On Mangoes

What story has entranced us so much as the Philippine mango? I feel like anecdotes from many people can be told, and if permitted to begin telling, I would love to share one of those that hold dear to me.

I adore mangoes. Fresh, canary yellow, plump orbs of fruit, elongated with a sexy curve that guides your ring and pinky fingers to nestle a ripe Philippine mango snugly at the base of your palm. I remember the smell of peak season carabao mangoes erupting from opaque green bags, soft plastic just lightly crinkling as you shift pieces around, the sweet essence of a mango picked at its height bursting forth. For a moment, it made the very real scene of five people with their noses positioned tightly together around a bag feel like an afternoon spent in a backyard bukid (farm) with a creek gushing nearby, in the Philippine countryside, on a May summer day where everything else in the world can fall apart except the mango trees.

The trouble is, I don’t think I ever spent an afternoon in the Philippine countryside enjoying fruit in a backyard farm, because like hundreds of thousands of city-reared children, I spent a lot of my childhood indoors, reading and hanging about, surrounded by people of varying ages, wandering into the kitchen to eat whenever I felt bored.

Boredom fuels a lot. It fuels your desire to dream about what you want to be as an adult, and in the intervening years from being a surly teenager to a somehow-functioning twenty-something, you spend time thinking about what your priorities are.

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