Babaeng Nakaputi (The Lady in White)

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age:
Occupation:
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection: October 22, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Tagalog

MAIN DESCRIPTION:

CP: “Oh my god in the Philippines it is CRAZY! These stories, these, um, all of these different things about ghosts..and-and the thing is the ghost stories they, they aren’t like ‘oh my god i was so sacred about it’ its usually ‘oh yeah i saw this person’..and its usually ‘oh it was great to see them’. You know? So um, so my..so my dad when he was in the Philippines he drove uh, he drove one of those Jeepies. So it’s like, like um, one of those taxi’s in the Philippines, right. So you when you’re one of those Jeepie drivers, you start early in the morning, start picking up people and you don’t, you don’t usually finish until late at night. Then you go home at night and usually everybody is already asleep, nobody is out on the streets anymore to pick up or anything. So I guess one night he was on the way home, and you know, there’s always all these stories of, in the Philippines, there’s something called “Babaeng Nakaputi” or The White Lady, Lady in White. That is the most famous ghost in the Philippines. They call her the White Lady because its always, its usually, a female that they find walking…out in the middle of nowhere late at night or something. And she’s all white. White dress, white everything”

SF: “Was she a bride?”

CP: ” Uh..nothing to do with a bride. No-nobody knows her story but everybody sees her. EVERYBODY sees her”

SF: “Is there a specific time of night? Or place that she likes to be?”

CP: “No-Not necessarily, no not necessarily because it could be in different town-it could be-..but it’s usually at night. And it could be, it could be, like early morning, or it could be at dusk, but its usually at night, right. So the thing is, so, so, the things is, everybody has the same story. It’s always this white lady, that’s what they always see, right. So he was um..I guess the story was he was on his way home..after a late night of driving, and he drove by and you know..the streets are empty! And the thing is um..usually she’s seen in the farm areas, in the farm lands. It’s never in the cities, it’s never in the cities where you find her, its always in the farm areas, right. So he was driving down on his way home and all of a sudden he sees a lady, sees someone, you know, thats walking down and..he notices she’s all white! He’s like ‘oh my god..’ and he passes by you know looks at her, and when he looks at his mirror to look back..she was gone. Right, of course she wasn’t there anymore. And the thing is, he-he thinks he recognized her as one of-one of his um, his old old relatives that had passed. And that’s usually the case, usually when you see a White Lady its usually one of your relatives that has passed on..”

SF: “Oh wow, ok. So-so the story goes..when people see her uh..she takes the appearance or a relative?”

CP: “A lot, A LOT of times, its someone that they’ve known, yeah-yeah-“

INFORMANTS OPINION:

SF: “so..do you believe in her?”

CP: “Umm…..I’m not going to say she’s not real?..That-uh-I’m sure that they probably have seen her, right. Of course I haven’t seen her myself but um, but I do believe in ghosts and spirits..and um..but the thing is I believe they’re around for a specific reason. To…finish something..There’s something that needs to be taken care of, there’s something that needed to happen before she goes on, and moves on to her world. You know, but um..yeah I definitely believe in the afterworld and spirits and stuff like that. But I think that comes with the religion, and um..yeah thats one of the stories, yeah.”

PERSONAL INTERPRETATION:

As someone who is Latinx, I was raised knowing and partially believing in iconic urban legends such as ‘La Llorona’. Having friends, acquaintances, and certain family members, from different countries in Latin America, the story of the mysterious woman in white varies, and changes depending on the culture or simply who’s telling the story. It was so interesting to hear and learn of something, someone, so similar to La Llorona, who is of general knowledge in the Philippines. I do agree with the informant that, though I’ve personally never seen Babaeng Nakaputi, La Llorona, or any ghostly apparition, I do believe in the supernatural. Though there are vital differences between La Llorona, and Babaeng Nakaputi, their similarities lead me to believe in the possibility of her, Babaeng Nakaputi, existence.