The star apple, bow. Or what we call locally as kaimito. I devoured almost three pieces of that picture above when I got in from my out of town hearing and my class tonight. I was at my first bite, and all those childhood memories came back.
Those childhood days, I merely break the kaimito in half with my bare hands and dig my teeth in its insides. Tonight, I sliced it in half and attempted to bite directly but the fruit was bigger than usual and I didn’t want the sap of the fruit all over my face. I sliced it in four parts and used a spoon to take a bite. My, my, how I’ve changed, huh.
I’ve always remembered the kaimito as a sweet fruit and tonight’s fill still affirms such sweet memory. I just love getting my teeth into it’s meat with the juice and the sap spreading all over my mouth. It’s kind of messy sometimes with the sap going as far as my cheeks, but removing the sticky mist from my skin is part of the fun — annoying but fun.
My mother’s sister’s family who lives across our ancestral home had two kaimito trees in their yard. During summer vacation, I remember eating fruits from the neighborhood trees – mansanitas, tambis, bayabas and kaimito, for free! We had tambis, mansanitas and bayabas at our grounds, but the kaimito? We had to beg some from my cousin’s house, hehehe.
When I think of Kaimito, I think of my uncle who owned the kaimito trees in front our house. We called him “tatay” [father] instead of uncle. He always used to be the one to harvest the kaimitos and give us a lot of the fruits. I remember him climbing the said trees, many, many times. One day, he fell from the kaimito tree. A few days after, he complained of the constant pain in his back. He got fever. He lost weight. He was eventually diagnosed with stage III lung cancer and he left this world less than two months after that fall. What a weird correlation about the kaimito and my uncle’s death.
Those melancholy thoughts almost ruined my happy eating mood. Before I got sentimental, I was able shook off those painful memories and just enjoyed my reunion with the kaimito tonight.