Saturday, August 13, 2011

Where to find treasures in Bohol and other tidbits


• Food for the soul:  A note on the bulletin board read:  “Don’t be totally, heavily worried about everything that’s going around you… that’s my job.”  Signed: God.

• Could it be true that this young socialite and a daughter of a wealthy family gets her heart broken into pieces after she found out that her boyfriend is having an affair with another, ehem, man? “She caught her boyfriend having a torrid kissing with a male common friend. She is crying every day and I pity her,” says VRS.  The “bromance” has been embraced by increasing numbers of men, much to the dismay of their wives and girlfriends.

• From Lady S: A young lawyer asked the respondent (who is charged with libel for his article printed in a local newspaper) if he is a member of the KBP.  The prosecutor told the lawyer that there’s no need for the respondent to answer her question. KBP is for radio announcers and has nothing to do with print, says an insider. Then, the young lawyer asked the respondent to divulge his sources; the prosecutor said that the respondent has the right not to divulge sources.

• At the airport, this dashing lady instead of allowing her luggage for check-up, she told the officer on duty that there’s no need to check her things because she is the daughter of blah blah blah. “Unsa? Wala siya kuyapi?” commented the Bared other VRS, “feeling kinsa gud siya. She is not exempted even if she is the daughter of the president for security reasons.”

•Part-time model and student Bienna Ursula Bautista is keeping a busy schedule nowadays. We soon will be seeing Bienna in a Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa commercial directed by Ted Ramasola, according to the reports from VRS.  Bienna has an appearance in the short film Erika which is for the Cinema Region.


That speculation about a “treasure hunting” in Loboc Church turned out to be a dud. The local authorities in Loboc denied speculation of treasure hunting as the drilling operation is intended for the study of the bearing capacity of the ground where the church now stands. Some people are not convinced, though.

Sixty years after the Japanese Occupation, rumors of treasures left hidden in the Philippines still live. Almost everyone, including yours truly, is fascinated by the legendary tale of Japanese treasures. And the presence of Japanese and Korean folks swarming our country greatly fuels our strong belief of the hidden treasures. They are back to get the treasures!

I grew up listening to the stories of the legendary Yamashita treasure, said to be a collection of gold, jewels and precious artifacts. The treasure was named after Tomoyuki Yamashita, nicknamed the “Tiger of Malaya.”  History has it that Yamashita was a prominent Japanese general of the Imperial Army of Japan and is famous for his successful invasion of the Malayan British colonial region in south East Asia as well as Singapore. He was also one of the last commanding generals of Japan assigned in the Philippines before Japan’s imminent surrender to the liberating American forces in 1945.

There was a rumor that the late president Ferdinand Marcos had found the golden Budhha and other treasures. It was rumored that Marcos recovered $8 billion from a tunnel known as “Teresa 2″ in the Rizal province in 1960s.

Then, there was Rogelio Roxas who found the golden Budhha and thousands of gold bars in a tunnel near Baguio in 1971. Roxas claimed the Buddha he’d found had been solid gold with a cavity in the removable head that contained diamonds. However, Marcos allegedly stole the treasures and the golden Buddha was returned to Roxas by Marcos. In 1986, Roxas sued the Marcos estate for damages, but died from poisoning on the very day he was set to testify.

To this day, the tales of Yamashita treasures despite all the disappointments and dead-ends, fortune hunters remain undaunted. Many people, including Boholanos, continue to search for treasure sites.

Are there any gold or treasure in Bohol? Here are some “golden” stories in Bohol:

• In 1970s, the Mansasa seaside was very popular for antiques excavation. The folks discovered porcelains and chinaware.  History has it that the Mansasa seaside was an ancient Dapitan kingdom and known for ancient trade.

• The Botanical Gardens in Cabawan District which incorporates several caves, like Mesias Cave and Lahos-lahos Cave, rumored that it were supposedly filled with Japanese treasures. 

• In 1990s, a businesswoman and a who’s who financed the search for gold treasures somewhere in Taloto. Together with her brother, they hired gold experts from Cebu. They discovered chambers inside a tunnel and markings believed to have been left by the Japanese. There was a chamber that only a kid could go inside.  The kid saw swarm of scorpions around the chamber. The businesswoman and her brother decided to check the place the following day only to discover the scorpions were gone and so the experts.

• Gold treasures are buried in some areas in Poblacion 2 in Tagbilaran City. A prominent family became richer because of the treasures they found. 

• The irrigation projects in Pilar, San Miguel and Ubay are subjects of gold stories. The local folks believed that the site for the irrigation was chosen by Koreans as a camouflage to extract buried gold bars.  Later, the locals’ suspicions were proven correct, but the local folks were not smart enough. During the digging and excavation, the workers came across a layer of big round rocks. The Koreans acted as if fascinated by rocks and told the workers that the rocks are perfect for landscaping, hence was ordered to load the rocks on the dumptruck.  What the folks didn’t know was, the rocks were just frosting of the treasures. The gold bars were taken right under their noses.

• It took months to finish the bridge in Cortes and it was rumored that the project operators were looking for treasures. Large concentrations of buried treasures can be found in Loon, Tubigon, Sagbayan, Danao, Guindulman, San Miguel and Carmen.

• In Talibon, treasure hunters found some objects with signs in it. An example is a curve arrow on the top of a hill and on its curved there is a rectangular shape carved in a big stone table. Sadly, the stone table is being broken by the local treasure hunters.

• In barangay Kauswagan in Trinidad, there are no gold treasures left by the Japanese. Like Anda, Kauswagan is a cradle of gold ores. Rumors of abandoned tunnels sprawling underneath the area of the centro of the barangay are the remnants of gold rush in Kauswagan in the 70’s. To this day, some residents are still digging for gold ores, making gold as the backyard industry in this barangay. Amidst the prize beneath its soils, residents are yet to realize the potential dangers of the tunnels that may collapse anytime. Several incidents of rice fields suddenly going dry n some areas, are suspected signs of these tunnels sipping water. 

•In Sierra Bullones, a group of Japanese and Koreans financed for a road project. The folks believed that they found underground chambers containing boxes of gold bullions. The foreigners left the place leaving their concrete houses and a building.

• There are treasures in Ubay in barangays La Suerte, Boyles and Buenavista. Some people had accidentally found the treasures. They had already begun the preliminary excavations and had found several stone markers. Unfortunately, they had to stop their excavations due to lack of resources.
• In Maribojoc, treasures are buried in every nook and corner including inside the church. The hunters reached the site with sand until they reached the first hard lock which was composed of pile stones under the yellow clay. The last hard lock had black sand and they hit the big stone with an arrow pointing down. Also in Maribojoc, there was a digging done outside their kitchen. After a layer of soil, the diggers reached a layer of pearly white sand which went some meters underground. The site of the digging was about two (2) km from the nearest shorelines. Excitement filled the air, but after the layer of sand came a layer of water. The hunters then paid a digger to dive in the water to check the bottom. The digger resurfaced with face wrapped with fear and screamed because he touched a shiny convex object. When the hunters dove in, the object was no longer there. The only gain of the said digging was the sand which they used to make 300 hollow blacks and built the extension of the house.

 Before you launch your own hunt for treasures, here are some tips from yours truly:

• Keep these in mind: money, danger, con men and sharing with the man. 

•Check the veracity of the treasure maps. Don’t trust easily. Ask the experts.    

•Consult a psychic or mananambal for spiritual guidance. Most of the treasures are owned by the spirits and entities. They would ask for offering like pig, cow, eggs and wine, sometimes life, in exchange for the treasures. Stories like the Japanese soldiers killed people and had to be buried along with the treasures for a belief that their spirits would remain and watch the treasure forever. Anyone would attempt to excavate would end up a failure. Entities would always ask the hunters to keep the area clean while digging for treasures.

•Have safety measures. Dozens have died digging up roads, caves, riverbeds and mountainsides in a relentless pursuit of treasures.

•The Philippine government has strict and enforced guidelines. For treasure hunting within public lands – seventy-five percent (75%) to the government and twenty-five (25%) to the permit holder; for treasure hunting in private lands – thirty percent (30%) to the government and seventy percent (70%) to be shared by the permit holder and the landowner; and for shipwreck/sunken vessel recovery – fifty percent (50%) to the government and fifty percent (50%) to the permit holder.”

• Share the blessings!

If they only know that Bohol has its natural wonders and cultural treasures. But you know, the real treasure – of Bohol lies in its people. I know, I know, it sounds clichéd, right?

The Bohol Chronicle January 23, 2011 issue

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