Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Wonder Noni in Quiapo

I was in Quiapo doing a little shopping when I chanced upon a medicinal plant. You might think that since it is Quiapo, there is nothing strange about seeing medicinal plants near the historic church where mystics and local gypsies frequent. After all herbal medicines abound carts scattered around the church periphery and in Plaza Miranda, from mere cough, 'pilay' and 'lamig' remedies to the famed 'pamparegla' and 'pito-pito'. But this plant is not on the carts being peddled by the gypsy manangs. It is the once popular noni fruit of the juice fame, its wonder parts still intact on a tree. 2 compacted specimens are flanking a makeshift parking lot near the Quezon Bridge.

The Noni is Morinda citrifolia, called by locals as bangkoro. The tree is common in Asian and Pacific islands. In the Philippines, I have seen it growing in coastal areas of Bohol, Batangas and Bataan, probably present in a lot more of the coastal provinces. It is said that all parts of the noni is medicinal but recently the fruit was tapped as a dietary supplement for general well-being, hence the juice.

So again what is strange about seeing the noni fruit tree in Quiapo? If you think about it, Quiapo is actually a low lying area near the coast of Manila Bay. It was strategically annexed because of its proximity to Intramuros, the old port town of Manila. The lower part of the Pasig River was probably lined with Morindas in the Spanish era. Maybe we could just assume that the noni in the parking lot is a remnant of the old Pasig River flora. If we put it that way, seeing the noni in Quiapo is not anymore strange...but sad.


Maria Mercedes Rodriguez said...

i appreciate your writing about noni in QUIapo, however, i am interested in buying or maybe selling noni fruits. Do you know where i can get them? or if there is any person you know of. Please do email me if you can refer someone for me to source out. thanks. More power to your blog site.

Abigail Barcarse said...

Hi! I have noni seedlings, email me at if you're still interested.

Unknown said...

Hi please email me where can i buy noni fruit here in philippines manila. Email me thnkyou

Charkie Mae San Luis said...

Pude po ba magtanong saan po dito makakabili nang noni fruit sa philippines?hindi juice or powder lang fruit talaga