Is The Biggest Secondary School In Bicol Haunted?
Choose Philippines | October 22, 2019
Story and photos by Jessa Mylce B. Mella
The Camarines Sur National High School is known in the Bicol region for two things. First, it is the biggest secondary school in the region with over 12,000 students in attendance. Second, it is one of the oldest national high schools in the country, established in 1902 by the American Thomasites.
Aside from these, the school is also well-known for being haunted, with its long-time employees and teachers having their fair share of spooky stories to tell. According to the school's history, the main building served as a garrison for Japanese soldiers in the 1940s. During the 1990s, during the renovation of the edifice, some workers have recovered human bones buried in the basement for decades.
In 1991, 59-year old Technical and Livelihood educator Ricky Namia passed the school's main and old building, also known as the Gabaldon, after a school event. Suddenly, he heard something unexpected. “Gabi noon. Meron kaming occasion. Pauwi na kami, pagdaan ko sa Gabaldon,” he recalls, “Andun pa ‘yung supply office, may narinig kami na nagta-type. Naglalagatak ang typewriter, ‘yung luma pa.” (It was in the evening, and we had an occasion. I was about to go home. When I passed by in the supply office, which was in the Gabaldon, I heard a loud sound of an old typewriter.)
[related: Tales Of The Supernatural In Ilog Baliwag, Nueva Ecija]
He initially thought it was only the officer in charge of the supply office until he saw him outside of the Gabaldon building. “Tinanong ko ‘yung officer in charge (ng supply office) kung may tao pa sa office niya. Sabi ng OIC, wala naman daw. Doon na ako nagduda. Talagang may nagpaparamdam diyan,” Ricky adds. (I asked the officer in charge of the supply office if there is someone in there. He said there’s no one. That’s when I knew there was really something strange in the building.)
52-year old Ambrosio Alcantara, the oldest utility personnel of the public high school since 1995, confirmed the presence of ghosts that he did not only feel but have seen personally. “Gabi noon, may nakita po akong nakatayo na white lady diyan sa may pintuan. Nang tapatan ko ng flashlight, nawala siya. Naramdaman ko din na tumatayo ang balahibo ko. Sa karanasan ko, nagpaparamdam sila kung mayroon baguhan,” Ambrosio relates. (One evening, I saw a white lady in one of the doors of the Gabaldon. But when I shone a flashlight on her, she disappeared. My hair stood on its ends. In my experience, they [the ghosts] tend to appear when there is a new employee.)
The scary experience does not stop in the Gabaldon. “Naglilinis ako ng CR. Bigla na lang bumukas yung gripo. Bumubuhos na yung tubig,” Ambrosio shares, “Pero nang lumapit na ako, wala naman. Wala ding tao. Pero bumukas ulit yung gripo.” (I was cleaning the comfort room when suddenly the faucet opened and the water started flowing. When I approached, there was no water and I saw no one. But, the faucet opened again.)
Instead of fearing the unseen spirits, Ambrosio employs another tactic. "Nakikiusap po ako sa kanila. Sabi ko 'pasensya na po kayo, nagtatrabaho lang ako. Kung di ko man kayo nakikita, pasensya na po.'"(I talked to them. I tell them [the ghosts],” Forgive me, but I am just working. If I don’t see you, forgive me.”)
If Ambrosio has gotten used to the presence of the spirits, 52-year old Nancy, a teacher and manager of the teacher's cooperative, is still petrified about her encounter. Her office is at the old City Hall Building, which is also inside the school. She said, if the ghosts wanted her to leave, the appliance would suddenly stop working. "Ito ang pinakaunang City Hall ng Naga City. Pero hanggang ngayon, di pa rin siya napapagiba. Maraming mga dahilan,” Nancy reveals, “Pero, alam ko, may kakaiba diyan. Kapag gusto na nila ako pauwiin, ang xerox machine, water dispenser, hindi na yan magfa-function kahit anong gawin mo. Titigil talaga silang gumana at di mo na magagamit. Pero kinabukasan, pagin-on mo, magfa-function ulit na parang walang problema." (This is the first City hall in Naga. Despite the attempts of demolishing it, the building still stands for many reasons. There’s also something strange there. If they [the spirits] want me to go home, the Xerox machine and water dispenser will suddenly stop functioning. They will shut off, and you won’t be able to use it again. The next day, when you turn it on, the machines will work as if nothing happened.)
There was this night when she heard something on the second floor. "Alas-nueve ata ito, naiwan ko 'yung wallet sa office. Hindi ko na binuksan yung ilaw nung kukunin ko na kasi alam ko naman kung nasaan. Pero 'nung di ko makuha, may narinig ako sa taas na para bang teacher na naglalakad. Parang nagpapa-exam," Nancy reveals, "Sabi ko 'Oo, uuwi na ako, hintay lang. Hindi ko na kayo iistorbohin.' Tumigil naman siya. Pero 'nung natagalan akong mahanap yung wallet kasi nga madilim, naglalakad na naman siya. Sa takot, binuksan ko na yung cellphone ko, kinuha ko yung pera, kandado ng kwarto, saka ako tumakbo palabas." (It was 9 in the evening. I came back to the office to get my wallet. I did not switch on the lights because I know where to find it. Afterwards, I heard a footstep on the second floor. It was like the footsteps of a teacher who’s conducting an exam. I said, “Please wait. I will go home; just don’t bother me.” It was dark so it took longer than I expected to find my wallet. I heard the footsteps again. In my fear, I turned on the flashlight on my phone, found the wallet, locked the door, and ran away.)