When I first visited Malacañang during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos and later, twice, during the president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration, I distinctly felt the eerie presence of so many spirits of the dead in the Palace. I am certainly not alone with this experience.
The legendary ghosts in the 200-year-old Malacañang Palace have once again become a hot topic in mass media, when PresidentDuterte said in a TV interview that he would not sleep there because he believed the place was haunted.
Mr. Duterte, of course, is not the first high official to comment in public about the existence of ghosts in the palace. Other previous presidents, as well as those who work at Malacañang, attest to the presence of these invisible creatures roaming around.
Despite the so many stories told and retold by people about their encounters with spirits of the dead inside Malacañang, many still do not believe they exist. One of the skeptics is former President Joseph Estrada. He said that in his two-year stay at the Palace, he never once encountered or saw any ghost there.
That’s not really unusual. There are people who do not have sensitivity to the spirit world and will never experience either seeing or encountering one.This does not mean that the place is not inhabited by spirits.
I know a case of a family in Quezon City whose house is frequented by unusual happenings encountered by six of those living there, except the head of the family, who was a doctor of medicine.Whenever he is in the house, no ghostly apparitions or manifestations take place, but once he is gone, the various phenomena would happen.
Doors open and close
Doors open and close by themselves, aglass door would suddenly slide close or open when they try to pass, and blankets or bed sheets covering them would fly away as if somebody had flung them.
Although the doctor has never experienced anything unusual in his house, he believed the stories told by his family and household help because of their consistency and frequency.
Now back to Malacañang Palace. In March 1982, then President Marcos suddenly summoned me.I had never met him, I did not have any business with the government, andI was not into politics.
My wife got a call from theMinistry of Public Information headed byGregorio Cendaña. It came as a surprise to me, and I did not return the call.Later that evening, Cendaña confirmed that Marcos, indeed, wanted to see me the next morning at the Study Room of Malacañang. I was asked to come alone.
Since that was during Martial Law, my wife and I got apprehensive. Why would the Presidentwant to see me?
When I came face-to-face with Marcos, he explained to me the reason for this meeting—he was being asked by so many people about the “world-famous Philippine faith healers,” and “since I don’t know much about this subject,” he said, “I had to ask somebody who knows. And I think that is you.”
I thanked the president for his trust and confidence in me. I stayed in Malacañang from morning till evening because the President didn’t want me to leave.
Marcos had so many questions for me.He wanted to know, for example, what my motives were for writing about faith healers. I didn’t realize he was a great fan of mine, according to Cendana’s staff. And he had read one of my books about the psychic powers of man.
Among the things the president told me was, he’d seen the ghost of the barber of President Quezon walking inside the palace. And one time, both Imee and Irene also saw the ghost and started running in fear. “That evening,”Marcos said, laughing, “the two girls slept in our bedroom.”
When I metImelda Marcos long after Marcos had died, I asked her if she knew that Mr. Marcos had seen the ghost of Quezon’s barber. She replied that Marcos not only saw and talked with the spirit of Quezon’s barber, but “also with departed world leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Charles De Gaulle.”