I’m not a tree hugger, but I have hugged trees before. Though I meant that literally, I also figuratively embrace trees. Ever since I was younger (as in, a wee lil’ fellow), I’ve had an interest in nature. I guess you could say my childhood somewhat reflected a simplified version of Darwin. Later when I became interested in cultures, plus being socially outcast, I had an interest in things that were out of the norm. An example would be my interest in Asian cultures, as I grew up in the Western world.
Sometime a few years ago, I also fell in love with the beach. Still, today, the southern coast of South Carolina, in my mind, will always remain a place that I love to death. There, besides the southern live oaks with Spanish moss on them, are cabbage palmettos and other tropical plants. Those became an icon of feeling happy in my mind, and it fused with my other interests that I mentioned in the paragraph before this one.
Being in a city here in the Philippines is cool, but I grew up living in the country. But every now and then, on rare occasions, I get to see groups of plants as I ride out from the inner-city. It’s really exciting! How I wish I could go out in those areas and just observe those plants in admiration. Here’s a few trees that I commonly see here:
The Papaya Tree. The first time I saw these, I was confused at what they were. I thought they might have been some kind of Filipino fruit tree. My thoughts were far from thinking it was papaya though. I love how it’s branch goes up, and then the leaves sprawl out at the top.
The Banana Tree. It wasn’t my first time seeing these, but it’s nice to get to see ’em every now and then. It’s interesting out the bananas grow off of the trees in a stack, and then a giant diamond figure (the blossom) emerges at the bottom as if it were a dragon’s tail. The blossom can be made into a salad (I’ve eaten it before). These tree’s leaves are commonly used on plates, as well as wrapped around food to cook.
The Coconut Tree, also known as the buko tree. These are what you see in pictures of island paradises. They differ a lot from the palms I’ve seen back home that covered the shore. Not only do these grow out on the beach sand, but also everywhere else in tropical islands. Here, it’s common to find dent marks in the trunk. Why? For people to climb of course. Young coconut, aka ‘buko’, is a popular thing to eat here.
The Traveler’s Palm. Personally, this is my most favorite tree I have seen. The first time I saw it was in a video of a local park in here in Davao City, one I watched back in Feb. 2009, before I came. I was curious of what it was. When I finally came here, I got to see it with my own eyes. I don’t see it producing any fruit, but to me it has an awesome appearance. The leaves reminds me of the banana tree’s leaves. Oh yeah, it ain’t a true palm by the way, nor is it in the banana tree family (but it is in the same order).
Here are some other trees you might see; ones bearing common Philippines fruit:
A jackfruit (aka ‘langka’) tree & durian tree
A mangosteen tree & rambutan tree