Balete Drive

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Balete Drive
Balete Drive sign.svg
7876Balete Drive Quezon City Landmarks 29.jpg
Balete Drive, looking south towards Mabolo Street
Native nameCalle Balete
Length1.3 km (0.8 mi)1,300 m (4,300 ft)
LocationNew Manila, Quezon City
Coordinates14°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 endDead end, 160 metres (520 ft) north of Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue
Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue
Aurora Boulevard
South endNicanor Domingo Street
Known forFolklore, urban legends

Balete Drive is a two-lane undivided street and main thoroughfare in the New Manila District, in Quezon City, 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. Avenue and Nicanor Domingo Street in Quezon City.

The road is noted for a number of balete trees that formerly lined it, and urban legends of a white lady ghost.[1]

Route description[edit]

Balete Drive at its intersection with Ohio Street, looking south towards Bougainvilla Street.
Balete Drive looking south towards Aurora Boulevard.

Balete Drive connects the long span between Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Avenue 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. Avenue[2] 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).[3] 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 Manila Line 2 Betty Go-Belmonte station is located 330 metres (1,080 ft) east of this junction.[4]

The avenue is classified as a national tertiary road of the DPWH's Philippine highway network.[5]


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. There are several Spanish houses in 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.[6]

Haunting legend[edit]

In the past, the street was lined with large balete trees that darkened the area considerably and made it appear "frightening" to some Manila residents. In Pinoy folklore, balete trees are believed to be a "home for spirits and mysterious creatures".[1] Various legends and folklore have circulated since the 1950s that the street was haunted.[6]

Most of the legends describe a kaperosa (white lady) ghost, a popular character in the Philippine folklore, who is supposedly haunting taxi drivers "for eternity". According to legend, the ghost is a teenage girl who was run over and killed by a taxi driver at night, then buried around a Balete tree in Balete Drive.[7][8] One variation of the legend claims a student at the University of the Philippines was sexually assaulted and killed by a taxi driver, and her spirit roams the street looking for her murderer. Another version of the story claims that a female resident of one of the ancestral mansions lining Balete Drive was abused and killed by her own family, and her spirit haunts the road, seeking help from passing drivers. According to local rumor, the legend of Balete Drive was "fabricated by a reporter in the 1953 in order to come up with an interesting story".[1][8]

In 2005, a Quezon City barangay official proposed that the city could use the legends to boost tourism by declaring the street "haunted" and making it available for Halloween parties.[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.[9]


Centennial House

Notable landmarks along the road include Baliwag Lechon Restaurant (at the corner with E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue), the main offices of the BusinessWorld (at 95 Balete Drive Extension), and Centennial House (Bahay Sentenaryo).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sanchez, Shaina. "The Story Behind the White Lady in Balete Drive". Maganda Filipino. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Kamuning Road". Google Maps. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "Balete Drive". Google Maps. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  4. ^ "Balete Drive". Google Maps. Retrieved on April 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "Quezon City 2nd". Department of Public Works and Highways. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Philippines Insider. "Myths Surrounding Balete Drive". Philippines Insider. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Yap, Dj (November 1, 2005). "Balete may be official "haunted" site". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Zonal Values – RDO No. 39-South Quezon City – Barangay Mariana". Bureau of Internal Revenue (Philippines). Retrieved on April 18, 2012.

External links[edit]

Media related to Balete Drive at Wikimedia Commons