Robinsons 'snake' returns as new malls open

Posted at 10/25/2012 5:41 PM | Updated as of 10/29/2012 3:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED/CORRECTED) -- A video of an alleged mutant snake is again making the rounds of social media, two years after it was first posted.

The unverified and undated video, with 438,224 views as of this story’s posting, is entitled “Robinson’s snake is dead.” It shows a snake supposedly with a humanoid head complete with blonde hair.

The video title refers to an old urban legend of a snake in Robinsons Galleria. There are other videos on YouTube also referring to the legend.

The videos are circulating again after several Robinsons malls opened and after the company announced the opening of new malls in Malabon and Cebu.

Robinsons is also set to open a new supermarket in Eastwood City on Thursday.

Screen capture of a video showing a supposed "Robinsons snake". It is one of many "snake" videos circulating on video sharing site YouTube.

The legend has several versions. According to one version, the snake was supposedly RLC tycoon John Gokongwei’s son, and the twin brother of Robina Gokongwei-Pe.

According to the story, the snakeman had access to the mall’s CCTV cameras, and would spy on women in the dressing rooms. If he saw a woman he liked, he would flip a switch and the woman would drop through a hole in the floor, straight into his arms.

Other versions alleged that the snake was a female and laid golden eggs, the source of the Gokongwei family’s wealth.

Yet another version claimed that Gokongwei kept a giant snake in the mall to ensure prosperity, and women in the dressing rooms would be chosen for the reptile to eat.

Actress Alice Dixon was once rumored to be among the snake’s almost-victims, and was allegedly paid a considerable amount to keep her silence.

In a speech Gokongwei-Pe gave in 2008 at the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics, she tackled the rumors, telling the graduating students:

“You were not born yet when the story of my kakambal na ahas who was half-woman, half-snake came out when we opened our second Robinsons Department Store branch in Cebu in 1985. My kakambal was supposed to be the source of our wealth as she laid golden eggs. She was supposed to be hiding under the floor of the fitting rooms, and every time a beautiful woman would enter, the floor would open and she would land right inside the mouth of my kakambal na ahas.

"I have no idea who started this incredible story, but I have to tell you that some people believed it and even started staring at my legs to see if there were any signs of snakeskin. A few people still ask me about it, and I have to tell them na naging handbag na ho sa Robinsons Department Store.

"Thank goodness there was no Internet yet at that time, or you would start receiving photos of me with a snake’s body and my kakambal na snake with a woman’s legs,” she said.

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(Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously said it was Robinsons Land Corp. that was going to open a new supermarket. A company official said it's the Robinsons Retail Group, not Robinsons Land Corp., which is in charge with malls. Robinsons Land is engaged in property development. -- Eds. )