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Folklore on the Sugarcane Plant

Folklore on the Sugarcane Plant

The sugarcane tree is somewhat similar to a bamboo tree. And among interesting Philippine folklores on the sugarcane is on why the sugarcane became an outcast from among light colored bamboo trees, only to be honored later as an important medicinal and sweetening plant.

One day clusters of bamboos were happily swaying their tall slender bodies as the wind gently blew. Not far away stood a short lonely bamboo. It seemed to have stopped growing. The other bamboos reached to the skies while this loner, as this folklore on the sugarcane points out, just stood about more than 5 feet fall. Moreover, it found itself standing alone in the middle of the plain while the rest stood proudly in groups sometimes on hilly terrain, as if atop pedestals.

Folks from the nearby town often went to the clusters to cut those that have beautifully matured and were made into useful things that people always appreciated. This folklore on the sugarcane goes on to say that when so utilized the bamboos took pride in their importance, especially how people put value in them. People always saw beauty, strength, and usefulness from among the trees in the clusters but never even glanced at the lone bamboo tree.

The lone bamboo finally made a wish one day—it wished to be made as important and also put to good use, as any other bamboo tree around. All of a sudden dark clouds covered the sky and a sharp lightning struck and turned it into a dark bamboo. Now, it’s not only short. Aside from being dark its wood became too soft to be anything as useful as a bamboo. The more the bamboo trees mocked at the lone tree, not aware that this was the start of a beautiful folklore on the sugarcane.

One day a man stood near the lone bamboo and etched his name on its bark. He noticed a sweet scent emitting from the etching. It was so sweet that he was tempted to sample the liquid that oozed out from it. It was sweet and refreshing. Finally he cut a good size and started munching. At last, the folklore on the sugarcane ended the way the lone bamboo had wished—to be useful and important. And since then it had become a vital plant grown in fields.

Today, we know that sugarcanes are different from bamboos. But this folklore on the sugarcane teaches us a lesson: everything has a purpose, even seemingly inconsequential things.

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