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.