Misamis Occidental Philippines Travel

Misamis Occidental | Jimenez: An Old Mystical Heritage Town

Having one of the oldest monuments in the Philippines in the form of the impressive San Juan Bautista Church, I wasn’t surprised that there were more to discover in this predominantly Catholic municipality of Jimenez, Misamis Occidental. We met with our local guide from the DOT office to give us a tour of the town. Visiting the church, it was a good idea the tourism installed a few boards showcasing the other attractions in town. Particularly noticeable were the heritage houses, a cemetery and a mysterious tree by the river.

The Kamil Tree along the Jimenez River
The Kamil Tree along the Jimenez River

Enchanted Kamil Tree

In barangay Taraka another attraction has supernatural elements. The 200-year old Kamil Tree (others call Camel Tree) is a different kind of monument that the locals have learned to co-exist with. I used co-exist because this mysterious tree towering by the banks of Jimenez river is said to be a portal to another world. It was fascinating to hear different stories regarding this tree. Here’s a few that really sparked my personal interest

  • Several deliveries like trucks, cars, furnitures, livestocks and goods were addressed to Kamil, this tree. Eventually, from the courier’s records these deliveries were received.
  • At night people who live near the area would hear people laughing and having conversations as if in a party coming from the tree but only to find there was no one there.
  • In a small space under the roots of the tree, people would sometimes find fruits and other items
  • Prior to the major catastrophes in the country like Pablo, Sendong and Yolanda, locals would hear a large booming sound similar to a ship horn coming from the tree. It happened a week or two before the mentioned typhoons hit. They believe they were being warned.
  • From our guide’s personal account who was a teacher, he recalls the story of his students who after a late project try to go home at the dead of the night. They found a bright white bus and since there was no ride that time they boarded hoping they could drop them along the rode. They rode the bus and found a few passengers who were like foreigners, white-skinned and almost glowing. They didn’t speak. The bus seemed to drive so long but eventually they were dropped off safely on the road they want. But there was no such bus in the area that existed.
  • From a resident, second hand story from a friend in the province, who has a brother studying in a school in Jimenez. He recalls of a beautiful classmate, so fair and foreign looking. The teacher asked where she lives and came from and she answered she was from Kamil. The teacher didn’t ask further.
Is this tree a portal to another world?
Is this tree a portal to another world?

Whether there is truth or not in these stories, it adds fascination to this place. The people of Jimenez respects the tree and thus we must also respect their beliefs when visiting the place. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of such a place. There is also this Invisible City of Biringan in Western Samar which I wouldn’t be surprised if they were interconnected in the other world. As for me, the tree itself looks beautiful but I’m not really sure what species it is with the numerous leaves already growing alongside it. I did approach the tree to somehow try and touch it but there was this massive headache when I’m near it and was sending weird vibrations on my skin which surprisingly lessened and disappeared when I kept my distance. I’m not sure what it was but I’m pretty sure this is no ordinary tree.

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