Camachile trees sweep across the Northern landscape, especially along the Tarlac highway. They are known for their edible seeds protected inside a knuckled skin protection similar to the tamarind fruit. Seldom do people climb the thorny body of the tree, so people merely pick up the camachile seeds that fall on the ground. How did the camachile tree begin to have thorny trunks and branches? This myth gives us an idea.
A long time ago, the myth says that the Camachile tree had no thorns when it first appeared on the Earth. It was popular for its beautiful and colorful flowers that were the envy of other trees in the forest. It literally dazzled passersby of its rich array of multi-colored flowers that almost covered the entire tree—it was like a blooming flower with blooming flowers. According to the myth, the tree also radiated with the dominance of the red flowers. Thus, it was sometimes referred to as a bed of red and red orange flowers.
The myth further says that because of its beautiful flowers, children and old alike would climb it and pick the flowers. But gradually, without being aware of it, the myth says that the people were slowly destroying the tree by the indiscriminate climbing and picking. Lots of times, branches were broken off and a lot of young leaves and flowers were also destroyed just to get fully blooming flowers at the top of the tree, the myth adds.
Then, fed up by the people’s carelessness, the myth says the camachile tree finally voiced out its helpless situation to the heavens. It wished to have something on its trunks and branches to protect itself from the careless and thoughtless people who seemed hellbent on destroying the whole tree. The myth adds, the flowers were only thrown away later, anyway.
The god of the forest took pity and thought of something he could give the tree for protection. The camachile tree, according to the myth, was given thorns which grew all over its body, twigs and branches. The camachile tree also lost its flowering ability to make sure no one will ever dare climb it again. But, still being kind to its admirers, the myth says that the camachile opted to have edible seeds, in place of its flowers, to give to the people.
This Philippine myth on the camachile tree serves as a warning that nature should never be abused.