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.


© 1999 Gabriela Francisco
Search for other Stuff by Gabriela Francisco
Gabriela Francisco lives in Metro Manila, Philippines. She is 12 years old. She says:

-----
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.
-----

You can write to Gabriela at gabitwin@yahoo.com


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