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The Legend of Bottle Gourd

Updated on June 13, 2013
Bottle gourds!
Bottle gourds! | Source

What is misua?

Misua also spelled miswa is a type of Chinese noodles made from wheat flour that is very thin. And because they are very thin, misua can be cook in less than two minutes. I just enjoy this noodles with either bottle gourd or sponge gourd.

This two vegetables, bottle gourd and sponge gourd are also two of the vegetables included in the Filipino folk song about a vegetable garden surrounding a nipa hut in the Filipino folk song Bahay-Kubo.

Upo or bottle gourd is one of the vegetables I like either with the Philippine soup-based dish called tinola or simply being thinly diced and sauteed with misua.

Since childhood, I had seen mother and father tending bottle gourd along with other vegetables that mom would sell on a market not far from home. That was back in the Philippines. There was a vacant piece of land near the river from where we live that they had decided to tend and grow vegetables from for livelihood. Along with bottle gourd, there would be eggplants, tomatoes, long beans, bittermelons, winged beans and cassava. To sell those to the local market, that would be less than 30 minutes of walking and maybe about 5 minutes when riding the jeepney. And with those vegetables, bottle gourd are one of buyers favorites.

And since this was about the bottle gourd, there's also a legend that states how did the bottle gourd started to be a climber.

Thee was once an elder man who loves planting all kinds of plants and flowers in his backyard. He was surprised one day as he makes a stroll to spot a young plant in his land. It doesn't look familiar to him at all. He thought it could be a kind of weed but he let it grow out of curiosity so he could take more look at the strange plant once it grows more.

And this plant, turns out to be the bottle gourd. And it creeps into the ground. The elder man saw this and built a trellis, then he gently pick up the bottle gourd and loosely tied it up on the bamboo trellis, guided its tendrils on the young bamboo split teaching the gourd to climb up.

The gourd wasn't used to it and doesn't like it, and so the bottle gourd called the wind one day as it feels it's breeze blowing gently.

"Could you help me wind? I don't want to be like this. I want to be free just like the other plants, just like those grasses and flowers. I want to be where I want to be and I don't like it when I was being taught where to climb to. I feel like a slave," said the gourd to the wind.

" I would really appreciate it if you could help me. If you could please blow harder to loosen this strings more so my tendrils can break free. I don't want to climb on that thing."

" That wasn't a good reason at all, but for your request, I will do you a favor. " And so the wind blew harder and it loosened the strings guiding the young gourd up on the trellis. Now the bottle gourd was back on the ground and looking forward for exploration, creeping on where it wants to creep.


But then a stray dog searching for food happened to came upon the yard of the elder man. It was scrabbling here and there, smelling something that was buried on the ground. Now the bottle gourd can't do anything to keep itself away from the dog as it step into its leaves and stems.

The following morning, the bottle gourd was in a bad shape when the elder man found it on the ground. He worriedly picked it up, fixed the gourd and gently guided it back into the trellis, tying the tendrils loosely for the second time. The bottle gourd recovered quicker, healthier than before and was thankful this time.

One day the wind blow hard, its breeze teasing and playing the gourd's leaves as it reaches the top of the trellis.

"Could you please not blow that hard?! I'm afraid that I might fall to the ground again if you do that," asked the bottle gourd.

The wind laughed as it can hardly believe what the gourd had just said. " You asked me to blow harder when you were young because you wanted to be on the ground. And now you don't want it?" said the wind in return.

"I'm sorry. I had a bad experienced which happens to be a lesson for me. I realized I shouldn't be where I wanted to be as there's always a place intended for everything."

Since then, the bottle gourd could always be seen preferring to climb into trellis rather than creeping on the ground. It would hold its tendrils into anything it could grab on and appreciates trellises where it could safely grow and live.

Have you eaten or tasted a bottle gourd?

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    • precy anza profile imageAUTHOR

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks alocsin! ^-^'

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What an interesting legend. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • precy anza profile imageAUTHOR

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      @ Drbj: I think you would be able to find the misua in a Chinese market, or any Oriental store. We usually get ours along with other type of noodles on a Philippine store here on San Diego. :) Thanks for dropping by and commenting, sure the bottle gourd learned that being a hard headed vege at a young age would do no good. ^-^'

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      The bottle gourd learned a valuable lesson in that clever story, precy. Those thin Chinese noodles, misua, are tempting. Do you think I would find them in the U.S. in a Chinese market? Just wonderin'.

    • precy anza profile imageAUTHOR

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      @ Angusfanani: Then that makes two of us :) I love reading legends. I could spend a day reading a book about legends along with comics when I was a kid :)

    • agusfanani profile image


      6 years ago from Indonesia

      What an interesting story, I like reading stories about legends very much.

    • precy anza profile imageAUTHOR

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Aviannovice! ^-^'

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Another great legend. Thanks, precy anza, for the wonderful story.


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