America has liberated the islands, and the Philippines has just been proclaimed a new republic. Every morning, at the crack of dawn, Father and Mother stretch Julio, pulling his limbs in opposite directions. He is made to drink a concoction believed to stimulate growth in children. He is made to stand in the blazing heat of the sun. Soon enough, the family swells in size to six children. After the youngest two are given away to two aunts without offspring of their own, Julio's parents decide to capitalize on Julio's remarkable height.