• SPECIALFEATURE

    Acacia trees in abandoned Bataan cemetery stir horror

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    DINALUPIHAN, Bataan: Two giant acacia trees believed more than 100 years old and located within an abandoned Catholic cemetery here have created horror images of the supernatural among villagers, according to some residents.

    DESERTED  An area of the cemetery where some tombs that have been desecrated. PHOTO BY ERNIE B. ESCONDE

    DESERTED An area of the cemetery where some tombs that have been desecrated. PHOTO BY ERNIE B. ESCONDE

    Leonardo Dominguez, 63, admitted he has not seen anything frightful in one of the acacia trees that is adjacent to his house but has heard stories from other residents.

    “They claim to have seen a white lady, a kapre (giant or tree demon, according to folklore) and a running dog who turns human around the trees,” Dominguez, a former overseas Filipino worker, said in Pilipino.

    An acacia tree stands near the closed gate of the cemetery in Barangay Kataasan that carries a notice “Burial is prohibited here” also in Pilipino.

    Adela Tuazon, 91, recalled she and her relatives swept the burial ground, which used to be clean, when she was a young girl.

    But now, the cemetery is covered by shrubs and tall grasses.

    She said there were two big acacia trees in the cemetery but one was destroyed by a storm.

    Riza Rabara, 49, a sari-sari (variety) storeowner across the cemetery, shared that one day at dawn while it was drizzling she saw an old woman in a white robe sitting under another acacia tree.

    She pointed to The Manila Times the area where the tree used to stand.

    Rabara said it was years ago but when the acacia tree was felled by a typhoon, she stopped seeing the old woman.

    Village officials said operation of the cemetery stopped more than six years ago with the information that it will be turned into a park.

    It was not known what happened to the plan or who was to undertake to project.

    It was learned that most of the tombs have been ripped open and the bones of those interred were transferred to other graveyards, while a few tombs remained intact but deserted.

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