WATCH: Man who lives atop coconut tree for 3 years finally convinced to go down

A 47-year-old man who was identified as Gilbert Sanchez, resident of Poblacion La Paz in Agusan del Sur, had been living atop a 60-foot-high coconut tree for three long years. He was finally convinced to go down with the concerted efforts of the local government and was sent immediately to the hospital to be evaluated.

Man who lives atop coconut tree for 3 years finally convinced to go down
Screengrab from TV Patrol Caraga Facebook video.
Out of scraps of old fabric and small pieces of wood, Gilbert made a makeshift home atop the tree. His home has no walls and he relies on the coconut leaves to give him enough shade. Aside from the few clothes Gilbert hung, he doesn’t have any other belongings.

Family doesn’t let go of Gilbert

His mother, Wenefred Sanchez shares that her motivation to get up everyday is the thought of his son. And everyday, she would walk few miles leading to his son’s “residence.” There, she would call upon Gilbert to throw down the long rope where she would place the packed food and cigarettes she prepared for him.

Rain or shine, Gilbert has weathered the storms to stay away from everyone. According to Gilbert’s sister, Wilma, he started acting strange when he was hit with a gun in the head during an altercation back in 2014.

The community tries to rescue him

Micheal Lim, Barangay Chairman of Poblacion La Paz said that they had a hard time rescuing Gilbert because he refused and had an ax. They ultimately sought the assistance of search and rescue team of the provincial government.

With the efforts of the community and the local community, Gilbert finally left his makeshift home for three years. He didn’t say anything to any of his rescuers but agreed to go down from the coconut tree. Gilbert was greeted by his family who terribly misses him. He was immediately sent to La Paz District Hospital to be properly evaluated. He was then turned over to the police although the reason for it is still not clear.

The local government had recommended that Gilbert be seen by a psychiatrist for proper treatment.

World Mental Health Day

According to the World Health Organization, one out of four persons in the world will experience a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives.

Every year, people all over the world celebrate October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. It aims to help increase awareness on the mental health and to create noise on the support available to everyone.

-- Sally, The Summit Express

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