Philippine Legend: The Story of the Guava

Learn the story behind how the guava got its crown.
Learn the story behind how the guava got its crown. | Source

Philippine culture is rich in folklore. One tale I enjoyed during my childhood was the legend of the guava fruit, which came with a moral lesson. A guava tree or fruit is called bayabas in Tagalog, which is the Filipino language.

The story goes like this:

A long time ago, there was a king who ruled a rich, prosperous island. He had all the things a king could ever ask for: the power, the wealth, and all the delicious foods.The king's name was King Barabas.

The king was fat and rude, and his castle was starting to become filthy. He would spend most of his time sitting and eating with his bare hands. As he ate, he dripped food on the floor and smiled mockingly at the people around him.

People from the kingdom would approach with requests for his help, but he would always refuse. As he neglected his kingdom, people started to complain and starve.

After a time, a hunched old beggar woman showed up at the castle while the king was eating. The old lady asked for food as she was starving.

"Go away! I don't have anything to give to you. Can't you see I'm eating?" said the king.

"Please, my king, " said the old woman. "I'm asking for anything, anything you could give me as I am so hungry. Even a little piece of bread or fruit would do."

"Get out at once! You disgust me," the king belittled the old beggar.

The old woman stood up straight, casting aside her stooped posture. "I've heard much about you and how your kingdom is suffering." The tone of her voice had changed. It was no longer the voice of a weak, old woman. "I asked for help, and you shoved me away. You have a lot for yourself, but when I only asked for a little food, you belittled me. You are selfish. No one loves you and no one will remember you when you are gone."

And the beggar disappeared.

After a few more days, the king slowly weakened and became sick. No one knew what was wrong with him. He weakened and weakened and lost much weight. He looked older than his age. Soon after that, the king died. As unfortunate and unexpected as it was, no one cried and nobody showed up at the king's burial. He died alone.

And where the king was buried, his people noticed a strange plant growing, a plant they had never seen before. The plant soon grew into a tree, which bore rounded fruits that turned yellowish when ripe.

They also noticed that the fruit seemed to have a crown, which reminded them of their selfish, arrogant king. The flesh of the fruit tasted a bit sour, just like the sour personality of the king towards them.

The people learned to eat the fruit, which helped them overcome their hunger. And because the tree was from the grave of their King Barabas and it has crown just like their king, they named the tree after him: barabas, which in time they called bayabas.


Do you enjoy reading legends?

  • Yes I do.
  • Not really. When a legend is interesting I read it, If not, I don't
  • No.
  • A big yes. In fact, I had a collection of legends I had read.
See results without voting

Comments 48 comments

My name 2 days ago

I wrote this in my own words and I read it to my class they all loved it

Ram 8 days ago

So.. cool!

johnson 2 weeks ago

Panget ng estorya

cane 3 weeks ago

very nice legend

Amber777 5 weeks ago

nice nice nice legend

HOKAGE 6 weeks ago

How to donload the story

ja 7 weeks ago

what is problem

dyosa 2 months ago

who is the author

jane orge 2 months ago

who's the author of this?

asdasd 2 months ago


Asha Allen 2 months ago

not in joy beacons

BananaLover_02 2 months ago

Two thumbs up! Great for Memorization

ysrael von 2 months ago

what is the lesson?

yna kizzer :) .. 2 months ago

Whats the moral lesson!!!

So boring!!!!!

But thats good...

tricia 2 months ago

what is the character,plot,conflict resolution,setting and theme

gerelyn 2 months ago

nice story!!!

Sam(Rare321) 2 months ago


crisolo 2 months ago

who is the author of this story

kimberly may oquiana 2 months ago

who wrote this story?

Hhenbdn 3 months ago

What is plot

fuckme04 3 months ago

who is the real author in the story

Jenny 13 months ago

What is the moral lesson

Juel 14 months ago

Who is the real author of this story?

cj 14 months ago

The moral lesson is .........think of it. .....

But the legend is good....

Angel 15 months ago

what is the moral lessons?? and can you give the plot or summary of that Legend??

kenneth 15 months ago

it is very interesting legend i was very Impressed :)

roller girl 15 months ago

wheres the moral lessons

Krysta belle 15 months ago

Cute ng story but what is the moral lesson?

amirah 15 months ago

Verry nice story,,

Ilike this legend

Paula Andrea De Pedro 16 months ago

I learn many moral values in this legend

rhodora 21 months ago

do unto others what you want them to do unto you;...

respect and you will be respected.

like in all other situations of life....

MA. DANIELA G. JALEA 23 months ago

Because of the King's selfishness the poor old and beggared woman damned him

jester 2 years ago

What is the moral lesson?

jester 2 years ago

This so short but i enjoy reading this legend.... :-) :-) B-)

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precy anza 3 years ago from San Diego Author

Hi Cris :) Tank you for stopping by and enjoying the legend!

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precy anza 3 years ago from San Diego Author

Glad you enjoyed the guava legend Tastiger04 :) I enjoy almost ripe guava fruit with vinegar and some salt, specially those big guava variety, as big as an apple actually. I think I was in early teen when I had one of those big ones. :)

tastiger04 profile image

tastiger04 3 years ago

This is great! I LOVE's the fruit I miss the most from living in Asia. I never heard this legend behind it, thanks for a fun read! Voted up and awesome! :)

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precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego Author

Yes it is. This fruit is nutritious and is common around which is good as this makes it easy for people to find. I grew up around guava trees and the leaves are really useful too in cooking and medicine. :)

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precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego Author

Guavas are good fruits. I used to pick guava fruits along with tamarind when I was a kid. I love it when almost ripe.

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precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego Author

Thank you. This is one of the legend I had enjoyed reading in my grade school days.

precy anza profile image

precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego Author

Glad you liked the legend. I had spent quite some time eating guavas when I was a kid. I like it on either vinegar or salt :)

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precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego Author

Oh yeah! You just made me travel back in time. I and everyone else in class seems to enjoy such classroom activities instead of lectures and recitations. ^-^'

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precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego Author

Thanks. I love reading stories, legends, and even comic books when I was a kid. And this is one of those legend I can still remember :)

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Interesting legend. I will remember this Philippine legend every time I'm eating guava in Nepal.

charangel.............../// 5 years ago

cute ng story.................................................

happypuppy profile image

happypuppy 5 years ago

Funny legend. I love guavas and now I know an interesting story. Thanks for sharing!

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Awww, your hub reminded me of my elementary days,really! Back then, we would listen to our teacher who'd gamely tell us the legends of kasuy (cashew), lanzones, pinya (pineapple), etc. Good to know the legend of guava even if it's been so many years since elem :-D

Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Nice bit of local folklore. As with many such stories it is great to see parallels and archetypes reminding us of so many from different lands. Thanks for sharing!

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