Centuries-old balete tree attracts tourists in Aurora town

By Marjorie Gorospe

MARIA AURORA, AURORA—A massive 600-year-old balete (banyan) tree, also called the “Millenium Tree”, is a popular attraction in this town.

It is estimated to be 60 meters tall; its roots have a diameter of 10 to 15 meters and are big enough for people to pass through.

In the Philippines, the balete tree is often associated with supernatural beings. This is also the reason development in the area surrounding the tree had to be delayed, according to Noel Dulay, tourism coordinator at Maria Aurora.

The old tree is located in a private lot, whose owner initially wanted to cut the tree due to superstitious beliefs.

When the family was about to cut it, a member of the family got sick as well as the driver of the bulldozer which was supposed to take down the tree. Since then, they just let the tree grow. The tree was later christened Millennium Tree.

The gigantic size of the tree really draws attention, and is now a tourist attraction,” Noel says.

My colleagues and I didn't miss the chance to get inside the trunk of the massive tree. It's dark inside so make sure you turn on your flash if you wish to take a photo. Walking under the roots is like being inside a tunnel and as you look up, you can see flashes of light.

According to Noel, plans are underway to measure the official height and width of the tree. He says they once tried to ask 60 students to surround the tree.

He adds that the tree’s canopy looked much better before the typhoons which hit Aurora in the past years. There are also plans to implement a few restrictions to protect the tree from visitors.

“While it is an attraction of our town, we still have to do our best to protect it,” Noel says.

***

loQal.ph (http://loqal.ph/) is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the loQal.ph team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ayungin dilemma Ramon Casiple - Parallaxis
    Ayungin dilemma

    China faces a dilemma in Ayungin Shoal and other contested areas. If it waits for the ITLOS—which may decide against it—it would have tacitly bound itself to UNCLOS and risk a rogue state reputation if it asserts its claim in the South China Sea. If its militarily acts now, it may face international isolation. …

  • 48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao VERA Files - The Inbox
    48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-tawi—A team of Marines and policemen intercepted around noon Thursday 48 people, 12 of them minors, believed recruited by a human trafficking syndicate for work in Malaysia. The arrest constitutes what advocates called the … Continue reading → …

  • Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Leaders of the medical profession have made peace with their former adversary, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and joined forces in a campaign to get doctors to pay the right taxes. BIR Commissioner … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options