Friday, February 17, 2012

Maria Labo



Ever since, stories about aswangs in the Philippines were always pointed to the Visayan islands, most especially in the Provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Aklan, as the origination. The known legend about Tiniente Gimo and Maria Labo came from them.

Maria Labo was the name used to refer to the female vampire who came from Iloilo or Capiz (others suggest from Sorsogon). She was popularized by the story that she murdered her two sons and then cooked them. She was recognizable by her huge scar across her face, thus she got her name. Aside of the provinces in Panay Island, her story is also famous in other neighboring provinces like Cebu. She even reached the city of Davao.

Legend



It's my professor who gave me an idea about her. He even gave me the popular text message that terrorized people who receive it. Well, I also searched some of her stories and collected them here just to make a clear and whole tale about her life. When I found the Ang Tatlong Katauhan ni Maria Labo, it made me understand what actually happened to her. Until now, I am in search of the said article in a newspaper that made her popular.

[Taken from Internet:]

A young woman named Maria went to Canada as a caregiver. There, she took care of an old man which, according to rumors, was possessed by the so-called "vampire" (some "aswang") curse.

When the old man died, he passed the curse (some say, his powers) to Maria. Finding no luck in Canada, Maria went home. It was then that her thirst for human flesh started. When her husband, a policeman, went home one night, he looked for their kids. The deranged Maria pointed to the stove where she had cooked their children. Enraged, her husband struck her with a bolo ("labo") where she obtained a scar on her face, earning her the moniker Maria Labo.

They said she fled to Visayas, then to Mindanao, in a quest to satiate her hunger for human flesh and viscera. Like a typical aswang, she has the ability to change her appearance. Sometimes she appears as a beautiful young lady. At other times, she appears as an old woman.


[Taken from a Text Message:]

She was recently a saleslady in a mall (I don't know where specifically in the Philippines she is now), living as a normal person, and whenever you remember abruptly about her at exactly 3 in the morning and afternoon, she'll suddenly appear in front of you then kill you. Some said she has a cell phone number. (I don't know what will happen if you'll call her.)


[Taken from a Book:[1] ]

Ang Tatlong Katauhan ni Maria Labo
By: Abelardo Gajarion

1. Mula nang naging malaganap ang militarisasyon sa kanayunan naging magulo na ang probinsiya ng Sorsogon. Walang masaganang ani ang mga magsasaka't mangingisda. Maraming maliliit na negosyo ang nagsara. Hindi makapasok sa eskwela ang mga bata. Halos hindi na nga makalabas ng bahay ang mga tao. Lahat nahihintay na lang na mabagsakan ng isang bomba, para sabay-sabay na mamatay. Maliban kay Maria Labo.

Malapit sa paanan ng bundok, malayo sa kabayanan, nakatira sa maliit na bahay na yari sa cogon at kawayan ang mag-asawang Maria at Ermin Labo. Mayroon silang dalwang anak, sina Pablo at Rosalinda. Si Ermin ay isang magsasaka habang si Maria naman ang naglalako ng mga ani sa kabayanan.

Mula nang mawalan ng ani ang kanilang gulayan, ipinasya ni Maria na sumama sa kaibigang naghahanap ng domestic helper papuntang Espanya. Naisip niyang mas marami ang kanyan kikitain sa pagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa kaysa sa paglalako ng gulay na hindi na nga niya nagagawa dahil sa kaguluhan sa kanilang bayan.

Isinangla nila ang kanilang lupang sakahan at ang kinatatayuan ng kanilang bahay para pambayad sa kanyang placement fee. Pagkalipas ng tatlong buwan, lumipad si Maria papuntang Espanya.


2. Sa isang lumang mansion, sa isang bayan na malayun-malayo sa siyudad napadpad si Maria. Bumaba siya mula sa isang kakarag-karag na bus sa tapat ng isang malaki at lumang-lumang gate na bakal. Napupuluputan ito ng mga gumagapang na halaman. Ayon sa agency na nagpadala sa kanya, isang matandang lalaki at isang katiwala na lang ang nakatira sa mansion na kanyang magtatrabahuan.

Pumasok siya sa gate na bahagyang nakabukas. Tanaw niya mula sa kinatatayuan ang kulay abong mansion. Bago makarating roon, kinailangan munang maglakad ni Maria ng halos dalawang kilometro. Maalikabok ang daan na nililinyahan ng malalaking puno sa magkabilang tabi.

Pagdating sa tapat ng mansion, nagulat pa si Maria nang makitang halos tatlong beses na mas matangkad sa kanya ang pintuang gawa sa matigas na kahoy na may mga ukit-ukit na ubas at mga bulaklak. Gawa sa bato ang buong mansion. Napansin niyang halos hanggang tuhod na niya ang mga damo sa bakuran. Halos mapuno na rin ng mga gumagapang na halaman ang kanang bahagi nga mansion.

Kumatok siya gamit ang bilog na bakal na nakasabit mula sa sabitan na hugis ulo ng leon. Luminga-linga siya, nagbabakasakaling may tao siyang makikita, ngunit walang sumalubong sa kanya. Matapos ang halos limang minutong paghihintay, kusang bumukas ang pinto. Bumukas ito nang mabagal na mabagal at gumawa ito ng nakakarindi at nakakangilong ingay na parang bang matagal na itong nakasara at noon lamang nabuksan. Wala siyang makitang tao sa loob sa kanyang pagpasok.

Hindi niya nakita ang matandang lalaki na kanina pa siya taimtim na tinititigan mula pa lang nang pumasok siya sa gate at maglakad patungo sa bahay.

Hola, como estas? bati sa kanya ng isang lalaki mula sa kaliwang bahagi ng mansion.

Napaigtad si Maria sa gulat. Hindi niya inasahang lalabas na lang bigla ang isang lalaking may magarang-magarang kasuotan.

Soy Eduardo. Que te llamas?


Hindi alam ni Maria ang isasagot.

Comprendes Espanol?

Umiling-iling na lamang si Maria. Kung hindi man wala, katiting lamang ang kanyang nalalaman sa wikang Espanyol. Tinitigan muna siya ng lalaki bago nagpumilit magsalita ng Ingles.

Follow. Follow.

Si Eduardo ang katiwala ng mansion. Matagal-tagal na rin siyang naninilbihan doon. Nagbabalak na siyang umalis, ngunit hindi niyo iyon magawa hangga't hindi pa niya napipili ang tamang babaeng mag-aalaga sa kanyang amo.

Inabot sila ng kalahating araw para lamang libutin ang buong mansion. Inisa-isa nila ang bawat kwarto. At sa bawat kwarto ipinaliwanag ni Eduardo ang mga takdang gawain ni Maria. Pautal-utal na Ingles ang ginamit ni Eduardo, maging iyon ay hindi gaanong naintindihan ni Maria.

Tienes hambre? E, are you, e, starved?

Hindi alam ni Maria kung ano ang isasagot kaya tumango na lang siya. Nahalata ni Eduardo na hindi naintindihan ng kanyang kausap ang sinabi niya. Doon niya nalaman na natagpuan na niya ang babaeng matagal na niyang hinahanap.

Senor Gustavo wants to ... e, hablar ... e, speak to you ...

Tatlong buwan na ring nagtatrabaho sa mansion si Maria, ngunit hirap na hirap pa rin silang magkaintindihan at magkausap. Mas madali na lang para sa kanila ang magsenyasan.

Sa loob ng tatlong buwang iyon, dalawang beses pa lang nakakapasok si Maria sa kwarto ng among si Gustavo. Sabi ni Eduardo, sa pautal-utal na tagpi-tagping kwento, si Gustavo ay matagal nang may karamdaman. Maselan ang kalagayan nito kaya hindi pwedeng makita ng maraming tao.

Noong unang pagkakataon na nakapasok si Maria sa kwarto ni Gustavo halos hindi rin sila nagkita. Ipinakilala lang siya ni Eduardo, ngunit doon lamang sila nakatayo sa pintuan. Madilim ang bahagi ng kama kung saan nakaratay si Gustavo kaya hindi halos naaninag ni Maria ang mukha ng matandang lalaki.

Nang ikalawang pagkakataon, nakapasok at nakalapit na si Maria kay Gustavo. Kinuha niya ang arinola sa tabi ng kama ng amo. Kulu-kulubot na ang balat nito. Manipis na manipis na ang maputing buhok sa ulo. Halos puti na lahat ang mga mata nito. Bago siya umalis tinanong si Maria ni Gustavo. Mahinang-mahina ang boses nito, halos hindi na marinig ni Maria.

Are you Filipina?

Tumango si Maria, naintindihan niya ang tanging tanong na itinanong sa kanya ng amo.

A, opo, si, si, Senor Gustavo. I am Filipina.

Nagtataka si Maria. Iniisip niya ang mga posibleng dahilan kung bakit siya pinatawag ni Gustavo gayong nariyan naman si Eduardo para ibigay anuman ang pangangailangan ng amo. Iniwan niya ang nililinis sa kusina para pumunta sa kwarto ng amo. Bago makalabas ng kusina, pinaalalahanan pa siya ni Eduardo.

Maria, nunca, e, do not go out of the room if Senor Gustavo, e, is not asleep yet.

Marahang kumatok saka pumasok si Maria sa kwarto ni Gustavo. Lumapit siya sa matanda. Sinenyasan siya nitong lumapit. Tila may ibubulong ang kanyang amo. Dahan-dahan niyang inilapit ang kanyang mukha sa mukha ni Gustavo.

Kabadong-kabado si Maria. Hindi man lang niya nahulaan na ang pagpasok niyang iyon ay ang kanyang huli. Dahil paglabas niya, hindi na siya ang dati.


3. Malaki ang nagbago sa pamilya ni Maria simula nang bumalik siya galing Espanya. Dalawang buwan na rin ang nakakaraan mula nang bumalik siya sa bayan nila sa Sorsogon.

Inggit na inggit ang mga tao nang dumating siya. Apat na buwan lang siyang namalagi sa Espanya, ngunit marami siyang dala-dalang pasalubong. Marami siyang dalang mamahaling mga plato, kubyertos, at kandelabra. Nabawi nila agad ang lupang isinangla at nakapagpagawa sila ng bagong bahay.

Ngunit, ang ipinagtataka ng lahat ay kung bakit ni hindi man lang nila makita si Maria na lumabas ng bahay. Lagi silang nag-aabang na luluwas sa bayan si Maria ngunit hindi man lang nila ito matiyempuhan.

Gayon din si Ermin at ang kanyang mga anak. Takang-taka sila sa panlalamig ni Maria sa kanila. Hindi ito gaanong nagsasalita bagamat nananatili pa rin itong maasikaso at mapagbigay. Kapag gabi, sa kama, naririnig ni Ermin ang impit nitong pag-iyak. Kapag hinahawakan siya ni Ermin para aluhin napapaso ito dahil sa sobrang lamig ng kanyang katawan. Para siyang yelo sa lamig. Kinukumutan siya ni Ermin at niyayakap, ngunit pakiramdam nito para lamang itong yumayakap sa hangin.

Minsan, isang hatinggabi, napabalikwas si Ermin nang marining niyang pumapalahaw sa bintana si Maria. Nang magmulat siya't hinanap ang asawa nagulat siya nang makitang duguan ang katawan ni Maria. Laslas ang leeg nito at sumisirit mula doon ang napakaraming dugo. Hindi siya nagpahalatang gising bagama't takot na takot na siya. Nakita niyang tumagos sa pader ang katawan ni Maria. Nangilabot siya. Nagkunwari siyang tulog nang lapitan siya ng kanyang asawa. Alam niyang nilapitan siya nito at tinitigan ang kanyang mukha. Naaamoy ni Ermin ang lansa ng dugo at ang amoy ng naaagnas na katawan. Ipinagdasal niyang sana panaginip lang ang lahat. At kung binabangungot man siya, sana magising na siya, at sana normal pa rin ang lahat.

Paggising niya kinabukasan, wala si Maria sa kanyang tabi. Hinanap niya ito sa buong kabahayan ngunit hindi niya ito nakita. Tinanong niya ang kanyang mga anak kung nakita nila si Maria ngunit hindi nila ito nakita simula ng nakaraang gabi.

Ikinuwento ng kanyang dalawang anak na nanaginip silang nakita nila ang kanilang ina na umiiyak sa kwarto nila. Duguan ang buong katawan nito. Laslas ang leeg at sumisirit ang dugo mula dito. Nilapitan sila at hinalikan ng kanilang ina, tapos paggising nila, walang anumang bakas na nagpunta nga roon si Maria.

Kinilabutan si Ermin. Pare-pareho nilang nakita si Maria ng nakaraang gabi sa pare-parehong sitwasyong. Takang-taka pa rin siya kung saan naroon ang kanyang asawa. At habang tumatagal lalo siyang kinakabahan sa mga bagay na maaari niyang matuklasan.

Mag-aalas siyete ng gabi, wala pa rin si Maria, nang biglang may kumatok sa kanilang pintuan. Dali-daling tumayo si Ermin para pagbuksan ang pinto. Inaasahan niyang si Maria na iyon. Ngunit, nang kanyang pagbuksan, bumungad sa kanya ang dalawang lalaking dayuhan.

Ang dalawang lalaki ay mula sa Spanish Embassy. Ibinalita nila na noong isang araw. natagpuan ang bangkay ni Maria Labo na naaagnas sa ilalim ng kama ng amo nito sa Espanya. Ang among si Gustavo ay dating magaling na doktor na nabaliw dahil iniwan ng kanyang Filipinang asawa.

Nasa mental hospital na si Gustavo habang ang katiwala naman nitong si Eduardo ay nakulong sa pagtatakip sa krimen ng kanyang amo.

Hindi makuhang magsalita ni Ermin. Tiningnan niya ang buong kabahayan, inisip niya kung paanong patay na si Maria nang mahigit dalawang buwan, gayong dala-dala pa niya ang mga pera't kagamitan na nakikita niya sa paligid ng bahay. Hindi siya naniwala sa dalawang lalaki. Pinaalis niya ang mga ito at pinagsisigawan.

Hinintay niya si Maria. Inisip niyang nagbakasyon lang ito sa kung saan at babalik na rin pagtagal-tagal. Hinintay niya nang hinintay ang kanyang asawa. Pagkalipas ng isang linggo dumating si Maria, ngunit, isa nang naaagnas na bangkay.





The Three Faces of Maria Labo
By: Abelardo Gajarion
[translated]

1. As militarization became widespread in the barrios, it caused disarray to the province of Sorsogon. Farmers and fishers have no abundant harvests; many small businesses closed; children can't go to their schools, and people can't almost go out of their houses. All of them were waiting a bomb to fall on their place, so they'll die together, except Maria Labo.

Maria and Ermin Labo resided in a small hut made of cogon and bamboo which was located near the foot of the mountain far from the village. They had two children, namely Pablo and Rosalinda. Ermin is a farmer while Maria was a vendor of their harvests in the village.

When they got no abundant harvest in their vegetable farm, Maria decided to go to her friend who was searching for domestic helpers who wanted to go to Spain. She thought she may earn more money by working overseas than selling vegetable which she can't even do because of the war in their province.

They mortgaged their farmland, as well as the place where their house stood, to obtain money as payment for her placement fee. Three months later, she was sent to Spain.


2. Maria was brought in an old mansion in a village far from the city. She went down from a bus and stood in the front of a big and old iron gate. It was twined by crawling plants. According to the agency who sent her, only an old man and his trustee were living in the mansion where she's going to work.

She entered the gate which is partly open. Far from where she stood, she can see the whole gray mansion. She needed to walk almost two kilometers before arriving the mansion. The road was dusty, aligned with large trees on both sides.

Upon arriving at the front of the mansion, Maria was surprised seeing a large door, almost three times of her height, made of wood decorated with sculpted grapes and flowers. The whole mansion is made of cement. She noticed the grasses in its garden have grown as tall as her knee. The right side of the mansion was almost covered by creeping plants.

She knocked the door using the round metal hanging on the lion head door knocker. She gazed in all directions, thinking she will find someone, however, no one welcomed her. After five minutes of waiting, the door just opened voluntarily. It opened very slowly and it made an unpleasant sound as if it was closed for so long and it was opened for the first time. Upon entering the door, she saw no one.

She didn't see the old man who devotedly watch her from the time she entered the gate and while she's walking towards the mansion.

Hola, como estas? (Hello, how are you?) Greeted by the man who appeared from the left corner of the mansion.

Maria was startled. She, unexpectedly, didn't think a man wearing a beautiful attire will just appear from nowhere.

Soy Eduardo. Que te llamas? (I'm Eduardo. What's your name?)

Maria didn't know what to answer.

Comprendes Espanol? (Can you understand Spanish?)

She just shook her head. Whether she knows Spanish or none at all, surely she knew a little. The guy stared at her first before speaking in English.

Follow. Follow.

Eduardo was the trustee of the mansion. He worked there for many years. He was planning to quit now, but he can't do it till he finds the right woman to take care of his master.

They took half a day to finish walking around the mansion. They inspect and visited every room while Eduardo explained to Maria her job. He stammeringly used English, even Maria can't understand much.

Tienes hambre? (Are you hungry?) E, are you, e starved?

Maria didn't know what to answer so she just nod. Eduardo noticed that Maria don't understand him. So he concluded that he found the girl he was searching for.

Senor Gustavo wants to . . . e, hablar . . . e, speak to you . . .


It was three months since Maria started to work there, but still they have difficulty in understanding and talking with each other. So it's easier for them to use sign language instead.

Within that three months, she had had a chance to go inside Mister Gustavo's room only two times. Eduardo said, in stammering and patching story, Mister Gustavo was sick for so many years ago, until now. It was very intricate, that's why no one must see him.

The first time Maria had a chance to go inside Gustavo's room, they even got no chance of seeing each other. Eduardo just introduces her, however, they're only standing in the door. The area where Gustavo was resting was very dark which made it difficult for her to clearly see the face of the old man.

In the second time, Maria got a chance to go nearer to Mr. Gustavo. She just get the urinal beside her master. His skin was wrinkled. His hair was so thin. His eyes are almost white. Before she departed, Gustavo asked her. His voice was so low which Maria can't almost hear.

Are you Filipina?

Maria nodded, she understood the small question of her master.

A, opo, si, si, Senor Gustavo. I am Filipina.

Maria wondered why she was called by Gustavo even though Eduardo was there to give his orders of whatever he needs. She thought some possible reasons. She left her work in the kitchen just to go to his room. Before going out of the kitchen, Eduardo gave her some warnings.

Maria, nunca (never), e, do not go out of the room if Senor Gustavo, e, is not asleep yet.

She knocked slowly at the door of Mr. Gustavo's room. She went near to the old man. He signaled her to go nearer. It seemed her master was whispering something. Slowly, she brought her face nearer to Mr. Gustavo's.

Maria was very nervous. She didn't even predict that it'll be her last. Because when she go out, she'll be different from normal.

3There have been many changes in Maria's family since she came back from Spain. It was two months after she went back to Sorsogon, her province.

All the people are very jealous of her when she arrived home. She had spent four months in the Spain, but she had brought many pasalubong (take homes) for that short time. She brought up expensive plates, utensils, and candelabra. The mortgage of their land was paid and they had built a new house.

However, they (their neighbors) wondered why they haven't seen Maria went out of their house. They often wait her go out to walk around the town, but they have no chance of seeing her.

Likewise, Ermin and his children didn't go outdoors too. They are wondering very much of Maria's coldness to them. She's not talking, but she still remain caring and giving. At night, on the bed, Ermin hear her repressed cry. Whenever he attempts to touch her for comfort, he always feel, as if, burned by the coldness of her body. She seemed like an ice. Ermin blanketed and hugged her, but he felt somewhat like he was just hugging on a wind.


One night, Ermin jump up while hearing Maria squealing at the window. When he woke up to see his wife, he was frightened seeing her soaked in blood. Her neck was slashed and blood spits on it. He went back from lying on the bed not noticeably awake, although he was very scared. He saw Maria passed through the wall. He was terrorized. He pretended to sleep when she went near him. He knew that she went close to him and stared at his face. He smelled the bad odor of the blood and the rotten flesh. He prayed that all were just a dream. And if he's in a nightmare, he prayed he'll wake up and wished everything are back to normal.


When he woke up the next day, Maria was not on her side. He looked at her anywhere in the house, but he found her nowhere. He also asked his children if they saw her, but like him, they didn't, starting last night.

The children told Ermin that they dreamt of their mother crying in their room. Her body was full of blood. Her neck was slashed and the blood oozes out from it. She went near them and kissed each of them, then when they woke up, they saw nothing or even saw any evidence that their mother went there.

Ermin felt horrified. All of them saw Maria last night in the same situation. Still, he was wondering where his wife might be. Time passed by, he felt more and more nervous about things he might discover.


Seven o'clock in the evening, still, Maria was not home, when suddenly, they heard someone knocks at the door. Hastely, Ermin got up to open it. He hoped it was Maria. But, when he opened, there was two foreigner standing.

The two men came from the Spanish Embassy. They informed him that they saw the dead body of Maria Labo rotten under her master's bed in the Spain. Mr. Gustavo was an excellent doctor who became mad because his Filipina wife departed him.

Now, Mr. Gustavo was brought to the mental hospital while his trustee, Eduardo, was put in prison from hiding the crime done by his master.

Ermin was speechless. He looks at the whole house. He can't imagine that Maria was dead for almost two months, in spite all the moneys and things she brought home. He didn't believe them. So he angrily told them to go away.


He waited for Maria. He just think that she was on a vacation and she'll be home soon. He waited her wife for a long time. After some weeks Maria came, now . . . a rotten corpse.


Variations



Because of this variation of Maria Labó's legends, the story about her became unbelievable.
  • Maria Labo was a simple beautiful young girl who was raped by village men. Swearing revenge, she is said to roam the fringes of small towns victimizing young men.

  • She was an OFW who acquired vampiric powers from the old man she took care in Canada. When she went home, she found herself wanting to eat human flesh. Thus, she killed her own children.

  • Some version, Maria Labó was just a human being without any supernatural powers, however, she was a cannibal who ate her own two sons.

  • Yet another version, she was an OFW who was killed by a Spanish old man. She went home as a ghost.

  • Other version says that she came from Iloilo, some from Capiz and yet from Sorsogon.


  • About this



    The story of Maria Labó has found its way in the local newspapers and true ghost story books so most probably, this story is partly true. It took fame in the midst of 2003. This story caused a stir in the city some 5 years ago. But according to the story Ang Tatlong Katauhan Ni Maria Labo (as shown above), she was not actually an aswang (vampire) but a victim of murder by a madman overseas. She came back with her moneys and things, not as a human, but a ghost. Before she departed her family, she'd put them first in good place.

    It seems her influence to many people stays till now, and even stories of her personal life are rumored.

    Conclusion



    According to the text message, whenever you remember her every 3:00 am or pm, she'll appear after you and will kill you. For me, it's impossible for her to visit every person in the same time in different places whenever she is remembered. There could be hundreds or thousands of people who might think of her. Then the question is - who would she visit first? And perhaps, the reason why her story became more horrible (that she transformed into a vampire) because of how she'd gone home as a ghost.

    Last Updated: February 11, 2014

    Sources:
    [1] The Best of True Philippine Ghost Stories. 2008. Alexie Cruz Ed. PSICOM Publishing Inc.
    http://iloilocityboy.blogspot.com/

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    The ghost in Manila Film Center

    This is not really a legend since it actually happened. But the story about the haunting is the legend.


    About

    The Manila Film Center is an abandoned auditorium by Manila Bay in the Cultural Center complex. A Korean company is currently making efforts rehabilitating the image of the center with a transvestite Las Vegas-like act. Now housing the "Amazing Philippine Theatre," the massive building is patronized nightly by dozens of Korean honeymooners who pose in front of the kitschy Egyptian Pharoah figure above the doorway before entering to enjoy the performance by the "country's prettiest gays." Most of the couples are completely unaware of its ghostly reputation, if one doesn't consider Filipino males with long hairless legs as apparitions.

    It is haunted by the ghosts of angry construction workers. People hear cries and moans, see apparitions as well as bleeding walls and arms sticking out from under doors.

    It was told that Imelda Marcos had the grandiose notion of turning the Philippines into the Cannes of Asia by starting an international film festival. They decided the venue to be held beside the Cultural Center of the Philippines and had a date set for January 18, 1982.

    Despite the downhill trend of the Philippine economy, Imelda plodded along with her grandiose schemes. She also ignored some bad omens. When she first decided to launch her International Film Festival, she had built a huge building that was designed on the lines of the Parthenon.

    Unfortunately, it appears that both Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, began to change the building plans while the structure was being built, forcing construction delays. As a result, the center was being completed as quickly as possible in time for its inaugural film festival.

    On November 18, 1981, shortly before 3:00 a.m., scaffolding and wooden support gave way while cement was being leveled on the sixth floor of the half-finished Manila Film Center, killing 26 construction workers and injuring 36 others. However, according to the Marcos-controlled press, 28 workers were killed in the accident, and some says 15 only. Rumor had it than 168 had died.

    Betty Benitez (wife of Imelda’s Assistant Minister, Conrado Benitez), who was in charge of the project for the First Lady, was called to the scene. The mothers and wives of the men who died had come to claim the bodies. But the building was due to open for the festival, therefore it was said that instead halting the project for a rescue attempt and digging out the workers, Betty ordered, “Pour the cement.”, thus, the bodies and some of the still alive people were burried on the spot in a rush to finish the building for Imelda Marcos' film festival and the Miss Universe pageant.

    A few months later Betty Benitez was herself killed in bizarre accident. She was a passenger in a car driven by O. D. Corpus, a former president of the University of the Philippines. They were on their way to Tagaytay at night. (It was never made clear why they were out driving in the middle of the night away from their respective spouses and families.) Betty was killed instantly when the car ran off the road on a curve and smashed into a tree. Corpus survived.

    Manilans soon said the film festival building was haunted, and many refused to work there or go inside to see films. Imee Marcos called in a medium, who was said to be able to communicate with the dead, and brought him to the film festival building. The medium went into a trance. Normally, he spoke only in his native dialect. But in the trance, he suddenly spoke on in English: ‘Now there are 169,’ he intoned. ‘Betty is with us.’

    In a 2005 documentary produced by GMA Network Channel 7: i-Witness, all 169 workers were traced and the records show that not more than a dozen died. Furthermore all the bodies were retrieved and were given a proper burial.

    Legend

    Of course with a tragedy like this, there are going to be restless souls attached to the building and some of these ghosts have been spooking guests of nearby buildings.

    In one story, a stranger approached a passer-by, who gives him a calling card and asked him to telephone his family and tell them that he was all right, and that he would be leaving soon. When the passer-by made the call, a startled voice explained that her husband was dead -- his body was one of those encased in the film center.

    Source:
    - Beth Day Romulo, Inside the Palace: The Rise and Fall of Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1987: 167-68.
    http://blogs.gmanews.tv/sidetrip/blog/archives/42-The-Manila-Film-Center-mystery-A-ghostly-place-or-an-urban-legend.html
    http://asiaparanormal.blogspot.com/2009/12/haunting-in-manila-film-center.html

    Manananggal in Tondo



    Manananggal, aswang and kapre are the common Filipino mythical creatures that somehow reached the urban city to plague and terrorize the people. These creatures are the famous subject for an interesting and goosebumping stories that stimulates the imagination of ones' mind. Until now, people still think that they're one of us, and sometimes, they are pointed to cause an inexplicable happening.

    For this article, we'll be talking about manananggal. This frightening creature, according to legend, has the power of separating his lower body with his upper part only at night, then rejoin them back before dawn. It is also considered as a vampire because it feeds with human flesh. (For more about it, click here.)

    The Story



    According to some rumor, this manananggal had been on board a ship en route to Siquijor. But, for some reason, she got stranded in Manila. In some accounts, the ship that she was on got wrecked. Well, that's not the real story how the monster got in the city.

    [Taken from the Internet:[a]]

    It was the presidential election month (May) in 1992, when people of Tondo, Manila was terrorized by a monster. They reported seeing a female manananggal roaming at night, hunting for a victim. This news, which was published in a tabloid, almost replaced the news updates about the election day. Filipinos, that time, are interested in both stories.

    The story started to spread after a news paper (Daily News) published an article with an interview with a local woman of Tondo about the monster. Her name is Martina Sta. Rosa.

    She told the reporter of the said newspaper, “She attacked me. I was just lucky I was able to get free. I saw half of her body. It was naked. She had long, scraggly hair, long arms, nails and sharp fangs.”

    Her neighbor (Mr. Alfonso Bernardo), corroborated the tale stating, “We saw it fly away from her house.”

    The woman named Teresita Beronqui was believed to be the said hideous monster. Her home was attacked by angry local people accompanied by a television crews. ABS-CBN reporter interviewed the elderly woman who through a veil of tears pleaded her innocence. The woman even claimed that she herself had been attacked by the monster and tried to prove this by showing the missing toes from one of her feet. However, a said vampire expert, after interrogating her, stated in a national television, the she was lying.

    Another vampire expert was called to comment on the Mananaggal attack. According to him, the woman who was accused of being the monster was indeed a vampire, but she transformed back to her normal self after the last attack. However, when she was asked to explain the missing toe of the woman, he affirmly stated that she had failed to shape-shift back completely!

    Another interview was conducted to bring out the truth if she really is a vampire or not. The reporter, named Cesar Soriano, produced a dried stingray tail. Well, Filipino knew that stingray tail is an effective weapon to repel monsters, especially if they (those monsters) are touched with it. But when the accused woman touched it, she never felt anything, except of course its roughness. If she really is a vampire, then she should have felt something bad on it.

    Fact check:



    People panicked over the thought of a manananggal in the city. Sociologists pointed out that the manananggal story is often used to keep people in line. In the Spanish era, it was used to persuade people to be more pious. In the 1950s, according to an essay by Jessica Zafra, some sources pointed out that Americans encouraged the spread of the manananggal story in the countryside by telling people that strangers wandering into their barrios could very well be manananggals. Thus, they had to report the presence of these strangers. In reality, it was said to be a strategy to identify rebels. Thus, the "presence" of a manananggal in Tondo actually made sense, as fear of her would help curb the nightly brawls that were rampant in the neighborhood. Even tough guys prefer staying home than encountering a creature that wants to have them as midnight snack.[b]

    Aside of that, because the story rose in the midst of the election month, it might be a way of making people focus on the other much interesting story or be distracted on the political upheaval.[a]

    Sources:
    a. http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2010/07/neil-arnold-terror-of-tondo.html
    b. http://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/41192/urban-legends-that-drove-pinoys-crazy

    Philippine Bridges have bloody foundation



    Bridges play a great role in a country. They connect two or more cities to each other and allows people to pass over obstacles under it. Those obstacles can be a river, a strait, or even a sea. They were created for many reason aside of being just a road. Actually, at the time of Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, bridges not only connects two barangays but it also indicates the border line of those villages.

    An old man told me that lovers always meet and separate in bridges. Whenever a gentleman accompanies a lady home, they will separate in the bridge especially if the lady's parents are strict. Whenever lovers planned to cohabit, they will always meet in bridges. Well, that's an archaic scene of a Filipino love story.

    In some movies, the bridges also appear as the last destination of a gentleman or a lady who failed in love. They commit suicide there. But actually, it doesn't only appear in movies, it also happens real-life. Thus, bridges become part of urban legends as a haunted bridge with a white lady roaming there every night.

    On the other hand, people also perform rituals to strengthen the foundation of the bridge. They kill innocent children to scatter their bloods thoughout the whole bridge, and even mix their bodies on the cement. Thus legends about the bloody foundation of bridges rose.

    One popular legend with the same story as like this is the San Juanico Bridge.

    San Juanico Bridge Legend



    The San Juanico Bridge, renamed from Marcus Bridge, was the longest bridge in the Philippines with a distance of 2,200 m (7,200 ft). The bridge stretches from Santa Rita, Samar to Tacloban City, Leyte crossing over the San Juanico Strait. The bridge is considered one of the most beautiful structure in the country with visually attractive views.

    According to legend, it has foundation allegedly been made stronger by the blood of numerous street children (some say babies). When it was under construction, there happened coincidentally a kidnapping in Samar-Leyte areas. Thus, they theorized that the kids were offered to a pagan or demonic ritual to guarantee the strength of the structure. Imelda Marcos, being in charge with the building, was said to be the master mind of the said events.[1]

    This is why, people say, the bridge is haunted by many lost spirits. Others say that the success of the bloody rituals done for San Juanico Bridge encouraged others to do the same for their bridges and buildings. Only one detail was constant: the use of street kids as sacrifice.[1]

    [Taken from Internet (PinoyExchange.com):]

    "Imelda Marcos was in charge of building the bridge. She consulted a manghuhula who said that the bridge would never be finished unless the blood of children [would be spilled on the foundation]. So Imelda ordered [street children to be kidnapped] and [their throats were] slit on the bridge's location. Their bodies were thrown into the river. A mermaid or diwata who resided in the river saw the plight of the children and was saddened by it. She cursed Imelda. So the First Lady grew scales on her legs and she smelled fishy. That was why she wore long skirts and bathed as often as possible."[1]


    Variations


  • It was also said that instead of just spreading the blood on the bridge, the blood itself was mixed to cement by the construction workers.

  • Much scary version is, the bodies of the children are dropped to the cement mixer.


  • Urban legends really are deteriorated or altered versions of the true stories. If ever the legend about San Juanico Bridge is true, then the legend concerning the curse created by a mermaid or a diwata to Mrs. Imelda Marcos is definitely not real. Have you ever seen her legs? Or have you ever smelled her with a foul fish perfume?

    The Other Bridges



    The San Juanico Bridge might be the root of all the legends surrounding many bridges in the Philippines. Even the not-so-famous bridges became subject to this kind of ritual. Their similarities were the sacrifice of child's life. In some stories, it was not only the manghuhula who told the engineers what to do, but also the albularyos (shamans).

    I tried to ask some people this question, Why not animals instead the innocent lives of children?. Their answers were almost alike, that life is so special, powerful and divine that it can strengthen the bridges' foundation against whatever catastrophy will try to ruin it. Thus, animals were not powerful for that. In addition, they don't know why they use children instead of adults. Perhaps, the reason might be similar to that of San Juanico Bridge - some of the street childrens have no parents, therefore no one would mind if they vanish suddenly. Or because children are innocent.

    Actually, some bridges were not subject to this kind of sacrificial tragedies. Some of them, though have bloody foundation, was just haunted because the ghost was killed or killed themselves there. Others were haunted with unknown creatures of the dark. One example is the Malitangtang bridge. Actually, the bridge became haunted because the place where it was is home of the so-called engkantos (fairies).

    Film



    This urban legend was featured in the movie Shake, Rattle and Roll 6, starring Ara Mina, Lot-lot de Leon, and Aiza Seguerra. The story tells about the ghost of the child, named Mauro Flores, who was killed in the bridge, continuously haunts and induces other children to jump over the bridge then eventually dies. He was just doing it to have friends. The haunting stopped when they recovered the skeleton of the said child.

    Sources:
    [1]http://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/41192/urban-legends-that-drove-pinoys-crazy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juanico_Strait

    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]

    Variations

    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.

    Afterword



    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

    Sources:
    [1] Contributed by: Andrew Barrientos
    [2] http://www.reddit.com/r/Philippines/comments/1g18fh/filipino_urban_legends/
    http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/2363214.aspx
    http://www.gl3nnx.net/blog/urban-story/robinsons-galleria-snake-a-half-snake-half-human.htm
    Roseann Coscolluela
    http://ph.news.yahoo.com/philippine-urban-legends-093005285.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinsons_Galleria

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    Maria Labo

    The White Lady in the Balete Drive



    A White Lady is a type of female ghost reportedly seen in rural areas and associated with some local legend of tragedy. White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They are often associated with an individual family line or said to be a harbinger of death similar to a banshee.

    There were lots of white lady stories in the Philippines, some of them haunts old houses, old bridges, caves, rivers, and many more. But the most popular of the haunting grounds of these white ladies is the Balete tree. Filipinos believe that such tree is the home of wandering ghosts, paranormal beings and mythical creatures. Well, the reason is its scary and rooty characteristics. Whenever you look by a chance or stare at it very long, you'll imagine some figures or even feel scared. The most famous Filipino white lady of all is the White Lady of Balete Drive.

    The White Lady of Balete Drive in the Philippines, according to the people who had seen this, she is a beautiful lady with long hair (sometimes it covers her face), wearing a white flowing dress (somewhat like that of a gown or just like a loose Sadaku's dress) slightly covered with blood stains or just simply a dirt, sometimes having a blank face or with face bathed with blood.

    By the way, the Balete Drive is located between Aurora Boulevard, a few blocks away from Gilmore Avenue and St. Paul University. The east side exits near St. Luke's Medical Center and the west side exits near GMA-7 and Tomas Morato Avenue. The central intersection of Aurora Boulevard is the EDSA-Cubao shopping center built in the 1970's.

    Variations



    The White Lady of Balete Drive has many variation of stories from its origination to its appearances to drivers. The reason is the legend is quite old and very famous. So its impossible for the original story to be maintained and not altered. You can say that tale-tellers added something or excluded some details just to make it interesting and much scary.

    Variation of Originations:



    First version of origination:
  • According to some people, a woman was raped at the same spot at Balete Drive by Japanese soldiers in the time of World War II. Being not justified till now, the woman's ghost remain to avenge her death.
  • Second version of origination:
  • According to legend, she was driving in Balete Drive when she crashed her car resulting to her death.
  • Third version of origination [3]:
  • The White Lady whos appearing at midnight between Bougainvilla and Mabolo Sts. was a student of the University of the Philippines. While on her way to Balete Drive from her school, she was raped by a cab driver and her body dumped in this area. She appears to most cab drivers because she allegedly wanted to seek revenge.


  • Variation of Appearances:



    [Taken from Unsolvedmysteries.com [1]:]

  • One night a taxi driver is halted by a woman wearing a white, flowing dress (I'm not sure if she was white herself or what). The curious driver picks her up and she directed him to a lonely, dark, tree-lined road in New Manila called Balete Drive. They stopped in front of a house. When the driver turned around to see her get off, she had disappeared. Shocked and bewildered, the driver knocks at the entrance of the house, but the occupants tell the driver that the woman was actually dead, and that it was not the first time that this had happened. :shock:



  • [Taken from Wikipedia.org [2]:]

  • In other instances it is said that when solitary people drive by Balete Drive in the wee hours of the morning, they tend to see the face of a woman in white in the rear view mirror for a split second before the apparition disappears. Some accidents on this road are blamed on the White Lady.


  • Another story tells about a taxi crossing the dreaded Balete Drive and a very beautiful woman was asking for a ride. The taxi driver looks behind and the woman looks like her face was full of blood and bruises. The taxi driver escaped from the taxi from fear.



  • [Taken from Internet [3]:]

  • Some taxi drivers said a pretty teenage girl in white used to ride in their cabs, asking them to take her near Morato Avenue. She would then tell the cab drivers about her sad love story while traveling along Balete Drive. The drivers said that whenever they ask the girl where the guy was, her image would disappear from their rear view mirror. And when they looked at the back seat, the girl would no longer be there


  • Conclusion



    Those stories have one similarity - both drivers of a taxicab or a car saw the white lady in the Balete Drive. It's very obvious actually. But the question is - WHY? Why did she often appear to them? Perhaps, the most credible version of her origin might be her death through car crush. Because, she might be, at that time, waiting for someone to help her, that's why she often halts the driver for a ride. For the first version of her origin, it became unbelievable because if she wants revenge then why would she halt drivers for a ride and never made harm on them. The accidents happened on the Balete Drive was thought to be done by the ghost. But it doesn't mean, she made revenge through that accident. The third one was more detailed than the other that's why I included it here. However, the cause of death is similar to that of the first version.

    For Japanese readers there, the reason why there was a version of them is because, some time in the past, Manila was conquered by Japanese Troops during the Second World War. At that time, there was this term for Filipino women - Comfort Women, and similarly, the Japanese Era in the Philippine Hisrtory is the Dark Age for them. That's one of the reasons why Japan paid a lot of money to the Philippine government. I don't like that topic, so if you wanted to know everything about that, make a research for yourself.

    Composed Stories



    [Taken from A book [4]:]

    Balete Drive Experience
    By: jason

    One night in 1993, my parents were driving home and they passed Balete Drive. It was 1 or 2 in the morning and my mom was asleep in the passenger seat.

    My dad saw 2 houses that looked like they were built in the 50s. They were facing each other and both had their gates open. Their lights were on and saw a lady in a white nightgown. He assumed that there was a party there and that the lady was about to cross, my dad slowed down. When he got close, she hadn't moved from the sidewalk. Thinking that she was letting him pass first, he accelerated. That was when she jumped directly in front of the car! Her face was directly in front of him but her facce was blurry, like when a camera's out of focus.

    Instead of cursing, my dad just said, "SORRY!"

    Then poof! The lady disappeared.

    "Wake up. I think I just ran over someone," my dad told my mom as he shook her awake.

    They both got out of the car and looked everywhere - under the car and beside it, but there wasn't anybody there.

    After the incident, my dad always tried to look for the two 50s style houses. He never found them again. Maybe they went back into time?



    [Taken from Internet [5]:]

    Three men and a white lady

    This isn't the first time Mike, Steven and Jerry visited the Philippines. In fact, they have been in the country at least twice when their parents used to work there for a time.

    The three friends spent the first few days visiting tourist spots, beaches, and generally roamed the places that get crowded with fellow foreigners. In between that, they hung around with their acquaintances and hosts who entertained them with stories and anecdotes. Among the stories that were exchanged was the one about the White Lady of Balete Drive.

    All three of them listened in silence as their hosts described the urban legend for the first time, none uttering so much as a whistle.

    When the discussion broke up, and they headed to the room they shared, Jerry, with a mischievous smile, suggested that they take a drive down Balete Drive one night to see if it was true. Both Mike and Steven, not exactly fans of the paranormal, looked at their companion with skeptical expressions on their faces.

    The matter seemed to have been forgotten as the days went by, until one evening ....

    The three friends left the party ten minutes before midnight, and staggered to their car. Steven, being the most sober among them, since he never drank anything with alcohol content, got behind the wheel. Mike got into the front passenger seat, and Jerry slid into the back seat. As soon as Mike pulled the car out of the parking area and into the street, Jerry was already fast asleep, snoring loudly.

    After approximately five minutes, Mike noticed that they were along what is famously known as Balete Drive, with the huge Balete trees towering above them on both sides of the road. As he drove along, he muttered under his breath : "Well, Mike, Jerry finally got his wish ... too bad he's not in shape to enjoy it.." "Yeah," Mike replied, jerking his thumb at their sleeping companion, "too bad for him ... " At that moment, Steve had chosen to sneak a glance on his rear view mirror to check on his friend's condition. What he saw shocked him.

    Seated beside Jerry is a figure in transluscent white, looking ahead calmly, without any expression. Returning his gaze towards the road, Mike muttered in a low voice : "Man, I think you gotta drive faster ..."

    "Why ?" Steven replied. "Trust me, man ... or if you don't, why don't you take a look at the rearview mirror ?" Mike countered.

    At this, Steven stole a glance at the rear view mirror and saw her ....

    Steven : "I think you're right ..."

    Mike : "So ... what do you say ?... we
    haul ass outta here ?.."

    Steven : "Yeah ..."

    The three friends are quite fortunate that there was little traffic that night in that area ... They were back at their place in little over an hour, and bundling their semi-conscious friend into the house with them, Mike and Steven shut the door behind them and secured it.

    The next morning, both Mike and Steven related their encounter with their hosts, who told them : "Well ... at least you did have an experience of a lifetime, right ?"

    At this, all three were dumbstruck.





    [Taken from an article [6]:]

    HAUNTING ON BALETE DRIVE
    (Rudy)


    This is a story which appeared in the newspapers in Manila for quite a spell in the early 50's (around 1951 or 1953). It was a popular rumor at first among taxi and bus drivers, until it spirited up to the minds of the newspaper editors and the local radios.

    There was a street named Balete Drive (the name has changed) which connected downtown Manila and the next city north from there, Quezon City. A major street (named Gilmore at the time) crossed this street at an intersection closer to downtown Quezon City. Not too far from this intersection was a well-known school and college for girls. I'm not sure now whether the school was north or south of this intersection, but anyway it was in that area. This was the place where the sightings had been reported.

    A cab driver picked up a woman passenger at around 8:00 in the evening near the said school. She was young, pretty, wearing a white party dress and perfume. On closing the door, the driver of course waited for direction as he started driving. He got direction and everything would have been just like any other night, but he noticed something strange. The woman's voice he heard seem not to have come from the passenger but from inside his ears. Weird, but then he doubted himself, may be he was wrong, who else could have spoken? So he continued driving. It didn't take long and the driver glanced at his rear view mirror just as any cab driver would do especially when the passenger is pretty, beautiful, gorgeous and what not. There was no passenger within view of the mirror. He turned his head to look at the passenger. The passenger seat was empty. The common argument when this rumor appeared was the woman probably jumped out the window. You be the judge.

    The school in the area I earlier mentioned was and still is to this day a private school and college for girls and young women who belonged among the wealthy, prestigious families in the country. They have come and gone into all sorts of destiny, from successful politicians and prominent professionals and business entrepreneurs down to prostitutes and the mentally ill. Some are now dead, by natural death, accidents and some by fatal crime. The last one probably brought about the haunts on taxi and bus drivers.

    The preceding is a fictional, but possible idea of what happened at the Balete Drive.

    Criminal activities are not frequent, but not impossible in places such as this. Formal or wild parties are one of the excitements which propel the energies of some of the young women at school - needless to say. What happens before or after the culmination of these excitements is what pushes this young women into any kind of fatal crime possible. Kidnap, rape and homicide are the typical crimes. Before or after the party at around 8:00 pm, an unfortunate young, pretty, high school or college woman in white party dress and perfume could end up dead from this type of crime, probably committed by a sex maniac driving a taxi. She would be missing and the news about her would invade the local news and even TV and radio for a while, then nothing. Isn't this very common? What would be left for this unfortunate victim who probably had young, ardent ambitions, dreams and plans for her life and her future? Something supernatural and/or paranormal would be all that is left so she can send a message about her unexpected, unfortunate death and may be even equally punish the criminal. Hence the hauntings. The hauntings ended towards the latter part of the 50's perhaps after whoever the criminal was (may be a cab driver and beyond) had met awesome punishment(s) from the reality beyond fantasy where the young, pretty woman wearing a party dress and perfume would materialize and appear at the Balete Drive under a specific occasion.

    Sources:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lady_(ghost)
    [1]http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm540224.html?t=Urban%20Legends
    [2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lady_(ghost)#Philippines
    [3]http://haxorfreek.15.forumer.com/ [jake- 02-12-2009; Island Scares 2; Submitted by: Jose G. Paman]
    [4]True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 8. Reginald Ting Ed. PSICOM Publishing Inc. 2004. Quezon City, Philippines.
    [5]http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1108486-THREE-MEN-AND-A-WHITE-LADY
    [6]http://www.true-ghost-stories.com/Phillipines.html

    Jose Rizal is Jack The Ripper



    Claim:


    "Jack the Ripper" is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. He was so called because of a letter who was written by someone who claims he was the killer, however the letter was considered as a hoax. Another name for him are "The Whitechapel Murderer" and "Leather Apron".

    While Jose Rizal was in London, Jack The Ripper was present and when he went back to the Philippines, the killings had stopped. It was very mysterious! Could it be just a coincidence? Or not?

    By the way, Jack The Ripper likes girls while Jose Rizal was quite similar to him. They both have the same initials too, J.R.

    For those who don't know Jose Rizal, he is the national hero of the Philippines though not legally official.

    José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda (Jose Rizal) was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot.[Click Here]

    Let's find out...

    Legend:



    While searching everything about Jose Rizal on the internet, I stumbled upon this summary of his life while living in London.
    Rizal was in London from May 1888 to January 1889, in the British Library copying "Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas" by hand because there were no photocopying machines at the time. Jack the Ripper was active around this time, and since we do not know what Rizal did at night or on the days he was not in the library, some people would like to believe Rizal is a suspect. They argue that when Rizal left London, the Ripper murders stopped. They say that Jack the Ripper must have had some medical training, based on the way his victims were mutilated. Rizal, of course, was a doctor. Jack the Ripper liked women, and so did our own Rizal. And -- this is so obvious that many overlooked it -- Jose Rizal's initials match those of Jack the Ripper!

    Infos



    Actually the case was still unsolved. Till now everything about it is a speculation. Here's a brief information about Rizal and the Ripper in London:

    Jose Rizal
    Jack the Ripper
    He was a doctor. (An ophthalmologist particularly) He is suspected to be a doctor (the removal of the victims’ organs implied anatomical knowledge).
    He is a multi-talented person and could even speak English fluently. The Ripper is an Englishmen.
    Rizal lived in Beckett family at Crescent, London. Ripper killed prostitutes in Whitechapel, London.
    He is known for having many lovers. His victims are all women.
    Rizal copied, by hand, the book Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas at daylight. Ripper killed prostitutes always at night time in the East End.
    Rizal is a Freemason. In the word 'Juwes', which might mean Freemason, makes him related somehow to it.
    He leaves London in January, 1889. On July, 1889, another victim was believed to be killed by the Ripper.
    Jose Rizal's initial is JR. Jack the Ripper's initial is also JR.


    This is the events that happened in London at the time when Jose Rizal and Jack the Ripper was in the said city. (In chronological order.)



    -----
    DATE:
    Jose Rizal
    Jack the Ripper
    February 3, 1888 As the controversy over his novel raged, Rizal got involved in the Kalamba tenant's fight to correct generations-old abuses committed against them. Thus, the security of Rizal family became a problem. Then, they advised Jose Rizal to leave the Philippines. He departed secretly for Hong Kong, then to Japan, and to United States.
    -----
    May 13 to 16, 1888 Dr. Jose P. Rizal stayed at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York City.
    -----
    May 16, 1888 He gathered enough funds for a trip to London on board the luxurious liner CITY OF ROME.
    -----
    May 24, 1888 He arrived in Liverpool, then went on to London, where he eventually settled down at No. 37 Chalcot, Crescent (with the Beckett Family).
    -----
    -----
    While in London, Dr. Rizal copied the book Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas written by Antonio de Morga in the library of British Museum.[1]
    -----
    June 13, 1888 He wrote a letter to his family informing them where he was that time.
    -----
    August 31, 1888
    -----
    Jack the Ripper started his killings. (First victim, Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols)
    September 8, 1888
    -----
    Jack the Ripper killed his second victim - Annie Chapman.
    September 25, 1888
    -----
    A postcard was sent to 'Dear Boss', the head of the Central News Agency, signed 'Yours truly, Jack the Ripper.'
    September 30, 1888
    -----
    Jack the Ripper killed two women on the same day - Elizabeth Stride and Catharine Eddowes, found half-a-mile apart.
    -----
    -----
    [The words 'The Juwes are the men that Will not be Blamed for nothing', were chalked, seemingly by Jack, on a doorway immediately above a portion of the bloodstained apron of victim Catharine Eddowes. The word 'Juwes' may mean a code-word for the Freemasons or the Jews.]
    November 9, 1888
    -----
    Jack the Ripper killed his last victim, Mary Jane Kelly.
    -----
    [Dr. Jose Rizal wrote letters to his friend Blumentritt from London, however, there were no letters are written for his family or friends from July, 1888 - November 14, 1888.] [Between August 31 to November 9, 1888, five prostitutes were killed in Whitechapel, always late at night.]
    January, 1889 Dr. Jose P. Rizal left London.
    -----
    July, 1889
    -----
    After nine months from the last Ripper killing, Alice Mackenzie was murdered, and once claimed as a Ripper victim, although the police did not think so at the time.
    -----
    There were fifteen leading candidates for the true identity of Jack the Ripper. Three of them were highly suspected, namely Montague Druitt; 'Kosminski’, a Polish Jew; and ‘Michael Ostrog, a Russian doctor.’ All were documented in MacNaghten Memorandum. But the more highly suspected and convincing of the three is Montague Druitt.[2][3]
    [1]The book tells a fair presentation of a 16th century Philippine culture and civilization. (If you notice some defects in Filipino race, maybe you read the book yourself in order to make a better judgment of the present.)

    [2]There appeared to be a good deal of evidence linking him with the Ripper. In 1913, Macnaghten told the Daily Mail that he had ‘a very clear idea’ who the Ripper was but had ‘destroyed all the documents and there is now no record of the secret information which came into my possession at one time or another.’ A journalist with good police contacts, G.R. Sims, stated in 1903 that ‘the body of the man suspected by the chiefs of Scotland Yard, and by his own friends, who were in communication with the Yard, was found in the Thames.’ Druitt indeed committed suicide in the Thames around November 30th, 1888, shortly after being dismissed as a schoolteacher in Blackheath, and three weeks after the last Ripper murder. Druitt, who was also a barrister, had chambers at King’s Bench Walk, within walking distance of the East End, and apparently had a cousin who was a doctor with offices in the Minories, on the border of the East End.

    [3]In some sources, the evidences pointed James Maybrick to be Jack the Ripper. Well, all or almost all of the evidence pointing him are highly convincing making him the killer.

    Other things about Jose Rizal:
  • He was a Malay.

  • He would have been 27 years old at the time of the Ripper killings.

  • He was short, had dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes.

  • He came from a well to do family, was well dressed and looked respectable.

  • He was executed in the Philippines on December 30, 1896 at the age of 35.

  • Had a romantic relationship with Gertrude Beckett - daughter of Charles Beckett.

  • After he died, his mother tried to procure his assets which consisted of some pretty nice jewelry including gold cuff links and other baubles of diamonds and amethysts (gold chain with a red stone seal?)

  • Conclusion:



    Well, as soon as Jack the Ripper is still unknown, no one can say that Jose Rizal isn't him. We, Filipinos see this intelligent little guy a hero, good, patriot, and brave man for writing Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Are we so sure that there is no bad side of him? If you notice, in El Fili, Simoun is brave, dark and vengeful who thinks of killing the influential people in Paulita and Juanito Pelaez's wedding day. I don't mean anything. I just open some possibilities which make him suspect of being JACK THE RIPPER.

    However, if it is true that Alice Mackenzie was indeed one of Jack the Ripper's victims, then probably Jose Rizal was not him because at the time she was killed, Jose Rizal was not present anymore in London. Aside of that, there is no strong evidence to prove that he is the Ripper. They don't even have a connection with each other. I personally believe he is NOT.

    I asked my professor in 'The Life of Jose Rizal' once about this intriguing controversy. She didn't tell me exactly if she do believe that Dr. Jose Rizal is indeed Jack the Ripper. She told me that even the most silent person in the world do have a secret, and Rizal might be one of them. She also told me that there are some proofs that point him to be the killer, but not too strong to hold the claim. I asked her what proofs, but she just became silent and closed the topic eventually. I don't know if she knew something. But one thing for sure, as long as Jack the Ripper is still not identified, claims of his identity will just rose from nowhere.

    I highly advise you to search for yourself information that disproves the legend, not to prove it. You know its embarrassing if you believe he is. Jose Rizal is the perfect picture of a true Filipino, not only for being small but for being just HIM - patriot, talented, multi-lingual ... name it. Remember, Ninoy Aquino died the same reason why our national hero die for. I can't imagine if my favorite hero is a killer. I don't know if you feel the same way too.



    Latest Findings



    Last 2012, I created an article about Jose Rizal as Jack the Ripper (see above). I even casted possible evidence of his settlement in England, and what he really was doing there. Aside of that, I also cited Jack the Ripper's activities at the same time when Jose Rizal was present in the country, and his identity being a murderer. I even give possible suspects according to the investigation made.

    There are four highly suspected identity of Jack the Ripper. They are Montague Druitt; 'Kosminski’, a Polish Jew; Michael Ostrog, a Russian doctor; and James Maybrick. Obviously, investigators never thought a Filipino man named Jose Rizal should also be suspected with this. However, according to the latest investigation, the Polish Jew named Kosminski is the most probable true identity of Jack the Ripper.

    Who is Kosminski?



    Aaron Kosminski (or Aron Mordke Kozmiński) was a Polish Jew who was suspected as the real Jack the Ripper. He emigrated to England from the Russian Poland in 1880s. In Whitechapel, East of London, he worked as a hairdresser, the same place where the murders happened.

    He was born on September 11, 1865, and died on March 24, 1919. He was born in Kłodawa in Congress Poland, now part of the Russian Empire. His parents were Abram Józef Kozmiński, a tailor, and his wife Golda née Lubnowska.

    Aaron was institutionalized because of his illness in an insane asylum.

    He had been ill since at least 1885. He had an auditory hallucination that time. The cause of his insanity was recorded as "self-abuse", which is thought to be a euphemism for masturbation. His poor diet seems to have kept him in an emaciated state for years; his low weight was recorded in the asylum case notes. By February 1919, he weighed just 96 pounds (44 kg), and died the following month, aged 53, caused by gangrene.

    Studies: The Beginning



    Sir Melville Macnagthen is the one who named Kosmiski as suspect of the Ripper murder case. Then Sir Robert Anderson, on his memoir 'The Lighter Side of My Official Life' also claimed Kosminski as the killer.

    In the next following years, many investigators and authors had tried to solve the case. However, the defense against the prosecutors became very strong. Accordingly, Jack the Ripper is an Englishman or a good English speaker, which supposedly the key to persuading the victim to go to a dark alley, but Aaron Kosminski in the asylum preferred to speak his native language (Yiddish) indicating that he is a poor English speaker. He showed no sign of violent behavior except in two occasions when he threatened his sister with a knife. Ripper was also alleged to be a doctor while Kosminski isn't.

    Studies: The Present



    British author Russel Edwards commissioned Dr. Jari Louhelainen, a molecular biologist, to carry out a forensic study on a silk shawl supposedly owned by Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper victim. Dr. Jari conducted a DNA testing by extracting mitochondrial DNA on the shawl, matching it with the female descendants of both Eddowes (named Karen Miller) and Aaron Kosminski's sister.

    Later on, crime enthusiasts from Australia noticed a nomenclature error on Dr. Jari's DNA testing. In other words, this error only mean that Kosmisnki and Eddowes have no connection, opening again the debate of the century.

    Accordingly, Dr. Jari managed to extract an incomplete fragment on the shawl and tried matching it on Karen Miller's DNA. Actually, his complete work was not published, and the only detailed description of Dr. Jari's testing comes from Edwards' book. In addition to that, his testing was not yet subject to peer review of another scientist like him.

    Afterword



    This doesn't mean that Jose Rizal is still a possible suspect by just having an error in the DNA analysis made by Dr. Jari Louhelainen. The fact that they never considered Jose Rizal is a simple and conclusive evidence that he is NOT Jack the Ripper. I even doubt if they know our hero.

    The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity will someday be revealed through much more complicated and modern forensic techniques. We already have DNA testing right now, thus on the near future, a much futuristic way will finally reveal it.

    Sources:

    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/comments/philippine_urban_legends
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Ripper
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Rizal
    AmateurSleuth: forum.casebook.org
    http://filipinohome.com/02_03_01rizal_london.html
    Book: The Hunt for Jack the Ripper by William D. Rubinstein
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Kosminski
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/jack-the-ripper-id-hinges-on-a-decimal-point-as-scientists-flag-up-dna-error-in-book-that-claims-to-identify-the-whitechapel-killer-9804325.html

    Last Update:April 9, 2015

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