From Filipinos on ninja mode to feeding hamsters: KT readers share their own 'malunggay' stories

The humble moringa was the talk of the town on Wednesday, going viral and prompting an outpouring of love from Filipinos who shared why 'malunggay' is 'life', just like rice


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Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 8:33 AM

Hundreds of Filipinos have confirmed: When it comes to the malunggay, they are willing to go on full ninja mode and pick a bunch from anybody's garden. To the community, it's more than a superfood — it is "life", just like rice.

Less than 24 hours since Khaleej Times published the story on the humble malunggay — moringa or drumstick leaves to others — it has been shared over 1,000 times and won more than 6,000 reactions (most of them laughter).

What stood out, however, are the 1,000+ comments peppered with KT readers' malunggay stories. Most are hilarious, while some are borderline unbelievable.

Here's what we found:

Filipinos would do anything to get it

Several Netizens admitted that, yes, they had once (or twice?) picked some malunggay from a stranger's garden without asking permission.

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Michelle Enopia said Filipinos were ready to go on ninja mode for their favourite vegetable:

In fact, other nationals have actually caught Filipinos in the act: "It’s so cute to see some of the Filipinos climbing walls, hunting the leaves with stick, but no offence for those kind of stealing. In fact, it’s a blessing for the owner of the plant," wrote S.p. Kani.

Filipina Joann Teruel said she would ask for permission — but usually from the tree. "I didn't know who owned it because it was just right there on the road," she commented.

Many also confessed that while they were yet to reach the point of 'stealing', they couldn't help but think about doing it whenever they see those leafy greens on a street:

It can be good for pets, too

Who said malunggay is only used for soup, bread and juices?

This Filipino hunted for some malunggay — all for his pet hamster:

Some studies have shown that moringa leaves can help heal wounds, and some Filipinos knew this by experience.

Another had a broader take:

Spotted a moringa tree? A Filipina must be living there

The plant is so popular to the community that it has already served as a marker of sorts. A Dubai resident says:

You see, Filipinos are not just 'stealing', they are growing their own malunggay, too.

It's for everyone

And once a malunggay tree is planted, it's "free for all" — it's just part of the Filipino culture.

If you have to take some for yourself, Filipinos won't mind — go enjoy your free malunggay.


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