The Fiesta

Please join Mr. Peabody, Sherman and me for another ride in the “Way-Back Machine. Puerto Rico in the 1980’s, they estimated has a Town Festival somewhere out on the Island almost every day of the year. Some are bigger, and some are just better, but no matter, because a good time is to be had by one and all.

I had moved to a small house when I found that I could rent my Condo to tourists for 4 to 5 hundred dollars a week. I hired a friend who was a realtor and he took care of all the details of renting and cleaning and repairs, plus picking the folks up at the Airport and returning them at the end of their stay.

One Friday afternoon Francisco, (AKA Fito) caught me on the Beach and told me there was a slight problem with a pair of arriving renters. No one was available to pick them up at the airport that evening at 20:00. He explained that they were two middle aged ladies from Chicago, and gave me a sign with their names on it. I phoned my Night Club’s manager and told her she would have to open and I’d be in late.

Living the life!
Living the life!

He took the keys to my Lincoln Town Car and had one of his employees wash and waxed it for me and they returned it just before the trip to San Juan., hey, who was I picking up, Mayor Daily sisters?

Both ladies were pleased to be on the Island, and liked being picked up in a Town Car. They seemed quite pleasant and I asked if they would like to take the Beach road to the Condo, as there was a Festival on the way and we could stop and be introduced to Puerto Rico Culture from the git go. They liked that idea and little did I know the night I was in for. When we stopped there was Salsa Music blaring, hundreds of people dancing, food and beverages everywhere, and now I have two missing passengers. Whom I found swilling rum and cokes and dancing with everybody, plus they had no desire to continue the trip. 05:00 and I found my fellow revelers’ by my car napping against a Coconut Palm. I explained the dangers of falling coconuts.

I got them to the Condo at 08:00 and settled them in, went home and took a nap, and at noon I was on the beach again. Fito found me and he was quite upset, he had spoken to the two ladies and they told him what a great time they had, at the Fiesta. Paul, what did you do? They are two Carmelite Nuns from Chicago here on vacation, they Shouln’t be drinking and dancing the night away. I grinned and said, you didn’t tell me, and they didn’t tell me that they were nuns (Gone Wild). So I asked; “Did they have a good time?” Fito said; “Well, I think they did.” By the way they were in my Night Club for most of the two weeks they were visiting. (They had asked that I not mention that they were Sisters from the Order of Saint Joseph. I smiled and said: “I won’t, but I will after your gone but not until then.”

Paul! What’s that got to do with the Philippines? Well a lot really, as there is a parallel between here and there, they both were colonized by the Spanish and have similar traditions. So with that being said; Monday I received a call from my friends further down the road in Pita Dinalupihan Bataan, Mike and Ely Friedberg were inviting us to a Barangay Festival on Wednesday evening in the tiny hamlet of San Bonito, yes still Dinalupihan. They had also invited my neighbors Don and Anita Bullock (All by the way, loyal readers of LiP). Plus we were joined by Mike’s friend Bill and his bride Ruby.

Off to San Bonito to partake in the fun and games, they’ll be no pictures as I neglected to bring a camera, so I’ll try to paint a word picture. First we stopped at Mike’s wife’s relatives (A cousin, nephew or something like that) named Danny. They very nice and hospitable people who welcomed the three extra Kano’s into their house as if we belonged, and within a minute or two I found that we did belong, as they made us feel that way. The required eating of foods was the first order of business, after introductions, and odd looks by the youngsters that were there. San Benito is a rural rice growing area, and Kano’s are not that common there. I had been there in the past as a friend of mine from a couple of ship’s we had road together, had grown up there.

Life is a beach
Life is a beach

The narrow streets were lined on both sides with kiosks hawking everything one would need to enjoy the fiesta, items like China made tools, household items such as pots and pans and flatware. As we wandered from Danny’s house towards the “Fair” grounds we saw more and more hawkers selling more very odd items, but I found one guy selling pop corn hot from the blow torch he was using, and it was good.

At the “Fair” grounds there were many games of chance, and one noisy rattletrap looking carnival ride that was 30 years past its expiration date. Like a tilt a whirl on tracks. We gave it a pass as none of us were over served. But the games of chance, we all had to make a donation to the carnival workers college fund.

At 20:30 Mayang and I left for home after thanking our host and hostess for opening their lovely home to us and the great foods we had. It was a nice evening with pleasant company. My camera will be with me in the future, unless I forget it again. Oh the rest stayed enjoyed the evening, but Mayang had a need to get home and see our Grandson. Me, I would have been fine seeing him the following morning, but as I’ve said in the past; “I never spit into the wind.”

Post Author: Paul Thompson (313 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!

49 Ways to Make a Living without a Job


  1. Scott Fortune says

    Wow. Whatever happens in Puerto Rico stays in Puerto Rico!! Especially at Paul’s Night club!!

    Sounds like you had a nice time that night in Puerto Rico as well as in Dinalupihan!

    • Paul Thompson says

      The Navy base there is closed now, so my Night Club would be losing customers, the tourest and locals are great, but to make a buck you need all three. I lived up to my promise to the Mojica’s (Spanish for Nuns) and never said a word. One of my regulars asked me a week later about the two of them and what fun they were, and that’s when I told everyone , no one believed me, so their secret is still safe.
      Dinalupihan is a slower pace, not much going on at all. I found I like that now, Puerto Rico was great and the memories will last a lifetime. But I’m content now where I am.

  2. Paul Thompson says

    I lived in absolute fear of them in school, but we knew it was okay to kiss one as long as you never got in the Habit.
    Sister Mary Parvel, could hear me talking at the back of the class, spin and throw the erasure and hit me between the eyes every time. I think in Rome it’s an Olympic Event.

    • Hudson says

      I had the irish sisters of charity, whose motto was better learning through intimidation. Sister Thomas Aquinas had a throwing arm as well, and broke many a yard stick across my back-side.

  3. PapaDuck says

    I can remember well the 8 years of catholic school in the 60’s-70’s. Didn’t enjoy getting hit in the knuckles several times by a ruler. But we always had a good time trying to imitate the nuns all the time lol. Glad to see there were some nuns who liked to have a “good time”. Looking forward to enjoying many a fiesta when i make my move there. By the way Lolo, hows the grandson doing and how’s your son-in- law doing in Alaska. Take care.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I’ll be taking the short guy and his mother to the doctor Friday for vacsiations, ana a check up. But he’s a happy little guy. His dad Cecil is doing great, and there is more overtime than anyone really needs, but he’s taking as much as he can. The two Mojicas down in Puerto Rico did enjoy themselves, but as far as anyone knows they stuck with their faith.

  4. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Chicago nuns? What about this nun?

    ‘Vacationing in Hawaii, two priests decide to wear casual clothes so they won’t be identified as clergy. They buy Hawaiian shirts and sandals, and soon head for the beach.

    They notice a gorgeous blond in a tiny bikini. “Good afternoon, Fathers” she says as she strolls by.

    The men are stunned. How does she know they are clergy? Later that day, they buy even wilder attire consisting of surfer shorts, tie dyed T-shirts, and dark glasses.

    The next day, they return to the beach. The same fabulous blond, now wearing a string bikini, passes by, nods politely at them and says, “Good morning Fathers.”

    “Just a minute young lady.”, says one of the priests. “We are priests and proud of it, but how in the world did you know?”

    The blonde replies, “Don’t you recognize me? I’m sister Katherine from the convent.” ‘

  5. Bruce Michels says

    Great little story it made my day!1 I spent 4 yrs in a seminary before I left for the real world and the Navy. Let me tell you You think wine is the only thing they drink NOT they can party! Like Paul Harvey said know for the rest of the story.
    By the way glad your grandson is doing well and I’m sure Lola is keeping a close eye on him. My new grandson was up here in J-ville this weekend 6.5weeks old know. Jaxson doing fine. Onc e when I was holding him his eyes were open and my Awasa said look grampa he’s looking at you. I scratched my head and thought to myself really Jaxson’s eyes are going up downand crosswise I doubt he can even FOCUS yet. So I just said Your right Grandma and left it at that.
    October is coming fast and can wait to drink some SMB’s with you guys.

    • Paul Thompson says

      A couple of friends and I were in the man cave yesterday afternoon having one or two canned consumables. A few hours and then their wives came to collect them. I’ve been messing with my grandson (10 Weeks) by letting him smell candy, and peanut butter and stuff; he reacts and tries to get more. My daughter thinks I’m a tad odd. I am!

    • PapaDuck says

      Your right October is coming fast. Had to change my whole flight itinerary due to changed connections in Bejing. They wanted me to stay 36 hours in Bejing to catch the next available China Air flight to Manila. I told them thats totally unacceptable and got a refund. Trying to reason with those Indian CSR is almost impossible. Now i have an earlier flight and can stay later there. Now i’m flying out of Wash DC by way of Tokyo on All Nippon Air which is so much better. I also fly into Terminal 3 too. ANA is only foreign airline that goes to Terminal 3. Glad your grandson is doing great. Looking forward to those SMB’s. Take care.

      • Bruce Michels says

        The flight we have is contenental it goes from J-ville to Huston TX 2hr layover to Hawii 1hr to Gaum 1.5 latover the Manila at 8:30 pm. Great flight have some time to stretch our legs and tidy up a bit before landing in Manila. Grandson is doing what babies do best nothing but look cute for Lola. The 5 yr old twins are my speed we have a blast. So I’ll let the women handle the baby till he get older them it’s off to do manly things.
        What days are you going to be in subic?

        • PapaDuck says

          Whatever day you guys want to get together in subic is fine with me. Schedule not set yet fo the visit. Take care.

            • Paul Thompson says

              PapaDuck & Bruce;
              All these plans you two are making, and no one has bother to check my Schedule! Oh wait, it’s clear, it’s always clear! (lol) See ya both whenever you’re here.

  6. Mark G. says

    Funny story Paul. It would make a classic movie scene. I seem to miss the local fiesta every year as I’m still working in the states. I know I’ll have a good time when I do attend because of all the great photos I’ve seen. We’ve even got some photos of my one year old son dancing along with the music. Next time bring your camera! lol Having a good time has never been a problem in the Philippines!

    • Paul Thompson says

      One person turned his front yard into a night club serving drinks and that damnable singing machine. I didn’t go in as there were 7 or 8 very attractive young ladies there, shouting; “Hey Joe” Whoever Joe was he didn’t go in either. Because if Joe or I had stopped in, within a Manila Minute mine or his wife would have came by and seen us. I’ll say it again; “Never spit into the wind!” I don’t know why I forgot the camera; I’ll chalk it up to advancing age.

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