Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte has said he will not live in Malacañang after his inauguration on June 30. But besides the fact that this would lessen the government expenditures, the tough-talking president-elect recently shared his own creepy experience of ghosts in Malacañang. And yes, tough men are also afraid of ghosts.
“Why won’t I live in Malacañang? Maraming mumu doon. When I was working for (President Gloria) Arroyo as consultant for law and order, she once called me around 2 a.m. I was brought to a sala with paintings of the presidents, while I waited for her to dress up.” Duterte tells Sunstar in an exclusive interview this Wednesday, May 18.
As the first president from Mindanao recalled, Duterte said he looked at the portraits of past presidents of the Philippines on the wall, and saw their faces looking in front. Then he said the felt a very strong wind, which he thought of coming from the aircon. Shortly, he looked at those portraits again, and said saw the presidents now looking at him.
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Incidentally, this is not the first time that President-elect Duterte has spoken about ghosts in Malacañang. In an earlier interview with reporters, the country’s next leader said he prefer sleeping on a cottage or even plywood of fiberglass but never inside Malacañang. He noted that he does not want to share power with Palace ghosts.
On the other hand, Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, Duterte’s daughter, also said earlier that she will not stay in Malacañang. “No.” She said would rather stay in Davao City, where she was recently proclaimed as mayor. But aside from that, the tough lady mayor said she doesn’t want to sleep in Malacañang because of the ghost stories she has heard.
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And although Malacañang ghost stories are considered hearsay or probably made just to scare everyone, below are some alleged ghost sightings in Malacañang as revealed by known personalities who have visited or stayed in the palace, as posted at the official website of Malacañang. Read along, only if you don’t have a weak heart.
Ghost in Malacanang? Headless image of Presidential Security Group (PSG) member; Credit: Wig Tysmans/www.malacanang.gov.ph
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“Malacañang is an old house. And it creaks. And my first night there, whenever I heard a creaking, I would wonder: Is this it, is this the ghost?” – Linda Garcia-Campos, only child of President Carlos P. Garcia.
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower on his State Visit to President Carlos P. Garcia recounted that during his stay, a mysterious valet brought snacks to his room at midnight.
“The wing we occupied was said to be haunted. There was a certain balcony where scary noises were supposed to be heard at night. And behind the bedrooms was a pasillo going to the laundry room and the tableware closet, and on that corridor the Quezons’ Chinese cook, Aching, was said to have died of a heart attack. So there was supposed to be a Chinese ghost on that pasillo.” – Vicky Quirino, daughter of President Elpidio Quirino
President Ferdinand E. Marcos would tell his children of a shadowed aide haunting the room the President used as his study, responding to neither summons nor the physical constraints of solid walls.
“My first view of The Thing from a distance was of a white-haired man wearing a dark suit. The Thing must have sensed my presence because he immediately turned around. He said: ‘Toting, paano ba lumabas dito?’ [Toting, how do you get out of here?] Secretary Raul Gonzalez seemed as relieved as I was.” – Former Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. even relates more hauntings in the State Dining Room, curiously enough, as this was the site of pajama parties and movie viewing—a tradition began by President Roxas himself.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, relates how the palace guards have spoken of “pianos [that] start playing by themselves” and of the sound of footsteps marauding the halls.
Now, is Malacañang really a haunted house? Or are these ghost stories only being passed on so people will be afraid to roam around and eventually discover some hidden secrets? But in case there are really ghosts in Malacañang, who do you gonna call?