“…but when you live in this deeper level of communion or love or grace or whatever you want to call it, there is a heaviness to that – ‘Is the rest of the world seeing what I’m seeing? Why are they so caught up in the trivialities, and why are they making each other suffer so much?’ …[my] most wonderful moments were also my saddest. Your very fact of enjoying grace and love carries with it a dark side that ‘I didn’t deserve to know this…I didn’t earn this’. This taught me…that opposites do not contradict one another. In fact, they complement and deepen one another”.
- From the “On Being” podcast by Krista Tippet in an interview with Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM Cap.
The word “Mango” comes from the Dravidian-Tamil maanguy, “highest fruit” and is native to South Asia where it then spread to East Asia around 500 BC. The yellow heart-shaped stone fruit held deep significance to its birthplace’s cultural and spiritual practices and was even adopted by Chairman Mao of China as a symbol for his “love of the people”. As much as we Filipinos love it, calling it our unofficial national fruit and making a pack of the dried variety a must for any would-be OFW’s survival kit when leaving the Motherland, it didn’t arrive on our shores until the 15th century. From then, it only took another 100 years to reach Africa and Latin America via colonial invasion where its sweetness is still enjoyed today.
India today still holds the Mango crown, producing almost half of all the world’s mango. I grew up unaware of the variety and was always told the islands of the Philippines, especially those of Guimaras where my family once vacationed to, held the best and sweetest Mangos. I suppose there’s some truth to that seeing as the Carabao Mango of the Philippines (from which the more popular Ataulfo Mango of Mexico descended from) was crowned the sweetest in the world in the Guinness Book of Records ’95 and was purportedly served in the White House and Buckingham Palace.
My “best”, and simultaneously most stomach-churning, memory of the Carabao Mango comes back in bits and pieces, fading like the green leather couch in my guakong’s sala, cracked with age and sticky with mid-morning humidity. I was binge watching cartoons as was customary for any young, lazy child like me who wasn’t athletically endowed enough to play street basketball outside.Read More