So according to my dad, it happened when he was driving back to the farm late one night. He was driving down this windy road on Beli… Belita Drive in the Philippines. He was by himself and it was pretty dark that evening. There’s no stars or moon out so everything behind him was pitched black. His headlight was on but weak and it didn’t seem to reach too far. As he was driving, he caught a glimpse of a woman wearing a white dress, with long bl… black hair walking on the opposite side of the road. Her face was beat up and blood- *laughed* start over?
*Laughed* Just keep going.
So her face was all beat up and bloody and bruised. He figured it was just (jumbled up words) – it was just his mind playing tricks on him because it was so late, so he kept on going without really giving a second thought. Then a few minutes passed and he can hear the sound of the seatbelt click in his backseat. When he looked back he saw one of the seatbelts had been done up but no one was sitting there. When he looks forward again he saw a pair of eyes staring right at – right at him as he looked into the rearview mirror. It looked like she was sitting in the seat. But when he looked back again, there’s no one there and just a done-up seatbelt. So he locked his eyes forward and refuses to turn back and he drove faster and faster. Every now and then he glances back at the rearview mirror to still see her staring right at him in her long pale dress with her black hair and her face. He told me that he could felt her getting closer and closer. He then muttered a prayer under his breath. Right when he thought she was gonna grab – about to grab a hold of him, he drove across the bridge and he heard the seatbelt unbuckled. He decided to take a look at the rearview mirror again and the woman was staring – the woman who was staring at him was gone. From the point on, he decided not to drive on that road ever again at night even if he could help it.
So do you believe in the White Lady or is it just a made up story with a lesson in it?
No yea! So the White Lady is real, that’s why so – it’s really popular in like Filipino culture cause like literally like almost anyone * one-second pause*, like anyone in the family had had someone had a spotting of the White Lady. It’s like it’s so prominent that like everyone has their own White Lady story in their family. Um, so my cousin went to – went and visited the Philippine once, and he’s, he’s from here so he was not really like used to like Filipino culture and all that in the Philippines, so I think he was on a jiffy ride back from somewhere late at night and he swore (emphasized) to God like he was riding on the motorcycle, uh no, motorcycle tricycle and he turned around and he swore that he saw the White Lady there and he could like feel her staring at him. So she’s real, like, people actually see her.
Based on what RC had said, it seems like she believed that the White Lady do really exist in this world, as she quoted that the White Lady is a very prominent figure in Philippine, and it is a tradition of Philippine. According to RC, the White Lady is one single entity but she is not limited to oly haunting one place. This is support by the fact that she doesn’t specify where her cousin sees the White Lady but her dad encountered her at a specific street. Although the White Lady can appear at anywhere, RC says the White Lady can only be seen in Philippine, as supported by her quotation of her cousin encountering the White Lady only when he was visiting Philippine. She also stated the fact that people can feel her coming closer and closer to grab them, so it seems like the White Lady hold a strong presence that anyone can feel her presence everywhere. In a different conversation, I asked her about why the White Lady haunts people. She said that she doesn’t really know, but she brought up the fact that the White Lady was raped and brutally killed by foreign soldiers. Then I asked her about what countries those soldiers were from, and she said that there are a lot of different version of stories about what countries those soldiers were from, but they are all foreign. She thinks that the White Lady stays there to wait for the foreign soldier and seek her vengeance.
RC started out her story describing the setting as “late night”. We can then assume that the White Lady only appears at night, like how ghosts usually act a lot of other different cultures across the world. The White Lady seems to have a tendency of staring at people and slowly approaching her victim. This creates suspense, but also seems to serve another purpose. RC stated that the White Lady haunts people because of being brutally raped and killed by a foreign soldier. The White Lady is the representation of the indigenous people of the Philippine while the foreign soldier represents other countries with an enormous amount of power at that time. The fact that the White Lady being raped is the representation of foreign countries invading the Philippines. The foreign soldier, when raping the White Lady, only seeks out for the pleasure of the time while not caring about her feelings at all. When he decided that he no longer needed the White Lady for pleasure, he killed the White Lady. This can be seen as the fact that foreign countries invade the Philippines only for the resources and not care about the indigenous people. If the Philippines have not resources left to provide for foreign country, then the country in power will then leave Philippine in the state of devastation. Therefore, the White Lady, although not evident, serves as a constant reminder to the Philippine people of how they were treated in the past by foreign countries. The suspense of her staring at people and slowly approaching people then also serve the purpose of reminding people of the horror their ancestors faced.
Another interesting point also comes up during the conversation. RC said that her cousin is not used to the Filipino culture, but he still encounters the White Lady. It seems like the encounters of the White Lady does not depends on the culture or prior knowledge of the White Lady, but rather the place. The fact that even people have no Filipino culture background can still encounter such traditional belief. The story is being told by RC, who has a Filipino background, so her belief that the White Lady initially seems a little bias to me. However, her cousin, who had never visited Philippine, encounter the White Lady supports that the White Lady might be an actual phenomenon. I am not sure if her cousin had ever heard of the story of the White Lady since according to RC it is a very prominent story within the Filipino culture.
The story of White Lady also seems to show that family members have a strong tie with one another. As RC had said, each family have a different form of stories. Various form of stories can be the result of each family adapt to a different version to help with their beliefs and the lesson that they are trying to teach. These various forms of stories also represent the identity of each family, and that each family has a slight variation of tradition. The story of the White Lady represents the identity of being Filipino; however, the variation of those stories represents the individual identity of each family, and it shows the importance of family bonds within the Filipino culture.