Adi's Monggo Tree

Any person who went to school here in the Philippines must have planted monggo at one time or the other. It's just something that a student here has to do or experience. For one, most kitchens have the beans in stock and for another, the plant grows pretty fast and easy, allowing our teachers to demonstrate whatever principle it is they wanted to teach us. Not that we remembered...

Anyway, my son Adi has planted monggo thrice in his more than 5 years of life. Twice, I think the plant died, either from lack of water or too much water. Perhaps a little bit too much sunshine too. Well, on his third try (and these were all school-related activities), the plant finally managed to grow a little bigger.

Adi was so excited. He would water it every day and one time, he said he was doing this so that his monggo would grow into a big tree.

Herein lies the beauty of being a child. There are no limitations. Even a monggo plant can grow into a big tree. Herein lies too the unwelcome role of an adult - to break the news to the kid that no matter how good the monggo plant is looked after, it will always be a plant and never a tree.

Still, there is much to be learned from the monggo plant. As parents, we probably would wish our kids would have some monggo-plant characteristics. Easy to grow. Low maintenance too. Then again, everything has to be just right. Too much or too little of anything will kill it. And as the well-known Rosanna Roces once said in an interview: "Dapat para kang munggo. Kahit saan ka itapon, tutubo ka." ("You should be like a monggo. Wherever life finds you, you should take root and grow.")

So what, if you never grow into a big tree?

[By Angelica Viloria | Thursday, May 9, 2002]

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