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?
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.