The “lansium domesticum” invasion-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Saturday, October 12, 2013
THEY’RE here. You cannot help but notice their abundance. Some big, some small. You can see them on sidewalks, or carted on modified three-wheeled bamboo vendo carts. Most of the time, they deck the big, native baskets or fill the wooden crates of makeshift stalls or even the much–improved fruit stands. Big, black ants are made to crawl over them to entice prospective buyers of their sweetness. They’re priced ranging from P100.00 a kilo for the sweet ones and P60.00 for the bigger variety. And though they may be labeled “zamboanga” or “bisaya”, the elliptical, oval or round “lansium domesticum” or the popularly known “lanzones” have invaded our fruit stands, nooks or eating tables this October.
Our very own native version similar to grapes, lanzones or langsat or buahluku is endemic in our country, and also the neighboring Asia. As such, even in the far Apayao in the North or Camiguin in the South, lanzones abound. Probably it’s the climate, or the soil, or the fact that lanzones’ specie belongs to the mahogany family that it cooler mountain temperature and grows abundantly in our midst.
Of course, this sweet juicy fruit has its own several versions of myths haunting its existence. From the communal story of a plant growth out of a mound to a fruit-bearing tree remembrance of a faithful wife,Karilag, to her loving farmer-husband, Kasim, to another popular genre of once being a poisonous fruit made edible by a helpful fairy in time of famine, lanzones also bears with it the story of the gratitude of a childless couple who got their wish of a child from the lanzones fairy.
Moreover, the Camiguin version of tourists who lose their way in the island and found refuge and survival in the abundance of the lanzones fruits. Thus, we may not be able to see the fingerprints on the fruit’s skin of the wonderful fairy who made lanzones edible, but we could readily attest the taste Karilag’s sweetness (with sucrose, fructose and glucose, too) in its succulent, thick, and clear-white aril. Moreover, the different lanzones festivals celebrated all over the country only attest our peoples’ gratitude for an abundant harvest (and thank God that there was no earthquake which may have disturbed the peace of the lanzones’ roots which could have affected its fruitions).
For us locals, Barangay Concepcion in Talisay City is one haven of the sweetest “bisaya” or native lanzones. Average height lanzones trees are filled with clusters of small potato- or grape-like fruits. So, for most first-timers to see such wondrous sight, the awe and joy for photo opportunities (not one shot is enough) and the chance to touch or even pick and eat the fruits in a bunch are but things to behold. (But mind you, vendors would advise that you get the ones separated from the bunch; with the tar gone, these brown-skinned lanzones taste sweeter than the ones attached to the small branch).
Don’t miss the chance, then. Meet the “lansium domesticum” invasion head on. With a minimal entrance fee, join the throng of visitors who will make this year’s Brgy. Concepcion’s Maradula Festival more exciting. Slated this Sunday, October 13, 2013, plenty of marang, durian, rambutan and lanzones (now you get the idea why maradula; the first two letters of the fruit’s names make the acronym of the festival), will make your weekend more fruit-y and exciting. With many maradula planters and growers participating, you can really feast your eyes on these fruits. Moreover, there in the festival, you can say that “lantium domesticum” will really make your eyes, hands, and stomach full. See you there? Happy weekend#
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 12, 2013.