Katipunan tree ‘center’ of Nova Freedom Day rites

June 11, 2022 People's Tonight 100 views

AN ancient “duhat” (Java plum) tree, renamed in 1980 as the Katipunan tree, will be the center of the 124th Independence Day celebration in Barangay Kaligayahan, Novaliches today, June 12.

The event will start with flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at 7:00 a.m. and will carry the theme “Pagsulong sa Hamon ng Panibagong Bukas” (Rise towards the challenges of a new beginning).

The tree is located at the compound of the 75-year-old Metro Manila College (MMC), formerly the Novaliches Academy, the pioneer secondary and tertiary educational institution in the town now shared by neighbors Quezon City and Caloocan City.

The celebration will be under the joint sponsorship of the MMC management and the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree-Saint Maximilian Ma. Kolbe Church in the said village.

Novaliches civic-religious leader Mario Malacad, past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus-Immaculate Conception Parish in neighboring Bgy. San Agustin said the event would mark the return of festivities after the 2020 and 2021 suspensions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The heritage tree was renamed “Katipunan” to preserve the memory of the revolutionary society led by Andres Bonifacio and that of revolutionary heroine Melchora Aquino, also known as “Tandang Sora”.

When it was officially marked in April 1980 by the former National Historical Institute (NHI), the old tree measured six meters in diameter at the base and about 50 feet in height.

The shade generated by its outspread branches used to be about 30 feet in diameter.

Due to its old age, its height is now reduced to about 25 feet, considering the gradual loss of many of its branches which had not regrown. The shade it generates also became smaller.

The NHI marker, now 42 years old, was signed by former NHI chair Esteban de Ocampo, the late MMC founder and president Dr. Mamerto Miranda, and then-Tree Preservation Foundation of the Philippines Inc. president Nicolas Lansingan. Philippine News Agency