Today, I would like to welcome a new writer on LiP, Phil Ruland. Phil has been a long time Community member here on LiP, nearly back to when the site was born in 2006. Phil moved to the Philippines a couple of years ago, and seems to be enjoying his life here. I would like to offer Phil my sincere thanks for joining our team of writers on LiP, and continued happiness in the Philippines! MindanaoBob
Well, I guess I need to write something that is interesting to the readers so I look like I know what I’m writing about?
Bob said it needs to be about the Philippines so I will start out with life here in Talisay. Talisay is a small community made up of mostly Philippinos and one foreigner that’s me. There is another person from Copenhagen that comes over once a year but he doesn’t like it here so he stays in CdO.
Talisay in on the northeast section of Gingoog municipality the last barangay before Magsaysay. It is has a small tribal community and the leader has a bamboo mansion on top a hill overlooking Gingoog Bay with the rest of the tribe living on the sides of the hill below him. Plus there is a larger community in the mountains south of here it is about 22 kilometers from the highway going south. My wife is a member of the tribe and her uncle is the tribal leader. He lives on the hill in the bamboo mansion, plus he has a house in manila and in CDO and one in the mountains at a place called Mt. Suoan it has a public school and a private school in which her uncle is the head of.
And of course I have a house there also I bought some land there too. I don’t really own the land it is all government owned but I have a piece of paper saying that I have leased 5 hectares of land in a place called Baboy-Baboy. It is about a 2 hour hike from the community up the river over the mountains and thru the valleys. If it is raining it takes longer, very muddy to walk. There is no electric at the village still too far for the electric company. To run lines and no phones work (even cell phones) there, too far from the towers.
It’s isolated from everyone so you have to travel back and forth by motorcycle or 4 wheeldrive, it cost P100 to go one way P200 round trip and that’s to the highway or to Talisay, more it you go to Gingoog.
So my first experience with off road driving was go to Mt. Suoan in a multicab 4×4 with my brother-in-law and my stepson. We got within 3 kilometers and sunk in the mud. Well that was a surprise to me, as I was told that everything worked on the truck. Well everything almost did just that we had no 4 wheel drive, just 1 wheel worked but that didn’t help us when the axel was sitting in the mud and the wheels were spinning. So when I got out of the truck and walked around it and looked at everything ,I put my foot on the spinning wheel it stopped and the other on started to spin.
I started to laugh it was funny here I am stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country and of course it is raining, but I did bring a shovel .The jack was absolutely useless in the mud so We found some logs and we proceeded to lift the truck up high enough to get some stones under the wheels and the back up 1 or 2 meters then start all over again it took us 3 1/2 hours to go about 20 meters to get out of the mud going backwards then when I got to the hill it took 9 guys to push the truck up the hill.
We stopped some guys hauling logs out with motorcycles by the time I was able to drive my truck again it had cost me 900 pesos I gave each guy 100 pesos to push me up the hill took 20 minutes to do that.
Now picture this I am soaking wet covered in mud from head to toe about 98 degrees hot sticky and tired and I’m 60 years old and I did most of the work. I looked at the other two and said “hey you ready to go home now “and of course they said YEA. On the way home we stopped at a waterfall and washed up (the nice thing about the Philippines is the water is always warm) then I plugged in the usb and listen to Skinny Puppy and Ministry on the way home.
I never drove that multicab in the mountains again. It cost 65 pesos to fix a vacuum line that wasn’t working. That vacuum line was what put it into 4 wheel drive.
This was one of many adventures I have had since I’ve been here. Aren’t you glad you weren’t with me?
I hope you enjoyed my first episode.
Thank you Phil