The Crab guy made me crabby!

On Monday of this week, I guess it just wasn’t my day!  From early morning and all through the day, I had a series of things happen that just did not make for a nice day for me.

First thing in the morning, Feyma and I were sitting out on the patio talking.  We had some plans for the day, and we were just kind of coordinating what we needed to get done, and what times we would do  the various things on our schedules.  Normally, as regular readers know, I enjoy riding the jeepney to town to take care of my various chores.  But, since both Feyma and I needed to go to different places around town, I offered to give her a ride, then go take care of my things, and finally, pick her up and we would go home together.  So far so good!

I don't want any crab!
I don’t want any crab!

As we sat outside talking, we heard a vendor coming along the street… he was shouting out, “Alimango….  pasayan…. isda….” (Crab…. shrimp…. fish), and selling these products house to house in our neighborhood.  Feyma and I looked at each other, and I knew that we both wanted to have some nice seafood for dinner.  So, when the guys got to our house, we let them inside the gate, and went to the patio in the shade to talk and check their products.  First thing, I said “Maayong Buntag” to the vendors (Good Morning), and they replied in turn, also saying “kasabot sya ug biasaya?” to Feyma (can he understand bisaya?).  I replied that indeed, I could speak Bisaya.  So, we got our conversation going in Bisaya, since we could all communicate in the language.  One of the guys (I’ll call him Crab Man) said to me that all of the crabs he had were female crabs, making them very delicious.  I told him that we did not want crabs (they were so small, couldn’t imagine there was much meat).  He asked me again, why don’t we buy crabs.  I told him again, “Please, we don’t want crabs.”  It was all spoken in Bisaya, so I know he could understand what I was saying.  I started talking to the other guy (I’ll call him fish guy).  Just as I started talking to fish guy, well, crab guy spoke up again and tried to talk me into buying crabs!  I replied to him a bit more sternly, “I don’t want crabs, what I want is to talk to your partner.”  So, I started again to ask the fish guy a question, and crab guy asked me again if I want to buy crabs!  My goodness!  I lost it.  I told him that I don’t want to buy anything from them anymore, because he won’t stop bothering me about the crabs!  I already told him 3 times, and now on my 4th time, that I did not want crabs!  At this point, fish guy started scolding crab guy and telling him to just be quiet and leave me alone!  I was done, though, I had enough of Mr. Crab Guy!  I went in the house, and left Feyma to deal with them… she wanted some shrimp, but I had already had enough, so I just left!  Ha ha… not a nice start to the morning!  I really was wanting to buy some Lapu Lapu fish from these guys, and also some shrimp, but I was already disgusted with crab guy!

Well, after I took a shower and got ready, Feyma was also ready, so we were about to head to town.  Feyma was bringing Irish and Arnie to the dentist, as she wrote about in her article yesterday.  I was going to the barber shop, among a few other places.  So, we loaded up Arnie and Irish in the car, and we took off.  When we arrived at the dentist office, I let Feyma and the girls out, and headed to the barber shop.  Normally, the barber shop that I go to has about 6 to 8 barbers on duty.  I had gone to get a haircut last Friday, and there was not a single barber there.  So, I went back, on Monday after dropping Feyma at the dentist.  When I got to the barber shop, there was only one barber on duty, so I had to wait a bit.  It kind of surprised me, and made me wonder why there were so few barbers at the shop the past few days.  Oh well…  Hopefully next week when I go for a haircut it will be back to normal.


So, with my errands finished, I was ready to head to the dentist office to pick up Feyma and the girls.  At the place where the dentist office is, there are a lot of pomelo vendors along the street (for those who don’t know, pomelo is similar to a grapefruit, but much better, in my opinion).  As I pulled up to the parking area, the pomelo vendors were holding up their pomelos, thinking I wanted to buy some.  I waved them off and kept going.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw that maybe 20 or so pomelo vendors were literally chasing my car!  I parked, and they all gathered up next to my door.  I would not even open the door to get out of my car, there were so many huddled up to sell me some fruit.  I have been to this area literally hundreds of times, and have never experienced this kind of situation before.  I don’t know why they were all blocking my exit from my car.  I rolled down my window and told them that I didn’t want any pomelo, and asked them to move so that I could get out of the car.  At this point, the security guard from the shopping center saw what was going on and came and cleared the crowd!  What a strange experience.

So, as you can see… Monday was not a good day for me.

Thankfully, Tuesday was back to normal!

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1343 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

Live in the Philippines Consulting


  1. Cy says

    Are you really, truly, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt sure you don’t want crabs? Maybe you just need a little time to think about it. 😀

  2. Paul Thompson says

    The story would have be comically perfect, if out of the crowd of Pomelo vendors Mr. Crab Guy was there and asked…
    I’m sorry Bob, it’s how my mind works!

  3. says

    You must live near our place in Davao because our crab/shrimp vendor is equally annoying! He won’t go away.. he will even wake us up by yelling through the gate.

  4. Casey says

    Hello Bob, I am a first timer writing here, but have been reading for a while. I married a Davao Filipina here in the USA last July 3rd. We will be moving there (back to Davao area) “someday”. Your stories are very enlightening and I enjoy your site. You are still seen as the “rich American” I think. We can’t change that. My wife advises me that when she sold vegetables she would find success in “bugging the customer ’til sale”. So, there we have it.

  5. John Miele says

    Bob: I can sympathize with you… It can be a fine line between selling and being an over-aggressive pest. I’m actually sir of surprised that, given your fluency in bossy a that he didn’t back off.

    Funny… Had this happened to us, Rebecca probably would have bought some crabs from him IF he was a lolo… Pest or not. She is often sympathetic to elderly vendors, farmers, fishermen.

    I’m like you, though. I lose patience if it becomes a hassle.

  6. says

    Thank God you didn’t give any of the “cleansed lepers” a few pesos. There’s only one on the entire street until you open the wallet, then BOOM! How fast can you run after that?

  7. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Just curious, Bob, do curachas ever make their way to Davao? Not to be confused with “cucaracha”, which is Spanish for cockroach, curacha is a type of crab known to exist only in the deep waters off Zamboanga. They are considered a delicacy by the Chavacanos.

  8. Gary Wigle says

    Pomelo??? Grapefruit is so MUCH better. I sure wish I could find them here in the Philippines. Just as well, the doctor will not let me have them. Stops my heart meds from working.

    I miss the Snow and King crabs. Lots of meat on them! Just had the ice cream vendor go by. Meriam sure can run fast to get him to stop. 😛

  9. peterjoy says

    lol bob i think he got it in the end mate and like u i hate being ask two or three times for some think hehhehhe but it looks to me it was ur bad day mate lol it can all but get better ok all the best mate ok……..peter martin tassie..

  10. queeniebee says

    Hey Bob,
    I checked–monday wasn’t even a full moon! Crazy day for you I guess:)
    Bob do you guys have the big crabs referred to in Bisaya as lambay? Plentiful in Bohol and Cebu, but not sure about your area..
    I remember your past video about the pomelos–they looked giant and sweet!
    Nobody wants the “hard sell” though!

    • Rey says

      Hi Queenibee, let me answer that. :) Lambay is not as prevalent in Davao anymore due to overfishing and habitat destruction. Even in their natural habitat, which usually is in vast sea grasses, i only see small ones if ever if encounter one and Lambay usually die once out of water most fishermen who catch it never bother selling it and just make it their meal.
      The crabs Bob i think was talking about being sold by those ambulant vendors were mud crabs, we have a lot of it in Davao since it is being raised in ponds in other nearby provinces.

  11. Mars Z. says

    Hi Bob, how about fish, wanna buy some fish, sir? Ha ha so Bob, when you walked out of there, what did Feyma ended up buying? Steamed shrimp sounds good right now!

  12. Christopher says

    Just wondering Bob, what kind of crabs are native to the Philippines (for human consumption) anyway?

  13. Papa Duck says

    Kind of reminds of the vendors on the pier in Naples, Italy when we made a port stop there while i was on a Navy ship. They called us hey joes their too selling there tapestries and other things. They would not take no for an answer either. In Italy at that time in 1980 you could get just about anything if you had a buck knife or zippo lighter to trade. Glad the next day was better. Stay safe

  14. Bill says

    I had the same thing happen in one say. My landlord advised me that for now on when something fails or needs attention in my rented house that I will be the one to pay for it. I asked why? and he said because you have plenty of money. Then when I went to pay for my first motorcycle monthly payment. The payment was much higher. When I confronted the staff they began arguing with me. Finally the manager showed up he said that the promo he promised was NOT accepted by the head office in Manila and that I would have to pay the extra p13000.

  15. David S. says

    Thanks for sharing Bob. I find the articles you write about day to day experiences that actually happened to you to be the most enlightening. Keep up the good work!

  16. jonathan says

    Are you sure Bob, you don’t want some crabs???? They have a lot meat especially the talangka lol…sure? Final offer! Lol. Maybe the fruit vendors interpreted your “waving off” as “waving in” that’s why they ran after you?

  17. sergioborges says

    You was a victim of txt group message Bob! ehehehe

    Try to order a small lunch at mc do or a meal without dessert at chown king!!! you will listen a lot of claims…

    – how come a man your size wants small coke and normal fries?
    – how come a meal without dessert? when you will go back to your land sir?
    – it´s cheap! if u dont want simply trow it away sir.
    and it´s a rule in manila. big mc do and complete meal!

    ahahahaha. I simply dont want 500ml coke and double fries. and i also dont want a sweet after meal sometimes…. may I?


  18. says

    Bob…I am laughing so hard my side hurts!!
    I had to read your story to the wife who for many years was a fish vendor in CDO and she also would have brought some crabs from the Crab man. This got her into a half hour story about when she use to work in the market and how sometimes they would act like the crab guy and it would work they sold more fish and the people that would take the same attitude as you did they would make faces when they turned their backs and the surrounding vendors would actually get a good laugh out of it. She told me that some of the time the customer would hear them laughing and turn around and call them “Stupid” which would make them laugh harder and she would remark I’m sorry Sir or Ma’am my friend was just telling me a joke! Hahahahahaha
    I had a similar incident at the SM mall in CDO when we were looking at some luggage and I was about to buy a nice suit case until three or four other salesman came over and started trying to sell me luggage from their areas. I felt so pressured that I just began to walk away as a couple salesman followed us still trying to get us to buy than the wife asked if I was still going to buy the suit case, at that I told her yes but not from here! As we kept walking we heard laughing we turned and looked at each other and had to laugh also. :-) Thanks for the laughs Bob.

  19. RandyL says

    In seafood sales speak, maybe he is said to have a crabby attitude. Over the years, I have perfected “the look” that many a Filipina possesses and can use it rather convincingly. Then sometimes, just a little smile with the comment “no thanks…maybe next year” can drive home the message.
    So what ever did you learn about where all the barbers went? Maybe a barber convention/crab fest? 😀

  20. JustJoe says

    Oh the memories. Know exactly what you are talking about regards crab guy. A couple months ago I had 2 bee guys selling wild honey, I love the stuff. After asking how much, I don’t really haggle and was happy with the price, bee man told me I needed an old tanduay bottle to put the honey in. Each bottle 150 peso.

    I’m a beer drinker so walked to my neighbor, less than 10 meters away and got 3 bottles. 2 minutes later I gave bee man the bottles and his side kick, bee boy, said that it would be 750peso. Philippine super inflation.

    When it comes to these situations, I’m just like you Bob. Straight away I said I don’t want the honey any more as you are trying to rip me off. Bee man turns to bee boy and they start arguing. By the time they had finished I was already back in the gate. They sat outside for about 20 minutes trying to get me to buy it at the original price.

    Okay I would have loved the honey but one gets really tired, really quickly when first living here of always getting ripped off. I’m not a millionaire, I actually work for a living and people need to learn here that it is just bad business. Instead of 450peso, bee man and bee boy left with nothing due to pure greed.

    The best part of it is that I also speak the local language but tend not to, it’s more fun that way. During the whole conversation between bee man and bee boy they kept on saying that I am the one to blame and it is just cause I’m mean with my money that I don’t want to buy the honey.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one like you in Philippines :-)

    • says

      HI Joe – I don’t think the guy was trying to rip me off or that his crab was overpriced. I think he was just overzealous.

      We do think differently about speaking the language. I find that if I speak the language, they don’t try to overprice, and we also have fun talking with each other.

  21. says

    Hi Bob – You did the right thing to the crab guy. But before you left them and proceed inside the house you could have opted say to this vendor, “ Can’t you understand Visayan language”? or you could have just simply give him stern look in the eye. That second option always works for me, and they would usually answer, “ah ok”, and then stopped bugging. In our interaction with people in our day to day lives, this is one instance when we should assert our own will and shouldn’t tolerate misbehavior. But if the guy is really sick in the head and still stubborn, then you have two choices: You just did the one option, and the other is to open your gate and show him the way out.

    • says

      Hi louie – Yeah, it seems that we really think alike on this one. I did give the guy several opportunities to be quiet and let me talk, but he wouldn’t listen. Ha ha… I guess I showed him that I didn’t have to keep listening, though. 😆

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