THE MARIALUISA STORY
THE MARIALUISA STORY: BY RICHARD J O'HANLON JR. This is the true "chilling" saga of the mysterious & ghastly destiny of a beautiful filipino girl who was my former wife's third child and whom I called my filipino daughter. Her name was Marialuisa Lota. She was born in the southeastern region of the island of Luzon known as the Bicol Region on May 1st 1976. She attended elementary & high school in the village of Irosin until she graduated from Gallanosa High School in March 1994. From there she then went on to Emilio Eguinaldo College in Manila to pursue a career in modeling. It was shortly after she finished her college course that Luisa was hired to work at a private modeling studio in Quezon City (named Rosa's Modeling & Fashion Center. In May 1996, I along with my wife and some friends attended the Patronal Fiesta celebrations which were held in her home province of Bicol. It was here that she (Luisa) was crowned "Queen of Fiesta." This was the main theme of my first full-length story entitled "Fiesta Queen." A year later, we returned back to the Bicol region in the Philippines to celebrate another big event in the life of my filipino daughter. This was her twenty-first birthday which is considered a "milestone" event in the life of a filipino child which is known as "Devu" celebrations. This is the celebrating of the time that your son/daughter is now an adult and is now old enough to go out and be "on their own." This is the theme of my second full-length story entitled "Her Devu." What I am going to tell you all about here in this story was a chapter taken from my latest story entitled "Her Final Days." The events which I recount in this story occured during the last week of October 1998 when I returned to the Philippines on what would begin as a joyous reunion with my filipino daughter and her family and end up a horrifying nightmare when I along with three other men witnessed first hand what would become Luisa's final destiny in this life when she had run off to what is known as a mysterious place in the mountains of Bataan known for its miraculous as well as mysterious happenings. This area, a narrow and hidden valley in between two volcanic mountain ridges which can only be reached by walking down a steep and narrow pathway into a deep ravine which is also believed to be the sight of an ancient aboriginal village thought to be at least twenty-thousand years old! Many other mysteries enshroud this area known as Sacrifice valley. One of those was that there exists an ancient curse in what was this ancient village. During the second world war, a brutal and deathly march of Filipino and American prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese who occupied the Philippines in 1942. It is believed that many of the soldiers who were forced to walk for those many miles in what was infamously known as the "Bataan Death March" It was here in what is known as Sacrifice Valley that many of those prisoners succumed to the fearce heat & humidity as well as the inhumane cruelty of the Japanese soldiers,had died in this march were just left and buried in hasty graves. To this very day, Sacrifice Valley is visited by many people to ask the lord for forgivness from their sins as well as to pray for heelings from God, is considered a sacred & religous area but it is visited only during the daytime for at night, it has a strict curfew as no one is allowed near there after sunset. It was and still believed to this day that Sacrifice Valley at night is where occurances along with sightings which cannot be explained have been known to occur. A few of these unexplainable instances involved the mysterious disappearances of a few people. One of them a noted filipino cover model. In this story I will reenact those events of that last week of October 1998 concluding with the police investigation which resulted in nothing more than an warning to keep totally quiet about what we men had witnessed and told that this was another unexplainable happening which was known to occur in this mysterious valley after dark. I would like to begin by recalling the events beginning from Thursday evening October 29th exactly 24 hours before Luisa met her fate. It was approximately eight o'clock in the evening when I arrived at Osmena Park which was located a short walk from her (Luisa's) apartment. She & I had made secret plans to meet here in this small park as she insisted on wanting to see me even though her mother strictly warned me not to have any more contact with her or her sister after a confrontation between Luisa & her mother a few days earlier, over my giving Luisa & her older sister Juvita some money as they both found some earrings & bracelets while we were all shopping in one of the super malls in Manila known as the Harrison Plaza. Maria (Luisa's mother) warned me of my arrest if I were seen any where near her now that she(Maria) & I were divorced. When I saw Luisa waiting for me in that park that night, I then asked her if she would like to go to a restaurant located not more than a block down the street as they had dancing to 70's & 80's music along with some live entertainment. Luisa wanted to go but first she wanted me to accompany her back to her apartment because she wanted to change her clothes so I agreed to walk back there with her and waited while she went into her room and changed. Luisa looked absolutely stunning when she came out of her room! She was wearing a leather outfit along with a mini skirt which had slits up both sides all the way up to her waist.She was stunningly beautiful as she also had her long,black hair parted down the middle. With her arms tightly wrapped around my right arm, We then walked on over to this restaurant( which I refered to as the 80's disco.) and there we spent a couple of hours dancing as well as some casual socializing with a few other people. It was after an hour or so that she(Luisa) met one of her coworkers who also worked at the same modeling studio that Luisa did. Her name was Teresita Compuesto. "Tessie" as she prefered to be called was also a close friend of Luisa as they often modeled together in many scenes. It was while Tessie & Luisa got talking to each other in tagalog that I began to notice a worried look come over Luisa's face. I could not understand everything that they were talking about but then Luisa asked me to come and sit next to the three of them(Tessie's boyfriend, a man named Emanuel who was also sitting there.)as she said that she(Tessie) had something important to tell us both. Tessie then explained to us in English that she had noticed a man sitting in the cocktail lounge a short distance away. He seemed to be watching us almost continously all evening. Tessie then went on to explain that she recognized him as a friend of Luisa's mother & aunt(Encarnacion Matuba) Luisa now became worried as she suspected that her mother & aunt had hired this man to keep a watch on her & I. Luisa was now afraid and wanted me to immediately walk her back home to her apartment. I could tell now that she was becoming very frightened! When we arrived back at her apartment, more bad news awaited us as her roommate Josie met us out in the front alleyway and informed us that we had visitors not more than five minutes earlier. Her mother Mariamelda along with Encar Matuba as well as a Manila Police officer were looking for us! Josie then warned us that they had obtained an arrest warrant for me for violating a restraining order to remain away from Luisa. My filipino daughter was now frightened to the point of tears as she would not let me leave her alone rather she kept insisting that I stay here with her and Josie for the night until the next morning. I advised Luisa that in this case, I'd better return back to Rogelio& Lorna Redola's place in Munos. Luisa held onto me so tight and would not let me leave without her. It was here that I asked her if she could get off work tomorrow and catch a bus up to where her older sister Juvy lived which was a provincial area about 50 miles north of Manila known as Pampanga. Although she was not able to take the entire day off work because it was an especially busy day, She(Luisa)promised me that she would leave work as soon as she could and meet me at the Victory Liner Bus Station located on Malobon Street which was a short distance from where Rogelio & Lorna lived. With a tight hug and a goodnight kiss, Luisa and I parted for the night. ( it was at this point, that I believed that I myself had now fallen deeply in love with my filipino daughter!) Bright & early the next day (Friday October 30th) Rogelio, Lorna and I recieved an invitation from Encarnacion and Maria to come over to where she (Encar) lived which was located over an hour's taxi ride away in a section of Manila known as Paco(Well known for its historical cemetary. We were invited to spend the afternoon and have dinner there so we agreed to go but by 4:00PM I had to find some excuse to get away so I could get on over to the bus station as Luisa would be expecting me to meet her there. At 3:00PM, Maria along with Encar and Rogelio's wife Lorna, left for what they said was to go to the market to do some grocery shopping. Trying hard not to make it too obvious, Rogelio did notice that Maria was in the kitchen stuffing what appeared to be some papers into a large brown business sized envelope which she had explained were only some legal papers involving her ownership of a pig farm in Pampanga province. After they had left, Rogelio & I walked into the kitchen to see how the rice was cooking. It was here that the first element that something suspicious was taking place was discovered. Rogelio noticed what looked like paper clippings lying all over the kitchen counter where he had seen Maria standing at and stuffing things into that envelope. Upon closer inspection, we then noticed a swanky magazine lying next to the counter entitled "Wedding Nights" It appeared that someone had cut a page out of this magazine! (this began to look more suspicious as the thought then dawned on both Rogelio & I that maybe Maria & Encar had something planned other than just to do some grocery shopping! An hour later, we heard someone walking in the front door. It was Lorna, she had gone shopping with the other two but now she had returned home alone! Lorna then explained to us that she was in the check out line along with Maria & Encar when she had discovered that she had forgotten to pick up a bottle of Rufina Fish Sauce and so she went back to the display counter where it was stocked and then returned back to the check out line. By the time she had paid for the bottle of sauce, she then began looking around for the other two women. They were no where to be seen! Lorna then said that she looked around for almost a half hour maybe longer before she then decided to come back here as she thought that they may have both decided to meet her back here but they were no where to be seen. Rogelio & I then decided to invite Lorna to come with us to the Malolos Off Track Betting Parlor where people go to bet on televised horse races and wager a cetain amount of money on prerecorded horse races. Rogelio was an avid fan of horse races and gambling on racing. This looked very good for my intended plans with Luisa since the off track betting parlor was located right across the street from where the Victory Liner Bus Station where Luisa promised to meet me by 5:30PM and from there we'd be well in time to catch the 6:15 PM bus to Angeles City where Juvy Lota Federesso lived along with her husband Lito and her two small children, Johnmark & Cecilia were waiting for her & I. By 4:30PM, Maria & Encar had still not returned home so we caught a taxi over to the Malolos Betting Parlor. It was close to an hour's taxi ride through the busy Manila rush hour traffic by the time we arrived there which was just before 5:30PM. I quickly checked through the crowded bus station just to make sure that Luisa had not arrived here ahead of me and was waiting. Not finding her here just yet I was not concerned as I usually was the first to arrive at a scheduled appointment place with her. (Although the station was crowded as it normally is on a Friday afternoon get away day, it was never too difficult to spot my filipino daughter. She was a "standout" in any crowd with her long, black hair,radiant "polynesian"face with her dark bluish eyes.(Luisa's model picture can be seen by logging onto http://photos.yahoo.com/rikohanlin_25 then click "My Photo Album" (she is the one in the black bathing suit) Seeing that she had not yet arrived, Rogelio, Lorna and I then decided to go to a small cafe located right next door and have dinner. The time was now almost 5:45PM. Luisa was only a few minutes late but we were not yet concered as we figured that she may have either not been able to get off work as early as she had hoped to or she may have had some other delay such as the busy traffic between here and Quezon City where she had to come from by jeepney or taxi. Then I remembered something which I had previously noticed about her. Luisa occasionally may have shown up at the last minute for an appointment but she was very good about sending you an urgent telegram or other type of notice if she was not able to make it at all but as of this time there was nothing heard from her. Still we did not want to get concerned. the time was now 6:00PM, as the bus for Angeles City was now filled up and preparing to depart right on time at 6:15PM. Still there was no sign of Luisa! Again Lorna reassured us that she may have run into a delay and will eventually arrive here. After all there was one more bus which was going up to Angeles City tonight and that one was scheduled to leave at 9:00PM. Although this sounded like a "last ditch" answer, I then remembered that she insisted that she(Luisa) wanted to be at her sister's home by no later that 8:30PM. The 6:15PM bus to Angeles City was now closing its doors and getting ready to pull out of the station. The time was now 6:20PM, Lorna then assured us that Luisa may have had something important happen on her job and could not get away but just to wait around for any type of urgent message from her! We then decided to wait here until 9:00PM to see if she'll eventually arrive(or get a message.) The hours slowly passed. The time was now 8:45PM,as the first boarding call for this last bus for this evening to Angeles City was announced as people began to go on board but still Luisa was not here! The next bus to Angeles City after this one would not leave until Saturday morning! We were now slowly becoming concerned as still there was no message from her! At 9:00PM, the bus closed its doors and pulled out of the station as we three just sat and watched. Lorna then said that we'd better catch a taxi back to Encar's home in Paco and tell them that we had gotten involved with the horse races and forgot about the time we were supposed to eat dinner. With increasing worry now we caught a taxi back to Paco and arrived back there by 10:00PM. We did not know now what to make of this latest turn of events but when we explained our story to Maria & Encar they both just laughed. Then a half hour later the telephone rang! Maria picked it up and answered it. It was Luisa's fiance(A movie actor named Chris De Leon.) He had called to let us know that he had arrived earlier that afternoon from a week long movie filming on one of the other islands and had checked to see if Luisa was at home in her apartment like she usually was at this time of night. When he discovered that his "wife to be" was not home, he also got concerned and called here to see if her mother or aunt knew of her whereabouts. Maria or Encar knew nothing and so Chris then asked if I was there and then he wanted to speak to me. Maria then handed me the phone and I talked to Chris. As I expected, the first thing he wanted to know was when was the last time I had seen Luisa. Feeling a little uneasy about telling him what I knew, I told him that I had last seen her at her apartment at this time last evening. Chris got curious as to why I was at her apartment at 11:00 at night, so I made up an explanation that Luisa had noticed that some strange man had been following her around and she then asked me to accompany her from Rosa's Modeling Studio to where she lived just so this strange man would not approach her. Chris was relieved to hear about this but now he explained to me that she was not at home in her apartment and that her roommate had not seen her all night so far! Chris then asked me to get another man and meet him at Osmena Park in Quezon City(Where I had met Luisa on the last couple of nights before) Rogelio Redola(Maria's brother) immediately offered to help us along with Chris's close friend whom he knew from his college days, I only knew him by his nickname of"Manoy") At 11:30 PM, we all met in Osmena Park to begin our search for Luisa. Taking a quick glance around the park just to make sure she might not just be sitting in any of the few benches, we then proceeded on over to her apartment which was located a short 15 minute walk away. When we arrived, a concerned Josie was home and upon opening the door, she invited us in. Josie began to explain what would be the beginning of a horror story! (Translated into English I will now repeat what she told us.."Sigue a las cinco ako pumutata ng dito sa bahay..At about five o'clock I arrived back here from work. The first thing I noticed that the door was open slightly.I began to get a little suspicious because the door is usually locked if I come home before her(Luisa) I first thought that she was home but she was not here! When I walked into the kitchen the next thing I saw was an open bottle of pills lying on the floor! they were half empty as if someone had swallowed over half of them all at once! Well I have only one roommate and that is Luisa! Josie then went on to explain that when she walked into the living room, she just happened to look into Luisa's room and noticed that all of her clothes were lying all over her bed, on the floor etc. All of her jewelry, cosmetics, eye shadow earrings, etc. were lying in a mess all around her bedroom. My first thought was that maybe some burgler had broken into our apartment and had ransacked our place but then I noticed that my room was totally as I had left it only Luisa's room was a mess.. I then looked on the floor of the living room next to the window and here is where I discovered that the pictures which Luisa had sitting on our television set was lying on the floor smashed into pieces. Chris's picture along with a picture of a guy whom she knew from high school and your picture Rick! they were all smashed & broken. This began to dawn on us all that Luisa was very upset about something but as of yet we had no clue as to what it was! It was here that I then remembered about Rogelio saying that he had noticed Maria acting a little nervous when she was stuffing those papers into that envelope earlier this afternoon. Something then told me that maybe those two had something to do with what we had now discovered here! Frightened now Josie did not want to say anthing more but she then told us to get in touch with the landlady of these apartments and see what she may know. We then walked over to where Mrs. Felica Clemente( the landlady lived and asked her if she knew anything about Luisa's whereabouts. She knew nothing but then she told us to get in touch with the housekeeper of these apartments as she had been here all day working and she may just have seen her recently! It took us a few minutes to find where Mrs Adella Puganan's house was. Knocking, we woke her up but when we told her whom we were looking for, she invited us in and then explained what she had seen earlier that evening.. Adella's explanation put the pieces of this horror jigsaw puzzle together....Translating into English."A las ocho ng gabi.(At eight o'clock this evening I went out into the backyard to water the flowers. It was here that I first noticed her(Luisa)sitting on the ground with her head on one of the benches. Her hands along with her long hair was covering her face. She was dressed up in her mariaclara gown while she just sat on the ground! I got curious and walked over to see what was wrong. I then saw that she was crying out loud! I asked her what was wrong and if I could help. She did not say anything and just kept on crying! This really began to look like Maria & Encar had something to do with this! Adella then went on to explain that about an hour later, she was putting the garden tools away when she noticed Luisa walking slowly down the stairs from her apartment. She was dressed up so beautifully as if she was on her way to somewhere very formal. She had a bouquet of bulaklak flowers affixed to her hair, she was wearing a diamond studded necklace around her neck as well as an elegant set of earrings along with her bracelet. It was here that I asked her where she was going to at this late hour and why was she dressed up so beautifully! Barely able to keep from crying, Luisa then told Adella in a soft and shakey voice that she was saying farewell to her as she was leaving forever! Adella got curious as to what this was Luisa was telling her about leaving forever. Luisa then explained to Adella that she was going to Sacrifice Valley tonight! Adella was now stunned at what she was hearing from Luisa. "I then asked her why she was going to Sacrifice Valley tonight even though there is a strict curfew there at night! When Adella explained what Luisa told her, we men stood there in total fright!...Luisa told Adella that she was being called by a voice!! Screaming in terror Adella then warned her not to go because that voice you are hearing is that of a "kamatayan!" or the devil! Adella tried to tell her that she's better stay home but she still left alone and caught a jeepney over to the nearest tricycle station! The horrible jigsaw puzzle was now fixed in our frightened minds! Luisa was being summoned! Adella then told us that she had left well over an hour ago! Waisting no more time, we men jumped on the next jeepney we could catch and asked the driver to get us over to the nearest tricycle station as we now had to get a tricycle driver to take us up to Sacrifice Valley tonight as there still may be enough time before Luisa arrives there alone! We then got two tricycles and headed off down Mabini Avenue and in the direction of Bataan. Driving as fast as we could, we had no trouble on the smooth straight roads in and around Metro Manila but once we got into the mountains of Bataan, the roads became more winding and rough with potholes. Then off in the distance, Chris spotted another tricycle well out ahead of us! This had to be the one carrying Luisa! We tried to speed up but suddenly we had to come to an abrupt stop! As there was a large pig standing right out in the middle of the road. Violently swerving to avoid hitting the animal, we all stopped along the shoulder of the road and got out to shew the stubborn and ugly animal off the road before we continued on but by now the tricycle which we were pursuing was long gone out of sight! Another half hour, we arrived at what appeared to be a large open area surrounded by many acacia & coconut trees. The driver explained to us that this is where the pathway which led down into Sacrifice Valley began. The time was now close to 1:30AM Saturday morning October 31st Philippine time! The night skies were partly cloudy with a half- moon but this was occasionally being covered by tropical cumulous clouds as we also could see a faint "flicker" of distant lightning as a line of thunderstorms along what is called an easterly wave was approaching! It was a mild night but very humid as we all had a layer of perspiration on us. We then all got out and prepared to make this walk down the pathway into Sacrifice Valley in the darkness. Even during daylight hours this was a steep & rocky path but at night, it would be especially dangerous as there were spots where we could easily slip and fall which could mean a broken leg or any other serious injury!(another reason why this place was off limits to all after dark!)Just then Rogelio tripped over something right in the middle of the path! Chris shined his flash light down at what it was he had stepped on. Looking closer at it we discovered that it was a lady's shoe! It was now very obvious that Luisa was here! We then continued on walking carefully as we called out her name but there was no reply. Twenty minutes later, Chris suddenly noticed something white way off in the distance. Looking closer we noticed that it was someone walking wearing a white gown! My God it was Luisa! We tried to walk faster as we screamed out her name but there again it was as if she did not hear us! This was definately what we had earlier expected! She was under some type of possession! She was being summoned by something very sinister! Continuing to follow her down that steep & rocky path in the darkness we had to be especially careful now as the rocks had gotten slippery with moss. Just then the moon came out from behind the clouds and illuminated the jungle with a pale light. It was here that we all thought that we could see what appeared to be a large shadow of some type of statue but as of yet we could not tell exactly what it was but it resembled what the natives of the South Pacific referred to as a "Tiki" Luisa continued to walk slowly towards it in the darkness. A few minutes later, Luisa stopped in what was a level area at the bottom of the hill. We were now in Sacrifice Valley! It was here that we were not mentally prepared for what we were about to see next! Luisa raised her arms above her head as she then pulled down her dress to expose her bare shoulders! then she pulled it up again and continued to walk. What was this she had done? we asked each other. Chris & Manoy then explained that she had to be offering herself to something!! Then Luisa stopped again and pulled down her dress all the way to her waist exposing her bare brests as she again raised her arms over her head. We could hear an occasional sob as she was crying along with a cantation or prayer of some type. Pulling up her gown again Luisa continued walking on again. A few more minutes she stopped again, she was standing right in front of the giant "Tiki" Statue! We men slowly approached her but it was very slippery. Then came something which none of us were prepared to see! Luisa knelt down on her knees and offered herself to the tiki statue and then she slowly got up and carefully removed her mariaclara gown until she was standing there wearing only her panty & bra! she then raised her arms above her head again in some kind of offering to it! Scratching our heads in fear we were at a loss of words as to what was happening a hundred yards in front of us. Luisa then got up and slowly unfastened her bra then raised her arms above her head again in offering she was now standing there topless! Here I then thought that I could see what looked like a dark eerie glow coming from what appeared to be the eyes of the tiki statue! Luisa stood there and raised her arms one more time and then she rolled down her panty to her feet and climbed out of them. Now she stood there totally nude in front of the tiki! as the the first rain drops from the approaching storm was felt on our faces! Then Luisa approached the statue and slowly climbed up on it until she was lying in what appeared to be its stone arms! The rain began to fall very hard now as Luisa just lay their in the arms of this strange & ghastly looking statue!as her long hair hung down over its arm. Lightning & thunder flashed & rolled right over head as we continued to approach & watch what was happening. We had only one thought left to do and that was to try to reach up on the statue and grab her before she fell off and was injured let alone she or any of us got struck by lightning but she was up there too high! We then ran as hard as we could but then suddenly it hit! It hit hard It hit with a blinding flash along with an ear deafening crash which momentarily deafened us all! We were knocked off of our feet! When we were able to see & hear again we looked up & saw nothing except where the lightning struck the tiki & had blown off its head. Looking up at where Luisa was laying, she was gone! LUISA HAD VANISHED RIGHT BEFORE OUR HORRIFIED EYES! For a moment or two we stood there and screamed in terror at what we had seen happen then we all ran as fast as we could to get out of here! and back up to that open area where the tricycle drivers had left us off! Frightened beyond words we all cried and occasionally vomited from this tension. By 3:30AM, we somehow had managed to get out to where we could catch a ride to the nearest village when a helpful truck driver gave us all a lift to a bus station where we the managed to get a bus back to Manila. We arrived back at Encar's home in Paco and as expected, they both were curious as to why we all were dirty and covered with mud! We told then that we had gotten caught in the rain while coming back from the betting parlor and were tied up there all night. In the ensuing days, we tried as best we could to cover up what had occured that night in Sacrifice Valley but then on the following Sunday, an elderly lady doing a pilgimmege in Sacrifice Valley noticed what appeared to be a line of burned grasses. She got curious and followed the line of brown grasses which led her right up to this tiki statue and this is where she along with another person discovered the gown along with the panty& bra lying at the foot of this strange looking statue. She immediately reported what she had discovered. A thorough police investigation was begun which after several months was filed under an unsolvable mystery!