Century old tree w/in Metro Manila College campus
The country is rich in natural resources and old trees tell a lot of interesting stories. There is a 155 year old duhat tree ( Syzygium cumini ) which is located at the foot of a wooded hill called “ Binugsok” now within Barrio Kaligayahan , Jordan Plains Subdivision . Within the Metro Manila College compound just about a kilometer away from Our Lady of Mercy Church in Novaliches town proper in Quezon City . The area was once heavily covered with thick vegetation up to the late 19th and early 20th century .
Wild chickens , native deers, monitor lizards and boars roam while the revolutionaries’ troops forage for food within the immediate vicinity.
The natural contour of the hill served as a battery and an outpost of the Katipuneros during the 1896 revolution and served as a target of many Spanish soldiers. The late Kapitan Bernabe Serrano popularly known as Kabesang Abeng who was a member of the Katipunan and the former owner of the property where the historic duhat tree stands. He stated that on several occasions, the place was visited by Andres Bonifacio , the Supremo of the Katipunan in order to bolster the morale of the troops. Under the canopy of the duhat tree served as medical headquarters, resting, meeting place and troop formation of the revolutionary forces.
This is also where Melchora Aquino , popularly known as Tandang Sora , treated those who are sick , wounded under this tree. The tree also provided some nourishment to the Katipuneros and to the people of the surrounding area. The natural elevation of the land served as a vantage point and lookout for the guerilla forces in Novaliches also during the Japanese occupation.
Older residents within the place would recall that they even bathe in the nearby streams and would also remember how they would climb and pick the fruits of this duhat tree.
Now the tree is within the property of the Metro Manila College and the school had some artifacts and old pictures to prove that when the revolution broke out in 1896 the tree is already several decades old.
Big holes, scratches and scars are visible on the trunk and branches of the tree and up to now the tree still fights for its survival. The tree has a diameter at breast height of approximately 140 meter, and about 15 meter tall and has a crown diameter of approximately 16 meter. When the hill was leveled during the development of the area and many bullets made of copper were found in the area presumed used during the Spanish period .
There are 2 younger duhat trees nearby which is presumed as the siblings of the tree. This duhat tree is a silent witness in the history that every Filipinos should never forget and the urgent need to care and protect the tree from natural diseases and human harm.
Dr. Mamerto S. Miranda the founder of the college is a native of Novaliches and is a war veteran who founded Metro Manila College formerly known as Novaliches Academy in 1947.
For those who wanted to visit the school , here are the contact number:
Address: 966 Plaza Novaliches
Barrio Kaligayahan, Novaliches
Quezon City, Metro Manila 1123
TEl : (1123)939-11-62 , 9363082
Fax : (1123)419-14-82