The Myth of the Guava Fruit

The guava fruit was said to be a poisonous fruit before, according to a Philippine myth on it. So how did it end up being so nutritious and delicious? There’s only one way to find out—read.

According to this myth, the guava fruit used to be a forbidden fruit. A long time ago, in a fruit orchard somewhere in the countryside, there lived a boy from the family of the Abas, the family who owned the fruit orchard. The boy Abas was very friendly and kind, says this myth, and soon the people in the place started calling him “Bay” (pronounced “buy”), the term used in the locality for super friendly and kind people. So as time went by, the myth says, the boy was known as Bay Abas.

Bay Abas was especially kind to the needy. So the myth says that every needy folk who came by to ask for fruit from their orchard he gave to liberally. Various fruit-bearing trees were in their orchard, and each one with ripe fruits he picked from and gave to anyone who asked. As he did, the myth purports that the orchard noticeably bore more fruits than any orchard in the locality. And more new trees also mysteriously appeared in their orchard, the myth adds.

But the myth says there was one tree in their orchard that bore inedible fruits. It was a tree of hard wood with branches spreading wide and open instead if straight up. Other fruit trees, the myth notes, grew straight up first and bore fruits high up there where they’re fruits were hard to pick. But this tree bore fruits even at low levels. But nobody dared, says this myth.

One day an old woman came by the orchard and asked Bay Abas some fruits to eat. Unfortunately, says the myth, not a tree had fruit that time, save the forbidden tree. Nonchalantly, he whispered a wish, or something like a prayer and, according to this myth, he thought of sampling the fruit to find out once and for all. HIs wish, says the myth, reached the ears of the forest gods. The fruit quickly turned edible just before he took his first bite. And so from that time on, the myth says the fruit became edible and named “Bayabas.”

This Philippine myth about the guava or “bayabas” tree compares the multi-nutritious guava fruit with the multi-faceted kindness of a boy named Bay Abas.

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