Finding luck with 12 round fruits

Romeo T. Limpangog (The Freeman) – December 30, 2019 – 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — If there’s one thing always present on the dining table of Flores family of Barangay Labangon, Cebu City on New Year’s eve, it is 12 types of round fruit.

Despite the modern times, the tradition of preparing 12 round fruits for media noche or the meal eaten midnight of New Year, January 1, has lingered among many Filipino families.

“Dugay na namo na nga tradition. Sukad pa sa akong mga apohan hangtud karon. Di gyud na mawa ang dose ka prutas (It’s a long-standing tradition that dates back to our grandparents. Those fruits are a common sight during New Year),” said Cynthia Flores, 27.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the markets are awash with fruits and fruit buyers these days.

Vendors are also taking advantage of the seasonal spike in demand by selling these fruits as much a thrice their regular prices.

The FREEMAN roved some parts of Carbon Public Market yesterday and chanced upon Francisca Ruiz, 57, from Barangay Pagsabungan, Mandaue City who did not mind the heat and the crowd just to get the best bargain for the fruits.

Ruiz said she could have bought the fruits in Mandaue City public market but she chose Carbon because of the much cheaper prices.

The downside, however, is that Carbon vendors usually sell in bulk, not by piece.

“Maningkamot nalang gyud og pangita. Mosakripisyo og lakaw aron makabubarato (It takes determination to find stalls that sell in retail. I just have to sacrifice to get cheaper deals),” said Ruiz.

Ruiz said that the prices have considerably increased, citing the price of apples, which soared to as much as P25 from P10 apiece during usual days.

Another is tambis that used to sell at P2 each but now costs three for P10.

Chicos now sell at P5 each, water melon at P35 per kilo, grapes at P230 a kilo, mangoes at P130 per kilo, and guavas at P60 a kilo.

The fruits are relatively cheaper when bought from distributors whose stalls are located in the interior portions of Carbon compared to those selling in the market’s peripheries.

Just like Flores, Ruiz also believes in the possible good fortune the preparation of round fruits during New Year would usher in for her family all year round.

But more than believing, she also couples it with strong faith and prayer that her family would receive more blessings and carry through all the challenges posed by the unfolding new year. (FREEMAN)



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