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Who's That Girl?


My dad used to work as a lighting technician in the main theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) during the latter part of the Marcos regime. The CCP serves as a venue to showcase Filipino culture and art, and houses exhibit halls, a library and several theaters.

The CCP has seen it share of popular local and international personalities. That day, during dad's shift, their crew were informed that the president's first lady, Imelda Marcos, will be watching the play. The Presidential Security Group (PSG) thoroughly swept the place for anything and anyone suspicious.

After that, my dad and the sound technician (let's call him Roy), went up to the control room behind the stage (it's elevated, think two story backstage) and started checking their equipment to get ready for the play. Their area allows them to see the stage without being seen by the audience. Imagine the recording studios with the glass panel - that's pretty much how it looks like. On the first level across them (still behind the stage) are two PSG men, stationed in that area.

The play started without a hitch but during the intermission, the two PSG guys came running inside the control room. My dad and Roy got a little worried - during that time, getting in trouble with the Marcoses either mean torture or death.

One of PSG guys spoke up and asked whether someone went through the room. My dad and Roy told them they haven't seen anyone go through the door. Unconvinced, the PSG guys pointed to a door on the right. Roy said that door has been locked for a long time but gave them the key anyway so they could check it themselves. They did and found the tiny room dusty and empty (no trap doors or anything).

For a couple of tough guys, they started looking a little shook up. They told my dad and Roy that just a few minutes ago, before the intermission, they saw a lady with long hair and white clothes entering the room--running, then disappearing. My dad and Roy looked at each other, shrugged and told the PSG guys that it happens a lot there (the whole CCP in fact).


Here's another tale I want to share with you guys about that place. In class, during high school, our teacher in English was discussing the details of our upcoming project. She then started sharing the woes of our upperclassmen (or women since I studied in an all-girls school) with their thesis.

I stopped listening at this point, deciding to scribble doodles on my notebook but a picture being passed around piqued my interest. My teacher said it was taken in one of the hallways of the CCP (the hall with the huge mirrors).

I can't remember if it's 3 or 4 of her students, but I can remember seeing 3 unwelcome images - one of a lady with long hair and a boy between 2 of her students, and a head of a man in front. The lady and the boy were in the mirror. Their images like smoke. The man in front is less discernible at first glance, it looks like it was super imposed. All in 35 mm of film.

No, I don't have a copy of that picture. I was a broke high school student (remember, 'tis the age of nice old film cameras) and was not a huge fan of the supernatural back then.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, luce, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Triskaideka (2 stories) (388 posts)
9 years ago (2013-11-03)
Absolutely fascinating story luce, and so was the information from 50ftqueen and clarencetuvera. Guess which famous lady I'm googling right now. 😉
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
9 years ago (2013-11-03)
Hello. I read your story several months ago, and it triggered a few memories. If it was the 80s as you said, then the resident theater company at that time would be Teatro Pilipino, and its Artistic Director would be Rolando S. Tinio (+). But the group often performed at the Little Theater, and I don't remember Madam Marcos ever attending any of its performance. But since you mentioned that it was attended by the First Lady herself, then the play couldn't have been any other than Mirandolina, a Filipino translation of Carlo Goldoni's Mistress of the Inn. It was directed by Tony Mabesa, and featured Presidential daughter, Imee Marcos. That being the case, then the theater you are referring to would be the Main Theater. There were stories of curious incidents during the theater run of the said play: (1) the Shadow that crossed the stage, for instance, and (2) the extra character (mute) that appeared on the stage with three of the cast members. The Stage Manager was scratching his head as he he couldn't account for the extra character onstage, nor the costume that the character was wearing. Mirandolina was a frolicking comedy of manners, but the extra character was just standing there, as if observing the whole thing with disgust.
luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2011-07-02)
Hi, Geetha50 and Madyrina. I'm glad you enjoyed the story:)
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-30)
As the other said, great story. I had to laugh thinking how two guys who are supposed to be strong got really spooked.

That's really interesting history. But it's also sad to hear about those workers. I don't know how people can be so cruel. 😢
Madyrina (68 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-29)
Great story Luce.
And I agree there is something about theaters, I always have a sense of reverence when I'm in them.
luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-29)
Thanks for the response ❤

[at] Jav and DragonStorm80- there's just something about theaters!

[at] Darkness - my dad's more attuned to feeling (and sometimes conversing with) "elementals" or earth bound entities than ghosts. Does that make sense?

[at] 50thqueen - I thought that was the Film Center which was build around the 70's (can't remember the date)? But those 2 buildings are in the same compound so...
DragonStorm80 (1 stories) (440 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-29)
I didn't reply to this straight away because the title of it got that Eurythmics song stuck in my head for ages and I couldn't focus:O

This is a really interesting story I like it, the photo you saw would have been great to have seen I agree.

And isn't there something in their atmosphere that makes theatres feel very nostalgic and regal? 😊
50ftqueen (5 stories) (34 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-29)
the CCP is haunted because during its construction, the scaffolding collapsed, sending workers to their death. But, First Lady Imelda Marcos insisted on pouring concrete over their bodies to complete the building before its opening, a ghastly reminder of her excesses.
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-28)
Hi luce, its a shame you couldn't get a copy of that picture it would have been great to see it. In agreement with Jav on this, I like reading about the stories of haunted theatres there is a feeling of class I feel that associates with them. So did your dad ever experience something at the CCP?

Thanks for sharing.

Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-28)
Very interesting account. It seems that theaters must be the most haunted of all structures. I don't know if it's because of the drama and feeling it takes for the actors to get into character or what, but it makes for wonderful stories like yours. That's for sure!
Thanks for sharing.


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