A Gorgeous Tree in Dauis, Bohol…


I flew into Tagbilaran, Bohol for just a few hours yesterday, to take care of some family business. But after my meetings were over, I managed to fit in a terrific lunch in the city, made a quick run to my favorite artisanal broas bakery, and a quick dash to the Dauis church to see for myself what some impressed locals said was the handiwork of some generous and concerned conservationists and donors… It seems Bea Zobel, Jr. and the Ayala foundation are assisting in the restoration/renovation of the convento which had fallen into serious desrepair, beside the Dauis church. So far they have fixed up the first floor of the convento, and a small but chi-chi gift shop has opened with tasteful mostly locally crafted items. But the gem so far is through the doors and out back near the water’s edge… this century or more old acacia tree. It was FABULOUS. Those of you who have read this blog for the past few years would have noted that I have an absolute soft spot for fantastic large trees, and I am always awed when I come across a wonderful tree on a provincial roadside, hacienda, farm or home.


The group helping to restore this part of the Dauis church complex have also fallen under the spell of this terrific tree, and they designed and built a massive circular wood planked terrace beneath the tree and have hung tasteful capiz lanterns and wired strategically placed spotlights. I knew immediately I would love to host a reception here. Even an eyeball. But that would mean all of you would have to fly to Bohol! Heehee. At any rate, I just sat under this tree and stared up at the gnarled branches and lush canopy of green leaves and knew that this was a very good thing. Brava to Ms. Zobel and everyone with her for her untiring efforts to preserve Bohol’s culture and doing it with such panache. I once had an opportunity to work briefly with her on another pro-bono project but that didn’t get very far at all. And what, pray tell, will attract tourists to this fantastic spot aside from the tree? A cafe that is planned to open in three weeks and eventually, it may have tables under this very tree. It will, without a doubt, be one of the best settings for a cafe anywhere on the archipelago…


I was told that the flooring of the terrace was in lightly grooved teak, imported from another Asian country. It was fantastic. But at the same time, I thought it unbelievably sad that we couldn’t even source enough local hardwood to make this terrace. We so depleted our own stocks of wonderful rainforest trees that we now have to buy it elsewhere. I don’t know why I felt compelled to blog about this tree, but I guess I just really like big old trees…

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33 Responses

  1. This is beautiful! I remember we had a really old and gracious accacia tree in our campus at the old St. Theresa’s College in San Marcelino St. [I believe it is now Adamson Uni campus?] Lots of fond memories made under that tree!

  2. Nice tree indeed!
    We also have this huge acacia tree in our town in Southern Leyte. It’s actually taller and wider than that of tree in the pics above (maybe older too)… It’s near our church as well… Almost everyone in high school used to have the space underneath it as our “tambayan” before. Especially during its “autumn” season, where flowers and leaves fall from the tree… It’s a wondreful sight to see everytime I come to visit… Very nostalgic post… :)

  3. Hi Lyna… I think the tree you had before is the same tree near the parking lot for the SV campus in AdU. Great tambayan :)

  4. Mr. MM, maybe you know you’re getting old when you start blogging about big old trees? (joke.) :)

    Seriously, thanks for writing about a variety of topics that give insight about the simplest of pleasures to the more “extravagant” ones.

    I graduated from a school with big old trees and grassy lawns. What I lament the most is that newer schools now are mostly concrete, very little, if any, grassy playgrounds for the children.

  5. My mom is from Duero, Bohol and so I am always interested with everything that has to do with Bohol. Dauis Church and this gorgeous wooden terrace will definitely be in the itinerary the next time I go to Bohol. Hopefully by that time, that coffee shop you mentioned will be open already and I can have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate under this magnificent tree!

  6. I too love big trees. Our house along Shaw Boulevard is shaded by one of the largest (if not the largest) Narra tree along Shaw. During our vacation, I just sit in the veranda and just look at its shade, specially when it rains.

  7. what a beauty to behold, that tree!
    i can imagine a banda or a rondalla playing under it’s shade on a balmy sunday afternoon as the community gather around and have a merienda of sorbetes and turon. my perfect kind of a lazy sunday afternoon before going back to the fast paced life in the city before monday morning.

  8. I miss those large acacia trees. While in colege, my friends and I like to sat on benches under huge acacias. Sort of tambayan but somehow we feel sleepy every time. Must be casting its spell on us every afternoon.

  9. This tree reminded me of the famous Banyan tree in the middle of downtown Lahaina in Maui. This old tree is over a hundred years old but its broad leafy shoulders continue to provide shade to weary tourists and home to countless birds.

  10. Magnificent! I saw that tree when we went to Dauis, but as it was nighttime, I didn’t get to appreciate it as much as you did. MM, didn’t you go inside the convent to see the room with the domed ceiling? We had a wonderful catered dinner in there. I heard that they would soon market the place for special dinners, and actually, wedding receptions have started to be held there. The Dauis church is also interesting to see, with its “miraculous well.”

  11. Katrina, no, the room with the domed ceiling was closed. Actually, it should have all been closed as we visited on a Monday… but they let us browse anyway. the church is interesting. I had been there a few times before but skipped yesterday due to time constraints… nikka, one could throw a picnic for two or two hundred under this tree! eej, we once had a property with possibly the largest banyan tree on the island of bohol, but it was sold without our knowing about it, a long story! tulip, the temperature and humidity under a large tree is cooler and more pleasant, perhaps that is why it is nap inducing. marygrace, yes, live music would be perfect and so civilized… virgie, I do love them too, but my favorite all time tree has to be a stunning full narra tree… RobKSA, now I have to hunt for a narra tree on Shaw! Rhea, you won’t believe this coincidence, but my grandparents were from Duero, or at least summered there. My lolo was apparently a governor of Bohol or congressman from the island, if not both, and both my grandparents were executed by the Japanese at the end of WWII. A marker in their honor still stands at the outskirts of Duero… dizzy, hahaha! Fortunately, my fascination with big trees goes back to childhood. And I have always advocated the planting of more and more hardwood trees. Last year, I acquired 1,000 narra seedlings at about 12 inches tall and now they are several feet, waiting to be planted… lyna and amor, yes, I agree large campuses should have large trees… they inspire the intellect as well as the soul…

  12. I like big trees too. I bet if i were younger, i’d be climbing them. We have a big narra tree in front of our house and some if its roots are making its way under part of the house. Few year back, sidewalks were made but they skipped the Narra tree. Too big for them, besides, bad luck, if you believe in that. Near my in-laws’ house in Novaliches, there is this huge tre that i can’t help but marvel at everytime i pass by it. Really isn’t a shady tree, but it’s really tall, about 5 to 6 stories high! Really spooky at night. hehe

  13. i like the acacia trees somewhere in the highway at tanjay, negros oriental. i like huge trees, banyan, acacia, dapdap, and other nameless tree species that provide shade and shelter for creatures.

  14. I think big, old trees should be marked national heirlooms nowadays. They have survived! I haven’t been to Bohol even if I had been to most parts of our country. Hope I get to see that acacia tree too, MM!

  15. I’m glad to see we’re back in good old PI. I love trees of all kinds–they’re like old friends… I also lament that there is a real lack of a variety of trees for beauty and local lumber use, and that all the valuable trees are shipped out for export. What happenened to all the government tree planting efforts of the eighties? In the province it seems up to the individual towns to decide whether to plant trees or not.

  16. Of course Joyce Kilmer’s “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…” inspired Ogden Nash to fillip it thus:

    I think that I shall never see
    A billboard lovely as a tree
    Indeed, unless the billboards fall
    I’ll never see a tree at all.

    There was once a conceit among certain newly moneyed New Yorkers to acquire bare land and transform them overnight into venerable country estates by planting forty year old trees. Did not take long however for someone to comment that that’s how God would have done it, if he had the money.

  17. I think it amusing that I find myself visiting your blog site more and more often whenever I need something good to read. I’m not the “blogging” type– don’t have the time to waste. But your good eye and fine narrative skills make for an irresistible “journal” read, or a good “traveller’s tales” account, at best– one that informs well, and entertains. Vicarious travel throughout the archipelago has never felt/tasted better.

  18. WOW!!!!…. the first things that came to mind while viewing the pictures (before reading your blog) was that it was a perfect setting for a reception or an al fresco cafe…and here you are talking about the same thing!

    Now the family has another reason to cross-over to Bohol for the day!! Thanks MM!

    I too am enchanted by big trees…I remember having dinner under big acacia trees in the town plaza just outside vigan about 10 years ago and it was awesome.

  19. There is always something really soothing and calming about admiring at tall trees..Acacia being somewhat of an old story teller and protector from the scorching heat ..if only it would talk!

  20. I, too have memories on big trees. When I was still in Pampanga, we lived in front of a military camp and there was a massive acacia tree that I couldn’t help but admire. Memories of Mt. Pinatubo eruption goes with it as well because I still remember how mightily it stood amidst all the heavy ashfall that fell on it.

    MM, how are you? I missed reading your blog coz i couldn’t access it from work but with some pleading to out IT guy, after 2 months, I now have access to it again. Haaayyy, salamat. :)

  21. I love trees myself. And acacias with their widespread canopy of branches always brings back memories. In our small field in poveda, there was this big old acacia with big roots that we used to sit on and we’d spend after-class hours under its shade.

  22. MM, seems your not alone. I love big old trees too! They seem so grand and majestic, these wonderful works of Creation draw you to them and you really cant help but be awed by its immensity and beauty.

    You are right, they inspire the intellect as well as the soul, too bad most education facilities (public schools)do not have them anymore except for the established privately run schools. I’m pleasantly surprised you are into architectural conservation! We really need to conserve, preserve and maintain our very rich colonial architectural heritage, too bad there has really been no concrete effort for it. I could go on, but it would be off-topic already. Anyway, I hope more people like Mrs. Zobel would help spearhead the conservation of the church.

  23. dizzy, there’s lots of us oldies here who love big old trees! I love the rows of huge acacia trees in UP. MM, have you ever seen a full grown baobab? Never fails to elicit a sudden yearning to hug the tree. How do they treat the flooring in that Dauis terrace to preserve the wood?

  24. Aaaww! My friends and I have just been to Bohol receently (hehehe,played hooky actually) and while we did the nice touristy itinerary, we surely missed out on this one. Ha! Nxt time for sure, I will be having coffee near this magnificent tree!

  25. you must visit this big accasia tree of dauis bohol. i assure all of you that,the place mentioned is so nice and beautiful…hehehe.

  26. Cafe Lawis is now open at the ground floor of the old Dauis convent, but you may choose to sip their magnificent coffee under the equally magnificent acacia dock which is formally called Terraza de Mariveles, named after the two date palm trees which tradition says marked the spot where a miracle of Our Lady of the Assumption took place a couple of centuries ago.
    The best time to enjoy Terraza Mariveles is towards sunset when the entire place transforms with the magic of nightfall. don’t fail to visit this place. Your food gets tastier when you know part of the proceeds here goes towards the preservation of Dauis’ priceless church heritage.

  27. We were just in Bohol last weekend and had the opportunity to have refreshments under this marvelous tree. It truly is amazing! We were told the teak deck cost 5M each (there were 2 of them already). The whole area begs for a wedding reception!

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