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The Miracle of Hyacinth Beans (Bataw)

Updated on April 27, 2020
Greenlily profile image

I saw some hyacinth beans in a vacant lot one morning. This sight inspired me to write the wondrous role this veggie played in my life.

The purplish Bataw pods
The purplish Bataw pods

Health and Medicinal Benefits of Bataw

Do you know this vine vegetable called Bataw? This is widely known as hyacinth beans in English, but in the Philippines we call this Bataw. We commonly see this vine vegetable growing well in many yards in the provinces. They are mostly creeping over fences, or improvised wooden arbor

Bataw has lots of health and medicinal benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants, also of Vitamin C, calcium, iron and other minerals. It is also anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic . The beans can be taken to lower fever and heal stomach problems. When eaten on a regular basis it will help regulate your cholesterol level. The bean extract is believed to be an antidote for snake bite and has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties

Bataw in the Morning, Bataw in the Evening

There was a time in my life when my whole family was eating nothing but bataw dish every meal. I was barely seven years old then and not even aware of the wonderful health and medicinal benefits of this vine vegetable. In fact, my whole family was eating nothing but Bataw and rice every meal. This was not because of the health benefits but because we had no choice. We were so poor that we had no means to buy meat, fish or any other dishes.

My father was a Driver but he met an accident that made him jobless for sometime. With no regular income to sustain us, we had to practically live through the very fruitful Bataw plant in our yard. It was like this was our favorite dish but the truth was we had no choice but eat Bataw because it was all my parents could afford.

We have kindhearted Uncle and Aunt who was helping us carry through. And my prudent mother on her part did every possible way to save on food so he could save money for other expenses at home. Everyday my mother would gather Bataw pods from our yard. Our Bataw plant that was twining and creeping over the bamboo roof of our artesian well did not stop producing. The more we gather the more it brought out new pods. In my innocent mind, I did not know yet that God was using this Bataw plant to save my whole family from hunger. It was only when I grew old enough that I came to realize this was God's miracle.

Bataw Provided Good Nutrition to My Poor Family

Day after day, God was supplying us with pods of Bataw so that my mother could cook them to feed a brood of 7. She would sauté the pods in fresh shrimp sauce and the smell of her cooking would made us crave for it. We were always happy eating this same kind of dish day after day. We never complained because this dish was like getting even much tastier each day.

We were poor but we were never sick and it is only now that I realized that it was the Bataw dish that kept us healthy. God used this lowly vegetable to sustain us day by day until my father finally found a new job.

Now that I'm grown up, have my own family, and living a more comfortable life in the city, I still could not forget the good taste of my mother’s sautéed Bataw. I could never forget those days. Indeed, God's grace is truly sufficient. The fact that our Bataw plant did not run out of pods even if we were picking them every day was some kind of miracle only those who know and trust God will fully understand.

Are you experiencing hard days? Just trust God for He will see you through. The Bible in Luke 12:24 says: "Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?"

May you also see the miracle of God in your lives. God bless you and thank you for reading.


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    • Greenlily profile imageAUTHOR


      7 months ago from Philippines

      JMC, I'm so glad to hear your wonderful anecdote on Bataw and even happier to note that you have not stopped planting this vegetable. Indeed your story is worth sharing to your children. God bless you and your whole family.

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      We also had quite a few Bataw plants in our back garden growing up, which just like you, sustained our family with some food and cash.

      On weekends, my Mother and I will harvest Bataw pods, put in “plastic of yelo” and I would sell those around our neighbourhood for 1 Peso a plastic. I would take home 20-25Pesos each time then.

      Now I am in my 40’s, a Nurse in UK and a keen Vegetable gardener, I grow bataw every single year and never get tired of sharing my Bataw story with my children.

    • Greenlily profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Alex Dizon. I hope you have successfully planted a seed again.

    • Greenlily profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Philippines

      This is one of the many wonderful and unforgettable stories of my childhood.

    • profile image

      Alex Dizon 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the great story about your family and bataw. I had a very healthy bataw plant in our backyard 8 years ago. I just realized how beneficial is this lowly plant. Am looking for a seed to plant again.


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