Filipina Claims Her Grandmother was Anastasia Romanov, Inquirer’s Editor Shouts “Stop the Presses!”

As a rule I try not to pay too much attention to the general idiocy that characterizes the output of the Aquino Administration’s official newsletter, but every so often The Philippine Daily Inquirer will publish something that is just too stupid to ignore. Case in point, a two-part story published May 13 and 14, which the Inquirer’s editors felt was worthy of their paper’s front page:

Filipino’s grandmama could be Russia’s Anastasia

‘Grandmama’s’ mystery identity: The quest goes on

The story, which is written by the “granddaughter”, a woman named Caty Petersen, is essentially this: based on the facts that one of her grandmothers was of Russian descent, had the nickname “Tasia,” and vaguely resembled the late Grand Duchess, Ms. Petersen believed she was the fabled Anastasia, a conclusion that was cheerfully confirmed by a ‘spiritual medium’.

Obviously this tale displays both an extraordinary lack of critical thinking skills and a level of desperation in seeking personal validation that must have any therapist with an Internet connection drooling at the potential bonanza in billable hours Ms. Petersen represents. In case anyone is actually wondering, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, the youngest daughter and fourth of five children of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife the Tsarina Alexandra, was born in June, 1901 and killed, along with the rest of her family, the family doctor, and three servants, by Bolshevik troops on July 17, 1918, aged 17 years, and coincidentally, unmarried and childless. The remains of the Tsar, his wife, three of their daughters, and the four non-family members of the party were discovered and positively identified in 1991; the other two children were found in a separate grave and identified in 2007.

LOL FOUND YOUR GRANDMA

And “Tasia” is not actually a nickname for someone named Anastasia, nor for the Grand Duchess in particular who, according to a 1983 history written by Peter Kurth, was called by the nicknames “Nastya,” “Nastas,” “Nastenka,” “Malenkaya” (which means “small” or “little” in Russian), “shvibzik” (meaning “imp,” because Anastasia was apparently an extraordinarily ill-behaved child), or the French form of her name, “Anastasie”.

You can decide for yourselves whether Ms. Petersen’s grandmother (on the left, from the Inquirer article) looks anything like Anastasia (on the right, in one of her last official portraits):

The problem here is not Ms. Petersen – she is completely entitled to be an attention-seeking, gullible fool if that’s what she wants to be – but rather the frustrating choice of one of the country’s major media instruments to, yet again, endorse some of the worst character traits of the Pinoy as front page news. Of course, perhaps we should not be surprised; this is a newspaper which, after all, keeps a specialist in paranormal matters on staff, whose last article was a serious discussion of the positive aspects of one of the most internationally-embarrassing scams to come out of the Philippines in the last five centuries.  And we wonder why the rest of world has a hard time taking this country seriously.

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About BenK

I write a column for The Manila Times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Most of the energy sector and the heads of several government agencies probably wish I didn't.

Post Author: BenK

I write a column for The Manila Times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Most of the energy sector and the heads of several government agencies probably wish I didn't.

43 thoughts on “Filipina Claims Her Grandmother was Anastasia Romanov, Inquirer’s Editor Shouts “Stop the Presses!”

    […] Filipina Claims Her Grandmother was Anastasia Romanov | Get Real Post. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInMorePrintEmailRedditDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in: Media | Tagged: Anastasia, attention whore, Get Real Post, hero worship, Inquirer, media, news, Philippines, psychics, say what, unjustified pride […]

    ImAnastasia

    (May 14, 2012 - 6:52 pm)

    And I was the said Grand Duchess in a previous life. Haha. They just look alike! A lot of people look like someone else, even from the past.And it’s impossible for the Romanov family to have any present-day descendants, because they all died. Why pay attention on this trivial matter? WTF.

      BenK

      (May 14, 2012 - 8:21 pm)

      Ask that question of the editors of the nation’s largest daily newspaper…

      mariaxtinafalls

      (May 16, 2012 - 4:40 pm)

      ask yourself. why did u post a comment?

        bens

        (May 17, 2012 - 12:48 am)

        All Russians look alike. Just like indians. Bitches!

    Mary Ann

    (May 14, 2012 - 8:45 pm)

    It should be mentioned that a well publicized debate over which daughter, Maria (according to Russian experts) or Anastasia (according to US experts), has been recovered from the second grave cannot be settled based upon the DNA results reported here. In the absence of a DNA reference from each sister, we can only conclusively identify Alexei – the only son of Nicholas and Alexandra.
    by GOOGLE

      BenK

      (May 14, 2012 - 9:24 pm)

      …and four daughters, and two parents. Which accounts for the entire family, so the point of whose bones were whose is moot. As is the entire discussion of what happened to the youngest daughter of a ruler who was so inept that his people actually thought communism was a better idea; the salient point, rather, is that the Inquirer considers the misguided imagination of a random individual front-page news.

    FallenAngel

    (May 15, 2012 - 12:45 am)

    More opium for Pinoys addicted to the Big Lie, eh?

    IsabellaS

    (May 15, 2012 - 12:50 am)

    The idea that the author is suggesting that there’s a chance her grandmama was Anastasia is just ridiculous. Looking at the portraits, it is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that her grandmama does not resemble any of the Romanovs.

    Probably for lack of common sense, people are actually defending the author because they say she isn’t “claiming” that her grandmama is the grand duchess, and that there is just the “possibility”. But based on the simple but strong evidence (the picture) THERE IS NO SUCH POSSIBILITY.

    Forehead protrusion which shape the eyebrows, the nose, the eye shape, and even the curves on the lips of any person do not change from adolescence to adulthood. Even if we take into consideration the conspiracy theory that the closing of the Romanovs case in 2008 was just a Russian cover-up, there is no chance that her grandmama’s story is true. A lot of girls were brainwashed and trained to claim that they were Anastasia at that time, simply because the Romanovs were the wealthiest royal family in Europe.

      Dominic

      (May 15, 2012 - 5:27 am)

      If we just based it upon the looks of both persons then it will not be reliable, because the human body is subject to change when it reaches old age. And there are contributing factors to these, one of it would be the person’s change of life style and also diseases that comes with old age.

      And the best solution for this controversy is for them to have DNA comparison. Problem is a lot of paper work and permission would have to be obtained before that could be done.

        IsabellaS

        (May 15, 2012 - 7:44 am)

        but you see, the two pictures being compared are supposed to be near in age. the one on the left, (the pic of the alleged anastasia who went to the philippines) is probably in her 20s, and the one on the right (one of the last portraits of the true grand duchess) shows anastasia in her mid-teens. it’s neither old age difference, or sickness or by experience that someone’s nose, eyes, forehead (BONE STRUCTURE) and lips would change because of those factors.
        the girl in the left photograph doesn’t resemble Anastasia or even any of the 4 grand duchesses for that matter. Of course looks based on these pictures alone cannot disprove the claim scientifically,looks are a BIG factor to discerning how realistic the possibility is. I am quite aware of that. I do feel that they would be wasting sooo much time, money and effort to have the grandmother’s remains tested for mitochondrial DNA matching. At least Anna Anderson (the most famous Anastasia impostor) looked a bit like the real Anastasia. Caty Petersen’s grandmother absolutely doesn’t.

          Marie

          (May 16, 2012 - 12:53 am)

          Anna Anderson doesn’t resemble the Grand Duchess at all

          mariaxtinafalls

          (May 16, 2012 - 4:38 pm)

          what will you get if she isn’t the real anastasia? what will u get if she’s the right one? the story in the inquirer is just a story, they aren’t forcing you to believe that her granny was the anastasia romanov? it’s like your implications are trying to convince people that she’s not. it makes you feel bitter in our eyes.

          Don

          (May 16, 2012 - 6:19 pm)

          mariaxtina,

          Yes, they are setting up a dopey story so the mass of dimwit people who read without thinking will believe it and add another feather to Pinoy brown Pride. Forcing us, no. Making it so that it’sounds believable enough to the masa, yes.

          eidelj

          (May 17, 2012 - 5:15 pm)

          why i will compare them? with these pictures? and just tell you guys that they aren’t match or they are match? then say something stupid about it and stress to anybody here that mrs petersen is hallucinating? bet all of us here including the MR BENK is not an intellect or scientist to say conclusion. so better say its not match or match and thats it why we should say stupid, non-sense comments here where we cannot prove what we are talking about? mrs petersen is just looking for her grandmas root and its coinsidence that they had some facts which they thought can relate to dutches anasticia and thats it. something wrong about it? ofcourse not

    Don

    (May 15, 2012 - 2:10 am)

    And despite the really thick DNA and historical evidence from 3 countries that says Anastasia was in fact murdered in Yekaterinburg, Pinoy Pride absolutely, positively must insist that the child made it to the Philippines and survivd here. The evidence is just a conspiracy theory. An espiritista gave her professional opinion, so it must be true.

    [face > keyboard]

    Hell on Earth « Weather on Neptune

    (May 15, 2012 - 6:26 am)

    […] rather its lowest. This nation, whose people define their worth by their association with boxers, imaginary royal ancestors, and people who aren’t even from this country, is obviously going to take a long time to learn […]

    Perplexed

    (May 15, 2012 - 9:54 am)

    Holy Royal Crown, Batman!!! Call the PDI and maybe the Bulletin, since no one really reads these guys — I have a kooky old photo album telling me I’m the great great grandchild of Emperor of China.

    Oh and by the way, I have a nice bridge I’d like to sell you.

      eidelj

      (May 17, 2012 - 5:22 pm)

      because you have no facts on your own to relate you to emperor of china while mrs petersen has her own story to tell. logical? jesus christ what a comment

    Traveling Morion

    (May 15, 2012 - 1:04 pm)

    Another controversial, interesting article of PDI,,,

    Bill Steffen

    (May 15, 2012 - 2:06 pm)

    I hate that “Joe” thing too

      BenK

      (May 15, 2012 - 3:21 pm)

      It pisses me off to no end. One of these days when I decide I need a lot fewer friends (because most everyone I know, regardless of nationality, thinks it’s cute), I’m actually going to write on the subject.

        Bill Steffen

        (May 15, 2012 - 4:11 pm)

        Hahahaah I know but I am going home next year so I don’t need a lot of friends! If I called all the men here Juan I would be hanged hahahaha

    TaengGorbachev

    (May 15, 2012 - 3:15 pm)

    They don’t look like each other… Anastasia, based on the pics, has smaller eyes, longer nose, and less rounded face than the other one…

    Mary Ann

    (May 15, 2012 - 8:49 pm)

    a DNA test will clear all of this. Those who commented as if they knew everything about this inferior ”full of mysticism” nationality called PINOYS must have a Ph.D in History after their surnames.And was given power by whoever their Supreme being a right to judge, underestimate and laugh to their fellow human who eat, fart and defecate like them..Thank You Sarcastic Intelligent , Supreme Race… (tamaan bukol}

    Marie

    (May 16, 2012 - 12:52 am)

    Funny how PDI flipped the wikipedia photo and printed it that way than look for another…

    janice daulong

    (May 16, 2012 - 8:56 am)

    i,too was interested when i heard the article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer,perhaps it might be true…esp when she asked for her grandma to seek for her ancestors,her grandmama replied that they might kill them all if they do so….there’s a possibility

    John Paul

    (May 16, 2012 - 12:07 pm)

    I just regarded the whole thing as a wonderful piece of creative nonfiction. After all, the grandmother never claimed she was a Romanov.

      Don

      (May 16, 2012 - 6:26 pm)

      It was all ok until the PDI insinuated the claim, with that Anastasia headline. Complete insult to intellect, especially since the bodies were conclusively identified by leading scientific institutions everywhere, as well as confirmed by the Romanovs themselves.

      It’s a Pinoy Talaga! moment, going so low as to make a completely false cause a rallying cry for Pinoy Pride. And to label the more scientifically-minded as “talangka”, going by the retarded pro-Pinoy Anastasia comments that followed the PDI story.

        eidelj

        (May 17, 2012 - 4:59 pm)

        mrs petersen is not looking for your insulting comments. she is looking for her grandmas root and what story of her is another fact take or not serious facts which for her does’nt matter. what you said is exhausting and exagerating as in to the point you stress as pinoy pride i think you don’t know what you are talking about. read again her story in PDI and tell me if something is wrong and insulting in details? you don’t know actually what your talking about.

          Don

          (May 17, 2012 - 5:43 pm)

          Here’s the simplest I can explain why her claims are pointless:

          Anastasia was murdered in 1918 with the rest of the Romanov ruling family.

          DNA tests on the remains by reputable institutions in 5 countries accounted for all the members of the family. ALL OF THEM DIED IN YEKATERINBURG.

          PDI publishes a story about “grandmama could be Anastasia” despite those two statements above.
          PDI also failed to take into consideration the irrefutable scientific conclusions about the death of Anastasia.

          Pinoy Priders took umbrage when the first 2 statements above were presented to them, calling the said presenters “talangka”.

          Everyone has the right to seek out their ancestral roots, including asking for psychic assistance. but come on, making claims of connections to royalty despite conclusive proof of said royals’ exticntion? Even worse is to attribute conspiracy theories to any ttempt to clear the water.

      eidelj

      (May 17, 2012 - 5:03 pm)

      until someone help them to identify her grandma’s root. how come you know that her grandmother never claimed she was a romanov? did you talk to her? jesus christ.

    nelson ongpauco

    (May 16, 2012 - 1:52 pm)

    baka alam ng abs-cbn dahil ang mga teleserye ay puro nawawalng bata na biglang lumalabas pagtagal ng estoria ,,hahahah!!!!

      Marie

      (May 16, 2012 - 10:33 pm)

      at pag pina-DNA test mo, rigged ang results o switched :/

    eidelj

    (May 17, 2012 - 4:37 pm)

    so mr benk whats your problem? are you a racists? why such comment of yours is very deliberating and insulting? i think for your information you have no right to be a writer or author. can you prove those insulting freakish comments of yours to the public about the philippines? if you said mrs petersen is entitled on her own thoughts about her pursue for searching the roots of her grandma then she has the right to search whenever possible way, which anyways i believe what story she said is all true about her grandma and thats only she is stressing about. maybe Benk you should read the title carefully before damaging others dignity by your irresponsible comments i think if ever this kind of news/story will be coming from a western world, japanese or chinese world you will be delighted to comment in a positive a way but since philippine is a third world then a word respect isin’t the best way. what if russian authorities investigate or take this matter seriously and take a DNA and somehow prove to be anastacia descendants? you are fool writer i pitted you.

    Don

    (May 17, 2012 - 6:21 pm)

    Funny how Pinoy Priders actually look up to the very unlikely event that the old Russian lady was Anastasia, and make it a point of pride.

    If the story was simply about White Russian/Royalist refugees coming to the Philippines and treated warmly by Filipinos, it would be a really interesting story (damn, I’m Greek Orthodox myself and Orthodox are a very rare bird in PI). But it just had to denigrate into being a cockamamie fairy tale story with conspiracy theories.

      Realist

      (July 18, 2013 - 12:26 am)

      Here’s the general sentimemt from my friends towards the notion of Caty’s Grandmama being Anastasia Romanov – practically impossible considering the evidence out there.

      But they definitely WOULD NOT rule out the possibility that Grandmama Tasia was one of the Royalist/White Russians who were lucky enough to escape Russia before the Bolsheviks got to them…

    robertc

    (May 20, 2012 - 7:26 pm)

    don’t look now. but after the PDI printed scientific findings, by one Lawrence de Guzman (PDI researcher), the claimant wrote a reaction on 20 May 2012. to me, the reaction established some interesting motives of the claimant. unfortunately, this sad episode does not seem to be ending. regards.

    Ria

    (June 24, 2012 - 4:20 pm)

    As much as I would have liked to believe your reasoning for not believing… your condescending tone made it almost impossible to do so.
    I have doubts with the article, yes. But I read it with an open mind. You don’t have to defame the person who was just overly excited to the small possibility of her grandmama being Anastasia.

    Jemonde Sebastien

    (July 20, 2012 - 1:02 am)

    And I’m the great great grandson of Grigori Rasputin… LOL

    Zenon Rokossoviskiya

    (February 22, 2015 - 8:11 pm)

    What The Hell? She Did not even claim that her grandmother is Anastasia. She is just searching the roots of her Grandmother if she is Anastasia or not, but she did not claim that her Grandma is Anastasia. Whats wrong with your retarded brain? Are we even sure that the DNA of the “anastasia” discovered is real? Why do you comment such rude words. And hey claim yourself as a Racist! And hey retard, it only says could be Anastasia, not she is Anastasia. Common sense…And one more, your the gullible fool who wants to be in the center of media. Pay respect to the filipinos.

    Royalista

    (July 20, 2015 - 3:44 am)

    for those who are waiting for the continuation of this saga, you may want to read on this latest development…

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/10/moscow-creates-task-force-to-identify-suspected-remains-of-tsars-children

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