The White Lady in the Balete Drive

A White Lady is a type of female ghost reportedly seen in rural areas and associated with some local legend of tragedy. White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They are often associated with an individual family line or said to be a harbinger of death similar to a banshee.

There were lots of white lady stories in the Philippines, some of them haunts old houses, old bridges, caves, rivers, and many more. But the most popular of the haunting grounds of these white ladies is the Balete tree. Filipinos believe that such tree is the home of wandering ghosts, paranormal beings and mythical creatures. Well, the reason is its scary and rooty characteristics. Whenever you look by a chance or stare at it very long, you'll imagine some figures or even feel scared. The most famous Filipino white lady of all is the White Lady of Balete Drive.

The White Lady of Balete Drive in the Philippines, according to the people who had seen this, she is a beautiful lady with long hair (sometimes it covers her face), wearing a white flowing dress (somewhat like that of a gown or just like a loose Sadaku's dress) slightly covered with blood stains or just simply a dirt, sometimes having a blank face or with face bathed with blood.

By the way, the Balete Drive is located between Aurora Boulevard, a few blocks away from Gilmore Avenue and St. Paul University. The east side exits near St. Luke's Medical Center and the west side exits near GMA-7 and Tomas Morato Avenue. The central intersection of Aurora Boulevard is the EDSA-Cubao shopping center built in the 1970's.


The White Lady of Balete Drive has many variation of stories from its origination to its appearances to drivers. The reason is the legend is quite old and very famous. So its impossible for the original story to be maintained and not altered. You can say that tale-tellers added something or excluded some details just to make it interesting and much scary.

Variation of Originations:

First version of origination:
  • According to some people, a woman was raped at the same spot at Balete Drive by Japanese soldiers in the time of World War II. Being not justified till now, the woman's ghost remain to avenge her death.
  • Second version of origination:
  • According to legend, she was driving in Balete Drive when she crashed her car resulting to her death.
  • Third version of origination [3]:
  • The White Lady whos appearing at midnight between Bougainvilla and Mabolo Sts. was a student of the University of the Philippines. While on her way to Balete Drive from her school, she was raped by a cab driver and her body dumped in this area. She appears to most cab drivers because she allegedly wanted to seek revenge.

  • Variation of Appearances:

    [Taken from [1]:]

  • One night a taxi driver is halted by a woman wearing a white, flowing dress (I'm not sure if she was white herself or what). The curious driver picks her up and she directed him to a lonely, dark, tree-lined road in New Manila called Balete Drive. They stopped in front of a house. When the driver turned around to see her get off, she had disappeared. Shocked and bewildered, the driver knocks at the entrance of the house, but the occupants tell the driver that the woman was actually dead, and that it was not the first time that this had happened. :shock:

  • [Taken from [2]:]

  • In other instances it is said that when solitary people drive by Balete Drive in the wee hours of the morning, they tend to see the face of a woman in white in the rear view mirror for a split second before the apparition disappears. Some accidents on this road are blamed on the White Lady.

  • Another story tells about a taxi crossing the dreaded Balete Drive and a very beautiful woman was asking for a ride. The taxi driver looks behind and the woman looks like her face was full of blood and bruises. The taxi driver escaped from the taxi from fear.

  • [Taken from Internet [3]:]

  • Some taxi drivers said a pretty teenage girl in white used to ride in their cabs, asking them to take her near Morato Avenue. She would then tell the cab drivers about her sad love story while traveling along Balete Drive. The drivers said that whenever they ask the girl where the guy was, her image would disappear from their rear view mirror. And when they looked at the back seat, the girl would no longer be there

  • Conclusion

    Those stories have one similarity - both drivers of a taxicab or a car saw the white lady in the Balete Drive. It's very obvious actually. But the question is - WHY? Why did she often appear to them? Perhaps, the most credible version of her origin might be her death through car crush. Because, she might be, at that time, waiting for someone to help her, that's why she often halts the driver for a ride. For the first version of her origin, it became unbelievable because if she wants revenge then why would she halt drivers for a ride and never made harm on them. The accidents happened on the Balete Drive was thought to be done by the ghost. But it doesn't mean, she made revenge through that accident. The third one was more detailed than the other that's why I included it here. However, the cause of death is similar to that of the first version.

    For Japanese readers there, the reason why there was a version of them is because, some time in the past, Manila was conquered by Japanese Troops during the Second World War. At that time, there was this term for Filipino women - Comfort Women, and similarly, the Japanese Era in the Philippine Hisrtory is the Dark Age for them. That's one of the reasons why Japan paid a lot of money to the Philippine government. I don't like that topic, so if you wanted to know everything about that, make a research for yourself.

    Composed Stories

    [Taken from A book [4]:]

    Balete Drive Experience
    By: jason

    One night in 1993, my parents were driving home and they passed Balete Drive. It was 1 or 2 in the morning and my mom was asleep in the passenger seat.

    My dad saw 2 houses that looked like they were built in the 50s. They were facing each other and both had their gates open. Their lights were on and saw a lady in a white nightgown. He assumed that there was a party there and that the lady was about to cross, my dad slowed down. When he got close, she hadn't moved from the sidewalk. Thinking that she was letting him pass first, he accelerated. That was when she jumped directly in front of the car! Her face was directly in front of him but her facce was blurry, like when a camera's out of focus.

    Instead of cursing, my dad just said, "SORRY!"

    Then poof! The lady disappeared.

    "Wake up. I think I just ran over someone," my dad told my mom as he shook her awake.

    They both got out of the car and looked everywhere - under the car and beside it, but there wasn't anybody there.

    After the incident, my dad always tried to look for the two 50s style houses. He never found them again. Maybe they went back into time?

    [Taken from Internet [5]:]

    Three men and a white lady

    This isn't the first time Mike, Steven and Jerry visited the Philippines. In fact, they have been in the country at least twice when their parents used to work there for a time.

    The three friends spent the first few days visiting tourist spots, beaches, and generally roamed the places that get crowded with fellow foreigners. In between that, they hung around with their acquaintances and hosts who entertained them with stories and anecdotes. Among the stories that were exchanged was the one about the White Lady of Balete Drive.

    All three of them listened in silence as their hosts described the urban legend for the first time, none uttering so much as a whistle.

    When the discussion broke up, and they headed to the room they shared, Jerry, with a mischievous smile, suggested that they take a drive down Balete Drive one night to see if it was true. Both Mike and Steven, not exactly fans of the paranormal, looked at their companion with skeptical expressions on their faces.

    The matter seemed to have been forgotten as the days went by, until one evening ....

    The three friends left the party ten minutes before midnight, and staggered to their car. Steven, being the most sober among them, since he never drank anything with alcohol content, got behind the wheel. Mike got into the front passenger seat, and Jerry slid into the back seat. As soon as Mike pulled the car out of the parking area and into the street, Jerry was already fast asleep, snoring loudly.

    After approximately five minutes, Mike noticed that they were along what is famously known as Balete Drive, with the huge Balete trees towering above them on both sides of the road. As he drove along, he muttered under his breath : "Well, Mike, Jerry finally got his wish ... too bad he's not in shape to enjoy it.." "Yeah," Mike replied, jerking his thumb at their sleeping companion, "too bad for him ... " At that moment, Steve had chosen to sneak a glance on his rear view mirror to check on his friend's condition. What he saw shocked him.

    Seated beside Jerry is a figure in transluscent white, looking ahead calmly, without any expression. Returning his gaze towards the road, Mike muttered in a low voice : "Man, I think you gotta drive faster ..."

    "Why ?" Steven replied. "Trust me, man ... or if you don't, why don't you take a look at the rearview mirror ?" Mike countered.

    At this, Steven stole a glance at the rear view mirror and saw her ....

    Steven : "I think you're right ..."

    Mike : "So ... what do you say ?... we
    haul ass outta here ?.."

    Steven : "Yeah ..."

    The three friends are quite fortunate that there was little traffic that night in that area ... They were back at their place in little over an hour, and bundling their semi-conscious friend into the house with them, Mike and Steven shut the door behind them and secured it.

    The next morning, both Mike and Steven related their encounter with their hosts, who told them : "Well ... at least you did have an experience of a lifetime, right ?"

    At this, all three were dumbstruck.

    [Taken from an article [6]:]


    This is a story which appeared in the newspapers in Manila for quite a spell in the early 50's (around 1951 or 1953). It was a popular rumor at first among taxi and bus drivers, until it spirited up to the minds of the newspaper editors and the local radios.

    There was a street named Balete Drive (the name has changed) which connected downtown Manila and the next city north from there, Quezon City. A major street (named Gilmore at the time) crossed this street at an intersection closer to downtown Quezon City. Not too far from this intersection was a well-known school and college for girls. I'm not sure now whether the school was north or south of this intersection, but anyway it was in that area. This was the place where the sightings had been reported.

    A cab driver picked up a woman passenger at around 8:00 in the evening near the said school. She was young, pretty, wearing a white party dress and perfume. On closing the door, the driver of course waited for direction as he started driving. He got direction and everything would have been just like any other night, but he noticed something strange. The woman's voice he heard seem not to have come from the passenger but from inside his ears. Weird, but then he doubted himself, may be he was wrong, who else could have spoken? So he continued driving. It didn't take long and the driver glanced at his rear view mirror just as any cab driver would do especially when the passenger is pretty, beautiful, gorgeous and what not. There was no passenger within view of the mirror. He turned his head to look at the passenger. The passenger seat was empty. The common argument when this rumor appeared was the woman probably jumped out the window. You be the judge.

    The school in the area I earlier mentioned was and still is to this day a private school and college for girls and young women who belonged among the wealthy, prestigious families in the country. They have come and gone into all sorts of destiny, from successful politicians and prominent professionals and business entrepreneurs down to prostitutes and the mentally ill. Some are now dead, by natural death, accidents and some by fatal crime. The last one probably brought about the haunts on taxi and bus drivers.

    The preceding is a fictional, but possible idea of what happened at the Balete Drive.

    Criminal activities are not frequent, but not impossible in places such as this. Formal or wild parties are one of the excitements which propel the energies of some of the young women at school - needless to say. What happens before or after the culmination of these excitements is what pushes this young women into any kind of fatal crime possible. Kidnap, rape and homicide are the typical crimes. Before or after the party at around 8:00 pm, an unfortunate young, pretty, high school or college woman in white party dress and perfume could end up dead from this type of crime, probably committed by a sex maniac driving a taxi. She would be missing and the news about her would invade the local news and even TV and radio for a while, then nothing. Isn't this very common? What would be left for this unfortunate victim who probably had young, ardent ambitions, dreams and plans for her life and her future? Something supernatural and/or paranormal would be all that is left so she can send a message about her unexpected, unfortunate death and may be even equally punish the criminal. Hence the hauntings. The hauntings ended towards the latter part of the 50's perhaps after whoever the criminal was (may be a cab driver and beyond) had met awesome punishment(s) from the reality beyond fantasy where the young, pretty woman wearing a party dress and perfume would materialize and appear at the Balete Drive under a specific occasion.

    [3] [jake- 02-12-2009; Island Scares 2; Submitted by: Jose G. Paman]
    [4]True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 8. Reginald Ting Ed. PSICOM Publishing Inc. 2004. Quezon City, Philippines.


    1. During the mid 1990s my job required me to stay at our Makati office very late so I often left work at 10 or 11 pm. Since my boss gave us extra allowance for taxi fare (I live in Quezon City), I often took a taxi to go home,since by then I would be tired to commute by bus. Very often I would jokingly tell the taxi driver if he would like to pass Balete drive so we can see if the White Lady legend was real or not.

      Most often the taxi driver would not, and we would take Gilmore street to E. Rodriguez. But many drivers would oblige, some even saying that they have taken this route at all hours, and nothing strange ever happened to them. And, in my case, nothing happened either. Either the White Lady did not like me, or she did not really exist, except in the fertile imaginations of some people.

      Later on I came to know that the White Lady was a joke that went too far, perpetrated by a famous actress who decided to pull a prank one night. ( By the way, the biggest film studios at the time, Sampaguita Pictures and LVN, were situated at Broadway and Gilmore streets, which were nearby). the actress is now long gone,but the legend her joke spawned lives on, at least to the gullible.

    2. I am a neighbor of White Lady Miss ... Garchitorena Recto who lived on Balete cor Bouganvilla cor Hibiscus (Danding's Clubhouse & NPC Hq. Bought from Fernandez bought from Raffy Recto.)

    3. Experienced this with my friends. My friends and I decided to ditch the Bgy. Singing contest in their area and decided to go on a joyride using my friend's owner type jeep. It was 1 AM that time and we chose Balete Drive as our location. We were 6 at that time. Aaron the driver.Fe in the driver's seat me and my best friend Tina, Mickey and Paul were at the back. During that time the street lights in Balete drive will only cover the first two houses of the street and if you walk forward it will be dark once you get in the middle of the street.The next post will be at the other end of the street. Ahron had suggested to turn off his headlights. Me and Tinay were getting scared at that time and asked Ahron to turn on the lights for a few minutes just to make sure we are not going to crash into a house or a wall. I was looking staight at the dashboard when Ahron turned on the lights for 10 seconds. Me and Tinay screamed after Ahron just turned off the lights. We were panicking and Tinay is crying. Ahron decided to leave the headlights on. And Fe was asking us why we screamed. I was stuttering and telling them that I saw something. Tinay was saying she saw a dress. I told her that it's a white dress. ME and Tinay looked at each other and asked "nakita mo din".
      So Fe still not believing what we said she asked us to describe what the dress look like and where it is. We count to three and Tina and I both said "Lumulutang na puting damit". What I saw is the end of a girl's night gown in white.And as we looked in front of us we saw a dead end street with a big Balete tree on it.When we say that we saw a dress floating in the air it could probably mean that the girl we saw had been hanged or hanged herself on that tree.

    4. No. 3 Balete Drive. E2 yung address ng bahay ng umampon sa tatay ko noon nung una syang lumuwas ng manila taong 1953. D2 sya nanilbihan at d2 na din sya lumaki. Noong late 1980s and early 1990s e madalas naming bisitahin yung mga matatandang umampon sa kanya noon. Ibang iba ang Balete Drive nun, pagbaba pa lang ng dyip na galing Arayat, Cubao e kikilabutan ka na dahil sa naglalakihang mga puno at mga baging na nakalambitin sa mga to. Napansin ko pa nuon na kahit katanghalian e medyo parang laging makulimlim yung lugar. Napansin ko pa e tuwing bumababa kami ng dyip e laging nagsasign of the cross c tatay noon. Minsan din e naitanong namin sa kanya noon yung hiwaga ng balete drive, me naikwento din naman sya regarding dun sa experience nya na talaga namang kinikilabutan kami habang kinikwento nya. N me kwarto din dun sa loob ng bahay, malapit sa guest room na kahit minsan e d ko nakitang binuksan man lang, kahit nung mga kasambahay dun n ng tatay ko. Ang kwento sa amin e me nagpaparamdam daw dun kaya d nila pinapasok.

    5. Balete looks different now even in daylight and late nights.marami ng ilaw at wala na yung puno ng balite mula e.rod hangang aurora.Yun 2 puno ng akasya na lang ang nandoon yung magkatabi pag lagpas mo sa bahay ni danding.Taga crame ako kaya dito ako dumadaan pag hinahabol ko yung gate sa horshoe bago mag 10 ng gabi kasi by 10 close na yun.


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