The Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor

by admin · 4 comments

Post image for The Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor

Header Image by: Dennis Villegas

If you leave Siquijor without visiting this majestic and popular landmark, you will be left wondering how it feels like to be left in awe gazing up a huge natural attraction. What’s the use of visiting ‘just a tree’? You should probably just include this in your itinerary since a blogger at RANCHO D’EL TORRERO mentions “you can’t help but feel humbled beside it”.

Plus that’s one awesome pictorial that you will miss posting on Facebook.

LOCATION:

Brgy. Campalanas, Lazi, Siquijor

HOW TO GET THERE:

You can find this landmark at 10 meters from Siquijor’s National Highway or also known as the island’s circumferential road. This is also found within just a few minutes away from Capilay Spring.

To get there you can hire a tricycle driver or a multicab to bring you to the place.

Image by: Faith Melendres

ENTRANCE FEES:

None. Optional donation via donation box.

WHAT YOU CAN DO THERE:

Take photos. Leave a donation. Or wash your clothes. :D

At this point in Lazi you can see a panoramic view of the Island’s western side.

Image by: Faith Melendres

THE ATTRACTION:

This balete tree is centuries old or believed to be 400 years old. It is the ultimate setting for a horror movie. It is locally known as the oldest and biggest tree in the province of Siquijor – a popular landmark that you shouldn’t miss.

A handful of legends and myths have been attached to the history of tree. Which is quite natural since it is, as mentioned, centuries old. It is also known as a dwelling place for supernatural beings.

Water flows underneath the tree which flows straight to a man-made pool or stream. The locals couldn’t tell where the water comes from thus the engulfing strange stories of place.

Image by: Faith Melendres

It was the place where people could take a dip and be healed. It was also developed for the locals to use as their laundry area. Some would even take a bath and swim in it. Though right now, it is considered unsafe. Instead, one can see fishes swimming in the place.

The scary and eerie outline of the tree makes anyone believe that the tree is enchanted. The roots are massive and unidentical. Such eeriness could be attributed to the outline created by the hanging roots and vines of the tree.

This locally known balete tree or dalaki is a type of ficus (or fig tree) and is a relative of the strangler fig tree and called such due to the fact that it grows around a host tree and strangles it. One traveler from TripAdvisor observed that it is “equivalent to Australia’s similarly wide girthed Moreton Bay fig”.

Image by: Faith Melendres

The Green Cloud blog quotes the definition of the balite or dalakit is:

“A name given to various species of Ficus which start as epiphytes and strangle their host, assuming tree form. They are much feared as being haunts of various supernatural beings.” ~Source: Wolff, John U. A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Library, 1972.

Wanna visit the Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor?

See More The Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor on Facebook.


Image Credits:

Dennis Villegas

Faith Melendres

Sources:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g664445-d1550106-r47921522-Old_Enchanted_Balete_Tree-Siquijor_Visayas.html

http://outonvacation.wordpress.com/

http://www.biyahengpinoy.com/2007/10/isla-del-fuego.html

http://www.markmaranga.com/oldest-enchanting-tree-in-siquijor/

http://www.pueblophilippines.com/biggest-balete-tree

http://thegreencloud.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-mysterious-balete-tree/

http://www.lakwatsero.com/travelogues/siquijor-in-a-day/

http://kathangisip.com/2009/09/biggest-balete-tree-in-siquijor/

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

plsburydoughboy October 27, 2010 at 1:48 am

Not a lot of tourist destinations where you can wash your clothes. lol.

admin October 27, 2010 at 1:52 am

Not a lot indeed! LOLz. :))

dennis October 27, 2010 at 3:50 am

Indeed one of the most interesting spots in Siquijor. I’m looking forward to going back to this lovely island!

admin October 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for dropping by Sir Dennis! Your majestic capture of the tree is just awesome!

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