After 30 years, the mother of the late teen superstar Julie Vega finally put an end to the urban legend that her daughter died after she was possessed by bad spirits during a shooting of a film in San Miguel, Bulacan.
“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,” said Perla Postigo, mother of the teen star, during an exclusive interview in “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” aired over GMA-7 last Sunday.
Vega (Julie Pearl Postigo in real life) reportedly got sickly after she completed the 1984 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Lovingly Yours, Helen (The Movie).” Her family thought she was just stressed out because she combined school and showbiz.
In the four-part anthology of the movie, the 16-year-old star played the role of Idda possessed by evil spirits in the horror-drama episode “Akin Ang Walang Diyos” with Coney Reyes. It was Vega’s last movie.
Vega’s condition got worse until she was confined. “Hindi pa sya dumadaing nun, dinala na namin sya kasi nakikita namin naduduling na ‘yung mata n’ya,” added Postigo, now staying in Iligan City.
On May 6, 1985, Vega died at the peak of her career due to cardiac arrest. Her funeral was attended by grieving fans and colleagues from show business.
Cause of death
Three decades later, Mrs. Postigo said that her daughter died after she suffered from demyelinating disease and not because of evil spirits.
The Mayo Clinic based in Minnesota, USA defined demyelinating disease as a condition that results in damage to the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds nerve fibers in your brain and spinal cord. When the myelin sheath is damaged, nerve impulses slow or even stop, causing neurological problems.
“Kung ang motor nerves ang naapektuhan, napaparalyze sila. Pero kung naaapektuhan din ang sensor nerves, magkakaroon din sila ng impairment sa kanilang sensation,” said Dr. Alejandro Budias, neurologist.
Because Vega’s resistance got weak, she later suffered broncho pneumonia, doctors said.
The finding of the doctors was opposed to the belief of many people, especially movie fans, who claimed that Vega was possessed by evil spirits.
Townsfolk at Mount Manalmon in San Miguel, Bulacan, where the episode was shot, believed that 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 Consolacion Donseras, resident of Mt. Manalmon, who added that the forested area was really mystical.
“Ayon sa sabi-sabi, nakursunadahan sya ng mga engkantong naninirahan duon kaya kinuha yung katawang-tao nya,” another male resident claimed.
“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?” according to Peter Ledesma, entertainment writer.
Some people believe that the Postigos started to suffer bad luck after they bought a house in Quezon City.
They experienced financial setbacks after Vega was confined in the different hospitals on several occasions.
Hours after Vega was finally laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, it was reported that her turntable in her bedroom suddenly went on and played her phenomenal debut single “Somewhere In My Past” that was certified gold record.
Vega, youngest among six siblings, was discovered as a singer by singer Imelda Papin and husband-producer Bong Carreon.
“Nakatulong ng malaki ang anak ko sa amin kahit bata pa. Syempre masakit sa amin yung mag-asawa lalo na nung namatay sya na andyan kami nakatingin sa kanya. Pero hindi namin sya pinabayaan,” Vega’s mother said.
Mrs. Postigo had always believed her daughter was just around the corner helping her family in their problems.
“I just imagine na andyan lang sya. Lahat ng nangyayari sa buhay namin kasama namin sya,” she said.
Popularly known as the Original Soap Opera Princess, Vega was discovered by Lamberto Avellana in 1975.
Vega’s breakthrough film was “Mga Mata ni Angelita” in 1978. She later shot to fame via the soap opera “Anna Liza” which rivalled the television series “Flor De Luna” which starred Janice De Belen.
Despite being rivals in the early 1980s, Vega and De Belen were close friends. In fact, De Belen mentioned: “There can never be me if Julie accepted the role as Flor De Luna.”
Reports said that “Flor De Luna” was first offered to Vega but she had to turn it down because of her busy schedule.