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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bahay Na Pula in San Idefonso, Bulacan is More Than its Haunted House Fame

The Bahay Na Pula in San Ildefonso, Bulacan has been known as haunted house, it having been utilized as set of Abs-cbn horror series, "Oka Tokat," way back in 1997 to 2002.

I did not pay much attention to this house when we dropped by because I was told by my host-friend who resides in San Ildefonso, Bulacan that this is the famous haunted house. True to its introduction, the house is famous (or infamous) as haunted house when I searched for it in google. Horror stories perpetuated the relevance of the house today but historically, the house is also a symbol of one sad local wartime event.

One article of note that caught my attention and led me to immediately write this story tells of the story of the comfort women who were violated at the Bahay Na Pula and who in 1997 organized themselves and called themselves as Malaya Lola.

"It was Nov. 23, 1944. This was their story: Central Luzon suffered heavily during the war as it was the base of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon or Hukbalahap, a guerilla group initially formed to fight the Japanese troops. At 6:30 a.m., Japanese soldiers were on the hunt for the Huks. They gathered all the men, young and old, at the school courtyard.
Women were forced to watch as the soldiers tortured the men identified as Huks by a “Makapili,” a Filipino who collaborated with the Japanese against the Huks and hid his identity by putting a bayong over his head.
One of the most horrifying images Galang remembers is that of the father of a fellow lola, Tarcila Sampang, being castrated. His severed genitals were then shoved into his mouth.
By 10:30 a.m., 37 men had been bayoneted and shot. Soldiers piled the bodies into the school house which they then torched, along with the residents’ houses made of bamboo and pawid (nipa shingles).
The women were ordered to walk and carry their material possessions to a big, Dutch-inspired mansion they referred to as “Bahay na Pula,” located in neighboring San Ildefonso, Bulacan. During the trek, Galang recalled the soldiers kicked and shoved them.
Upon reaching the mansion, the soldiers dragged the women, ranging from 13 to early 20s, into dark rooms and took turns raping them. The soldiers released them only at around 6 p.m. Some of the women were even more unfortunate because they were brought to the Japanese headquarters in San Miguel, Bulacan, where they were imprisoned for at least three months at the “comfort station.”
The “Bahay na Pula” mansion is privately owned and still stands to this day. Vinuya said they will request that the owners allow them to install a small marker commemorating the events of Nov. 23, 1944.
The Mapaniqui residents denied kinship with the Huks then out of concern for their safety, but they admit with pride today that they were their fathers and brothers."
Another must-see video on Bahay Na Pula can be found here. As I gather the Malaya Lolas have not yet been compensated of the sufferings they have undergone during the war. I still have to further research on what happened to their compensation claims here in the Philippines and in the international court.