The Philippines is a beautiful tropical country in Southeast Asia, filled with thousands of islands and millions of Filipinos. This beautiful country is bustling with both metropolitan and country vibes all over the islands but of course, no one can compare to the beautiful places such as beaches in the Philippines. The Philippines is a safe country as tourists are flocking worldwide to experience the beautiful islands. Of course, they also share the hospitality of the Filipinos and the generous and welcoming warmth they give.
The Philippines is very rich in culture, although the country was monopolized and colonized by the Spaniards, thousands of years ago for over 300 years, the old and ancient culture is still very much alive as there are still tribes in the country that is still overpowering the modernity by their rich culture, and sometimes still wearing the traditional tribe clothing. Tribes such as the T’boli tribe of Mindanao are known to still wear traditional clothing up to this day and preserve the rich culture of the past.
The Philippines is also a superstitious country. Many elders have created or passed down rules of do’s and don’ts for many different scenarios. It is one thing that you can’t rid of in the Philippines. Aside from this, there are many mysteries that surround the whole country and these mysteries are sometimes causing a ruckus whenever it becomes a hot topic or it is just a plain mystery that it is up to the people they are going to believe or not. If you are curious as to what are the mysteries that lie within the Philippines, then you might want to dive deeper into this article.
The mysteries that surround this country are not that known to many and are sometimes just considered a hoax instantly but whether it is true or not, well, that is why it is called a mystery.
Mysteries in the Philippines that you probably don’t know
#1. The Yamashita Treasure
The Yamashita’s Treasure is one of the most famous mysteries in the Philippines. It is the tale told by every grandfather and grandmother during the time and picked the curiosity of many people, not just Filipinos, but people all around the world, especially treasure hunters.
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese was known as a notorious force that conquers islands and land. Imperial Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita was called “the tiger of Malaya” because it is said that he conquered Malaya (now Malaysia) from the British in just 70 days. Now, there are claims that the General had made many underground bunkers and buried his treasures and gold in the lands of the Philippines. These treasures are looted from countries the forces have been to. Now, why the Philippines? Because in 1944, General Yamashita was the General of the Imperial Japanese forces in the Philippines.
Many claims that the treasure was just an old fairy tale that is believed by the treasure hunters but in 1988. there was a complex lawsuit filed at the Hawaiian state court involving a Filipino Treasure hunter named Rogelio Roxas, and the President of the Philippines at that time, Ferdinand Marcos. The case was about how Roxas found the golden buddha after being told by many Japanese or Filipino who have lived or have descendants from the war, told him about the possible locations of the treasures, and that there are hundreds of them locations hidden. The dispute was won by Roxas and the Marcoses failed to obtain the golden Buddha and the other gold bars as well as the crushed diamonds inside it. But there are lots of rumors that the Marcoses stole the real ones from Roxas and just replaced them with brass.
The real mystery is that if Roxas managed to excavate things such as the golden statue and other things, then where are the other locations?
#2. The trumpet sound from the skies
On June 2015, a local of Batangas City Philippines recorded an eerie sound that came from the sky. He was certain that it came from the sky because the man was living in a rural place and there was nothing but trees and birds. What’s more mysterious is the sound sounded like a trumpet.
The trumpet sound was all you can hear in the surroundings at that time and the birds were also behaving strangely. Some say it was a sign that Judgement Day is near, and some say, it is just another mystery same like the Northern Lights!
#3. Gil Perez’s teleportation
This story is not just famous in the Philippines but also in some parts of the world. The mysterious case of Gil Perez, the soldier who was said teleported from Manila to Mexico was unbelievably written in historical records and up until now no one can confirm if this really happens but one’s thing is a mystery for sure, how did he manage to that?
During the 16th century, Gil Perez was a Guardia Civil ( Spaniard guards) posted in Manila Philippines. He worked for the Gobernador-General Gomez Perez Dasmarinas at that time. In 1593 the Gobernador-General was assassinated by Chinese pirates. The death of Dasmarinas caused a ruckus as the general has not chosen any successors after all. While guarding his post, Gil suddenly felt dizzy and decided to lean against the wall to rest. After he dozed off for a few seconds he opened his eyes and was shocked to see a different place.
When he asked a person on the streets on where he is, they told him he is in Plaza Mayor (now Zocalo) in Mexico. New Spain guards soon arrived thanks to his claims and his strange Manila uniform, he was detained and asked many questions which Perez answered including the death of Dasmarinas which is still not known by the Spaniards. He was detained until a galleon docked at Acapulco to state that Dasmarinas is dead, believing his claims, and was in shock some guards recognizes Perez as a palace guard in Manila and was sent back to Manila.
#4. UFO sightings
Recently this January 2023, there was a report “glitch” in Ninoy Aquino International Airport that canceled and delayed some flights. This case also happens similarly when a reported UFO sighting in Pangasinan also caused some glitches in some tower systems and rerouted, delayed, or even canceled some flights.
As to whether this glitch is just anomalies with the weather or was there really is an Unidentified Flying Object circling around the atmosphere of the Philippines.
#5. The Amomongo
The case of the “Amomongo” resurfaces in the Philippines back in June 2008. Two people named Elias Galvez, and Salvador Aguilar claimed that they were attacked by the Amomongo and that this creature has disemboweled numerous chickens and goats, the attack lasted for a day and mysteriously was gone on June 10.
The amomongo was like the Philippine version of “big foot” but it was described by the witnesses and victims as a big hairy creature almost looking a Gorilla with big long nails and sharp teeth.
As to whether these claims by the two-man are true, no one knows and no one has ever claimed to have witnessed rather than these two, back in 2008.
#6. The Romblon Triangle
The Romblon Triangle is the Philippines’ very own Bermuda Triangle. The three islands that made a triangle point were: Romblon, Sibuyan Islands, and Tablas Islands. Many ships have perished in these waters and have taken thousands of lives. As to why these things happen, no one knows and some are scared to even just study the waters of that point.
The most tragic shipwreck that has ever occurred in these waters was the shipwreck of Passenger ships, these ships carry thousands of people who travel by sea. The MV Dona Paz was the most tragic maritime disaster of the 20th century. It has taken over 4,400 lives with it down to the bottom of the sea.
Other ships that have met an end in the Romblon triangle:
- MS Don Juan
- MV Princess of the Stars
- MB Jem
- Japanese ships during World War II
#7. General Antonio Luna’s mysterious assassination
Same as the story of Andres Bonifacio. General Antonio Luna was a hero in the Philippines, he was known for not backing up against Spaniards and Americans and can stand verbal wars with them through his precise and scary antics. This brilliant general was then assassinated after the liberation of the Philippines.
The mystery, in this case, is that the country was then free but why did General Antonio Luna perish? All this still links to the evil plot of Emilio Aguinaldo, who is until this day, seen as a hero in the Philippines. It is also said that he ordered these glorious generals and supremo to be killed so that he can have all the power to rule the Philippines all by himself and his cabinets.
#8. Where are Andres’s Bonifacio bones?
Andres Bonifacio is the “Father of Revolution” “Ama ng Katipunan” of the Philippines. The supremo lead the Katipuneros in the battle against the Spaniards to attain the freedom of the Philippines as the country has been enslaved to the poor government and justice system for over 300 years. Andres Bonifacio successfully leads the Katipuneros with the aid of other generals.
The mystery about this heroic person and hero of all heroes was that he did not have any proper burial, sure he was written in history books and his story was passed down from generation to generation, but then his mysterious death and at the same time his remains were never confirmed to be found. The hero worthy of a proper burial has not yet claimed this justice till today.
#9. The mysterious Manila Film Center
The tragedy of the Manila Film Center was one of the most mysterious cases in the Philippines in 1981, while still finishing the construction of the Film Center, the scaffolding collapsed killing over 170 construction workers.
It was so mysterious as to why an important building built with many budgets collapsed and took lives. It was said that some of the spirits of the land where the film is being constructed got angry and cursed whoever made the construction and the construction workers itself. Not long after this after how many years the Marcoses (The Family ruling the Philippines at that time) were dethroned and forced to move out of the Philippines.
#10. Balete Drive
The Balete Driv is a famous place rich in urban legends. This particular road is full of mysteries as to why there is a “white lady” (a girl/lady wearing a white dress) kept appearing whenever it is the time of night or if you are alone on the road.
There are no rumors as to if there are some people who died on the road but nobody knows. As for the mystery it engulfs, it is still not clear whose apparition or ghost is sighted in the drive.
#11. The Devil’s Mountain
This mountain on the Island of Luzon is said to be a potentially active stratovolcano. This mountain, Mt. San Cristobal, is part of the Philippine folklore as it is called to be the Devil’s mountain contradicting the Holy Mountain of Mt. Banahaw.
It is said that Mt. Banahaw exudes holy and positive energy while Mt. San Cristobal is oozing with unholy and negative energy. As to why and who claims that the mountain is Devil’s mountain, no one knows.
#12. The Twin cross inside a tree trunk
It is said back in the 20th century a boy was cutting a tree trunk back in Modesto. When he cut the tree trunk it shows a cross on both sides of the trunk, many explanations claim that these are dews from the tree trunk and eventually made a shape while inside in the middle. But some claim this is a holy relic and must be preserved. The mystery of why it happens near a church is simply amazing.
#13. The mystery of Mt. Mayon
The mythological story of how the perfectly coned shape of Mt. Mayon volcano was made is beyond beautiful and tragic. The story starts with two main people who are said responsible for the creation of the Mayon Volcano. Magayon (the beautiful maiden and the tribe’s princess) and Panganoron (a brave young warrior). Their love was hindered by Makusog, the tribe’s chief and Magayon’s father. Throughout the disapproval, the couple decided to elope and continue their love further but the tribe’s men and chief chased the two lovers. Magayon was said to be struck by a poisoned arrow first and died in the arms of Panganoron, it is said that Panganoron just accepted his death and the two died in each other’s arms.
Following with guilt Makusog, buried the two lovers together to have them, not separated even in the afterlife, and after some time on their burial ground, the perfectly shaped Volcano was erected as a sign of their beautiful but tragic love ( same as the Mayon, beautiful but deadly as it is an active volcano).
The story was just a myth not until a mysterious smoke formation of the Mayon Volcano was seen back in 2018. If you notice the picture below it seems identical to the said illustration of the mythological couple.
#14. The Tikbalang
One of the oldest mysteries in the Philippines is the Tikbalang. The Tikbalang is a mythological creature in the Philippines that is believed to be true. Tikbalangs are creatures that stand almost 7 feet tall and have a body of a man but a head like a horse. This creature is said to prey on girls, all is nothing but a myth until one time in the Philippines when a girl claimed that she was touched by a Tikbalang and that the Tikbalang wants her to be his bride.
This mystery caused a ruckus because Tikbalangs are nothing but a myth, but the girl’s claims were solid and firm. She described that she saw a black figure who was tall, she figures out that it wasn’t a family member as no one is as tall as the figure. She also claims that it talked to her and wanted her to be his bride. This can really be either just a nightmare, scientifically can be answered, or just pure true. Who knows?
#15. The mermaid sighting
Back in 2015, a mystery rumor surfaced from the news as a fisherman from Cebu City, allegedly claims that he had killed a merman/mermaid on the shores of Casay, Dalaguete.
The thing is, the creature was not as beautiful as depicted in story books and children’s books, but its upper body has some features of a human and the lower body has the body of a fish. “Shokoy” is what the Filipino Cebuanos (Citizen of Cebu City) calls these creatures.
There is numerous debate as to whether this happening was real or was just forced to happen by some content creators who want to gain likes and views or if was it really real.
#16. Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago is a very important heritage site in the capital of the Philippines—Manila. This citadel was built by the Spaniards in 1571 and was used as a defense tower for rebellious activities. The Fort Santiago dungeons were full of mysteries because, during the liberation of Manila, the US army discovered over 700 decomposing bodies or bones, in the cramped dungeon cells.
The mystery is that these people were not known or identified for even what they have done, these poor souls have never seen freedom and perished in the heat and suffocating dungeons.
#17. Death March
The Bataan Death March is a very memorial day for the people as many lives perished during this 65 miles march of the Filipinos and American captives/prisoners who have lost to the Japanese. These prisoners of war (POWs) perished under the Imperial Japanese soldiers. They were beaten to death, not given food, water, and medical supply, and sometimes are bludgeoned to death or beheaded.
The mystery behind this gruesome march that kills over 80,000 Filipinos and American soldiers is why did they lose if they are joining forces already and that no one knows who ordered this death march to happen and why the Japanese had to resort to this. Every spring, on April 9th, Filipinos mourn for the poor souls who have perished.
#18. Jose Rizal’s remains
Dr. Jose Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. He was known for exposing the anomalies of the Spanish government using his writings and literature. Yes, if the Katipuneros (members of the Philippine revolutionaries) have guns and other weapons fighting physically, then Jose Rizal was using his pen and ink to fight.
He was arrested by the Spaniards after he wrote Noli Me Tangere, and El Filibusterismo, the books were inspired by the real-life events he had witnessed regarding the Spanish government. Dr. Jose P. Rizal was executed through a firing squad by the Spaniards and was buried. His remains were then said to be exhumed and moved out of his resting place. The mystery is that many people are doubting if the bones that were exhumed and moved to his new grave (The Rizal Monument) are really his remains. Because many are saying that the Spaniards may have observed the moves of the people so they hid his real remains, who knows?
#19. Jose Rizal’s child
Dr. Jose P. Rizal is known to be a Cassanova during his time, it has also become a joke in the Philippines that Jose Rizal had many women. He was not tall, he was just on the average-looking side, but he was indeed a genius.
Now, there are many rumors back in the day that Jose Rizal had a child. But, there are no records in the history books that Rizal ever had a love child with one of his lovers. Where the rumors came from is still a mystery because these rumors are dated back to when there are still Spanish colonizers in the country.
#20. The First President of the Philippines
Up until today, it is still a mystery as to who really is the first President of the Republic of the Philippines. In the books or any other history books, it is said that Emilio Aguinaldo was the president but, Andres Bonifacio was the father of Katipunan and he fought hard to gain that freedom.
There are rumors that the Filipinos voted through a democratic method and made Andres the first President, but then he mysteriously died and was confirmed assassinated. As to the perpetrator, all of the fingers today are pointed toward Emilio Aguinaldo. And that is a mystery up to this day because no one really knows if it was just a false rumor, or was injustice was made back in the year of Philippines was just getting its freedom.