The Legend Of The Coconut Tree

A long time ago in the mountains of Cristobal there lived a very kindhearted mother. She loved her children tenderly and worked very hard to feed them and to provide them with everything they need. But because she had ten children too many, she really had a difficult time taking care of them.

One day, she got sick and suddenly just died. Her poor children all wept deeply lamenting the untimely demise of their mother. "Who will feed us now?" cried the eldest son.

"Who will take care of us now?" asked the second eldest child.

"Who will wash our clothes for us now on?" asked the third eldest child.

While they were crying, there came to them a strange lady whom they have never seen before. She was very beautiful and soft-spoken.

"Don't cry little children," she said to comfort the children. "Your mother won't abandon you. Bury her right away. Then guard over her grave. Soon you will see a strange tree that will suddenly grow there. The tree will be your source of food for your daily needs." Having said, she suddenly disappeared that left the children wondering whether it was only just a dream.

Nevertheless, the ten kids obeyed what the white lady instructed them to do. After burying their mother, they kept close guard over her grave all day and all night. A few days later, they woke up to find a strange young tree growing beside the grave. It grew fast and tall before their very eyes. Shortly, the tree bore fruits much to the delight of the children.

"I'll climb up the tree," volunteered the eldest child who started to climb all the way up to the top of the tree as his brothers and sisters watched him from below with mouths open, fearing he might miss a step and fall.

Fortunately, he got up safely. When within reach of the fruits, he shouted back at them, "Get out of the way! I'll throw down some of the fruits. Open up the fruits to see what's inside them."

A number of the fruits fell. The second child got hold of one and at once punched a hole, then another one, with his knife, and lo!, a sweet smelling juice came out of it.

"Hey! There's juice coming out of it," said the third child who took a sip of the juice, "It's very sweet. Try tasting it," he said as he offered it to his younger brother.

"It sure tastes very sweet," said the fourth child who was so thirsty he drank it all.

Knowing it was edible, the eldest son fell a number more of the fruits.

Later on, they broke open the rest of fruits and found it had white delicious meat inside. Hungry as they were, they opened more of the fruits and ate and drank from it. Curious, They planted some of the coconut fruits and found to their surprise that not only they each produced shoots and took root on the ground and became whole tree bearing fruits by the dozens on their own. Soon it was growing everywhere. Thus they became know as the first coconuts or "niyog" as the people in the region had it called.

Today, we continue to enjoy the juice that comes out of the coconut, as well as, its white meat which is eaten as a favorite dessert in many Filipino homes.