Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Simeon Bernardo's Tomb
"...there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven."
The Book of Revelation 12:7-9 describes a war in heaven in which Michael (Jesus Christ) defeats Satan the Devil.
But in Malabon City there is a very special and disturbing tomb.
Simeon Bernardo's tomb has a statue of the Devil triumphant over St. Michael Archangel.
Through the years, this unusual tombstone has been featured on television and in some newspaper and magazine articles.
To this day, the tableau never fails to draw attention, especially on All Saints' Day when the living troop to the cemeteries to remember their dead loved ones.
There are people who claim that the Devil statue moves and terrorizes humans at night.
Some say that the figures used to be small and supernaturally grew each year to its current height. A few whisper about the devil roaming around the graveyard at night. And more stories pervade about the tomb below the sculpture, which up to this day remains blank and probably empty.
A marker on the left reveals an exchange between Lucifer and Michael; the devil proclaiming that he owns the world and Michael pleading to the people.
On the right is a crumbling bas relief of Adam and Eve, probably a symbol of the first sin of man.
Don Simeon Bernardo of Barangay Concepcion had it made.
In a GMA News feature in 2007, the grandson who was interviewed by Kara David said that it was his grandfather's express wish to have the statues placed on his tomb.
He also said that contrary to what some people think, Don Simeon was not a satanist; that he was in fact, a very prayerful person.
Apparently echoing Mang Floren's belief, a great grandson, Mr. Lubis Bernardo, said that the late Atty. Sumilang Bernardo, daughter of Don Simeon, once told them that the reason why her father had the statues made was that he believed evil was prevailing over good in the world.
Both Lubis and his Uncle Floren mentioned that a relative of theirs once said they could remove the statues if people changed for the better and good really prevailed in the world.
If indeed Don Simeon Bernardo's intention was to remind us, he has pretty much succeeded.
What is the truth?
The statue still exist, and you can visit it for yourself.
In the late 70s, according to Lubis, Atty. Sumilang asked him to replace the statues because they had been destroyed by addicts.
It so happened that the replacement statues were bigger than the original (by approximately five inches), and it seems there was even talk by some people who didn't know about the replacement, that the devil was getting bigger!
The statue could be possessed, but a scary statue in a place like a graveyard can play tricks with your mind.
We may live in his world, but Satan will never triumph!