Legends from the Philippines: “The story of the fruits named Lansones” (or lanzones)


The story of the fruits named Lansones:

Lansones actually derives from the word lason, which is Tagalog for “poison.” There was once a time when the pale yellow globes lived up to their sinister name.

The cream-colored clusters were said to have originated from Paete, Laguna. They were so poisonous that even the ants on its branches died on the spot. But all that changed when a kindly old man named Mang Selo paused to rest under a shady tree while passing through the thick Paete forest on his way home one morning. He looked about for some nuts and berries to eat, but to his dismay, only the notorious lansones trees were nearby.


Faint from hunger, Mang Selo fell asleep and dreamt of a beautiful angel who plucked a fruit from the lansones tree for him to eat. Sensing his reluctance, the heavenly being pinched the tiny fruit to draw out the poison. Mang Selo awakened to find fruit peelings on the ground next to him. His curiosity and hunger soon overcame his fear of the lansones, and he cautiously peeled one and bit into it. His gamble paid off, and he ended up relishing the fruit’s sweet, refreshing taste. In gratitude to the angel who had saved him from hunger, he spread the word that the lansones were no longer poisonous, and that the brown spots on their skin were the fingerprints of the benevolent spirit who pinched the poison away.


Lanzones Festival is held every third week of October and it is a four day grand celebration of the lanzones fruit.


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