Picking Mangoes from the Neighbor’s Yard


Summer means mangoes. Yaya spotted some growing on the tree outside out window (I didn’t even know there *was* a mango tree outside our window!) and decided to pick some the way they do in the province – with a long stick.

I don’t know how to translate “sungkit” to English. It’s not illegal, but you don’t ask the owners for permission either. I guess it’s an unwritten rule that whatever fruit isn’t in your yard is free game for others.

Yaya laid out a net (in this case, her blanket) in between two clothesline poles to catch the falling fruit, but most hit the ground anyway.

The mangoes came just in time. Yaya had just finished making a batch of her delicious bagoong (shrimp paste), which pairs very well with green Indian mangoes.

Needless to say, the person who enjoyed the mangoes the most is Yaya. After all, they are the fruits of her labor.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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