WE USED to love the Golden Papaya that was in the collection of a hobbyist friend in Quezon City. But that was a long time ago and we have but almost forgotten about it. Until we saw the same in Tubod, the capital town of Lanao del Norte.
The Golden Papaya is some kind of a curiosity because its fruits, whether mature or still very small, are golden yellow. At first sight you will suspect that the fruits are ripe. But no, they are not.
We found the unusual papaya in the home of Mrs. Teresita Bartolo in a barangaytowards the mountain. We were in the company of the provincial tourism officer, Minda Regis, lawyer Donato Calica and some employees of the provincial government.
Mrs. Bartolo was so gracious to offer us to taste a ripe fruit that was still on the tree. The fruit was 2.5 kilos but Mrs. Bartolo said that was quite small. She used to harvest fruits that are five to seven kilos each.
The fruit has bright red-orange flesh, thick, sweet and juicy.