Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grand Duchess Anastasia Could Be Filipina's Grandmother -- Whaaaat?


I have always been fascinated with the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia.  I first "met" her when I was a teenager watching an old Hollywood movie which I cannot anymore remember the title of.  It was about a grandmother searching for her lost grand daughter, whom she called Anya.  

About three months ago, I stumbled on this site www.alexanderpalace.org which had a link to a book about the life and tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of Czar Nicholas II and mother of Anastasia  http://www.alexanderpalace.org/2006alix/new_introduction.html.  I found myself devouring the book which you could read online.   The book was informative, filled with anecdotes, snippets from old letters of Alexandra and pictures!

And then, just this morning, I saw a link shared by one of my facebook friends about a story apparently published in a local newspaper.  Grandmama's Mystery Identity: the quest goes on.  I clicked on the link not knowing what to expect.  It read like fiction and though it was very interesting I was somewhat apathetic until I came across the name Anastasia, and Romanov.  That was the moment I decided to go back to the beginning of the text and really absorb it.  The article was written by a Filipina, one named Caty Peterson whose dead grandmother, a woman everyone called Tasya, was Russian.  The article was about how she sought the help of a medium in finding out why her dead grandmother has been appearing constantly in her dreams.  According to the medium, her grandmother kept a secret, a painful one.  The medium talked of blood, of dead bodies thrown on top of one another, etc.  In the end, the medium told the writer that her grandmother wanted to join the rest of her family in "the chapel".  If you are interested to read it, you may visit http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/192775/grandmamas-mystery-identity-the-quest-goes-on.

I thought that the article had a part 1 so I asked my facebook friend if there was one, and indeed there was! The part one of the story was about the search of Caty Petersen for long-lost relatives in Russia.  The search  was unsuccessful though because the last name her grandmother used was not a Russian name. She then goes on to say that looking back, their grandmother always complained that they had the spelling of her name wrong.  The article focuses on her recollection of her grandmother's "uniqueness", the fear of other "white people", her unwillingness to locate Russian relatives for fear of being killed, etc.  Caty says that her grandmother, along with other Russians trying to escape the revolution, got on a ship thru the aid of relatives.  While the others got off in Japan, she got off  in the  Philippines.   She then stayed with nuns in an orphanage for a while until she finally lived with a spinster who played matchmaker to her and Caty's grandfather. 
It would be good to visit the first article on http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/192351/filipinos-grandmamma-could-be-russias-anastasia for the full story.  It even has a picture of Grandmama Tasya taken when she was a young girl.

The whole article was really interesting, although one could assume, the writer only read some stories about the Romanov children and incorporated those in her story.  However, for me who has been in love with the story of Anastasia for like twenty years, I would like to follow this story.  I know that there has been DNA evidence that Anastasia and her brother Alexei were in fact dead, killed together with the rest of their family. But the romantic in me cannot help but wish that Anastasia somehow escaped the brutality that has befallen the rest of her family, and that she somehow  experienced love, motherhood and grandmotherhood, that even just for one Romanov, it was happily-ever-after.  I don't know, it just seems so much nicer if it happened that way and  I would be very much more willing to accept the story of Caty and just assume some other explanation about the DNA evidence.



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