Did you know that many of the JIA (Japanese Imperial Army) had used trees as important markers in hiding their Yamashita treasures? In all of these trees, we are going to cover in this post a special kind of tree known as the “Balete Trees”.

Before we continue with the discussion, have you already seen what Balete tree exactly looks like?

If not then here is an image of this tree.

Balete trees can be found in almost every region of the Philippines. And there are actually 800 different species of them.

What really makes the Balete trees different is that they can choose to grow in other trees as hosts. But the worst part is that, as the Balete grows, it will strangle its host to its death.

Dwelling Place of the Spirits

The most interesting part that everyone wants to know about is that the Balete trees are the type of trees which are the most favorite dwelling place of the spirits.

So according to old folks, they have this strong belief that you should never take a Balete tree inside your house as decoration. Unless you want to attract spirits to live together with you inside your own house.

As a treasure hunter myself, I already had many experiences about different spirits guarding certain precious objects particularly the Yamashita treasures.

In all of these experiences, places with Balete trees is what we often avoid. This is due to the reason that a Balete tree is often filled with several spirits who are dwelling on it. And the worst part is that they can be too violent to hurt anyone who attempts to cause disturbance in their place.

According to the people who can see the spirits, common entities that dwell in the Balete trees are the Kapre, Tikbalang, and Diwata or fairies.

Perhaps one of the many reasons why a woman should never participate in searching for the hidden Yamashita treasures is due to these spirits. Many of these spirits are fond of women where they often tend to fall in-love with them.

So in order to seduce women as their victim, many of these spirits can shift themselves into attractive human form.

Large and Venomous Snakes

Aside from the spirits that dwell in the Balete trees are the snakes. You have to know that the Balete trees are also a favorite dwelling place for the snakes.

What we fear most about snakes is their venomous bite. Or, their size where they can swallow a fully grown adult.

You might be familiar about the controversial story of the popular actress here in the Philippines named “Alice Dixson”. According to the incident, she encountered a human snake in one of the rooms of Robinsons Galleria. On my further research about the human snake, I had read one of this article where it claims that this human snake used to live in an old Balete tree.

Hiding Yamashita Treasure in Balete Trees

What exactly is the main reason why the Japanese soldiers preferred to hide their Yamashita treasures in Balete trees among other kinds of trees?

The main reason is that the Balete tree is some kind of tree that doesn’t easily wither. They have proven that they can stand through time despite the strong typhoon that often hits the Philippines.

Based on my experiences, many of the old folks or live-pointers that I came across can testify that they have seen the Japanese soldiers hiding their treasures in Balete trees.

Hiding Procedure

When it comes to trees, the Japanese soldiers often hid their treasure in simplicity. If the Balete tree is still starting to grow, the Japanese soldiers simply buried their treasure underneath it.

But as the time goes on, the Balete tree will continue to grow where its roots will become thicker covering the entire treasure serving as protection.

So in order for you to recover the deposit, you really have to go through all these thick roots of the Balete tree which is a very tough job to do. Thus, most treasure hunters often give-up along the way.

Metal Detector may Work

If you have a reliable metal detector then it may possibly work where it can reach the buried item below the Balete tree. However, most metal detectors require you to stand directly above the item in order for you to receive the feedback. 

If the item is buried right exactly at the middle portion of the tree then it would be impossible for you to scan it. Unless the tree has a huge hole where you can fit yourself inside.

Century Old Balete Trees

Balete trees already existed here in the Philippines for an unknown period of time. Thus, we have several of these very extremely old trees known as “Century old Balete trees”.

During the time of the JIA, they’ve seen these century old Balete trees as perfect hiding places for their Yamashita treasures. So they simply placed them inside their open holes. And as time passed by, these holes got covered or engulfed by the roots of the Balete tree.

Treasure hunters who are attempting to recover hidden treasures from these century old Baletes should be warned that they are now strictly protected by the authorities. Unless the old tree is situated at a certain remote place. But the problem with them is that they are surely guarded by spirits.

Best Dwelling Place for the Spirits

It is indeed very hard to convince the spirits that dwell in the Balete trees. According to the person who can see and talk to them, Balete trees are the perfect dwelling place for them which is comparable to a palace.

Just try to put yourself in their situation. Let’s say that you are living peacefully in such a wonderful place then suddenly, intruders came and they wanted you to move to another place.

What’s your reaction?

Surely, you will get angry.

Deposits are Enclosed with Hard Container

When it comes to the treasure deposit, the Japanese soldiers often enclosed them with hard containers, particularly with hard concrete.

The main purpose of covering the deposit with hard concrete is to protect the item from getting crushed and scattered which could happen when the roots of the Balete got thicker.

Moreover, I am not completely saying that when your site is confirmed positive and there is a Balete tree around, the item can be found underneath it. It is still highly recommended that you have to search your site and look for any possible treasure signs and markers that can strongly support the exact hiding spot of the item. 


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