Restless spirits haunt Los Baños heritage school

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Los BaÑos, Laguna: We have heard stories about ghosts wandering at wee hours of the night in quiet or extremely dark abandoned houses and open spaces.

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Rarely, however, have we heard or read stories about spirits seen or felt in schools, offices and public places in the morning or afternoon when everyone is busy.

This is the case in a heritage school, where the spirit of a child lingers and freely disturbs chosen persons.

The structure was first used as a hospital equipped with all the basic facilities including a morgue until it was transformed into a huge one-story school building called the Gabaldon School. It is located just in front of the old Immaculate Church in Barangay Timugan. The schoolhouse was built through the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) under Republic Act (RA) 1801, which was authored by then Rep. Isauro Gabaldon. It was renovated in 1999 and used as a Cooperative Hospital and in the early part of 2000, the structure was converted into a training center to house the offices of the PESO-Los Baños and eventually, the Tesda-Laguna.

“I got my toothpaste in my drawer and placed it on my table and when I turned on my computer, which is just within my reach, for two or three seconds, my toothpaste was nowhere to be found,” Glecy Trinidad, the PESO head, recounted as she narrated her odd stories and those shared with her by students and guards within the premises of the Training Center.

“I later saw my toothpaste at the same place after searching for it,” she said. When she found the toothpaste, she whispered, “pinaglalaruan mo na naman ako, [you are again making fun of me], referring to a 10-year-old child wandering inside the premises of the Training Center. The incident would be repeated, and her ball pens, pencils, notebooks and important documents would go missing. After a long and frantic search, she’d find them on the same place where she has left them.

“They happened at a time when I needed them most, before attending an important meeting or talking to clients,” Trinidad said.

The training center was not spared and this was even made as the favorite “hangout” of the wandering spirit of a child, according to Sherwin Celso Matundan, the head of the training course on welding.

“Hindi sana ako maniniwala, pero nang ang mga trainees ay nagsasabi ng iisang pangyayari, natanggap ko na ito ay isang credible story, [I was forced to believe that the stories were credible when all the trainees narrated the same stories to me and to other personnel at the training center]” Matundan said. “Sa paggamit ng pamputol ng bakal, sabi nila na nararamdaman nilang may gumigiya sa kanilang kamay patungo sa putulan ng bakal, [the trainees said someone was holding their arms guiding them to the machine where the steel would be cut].”

The presence of the child ghost is likewise frequently felt at the comfort room, which is located at the back of the Center, Matundan said. He added that the area was the place where the morgue was built for the first hospital.”

“The footprints of a child were seen on top of our tables and even on the walls, which is absolutely extraordinary,” Trinidad said. “These strange things welcomed us as we enter the office after punching in our cards in the morning.”

A retired school teacher who once headed the Gabaldon school and who requested not to be named also confirmed the presence of ghosts. In fact, one of the guards assigned on the graveyard shift resigned on his first day of work. The guard left when he saw a headless man holding a candle roaming from one room to another, the retired teacher told The Manila Times.

Trinidad said that she saw the ghosts in her dream. She said that the spirits were composed of a couple, two children with ages ranging from eight to 12 and an old woman, presumably the grandmother. “The two women were dressed in a lovely kimono while the children where all in white long pants and long sleeves made of soft cloth. I was welcomed by the children who showed me the rooms. They were so good and were happy to welcome me,” Trinidad said.

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