Not many people know that Bicol can produce big, high quality carabao mango fruits. That’s because mango was not recommended for planting in Bicol in the past many years because the region was traditionally battered by strong typhoons.
It was only in more recent years that agriculturists recommended planting mango in Bicol. That was after they saw the beautiful mango fruits produced by Marcelo Escaro of Naga City..
We believe we had a small role in opening the eyes of government agriculturists that carabao mango can be successfully grown in the Bicol region. It all started when we attended a garden show in Naga City almost 20 years ago. At the garden show, we met Mrs. Patria Escaro who was selling big and luscious carabao mangoes.
We learned from her that her husband had been producing a lot of beautiful mangoes in their farm in Calabanga. It was a twist of a most unlikely event that led to the planting of about 500 grafted mango seedlings. Mrs. Escaro related that years before, the Escaros produced oranges which were bought by a trader from Batangas.
In the course of time, the trader had incurred a big amount of debt and did not show up for years. Then suddenly, the trader arrived with a truckload of grafted mango seedlings. He said he did not have cash so he brought with him the truckload of seedlings as payment for his indebtedness.
The Escaros did not have any other choice except to accept the seedlings and planted them in their farm. Some trees got toppled by the strong winds but they managed to survive and produce beautiful fruits. And up to now the mango trees are productive because they are taken care of properly.
We published the story about the mangoes of the Escaro couple in Panorama which must have opened the eyes of the agriculturists in Bicol. When a strong typhoon battered Bicol, a big sum was given to Camarines Sur as calamity assistance.. And did you know what they did with the money? The agriculturist used the money to buy mango seedlings for planting by whoever was interested to plant mango. Today, there are quite a number of mango growers in Bicol.