Of Course, When It Rains.

Why is 90% of all roadwork done during the rainy season? The National Highway at the end of my street was being worked on in July, when they removed the asphalt from the road. Then of course they disappeared for August and September as we were inundated with foul weather and no work could be accomplished, so the road has stayed torn up and a mess for all this time. But if I’d rented a house I could have just moved to a better area. Woe is me!

Now in the past I’d mentioned that the Barangay had paved the street my house is on. They paved from the Nation Highway all the way until the top of the hill, with the exception of the front of my house and my friend Don who lives kitty corner from me. And for the past five years the road has become a river of mud, and I was the guy that wanted to own my house.

Chocolates at WowPhilippines

Last year Mayang hired some guys and they spent two days leveling the road, and it worked well. Until this year’s rainy season washed it all away. Then yesterday during the pouring rain a big road grader appeared in front of my house (The one I built) and started scraping away the road that was there, I got involved when they started ripping up my sidewalk, I pointed out the property marker and proved to the Barangay Captain that it was my property.

Click on the picture to see a larger image

He agreed but by then one foot of my sidewalk was gone. So the driver continued his road grading turning all into a sea of mud. My friend Don one house down was gone for the day and I texted him to tell him that the grader had shut off his water by ripping the pipe out of the ground. But they did bend the pipe back onto itself and tied it off with plastic string. Repairing the damage it seems was not their job. I received a text back from Don who simple said; “Great!”

But being that guy that sees the glass as half full, I’m thinking they will be cementing the road and all will be one with the world again. Now I’m happy again that I own the house. Wait a minute partner, Paul aren’t you neglecting to ask if it will be paved, or are you just foolishly assuming that fact? The answer was a shoulder shrug, but no head scratch and the famous; if it’s in the budget.” I should have known better. Now the rain is pouring down so hard the driver quit, and said it was useless to try and level the road. So with taillights (not working of course) disappearing in the haze of rain, it seems their work here is done.

I have full ownership now of one foot of wet earth blocking my driveway, but I figure that the water from the rain rushing downhill off the paved section should wash most of it away and deliver it to Don’s house which he’ll need cover his exposed water pipe. It all works out for the best, if you take the time to think about it.

Friday morning and Don and I are discussing how to fix the broken pipe, when his neighbor chimes in; “Mr. Don, the water company is coming this afternoon to fix the break.” Did that happen? Well no, as the water company heard that the guy with the Grater was coming back to do more damage on Saturday, so it makes no sense to fix it today. No one told Don, and I found out just now (Saturday Morning) before I send my musings in to “Fearless Leader Mindanao Bob” But being that my many years here have blessed me with an insight in to predicting the future, I’ll say, “Fixing Don’s pipe Saturday afternoon will never happen, no I pick sometime Monday.” But we’ll all find out Monday when this is published, any takers on a small wager?

Now this is my view as to why all road repairs are done in the rain, the rain will wash everything away, and the contractor can do it over and charge twice. The workers get the benefit of more employment as the job will take longer, so except for the taxpayers, it’s a win-win situation for everyone else. Except Don who may go many days without water. I feel for you buddy!

Now to digress to last week, on the subject of renting verses buying a house, I’ll ask; could a renter ever have this much fun. Oh, wait, I just remembered Don is renting his house. He rents, I own and we’re both dealing with that accursed Road Grater. So who’s got the right answer now? I guess it is up to each of us to decide on our own.


I just spoke with my friend Don, he said that they did in fact come and repair his water pipe Friday night. So I was wrong, in as much as I wrote what the neighbors told me, I should know better than to do that. Also as of 11:00 Saturday morning no grader monster has appeared to bring havoc to our sleepy little purok. But the day is far from over. I’ll let you all know Monday how it all turned out.

Post Author: Paul Thompson (314 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!

Investigation in the Philippines


  1. Gary Wigle says

    I don’t know what to say Paul… Just have another SMB and it will all go away… Just stay inside… Remember your English lesson for today… Drink, drank, drunk…

  2. Paul Thompson says

    The truth of the matter is you’re right, it did go away; the rain washed all the dirt from my gate to down the hill. The road is now no better off then when they started, but the driver and his gopher received a full day’s pay. Pop a top and relax Paul, there’s next week to enjoy.

  3. Loren Pogue says

    Hey Paul,
    I remember my visit 4 years ago when we arrived beat from The USA in the city of Olongapo to move into our new 3rd floor apartment. Our street was torn up and we had to park at the intersection. A bunch of little guys surrounded us, grabbed our wheeled luggage, hoisted it up off the wheels and disappeared up the street. No biggie, it was all at our apartment when I finally got there. As for the street being torn up it was great, no wheeled traffic, no fumes, no noise. Three months later new cement road, traffic jams, honking horns, and fumes a plenty. A few months ago I walk by the beautiful new cement road and now it is a gravel road. I ask engineer nephew what happened to the new cement road. Seems the construction people saved a lot of money on the actual cement additive so all of the cement had washed out of the mixture, a common thing in the PH. Engineer nephew spends most of his day at the batch plant when pouring cement in his new construction buildings to ensure the cement is made of both good and adequate cement and good and dirt less sand and gravel–You don’t always get what you pay for.

  4. chasdv says

    Life is truly more fun in the Philippines, LoL

    Paul your road repair men must be related to mine in the UK.
    I can guarrantee that they will start digging up the roads just before a Summer Bank Holiday weekend, but can never finish resurfacing until after the holiday weekend.
    So, just before the busiest traffic weekends, up go the diversion signs and dozens of temporary traffic lights.
    In my puzzlement i often wonder if this is a road safety measure, slow the traffic to snails pace, less accidents.
    C’est la vie.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Traffic management using obstructions! Now there is an idea whose time has come, pure genius on the part of the roads commission. Great Briton must be setting the pace for the rest of the world to follow, because they do it in the States and Canada too.

  5. Paul Thompson says

    I would have thought the road washed away from the basketball players peeing in the street, but a light cement mixture does make more sense. I bet it was nice when there was no road, ah the peace and tranquility of it all. The next time when we’re sitting on your roof top garden, enjoying cocktails, we’ll just ask ourselves; “I wonder what the other people are doing today.”

  6. chasdv says

    I forgot one more thing i can also guarrantee in the UK.
    Once a road is eventually finished, all nice and smooth, within a month the Gas Co or the Cable Co will come along and dig it up to lay new pipes/cables. We then end up with a nice patchwork road.
    It would appear that no one has explained the meaning of co-ordination to County Hall, LoL.

    “Not only in the Philippines”

    • Paul Thompson says

      It is done that way to give cause to resurface the roasway sooner, more money for the paving company, more kickbacks to the folks awarding the contracts. It’s like I said above, It’s a win-win for all but the taxpayer.

      • chasdv says

        Thanks Paul, you’ve solved my puzzlement, lol.

        I hear on the grapevine they’ve perfected road re-surfacing in Japan, they do it overnight. You go to bed looking at a rough roadway, then voila, nice new smooth road appears at dawn.
        Such is life!

        • Boss says

          In Sydney, Australia overnight road resurfacing is blazingly fast. Then again there’s lots of money to do the job quickly. I’ve been watching the road being torn up between Iligan City and Cagayan De Oro. All I can say is Oh My Lord.

          • Paul Thompson says

            In Sidney the people expect that kind of service, and the Politician’s are thinking about the next election. Here the people just shrug it off as that’s the way it’s always been.

    • Boss says

      I noticed that a lot in Sydney, once a road has been beautifully resurfaced a Utility will come along and tear up sections of it and make it look like a patch quilt like you said.

      • Paul Thompson says

        That was Chas, from Great Briton and sometimes here in the Philippines that said that, but you’re both right!

  7. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Paul, it’s not hard to figure out why the barangay chose to pave the road from the National Highway all the way up to the top of the hill but not in front of your house and Don’s. As probably the only Kanos in the neighborhood, you and Don may have perhaps inadvertently neglected to pay that “unspoken”, but so important annual dues expected of well-to-do Kanos at Christmas time to the venerable Barangay Captain in the form of a gift-wrapped Chivas Regal, or similar?

    • Paul Thompson says

      That could not be the reason as he has been well cared for, to include a case of booze also at Christmas for the office Barangay party. There had to be another reason.

  8. Bob New York says

    Hi Paul,

    Could the unpaved section of road in front of your house be considered as a ” speed bump ” to slow down the traffic ?

  9. Paul Thompson says

    You must be right, as I have never been able to come up with any other reason. I laugh because my property tax is one of the highest in the purok; there are a couple of larger in the Barangay. So it must be the speed bump! Thanks for clearing that up. (LOL)

        • Paul Thompson says

          When pigs fly would be more likely than me paying for it. I did that 12 years ago and they (the Barangay) took credit for it and showed the mayor what a good job they were doing, I paid for all of it so I could get my car up to my land. So never again.

      • Paul Thompson says

        Well Bob;
        Just how wrong that plan was, as I did (my wife) fix it a little last year but for five years I waited it out. I win, maybe if they do pave it someday. (LOL)

  10. Boss says

    One thing I find puzzling even though I have been told the reason for this, is why do they tear up perfectly good roads to resurface again. Yet a few metres either side of the highway there are dirt roads begging to be sealed. Oh well.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Whoa Nellie, if you’ve been told the reason for that, please share it with me, as I’ve been mushroomed on that subject. I really have no knowledge as to why they do it.

  11. says

    Paul, as you know I live in a barangay of Dinalupihan that still has dirt roads. When President Aquino declared Dinalupihan a “Calamity Zone” last month I just thought all sorts of federal pesos would be rolling in to repair the damaged streets. Well, on friday a dump truck dumped a load of sand into the intersection for the barangay to use. All we have to do is fill up our wheel barrels and fill in the deep trenches on our streets. Those without wheel barrels use buckets. As far as the federal money, the Barangay Captain just laughed and said that after every politician and official from the presidents office to the local councilmen took their cuts, nothing is left for the people affected by the monsoon let alone repairs for the barangay’s roads. Unless you know someone…….

    • Paul Thompson says

      Oh the pesos rolled in, but got stuck in a politician’s pocket as your Barangay Kapitan explained. But here is what I know, you were damn lucky to get that truckload of Pinatubo dust delivered at all. Put an extra peso in the collection box at church next Sunday and say a prayer of thanks. The state of calamity is now long forgotten.

  12. James Ogle says

    Paul you aren’t kidding about the Piatubo dust. When the wife and I were on our way to Olongapo a couple of weeks ago I noticed that they were digging the lahars out of the river beds and turning it into block and cement, just like the Romans. Speaking of Olongapo, man has It and Subic changed. There is even an SM Mall, not surprising since the seem to be popping up lie mushrooms. It was a nice vacation for us seeing some old friends instead of just family like we had for the prior two weeks. I might have to take back all the mean things I said about Gordon 20 years ago.

    • Paul Thompson says

      They have found that the building will fall down if Pinatubo dust is used and you try to go over 3 stories high. Also the blocks are very easy to break, and the Kung Fu guys just love it as it makes them look good.
      You can say a lot of crap about old Dick Gordon, but as you saw Olongapo survived the Navy leaving and has reshaped itself very well. It’s not our old Olongapo, its better. Great hotels and food, lots to do, and the Barrio is still there. I’m glad you had a great time, tell your friends!

      • James Ogle says

        I agree it is better. Still it was the most white faces I had seen in two weeks. Of course some of the Tagalog conversations were funny. It was also nice to get back to the color coded Jeepneys again. Could tell where I was going without even thinking about it. The asawa, our freinds, one of their sons who was four last time I saw him, and a daughter all went out to eat and KT. A good time was had by all and I even got to relive the drunken walk back to the Gate. The only downside being that Papagayo’s had gone out of business.

        • Paul Thompson says

          Papagayo’s Mexican food in the Barrio? I was there last year, so I didn’t even know that it was gone. The color coding works, you don’t even have to think about just get on the right color and you’re where you want to be. Dick Gorgon, tried to get them to do it in Manila, but they didn’t like it, but he did get all the airplanes color coded and that worked out just fine. (LOL) The rule in Olongapo is there must be 20% of we kano’s everywhere.

  13. PapaDuck says

    You got me cracking up with this article. So how is the new/old honda doing on that newly resurfaced road lol. Washing it will give you something to keep you occupied. Will be in the Philippines on the 20th of Oct. If you could e-mail me a good time for you to get together it would be much appreciated. Take care.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I’ll send you and Bruce (Mike) my cell number, I’m ready any day, remember I’m gainfully unemployed (Retired)

    • Bruce Michels says

      I’ll be in Subic from Oct 10 to 26. We are nixing the stay in Silang Cavite until we move.
      So get with Paul and we can get together during that week. I’m not retired like Paul but I am one VACATION!
      Oh Yea I’ll be staying at the Arizona Resort during that time.

  14. Mark G. says

    There are roads here in Cleveland, Ohio USA that have been resurfaced multiple times over the last few years. Just when they finish one project it seems they need to renew the sewer pipes or water pipes or fix the frost heaves. The roads get torn up, dug up and resurfaced again. They’re perfectly smooth for about 6 months then some other project starts and they get torn up again… somebody’s pocket is being lined and it’s not the citizens…I always tell people when it comes to corruption the Philippines can learn a thing or two from municipal governments in the good ole’ USA!

    • Paul Thompson says

      I all ways get a smile when Kano’s talk about corruption in the Philippines. How soon they forget about where their from. My wife points out corruption here and I smile and just say; “Amateurs!”

  15. Bruce Michels says

    I see your having to much fun over there. I see that they still complete goverment projects on Filipino time. That’s encouragement because over here it’s talk talk talk and seldom does anything gets done. They have been working on our roads now for 4 years and their still not done. I see a parallel here and it’s called goverment. LOL. The last month has been crazy getting ready for the trip of a lifetime and a scare with some medical issues which turned out fine. Darn those doctors sure know how to make a buck and keep me in suspence. I’ll be in Subic from Oct 10 to 26 so we have plenty of time to get together Let Randy know this incase he doesn’t get my E-mail. Having a beach party on the 13 or 20 to celibrate my B-DAy w/lechon and cold SMB any takers?
    Sorry it took so long to get back to commenting but I’ve been reading.

  16. says

    I’m still a ways off from thinking whether I’ll ever own, but your story gives me something to think about. Right now I rent and if I were unhappy I could pick up and move. But owning is a whole other deal. Meanwhile, down the main road one of the construction-grade water-hoses they cemented into place who knows how many years ago finally sprung a leak about three weeks ago. Now it is constantly muddy there on my walk to the mall. Who’s gonna fix that? I have no idea. Whoever is paying the bill on the water, I suppose. Until then.. water just keeps on flowing down the street. Oh well, “not my job”. :)

    • Paul Thompson says

      If you’re renting without a lease, sure you can up and move anytime. And hopefully the next place will remain perfect for a while, but since you’ve put up with the muddy road for this long without moving, you must view it as a minor inconvenience. You are adapting well to the Philippines. As I said in last week’s article whether to rent, buy or build is purely up to each of us to decide. I would never presume to say that I have all the answers. But here is what I do know since I’ve lived here full time since 1993, and part time before that. No matter where you hang your hat, something will pop up to bug you. Don’t let it bother you too much, because “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”

  17. don bullock says

    The pipe issue wasn’t to bad.lost water longer for reasons I never know. Maybe when the vacationers get here I can join you.

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