The Pandemic Plants
My mother is a certified plantita. Her green thumb grows a variety of plants outside our house, which I can only recognize and name probably a tenth of. No one actually pays attention to them except for my mother.
Then the pandemic hit. You'd think all the postapocalyptic fictions would prepare us for something like a viral outbreak, but everybody was caught unaware, especially here in Manila where everyday lives were changed. Suddenly, every commodity you can think of went scarce. Canned goods rose in prices, disinfectants seemingly evaporated on the store shelves, and medicines were so non-existent that they were sometimes in pre-order.
My mother then introduced us to a plethora of medicinal plants that she has on her garden. There was damong maria for cough, ashitaba for high blood, and that violet flower that they turn into tea.
Guava tree on the pathway leading to our house.
Of course there's the infamous guava leaves that every Filipino boy can attest for its anti-inflamatory efficacy.You can boil it and use as a disinfectant to swelling or open wounds. You can also drink it as tea.
Mango Tree on our backyard
Finally, there's a fruit-bearing mango tree on our backyard which was our grandfather's legacy. He brought it here as a sapling back in the 90s. He's long gone now but his grandkids still enjoy the mangoes.
"Kahit ang bigas ay bulok at basa, maisasaing din sa panahong wala."
I interpret this Filipino proverb as realizing the value of things in times of need, just like how we took for granted my mother's medicinal plants as mere decorations. We often complain on what's lacking in our lives that we fail to appreciate the blessings that we already have.
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