Former child star Julie Vega, real name Julie Pearl Postigo, is long gone but the debate concerning the actual cause of her death continues.
Apparently, there are those who still believe the young actress, who was only 16 when she passed away in 1985, fell victim to malevolent entities.
Aiming to answer this question, GMA News’ documentary program “I Juander” tried to answer this one and for all in 2015, visiting the actual location used for the shoot of the 1984 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Lovingly Yours, Helen (The Movie),” Vega’s last film.
Supposedly, upon their arrival at one of the houses where the film was shot, the paranormal expert the team was with, encountered a female spirit.
The camera crew also experienced alleged strange audio interference with their mics every time the expert spoke.
Opinions were mixed.
The “I Juander” team believed the sounds they heard were not normal while the sound engineer of GMA News insisted it was only caused by signal interference from their mobile phones, among others.
Bad spirits or Bad luck?
Residents of the place, located near Mount Manalmon in San Miguel, Bulacan, still believe Vega was possessed by bad spirits.
“Naniniwala kami na pinaglaruan talaga sya ng mga duwende run. May nakakakita kasi ng mga duwende sa lugar namin. Maaaring sumama sila sa kanya at nakipaglaro rin sila,” said one of the residents.
“Ayon sa sabi-sabi, nakursunadahan sya ng mga engkantong naninirahan duon kaya kinuha yung katawang-tao nya,” another resident claimed.
The four-part “Lovingly Yours, Helen (The Movie)” had Vega playing the role of a young girl possessed by evil spirits in a segment dubbed “Akin Ang Walang Diyos.”
Peter Ledesma, entertainment writer recalled, “Yung role n’ya parang kay Linda Blair sa ‘The Exorcist.’ Kataka-taka naman yung isang tulad ni Julie Vega na after doing that film, biglang bumagsak ‘yung katawan n’ya. Naging bedridden sya at na-coma pa. Tapos nanlabo yung paningin. Bakit biglaan yung ganun?”
A mother’s account
In 2016, GMA-7’s “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” sought Vega’s mother for answers.
Perla Postigo recalled the day her daughter was rushed to the hospital after a particular long day’s shoot.
“Nag-taping sila at nahimatay daw s’ya kaya dinala sya sa Capitol Medical Center. Parang napagod lang daw.
Ni-release s’ya ng doktor at hindi naman sya na-confine,” she shared.
Vega’s condition got worse in the days that followed, though.
“Dinala na namin sya (sa hospital) kasi nakikita namin naduduling na ‘yung mata n’ya,” added Postigo, who is now staying in Iligan City.
On May 6, 1985, Vega died.
Hours after she was laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, it was reported that the turntable in her bedroom suddenly turned on and played her debut disc “Somewhere In My Past.”
Actual cause of death
According to Mrs. Postigo, her daughter died from cardiac arrest following a bout with a demyelinating disease, which Mayo Clinic describes as a condition that results in damage to the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Alejandro Budias, a neurologist, explained, “Kung ang motor nerves ang naapektuhan, napaparalyze sila. Pero kung naaapektuhan din ang sensor nerves, magkakaroon din sila ng impairment sa kanilang sensation.”
Vega, youngest among six siblings, started her showbiz career as singer under the tutelage of singer Imelda Papin and her husband-producer Bong Carreon.
She would gain popularity as actress after appearing in “Ang Mga Mata Ni Angelita” in 1978.
Vega would eventually earn the moniker “The Original Soap Opera Princess,” starring in “Anna Liza.”