Visit If You Dare: The 3 Creepiest Trees In The Philippines

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In the Philippines, the Balete tree is often associated as homes not for just insects, but also for supernatural creatures like tikbalang (demon horse), dwende (elves), kapre (smoking giants), and diwata (fairies).

Urban legend has it that at night, if you drive through Balete Drive in New Manila, Quezon City, a street named after a huge Balete tree that used to stand there in the middle of the road, a White Lady will suddenly appear out of nowhere and try to flag down your vehicle.

But if you really want to get scared, you’ll have to go out to the province and visit these three mystical trees.

At night.

Alone.

These are not your ordinary trees.

Make sure to bring your camera (or phone) to document any unnatural sightings or suspicious sounds emanating from these mysterious local attractions.

The Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor

Old Enchanted Balete Tree Siquijor

Photo by Kaye Pintac

Where is it?

Brgy. Campalanas, Lazi, Siquijor

Siquijor Lazi Map

Why see it?

When in Siquijor, don’t miss the chance to visit this century-old Balete tree. Because of its humungous size and eerie outline, this 400-year old tree easily became a tourist spot in the province of Siquijor.

What makes this Balete tree unique is the spring that emanates from the roots of the tree that goes directly to the man-made pool beneath it. It is interesting to note that the locals don’t know where the water is coming from.

Surprisingly, the water is very clean with fish swimming in it. If you want an instant fish spa, you may even dip your feet into the water and the doctor fish or the garra rufa will gladly exfoliate your feet for you. Everything in here is for free but you may wish to give a donation for the maintenance of the place.

As for hair-raising stories about this ancient tree, locals claim that they have seen old little people or elves surrounding the tree when the moon is full and apparitions during rainy nights. It’s up to you to find out the truth at your own risk.

How do I get there?

Get to Siquijor from Manila by taking a 1-hour flight to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental and then taking another 1-hour ferry ride to Larena, Siquijor from the Dumaguete Port.

Hire a multicab to bring you to Campalanas where the tree is located. It is 10 meters from Siquijor’s National Highway and just few minutes away from Capilay Spring.

The “Millennium Tree” of Aurora

Millenium Tree Aurora Baler

Photo by ruzelvia

Where is it?

Brgy. Quirino, Maria Aurora, Aurora

Maria-Aurora-Aurora-Map

Why see it?

The towering Balete Tree in Maria Aurora, also known as the “Millenium Tree,” is said to be the largest Balete tree in Asia.

At 600 years old, this enchanting tree in the town of Maria Aurora attracts tourists because of its massive size. Supposedly, it takes 60 adults holding hands with arms outstretched to encircle the giant tree.

The tree grows on a private property. Legend has it that the owner wanted it removed with a bulldozer. When he tried, a family member got sick. As did the operator of the bulldozer. So he did the smart thing and left the tree alone.

Tourists now flock to see this gigantic tree because it’s big enough to enter and climb up its innards so you can pretend you’re a Keebler elf.

However, if you know the spine-chilling true nature of Balete Trees, that they actually find a host tree to attach themselves to while choking the host to death, then you might think twice about entering its twisted roots for fear of being suffocated just like what it did to its host tree.

If you are up for the challenge, prepare to go barefoot, as it is the easiest way to go from root to root of what seems to be a tangled tunnel. If you are claustrophobic, you can stick with climbing the gnarled roots outside the tree itself.

How do I get there?

By Car: You can take North Luzon Expressway and exit at SCTEX. Enter the La Paz, Tarlac tollgate then follow the highway going to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. This highway will lead you to the Aurora border leading to Baler.

By Bus: Genesis Transport Bus provides the only direct route from Manila to Aurora, Baler. Located along EDSA in Pasay City and Cubao, you can either choose from their regular or deluxe bus.

From the town proper of Baler, hail a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the Balete Park in Barangay Quirino, Maria Aurora, where the famous Balete Tree is located. The tricycle ride from the town of Baler to Maria Aurora will take about 30 minutes.

The “Wonder Tree” of Canlaon City

Where is it?

Lumapao, Canlaon, Negros Oriental

Negros Oriental Canlaon Map

Why see it?

Dubbed as the “Wonder Tree” by the locals, this Balete tree is the oldest recorded tree in the province and possibly even in the country.

It is believed to be 1,328 years old. So old that the tree was already standing long before the Philippines was discovered by Magellan! The colossal tree mightily stands in the middle of rice and coffee plantations in OISCA Farm in Lumabao.

At night, curious travelers can’t help but check out and be awestruck by the illuminated tree because the foliage serves as a sanctuary to thousands of fireflies. Superstitious people in Canlaon believe that the Balete Tree is a gathering spot for fairies, which causes the tree to light up every night. Aside from fireflies, lizards, bats, and different kinds of insects have made its wide tree trunk of the Balete their natural habitat.

It’s said that provoking the spirits dwelling in this mysterious tree causes great harm and sickness, thus muttering a word of respect or asking for permission before touching or going anywhere near the tree is imperative you want to risk offending the magical beings living there.

How do I get there?

Take a 1-hour flight from Manila to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

From Dumaguete City, take a 4-hour bus ride that goes directly to Canlaon City via any of the Ceres Liner buses or try a van-for hire for a faster travel time of about 3 hours. Once you get to Canlaon City proper, hire a motorcycle to OISCA Farm. Travel time from the city is about 25 minutes.

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About Author

Toni Alvarez

Having been bitten by the travel bug, exploring the world has been an obsession to her. Toni Alvarez sees to it that not a year will pass by without her satisfying her wanderlust and writing online itineraries after every travel has been automatic to her.

81 Comments

  1. Chili Lemongrass on

    can you add one more 🙂 I know of a Gigantic Acacia tree at Dinalupihan, Bataan It is situated within a public cemetery.

  2. Vincent Jan Aurelio Nicer on

    The millennium tree is not Baler’s. It’s clearly in Maria Aurora town and not in Baler town.

  3. And here we have hundred year old trees that soon to be cut by our idiot people.
    None of these are creepy, actually. They are beautiful and everyone should just stop believing those supernatural stuff.

  4. Danilo Puyat on

    There are really nothing creepy with these trees. In fact, they are beautiful and awe-inspiring, since they lived for hundreds of years and thus are silent witnesses to the history of our country.

  5. These trees are natural landmarks that should be declared National Heritage Jewels. If this happens it will be preserved for generations to appreciate.

  6. The natives in Mindanao bury their dead in Balete trees. I saw a giant balete tree in Leyte and there was a shedded-snakeskin on the trunk so it is not just insects and lizards that live inside. I believe there are spirits who dwell inside it too.

  7. Let history writes itself, i know at least two walking trees in the Philippines & both can sing very well. One is Rico Puno, the other one is Victor Wood. Wanna bet? Ernie 0921-7515-240

  8. Don James Manlubatan on

    yeah…i think this trees are awesome…not creepy…even though I believe in supernaturals, staring at those trees makes you think how it survived that long enough to awe us with their beauty…it gives shelter for animals that lives on trees, like birds, insects, etc… I suggest also a big strangler tree at Anonang, Kaputian, Samal Island…it is inside an elementary school ground…I think, it is also a millennium tree…

  9. makibaka_wag_magbaboy on

    There is a century old balete tree in Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte right smack at the entrance of the Araneta compound… couple of meters away from it are 2 of the oldest bridge dating back to the Spanish period as well…

  10. Not totally planned but I was able to visit already the two most popular Balete trees in the country, both of which are believed to be enchanted, found in Siquijor and Aurora. 🙂

    • Joy Rubio Hernando on

      Balete tree is a very scary tree base on my experience, somebody seen many un natural w/ that said tree … Mga agta ug whitelady nga nakalutang… Ngeeehhhh… Takot ako.

  11. once there was a monk who happen to have been given this gift from a patron. here’s the story:
    fellow monks: ano yan?
    the monk: bigay ni Mrs.X! Balete raw!
    fellow monks: oh my! delikado yan! pinamamahayan raw yan ng mga espirito!

    the next day..
    fellow monks: o! nasan na yung halaman mo?
    the monk: tinapon ko na! sabi nyo delikado eh!
    one of the fellow monks: sana binigay mo na lang sakin!
    the monk: sabi nyo delikado?
    one of the fellow monks: sus! tataniman mo lang ng st.benedict medal yan sa tabi ok na yan! LOL

  12. Eulogio Empio on

    I think it will be good to use them in reforestation project since no one would dare to cut them down

      • Eulogio Empio on

        Yeah, I’m very familiar with “balete” cuz i grew up in a rural barangay and there was a very huge one growing behind our school then. A vine called “lima=lima” grows beside it and during summer we go there to harvest them. People always avoid getting near this tree while we don’t so we are the only ones who are brave enough to harvest the root crop.

        In this sense that this idea came unto my mind and besides, “balete” grows abundant lateral roots which is very beneficial in soil erosion control since it can hold more top soil than other trees plus it can grow on arid lands

  13. Ato Dionisio on

    I SAY ALL THESE TREES HOUSES ALL SORT OF SPIRITS THAT ARE NOT GOOD. WHAT OTHERS CLAIM ARE REALLY TRUE WHERE THERE IS A BALETE TREE THERE ARE SPRITS DWELLINGS AND WHERE THEY LIVE THERE IS FORTUNE. SPIRITS THAT ARE HERE ARE GUARDIANS OF ALL SORT OF TREASURES, JUST ASK THOSE WITH VERY GOOD THIRD EYE AND OR SIXTH SENSE.

  14. The trees are awesome, they were standing there long before we were even born, so pls dont let anything damage their beauty.

  15. The reason why balete gained supernatural connotations is HOW they become a tree in the first place. Balete trees are strangler figs in English. They start out as vines, which climb up on existing trees before slowly growing around it. It becomes a tree in itself, choking the original tree, which is the reason why almost all balete trees have a hollow interior. This was the space originally occupied by the tree it killed. It was large enough to be lived in, and people may have actually lived in them before, hence enkanto.

  16. i think this might be somehow related to the pyramids….. i don’t know why i just feel like it….. i mean 3 pyramids, 3 enchanted trees……

    • btw i think this sort of things should be honored and protected by the government yet is still available to the public…… for generations to appreciate…

  17. We’ve already been there at The “Millennium Tree”
    of Aurora last year. It’s kinda amazing. It’s not too scary but fun
    because you can go inside and it’s to refreshing it’s like you wanna go
    sleep inside of that balete tree. You’ll not be suffocated. We took our pictures there.

  18. *smirks* interesting…….

    it makes me wanna go in phillipines…i like how the balete trees form like….it is like an enchanted, fantasy, ancients….it makes me wanna sleep it’s their branches and relax……and i want to see demon horses, smoking giants, elves and faries……..

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