Farmville is currently part of thousands of Filipinos in Facebook (not so much a social networking site but a gaming site!). It is close to our hearts, perhaps because of the agricultural nature of our country. But amidst the eclectic mix of bananas and sugar maples coexisting with pink roses and pineapples in adjacent plots, we Filipinos sense something missing. For example, I miss the carabaos of my youth, the haystacks (where our aunts bid us beware of snakes hiding) where we play, the river where we used to swim in, and the country dogs running after every man, cart and tractor that comes down the gravel road. What sheep we see in the provinces do not have silky, fluffy wool, but ragged and dirty (do shepherds need apply shampoo?).
Most of all, where are the veggies? A true Filipino grew up on Bahay Kubo ang would dearly love to have vegetables from the countryland. For those who wonder what vegetables and crops I am blabbering about here, here is a short list:
1. ampalaya/bitter gourd/amargoso = the wonder drug, reviled for its taste but eaten for its anti-diabetes effect.
2. talong/eggplant = well, the French have their ratatouille so I think they will recognize this too.
3. okra = the slimy vegetable my mother will never eat
4. malunggay = the superstar of Filipino nutritionists
5. garlic = great for a halloween edition!
6. saluyot = the slimy leaf
7. labong = bamboo shoots.
8. sesame = this is the linga in bahay kubo.