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The Tamarind Lake (Lawa ng Sampaloc): A Filipino Legend

Gen is a literature teacher from the Philippines. She teaches the literature of the world.

The Tamarind Lake Can Be Found in San Pablo, Laguna

The Tamarind Lake Can Be Found in San Pablo, Laguna

The Story

Long ago, before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, there was a very wealthy couple who lived in a city presently known as San Pablo in Laguna. They have a farm with cows, and fruit-bearing and flower-bearing trees. In the middle of those trees is the tamarind tree.

The fruits of that tamarind tree is rumored to be very tasty and sweet, so many people buy their tamarinds and that is where the couple found their wealth.

They were known for their wealth and greed, of course! No one can ask them for anything without cash in return.

Many neighbors didn't like this couple, but the couple just ignore them thinking that they did no harm to anyone, and their dislike of them was just pure envy.

They lived like this all the time. As their neighbors avoid them more, they just shrugged their shoulders because they're too proud of their wealth.

One day, there was an old man who stopped by the fence of their beautiful garden. That time, the couple was busy picking up tamarind fruits to sell. After greeting the couple, the old man who was wearing dirty clothes, a very long beard and hair, begged for food.

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"Have pity on me, a beggar," said the old man, "kindly give me a little food, I haven't eaten for two days."

As the couple saw the elderly, they were disgusted by him. The wife angrily replied, "Forgive us, we have a big house, but the truth is we are poor and short of food."

The old man who was shaking with hunger, looked up and begged again.

"You are known for being fortunate", he said sadly. "Have mercy on me for I will die of hunger. Give me a piece of tamarind. It has come to our town that your tamarinds are very sweet and delicious."

"Don't you believe us?" annoyed, the wife replied. "Get out of here for you are bothering us!" she shouted.

"It is also known in our town that you are the greediest that's why your neighbors avoid you. Since you are so wicked, fate will cruelly punish you so others will not imitate your deeds." added the old man.

The couple blushed from what they heard. They were left speechless and dumbfounded as the face of the old man shines in front of them. They wanted to shout but they can't.

"Now, all of your fortunes will vanish, together with your lives!" As he uttered those words, he hit the tamarind tree with his cane.

Shortly, the tamarind was surrounded with water, and slowly shrunk underneath. The entire farm, together with their house slowly vanished as the couple drowned. That town became a lake and is now called the Tamarind Lake.

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