Malacañang: The ultimate haunted house?

A seemingly headless guard captured on camera is one of Malacañang’s many ghostly characters. Malacañang Photo

If the countless stories and urban legends are to be believed, President Benigno Aquino III or PNoy is not the only president who lives in Malacañang Palace. According to an article illustrated with photos on the Malacañang website timed for Halloween and All Saints' Day, several dead presidents have been sighted by Palace employees and residents alike. The ghost of President Manuel L. Quezon is a regular in these stories, having been mentioned several times in different accounts, including that of Imee Marcos, daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos, whose reported vision of Quezon in the presidential study supposedly prompted her father to consider a séance to seek Quezon’s advice. Another story included in the article came from longtime Malacañang resident Raul Gonzales, whose father, former Malacañang engineer Arturo Gonzales, was roused from sleep one night, inexplicably drawn to the Palace garage, whereupon he heard a car door being opened and shut. The elder Gonzales later on learned that Quezon had died at exactly the same time as his garage visit. But Quezon is not the only president who reportedly lurks in the Palace hallways. Househelp have claimed to have seen the ghosts of President Manuel Roxas and Ramon Magsaysay there as well, smoking cigars in the Aguinaldo state dining room.

According to the article, the ghost of Roxas even scared the Marcoses, the longest occupants of the Palace. “Nick Joaquin relates how the Marcos children would avoid the State Dining Room, as this was where the body of President Roxas had reportedly lain in state. Imelda Marcos would insist that one of her children escort her to the bathroom whenever they ventured near the State Dining Room,” the article says, but is quick to add that Roxas was in fact lain in state at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall. The article also shares other supernatural stories involving not only presidential ghosts, but those of children, World War II victims, and an American chaplain named Father Brown. Then there is the cigar-chomping kapre said to live in the famous haunted balete tree near the Palace's state entrance.

Its current occupant, President Benigno Aquino III, has related to others stories he's heard about pianos playing by themselves and mysterious footsteps heard in hallways, according to the article, but does not say whether the president himself believes in ghosts. However, Aquino chose to live in a part of the Palace compound away from these ghosts' usual stomping grounds.

“President Aquino himself—who resides in Bahay Pangarap—has commented on the ominous atmosphere of the Palace, and the years of related stories on hauntings, beginning with a looming balete tree in front of the state entrance.” "The article was in response to popular demand," says Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, who heads the team responsible for Malacañang's web presence. "It was an exercise in gathering existing published sources as well as oral accounts." Quezon is the grandson of President Quezon. He says via sms, "I grew up with these stories, not from family but from old folks who'd worked there. I believe that people seriously believe these tales... Lots of people get spooked." Photos of ghosts Believers cite photographs taken at the Palace that purportedly reveal apparitions, such as a famous one that shows a headless member of the Presidential Security Guard on duty by the Palace's state entrance. The unbylined article's author, believed to be Quezon himself, proffers an explanation:

"When asked if he had truly captured a specter on film, photographer Wig Tysmans offered a simple explanation: long exposure. The now-immortalized security personnel must have held his pose throughout the exposure, only to move his head before it ended." –

Amanda Lago/ Howie Severino/KG, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options