A Philippine Legend: The Legend of The Mango by Gabriela Francisco
A Philippine Legend: The Legend of The Mango
There was once a beautiful young woman named Perla, which means "Pearl." Her mother was Bae Rusing, who was a very nice and sweet woman, just like her daughter. However, Perla's father was very much unlike her and Bae Rusing. His name was Mang Ado, and he was a very cruel man. He was arrogant and selfish and narrow-minded. He wanted Perla to marry a rich, young man just like himself, whose name was Pedro.
Unknown to Mang Ado, Perla was already in love with a handsome and kind young farmer named Jose. He was good, and strong and honorable. The two lovers had been engaged secretly, and Perla was horrified when her father told her that she and Pedro would get married the following day.
Perla hated Pedro because he was a boor, and was as cruel and as arrogant as her good-for-nothing father. She was so upset, that she locked herself in her room and did not speak with anyone that day. She didn't eat, she didn't sleep, she didn't drink. If she couldn't marry Jose, she'd rather die.
However, Mang Ado was determined that Perla would marry Pedro. When he heard of his daughter's strange behavior, he just said, "She's probably too excited."
Jose heard about the wedding of Perla and Pedro a few hours before the wedding. He was broken-hearted, and killed himself out of despair.
When Perla heard of her beloved's death, she was torn. Her grief was such that she wanted to die. She wrote a letter hastily, tucked it under her pillow, and went out of the house through her open window.
Pedro arrived at Perla's house a few minutes later. He and Mang Ado and the guests drank wine and made merry. When asked why Perla wasn't with them, Mang Ado replied, "Oh, she's still in her room, getting dressed."
But then a frantic Bae Rusing came rushing to the guests. "Perla's gone!" she cried. "Oh, Perla's gone!"
Mang Ado paled. "What do you mean, Perla's gone?" he said. "She's not in her room, and she's nowhere in the house!" Bae Rusing explained.
Mang Ado swore under his breath.
"There's more," Bae Rusing continued. "I found THIS in her room, tucked under her pillow." And Bae Rusing gave her husband a piece of paper. It was a letter written in Perla's handwriting. It was addressed to Mang Ado.
This is what the letter said:
Dear Father, I cannot marry Pedro because I do not love him. I love Jose, the farmer, and I have just received word that he died. I do not wish to live any longer. I want to join Jose in Heaven, where we will live together happily until you and mother will join us. Please forgive me. Your loving daughter, Perla.
A search was made, and the surrounding woods were searched by the men.
They found Perla beside a stream, embracing the dead body of her lover, Jose. She had stabbed herself in her breast with a dagger.
A mournful Mang Ado went back into the house, and told his wife that their daughter was dead.
That night, Mang Ado had a dream. In it, he saw Perla's ghost. The ghost said, "Father, I forgive you for what you have done. I forgive you. Go to our garden when you wake up. In it, you will find a tree bearing fruit. The fruit will be heart-shaped, and golden. Eat it, and tell Mother to eat it too. It is my gift to you, and it will be named after you. I forgive you, Father. Farewell."
When Mang Ado woke up, he rushed to the garden to see if his dream was true. A tree had grown in the middle of the night, and it's fruit was heart-shaped and golden. With trembling hands, Mang Ado picked up a fruit and brought it inside the house.
He showed the fruit to Bae Rusing. When Bae Rusing held the fruit, it seemed to grow warm and to beat, just like Perla's heart. Both parents started to cry.
The fruit was soooooo good to eat, and very nutritious too. It was called the Mango after Mang Ado. Whenever Filipino parents eat the mango, they are reminded never to break their children's hearts.
----- This story is a re-telling of a Philippine legend about the mango. The names of the characters are Philippine names. I wanted to share this legend about the mango with the world because Philippine legends are really nice. The mango is a golden fruit. It is heart-shaped and very delicious. It is the national fruit of the Philippines. -----