ILOCOS NORTE—A balete tree in Pasuquin, along the highway of Barangay Devita, has been a recent tourist attraction for many curious travelers who said the tree has ‘granted wishes’ and made people ‘lucky.’
About 4 months ago, a balikbayan believed balete trees were lucky and started the trend of putting money in the nooks and crannies of the tree as an offering.
Yolly Manzano, an owner of the restaurant beside the balete tree, said that local residents saw what happened and soon, people started a custom for those who live or pass by Pasuquin.
The tree can be seen dressed in all types of currencies, mostly from foreign tourists and travel skeptics.
Manzano warns, however, that anyone who dares to steal or take any money from the tree will be cursed and will be unlucky.
The mysticism of balete trees stems from traditional Filipino folklore, where supernatural beings like kapre or tikbalang dwell, while others believe that “sorcery rituals are known [to be] performed inside the chambers formed by the tree.”
Also among other superstitious folk, balete trees are not recommended to be placed inside the home as it has been reported to summon spirits from otherworldly places.
Similarly, the Fontana di trevi in the Quirinale district of Rome is believed to grant wishes if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain.
No matter where you come from or where you go, people have weird (and sometimes spooky) ways to attract luck — it just takes a coin and a little imagination!