The Upo Plant

Once upon a time a wild specie of the upo grew in the garden of Tandang Teban. When the old man saw the growing plant, he carefully entwined the stem around a small bamboo post to make a trellis for the plant.

The plant did not like the plan of the old man. It wanted to grow freely like any other plant. So the plant talked to the wind.

"My friend, look at me." the plant pleaded. "I am a mere slave of Mang Teban. I need your help. I want to grow freely like the grasses and plants around me. Look at the banana, the rose, the sampaguita, and the other plants in this yard. They are free. So my friend, I beg you to blow hard and loose the tie around my body till it breaks."

"Your request is not just," replied the wind, "but if that is what you like, I will do what you please." So the wind blew hard. It blew hard some more, thus breaking the knot around the body of the upo.

"Thank you," said the upo gratefully. The vine then crawled freely on the ground.

Just then a dog that was looking for a piece of bone came along. The dog stepped heavily on the small vines and was able to find the bone. In taking the bone away, the dog also carried a part of the vine to a far distance. The poor plant not only became short, every part of it was damagede.

When Tandang Teban visited his upo plant the next morning, he saw the poor state of the plant. At once he tied the plant to a thin bamboo post. The plant drew a deep sigh of relief.

After a few days, Mang Teban arranged a trellis for the upo to sling its vines on. The plant blossomed. The leaves gave shade while the flowers and fruits gave joy to those who saw them.

One time the wind blew hard and played with the leaves of the upo. The plant requested the wind to blow softly so that the plant would not fall down.

"When you were still a small plant, you asked me to set you free from the bamboo post so you may crawl freely on the ground," the wind replied. "Now you request me to spare you. You sound funny indeed."

"I had an unforgettable expefrience?," said the upo. "I know now that all creatures have their own ways of living on earth. Experience is the best teacher.