Monday, April 09, 2007

Death March Relived-Pinay and Ghost Stories

Dear insansapinas,
April 9 ngayon. Fall of Bataan. World War Second. May nabasa akong artikulo tungkol sa Death March mula kay MLQ3.

Ngayon lang ako nakabasa ng detalyadong kuwento tungkol sa death march. Noong bata pa ako, ito ang karanasan ko tungkol sa "multo ng death march".

We lived in Angeles City when I was a kid. The company that hired my father provided us with housing as part of the company benefits to lure him to relocate from Manila. For some reasons that were never shared to us by our parents,we moved to another place and rented a newly-built split level house in a place that was being developed as a subdivision. At that time that we transferred,there were only two completed units,both of them already occupied. The third was under construction yet.
For three mornings in a row, the adults in the breakfast table buzzed with ghost and other scary stories. Following their conversations for the past days, while savoring the pandesal soaked in hot chocolate (some things that they would never allow if they were not busy talking),I gathered that these were all about those strange sounds that suddenly permeated the place coming from nowhere at exactly every 12 midnight.
Sounds of digging,shouting, crying, marching sounds such as heavy thumping of boots; gunshots, bodies falling...
I mentally took note of the time. It was 12 o clock. I would not dare remain awake at that time. I was not aware yet of my " ghost radar" so I was just an ordinary kid who was scared of dark and Casper's unfriendly relatives.
That night,I slept early but woke up in the middle of the night. All the lights were out and the adults were pretty quiet. I could see the luminous clock hands from our alarm clock. It was 10 to 12. I remembered the story. I pulled up my blanket as if it could block noises and stopped ghosts that I imagined to be circling my bed. I heard the digging sound. At first, I thought it was emanating from the unit under construction. But who in the hell would work at that time of the might.Then came the shouts and the gunshots and the sounds of falling of bodies. I was about to shout and run to my parents' bed when my mom covered my mouth and said sssh. So, they were looking out of the partly opened windows. They had been doing that for successive nights and they could not just pinpoint a specific direction where the noises were coming from.
We saw the people in the other house. They too were awake and looking out.
The noises became louder. The feeling that there was a multitude of people walking got past us. I was holding on to the skirt of my mom. The loud cries of anguish, the conversations in different languages;Japanese and Pilipino were the most audible ones such as Bakero...Takbo na...Ayan na.. ..were heard by all of us. It seemed that,that night when all of us were awake, the spirits of the soldiers who were in the DEATH MARCH relived history for us.
The owner/developer explained to my parents that our place seemed to be in the path of the Death March going to Tarlac in World War 2.
He had the place blessed by a priest.
Except for the digging sound, we never heard of the "Death March" again. Howlings of the dogs at night, however warned the residents that there were souls meandering in the area.

Ang iyong pinsan,


Related article:
Pinay goes romantic and religious Part 1


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