How Did Bob Martin Know?

We all read Bob’s article about the good deal he got on the used washing machine. I even commented on it along with many others. But who knew that Mr. Martin processed psychic abilities? Four days, yes count them, four days after that story Mayang came to me with that look, you know the one, something like “the sky is falling.” But it was far worse than that, her washing machine had passed away, ceased to function, was a former operating piece of equipment, kicked the bucket was now demised or simply put, it was dead.

The Maytag Repariman
The Maytag Repariman

I was obligated to as a member of the male species, to go to the back and look at it, Kinda’ like when a car engine fails and we all lift the hood and stare at the engine and scratch our butts. I turned to her after a prolonged studious look, two well placed prolonged grunts and then I told her that I was pretty sure it was broken. So without further discussion, I preformed the other manly action that men are famous for, I phoned Dennis, my electoral guy. (You may read into that last sentence anyway you want to)

Live in the Philippines Consulting

Within the hour Dennis was there and deemed the problem to be a fuse, the new fuse blew within 10 seconds. Ah than it must be the capacitor. He replaced that and still no working machine. Dennis then looked at his watch and as a Doctor would do, he called the time of death of the former washing machine. Time: 13:22! Dennis and I both gave a manly grunt in harmony.

Now for the history of the machine, the brand is a Sharps, it was purchased in the year 2000, set up and twice a week it chugged along doing just what it was designed to do. But alas; it never in its twelve years had it washed a load of clothes; all it ever did was rinse and spin them, as I had just found out, hand washing is the only way clothes will ever get clean, as attested to by my wife “Mayang, Supreme Commander House.”

Laundry Area
Laundry Area

We have never had a labandera (Washer Lady) during our long marriage, as my wife and her sister are the ones to be the one, to wash everything, of course by hand It reminds me of life in the United States, In a pigs ear (Family site) it does. One girl I knew back in the states thought camping was a hotel without room service.

I had years ago bought her a Maytag dryer and it’s still humming along fine, and deemed by the ladies to be a machine of high value, function and wonderment. But without a working washer machine with a spin cycle, it (the dryer) can’t be used. Whoa back to the stone ages beating the clothes on the rocks by the river. This is totally UNSAT (Navy term for unsatisfactory, not very hard to figure out)

Do to the logistics of getting the machine to a Qualified Repair Facility and the downtime required for repair and parts I was informed that a new machine had to be purchased Ricky Tic. Who, am I to argue with such sound logic, and besides this is the lady who has never said a word to me if I desire a cold beer or a cocktail. I can’t count the times I’ve been out with friends, and knowing they wanted another beer, but can’t because they have received “The Look” from their wife. I never comment, as I feel that’s their life and they have the right to live it, the way their told to.

12 long hard years
12 long hard years

So last Monday morning our quest has begun; I first had to follow my friend Don down to Garbes Dizon (GoodYear auto repair) to drop his Owner Jeep for some needed repairs. Then off to the myriad of stores in Olongapo City that carried new washing machines. Why we are not looking for those machines that just rinse and spin I’ll never know? All I can say is, “praise to the heavens,” that I was as frugal during my time as a Merchant Seaman and planning for my retirement at age 53 that I can now afford to do this for her. (But remember that new car I want?)

So we drop off my friend’s owner Jeep and then head to the Savers-Mart in the Barrio. I walk in and go to the counter and told the girl there that I wanted to see those machines that rinse and spin. The I was introduced to Ryan the salesman, who walked me over and showed them to me, little did I know that Mayang was previewing regular washing machines and paying no attention to what I was doing, So Ryan abandoned me and went over to her as he astutely realized that she was the power within this decision, and she had found the one she wanted which had a 7 kilo tub capacity, Ryan who now jumped to take full advantage of his new found knowledge, so he points out to Mayang that for only P 1800.00 more she could have the same machine but with a 9 kilo tub capacity, then my buddy Don jumps in with: Oh, this is just like the one I just got for my wife.” Double blocked, I was trapped. Oh! Guess which one we bought?

Brand new washing machine
Brand new washing machine

We went back to the counter to do the paperworks and pay the bill. I handed over a credit card and the girl came back and said it was declined; I was a tad surprised until I realized I’d given her a debit card and I still had my NFCU Visa card in my other hand. I explained my mistake and that seemed to please her as it quickly went through, also I could see the fear in her eyes when she had to tell me the debit card was not accepted. I think she was expecting me to go all ugly Foreigner on her. But that’s not me and all I did was smile.

Delivery and set up, was going to happen that day, I provided a map to our house with phone numbers on it in case they got lost which is not hard to do.

Later in the day I’m sitting in the man cave when around 14:00 two young men and Mayang and Clara came into the backyard with her new treasure. They set it up, and showed the ladies how to use the rinse and spin cycle and all was back to normal again, bells were tolling, birds were singing and the sun came out.

My friend Don, from down the street who was helping me consume adult beverages. Asked Mayang why she used only the rinse cycle and didn’t use it to wash clothes. I smiled and let him try to convince the un-convincible of the merits of machine washing vice hand washing. He gave up and had another beer. The old machine was picked up by Clara’s son and her husband and was whisked off to her house to be repaired and used. HEY! I didn’t dump it on her, she requested it.

Added a roof for an all weather laundry
Added a roof for an all weather laundry

I sat pondering the day over my adult beverage, as to how it had worked out; first I found the machine she wanted at the first store we had canvassed in the search for her new washing machine, the price around P17, 000.00 with delivery and set up, was reasonable. I saw the smile on Mayang’s face and knew I’d made her happy.

Plus without asking, I knew I’d never get Mr. Martin to sell me the one he had just bought, as I think Feyma is happy with it. Plus the long drive with many ferry rides and bridges that would have been involved to get to Mindanao and back to Bataan with the washer bungee corded to the roof of the New Old Honda, wouldn’t that have been a sight to see.

But I learned an important life lesson, in that no matter how much I plan and put away for a new car, Mr. Murphy and his law will pop up and foil my best laid plans each and every time.

All kidding aside, Mayang experimented using the washer on a full washing cycle and deemed it a good thing, but with the caveat, only for dark clothes, whites must be still washed by hand! As the commercial for General Electric used to say when I was a kid; “Progress is our most important business!” One baby step at a time.

Post Author: Paul Thompson (305 Posts)

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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  1. Rick Heath says

    Camping in a Hotel without room service? Everybody knows you go camping in a 40′ Motorhome, don’t they. If I do end up living there I wonder if I’ll look out of place in mine! LOL

    • Paul Thompson says

      I would pay good money to see the look on a Victory Liner Drivers face as you pass them. I just wonder where you’d park it?

  2. RandyL says

    25 years ago when I first returned home to Texas from the Philippines, my mother commented on how white my socks were. She asked me and I told her our clothes were hand washed. Her mouth dropped open like a hungry baby waiting for a spoonful of applesauce and carrots. She immediately began to question me over this wash-by-hand thingy but soon rescinded into a conversation about the modern era and the wonders of Whirlpool. She says: “wouldn’t it just be easier to buy new socks than to go though all that trouble?” It was then I realized the concept of spoiled and lazy. :)

  3. Paul Thompson says

    Dear Readers:
    Due to fat fingers and poor editing skills this sentence was in error: “P 18, 000.00 more she could have the same machine but with a 9 kilo tub.” It was P1, 800.00 differences (Or 10% of what I said). Thank you for not throwing rocks at me for this grave error.

  4. Paul Thompson says

    I would have explained to my Mom that old Navy mantra that was drilled into our skulls during those heady days of BOOTCAMP when BT1 Bullock would scream into my ear; “Sailor, you maggot, new gear is dirty gear!”
    By the way did you ever drag your dungarees behind the ship in a net bag to make them look salty?

    • RandyL says

      We did wash all our gear by hand and hung them to dry in the drying room in them days. Today, they send all uniforms to the laundry. They even get to eat out (pizza) in boot camp these days. Different Navy!

      • Paul Thompson says

        You must have been in Great Lakes, because there were no drying rooms in San Diego. We had scrub tables behind or barracks and had to stand guard on the clothesline at night. I never wore Dress Blues until my second year, as I went to Florida after San Diego.

    • Bruce Michels says

      So your CC was a BT1 know wonder why you had such a sucessful career. You were trained right from the get go. I’m proud to be a retireed BT1(sw).
      BY the way we use to wash our coveralls and dungaree in the pit on watch. It would take 30 mins to wash and dryh a stack full in that heat.
      By the way you got a deal on the washer bought the wife a new one last year coast me 800 dollars. I’ll trade.

      • Paul Thompson says

        Ship that washer over, easy to convert to 220. Yup, BT1 John Bullock Company 628 San Diego. He would run up to me, shout in my face; “What the sixth General Order Son.” And I’d flawlessly repeat the 5th General Order back to him. He’s shout, that’s the wrong one maggot and he’d move on. How could it be wrong, it was the only one I knew and I got thru 16 weeks of Boot Camp with memorizing just that one.

  5. Donna west says

    good looking machine. hopefully it will be a faithful family member for you for at least 12 years. then may it RIP knowing it did a fine job of cleaning your clothes.

    • Paul Thompson says

      How right you are, and I’ll not complain over getting 12 long years without a breakdown out of the old one. I was home on Cape Cod at my folk’s house visiting between ships, when my Fathers 20 year old Sony TV died. He ask me what would be a good brand to replace it with, I smiled and said; I think I’d go with another Sony.”

  6. BillB says

    Paul, we bought the 7 kilo washer about 2 months ago. The first one kicked the bucket, it was the standard RP style washer. The wife did not like the idea of getting a washer that cost that much untill she found out that all she has to do is put the clothes in and start it, then take them out and hang them. On hand washing, ringing or even getting her hand wet.

    • Paul Thompson says

      My wife had that same “Lightbulb Moment” easy is better, is her new motto. I could have bought a lot of beer if I could have bought that 7 Kilo unit. A curse on my friend Don and that salesman Ryan! (LOL) I hope yours lasts as long or longer than my old one.

      • BillB says

        I hope so too. Yours is an LG right. I look at it this way if it last twice as long as the RP style then it is worth it, but I would like to get 12 years like you did, but I don’t think so as we have 8 in the house so that means more loads.

        • Paul Thompson says

          My new baby grandson, will put a few miles on the new machine, that’s for sure. But with 8 at your house, you might be right. We’ll see, and hope! Those RP style are only meant to last a short time, that’s why they are so cheap. I think your wife will be very happy with her new one.

  7. says

    I hope our washer dryer lasts 12 years or more, we bought them at Ocampos in Po town 2 yrs ago. So far, so good.

    One problem here is that nobody completely understands the concept of cleaning the dryer filter.

    Every so-often, as I pass our laundry room, I just conduct a spot-check, and sure enough, it always looks like someone shoved a sheep into the dryer! I clean it out like a good asawa, and remind them of the dangers of fires from hot lint. They always look at me like I’m making stuff up to amuse or scare them. (I do occasionally).

  8. Paul Thompson says

    I bought the old washer at Ocampo’s and it lasted forever or 12 years, whichever came first., The dryer is another subject altogether, Mayang knows about the filter and she is good about cleaning it after each load.
    Plus everyone in the Philippines knows that sheep do not spontaneously combust.
    OHH, rack of lamb, Mmmmm… Got any mint jelly?

  9. Hudson says

    can you get a maytag in the philippines?
    I have had the same Maytag washer and dryer for about 30 years. Two years ago I had to replace the drive belt on the washer, and last year I replaced the belt, drum rollers, and added a felt kit to the drum as well. They tried to sell me a new set, but if I get another ten years out of them, i’m doing good.

  10. Paul Thompson says

    Yes they sell Maytag here, albeit they do cost, but if you can get 20 plus years, than it’s worth the money. I bought that Maytag Dryer in 1996 and it looks and works as good as the day we first got it. They just keep on trucken’.

    • PapaDuck says

      Sounds like you got your monies worth out of the old washer. I think since you have so much time maybe you could help the twins out washing some white clothes by hand lol. Take care.

  11. Dave says

    The top loaders they sell here in Ph are the worst type you can buy, over time they ruin your clothes. The only type of washing machine to buy here is the front loaders, Oh yea, i know there alot more expensive, but over time you will save money on cloths and they do a lot better job washing.

      • Dave says

        I’m talking about the small top loaders they sell here, not the big ones like you see in the states. That little ajitator on the bottom spins back and forth during the washing cycle, that beats the hell out of your clothes. The front loader will tumble your cloths, no ajitator. Also, the front loader uses a lot less water, up to 60% less. And most of the models sold here in PH will preheat the water, which is needed for some washable goods.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Front loader or top loader, I just pay for them and go have a beer. I guess I’ll be paying for new clothes now also. (LOL)

  12. says

    Hi Paul,

    That’s great, I wish i knew about that washer the other day when I just bought one for my girlfriend. She still has to wash the clothes herself!! Here we just stick them in there and go get a burger then come back and put them in the dryer!

    • Paul Thompson says

      You are now the perfect guy to your girl friend, and when you hire the washer woman you’ll be a national hero. They do make life easier, could we get a beer with that burger? (lol)
      Below I meant to say Stutter.

  13. says

    Hi Paul,

    That’s great, I wish i knew about that washer the other day when I just bought one for my girlfriend. She still has to wash the clothes herself!! Here we just stick them in there and go get a burger then come back and put them in the dryer!

    • Paul Thompson says

      We call that an internet studder, I just did the same thing above when answering PapaDuck.

  14. corjo says

    You were lucky someone wanted your old one.I try to repair everything because its such a nightmare to dispose of the cases. If I cant repair then i strip all of the recycleable bits and give them to the local repair guy ,but still you have a large plastic or metal case.The last 2 a reef and a toploader I filled with concrete and added to the seawall but thats finished now so Im looking for ideas for the next one

  15. Ron says

    Paul I am also in the hunt for a new washer and dryer. Not sure if I should get one with the whistles and bells or just the ones with the twisty knob and wash cycle. I saw on the other day that dry cleans and irons your clothes-I kid you not. I am looking at spending around 1200 USD for both of them. That I think comes out to about 25000 pesos for each. See life is less expensive in the Philippines. (-:

  16. Paul Thompson says

    Since I’ve not owned many washers in my life, I wouldn’t really know a good deal, but my wife seems to have a handle on that so I defer to her. But I agree it seems that things are cheaper here. I know the beer is.

  17. Mark G. says

    I’ve had to buy too many washing machines in the US over the last few years. I think the quality, no matter the brand, has gone way down hill. The old ones (20+ years) keep chugging along until they are absolutely unrepairable but the new ones seem to have problems right from the start. In the Philippines my sister-in-law is the washer lady so I don’t have to worry about anything and I supplement the family income at the same time. It’s a win win situation and, like Paul, allows time for another SanMig. I don’t think my wife has ever seen an automatic washing machine in person.

  18. Paul Thompson says

    I believe it’s called “Planned Obsolescence’s”, the art of making something guaranteed to fail within certain timeframes in order to sell a new one. Quality or the “Built To Last” are things of the past. Corporate prostitutes have done away with that old concept.
    Even San Migule plans on that beer staying in you for 30 minutes then you have another.

  19. jade says

    Bob, I’m gonna accuse you of ‘insider trading’
    though, totally toungue-in-cheek, should you not offer your discovery to al of your blog first…? he, he!

  20. Rick Heath says

    I mentioned to my girlfriend that when I did come there, I would get a washer. I was actually shocked she did her family’s clothes by hand. In the 1 year we have known each other the only time she has ever said “NO”, was when I told her that. Her words were, “I love you honey but I will not use a washer no matter what”.

    I really am looking forward to living a simplier life there.

  21. Paul Thompson says

    I know she feels that way now, but when she meets your Kano friends, their wives will explain it all to her. Within time she’ll want a washer. Or I could be completely wrong, which happens a lot.
    But washer or no washer, it is a simpler life; you are so right about that. My biggest worry is will Royal Supermarket have Oreo Cookies this week? Gee I hope so!

    • RandyL says

      I think the correct terminology is “westernization” Paul. I call it Peso Destruction Disease (PDD). It’s a disease that can spread rapidly from asawa to asawa. It can be considered highly contagious and I’ve learned first hand it is much more communicable if the ladies are exposed to it on the North American, European or Australian continents. It can literally consume a woman’s mind and can spread rapidly into other “convenient” peso destroying decision making scenarios – the purchase of numerous other non-essential modern day conveniences. This disease could necessitate achieving and sustaining a substantial income and could require the so-called “retired” husband to return to work in support of PDD. This may be necessary to sustain the husbands western eating habits and sustaining levels of SMB consumption. Above it all, and in the interest of peso preservation, never, I repeat – never allow the asawa to embark upon a more unsustainable addiction to a Steak and Prime Rib diet! Unless of course you can live on rice and beans (or in this case, rice and fish). 😉

      • Paul Thompson says

        My wife does not like it when there is too much month at the end of the money, and has learned long ago that once the budget is spent, she waits. This being an untenable situation for her, she quickly bought a peso stretcher. Even I follow that same rule, but I’m wise enough to ensure that what I need is pre-stocked and available throughout the month. BTW, going out to Texas Joe’s and Sit-in-Bulls is figured into the budget. Go back to work; who would hire my old tired ass? (lol) I know I wouldn’t!

  22. chasdv says

    Hi Paul,
    What is a washing machine? never owned one, LoL.

    I was reared in Naval Dhoby land, where we did our “dhobying” (clothes wash) with “dhoby dust” (wash powder) in the shower whilst we showered, (oh the good old days).
    Later when i joined a new Destroyer, we had this modern invention on board called a “Chinese Laundry”, wow, they made life so much easier, but we had to pay them, lol.
    Ever since, when living on my own, which is mostly, i’ve always used a service wash laundry, just drop it off, pay, pick it up. Oh’ the wonders of the modern world!

  23. Paul Thompson says

    While stationed with the Royal Navy on Diego Garcia BIOT in 1980, we were sitting in front of the Chief’s Quarters having a cocktail. Bungie Edwards (Royal Navy CPO) walks out of the laundry room, buck naked. I turned to the Chief Stoker and asked; “WTF?” Chief Stoker smiled and said; He’s doin’ his dhoby, and he likes to clean everything at once.” Dhoby is an Indian word; the Chinese does the Royal Navy’s laundry. So why the hell is it called Dhoby, and Dhoby Dust? Puzzle ne that one shipmate?

    • chasdv says

      Ha ha, you’re correct Paul, we adopted the word “Dhoby” along with a few others like “Bungalow” from Indian culture, our former colony.
      India gained independence, technology moved on and we adopted Chinese laundry men to man the Ships launderies. They were originally adopted to do Officers laundry but ratings could also use them if prepared to pay for the service.
      Maybe, as technology marches on, they have coin laundry machines on board now, dunno.

  24. Bob New York says

    Good luck with the new washing machine Paul. It would be interesting to find out what was required to get the old one going by your friends down the street. Most of the washing machines actually manufactured here in the USA, regardless of brand name and style are made by Whirlpool, who bought out Maytag and a few others a while back.

    I have been fascinated by those all plastic budget washing machines I have seen there in The Philippines. In one store where I was looking I had to explain to the sales person why I was picking them up to see how lightweight some of them are compared to the ones we have here. Someday I hope to get a chance to see what is inside of them too.

    Your former machine brand was Sharps or Sharp ? You didn’t think that one would get by me did you LOL . Great reading as always.

  25. Paul Thompson says

    Sharp, but I had to ask my wife, as the machine was already down the road, and she said Sharps, as in paperworks (Missed that one above?)
    I never thought about it before, but I do see the husbands carrying those local machines up and down the street on laundry day. So they must be light weight.
    As a new guy in the Navy and on the USS Sabine AO-25 they stuck me working in the Ship’s laundry for 90 days. We used a 110 lbs capacity Milnor washer, and then had to mule haul the load of wet clothes over to a machine called an Extractor, which would spin the water out of them at 1350 RPM’s. It broke loose from its mounts and went through the bulkhead into the passageway. But to 3, 18 year olds it was the funniest thing we ever saw, as you have no fear of injury when you’re young and dumb and…

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