Adventure in The Philippines: The Coconut Palace
The travellers were in awe as they passed beautifully manicured lawns with a wide range of trees. There were tall coconut trees, Bani trees with beautiful pink and purple flowers, Dap-dap trees with vibrant orange flowers and the Ylang- ylang trees which smelled so nice. Through the gardens in front of them, they came upon a magnificent palace that was constructed totally out of coconut trees! It was so stunning that the travellers couldn’t help but stop for a moment and take in all of the beauty.
Nonoy took them to an octagonal pool with ornate statues surrounding it. Over in the corner of the pool, they saw a head bobbing up and down.
“Tatay! Tatay!” Nonoy shouted, running to the man in the water. (Tatay is father in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines)
“The pool has a leak, my boy! I am holding it with my hand. We need to figure out how to fix it or it will flood the whole grounds!” Nonoy’s father shouted, coming up for a quick breath of air before ducking back into the water.
Mira and Teyus searched around the pool looking for a way to help. They had to think fast. Time was of the essence.
Mira ran and picked up a garden hose, quickly threw it into the pool. Alas, it was a flimsy hose and just floated back up to the surface. “We need to get something to weigh it down, then we can siphon out the water” she shouted.
Teyus found a couple of rocks, but how would he attach it to the hose? Looking up and down he spotted a tall coconut tree. He could use the palms from the tree to tie the rocks to the hose. He thought to himself:
How can I reach those palms from the top of this coconut tree?
Nonoy was happy to help here. The travellers watched with amazement as he quickly scurried up the tree with the ease of a monkey, wrapping his arms and feet around the trunk. He grabbed a few of the coconut leaves, managing to knock down a few coconuts as well.
Holding the coconut leaves, Teyus cut the leaves into long strips with his multi-purpose knife. Then, he braided each one to create something that resembled a rope. Finally, he made little lassos at both ends, attaching rope to one end and the hose to the other.
It was obvious Tatay was getting tired and he would not have been able to hold the water in for much longer. Mira wondered if this idea would even work, but with no other option, she just hoped for the best.
Meanwhile, Hari was gathering all the buckets he could find and he motioned to Nonoy to grab them as well.
The hose went into the pool. The rocks were enough to weigh it down and bring it to the bottom. Using her biggest yoga breath, Mira put her lips around the nozzle of the hose and started sucking out the air. It took many more breaths before she started to hear a gargle come from the hose, but it worked! Water began to flow out! They had managed to siphon the water from the pool and now it was pouring into the buckets.
As two buckets filled up, Hari or Nonoy would carry them away, running towards the sea to empty them. This continued for quite some time until the pool was noticeably less full. During this time, while Hari and Nonoy were busy with the buckets, Teyus had shelled a coconut and was carving something out of the husk. He kept eyeing the area that Tatay was covering and making adjustments to his carving.
When the water was almost completely emptied from the pool, Tatay was finally able to remove his hand from the leak. Teyus jumped into the pool with his carved coconut shell, wedging it exactly where the leak was. It covered the area and fit nicely into the grooves of the pool, creating a tight cover. Coconut shells are waterproof so nothing could get into the crack now. What a clever band-aid for the pool!
Tatay hugged everyone and was immensely grateful. Nonoy began to tell him about the travellers’ journey and their mysterious clues. He showed him the box with the jasmine flower on it and the carpet from the King’s Weaver in Samarkand.