Cebu News

Claudia Zobel’s body intact after 30 years

Niña G. Sumacot-Abenoja - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The remains of Cebuana actress, Claudia Zobel, was discovered to be intact despite being buried for nearly 30 years.

Families and friends of the late sexy star whose real name is Thelma Maloloy-on, were shocked to see her remains still intact when it was exhumed from its grave in Queen City Memorial Gardens last Tuesday.

The actress was a native of San Roque, Barangay Mambaling.

Clad in a white and yellow dress, Zobel looked like a statue, her face white with pinkish mark on her chin, apparently a smudge from her lipstick.

There were no signs of decay in her face and body, which was laid in a stone casket with wooden interior.

Zobel, who was still 18 years old when she died, would have turned 47 this year.

Zobel's elder brother, Ernesto Maloloy-on, 57, said they had to exhume his sister's body to accommodate the remains of their 75-year-old father who died of cardiac arrest and will be buried 1 p.m. today.

They planned to place her skeleton in her father's coffin.

Zobel's talent manager, Anthony Garcia, was also surprised upon seeing the remains of her close friend still intact.

"Katalimad-an gyud kay why for 29 years, tibuok pa? Dapat madugta na ni and basa baya ang yuta diri. Maybe she's really a saint, ambot lang," Garcia said.

But Rey Sereso, a gravedigger for 30 years now, said this is not the first time they exhumed remains buried for years but were still intact.

"Di na nako maihap kung ikapila na ni siya. Perteng daghana na ko'ng naugkat diri, mas intact pa gyud gani tan-awon kaysa niya unya dugay na pud nalubong," Sereso claimed.

Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory-7 medico legal officer Nestor Sator explained that a person's cadaver becomes mummified because of several factors like heat exposure, type of soil where it is buried and the type of casket used.

Sator told The FREEMAN that a cadaver buried in sandy soil will most likely become mummified since there is insufficient moisture that enters the casket.

The moist is a contributing factor that enhances the growth of bacteria that helps in the decomposition the cadaver.

Another factor is using tightly sealed casket which prevents water from entering and preserves the cadaver.

"Water hastens decomposition due to bacteria and if there is no leaking of water, then the body will be preserved," he said.

He added that clean and good process of embalming could also preserve the cadaver due to less contaminants.

Sator further said that in tropical countries like the Philippines, cases like the cadaver of Zobel's are expected.

"We can consider it as natural process of nature," he said.

Zobel died in a car accident on Feb. 10, 1984, 18 days before her 19th birthday.

Zobel , Garcia recalled, was driving a Mitsubishi Colt with three companions when it collided with another car in Pasong Tamo, Metro Manila.

Since the car was small, Garcia said Zobel's chest was pinned to the steering wheel and died immediately.

It also took 15 minutes before she was taken out of the car and rushed to a hospital.

Zobel was a promising actress and sexy star, said Garcia.

"She was discovered in a party in 1982 and from then on, nisikat siya and naa siya'y mga awards na-receive sa iyang films," Zobel's talent manager revealed.

Engraved on Zobel's headstone were title of her movies including Drakula (1982), Shame (1982), Uhaw sa Pag-ibig (1983), Magdalena sa Buong Magdamag (1983), Sinner or Saint (1984) where she was awarded as Best Actress in the Urian Awards, and Kapit sa Patalim (1984) where she won as Best Actress and also awarded as Best Picture by the British Film Institute during the Cannes Film Festival.

"It had been a fast and short life for one of the most promising actresses of the 80s, Claudia Zobel" was also etched on her headstone.

In 1990, a film about Zobel's life was made entitled "Karanasan: The Claudia Zobel Story".

In 2004, the weekly show Maalaala Mo Kaya also feature her life story and in 1994, the untold story about her life was also written by Jesse Garcia.

Because of what they discovered, Ernesto said they may put Zobel's remains back in her grave and bury their father on top of her casket. — with Ria Mae Y. Booc/MBG (FREEMAN)











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