Gintong Aral

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

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.