Dubbed locally as the Millennium tree, this huge Balete located on one of Maria Aurora’s dirt roads has been attracting the attention of local visitors of Baler.
It is unimaginably huge that it would take 60 adult individuals, holding hands together, to fully encircle its trunk. It’s massiveness becomes evident as my friends started walking towards it, they looked like little kids beside the tree.
Balete trees wrap themselves like parasites on the trunks and branches of a host tree. And this is an excellent example of what happens over time, the original tree in the middle is now gone, leaving a hollow inside the Balete.
A passage between its twisted roots allows visitors to even access this hollow; it fitted all six of easily inside. It was dark, hot and humid at the core of the Balete with only shafts of light passing through its roots illuminating its creepy interior.
The place looked both sacred and mystical. Local knowledge always associate the Balete tree with supernatural elements and I’ve read a blog post about some UP professors sensing elementals and Tikbalangs living on the tree. That didn’t stop us from exploring its bowels though.
We exited at the other side of the tree. Climbing its thick roots, the girls proceeded with their photo ops
It is said that this tree is the oldest of its kind in the whole of Asia, hopefully it would last a few hundred more years with the help of both the locals and its visitors.
Purok Bagong Sikat 1, Barangay Quirino
Maria Aurora, Aurora