While standing by my New Old Honda in the parking lot of the Harbor Point Mall the other day I was watching people enter and leave while waiting for Mayang. Now hanging in parking lots would not be a normal activity for me, but since I am married it does happen once in a while.
What I noticed was that 90% of the owner jeeps coming in and out were driven by Kanos and not Filipinos, the Filipinos were all driving nice cars,. That fact struck me as odd, until I remembered that my first form of personal transportation here back in 1994 was an Owner Jeep. I smiled and thought to myself; “It must be a “New Guy” thing.
Over the years almost 100% of my friend had owned at least one Owner Jeep, and quite a few had bought a second one. My first Owner Jeep had a real roof and doors with roll up windows and you could lock a tilt steering wheel, power mirrors, power steering and power breaks. It was fully enclosed so I could remain dry during the rainy season, and for good measure it was also Air Conditioned, and coil springs on all four wheels.
Like most new arrivals I thought they looked cool and I had to have one, but like most people I only wanted one. A real car I found was the best way to go. I found that for the most part only the guy who built it could repair it as they are nothing but a hodge-podge of parts collected from so many different makes and models of cars.
In my case the biggest mistake I made was not having an automatic transmission installed when it was built. My wife Mayang refuses to use a clutch pedal for any reason what so ever.
One time when we were out, I happened to be a tad over served, and she drove me home from the Barrio to our house in 2nd gear the entire way. I knew that she deserved a car with an automatic transmission after that scary trip.
So back to the mall parking lot and one guy (Kano) parked beside my car and as he exited his Owner I said; “Just moved here, did ya?” he smiled and said yes, how did you know? Ah just a lucky guess. We spoke for awhile and he was lamenting his upcoming first rainy season, knowing those curtains will not keep him dry, to which I point out how hot it would be if he used those canvas doors that were stored in his shed at home.
He said he would give the rainy season a try and buy a real car if it got too bad. I smiled and joked with him and told him not to try and sell his owner until after the rain was over, there is bound to be a few new guys in town by then, who’ll snap it up.
Would I ever buy another Owner, I think not, but honestly I had a lot of fun with the one I had, and if I had to I would do it again, it’s a “New Guy” thing.
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to 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 (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!