TIBIG Story no.5
WHAT WE DIDN’I KNOW ABOUT THE TIBIG TREE
IT PAYS to search for information in the Internet. And here are what I’ve got about the Tibig tree. Our very endemic tree.
WATER FROM TRUNK – The most amazing info that I’ve got about Tibig is that water can be drawn from its trunk. Here I quote the authorities. “Among the Negritos of Pinatubo, a cut is made in the trunk a few feet above the ground, a bamboo tube is inserted to drain off the water, and a leaf is placed to keep off dirt. The cut is enlarged at intervals to maintain a steady drip. Thus a few trees can maintain a whole village with its water for drinking and cooking.”
ENDEMIC TREE – Its scientific name is Ficus nota. I didn’t realize that Tibig is an endemic tree until my search. This means that it is only found in the Philippines. It is widespread. I have seen trees in Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya and Negros Occidental. If it can be found now in another country, the tree must have been lawfully acquired or simply smuggled. Whatever.
UNIQUE POLLINATION – Pollination is unique. The flower that looks like the young fruit contains one male and two female parts. They are all contained inside the structure. When a female wasp enters the structures, it pollinates the flower that will eventually produce seeds.
RIPE FOR HUMANS – The ripe fruits are edible for human consumption. Honey or sugar may be added to make it more palatable. Of course the fresh fruits are relished by pigs whether white, black or spotted. I have seen that in a backyard piggery in Nueva Vizcaya several years back.
ONLY THING I KNEW – The only thing we knew from the experts is that Tibig helps conserve water in the farm. If you have a spring in your property, plant Tibig around it to sustain the availability of water.