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Garden Residents


I used to work in the graveyard shift (yeah, a call center). That day, I came home from work at about 9 in the morning. There's a 25 feet distance from our gate to our house because of our front yard (or garden as we call it because of the overgrown trees and abundance of green things growing).

I walked through the garden to reach our front door but stopped midway when I noticed something off. The branches on the right side of the tree nearest to our house have been chopped off. My mom would often cut some branches when they grow all over the place and become fire hazards. What's unusual is that only one tree was trimmed, and a third of that tree's branches, all of them from the right side, were cut. The left side of the tree's branches were pretty much left alone.

So I went inside our house and asked my mom who "remodeled" the tree. In hushed tones, she said our neighbor, Len (not her true name), hired someone for the job. According to Len, her nephew was down with fever the night before. Their room was on the second floor with a full view of our roof and a little of the garden. As they were getting ready to sleep, she noticed her nephew unmoving and staring straight out of the window for quite some time.

She stood next to him and asked "Anong tinitingnan mo dyan?" (What are you looking at out there?).

"Yung mamang nakaitim, nakatingin sa akin," (The man dressed in black, looking at me), he replied, pointing at the tree. Shocked, she told her nephew to go to sleep.

The next day, Len related her story to mom and asked permission to cut off the branches that were near their window. Mom advised her to offer some food and talk to the tree spirit (or elemental - I don't know what to call it) before cutting off the branches. Len's nephew hasn't seen the man again.

Maybe it's the fever, the kid's wild imagination or something else, but it sure spooked me out. We do have instances where some of my mom's friends (and a few neighbors) experienced getting hit by pebbles (out of nowhere) or heard someone calling their attention in the garden when no one's around. It usually occurs when they go in uninvited.

My mom, my siblings and I do not have any supernatural experiences here at home. We've lived here all of our lives. But my dad said that years ago, when my youngest sister was a toddler, he would arrive really late from work and find her playing with some invisible friends. Often, they remain invisible to my dad but there were times when he would catch glimpses of the little garden dwende (dwarf) keeping my sister entertained late at night (when he comes home from work).

I fervently hope that I don't see any of them - the man dressed in black or the dwende. You see, I have a nasty habit of hanging out in the garden and looking up at the trees and the sky for hours at night while listening to my mp3 player.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, luce, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-29)
Thank you, DragonStorm80. During All Souls Day, we usually offer candles. The dogs might just eat the food. LOL.

You know, the interesting thing is after we adopted dogs (we have them now for 2 years), we haven't heard of anyone seeing/hearing/feeling anything. My sister said our dog would bark up at the trees at night before - the first couple of months of his doggie life with us. Yeah, she checked for any noise or movement -nothing.
DragonStorm80 (1 stories) (440 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-02)
I think they both sound very friendly and protective of you and your family, I don't think you have anything to worry about at all.

But as has been suggested by a few people already maybe leave a little offering and tell them how thankful you are that they have watched over you for so many years:)
luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-02)
Thank you, Carl. Yeah, I do that.

[at] Dan, before the Spanish occupation, our ancestors worshiped Anitos (nature spirits). I found this on wiki to give you an idea of our culture back then.

During the Japanese occupation, a lot of people died here in Manila (and almost all of Luzon). Add in the Spanish and American occupation, so, don't be surprised if you hear stories of buildings or schools that were previously graveyards.

DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-31)
I have noticed that the Philippines is home to a lot of stories regarding Nature spirits at least a lot more then what the western countries produce, something interesting to think about I reckon.😊
I believe something is watching over that land and home, you should take comfort in this. How far does the history go back for this place?

Thanks for sharing.

JustCurious (2 stories) (434 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-31)
Sounds like you got someone watching over the house, the property, and your family. I would say if it hasnt done anything to you then there is nothing to fear. And as far as the spirit revealing itself to you in the form of an apparition where you can see it, I don't think that will happen unless there is a reason behind it.

taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-30)
luce seams that your dad had the same thoughts I did.
It does sound like whatever is there is protecting the house and your family.

Make sure to say thanks next time your chilling with your mp3
luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-30)
Thanks, otteer and Brier:)
Yes, my dad said they're guarding our house.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-30)
Lol, going into the garden and appreciating its beauty isn't a nasty habit... Its a healthy one! Next time you are there, leave a food offering and say a prayer of thanks for the beautiful garden and for the spirits soul. Sounds like there may be a spirit dwelling there, perhaps from the past, I don't think it means to hurt though, just get attention to say, I'm here!

Thanks for sharing, good story! ❤
Brier (2 stories) (54 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-30)
whatever is in your yard, it probably has been there for a very long time and knows you more than you would think. My reasoning is that if it has not bothered you already, then it most likely won't.

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