Balete Drive
7926Balete Drive Quezon City Landmarks 27.jpg
Balete Drive near its intersection with Campanilla Street.
Route information
Maintained by the Department of Public Works and Highways – Quezon City 2nd Engineering District
Length1.3 km (0.81 mi)
Major junctions
North endDead end, 160 meters (520 ft) north of Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Avenue
Major intersections N180 (Aurora Boulevard)
South endNicanor Domingo Street
Major citiesQuezon City
Highway system
  • Roads in the Philippines

Balete Drive is an undivided, two-lane street and the main thoroughfare of New Manila, Quezon City, Philippines. The road is a major route for jeepneys and cabs, serving the New Manila area and connecting Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Avenue and Nicanor Domingo Street in Quezon City.

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

Route description

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 hosting fast food and other establishments.

The north end of Balete Drive starts at a dead end next to the Diliman Creek, 160 meters (520 ft) north of Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Avenue.[2] Running in the north-northeast to south-southeast direction, it ends in a T-junction with Nicanor Domingo Street near the San Juan Reservoir for a total length of 1.3 kilometers (0.81 mi).[3] One of its major intersections is with Aurora Boulevard, a major road that leads to Cubao, a major commercial district in Quezon City. The Manila Line 2 Betty Go-Belmonte station is located 330 meters (1,080 ft) east of this junction.[4]

Balete Drive is classified as a national tertiary road of the Philippine highway network.[5]


Balete Drive was named after a massive balete tree that used to stand in the middle of the road. The road, although the exact construction date is unknown, was 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]

Urban legend

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 Philippine 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 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 on 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 rumors, the legend of Balete Drive was "fabricated by a reporter in 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]

In popular culture

The street is featured in the 1988 horror film Hiwaga sa Balete Drive, where it retells the supposed paranormal activities experienced by people who live, or have traveled, along the street.[9]

The Netflix-exclusive Singaporean anime-influenced series Trese features Balete Drive as the location of a crime scene. The exact intersection and the street where it occurs, however, are fictional, as 13th Street in New Manila does not actually intersect Balete Drive.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Sanchez, Shaina. "The Story Behind the White Lady in Balete Drive". Maganda Filipino. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 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 March 14, 2021.
  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 April 18, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Dianne De Las Casas; Zarah C. Gagatiga (September 30, 2011). Tales from the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories. ABC-CLIO. pp. 119–. ISBN 978-1-59884-698-0. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "Takutan 2018". ABS-CBN Entertainment. October 31, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Santos, Kara (June 17, 2021). "Locations featured in 'Trese' – comics and series – in real life". The Philippine Star.

Media related to Balete Drive at Wikimedia Commons