June 7, 2010

Urban legend

The first Manila International Film Festival was scheduled in January of 1982. Because the Philippines did not have an official national film archive, then-First Lady Imelda Marcos—the dictator's wife with the gazillion shoe collection—spearheaded the construction of a film center which would serve as the main theater of the festival aside from becoming the central repository of the country's creative film output. That was in January of 1981, and because of the tight schedule, thousands of construction workers were hired to work round the clock in three shifts. Then, in November, a great tragedy occurred. A section of the scaffolding collapsed, and about 170 workers fell and were buried in the quick-drying cement. The Marcos administration immediately imposed an information blackout on the event, and rescue workers and medics weren't allowed on the scene until after nine hours. Eventually though, the Manila Film Center was finished on time and the festival pushed through. Because of the accident, however, the center was always thought to be haunted. It is said that because of the nine hours that passed before rescuers were permitted to do their job, some of the construction workers were entombed alive and their bodies were left in the hardened concrete slabs of the building.

Manila Film Center

14 comments:

Layrayski said...

that is a disturbing. it really happened?

brattcat said...

A painful piece of Manila's history.

Don and Krise said...

Similar accidents have occurred here in the past, but it still always gives me the willies thinking about it. Its' a magnificent looking building.

Keith Ashley said...

That is so sad! The building was such a waste because it was not used to its extent because of the "haunted" issue. Such a tragedy...

Oakland Daily Photo said...

What a grim story. Maybe it's influencing my perception, but the building has all the grace of a bunker. Very interesting post, Hilda.

Olivier said...

une histoire assez effrayante, je comprends que certaines personnes ne veulent pas mettre les pieds dans ce building

Reena said...

we used to practice in this building for some dances way back in high school. sayang ung structure. walang gumagamit because it's thought to be haunted. although i never even once felt anything when we were there.

Vernz said...

tragic indeed, sigh! dropping by Hilds..

Anything Davao

Halcyon said...

What a terrible legend! I can't believe they would not let the rescuers in. Very, very sad.

Kaori said...

Aaah scary!!! I personally don't have 'the sight' or believe in ghosts...but they still scare me! Let's hope it's just a story evolved into a horror legend :-)

Hilda said...

Lyra & Kaori:
The accident really happened, but the part about bodies being left in the concrete is not true. A news show researcher investigated and managed to account for all the workers who died.

Jacob said...

My god, what a story! Tragedy upon tragedy. Every dictatorship tries first to control the media. Once that's accomplished, those in control can do pretty much whatever they wish.

Eki said...

I was told the same story when I visited the building in 1988. Thanks to you, now I know the horrible thing about the workers being burried in the concrete did not really happen. However, it's really sad that that many workers had to die in the accident.

susieofarabia said...

That's a gruesome tale and just another example of how inhumane and uncaring the Marcoses were. Yuk!