7,100 Philippine Islands in 365 days
Shades of “Jack and the Beanstalk” flooded the cautionary grey matter in my head. Don’t believe him, there’s no such thing as “Magic Fruit” they yelled in chorus.
“But, but, but …” I reasoned with myself as people who have serious mental issues are wont to have, “there’s an official sign there and everything. How can it not be true?”
How could I resist, I wanted to buy this magical fruit even if I didn’t know anything about the magic that it yielded. And at a mere price of PhP 250.00 why wouldn’t I take a chance? I mean, what if it could give me three wishes? Or maybe it could transport me from one Philippine Island to another with a mere fluttering of the eyes and twitch of the nose and nod of the head? Or what if it could grow to the heavens and I can climb up and meet a giant?
Don’t be coy and pretend you’re all Mr. or Ms. Logical, you know this plant with a sign that says MAGIC FRUIT is absolutely intriguing! But hey, I’m a seasoned entrepreneur who wants the best bargain so I put on a poker face even as I was twitching my nose, nodding my head and making all sorts of whispered wishes as I caressed the plant like I was burnishing a brass lamp.
The steward of the orchard finally took pity on me and my twitches and asked me if I wanted to know what it was. Yep, yep, was my too quick of an answer. Too eager for someone trying to play it cool. I had lost my bargaining power already, I could feel the energy draining away even as I followed him to the tree that the magic plant would become.
“Here, taste it,” he handed me the red bullet shaped fruit.
“Ehrm, but it’s dirty,” I said in my head, but my scrunched up face and unwilling eyes betrayed my thoughts.
“You can wash it here,” he pointed to this stream of water running out of a plastic rubber hose into a palangana.
“Ehrm, but where’s the water from,” again, I only said this in my head but apparently the magic fruit had given the orchard keeper incredible mind-reading powers.
“Don’t worry, that water is from Nawasa,” he assuaged my fears.
I had no choice, how could I spurn his kindness? He was going to let me taste the magic fruit for free. And he could read my mind. I had to make my actions not match up with my thoughts to retain any sort of mystery and mastery over myself.
Finally, I unclenched my fist, washed the fruit and started to take nibbles.
It was weird tasting- as all magic fruit tend to be.
Then he handed me a calamansi and asked me to drink from it. It has already been cut open by what could have only been the cleanest knife washed by Nawasa water running from a rubber hose in the garden.
“Ok,” I eeped in my head.
He coaxed me some more, again, amazingly hearing the silent screams in my head, “No way!”
Apparently, the fruit also had persuasive powers and I had succumbed to it. The magic, I was convinced, is that if you had the mother magic fruit you could control all baby magic fruit eaters, especially the greedy ones like me.
I was dead.
I knew it even as I refused in my head but my hand brought the calamansi to my mouth and squirted every last drop of its sourness onto my delicate palate.
“WOW,” he saw my face lit up.
“Yes, that’s the magic fruit. It makes all things sour taste sweet,” he smiled. There have been exposes on TV about it.
Apparently, I am clueless about what goes on in the real world.
So I just went to buy my herbs.