Gintong Aral


The Legend Of The Sugarcane

Once upon a time there livedn old datu
(=chieftain). One day, he prayed to Bathala (=God)
saying, "I am getting older and weaker every day. As to
my life here on earth, I find it increasingly boring to live
on. Please, allow me to ascend to heaven earlier!"
Suddenly a voice said, "But your time on earth is not yet
over."

The datu felt a little disappointed at this and left
the palace, then went alone for a walk around the forest.
Suddenly an old man came up to him. Knowing the
grievance in his heart, the old man tried to cheer him up
by saying, "It might surprise you to know, my Lord, that
we can already find heaven on earth!" With that remark,
he led the datu to a place where there grew a kind of
plant that has a long tall body, with long leaves that
looks very much like bamboo." He went on to say, "This
is a heavenly plant, try tasting its stem, it's_ incredibly
sweet." The datu started to chew its stem and found
indeed to be very sweet. He really felt as if, he's gone up
to heaven. He also learned from the old man that the tall
shoots are called tubo.

The datu thanked the old man and took a sample
of the purple-colored stalks home with him. From that
time on, he ordered his people to plant more of these
tubo, which we know it today as sugarcane which is still
chewed or squeezed into cold drinks, , or refined into
brown and white sugar.