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Do you still remember Aratilis? This fruit is known around the world as Muntingia Calabura; this is also called Jamaican Cherry.
I remember playing under the Aratilis tree during hot sunny days. I usually pick the fruits directly from the tree and place them in a plastic bag (it’s the same bag where soda is transferred to avoid bottle deposit). I tie the plastic bag in one of the tree’s branches, and then off I go to play street games. You know — marbles (jolen), moro-moro, patintero, tumbang preso, luksong tinik, luksong baka, langit-lupa, and the likes. I later get back to eat the fruits when I get hungry. The Aratilis fruit has a unique sweet taste. All the kids love it — including myself.
Have you tried playing bahay-bahayan when you were younger? It was fun, isn’t it? I used to build my house from branches of the ipil-ipil and malunggay trees. The roof was made of banana leaves — so were the walls. We ate are fruits from nearby trees. Fruits like mangoes, santol, kaimito (star apple), and duhat were regulars. If we want to eat guyabano and atis, we make sure to climb the trees unnoticed so that the neighbor won’t catch us.
There were different types of fruits to partake during mealtime. My favorite was the Aratilis shake. Haven’t you heard of it? It might be unusual to make a shake out of Aratilis, but we always do. The key is to gather as many ripe Aratilis as you can to be able to produce a glass of shake. I make the shake by extracting the juice (these are tiny seeds, by the way) from the fruit, and then place it in a blender along with powdered full-cream milk and a lot of ice cubes. It tastes like a creamy cotton candy drink.
How about you? What do you remember about Aratilis?