A Childhood in the Philippines: Eating Mangoes

My cousins and I loved climbing mango trees in our grandmother’s resthouse in the province. There were indian mangoes, pico mangoes and carabao mangoes. The adults would bring platitos of bagoong alimasag, barrio fiesta bagoong, or salt. Each person would pick which sansawan they liked the best. For my cousins and I, dipping the mangoes in a bowl of toyo was our thing.

Sometimes, when we’re bored, we liked smearing the toyo on our arms, and we would howl in agony pretending that the toyo was blood. We tricked Tito Mark, and he was like Anong nangyari sa inyo? We would lick the “blood” and say Mmmm sarap! He’d look confused, and we’d say Toyo lang kasi yun. We’d run away laughing while our Tito just stood there, still confused.

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