The Legend of the Lanzones

Once upon a time, in a town called Laguna, there were many trees whose fruits were round and pale. They looked delicious but nobody dared eat its fruits for they were rumored to be poisonous. The people were even afraid of coming near the tree out of fear.

This proved to be true when one day a stranger came to their town. The old and wearied traveler didn’t know that it was poisonous so he sat down under the tree to rest. He was hungry so he picked a fruit and ate it.

One of the townsfolk saw this and tried to stop the old man from eating it but he was too late. The old man had already eaten it and was already shaking and convulsing while his mouth foamed white. This made the townsfolk more afraid of the dreaded tree.

A few seasons have passed and a dreadful drought plagued the area. The crops died and the only trees that didn’t was the much dreaded poisonous one. The people prayed deeply for the drought to pass so that they could start planting and harvesting again since their food stores were already running out.

One day, in a very hot summer afternoon, one mystical woman appeared and knocked at the doors of the townspeople. She was asking for alms and food to eat. A little boy came near the old woman and gave her something to eat. The boy also apologized because it was all that he could give and that it was his food. The boy said that if he had more, he would have given more to the lady.

The lady smiled and thanked the young boy as she accepted his food. She looked intently at the young boy while she ate and then asked him why they think that there’s no food around when they’re surrounded by many fruit bearing trees. The boy then recounted that the fruits of those trees were poisonous and cannot be eaten. The woman just smiled and shook her head.

To the boy’s surprise, the woman got a fruit from the tree and pressed it so hard that the insides of the fruit went out. Before the boy could even stop the woman, she already put the fruit in her mouth. The boy waited and was amazed that nothing happened to the woman. Instead, the woman herself offered him a fruit from the tree where she got it.

Reluctantly, the boy ate it and was pleasantly surprised to know that it was sweet and delicious. He then gleefully went to tell the other townspeople of his discovery. When they came back, the mystical woman was nowhere to be found.

They believed that the mystical woman took off the poison from the fruit. They were very grateful for the miracle. From then on, they called it “lansones”.

Note: The word lansones may have been derived from the word “lason” a Filipino word for poison.

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