Distraught Filipino Man Climbs Coconut Tree on January 3, Has Not Come Down Since


A man from the village of Cuyo, Palawan, in the Philippines, has been living in a tree for more than two weeks. Reports have not released his name as he has yet to seek medical or psychiatric treatments.

The man’s family, as well as local and village authorities, have attempted numerous times to get the man to climb down from the tree, but have so far been unsuccessful. His mother said that previous to his ascent he had been sick for a few days. After his illness he talked about certain people who, according to him, wanted him killed.

His mother also mentioned that the man was experiencing family problems, and problems with his children, but did not elaborate as to what those problems are. She and the other members of the man’s family are appealing to government officials for assistance to get the man down unharmed.

This incident is akin to that of a man in Agusan del Sur, northern Mindanao, whose story came out in October 2017. Gilbert Sanchez also climbed a coconut tree and did not come down for three years, surviving only through the efforts of his family, who sent him supplies and food so he would stay alive.

Mr. Sanchez had also been afraid that he that people where trying to take his life, and that’s why he climbed up the tree in the first place. Mr. Sanchez, whose wife had died in childbirth, was brought food daily by his mother, Winifreda Sanchez.

Local authorities tried to negotiate with Mr. Sanchez for him to come down, but these negotiations failed. The authorities later cut the tree down and rescued Mr. Sanchez with a backhoe. A local TV station aired the video of the rescue on their social media page, and this went viral in the Philippines. He went straight to the hospital and later was seen by a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with psychosis and recommended psychiatric treatment.

It is possible that the man in Palawan had seen the widely-shared video of Mr. Sanchez being rescued from the coconut tree, and this gave him the idea for his own ascent. It would be good if he is rescued in a shorter time than the three years that Mr. Sanchez stayed in the tree.