What Is the Legend of the Banana From the Philippines?

The Legend of the Banana from the Philippines is the story of how the first banana came to be. There are many versions of the legend.

The legend is that a long time ago in the Philippines, a young girl named Raya was able to communicate with the spirits that inhabited the forest. One of the spirits she communicated with was a young man named Sag-in, who fell in love with Raya and took a human form in order to be with her. The two eventually got married and had a child together.

Sag-in knew that he had a limited amount of time that he could spend on earth in human form and that he would have to return to the spirit world. When the time came, he left, leaving his broken heart behind on the ground. Raya took his heart, planted it and cared for it, until the tree bore a fruit that was shaped like a heart.

The true origins of the banana can be traced to the Musa plant family native to Southwest Asia. Bananas were introduced to Europe some time in the 10th century and were brought to South America by the Portugese in the 1500s. As of 2015, bananas are grown across South and Central America and also in Hawaii.