By Wincy Aquino Ong
Ah! It’s rainy season once again—a great time to be stuck in the office and have conversations by the water-cooler.
Know what keeps everyone riveted? Conspiracy theories! Urban legends! Dark secrets! (Hey, we’re all chismosos after all.)
You’re in the right place, my friend. Welcome to Manila—where ugly skulls lurk behind the ad-friendly smiles, where dark secrets are aplenty.
Read on and let the goose pimples rise…
8. Catfish From The Cemetery
During rainy season, a cemetery near Blumentritt becomes submerged in waist-deep waters. Scrappy residents in the area convert these puddles into a pond for breeding catfish (hito). They then sell these goods in nearby wet markets.
So the next time you wonder why your Sinigang Na Hito tastes so smoky, it’s because it smacks of corpse dust.
7. Donuts Fed To Fish
Here’s another fish story. Tilapia is definitely among Pinoy favorites. It’s cheap, available everywhere, tastes good and healthy, too. That last bit may not be entirely true. The scuttlebutt is that Tilapia may actually more unhealthy in terms of cholesterol than bacon! How can that be? Donuts.
Ever wonder where the unsold donuts go after closing time? Why, they’re ground into powder and sold as fish feed in Laguna!
Small wonder my Tinapang Bangus had a hint of choco-cream.
6. Vigilante in Quezon City
In Talipapa, Quezon City, a vigilante dressed in a raincoat has been reported by the authorities. In 2014, a purse-snatcher was shot dead in the chest by a mystery man riding a motorcycle.
The victim of the robbery survived the ordeal, but she was unable to identify the mystery man who came to her aid.
Several corpses of criminals have been found in the area, all with gunshot wounds to the chest. Until now, local police have no clues as to the identity of this vigilante.
5. Alyas: Spider-Man
During a holiday break, a thief broke into an advertising agency’s office in Makati. Laptops and cash were stolen during the incident.
Local detectives scoured the crime scene to find out that the security lock systems had not been tampered with, nor were there any broken windows or doors. The only possible way of entry was through the vents.
The chief-of-police could only suspect a criminal who goes by the codename Alyas: Spider-Man— a criminal whose modus operandi is crawling his way up through ventilation systems.
4. Airport in City Proper
Now ain’t this a juicy conspiracy?
Go to Singapore or Hong Kong, you’ll find their airports are stationed miles away from the city center. In Manila? It’s right smack in the metropolis! Why?
Conspiracy theorists blame this oddity on a cabal of political families who earn obscene amounts from illegal transactions at the airport.
It figures. A transfer in location to, say, Subic or Clark could only mean power wrested from them.
3. Treasures Beneath a Mall
On this day, a bustling mall stands on the grounds. Ha! Looks like the developer hit pay dirt!
2. Organ Farming
Fresh, unsullied organs—mostly harvested from the bodies of street children—are exported into China’s black markets.
How’s this for a nightmare? Allegedly, a man sold his children’s pairs of eyes for P250,000—money he would use as capital for a food cart business.
1. The Rizal Park Conspiracy
Historians point out that a writer is an odd choice for a national hero. That honor is usually reserved for soldiers who had died in the field of battle.
Blame it on those clever Americans! In 1901, there were reports of a rebellion fomenting amongst the locals. The Americans devised a way to maintain peace and order—by declaring Jose Rizal as our national hero!
In a span of a week, Rizal’s corpse was hastily excavated from the Chinese Cemetery, where it was interred. It was then transferred to its current site in Luneta—where the monument was built shortly after.
It turned out that having a writer as a national hero (as opposed to a revolutionary like Andres Bonifacio—the more likely candidate) was a means to imperialistic ends.
Know any other of Manila’s deepest, darkest secrets? Share the whispers in the comments below!