Jimenez balete tree

The creepiest tree I’ve ever seen in my life!

This is the creepiest balete tree I've ever seen! Can you spot the two girls? That's how big this tree is!

This is the creepiest balete tree I’ve ever seen! Can you spot the two girls? That’s how big this tree is!

I specifically visited the catholic cemetery of Jimenez in Misamis Occidental to check if it has Spanish colonial era structures that I can feature in my Simbahan blog. It sure has with its ancient perimeter walls and entrance arch but I wasn’t ready for what I saw: the biggest and creepiest balete tree (banyan tree) I’ve seen in my life!

Sure, banyan trees are stuff of otherwordly legends and stories but by the fact that it was at the center of the cemetery, surrounded with niches and burials lent it a ghastly air that is fit for All Souls Day commemorations. But frankly, I’m not really afraid. I was in awe at seeing it the first time. It was huge, it was otherwordly and it was a delight to watch with all those roots going under the earth (and probably suck on all those…?).

The locals who were at the cemetery for a burial told me that it is the biggest balete tree in Misamis Occidental and, even probably, the whole of Mindanao. Wanting to show the size of this behemoth tree, I asked some of the people if they could pose infront. I guess, they were too shy that they called on some girls.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE TWO GIRLS INFRONT OF THE TREE IN THE TOP PHOTO?

Really gave me the creeps as it is found in the cemetery of Jimenez

Really gave me the creeps as it is found in the cemetery of Jimenez

I don't know how old this one is but old folks say it has been there since before they were born

I don’t know how old this one is but old folks say it has been there since before they were born

The huge balete tree as seen from the other side of the cemetery

The huge balete tree as seen from the other side of the cemetery

GETTING THERE This huge balete tree is located at the Catholic cemetery of Jimenez. From the town terminal, hire a tricycle. Jimenez is about 30 minutes ride from Ozamiz City. From there, take a bus or van for hire bound either to the cities of Oroquieta or Dipolog.

This trip made possible by Philippine Airlines.Check their website Philippine Airlines for tickets and promos. Like their Facebook page and follow them in Twitter.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

5 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    November 20, 2014 @ 10:37

    The creepiest tree I’ve ever seen in my life!: This is the creepiest balete tree I’ve ever seen! Can you spot … http://t.co/6nRBA14Eh4

  2. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    November 20, 2014 @ 18:37

    The creepiest #tree I’ve ever seen in my life! #creepy #mindanao http://t.co/fo4vVFQg2M http://t.co/wI4kT2Rsnt

  3. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    November 20, 2014 @ 20:38

    The creepiest #tree I’ve ever seen in my life! #creepy #mindanao http://t.co/6xl2CmkrbV http://t.co/TVRjZjQRDa

  4. Lonious
    July 16, 2017 @ 13:38

    Interesting. Rizal in fact wrote of a great balete tree within a cemetery in Noli Me Tangere. I start to wonder whether this was his inspiration.

  5. estan
    July 24, 2017 @ 22:42

    Lonious, we’re not really sure if he was able to visit Jimenez, although in today’s modern travel, it’s just a few hours from Dapitan

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