Guards at Yolanda Shipwreck Memorial Park hear moans, steps, sounds at night
TACLOBAN CITY — A ship that was washed inland when this city was devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in 2013 is one of the tourist attractions here.
But in the evening, it is a different story.
People stay away from Yolanda Shipwreck Memorial Park after guards claimed they encountered some “hair-raising” experiences at night.
Nonie Herida, one of the four guards assigned to the memorial park, said that what he experienced was not hallucination.
Sounds between 12 and 2 a.m.
“I have been hearing moans from the inside of the shipwreck. The sounds include those of children and women and these occur between 12 midnight and 2 a.m.,” said Herida, 41.
He said the moans sounded like someone in agony and appealing for help.
He also heard “vigorous steps” somewhere inside the park.
“Of course, these [sounds] made me afraid. But I just offer prayers and ask these spirits not to touch me. I am here to guard this park,” said Herida, a father to two children.
Eerie sounds, silence
These eerie sounds would last for a few minutes and then be followed by dead silence, he added.
“But then again, I could hardly sleep anymore,” Herida said.
Another guard, Perforio Husayan, also heard the same haunting sounds.
“There were times when I heard voices of children as if they were playing, going up and down the steps. But you don’t see anyone,” he said.
Both Herida and Husayan believed that these poltergeists may have been those who perished during the onslaught of Yolanda, the world’s strongest typhoon to make landfall.
“Perhaps, they could not accept their death or they need our prayers,” Herida said.
Yolanda Shipwreck Memorial Park is in Barangay 68 in Anibong District, one of the hard-hit areas of Tacloban when the city was pummeled by Yolanda.
Bow of MV Eva Jocelyn
The main attraction of the 120-square-meter park is the bow of MV Eva Jocelyn, a 3,000-ton commercial ship that was washed inland by storm surges generated by Yolanda, which devastated this city on Nov. 8, 2013.
The ship plowed into 14 houses in the coastal village and killed 11 people — six of them children. At least 27 people died in Barangay 68, including those hit by the vessel.
Eva Shipping Lines sold the vessel as scrap to Philippine Precious Metal Resources, which later donated to the city government the bow that measures 8 meters in width and 6 meters in length.
The city government made the bow the centerpiece of the memorial park that was opened to the public on Nov. 7, 2015.
A concrete structure with steps was constructed connecting to the ship’s bow. A room for the guards and a comfort room were built at the lower portion of the structure.
Since it opened to the public, the memorial park has been visited by thousands of people.
“The guests, especially those not from the city or from the region, usually ask how this ship was washed inland; how many were killed because of it. And as expected, they have their photos taken with the ship as its background or going to the top to have a selfie,” Herida said.
Fr. Virgilio Cañete of the Palo Archdiocese said that those who encountered hair-raising experiences at Yolanda Shipwreck Memorial Park should not be afraid.
Instead, they should offer prayers for these souls.
“This is a form of communication from the dead. Why be afraid of souls? Let’s offer prayers. Maybe they (souls) are just begging for prayers especially those in Purgatory,” Cañete said.
Ma. Rosario Bactol, Barangay 68 chair, said flowers and prayers were usually offered to the departed during programs commemorating the anniversary of the Yolanda onslaught.
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