Archive for the ‘weird’ Category

Tomb Dwellers of Manila

October 31, 2008

They have lost fear for the ethereal white lady in lavender lace who appears mysteriously under the full moon’s shadow behind the cemetery’s concrete-covered coffins. The cryptic presence of the black cat and the howls of hungry mongrels in the mausoleum aren’t bothersome anymore. In the pitch darkness of the night, the eerie stillness is friendlier in the cemetery than before.

It has been a hushed reality that for years, there are people who live in the cemetery. Grave diggers, sextons and caretakers of tombs may be allowed housing in the vicinity, but in some burial sites in Manila, a throng of people have found their residence among the dead. On All Saint’s day, the tomb dwellers merge with the crowd, paying tribute to the dead.

Two years ago, in Manila North Cemetery, about 6,000 men, women and children reside with the dead. The number keeps growing as the destitute convert the burial ground into a living space, disturbing the resting place of the dead. The poor seems to have no choice.

As of last count, those who sleep, eat, and bathe inside the cemetery have ballooned to more than 10,000. For generations, the government seems tolerant, ignoring the ugly and hapless sight away from the consciousness of the public.

Like the problem of exploding squatters living close to the railroad tracks, poor people who share living space with the dead pose a dilemma to urban planners, health workers, and sanitation engineers. Standard plumbing, water supply, sewer system and regular electric supply aren’t available. However embarrassing, it is clear the government has to do something to put an end to the dangerous environment which the public doesn’t approve.

Arrivals from the provinces unable to afford the high cost of housing are forced to seek a patch of squalid space in the cemetery as they seek jobs in the metropolis of 12 million. In the burial grounds, the thieves, gamblers, drug addicts and homeless roam as the housing shortage worsen.

There is a basketball court nearby. Children play on dirty alleys. They sometimes hold on human ribs and broken skull bones away from the sight of their parents. Smell of stinky effluent and garbage sometimes fill the air. Peddlers have set up stores to make the place a surreal shopping ground. Understandably, the living must not make the cemetery their home. =0=

(Photo Credits: dsrito; Bahag; dsrito; hywell; elmernocheseda)

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A new way to dream, a new way to see things

September 11, 2008

Against the backdrop of a cloudy blue sky, the upside-down house on the left is exactly what it has been built for.

With roof resting on sandy gravel, its supposed foundation is oriented facing up the sky. The building appears to have been toppled by the wind or carried to the spot by some torrent from a riverbed. Definitely unconventional, the house gives visitors a chance to look at things differently.

Built in Trassenheide, Germany, it radically diverges from the traditional perspective of construction. (Photo Credit; AP/FrankHormann).

Prank, organic disease, mass hysteria, or “evil-spirit” haunts school

August 24, 2008

In Calapan, Mindoro, Philippines, a spate of curious incidents occurred in a school of Pedro Panaligan Memorial National High School where children unexplainably fall into fits of convulsion, displayed spells of crying, shortness of breath, and confusion. Some complained of headaches and stomach pains. They and people in their town blamed “angered spirits” after an old tree was cut in the school backyard.

Since August 8, 2008, at least 26 students manifested signs of “evil possession.” But no credible authority was able to convincingly explain (particularly to the skeptical) the events which repeatedly disrupt school work.

In a video shown by Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI,08/22/09,) almost all affected students were notably aided by their fellow schoolmates. Teachers and aides were hardly present. Probably scared, they sought help from local shamans, spiritual healers and asked a priest to say mass and put a stop on the perplexing phenomenon.

Too young to grasp the whole situation, the panicky high school students carried those affected, rested them on their backs, restrained their bodies, and massaged their stomachs. Whether these occurrences are caused by a prank, organic disease, mass hysteria, or “angered evil spirit” must be quickly determined by authorities. The school needs to bring back peace in the community and among its students. (PhotoCredit: PDI)

UPDATE: The Philippine Dailiy Inquirer (PDI) reported that a team of psychologists and psychiatrists was sent to investigate this case. It was concluded that the bizarre phenomenon was caused by “mass hysteria”—a form of conversion disorder that affects a group of people usually incited by a problem, an alarm or enigmatic situation that sweeps the psyche of the affected individuals. (September 7, 2008)