While most people encounter treasure hunting only in adventure movies, Filipinos have been searching for legendary fortunes for generations, and some stories from treasure hunting in the Philippines are so amazing that they are hard to believe.
In his new book, called Rough Guide to Treasure Hunting in the Philippines, Whaka Honeheke tells the story of an amateur diver who identifies himself as John R. One day, John was enjoying a vacation with his Filipino wife when he suddenly noticed a galleon wreck in shallow waters.
After a closer inspection, he decided to retrieve the wreck only to discover that it contained thousands of gold ducats and silver coins. The treasure he stumbled upon by accident allowed John to open 13 KFC franchises in the UK and buy his wife a gold-plated Rolls Royce.
If the stories told by generations of Filipino treasure hunters are true, many caves, tunnels, old houses, and seemingly random pieces of land could hide treasures that Japanese soldiers, who were at the time under the command of the ruthless General Yamashita, had plundered from regions under their control during World War II.
Japanese invaded the Philippines on 8 December 1941, and they assumed that the country would forever remain one of their territories. But when the Imperial Army was forced to retreat by Allied and Filipino soldiers, Japanese soldiers had to leave most stolen treasures behind in several hiding places—at least that’s what many treasure hunters believe.
Treasure hunters like Filipino American businessman and U.S. Navy veteran Manny Paez, one of the main cast members of “Yamashita’s Gold,” a reality series on the History Channel. When he was in his early 20s, Paez dug up small chunks of gold in the mountains of Mindoro and sold it for about 200,000 Philippine pesos, which was a lot of money back then. “Some of the villagers believed it was part of the Yamashita treasure, but nobody knew for sure,” he says.
New Generations of Treasure Hunters
The main reason why Honeheke decided to write an entire book dedicated to treasure hunting in the Philippines is that he wants to inspire new generations of treasure hunters to visit the country and experience what it’s like to get the “gold bug.”
In his book, Honeheke says that treasure hunting has never been more accessible than it is today thanks to modern treasure and gold detectors like TreasureHunter3D. “When I discovered the TreasureHunter3D, I was delighted. The detector looked like an innocent walking stick and was non-evasive, so nobody questioned me.”
Compared with other 3D underground scanners available on the market, TreasureHunter3D has 40x better resolution, and it’s so light and portable that it can fit into any travel bag or suitcase. Recently, the company behind TreasureHunter3D has unveiled its latest product, called DroneRover. This fully automated drone is designed for long-range treasure hunting, and it’s a perfect example of just how much has treasure hunting evolved over the years and why it has never been easier to find Philippines’ hidden treasures.