By Cayen Cervancia Cabiguen

An old French word which means "a lions tooth"- that is where dandelion got its name. I still can clearly remember the moment I held in my hand that yellow weedy plantyes, my favorite plant is a weed. (",) Walking along the uphill streets of Baguio some twelve years ago, I came across Pines Ruins- a greenly-weedy vacant lot which used to be a famous hotel in the City of Pines. I was alone and just about getting the hitch of my new life as an "iskolar ng bayan" in a city far from my home. The wind blew that perfect cold-Baguio breeze, and like a scene from a magical-fantasy movie, I saw some white-like particles flying freely. It is alien to my sight so I took a few steps closer to see what exactly they were. Insects at my first thought, but they weren't. Dust, hell no. Then the wind once again blew like in a slow-motion pattern, captured perfectly by my eyes- those flying white things are seeds from a ball-like plant growing along some yellow flowers. Naive that I was, I marveled and picked one of the yellow flowers and hurried back to the dorm to ask someone who probably knew the name of the plant. Just before I reached the dorm, I saw one of my roommates. Still engrossed with the magical sense of bliss, I asked her with excitement. Nearly laughing her heart out, she said "yan, DAMO! Dandelion ang tawag. Dami nyan dyan sa may paa ni Oble." I for that moment I don't know what to say or how to react. I was fascinated by a weed. Not just a weed but a pesky weed for some. Dandelion ensnared me. Days after, I tried reading texts pertaining to my newfound-fave, rather than asking somebody and be laughed at because of my ingenuous ignorance. As I gain more knowledge of dandelion, I began to see myself as one. I am not the prettiest and loveliest among my friends- who could be akin to an orchid, an American beauty or a tulip maybe. Simple like a pesky weed, yes I am more of a dandelion. From roots to stem, to the flower- a dandelion is entirely of benefits. It is edible, prized in a variety of medicinal and industrial properties, sadly, many regards this plant as wretched and odious, and oftentimes like this plant, I too is undervalued by people whose brain is just like a walnut. Small-mindedness creates infinitesimal outlook. Underrating a dandelion in me is as risky as underrating a lion's tooth. So to all those who'd see the dandelion as a pesky weed, I raised my middle finger to y'all.

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