NAGA CITY: An abandoned stone house shaded by an adjacent big Balete (Ficus stipulosa) in Barangay San Felipe here continues to draw visitors despite stories of sightings of ghosts like the one told by a recent visitor to the place.
Rene Biando, an architect who once worked with Palafox and Associates, was accompanying his cousin who was doing a Halloween story for a national TV network when he experienced a ghost encounter at the house.
Biando said he saw a fleeting dark figure darted and disappeared in one of the rooms of the second floor of the house which he describes as an American modern in style.
A village resident, Nick Bongyad, said the house was built in the late 1940s by an American named Gordon Kier who later sold it to a military retiree from Bulacan province after he decided to go back to the United States.
Bongyad, son of one of the tenants of the 80-hectare coconut plantation where the house is located, said when the eventual and current owner of the house abandoned it, it became what it looks now – a roofless structure with one of the walls covered with gnarled roots of Balete.
However, he said he did not experience seeing ghost in the house like Biando did even if their family once lived there for years.
“These stories, imagined or not, have not deterred visitors from coming,” he said, adding that Nora Aunor herself shot some scenes in the house for her recent starrer, “Hinulid,” by local filmmaker, Kristian Cordero.
“There are even engaged couples who had their pre-nuptial photo shoot here,” he said.
He said he and his siblings are now thinking of setting up tables and benches around the Balete where they will serve purple buko juice and sweetened black rice cake for visitors coming on All Souls’ Day.
Frank Penones Jr.