Over the last few years I’ve regaled you with tales of building, repairing and improving out house on the mountain here in Bataan Philippines. This is a story of carnage and destruction by an act of nature on an unpatrolled scale, and no, it is not a Typhoon, Earthquake or Flood. This havoc had been caused by a 29 peso potted plant. Are you as shocked as I am?
To spin this yarn, I must ask you all once again to board the Way-back Machine with *Mr. Peabody and his trusted friend Sherman plus me as we digress back to the year “2000”. Hey if you believed in the Y2K Bug, than the Way-back machine is not much of a stretch is it?
The year 2000 I had just retired from my sea going life and had returned to our home in Dinalupihan Bataan. My wife gave me a day or two to adjust and then pointed out that our back yard was nothing but loose Pinatubo dust and that it covered everything from her fresh laundry to my man cave. I sprung into action, as that laundry had just become my number one priority in life; the Man Cave was fitted in there somehow too.
I hired a crew and we marked of an area for plants and grasses, and commenced to pave the remainder with cement. A week or so later it was done, or so I thought. We still needed the plant area finished, and my wife Mayang was not one to leave that to chance. She hired a landscaping firm to come in with the planting materials and all that was needed for her beautification project. Did I fail to mention I have a small front yard that was also included in that contract? Well it was.
Article continues below photos. Click on the photo for a larger view.
The crew sculptured a religious shrine with statues added plus everything required having a shrine in the front yard. I’m now worrying that I’ll have to put up with pilgrims making trips to my house to sit vigil, awaiting some form of miracle to reveal itself. Okay I worried about nothing, as it didn’t happen.
So the front yard is complete and now they move to the back yard which is where my man cave, oops, I mean laundry is covered in dust. Digging and planting working and toiling and all the time I was consuming vast amounts of the nectar from that little brown bottle, henceforth to be referred to as “SMB’s” or San-Magoo’s.
Mr. Guy-In-Charge points out to my wife that a fish pond with adjoining waterfall would be the crowning point of her backyard, and that it would be a think of legend, plus expanding his profit margin exponentially. Do you remember that I’d spoke of SMB’s? My Mayang had discovered that they tend to be on her side when she is requesting things from me somewhat of a lubricant. I swear a curse on beer! No! No! I’m just joking, really!
Okay as you can see by the attached pictures the fishpond became a part of our life. Zoom forward to last year, my wonderful wife caught me in a moment of weakness (I believe it was 12 year, Tanduay Superior Rum involved this time) “Honey-Ko we need cover over the fishpond to cut down on the amount of Algae.” I jump up searching for Mr. Guy-In-Charge as I know he’s back trying to make more money.
But I said yes and even wrote about it here on LiP last year. But that’s where it all went wrong. With one potted plant we unleashed a pox on our house and all those close by. This unknown vine covered the roof of her pond cover, and didn’t stop there it spread to the surrounding palm trees and over the wall to my neighbor’s yard, he of course complained and I gave him permission to cut it, and cut it and cut it again. I still owed him for the Avocados’ he accused me of taking from his tree, a while back, but we also had to get our guys back to add two extra support poles because of the weight of the plant from hell.
I’ll admit it does look good and has made the 100 or so fish very happy as it sends vines down into the water to hydrate itself, which provides the fingerlings with a place to hide until they can survive on their own. It’s like we’ve created our own mini Eco system right here in our own back yard. I’m a conservative that’s gone green, true it was by accident, but green I am. And for some unknown reason I have the strongest urge to drill for oil in the middle of the fish pond.
So I’ll sit by the pond, turn the waterfall on, pop the top of an ice cold SMB, and ponder my naval, and enjoy the smiling faces on all the fish, I know they are smiling as it’s impossible to cry underwater.
• From the TV Cartoon Show of yon, Rocky & Bullwinkle. Oh hell, Google it!
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!