Monggo, or mung beans, a popular variety of beans found in Southeast Asia, is one of my favorite “vegetable.” This month, July, the Philippine government has imposed a Nutrition Month celebration for public schools and offices. It has been this way since I was Grade 1 in 19(never mind). Nutrition Month was quite a buzz when I was in Grade 1 because the parents would gladly cook nutritious and inexpensive food for all of us. We would bring our plates and utensils in school and eat like grown-ups in our desks. Our Nutrition Month extended throughout the rest of the school year through weekly feedings. Monggo (with coconut cream and malunggay) was a popular dish served during those times, and when I reached intermediate level, my classmates and I still eat monggo for lunch (we bought it from various vendors) because it was inexpensive, and I really also found it delicious. I heard that in some feeding programs, parents feed the students unhealthy food (think: processed food).
Whenever I eat monggo, I always recall those days I eat lunch with my elementary classmates. Afterwards, we’d play games underneath a big mango tree in school. To evoke that old school feeling (okay, honestly, I was just really hungry and it was the only thing in the pantry), I tried making monggo soup one Saturday but I think I got some parts wrong (I ate 3/4 of it though). My aunt’s monggo soup is still my favorite, I wish she’d cook it this Sunday. 🙂