Philippine Folklore: Why Does The Bamboo Bends?

The tallest grass, the bamboo.
The tallest grass, the bamboo. | Source

Bamboos are sturdy, and because of that, this has been an important part of living and a good source of livelihood not only in the Philippines but to other parts of the world too. A lot of things can be made out of bamboo, that includes the Philippine nipa hut, use for firewood, flip flops, furniture and even the musical instrument, flute, can be made from bamboo.

We are so used of calling the bamboo a "tree," but as a matter of fact, the bamboo isn't a tree, but is a grass. And the bamboo was the tallest grass there is.

And you know what? There was something interesting about this tallest grass. According to this, the bamboo doesn't bend when the wind blows. Not until it was being punished.

The bamboo was very different before the way it is now. A long time ago, the tallest grass we had known was boastful and was so proud of itself. The bamboo was proud of its sleek trunks. It's trunks was so fresh, and brightly green against the sun rays every morning.

But the bamboo wasn't content. It was envious and will always get mad or irritated when it doesn't get the attention or appreciation that it thinks it deserve. It doesn't like it when the other trees has accomplished something and are recognized by others. The bamboo hates this. The bamboo doesn't like being embarrass either, or else it would think of a way to retaliate.

There was a time when a group of teens passed by on the forest. As they look around, they saw all the trees in there. They saw the towering bamboo, the shades was nice but it doesn't have fruits. So they went away from the bamboo as they saw the santol and guava tree. They we're so happy to pick some fruits. They we're hungry and this would be delicious.

After picking up some santol and guava fruits, they laid it on the grassy ground and went to other fruit bearing trees. These are the macopa tree (java apple ) and caimito tree (star apple .) The java apple was so red and sweet and so is the star apple, what they had picked we're all purplish in color and just ripe.

Then they all sat up on the grassy ground, shared and enjoyed all the ripe fruits they got.


And the wind gave its strongest blow, causing all the fruits of the trees to fall on the ground.
And the wind gave its strongest blow, causing all the fruits of the trees to fall on the ground. | Source

Oh! The bamboo was so jealous. "If I only have fruits," it thought to itself. The bamboo feels useless when it comes to fruits as it doesn't even have any fruits for these teens.

The bamboo was so envious and mad that it called its friend, the wind. "My friend, I need your help. If you can blow your strongest that would make me happy," it says. And so the wind gave its strongest blow. Poor fruit bearing trees, the fruits of the java apple, the star apple, santol and guava all had fallen. This made the bamboo so happy.

On another occasion, there were two sweethearts who came across the forest. The guy looked around, searching for flowers nearby. The guy had spotted the flowerless bamboo, and because it was flowerless, they went away from the bamboo and looked for another spot. They were happy finding the gardenias and sampaguitas on bloom nearby. Seeing the beautiful flowers, the guy picked some flowers and offered it to his sweetheart. The sweet scent of both flowers made the day of the beautiful maiden.

Seeing this made the bamboo jealous and mad again. It doesn't have any flowers at all for the guy to offer to his girl. And because the bamboo was so mad, it called another friend to help, and this time the rain.

The rain cannot say no to its friend, the bamboo. And so, that day the rain poured heavily. So hard that the stems and flowers of sampaguita and gardenia got soaking wet, which later on had fallen and carried away by the rain. This made the bamboo happy and can't help but smile secretly so the other trees and plants won't noticed it.

One hot Summer day, two elder couple passed by and decided to take a rest for a while on their trip. For them to rest, the elder man search for any plants with big leaves that they can use as shelter from the sun. They feel so lucky finding the banaba leaves. It is really a good find for both of them to use.

After the elderly couple left, the bamboo, as always, got jealous. He didn't got noticed again as the leaves it got was narrow. It wasn't the leaves the couple was looking for to help them get through the hot day. Frowning about the situation, the bamboo called its friend, the egret birds.

What did the birds did for the jealous bamboo? The poor banaba plant, it got bald as all its leaves was all gone! The bamboo was just so glad about this.

Unknown to the bamboo, what he's been doing got to the attention of the Creator, on how jealous and proud it has been of itself, wanting no other trees to surpass that. And as a punishment, the Creator made the bamboo bend down every time the wind blows. This teaches the tallest grass to be humble, be thankful, and appreciate what it got as being envious can do no good.

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