opened the floor so he can have her. Luckily, she didn't slid straightly to the creature's hands, though she saw him, she was able to escape from the nightmare. The media learned her bad fate in the said mall and she was flocked by newscasters. One TV show made an interview with her asking about the incident, but before she was able to answer the question, the TV show was cut on air. When it came back, the actress was no where in the show anymore. Because she survived such bad fate, the father of the creature ordered their lawyer to settle the case. They paid the actress a lot of money and told her to go out of country till the news was forgotten by the public. Starting that day, her mouth was shut for answering queries about the same subject.

Another actress was victimized. She was unlucky because she slid directly to the creature. The actress was one of the famous celebrity that time. Because of it, the father ordered someone to change her face to the face of the celebrity, so no one will wonder and question her sudden disappearance.

The creature lived a long life and he died with public not knowing him.
The above story was a reconstruction of the rumored story of the Robinson's Half-human Half-snake. But before I give the rumored names of the above characters, here's the short story of another version.

[Metro Davao Legend:]

According to legend, there was this pregnant woman who was cursed for unknown reason. They went to Davao City for safe living. She gave birth to twin children - the other one was a normal baby, while the other one was a half-human half-snake. In spite of the child's strange and horrible appearance, they still accepted the baby. Both grew in a secret life; however, when the monster grew up, it became gluttonous. It always find something to eat. But because the family owns a department store in Davao, they imprisoned it under the fitting rooms so that whoever enters on it will be victimized.

The two versions were actually identical, except that in the Metro Manila version the legend was added up with some spice. I can't find a reliable source telling who among the two is the first to spread, but other source claimed it was the Metro Davao version.

The Rumored Names

According to legend, the famous Filipino-Chinese tycoon and family was Mr. John Gokongwei, owner of Robinsons and Universal Robina Corporation. He was the rumored father of this creature. Its twin sister was Robina Gokongwei, the daughter of John Gokongwei.

The actress number one who escaped from the terrible fate was Miss Alice Dixon. During that time, she's in the peak of her popularity. Accordingly, she was paid to go out of country, and she lived in Canada. There is no assurance if the story about Alice is real or not, but the fact that she's silent about the issue, makes it speculative. Alice Dixon never confirmed this story in every interviewed about it.

The lawyer allegedly hired to settle the affair was Atty. Solicitor Frank Chavez.

The actress number two was Miss Rita Avila. The Rita Avila we see on TV was allegedly fake and the true her was is dead.

The mall was named Robinsons Galleria in Ortegas. Other rumor has it that Robinsons Place Manila was the correct mall. Another one has it, that the mall was the one at the corner of Boni and EDSA. It was not named, and I would prefer not to name it.

Accordingly, the foreigners who were hired to create a plan for a secret chamber came from Germany and Great Britain.[1]


Like other famous urban legends out there, it also has variation of stories.
  • The reason why the R of the Robinson's logo is in the shape of a snake.

  • Instead of a spy camera installed in the fitting rooms, the mirrors were allegedly one-way windows, from which the snake-man could view its prey before activating the trap door.

  • An earlier story has it that the Gokongwei son, Mr. Lance Gokungwei was the twin of the snake, not Robina herself.

  • Mr. Lance Gokungwei, rumored to have scales in his arms.

  • The half-human half-snake was not actually John Gokunwei's son, but only his pet.

  • Other version said that it was actually not a monster, but just a giant snake - a python or boa perhaps.

  • Others

    I am not sure with this, but people said, the tabloid news papers really started to spread this story. I also found this which could help us identify the time when this rumor started to spread:

    [Taken from Internet:[2]]

    She hatched in the dank
    Basements of our gullibility,
    Warmed in the gasp of our telling.
    Curling in the tongues
    Of housewives and clerks.
    We gave her a body half-serpent,
    Half-voluptuary, and a taste
    For maidens and movie stars
    Who began to vanish mysteriously
    Behind the curtains of boutique
    Fitting rooms and water closets,
    Never to be seen again,
    Or only to be found in the parking
    Cellars, wandering dazed
    Into the headlights of shoppers' cars.
    How she fed on our thirst
    For wonders, fattened on our fear
    Of vacant places. Slowly
    We embelished the patterns
    On her scales and admired
    The sinuous grace of her spine.
    Avidly we filled our multifarious
    Hungers at belly, and lapped
    The marvelous tales of her forked
    Tongue. And as the gleaming temples
    Of her worship rose in the midst
    Of our squalor, how we trembled
    At the seduction of her voice,
    O what adoring victims we became.

    -----------Marne L. Kilates, January 23, 1993

    The poem is impressive.


    I would prefer not say anything about this. I cannot even approve if its existence is true or not. It's up to you if you wanted to believe it or just ignore it. If at first, I told you it wasn't true, now I'm in between but I don't really believe on it.

    By the way, the Robinsons Galleria was built in 1990. It was said that the urban legend circulated some time in 1980. But to my research, the rumor really started in the early 1990s in Metro Manila - not 1980s. As you notice, 1990 is in the middle of the years 1980s and 1990s. If it's true that the rumor originated from Davao, then the legend possibly started to spread in 1980s.

    Actually, this urban legend created another urban legend from itself.

    The first one is about the two-way mirrors of the dressing rooms. According to rumor, behind those two-way mirrors are lecherous people watching someone, instead of the rumored monster.

    The second one is about the origination of the rumor. No one knows who really started this legend. But according to an urban legend, the rumor was started by UP (University of the Philippines) Diliman Mass Communication Department to scientifically study how fast the rumors could spread. They actually spread many rumors, but this one became popular.[2]

    Last Updated: February 03, 2014

    [1] Contributed by: Andrew Barrientos
    Roseann Coscolluela

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