Balete Drive

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Balete Drive
Calle Balete
Length 1.3 km (0.8 mi)130 m (430 ft)
Location New Manila, Quezon City
Coordinates 14°37′13.2″N 121°2′15″E / 14.620333°N 121.03750°E / 14.620333; 121.03750Coordinates: 14°37′13.2″N 121°2′15″E / 14.620333°N 121.03750°E / 14.620333; 121.03750
North end Dead end, 160 metres (520 ft) north of Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Boulevard
Major
junctions
Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Boulevard
Aurora Boulevard
South end Nicanor Domingo Street
Other
Known for Alleged haunted street

Balete Drive is a two-lane undivided street and main thoroughfare in the New Manila District, in Quezon City, in Metro Manila, Philippines. The road is an undivided carriageway, that is, a road without median. The road is a major route of jeepneys and cabs, serving the New Manila area, connecting Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Boulevard and Nicanor Domingo Streets in Quezon City.

The road is famous for the antique and century old Spanish houses and Balete Trees that lies all around the road. The road is also notable for the haunting legends that it had.

Route description[edit]

Balete Drive connects the long span between Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Boulevard and Nicanor Domingo Street in New Manila, Quezon City. The Balete Drive corner at E. Rodriguez is a bustling business area mushroomed with fast foods and other establishments.

This north end of the Balete Drive starts at a dead end next to the Diliman Creek, 160 metres (520 ft) north of Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Boulevard[1] Running in the NNE to SSE direction, it ends in a T-junction with the Nicanor Domingo Street near the San Juan Reservoir for a total length of 1.3 kilometres (0.81 mi).[2] One of its major intersection is with the Aurora Boulevard, a major road which leads to Cubao, a major commercial district in Quezon City. The LRT-2 Betty Go-Belmonte station is located 330 metres (1,080 ft) east of this junction.[3]

History[edit]

The Balete Drive

Balete Drive was named after a gargantuan balete tree that used to stand in the middle of the road. The road, although the exact construction date is unknown, had been cemented and asphalted and became a main thoroughfare during the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos in the early 1970s.[4] There are several Spanish houses that stood around the area, including the famous 200-year-old "Centennial House", which supports the claim that Balete Drive has been in use since the late Spanish era towards the end of the 19th century.[5]

Haunting legend[edit]

The street is reported to be haunted with tales circulating since the 1950s.[4][5] Many reports that the old Spanish homes around the area were haunted, or being guarded by their former, dead Spanish owners. The most famous case and the case most reported is the story of a "White Lady" frequently being seen in that site, according to a famous Philippine urban legend. Also, other mythical creatures from the Philippine folklore were also sometimes seen around the site, like elves and fairies. A Sighting of a Kapre, a large, smoking black giant, was reported from that area once.

Reports[edit]

Most of the reports describes a White Veiled Lady, a popular entity in the Philippine folklore. The White Lady is frequently seen in the portion of the road from the intersection of the road with the Mabolo Street up to the Intersection of the road with the Bougainvilla Street. The reports commonly came from taxi drivers, particularly those driving on the graveyard shift between 12:00 am and 3:00 am. The reports described commonly fits the descriptions on the reports involving the infamous Teresa Fidalgo reports from Portugal, on account of the white lady, either calling over to ride on their cab or suddenly appearing inside the car.[6][7]

Unconventional explanations[edit]

Some of the unconventional theories attempting to explain the tales around the road are very similar to the Teresa Fidalgo stories. The "white lady" is said to be the ghost a teenage girl that died in a car accident in the area many years ago. Another variation of the tale is that the girl was raped by a cab driver. The above reason is used to explain why the lady always shows herself to cab and taxi drivers.[6][8][9]

From the Philippine folklore, Balete trees are always considered magical, and sometimes, kingdoms of spirits, which is another unconventional explanation for the eerie and mysterious tales that occur around the road.

Skeptical explanations[edit]

The skeptical and conventional explanations, of course, dismiss the entire story and all tales and reports as hoaxes. The tale is believed to be a hoax of a newspaper reporter.[9] It is also presumed that it is made by a group of college students on surveillance on how fast a rumor can spread.[6]

The most accepted explanation, however, is the possibility of a mirage or an illusion. The floating lady is dismissed as an optical illusion caused by the car's headlights.[6] The same explanation is given to another alleged haunted street in Quezon City, the Calle Tres Marias in Barangay bahay toro in Project 6, which is said to be the habitat of strange cat-like creatures.[7]

Zoning laws[edit]

The segment of the Balete Drive from Aurora Boulevard to Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Ave has been zoned by the Bureau of Internal Revenue for regular residential and commercial purposes.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

The movie Hiwaga sa Balete Drive (Mystery on Balete Drive) is a Filipino movie based on the ghost that allegedly roam the road. It was filmed in 1988 with the white lady portrayed by Filipina singer-actress Zsa Zsa Padilla. In the story, she died during the Spanish Colonial Era, but her spirit is forever roaming, searching for her undying love. Some of the actual scenes were filmed on Balete Drive. The movie is frequently shown during Halloween on Philippine television. [11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kamuning Road". Google Maps. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  2. ^ "Balete Drive". Google Maps. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "Balete Drive". Google Maps. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Ellalynn De Vera and Charissa M. Lucci (July 17, 2005). "The Haunting of Balete drive". The Manila Bulletin. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Philippines Insider. "Myths Surrounding Balete Drive". Philippines Insider. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d Yap, Dj (Nov 1, 2005). "Balete may be official "haunted" site". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Magbanua, Lyndon John. "The Story of the White Lady of Balete drive". September 12, 2011. The Mystified.com. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ Priscelina Patajo-Legasto (2008). Philippine Studies: Have We Gone Beyond St. Louis?. UP Press. pp. 349–. ISBN 978-971-542-591-9. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Dianne De Las Casas; Zarah C. Gagatiga (30 September 2011). Tales from the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories. ABC-CLIO. pp. 119–. ISBN 978-1-59884-698-0. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Zonal Values – RDO No. 39-South Quezon City – Barangay Mariana". Bureau of Internal Revenue (Philippines). Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  11. ^ Hiwaga sa Balete Drive at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.