Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Yamashita Treasure

The uprising started in Europe on September 1, 1939, when Germany attacked Poland. The two were rivals ever since. Germany and Italy were allied countries in Europe. Japan is also included in their alliance. Their alliance was called Axis Powers. In 1941, Japan conquered Manchuria and Indo-China.

While the peace talk was still in progress in Washington D.C., the Japanese govenment declared war, then bombed the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 8, 1941. Pearl Harbor was the base of Unted States Pacific Meet. Because of this, the United States of America declared war next against Japan. The Philippines, which was one of USA's allies, was involved in the said war. Germany and Italy declared war against United States and Great Britain. Thus, the Second World War started.

In the same date, Japanese airplanes bombed Davao, Tuguegarao, Iba, Tarlac and Pampanga. On the second day, they dropped bombs in Manila which put the city in their hands.

And the rest is history . . . . I actually love to study the history of wars in the world. Unfortunately, we're not talking about the World War II, we'll be discussing the legend about the Yamashita Treasure. Well, I thought it could be appropriate to start the article with an excerpt from my history textbook.

The Yamashita Treasure (also known as the Yamashita's Gold and Fort Santiago Treasure) is the given name to an alleged stolen valuables particularly in Southeast Asian countries by Japanese forces during the Second World War. Those valuables were looted from banks, depositories, temples, churches, other commercial premises, mosques, museums and private homes. Then, all were buried or hidden in caves, tunnels and underground complexes somewhere in the Philippines.

The said treasure was named after the Imperial Japanese Army general Tomoyuki Yamashita, who was the commander of Japanese forces in the Philippines in 1944.

There were rumors that account the Yamishita Treasure is still hidden, inspite of the fact that a Filipino treasure hunter named Rogelio Roxas claimed that he found it in 1971.

I was actually hesitant to create this article because of its broad story. Until now, many people believed that this treasure truly exist and still uncovered from the place where it was hidden. Treasure hunters from around the globe are still tracking the footsteps of the Japanese armies, especially Gen. Yamashita, who were involved in the concealment of such a very large and controversial treasure. The Philippines is an archipelago which comprises over 7,000 islands, and I estimate less than 1% of these islands are a possible suspect for being the site of this alluring room of golds. Fort Santiago is one of the suspected places, as well as Baguio City (I'm not sure where exactly in Baguio.) Even Rizal's monument in Luneta Park, Manila City was suspected.

The Story behind the Theft

According to the books written by Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave (The Yamato Dynasty: the Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family (2000) and Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold (2003)), the theft was organized by both the Yakuza Gangsters and the highest levels of Japanese Society, including the Emperor. The intention of the loot was to finance Japan's war effort.

Kin no yuri (Golden Lily) was organized secretly for this purpose. The Emperor himself appointed his brother, Prince Yasuhito Chichibu, to be its head.

The looting concentrated in Singapore, the stolen valuables were transported somewhere in the Philippines. From there, the Japanese planned to ship it to their country after the war. However, some of the Japanese merchant ships carrying the war booty sailed back to Japan. Unfortunately, some of them sunk during the combat in the Pacific Ocean against U.S. Navy submarines and Allied warplanes.

When the treasure was in the Philippines, they hid it in an enclosed area. According to some sources, as well as the Seagraves, they claimed that American military intelligence operatives found much of the loot, then they secretly cooperated with Emperor Hirohito and other senior Japanese figures for the concealment of the existence of the treasure. The said treasure was used to finance the American covert intelligence operations around the world during the Cold War.

Treasure Unearthed

Many individual persons and groups, both in the Philippine and from foreign countries, continued locating for treasure sites. A number of accidental deaths, injuries and financial losses incurred by treasure hunters have been reported. But one person successfully found the treasure.

In 1961, Rogelio Roxas, a Filipino treasure hunter, met a son of a former member of Japanese Army in Baguio City. The said son helped him mapped the location of the treasure. Another man, who served as Yamashita's interpreter during the Second World War, told him to visit an underground chamber which was the place where the treasure was enclosed. A few years after, he formed a group to search the for the treaure, and obtained a permit from Judge Pio Marcos.

In 1971, they found the chamber on state lands near Baguio City. There, they found bayonets, samurai swords, radios, and skeletal remains dressed in a Japanese military uniform. They also found the 3-foot-high golden Buddha and numerous crates. He opened one of the crates and it contains gold bullions.

They went out with the golden Buddha and one box of twenty-four gold bars. Then sealed the chamber fo safekeeping until the time he will be able to remove the crates from there.

However, an unfortunate event happened next. He sought potential buyers for the golden Buddha. There were two individuals who represent a prospective buyer, they examined and tested the metal in the Buddha and reported it was genuine - a solid 20-carat gold. After that, the President (Ferndinand Marcos) learned the discovery of Rogelio Roxas. He ordered him arrested and beaten. The Buddha and the remaining gold bullions were taken.

Roxas alleged that in retaliation to his vocal campaign to reclaim the Buddha and the remainder of the treasure taken from him, Ferdinand continued to have Roxas threatened, beaten and eventually incarcerated for over a year.

When he was released, he puts claims against President Marcos which at that time lost the presidency. In March 1988, he (Rogelio Roxas) and the Golden Budha Corp. held ownership rights to the treasure stolen from him, then filed lawsuit againsts the Marcoses in the state of Hawaii court seeking damages for the theft and the surrounding human rights abuses committed against him. But on the eve of trial, Roxas died. Before his death, he gave the deposition testimony which could be used as evidence. In 1996, Roxas and the Golden Budha Corp. received $22 Billion with interest increased to $40.5 Billion. This lawsuit concluded that Roxas found the treasure.

Well, I don't know what happened to the remaining crates still in the chamber, whether they were unearthed by Marcos or still in there.

Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas: Pagbabago para sa kaunlaran at kapayapaan by: Dr. Florida C. Leuterio

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Smiling Horse in a Beer

Some of you knew what Red Horse beer is, and what does it taste like. Right? But I'm not commenting on what the taste of it is and I'm not making any story to disparage the beer just to destroy its appeal to those who love drinking it.

The San Miguel Brewery Inc. was a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation.

One of our readers suggested this urban legend. Its about this logo of a bottle with the smiling horse on it than the usual side view picture of a horse in the present bottles of Red Horse. They said, the one with a happy horse taste much stronger and kicky than the other. Unfortunately, I don't drink beer so I don't know what it taste like.

The Story

The reason why there is two kinds of Red Horse beer in the market is because the San Miguel Brewery Inc. changed there logo in 1992. The old one has a smiling horse on the face of the bottle with label on the back printed in red. The new one has a much serious side view face of a horse with labels printed in white.

You can still find a happy horse Red Horse bottle in the market because they are still in use at present. It will take 20 years, starting the changed of logo, before the happy horse vanishes. You can determine the age of the bottle by looking at the bottle’s scuff level. It’s the white band around the neck of the bottle. the thicker it is, the older the bottle.

I was searching in the internet about the taste difference of the two, and I found out that they are similar. Its only their logo that differs, and they made no changes in formulating the same beer.

The Red Horse beer contains 6.9% alcohol volume. The ingredients are still identical - water, malt, hops, any of the following: cereals, sugar or starch.

Contributed by: Paul Lorenzana

Photo from:

Pandora: The Wawa Dam Lady

Wawa Dam (also known as Montalban Dam) is a gravity dam constructed over the Marikina River in the municipality of Rodriguez in Rizal province, Philippines. The slightly arched dam is situated in the 360-metre (1,180 ft) high Montalban Gorge or Wawa Gorge, a water gap in the Sierra Madre Mountains, east of Manila.[1]

It was built in 1909 during the American colonial era to provide the water needs for Metro Manila. It used to be the only source of water for Manila until Angat Dam was built and Wawa was abandoned. Due to insufficiency of water supply for Metro Manila, there was a strong clamor to reuse the dam.[1]

The Wawa Dam was famous for being the site of Bernardo Carpio's legend. (I'm not talking about Bernardo del Carpio, the legendary hero of medieval Kingdom of Asturias, who squeezed Orlando to death. I'm talking about the Filipino version of him.)

Legend has it, at the time of Spanish Era, Bernardo Carpio was trapped between two great rocks. An engkantado (or some say an albularyo) planned to trap him. They induced him to go to the mountains of Montalban, Rizal. When he was in the middle of the two mountains, the engkantado caused the two to grind with each other. Some legends say he was killed after that, others say he survived but struggling to push away the two mountains. According to the locals, whenever he moves an earthquake comes (for me it is because the legend is set in the West Valley Fault System where earthquakes often occur).

Well, that's a local folklore, but that's not what were focusing here.

Aside of that legend, another one rosed but more recent than the legend of Bernardo Carpio. It started in 2007, when someone died there for some reason. Local folks claimed that the reason of the death was a lady in white.

The Story

The Wawa Dam has claimed the lives of over 40 people starting 2007 according to a local. An engkanto named, Pandora was the reason behind the deaths. Every holy week, almost 15 to 16 people died in the dam.

According to a local legend, Pandora is a queen of the mountains in a kingdom where all of them are female. She was a beautiful, long-haired woman with a natural Filipino complexion (what we called as kayumangging kaligatan). Her first victim was just gathering logs in the forest, then she put him away to his tracks then lost in the woods. He was never found till then.

However, her story varies from one person to another. Some believe she was an engkanto, some of them suggest she was just a mortal girl.

The natives knew many stories of why she was doing this. Those story imply only one point - she wants to avenge something.
  • One story tells that she had once a lover, but this guy became unfaithful to her. Thus she spurned him. Then started to revenge over every people.

  • According to another story, she was just a simple mortal girl who became a rape victim. The suspect brought her to the nearest cave, then there she was molested and killed. After that, she claimed lives of every man.

  • Another story combined the two, she is a beautiful fairy who was raped by a mortal and seek revenge by drowning men on her waters.

  • Because there is no male engkanto in there kingdom, they get mortal men.

  • If one of the stories is true, I prefer to believe the second one. Well, not because it is possible, but also ,they said, they often hear a voice of a girl crying at night. Maybe, because of her grief. I also suspect them to be a different individual. What I mean is there are two of them there. But what makes it incredible is the similarities of those people who died there - all of them are first born, as what the locals said, and it happens every time an owl coos. That's the reason why they always advise a first born not to swim there. The survivors claimed that someone or something was pulling them down to the depths of the water whether they're in the shallow part or not.

    Television Appearance

    The story of Pandora was featured in a GMA Network Halloween television series entitled Elemento.

    She was portrayed by Ms. Solenn Heusaff.

    A tour guide and environmentalist played by Carlos Agassi, investigates the mystery behind the Wawa river. In the end, he sacrificed his life to Pandora to cleanse and take away the curse in her so that she will stop taking lives of innocent people.[2]

    Last Updated: October 27, 2014


    Image Source:

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    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Did he really do it ... or just an accident

    I don't actually want to post this one here because the story is kinda sensitive, and somewhat provocative. However, people think this is an urban legend, so I thought, maybe, I should list this story here.

    I don't know the whole truth behind the story, so I should be careful with my words. One thing is certain to me, it really did happen. What makes it questionable, is his statement when he was asked about the thing.

    The Story

    Jobert Sucaldito hospitalized after an accident with ... a cucumber?

    Showbiz talk show host Jobert Sucaldito is recovering at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City after a successful emergency surgery to remove a large piece of cucumber that got stuck in his rectum, according to reports.

    Sucaldito, one of the hosts of ABS-CBN's The Buzz, reportedly met with the accident Sunday night and was rushed to the hospital after complaining of extreme pain in his bottom.

    X-rays subsequently revealed that a broken piece of cucumber, about five inches in length, had gotten lodged into the lower end of his large intestine.

    It was not immediately clear how the cucumber got there.

    The surgeons who operated on Sucaldito were tight-lipped and refused to discuss his case with media, citing doctor-patient confidentiality. Oddly enough, they all looked like they were trying vainly to keep from laughing and refused to look reporters in the eye.

    Members of Sucaldito's household who declined to be named said they recovered the other half of the cucumber, also five inches in length, in Sucaldito's bedroom.

    They said it had bite marks and was in a soggy state.

    Besides the cucumber, they said they also found a bottle of Johnson's baby oil, pictures of scantily clad men, and lots of tissue paper.รข€

    Reached by phone, Sucaldito said he is fine and will be discharged from hospital soon. He explained that it was all an accident.

    Gumagawa kasi ako ng salad. Napaupo ako dun sa chair e meron palang pipino dun na patayo ang pusisyon. Basta, mabilis kasi ang mga pangyayari (I was making a salad. I sat on a chair but there was a cucumber there in an upright position. Everything just happened so fast), he said.

    In a related development, a group of vegan Filipinos is reportedly thinking of filing an abuse complaint against Sucaldito for allegedly molesting a harmless and defenseless vegetable.

    Source: Good Times Manila

    Now that you have read the article above, its up to you if you will believe his statement ... or you know - guffaw?


    Sunday, September 1, 2013

    Malabon City's Satan over St. Michael Statue

    When I heard this story, I became interested. As well as feared of course. Satan - stepping over St. Michael?! It's kinda funny to think. I thought the creator just sculpted it by mistake, but if it was a mistake, then why he made it that way?

    . . . And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him . . .
    -------Revelations 12:7-9

    The verse is describing a war in heaven about how St. Michael the Archangel defeated Satan. That's the bases of all the famous paintings and statues of St. Michael picturing his boldness and strength, symbolizing the power of light over darkness. However, in a tomb in Malabon City, instead depicting the original scene, it was opposite. The statue shows a peculiar and dislikable position of the two. Like what I said - Satan was stepping over St. Michael.

    Well, there are reasons why the owner wanted it that way. Actually, he was a religious person and has that thinking-out-of-the-box mind to symbolize and extend his sympathy to mankind. He even put somewhat like a short script of a play beside his tomb.

    This statue was featured in some television shows in the Philippines. Rated K of ABS-CBN Channel 2 hosted by Ms. Korina Sanchez featured it.

    By the way, the HE I'm talking about is the one buried in the tomb. Just read the whole article so you'll understand why I'm refering to him.

    The Story

    The person buried in the tomb is Don Simeon Bernardo of Barangay Concepcion. One reason that brought this story here in urban legend is the belief, and also the rumor of many people that this person was a satanist which, in fact, he isn't.

    According to his grandson, Don Simeon was a religious man, and a very prayerful person. He also expressly wished to have the statue placed over his tomb as symbolism and as reminder that the society was continuously and slowly being engulfed by darkness, and that the devil is winning against goodness, and people is forgetting and setting God aside of their lives. Well, making the statue as his reminder, I can say, it was successful.

    Behind Don Simeon Bernardo's becoming popular and bizarre statue, he also had a very sad story. He suffered a bitter life in Spanish Regime here in the Philippines. He was accused by being a filibusterer, and then put him in prison in Fort Santiago. He was also tortured their mercilessly, like some of the Katipunero's . They also made him believed that God doesn't exist and they indocrinated the belief of his children. Don Simeon died in 1934.[a]

    Maybe that's the reason why he ordered to have the image.

    Like what I said above, there was a script-like thing beside it (located in the left side if you are facing the tomb). This was supposed to be a dialogue if Lucifer (Satan) and St. Michael are talking with each other.

    LUCIFER: Bakit ka nakikialam sa kaharian ko dito sa lupa(,) ay hindi na kayo kundi ako ang hari, ako ang nagturo kay Eva at Adan kaya nagkaroon ng sangkatauhan.

    SAN MIGUEL: Ang lupa at langit ay gawa ng aking Panginoon, kaya hanggang dito ang aming kapangyarihan.

    LUCIFER: Bulaan(g) hambog, kung ano ang ibig ko(,) siya ritong masusunod at hindi ang ibig mo - digmaan, arihan, dayaan, sugal, (at) lahat ng layaw ng katawan naibibigay ko sa tao, pati mga alagad ng mga Panginoon mo, napapasunod ko, ano pa ang ginagawa mo rito?

    SAN MIGUEL (SA SARILI): Panginoon kong nasa langit nasaan ang kapangyarihan Mo?

    SAN MIGUEL: Tao, tulungan ninyo ako na labanan ang kasamaan, pairalin ang katarungan at pagibig sa kapwa, iwasan ang kasakiman sa salapi at kapangyarihan na pinagmumulan ng ligalig. [b]
    LUCIFER: Why were you intruding my kingdom here on earth, which you're not the ruler anymore? I am the one who taught Eve and Adam, that's why mankind emerge.

    SAN MIGUEL (Saint Michael): The heaven and earth was both created by our Lord, so our powers even reaches here.

    LUCIFER: Arrogant liar! What I wanted here should be obeyed, and not what you like. War, wealth, fraud, gambling, and all the bodily comforts - I can gave it to every mankind. I can even make your Lord's servants obey me. So what are you doing here?

    SAN MIGUEL (TO HIMSELF): Oh my Lord God in heaven, where is Your power?

    SAN MIGUEL: Human, help me fight the evil, let peace exist, and love your neigbors, avoid greediness to wealth and the power coming from bodily wants.

    Many believed that the passage was taken from the bible, but back in his time (Spanish Era), commoners were not allowed by friars to hold a bible. Well, prettilly obvious that it has no basis in the bible - no verse.

    By the way, if you wanted to visit, the Malabon Municipal Cemetery, which is connected to Caloocan Public Cemetery, is located at Barangay Tugatog, Malabon City and Sangandaan, Caloocan City. It's one ride from Monumento to Sangandaan.

    The Rumor

    Aside of the rumor that Don Simeon Bernardo was a satanist which is not true, there are also rumors pointing to the supernatural ability of the devil statue.

  • Some people claimed that the image was originally small, but it seemed that it was growing each year.

  • Well, the main reason why this rumor sprouted is that in late 1970's the original was replaced by the one we see now. The first was actually smaller, and it was replaced because people destroyed it.

  • They also claimed that the devil statue moves at night and terrorizes people. That's why it was put in prison. (Hehehe ...)

  • Definitely NOT TRUE. People hate the structure because of its frightening look. Thus, people may intentionally throw rocks just to destroy it. And maybe this rumor emerged because of some tricky imagination, and perhaps just to scare drug addicts or some bad guys there who still wander over the place even at night. The cemetery is in the middle of the city.

  • The statue changes position. What I mean is, St. Michael sometimes on the top of Satan, and vice versa.

  • I don't know how to explain that. My professor told me this rumor - he's from Malabon. They said that in some circumstances, goodness prevail over evil, then goes back if the latter prevail over the former.


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    Hell is ... Real?

    Well, for Christians like me, we believe it is real. I don't know if others do believe as well. By the way, have you watched this Filipino documentary (from a Christian Channel) discussing everything about hell? I have watched it once when I was still in secondary school.

    I don't mean by putting the videos here that it was an urban legend. Actually, I have read an UL story claiming they made a hole from surface to hell accidentally.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Part 4

    Part 5

    Part 6