The Manila Post Office has stood the test of time as it survived not only the transition from physical to electronic mail, but also the gruesome wars and deaths surrounding it.
This, of course, also means a building filled with ghost stories.
On “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho,” former and current staff members spoke up about their creepy and haunting experiences while working inside the Manila Post Office.
1. Larry, who’s been working at the Post Office for nine years, recalled when he used to work in the building at night on his first month.
“Saturday ng gabi kung saan lahat ng empleyado mag-a-out na, na-poltergeist ako na matindi,” he said.
[It was a Saturday night, employees were timing out, when I had a poltergeist experience.]
Larry was making his rounds on the 4th floor of the building when he felt someone slap the back of his head hard.
He pulled out his gun and thought it was a thief. But when he aimed his flashlight along the hallway, no one was there.
Larry said ghosts usually just appeared and these did not hurt them.
However, he thought that what slapped him that night was the ghost of a Japanese soldier because he felt it was violent.
He told his supervisor that he got so scared and since then, he didn’t work the night shift anymore.
2. Don Escalona, a parcel section staff member who has been with the PhilPost Corporation for 21 years now, shared that at night, he’d hear some eerie sounds and feel unsettling sensations.
“Sundalong Hapon, parang nagfo-formation sila. Lalo na‘pag nila-lock ko na yung pintuan dun, makikita mo parang inoobserbahan ka. Yung feeling ba na nakapila sila diyan tapos. Kapag naglalakad ka, tinitingnan kang ganun.”
[it was as if Japanese soldiers were in a tactical formation. It feels like they’re watching your every move.]
According to urban architect and historian Gerard Lico, the Manila Post Office was designed by Juan Arellano in 1926.
The historian said the building was majestic because it was intended to be part of the Burnham plan. It also became the office of the Bureau of Public Works.
However, it became a garrison of the Japanese forces during World War II because of its strategic location.
He said it was possible that many Japanese soldiers died in the building because it was their last frontier.
Don said he had also heard from time to time inside the building the sound of chains being dragged on the stairs and the floor and the cries of a woman in pain.
While the KMJS team was interviewing Don, he said he was having a hard time breathing.
“Umiinit ’yung nasa parteng kanang balikat ko tapos parang merong nakatingin. Sundalo, talagang nakamasid sa akin. Mabigat ang pakiramdam. Umiinit ang tainga ko! Umiinit na naman sa may tainga ko, sa likod, sa batok,” he said.
[I feel like someone’s watching me. It’s a soldier, it’s watching me. I could feel it at the back of my head.]
Other staff members had also reported hearing marching footsteps in the parcel section, which they believed was a torture area during the war.
3. Wilfred Hingalia, a former guard who worked at the Manila Post Office for 35 years, also said that he used to see soldiers marching across the hallway.
He said it looked like they were chasing a “white lady.” One time, they seemed to have noticed him. But when he made the sign of the cross, they disappeared.
“Parang merong lumalapit sa ’yo. Parang dinadaan-daanan ako. Parang meron silang binubulong sa akin. Hindi ko maintindihan dahil salitang Hapon,” he said.
[It feels like someone’s trying to get close. They’re passing me by. It’s like they’re whispering something to me. I can’t understand it because it’s in Japanese.]
According to other staff members, apart from the parcel section, ghosts have also been seen in the lock box section.
4. Junaisah F. Sharief, who has worked as a postal ID officer for three years now, said she had heard the sounds of chains and heavy footsteps from inside a room.
“Nagpa-receive po ako dito ng mga sulat, bigla po akong may narinig na kadena po sa paa. Parang ‘rawr’—may gumanun po sa akin. Parang duguan po. Nagpapatulong siya, umiiyak,” she said.
[I got letters for receiving when I suddenly heard chained feet. It was like “rawr”—someone said it to me. She was covered with blood, asking for help, crying.]
5. Postal ID staff member Marie Macaraeg also shared a harrowing experience when she was inside the bathroom at night.
She noticed that one of the cubicles was locked. When she knocked, no one answered and when she peeked from below, no one was inside. But when she tried to open it, she heard someone crying.
“Naikwento sa amin, may namatay daw diyan,” she said.
[We were told that someone died there.]
Marie said that since then, she and her colleagues went to the bathroom in groups.
6. Marivel Magpantay, a PhilPost supervisor for 38 years, said she used to see brown slippers near her desk, set up on the floor as if the user was going to climb her table.
When she set the slippers aside, she’d look back only to see it placed nearer to her desk.
She said as early as 6:45 a.m., when she came to the office, she would see the pair of slippers and get goosebumps.
“Feeling ko talaga meron dun sa likod kong nakaano kasi tumutunog ’yung kahoy. ’Di ba ’yung pag may umapak, tumutunog siya,” said Marivel.
[I feel like someone’s behind me because I hear the floor creak.]
Larry said the ghosts didn’t usually make their presence felt in the morning—except when you’re alone.
“Pero pag nakita ka nilang mag-isa ka, sasamahan ka nila talaga, literal na nasa likod mo sila!”
[But when they see you alone, they will join you, and be literally behind you!]