This Ube Measures Up – Do You?

By Jude Aldrich Allaga

While the average height of a Filipino being 5 foot 2 may be insignificant, but a sizeable 6-foot white ube unearthed in Benguet proves that size indeed matters.


Photo Courtesy of Nathaline Daniel/ABS-CBN News


Plants may not be the only things growing in the soils of Tuba, Benguet, but also peculiarities. Igorot farmer Homer Menzi bore the toil of excavating a six-foot-tall ube weighing 28 kilograms. "Dati naming tinaniman (We have planted this before)," Menzi claims, "Pero ngayon lang ulit nahukay (but only dug it out now),"

A delayed harvest, however, is believed not to be the reason behind its extraordinary growth. Michelle Saingan, the agricultural technologist of Tuba speculates that the soil's fertility is what grew the ube beyond its typical size. "It's better if the soil is soft, not so harsh that it can easily grow, just like this, the soil is fertile," 

She adds that "further study" would be needed to analyze the status quo-shattering size of the gargantuan. "The longer na nagse-stay siya (the ube) sa lupa, liliit (The longer that it stays in the soil, it shrinks)," stating that decomposition is one possible shrinking factor.

Netizens weren't the only ones blown away by its volume. Michael Amagod, the purchasing officer of the Good Shepherd pasalubong shop in Baguio, shares that while he anticipates both seedlings and harvests from Benguet to be of good quality, he never expected such grand proportions. “So bale na-surprise ako na makakita ng ganyan kalaking ube.”

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