Star apples, Lolo’s roof and childhood summers

Along with mangoes, the caimito (star apple) is one of my favorite summer fruits.

We bought this bunch, all 6 kilos of them, along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City for P200.00. They sell for P35/kilo, but cheaper when bought by 3 kilos at P100.

Caimitos remind me of childhood summer vacations spent at my grandparents’ home. My Loloย Indong (dad’s dad) is an agriculturist, and he has all sorts of plants and trees in his backyard. The caimito tree by the kitchen is one of our favorites to sungkit caimitos from. If I remember correctly, I think there was another caimito tree by uncle C’s bedroom. My cousins, sisters and I would climb out to the roof and pick the fruits from there.

Aaah, then there was the roof over Lolo‘s piggery. It was our favorite place to hang out at during hot, lazy afternoons. It faced the east, so by the time the afternoon sun was blazing on the west, the main house’s shadow fell over the roof. It was the perfect place for lounging with my cousins.

We’d each get a copy of Lolo‘s old Reader’s Digest issues ( I can still remember how good the pages smelled), mix iced Ovaltine, and climb out the window on to the roof to chill. I don’t remember getting nauseated with the piggery’s stink, hehe. Maybe we got used to it (it’s called olfactory adaptation).

Lolo Indong, I think, also looked forward to summer when his grandkids would visit him and Lola. For him, it was a major production.

One month before our anticipated visit, he’d buy about 50 chicks (the broiler type), fatten them up so that they’d be ready for frying by the time we get there. ๐Ÿ˜€ He also made sure his bodega had ample supply of Coke (Lola loved Cocah-Colah!), his kitchen had enough Ovaltine, Alaska evap, and Lily’s Peanut Butter.

But my favorite treat from Lolo is one only he could have thought of: camote iced candy! I know it’s weird, but we just loved it! The secret, he’d say, was in the banilya; but I’d say it was love.

Those were the happy, simple days… I love that I have these wonderful memories to go back to. They’re priceless, more precious than gold coins or the most expensive summer holiday. I appreciate Lolo Indong for giving me happy memories. (I miss you, Lolo. Thank you for the happy days.)

Summer is all about making good memories. What childhood summer memory do you look back to fondly?

5 thoughts on “Star apples, Lolo’s roof and childhood summers

  1. Hi Julie! Waah, great minds think alike? haha. Yep, I love them chilled too. Ngayon lang nadidiskubre ng kids na masarap pala ang caimito. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Aahhh Manang, I miss that fruit. One of our Lolas who would bring them to Trinidad every Saturday, or we’d drive down to Asin to visit her and pick them ourselves.

    And I love the smell of old Reader’s Digest mags too!


  3. yummy …. sarap but should be eaten cold! i just realised last year that when you cut it in the middle it shows the shape of a star – that’s why it’s called star apple ๐Ÿ™‚

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