Monday, August 6, 2012

Kiwifruit, I Love You.

I love Kiwi!  No, not the flightless bird from New Zealand that's listed as an endangered species, but that strange brown "hairy" fruit, apparently also from New Zealand.  Yes, that "sweet-with-a-sour-aftertaste", "green-in-the-inside", and "oh-so-yummy" fruit.  Strange enough, although kiwifruit is popularly from New Zealand, the fruit actually originated in China.  No matter where it came from, the kiwifruit has been for so long now available in the Philippines.  But, did you know that there was a time in the Philippines that even apples and grapes are considered "status symbols", let alone for an exotic kiwifruit?

Kiwifruit is popularly known as just "kiwi".  It is actually a type of berry.  It is known as "gooseberry" in East Asia.  It is rich in Vitamin C.  Nutritionists hail the fruit as one of the best sources of Vitamin C that is efficient in boosting the body's immune system among a multitude of desirable benefits.

I remember my first encounter with this fruit.  It was in October of 1995.  The reason I vividly remember it is because it belonged to a long list of "firsts".  It was my first time outside the country.  As such, it was my first time on a plane.  The on-board dessert was the exotic fruits,  kiwi and dragon fruit.  It was a wondrous trip, indeed!

When I got back, I clamored for kiwi.  Thankfully, in 1995 kiwi is available in the Philippines.  Before the Corazon "Cory" Aquino administration in 1986, imported goods such as exotic fruits from other countries can only be bought from high-end specialty stores or outlets in the U.S. military bases.  Filipinos call these "hard to find" and consequently "hard to  buy" (because they were expensive) goods as "PX goods""PX" stands for "post exchange".  PX goods were commonly sold inside the former US military bases in the Philippines.

One legacy of the Cory administration is the Import Liberalization Program.  Because of that program, Filipinos can now enjoy goods from all over the world.  I can now avail of goods that a few years back would cost an arm and a leg.  I can now eat kiwifruit imported from New Zealand at a very affordable price.   Indeed, today is an opportune time thanks to great people in the past who have done so much to improve the quality of Filipino lives.

We are now again, at a crucial juncture in history.  The divisive and controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill is upon us.  Of course, I have my own position on whether this law should pass or not.  But I won't discuss it now because this time is the time for kiwi.  Would you like some?  

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