A Myth on the Coconut Tree

Considered by some as the second national tree, the coconut tree is as versatile and useful as the Narra tree. From roots to leaves, the coconut is valuable. But how did it come into being? The coconut tree has lots of myths about it, and here is one.

According to this myth, once there was a kingdom in Mindanao known as Bangonansa Pulangui (“kingdom by the river”), which was ruled by a just and kind sultan. The myth says the kingdom was known for Putri Timbang-Namat, the sultan’s only daughter. She was a most beautiful and charming woman. Her name meant “lady grace.”

Putri’s admirers came from the seven seas, but she did not care for any of them. According to the myth, the kind sultan was touched by their persistence. One day, he tried to ask his daughter to choose from among them the man she would marry, the myth adds.

”I need a son to succeed me when I die,” the father said, “and I wish that before I die, I would see you married,” he added. The myth says the king thought of a contest for the princess’ hand. A tournament was held to determine who among the suitors was worthy of the princess’ love, the myth says.

In the palace garden, meanwhile, the myth says the princess met a young and handsome gardener, Wata-Mama. The myth says Wata-Mama decided to reveal his past to her. According to the myth he was of royal descent but had been lost when he was three. His father was killed by his greedy uncle. The myth says that the princess said, “We love each other, that’s all that matters. ”

The myth says a general was very jealous of Wata. So, that night, in the dark corner of the palace, he and his aides waited for the young lovers. The myth says the general suddenly emerged, struck Wata-Mama and beheaded him. The princess, fearless, picked up Wata’s head.

After Wata’s head was buried, the myth says, early one morning, while the princess was watching the spot, she saw a tiny plant growing from the ground. Suddenly, the myth says, it grew into a tree and reached the height of the window where the princess was sitting at. It produced a round fruit the size of a man’s head.

Love’s passion and jealousy’s wretchedness can suddenly change lives disastrously. This myth on the coconut teaches that love is best kept going on its natural course.

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