First of all, I’m not sure how it’s even spelled: Aratilis? Aratiles? Aratalis? It’s a small, berry-sized fruit I was very fond of when I was little. They’re called different names in other countries (Singapore or Jamaican cherry, Panama berry, etc). Anyway, the Filipino name, aratilis, is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable. Secondly, the reason I’m blogging about this is I’ve seen a line of aratilis trees on our way driving to my Minhwa class yesterday, and it brought me a lot of good childhood memories.
Come to think of it, I have not seen the aratilis fruit for a long time. I had to ask my dad to check out the aratilis tree in their backyard to see if there’s any fruit he could take a photo of. The ripe ones are cherry red, but these ones are not yet ripe. So here they are. When ripe, they are quite juicy and sweet.
I remember when I was young, I would spend hours climbing the tree next to our house, with a small sack in tow so I could stow my ‘harvest’. Now, much as I would crave for this fruit, I wouldn’t find it as it’s not sold in the supermarket or the farmers’ market. After our drive down the street to my class yesterday, I looked up what the benefits of this fruit are and these are what I found:
- anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory
- improves digestion
- prevents cancer
- pain reliever
- lowers blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular health
Today, I went to the community plant nursery and asked if they have seedlings I could plant at our backyard at home. Much to my disappointment I was told they had none, but I could try looking around the neighborhood as the aratilis tree randomly grows, almost like a weed. My dad explained that the birds are the ones that propagate the seeds that’s why they grow everywhere. True enough, D and I found a couple of trees on our drive back home. I’ll try to look for fruits when I walk around our neighborhood next time so we could plant the seeds in our backyard.