CEBU, the Philippines - Filipino cuisine is known for featuring seafood, rice, chicken, rum and other delectables, but I had no idea just how popular mangoes are here until I made my first visit to the Philippines earlier this week.
The succulently sweet, yellow-skinned tropical mango fruit is everywhere - in salads, in smoothies, in cocktails, in yogurt and of course in fruit bowls - and, if you are staying in a hotel, in your room. I stayed three nights at Shangri-la Hotels' Mactan Resort and Spa, on the edge of the port city of Cebu, and the mangoes just kept on coming. There were no fewer than six mangoes, along with other tropical fruit popular in the Philippines, available in my comfortable, ocean-view room. One day, not wanting to break off writing and leave my room for lunch, I devoured a mango en suite. Later, I went out. When I returned, the mango I ate had been replaced. The number was now back at six. It was like there was a quorum of mangoes. Should this number be reduced, I suspected, the ultra-relaxing Mactau Resort would cease to function.
There appears to be no danger of this happening, however. After I polished off a second mango another day, that mango was replaced, too. Mangoes are widely grown in the Philippines, where the warm, wet climate produces optimal growing conditions, and they are wonderful - juicy, sweet, delicious. The nation does not seem to be running low on supplies. The quorum stands.