What is Balete tree in English?

Scientific names Common names
Ficus clusiifolia Summerh. [Illegitimate] Balete (Tag.)
Ficus cordata Kunth & C.D.Bouché[Illegitimate] Fig tree (Engl.)
Ficus elastica Roxb. ex. Hornem. Indian rubber tree (Engl.)
Ficus karet (Miq.) King Indian rubber fig (Engl.)

Is Balete and Ficus same?

The balete tree (also known as balite or baliti) are several species of the trees in the Philippines from the genus Ficus that are broadly referred to as balete in the local language.

What is inside the Balete tree?

A maze of gnarled roots snake up inside and all around providing a natural stairway you can climb up like a beanstalk. The easiest way to climb is to go barefoot so your feet can cling easily to the tough bark. Not everyone can fit inside through the roots though. Some parts can be a tight squeeze.

Why Balete tree is considered something that causes fear?

The tree is believed to be enchanted and inhabited by the so-called encantos or encantados, beings living in a different plane but who can appear to those they desire at will. People avoid the balete tree by any means possible, afraid that they would be placed under a spell of misfortune.

Why Balete tree is important?

It takes about 42 grown men to encircle the colossal tree’s trunk with their hands outstretched. Superstitious folk believe that the Balete Tree is a spot where fairies gather. But in reality, the massive tree serves as a sanctuary for fireflies, which cause it to light up at night.

Why Balete Tree is famous?

Balete Trees are known to be the house for mysterious and mythical creatures at night. Some folk stories say that these creatures do their rituals in front of the trees as sign of worship or thanksgiving for home and protection.

How do you propagate Balete?

Banyan trees can be propagated from softwood cuttings or seeds. Cuttings can be taken from the tips and rooted, or by eye cuttings, which require a piece of stem about a half inch below and above a leaf.

Why is the Balete tree considered something that causes fear?

What is a balete tree?

The Balete tree is also known as Ficus. It is popular in the rural areas particularly in the mountainous areas because it is easy to grow. Birds eat the small fruits like red berries when ripe and they scatter the seeds hence the propagation is quick. A grown Balete tree has roots hanging from the branches down to the ground.

What is the story of the balete tree in Rizal?

Daraitan, a village in Tanay, Rizal is home to Tinipak Rocks and a cave that’s guarded by a large Balete tree. At the base of the tree is a tiny crevice from where you descend down into a dark chamber and cave below. This tree is said to be at least 300 years old. During my visit there, I noticed blood smears on the rocks near the trees.

What is the legend of Balete?

One legend is a spirit that lives in the tree would mesmerize the hunter in the mountain. The spirit loves birds so the bird hunters of old would always fall to the magic of the spirit when the hunter takes a rest under the Balete tree.