Sand and Pebbles
by, April 21st, 2016 at 11:19 PM (484 Views)
Sand and Pebbles 1
, 3 Weeks Ago
Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew… Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food…
There is a children’s folksong so popular entitled Bahay kubo, meaning nipa hut, but the lyrics actually names vegetables planted around the hut! (Try this Bahay Kubo, the illustrated version / Philippine Medicinal Plants / StuartXchange)
In a way this blog is like that, if it is a blog. Entitled Pebbles, it only paves the way to naming flora passed to and from a beach trip. My first attempt at a blog wasn’t really one-- as it was only some excerpts from another book=(!
I sat on the right side of the car, and so viewed mostly those on my side of the trip. One of the first things one notices is, aside from many kids on the roadsides because it is holiday/vacation time, the rice fields, green and gold, in this largely agricultural country (below, left). Then there are ferns esp in the hilly roadside zigzags. From the smaller ferns so “ordinary” I did not know to learn their names long ago, there were giant ferns taller than us. Some of the more familiar to me are the Boston fern, the vegetable fern, called pakô (below, third), as we sometimes had that for salads when we were young, and the maidenhair fern (below, right).
Rice fields, ferns
Grasses, from the smallest people step on unnoticed, to the largest bamboo around mountainsides. The cogon is always there, vigorously growing in hillsides and among coconuts. And there were a few people planting sugar cane… and I mean a few too, like one or five plants in a yard, various kinds of bamboos, one with yellow stems, others mostly green… There was citronella and lemon grass which I cannot distinguish just looking at. I have to smell the grasses to identify, but both are pleasantly fragrant.
Cogon and bamboo
Citronella and lemon grass
There were a few houses with some cacti incl. the Aloe plants, Euphorbia, the medicinal Pitaya or dragon fruit, being more popular in the fruit markets nowadays.
Euphorbia flowers, Pitaya
The palm trees, esp. the coconut, are the most conspicuous you pass by when travelling, from the cities to the countryside. You see thousands of trees tall and short, including the smaller golden coconuts. Some must be decades old, so tall and scraggly, but still bearing fruit. Back home, I am led to read on palms, most of which that I know of are the stately royal palms that line a nearby university and a church, and smaller varieties at home which bore red fruits. There were foxtails, red palms prized for their pretty red trunks, the sugar palm (kaong) we once had the chance to eat fresh from a visit to distant relatives. This latter is often mixed with tropical fruit salads. There is theanahaw, our national leaf, betel nut palm, the graceful areca palm, and lady palm with its elegant foliage and slender stems.
Coconut, golden coconut, royal palm, sugar palm
There are also countless trees, from fruit trees to unidentified fruiting ornamentals…? There is the avocado starting to flower, atis (sweetsop), balimbing or star fruit, native guavas and guapples,guyabano (soursop), jackfruits and breadfruits, kaimito (star apple), lanzones, macopa with the pink bell-like fruit, moringa, brown chico (sapodilla). There are mangoes, our national fruit, but with different varieties incl. the small green Indian mangoes wc we seldom allow to ripen because they are so mild there is very little sour taste with the unripe mangoes (you know they are hardly sprayed too—because many of those who have the tree do not need to, for there is always excess fruit that just falls when they cannot consume or sell all of it). Local fruit from Zambales are said to be some of the sweetest, so different from the pretty apple mangoes I often see sold in other countries, but lacking in taste and flavor. There are papayas, incl. male papayas with their showy flowers but not bearing fruit, pomelo, hairy/furry rambutan, santol, tiesa (canistel), and sour sampaloc (tamarind) often used in sinigang or made into candy.
Indian mangoes, Philippine mangoes, Brazilian mangoes (?)
Male and female papaya tree
Here are some links I saved a while ago, if interested in a recipe for sour santol with gabi leaves, another on the magnificient moringa (kamunggay or malunggay locally), and one salad with banana heart.
bucaio: Laing sa Santol
cook my garden: An Ode to the Magnificent Moringa | Pasta in Kamunggay Pesto
Vietnamese Banana Heart and Blossoms Salad
This is unfinished… but I guess will put here now, or it never will be finished=). Note: Looks like images aren't saved either, so I have to figure out how to get them in sometime.