The Legend of Sampaguita
A legend goes that once there were two lovers who vowed to be faithful and loyal to each other forever. The woman was so stunning and graceful. Her red lips and rosy cheeks matched her beautiful eyes. Many men of her age were dying to win her heart.
Equally attractive was the man of her dreams. He was also industrious and kind. It was not a wonder that many women were charmed whenever they get near him.
One night during a full moon, the two lovers made a pledge about their love for each other beneath a sturdy tree. “If you only know how much I love you that to even think of being separated from you almost take my breath away,” the woman said with teary eyes. “I would rather die than to be away from you. Always remember, I will never leave you,” the man promised as he wiped her tears.
“I’ll take your word for that,” the young woman said happily as she held the hands of her lover. Suddenly, she let go of his hands. “What if you find someone more lovely than me and fall in love with her,” the young woman persisted. “Surely you will leave me.”
“If only to assure you of my fidelity, here take this dagger,” the man said as he gave a sharp dagger to the woman. “If I break my promise to you, you have my permission to stab me with this.”
With trembling hands, the woman took the dagger and said to herself, “This dagger is meant for me. If you love any woman aside from me, I shall kill myself with this.”
Just then, the man thought of proving their love for each other. Using the dagger, they carved the words, “Sumpa kita” on the trunk of the tree. Somehow, the man’s promise of faithfulness had assuaged the beautiful woman. Although she kept the dagger in a secret place, she almost forgot about it since her lover did his best to win her trust. They would always be seen together by the villagers that their folks were just awaiting for a wedding announcement.
Unfortunately though, fate seemed to be cruel to the maiden. One morning, she came to know that his lover had eloped with another woman whom he married soon.
Since then, the abandoned woman would be seen seated beneath the tree, which was their meeting place. She seemed to be waiting for her lover. Day in and day out, she wept and grieved bitterly. She could not believe how her lover could afford to leave her to take another woman.
“This is too much for me to take,” she thought to herself. “But even if you have been unfaithful to me, I shall keep my promise.” Immediately after saying those words, she took the dagger from its hiding place and went to their usual meeting place. Then she looked at the trunk of the tree where their promise for each other was engraved.
“Sumpa kita!” she shouted as she thrusts the dagger hardly towards her breast. Instantly, the poor woman died. Her sorrowful parents buried her in the same spot. After a few weeks, a small plant emerged from that place. It bore small fragrant white flowers that caught the attention of the passers-by. The maiden’s parents thought it was their daughter, who came back to life in a form of a plant. The village folks called the plant, “Sumpa Kita.” Before long, it became sampaguita.
Source: Jocson, J. V. (2008). Crossing Boundaries Through English 6 (Integrated Reading and Language). Quezon City: Ephesians Publishing Inc. pp.2 – 4.