Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alamat ng Ampalaya

This is a legend or alamat in Filipino, about how and why the ampalaya got it's bubbly, ugly texture and bitter taste. Alamat ng Ampalaya teaches the children that envy and greed which is not a good attitude can bring untoward consequences.

This Filipino children's story was written by Augie Rivera, a talented Filipino author who has won many awards in the field of children's literature. Below are some awards that he received as an outstanding writer.

1995 - Best Fiction for Children - National Writers Workshop of the University of the Philippines.

1995 - International Board of Books for Young People -
Outstanding Book for Young People with Disability

1999 - Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature,Third Prize, Best Children's Story

Other children's book written by Augie Rivera

Ang Bata sa Basket (The Baby in the Basket)


Ang Gintong Habihan (The Golden Loom, Filipino Stories)

Kids Deserve a Smoke-Free World

Sa Ilalim ng Dagat (Under the Sea)

Batang Historyador (The Talkative Child)

Alamat ng Sibuyas (The Legend of the Onion)

The Ampalaya Plant (Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd)

(Momordica Charantia)

bitter gourd plant
photo credit: TANAKA Juuyoh

cross section of an ampalaya
photo credit: cbertel

delicious looking bitter melon recipe
photo credit : Hulagway

cooked ampalaya
photo credit : jetalone

Aside from it's unglamorous and rocky appearance, ampalaya has also a bitter taste. Other vegetables are nice looking and good tasting like the tomato but ampalaya seems to have all the downsides. It's characteristics however was finely exploited by the author of the Legend of the Bitter Gourd, to teach children some qualities that are not worth bringing into our lives.

People find ways to counteract the bitter taste of ampalaya by cooking it together with other recipes. Mixing the chopped ampalaya with eggs can turn its taste delightful to the taste buds and at the same time reaping the many health benefits of ampalaya.

Ampalaya is also processed into a tea which are good for fighting against diabetes.