Posts Tagged ‘Balimbing’


Dictates of Heart or Reason?

January 22, 2011

This blogsite lists “balimbing” as one of its top searches. I have noted that not a week would pass without a search on it. I find it as interesting as the fruit itself. I have never ever thought that a not-so-easily available fruit these days could be that popular to many. Over a year ago in December 2009, I wrote about it because of its flowers with beauty that I never really realized would be that marvelous until I shot their photos in extreme close ups. I was ecstatic to see the beauty of ordinarily disregarded balimbing flowers [To read my earlier posts, click balimbing-ano-yun and balimbing-wonders].

Anyway, I take this as a follow up to what I wrote then, as the balimbing tree I wrote about is no more. I had it cut for fear that one day it would destroy the foundation of our house. Its roots had grown bigger and stronger that it actually took two days before those very roots were cut and its trunk be finally “buried.” I was saddened because being in a crowded city [Pasay], I loved the shade it provided us  and the freshness it gave to our environment. Trees are rare in our place [warehouses owned by Taiwanese traders unfortunately started to mushroom near us because of our proximity to Baclaran], and the balimbing’s presence gave me unexplainable feeling of goodness and happiness in my heart. Besides, it became sort of a landmark to the people living in the neighborhood. For ex., Q: “San nakatira si XXX? A: Doon paglagpas/malapit/katabi/kaharap ng puno ng balimbing.” Above all, I liked to eat its fruit when left to ripen on the tree. The “barkadas” [of my neighbors, not mine] who habitually gathered to chat and gossip under it felt just as bad. But I was left with no option since it had also become a nuisance to the trucks passing through our narrow, calesa road, it being “strategically” on the roadside. Now, I miss the bees that come often to the tree…the butterflies at times…its protective shade…its flowers and fruits…the feeling of freshness…unexplainable joy.

In life, we have to make sometimes decisions that may be contrary to the deepest dictates of our hearts. We have to. The only thing is that we ought to study first the consequences of that decision…In my case, the dictates of reason empowered the dictates of my heart.

Now, flowering plants on pots replaced the tree. More sunlight bathe the area. There are less mosquitoes I guess because the area used to be damp. You can easily spot thief going up the roof, and being cemented, it is also easier to clean. The noisy barkadas now rarely gather. A noise buffer without the tree??? Hmmm!!! Counting these positive consequences, I never regretted the decision.

Decision-making is required in trivial or serious matters. But if one can practice judicious actions in small matters such as the above, big decisions yet to do may not appear that BIG anymore. When problems are there, you just face and find the solution the best way you can. If you can’t do it alone, ask for help from others. If you cannot solve the problem with others, the surest way is just to pass the burden to GOD!!! You can be sure that the problem will lighten, and dissolve in God’s time. Faith in God won’t fail anyone of us. I am not religious but my faith in Him is solid-rock.



December 4, 2009

Balimbing, n. (bot.) Averrhoa carambola: tree that bears fruit with five longitudinal, angular lobes [Source: Diksyunaryo Tesauro Pilipino-Ingles (1972) by Jose Villa Panganiban].

Balimbing is a fruit not so many find exciting and good for their palate to eat. It is like a five-pointed star when horizontally cut. If perfect in symmety, it will show the same “look” or the same “face” when turned around five-ways. The reason why it became a colloquial word to mean a “turn-coat” or “doble cara.” A person described as balimbing acts depending on the person he is with. Concrete examples of balimbings abound in the arena of politics. Politicians who can stay in power whosoever sits in the highest post have the quality of changing his principles and character as demanded by the one in power. Their past bickerings, word wars, at mala palengkeng pagbabangayan may turn into sweet relationship to serve their political ambitions.

Balimbing leaves

We have a balimbing tree—ligaw sa totoo lang— which grew tall and now bears flowers and fruits. The children in the neighborhood are simply not interested in them, probably because balimbing is unkown to them, as they are sold nowhere—neither in the smallest talipapa, nor in the biggest supermarkets. But I have observed that those who got used to its taste have started to search for ripe ones to pick and eat. The fruit tastes bitter when raw, sour while ripening and sweeter when ripe. It is juicy and crispy when newly picked.

The most wonderful thing that happened was when I shot extreme close shots of balimbing flowers. Although as bunch of flowers, I already find them beautiful because of their colors, I still took the tiny flowers for granted…Until I have seen the shots that I took in my computer. I was delighted, felt real joy and praised God for His power to give beauty to the taken-for-granted creation. My joy was overflowing so much so that I have been compelled to veer away from my advocacines to write this so as to share with you what I am talking about through the photos that I shot and truly marveled at.

It is extremely rare to see butterflies in the city. Seeing one enjoying the bunch of beautiful and tiny “balimbing” flowers is a once-in-a blue moon scenario.

For more photos, click the following link balimbing-wonders.