Monday, May 2, 2011

The Antipolo Tipolos

We know where Antipolo is. But did you know that it was named after a tree? I mentioned the antipolo tree and its town namesake in two of my earlier blogs. Actually the name Antipolo was derived from a tipolo tree. Tipolo or pakak is Artocarpus blancoi, very much related to the langka, rimas and kamansi. There was supposed to be a lot of tipolo trees in the area and as any town with an abundance, it was chirstened An-tipolo. Eventually tipolo was also morphed into antipolo, the tree is now also called antipolo, this time after the town.

When I started my thesis I did not know what the tipolo looked like. Since Antipolo was named after it, I figured it was the best place where I could find one. And I was not disappointed as I found a few trees in the Antipolo Church compound. My first images of this tree came from specimens lining the perimeter walls of the famous landmark.

I cherished that first sighting as I thought that tipolo trees were rare elsewhere. But eventually towards the blatter part of my thesis, I realized that the endemic tipolo is still fortunate to be found in other parts of the archipelago. Though they are not literally abundant, their presence is still felt in a lot of islands from Ilocos to Palawan and Bohol. But I still look forward to seeing the Antipolo Church tipolos everytime I passed by there.

Last Holy Week I got to see the tipolo trees once again. The Antipolo church compound has changed since the last time I saw it, but the tipolo trees have remained the same as I remember them. But it also reminded me why these trees are still standing there.

That particular day they provided much needed shade to churchgoers, protection from the scorching heat - the very purpose trees do in a landscape. The particular church trees are there because they have become a vital part of the church grounds - the built environment. A majority of the wooded parts of Antipolo were already converted into subdivisions. The old tipolo trees which the old folks found and named the town after are probably long gone, cut to make way for houses and buildings. Hopefully like the church tipolos, new tipolos would be planted into the town landscape so that this important tree would not be missed here. Hope Antipolo would never have to run out of tipolos. May they find the real importance of these trees in their environment.


Andrea said...

We have a big tree in our property in Batangas, sometimes i want to cut it because it shades many plants behind it including some mango trees. However, somehow if feel 'hinayang' because it is already old, as old as my lolo and both he and my father already dead. We cannot also detop it because it is so tall, nobody will brave to climb it. You should see my post now of an electrocuted snake.

metscaper said...

That was interesting, what happened to the snake.

Plant Chaser said...

Very interesting! I did not know about the tree. I will remember to drop by and check out the church trees next time I am in the area.

@ Andrea: No! :-( Hinayang talaga. Maybe you can hire someone to trim it.

Jerome Morris said...

could anyone tell me, if this Bakak, or Antipolo tree would survive a desert climate . I live in Kennewick wa. and planted the Bakak in pots and they are coming up. I would eventually like to plant them in my yard for shade. They are a beautiful tree.Please respond!