Odd banana tree spotted in Maguindanao

By Ayesha Gayao, ABS-CBN Cotabato

Posted at May 11 2011 11:42 AM | Updated as of May 12 2011 03:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A 7-foot-tall banana stem full of fruits from top to bottom has been spotted in Barangay Margues, municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

With the heavy banana stem, the banana plant, which has caught the attention of passersby, bended on its side.

Datu Guiamad Dicolano, owner of the tree, was said to have asked for the seedling of the banana plant from his neighbor, Kanis Kagi.

Datu Dicolano planted the seedling and the result was an extraordinary banana plant.

But, according to Bai Saima Sendad, daughter of Datu Dicolano, it wasn’t the only banana plant in their neighborhood that bore a long stem of bananas.

“Ganun din ‘yung puno na nanay talaga nitong puno namin. ‘Yung puno na pagma-may-ari ni Kanis, mahaba din ang bunga. Mas mahaba pa dito. Pero wala na ngayon kasi pinutol na nila,” Sendad said.

Sendad added that the seedling allegedly came from Malaysia while some said it was from Africa.

“Sabi nila, sa Malaysia pa daw kinuha ‘yung pinagmulan niyang puno. Sabi din ng iba, sa Africa daw,” she said.

The stem stood 7-foot tall as estimated by the owner, but they intend to let it grow taller until the fruits reach the ground.

The stem has 18 bunches and more than 2,000 pieces of banana fruits.

The Dicolano family believes that the stem will stop growing only if the “heart” or inflorescence touches the ground.

“Sabi ng tatay ko, hihinto lang daw ito sa paghaba ‘pag umabot na sa lupa ‘yung puso niya. Dapat din daw ‘pag kakainin, unahin ‘yung sa taas. Kasi para maglaki pa ‘yung mga bunga sa baba,” Sendad said.

The family has already tasted its fruits and, according to Sendad, the taste is sweet but not out of the ordinary.

“Parang table banana lang din siya,” Sendad said.

In the meantime, the family adores the banana tree for having been the center of attention. Passersby stop to take pictures of the banana plant.