By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – About 10 female Grade 8 and 9 students have reportedly collapsed in a public school in Barangay Granada here the last two days after reportedly being possessed by an unknown entity.
Fr. Gratian Murray Integrated School head teacher Ariel Sablaon said the first incident happened on Monday afternoon, involving a Grade 8 student, who collapsed at the classroom building located at the back of the school premises.
The child was allegedly talking with the voice of a male adult, narrating a fatal accident involving a family in the barangay in 2016. Sablan said he immediately brought her to the clinic, then to the chapel, where her parents fetched her.
Three of the girls’ classmates also reportedly experienced the same form of possession.
The following day, some students who were praying rosary at a field, near a big tree, also went through the same experience, which prompted the school officials to suspend the classes.
“Their bodies weakened, and they were hysterically shouting,” Sablaon said.
About 10 of them were brought to a hospital for proper medical attention. Elementary and kinder pupils were not affected.
For his part, school principal Dionisio Lindugan said it was the first time such an incident happened in the school.
They immediately called for a priest to address the situation after it was initially reported as a case of exorcism.
He, however, said the priest claimed the students were not possessed.
He advised parents to understand the situation as the authorities were already on top of the situation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Joeanne Marie Jomalesa, psychologist III of City Health Office-Mental Health Division, said she was told that the symptoms showed possession by an unknown entity, but she claimed it could be a case of mass hysteria, affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness.
“We have to verify it first because we don’t know if it’s related to a spiritual aspect or a psychiatric case. We need to get into the details first before we evaluate and proceed with the intervention phase wherein we can be able to talk to the students,” she said.
Jomalesa said they can also work hand in hand with the church to determine if it had an effect on the spiritual aspect.