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Tree Giant


The story occurred in year 2012, during on of my community outreach activities with my students called "immersion". The students have to stay for three days and two nights in one community/village with the host families assigned by the teacher and field coordinators. Host families were chosen by the barangay/village officials. I was the teacher. I had my own host family along with my assistant.

In one of my immersions, we were assigned in a remote municipality known for NPA's (New Peoples' Army-considered as rebels; government enemies). There were many stories already by the folks and while we were preparing for a feeding activity in the multi-purpose hall, my students talked about the massacre years ago in the very same ground we're in. The massacre stories were told by their host families. But even though there are still NPA's out there, I assured them we are safe. There is a military camp on top of the hill.

On the first night, I was patrolling with my assistant and two barangay officials, ensuring that all of the students are already at home (their curfew is 10 p.m.). So we were at the far end of the village when I saw a group of my students sitting on the wood under the tree and seems they're debating at something while looking at the camera Mel (one of the students) was holding.

I approached them and asked why they are still outside. But instead of answering my question, they all stared at me in horror. One female student spoke. "Ma'am, look at this," she said handing me the digital camera. I saw Mel's stolen shot. He's covering his face, like he's being teased, but over his face was a face in form of a shadow. Round face, big eyes, big flat nose. The lips were not visible, but it's like "it's" hitting a cigarette. My assistant, Toots and the two officers also looked at the photo. It looks like a tree giant, or in Filipino language, "kapre".

Puzzled, I asked my student. "Did you edit this?"

They all shook heads. "No, Ma'am. That was taken few second before you arrive."

Then, the officers said that the tree near them is really haunted, so they better go inside the house. They went to their respective houses and we headed back to my host family's place. While walking, Toots told me that he feels "someone" is with us because of the goosebumps around his body. He suddenly feel cold and asked me to walk faster. I did as told, though I didn't feel anything different. When we entered the house, "it" stayed outside. We both had a little sleep that night. I spent most of the time praying and holding the rosary.

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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, MysticFrance, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

MysticFrance (5 stories) (95 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-14)
Mazzmarach, hello! Thank you very much for reading my story.:-) Glad "it" didn't follow me back home. Haha.

Hello, roylynx! Thanks for the information.:-)
roylynx (guest)
8 years ago (2016-06-12)
MysticFrance, Madam! I did a research and had asked a Pilipino friend about spirits of the trees.
In what I have known, these tales of the "tree spirits" were stories told during the Spanish invasion.
Dr. Wiki also said;
"Some historians speculate that the legend was propagated by the Spanish to prevent Filipinos from assisting any escaped African slaves they sometimes imported from Latin-America. The Kapre itself holds a large Cigar, an item which originated from the ancient Mayans of Latin-America. The similar dark skin color of escaped African slaves from Latin America to Dravidians from South India have caused the former to be equated with the latter."
Yes, folk stories are strong for those tales, but what I want to say here is that those "tree spirits" could be spirits from old period, as my grandmother always said, when there is spirits I will take back my question because I want to say that those kind of spirits is no necessarily bad. Just let it be and it will pass away.

I respect the believes though, since it may be related to Inca culture.

Greatest respect from São Paulo

Mazzmarach (2 stories) (78 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-10)
Ahoy, Mystic.

A kapre will follow you if they find you interesting, though they don't cause you harm unless they're angry with you. Based on your description of what happened, the kapre was probably curious; I would love to see that photo if you can post it. 😊


This is the rather sad thing about Philippine folklore; it is poorly documented, so what we've got to go on is hearsay and rumor, which probably began as oral tradition. As to what they are or if they can impregnate a woman, I cannot say. 😕

Smooth sailing,
MysticFrance (5 stories) (95 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-08)
Hi Lady-glow! Actually, I have shown the photo to some photography enthusiasts in our university (not to be mistaken as experts), but they can't tell how that shadow-like face was formed, or where it was coming from.

I personally don't believe in Kapres because I grew up in the middle of the farm; with a neighbor 250 meters away. Our house was surrounded by big trees, but never encountered such entity.

The one that appeared in the photo just looks like a tree giant, as it is described in books and TV shows. But I was thinking perhaps, what we encountered that night was a ghost, considering that "someone" was "following" us way back home.

MysticFrance (5 stories) (95 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-08)
Hi. Yes, I do have the photo. But I still have to ask permission from my former student/s.:-)
bspilker (1 stories) (15 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-07)
Mystic great story, by any chance do you have the photo? I would be interested in seeing it.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-07)
Hello MysticFrance: do you think it possible that the image of the kapre's face in the picture could had been the product of the light and shadows in the tree?

I'm a little confused comparing your description of a kapre to the one from another Filipino poster (chetchet17, "During our Christmas Caroling"):
"...kapre is a big man with hair all around its body like a monkey, and it lives in a tree. It usually smokes tobacco at night and smells like fish sauce)

Did you or any of the people present detect the smells of tobacco and/or fish?

In that particular story another Filipino poster says that sometimes a kapre can impregnate women, so -is a kapre a spirit or a physical man? Would it be possible to hurt a kapre with a bullet?

Anyway, I'm glad to know that your experience didn't go further than a face in a picture.

Thanks for sharing.
roylynx (guest)
8 years ago (2016-06-07)
Meu Deus! Trees again?
I have heard Kapre in the other story by another person.
So far as I know they seemed to do no harm though?
Will there be bad things if one has encounters them (it)?

Blessing from São Paulo


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