The Reason for Treasure Hunting in the Philippines

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Many Treasure Hunters across the globe are visiting the Philippines due to its precious and valuable hidden treasures. Based from the Philippine History, everything had started when the Spaniards came to colonize the country then followed by the Japanese regime. It took 333 years (1565 to 1898) under the Spanish colonization and another additional 3 years (1941 to 1945) under the Japanese occupation before the Filipinos finally gained their freedom.

If you wish to know more about the history of the Philippines then visiting Wikipedia is a good option.

Spanish Treasures

To tell you the reason why this country is full of treasures, the Spaniards had left most of their valuable items on this land. Most of these items today are now considered antique and are rarely found in the possession of the elders. Most of them were lost while others were confiscated by the Japanese Imperial army when they took over the country in World War 2.

Some common Spanish treasures that we had found are old coins, wares and jewelries.

How did Spanish treasures ended up in the Philippines?

When the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, they had sent several trade ships known as the "Manila Galleons". It was a very long and dangerous journey in the Pacific wherein many of those trade ships were wrecked due to the rough condition of the sea and coral reefs. As a result, thousand men got drowned along with the billions worth of treasure with them on their way around the Pacific.

Regardless of the shipwrecks, there were only a few ships that had completed their journey. According to some source, the Manila Galleons carried the following valuable cargoes:

- Silver and Gold Coins
- Gold Bars
- Porcelain
- Jade
- Ivory
- Pearls
- All kinds of artifacts and precious stones

Japanese Treasures

The Japanese empire came to conquer the land after 43 years later from the end of the Spaniards' Colonization (1898 to 1941). There are claims that they took along with them their most precious Golden Buddha. They are commonly known as the Yamashita Treasures and this is what most treasure hunters are after.

Sitting Golden Buddha

If you made some historical research about the Philippines regarding the Japanese reign then you probably knew that the Filipinos claimed their freedom through the help of the great American "General Mac Arthur". The Filipino people together with the Americans had joined forces where they had fought the Japanese empire and succeeded in forcing them to surrender.

However, the history of World War 2 in the Philippines does not cover much anything about the Japanese treasures. There were even some circulating information from the government that Yamashita Treasure does not exist which can never be found in the Philippines. It was because the Japanese claimed that they were able to transport everything back into their own mother land just before they lost the war.

In my own opinion, if Philippine history confirms the hidden Japanese treasures in the country, this will attract every Filipino citizen to dig various places which can damage the nation's natural and cultural heritage.

But, Do you believe them?

Believe it or not there are already plenty of proofs that some Filipinos had accidentally found some Japanese buried treasures underground. Some of them were farmers tilling their lands, residents building their house and road-contractors. To tell you more, there are Japanese veterans or their descendants who are in possession of Treasure Maps.

I myself had already met and talked to several old Filipino folks who were witnesses and survivors of the previous World War 2. Some of them had seen the treasures with their own eyes while some had even carried them on their shoulders.

As a successful treasure hunter, I strongly claim that hidden Japanese treasures in the Philippines are real. They do exists waiting for the fortunate individuals to uncover them out.

Treasure Hunting Laws in the Philippines


Hunting for treasure in the Philippines entitles you to follow the rules stated by the law which can be found under the "Republic Act No. 386: An Act to Ordain and Institute the Civil Code of the Philippines (Book III)".

Philippine Treasure Hunting Law

Reference: http://www.chanrobles.com/civilcodeofthephilippinesbook3.htm

From the reference above, read Article 713 and 718.

Reference: http://www.chanrobles.com/civilcodeofthephilippinesbook2.htm

Article 438 to 439 of Book II of RA 386 also mentions about hidden treasures.

According to the Philippine Realtors, here are the following rules for any hidden treasures that are recovered:

1. Any hidden treasure found belongs to the owner of the land, building or property where the item has been found.

- Due to this rule, what most treasure hunters do is to have a "written agreement" with the land owner. The written agreement contains all the details about their permission to conduct excavations and their percentage of shares when the treasure is found. Both parties will have to sign the agreement form to make it authentic.

2. When a certain person had uncovered treasure from another person's property, State or subdivisions by "chance". One-half of the treasure can be given to the finder. But if the finder is a trespasser, no reward or share will be given.

- If it happens that you have accidentally found a hidden treasure on a certain individual's own property, it's all up to him on how much of the reward will he give to you. Common example of such incidents are carpenters accidentally uncovering treasures while flattening or digging holes for the structure's base (ground) post-supports.

With this rule, the owner of the property may choose not to give any rewards to the finders. So for this reason, assuming that the carpenters had found a Japanese treasure, they can secretly hide it and sneak the treasure out for themselves.

In addition to this rule are the trespassers. They are individuals who entered someone else's property then by chance, they had found a treasure. According to this rule, the owner of the property can confiscate the uncovered treasure without giving any share to the finders or trespassers. To tell you, some treasure hunters are intentionally trespassing somebody's property. It's because they do have a plan in which they are 100% sure making them confident that they can dig the hidden treasure and able to recover it unnoticed. But if it happens that they got caught, they won't just lose the treasure that they had found wherein they can be arrested by the authorities.

3. Any treasures found can be acquired by the State at their just price especially when it is for the purpose of science or arts.

Not all valuable treasures in the Philippines do originally belong to the Spaniards and Japanese Empire. Filipinos also do have their own treasures crafted by their own ancestors. These kinds of treasures are what the Philippine institutions of Sciences or Arts are looking for that they are willing enough to buy it for the right price.

4. All hidden treasures such as money, jewelries and other precious objects do not have any lawful ownership.

The president or some high-ranking military officials cannot claim that he or she own such hidden treasures but not unless, he or she had found it.

I actually heard rumors that the authorities are using their power to confiscate treasures that are recovered by public individuals. This is wrong but you have to accept the fact that great amount of wealth can force a man to abuse his power. Thus, the best advice is to keep it to yourself or with your trusted friends, relatives and families.

Are Foreigners Allowed to Conduct Treasure Hunting in the Philippines?


In the past, all foreigners were allowed to conduct treasure hunting in the Philippines for "free" but not until Environmental Secretary Lito Atienza had issued a new government regulation on December 26, 2007. This regulation include prohibiting all foreigners from conducting treasure hunting activities in any regions of the Philippines. Only Filipino citizens are now allowed but they are limited from sites with cultural values.

Places with cultural values includes old churches, natural parks, Archeological sites, caves and all heritage sites.

Although, even with the new government regulation prohibiting all foreigners engaging in treasure hunting activities, there are still a number of them doing it will full secrecy. Most of them are "financiers" with Filipinos as their diggers. There actually many possible ways that foreigners can easily get away with the new regulation. But if they got caught, punishment can be an immediate deportation or worst is being banned from entering the Philippines again.

Northern Forest Of The Philippines

Moreover, if you are after some huge pile of hidden treasures then Philippines is a good choice to find them. And in order for you to succeed, you need to gain the necessary experience and knowledge in which I am willing to share on this treasure hunting blog.