Uncovered Philippine Antiques as Yamashita Treasure Marker

In one of our previous projects, we have uncovered some antiques wherein we believed that they were markers used by the JIA (Japanese Imperial Army) as clues to their hidden treasure deposit.

As you can see in the image below, we found three different types of antique objects. We uncovered them at different depths in our dig site.


Based on my research, I came to know that these two similar objects with lumps on their top portion are pieces of an old musical instrument known as “Kulintang”. Kulintang usually has a total of 5 to 9 pieces but we currently uncovered only two pieces of them.

To tell you more about Kulintang, it is actually an ancient musical instrument and no historical record can disclose where it originally came from. The only record we have is that this ancient musical instrument became a part of the Southeast Asian cultures.

Thus aside from the Philippines, other countries with Kulintang include Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Timor. So the question we asked ourselves when we uncovered these antiques is “Which of these countries did it originally belong to?”

Maranao Offering Vessel

Aside from the Kulintang is this second object with artistic design. Based on its look alone, I can say that it is a container. In my research, I finally found out that it is a “Maranao Offering Vessel” for food, particularly fruits.

Water Container

Here’s the fourth object that we uncovered. Until now, I couldn’t find any information about this antique. But based on my own personal opinion, it is a container for clean and drinkable water.

In my further research, all these antique objects that we uncovered seem to belong to the “Maranao”. They are the largest group of Muslim here in the Philippines where they reside at the Southern Island of Mindanao.

Another thing that bothered our thoughts is that we uncovered these antiques at Northern Luzon which is a place far from Mindanao.

Our speculation is that the JIA soldiers probably confiscated these objects and brought them along for the purpose of marking their Yamashita treasures.

I have already covered in the previous post that aside from engraving signs on surfaces of the rocks and trees around, the JIA soldiers also commonly used man-made objects as markers. These include old bottles, antiques, and other common ordinary objects including their military uniform.

Site Operation

When we started our operation, we made sure that there were legit Yamashita treasure signs around the site. And through proper interpretation, we were able to locate the digging spot where we uncovered the antiques.

The very first item marker that we uncovered is this Maranao Offering Vessel at a depth of 5 feet. You have to know that the common interpretation for objects used as marker is to continue digging underneath them.

So we continued to dig and reached a depth of 10 feet. At this depth, We discovered the two pieces of Kulintang. At this point, we seem to notice a pattern that on every 5 feet depth, a marker was placed. To prove our speculation, we continued digging down further.

Upon reaching another 5 feet depth (a total of 15 feet), we were correct. We came across this another antique object. This gave us the motivation to work and dig faster but the news about a strong typhoon coming on the area made us decide to temporarily stop our operation. 

Our site is situated from a far and remote mountain. So it’s going to be dangerous when we decide to stay.

Anyway, after the typhoon, we finally came back. Unfortunately, the higher portion of the mountain collapsed and covered the hole that we’ve been digging.

We intend to continue this project but we decided to leave for a while since a GCQ was about to be declared.

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