This beautiful white flower belongs to my neighbor, the Dasal family. Dasal is also a filipino word which means to pray. What a great name! The patriarch of the Dasal family loves to take care of plants, dogs and his big family. We fondly call him Manong, a filipino visayan (filipinos from the south) term of endearment for an older brother or man. In the Philippines, people easily connect to everyone by using words like ate or manang (older sister) or kuya or manong (older brother). I am called by different names like ate lui, tita lui (aunt), teacher lui, and my favorite: T. Lui even by strangers! It simply will not do to just call anybody by their names. There must be a semblance of a connection somewhere . . . . just like the plants we tend in our neighborhood.
When you need some plants, you are referred to manong or ate and you get free vegetables like malunggay, talong (eggplants), kangkong, sitaw or even ask for some fruits like chicos and avocados, our trees whose fruits we also share with the community.
Now my flower today is a flower of the taheebo plant. Manong said the taheebo leaves make an excellent tea drink for energy. I believe him. Manong is now in his 70s and he looks healthy and ten years younger! I asked Manong if I can have some leaves to try and he smiled in approval. Plants and people. So connected. Like the community that we should be. . . . Go and visit my flower community at FlowersToday and be connected to another world!