Where Have All the Roosters Gone

Do you remember that song; “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”? My old beer buddy next door was Boyet and his wife Anna, who both lived off the largest of his Uncle Roberto a 35 year resident of San Diego California and the owner of the land. Boyet was a pleasant man, who didn’t want a lot out of life, save for a full bowl of rice, a roof over his head and a cold beer.

For quite a few years Boyet and I had lived side by side in harmony, Prior to Tito Roberto buying the land it was owned by a cantankerous old woman with a brood of shiftless career unemployed adult children, who somehow found mates and filled the yard with naked children. They tried rising 45 day chickens, which were never housed in a coop but roamed free and often few into the trees and jumped into my yard. My dog army would dispatch them quickly and I would return the chicken carcass to the owner, as I felt that was the right thing to do.

The 45 Day chicken ranching went bust, and they went back to adding more naked children to the yard. So when and where they got the idea that raising pigs would be a good way to go I’ll never know, and without keeping them in pens. But the children now had something to play with. If you think for a micro-second that Mrs. Thompson would put up with the smell and noise of pigs beneath her bedroom window, I’ve done a very poor job of telling you about the lady I’m married to.

It seems that our Barangay has a no pigs within certain areas rule. The pigs left, but more children arrived. Until the family noticed that that many people couldn’t live in a two room shack and they sold out to Tito Roberto from San Diego Ca.

Ah Roberto, what a prize he was, Boyet and I were sitting on my wall in front of the house having a beer when he came up and proceeded to tell me the horrible life he had in San Diego and how happy he was to be back in the Philippines. I commented that his neighbors in San Diego were properly still enjoying his going away party to this day. I said; “Roberto, you do know that I’m from the states don’t you? The Boston accent and the blue eyes should give you a hint.” I had little to do with him after that, because he was an “ugly” Pinoy, yes they are out there. Then Roberto sold out and returned to San Diego, and yes I saw the humor in that.

The new owner Rooster Man (From Olongapo City) took over and put half a new corrugated roof next to the rusty ones that were already there then came the roosters. 40 plus, with coops cages and those “A” frame houses the birds live in. They are fighting cocks and are well cared for. Rooster Man does reside there he built a new (Very Nice) house up the street. That would have made me angry, but the new house had even more roosters than the overflow house next to me. That seemed fair.
A few years have passed, the noise next to me became white noise and very much like the constant noise on a ship so I became numb to it. Until last week, I had trouble sleeping at night and napping during the day. What was going on? I was becoming cranky and even the cold SMB’s didn’t help.

It was too peaceful, then Mayang informed me that the roosters were gone, flown the coop out of there I was shocked as not once had I complained or uttered a word against them. Like most things in the Philippines they were a part of life and you learn to accept that.

It’s been a couple of days now and I miss them, after my initial wild celebration dancing on the roof their first day gone. I wondered if I’d ever get to sleep again. I did what I had to do years ago when I’d come home from the ship on vacation, I played music. That was enough noise to reset my sleep clock and all was well again.

I checked with Rooster Man at the new house and like the land beside me it was now a rooster free zone. Where had all the roosters gone? Mayang stepped in when she saw the perplexed look on my face, and walked me to the top of the road and there they were, a new walled piece of land (800 Square Meters) with a Nipa hut and all the roosters milling around smartly and the caretaker herding them from one side of the land to the other.

So on one side of me is a huge empty lot with fallen trees, and now on the other side is just the hut and the empty lot with one set of Rooster Mans relatives living there (Nice people BTW). Hmmmm. I wonder what in the name of all that’s holy, will be moving on the land next? I’ll wait and see, because the one constant thing here is; the adventure never ends.

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!

How to Move to the Philippines Manual


  1. papaduck says

    You are right. Just stay tuned. There is always something different everyday. It would not be the Philippines if it was anything different. The one constant noise we have here is a dog that yelps on cue every morning owned by a Korean family. I thought about saying something to them, than i thought I doubt if they would even understand me as they pretty much stay to themselves and dogs barking are of what makes up life here.

    • Paul Thompson says

      A dog barks and it travels up the road like a sound wave with the next dog (Or Dogs) joining in. At my house the symphony reaches its peak as my 14 dogs join in. Then were talking about noise, one dog, go back to sleep. (LOL)
      I posted this on Facebook the other day:
      Pat ‘O’Toole and his wife are in bed one night and they hear the neighbor’s dog is barking its head off in their yard. Somewhat disturbed by the noise, O’Toole explodes, ‘Botheration and that!’ and storms off downstairs.
      He comes back upstairs five minutes later and his wife asks, ‘What did you do, O’Toole?’
      O’Toole replies with a wide grin, ‘I’ve put the dog in our yard, now let’s
      See how they like it.’

  2. says

    OMG! If I could have a night without roosters crowing and dogs barking, I’d be in hog heaven (no pun intended). If you add the cats fighting and mating, it’s a wonder I can ever sleep.

    • Paul Thompson says

      RT Cunningham;
      I am thinking its part of the dues we pay to live here, it a teat to weed out the weak. (LOL) We’re still here aren’t we?

  3. Jose Porfirio says

    Mr. Paul T. I am catching up on my sleep right now here in Southeastern Massachusetts..enjoying my “Linguiça Sandwich” with some “coffee milk”. Went to a seafood restaurant in East Providence last Friday to enjoy some quahog and clam cakes. Will be back to hear a lot of noise again in Southern Luzon this coming December but I know I will still love it. Cheers, Senior Chief. :)

    • Paul Thompson says

      Quahogs, I’ll bet there are people reading this and wondering what the hell is a quahog?
      CLAM BOIL:
      Quahogs, clams lobster with corn potatoes and onions boiling in a 55 gal drum on a beach on Cape Cod filled with seawater, and boil spices. Having a cold beer and listening to great old music waiting to eat. Hmmmm New England!

      • Jose Porfirio says

        Paul T, Newer version of clam boil now includes kielbasa or linguiça to be washed down with a very cold bottle of “gansette (Narragansett) Beer .. :)

  4. says


    Once again, colorful story! I feel inclined to help you. No! Really! It’s okay! I’m going to sneak over the fence next door in the late night hours and throw a gunny sack over the head of the Rooster next door that just does not know when to shut his corn hole.

    On the way out I’ll nab the dog for you too!

    I wish to bring peace and harmony to YOUR house!


    • Paul Thompson says

      You’re too late they are already gone. Plus no one on the street has more dogs than I do.(LOL)

  5. maria says

    hi paul
    when our pitbull died, my husband and i couldnt sleep for 3 months. we let her sleep in our room because her very loud snoring put us to sleep, lol.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I have a 15 year old Spitz that sleeps beside the bed; I know what you mean when she is snoring I know all is right with the world. I’m sorry for your loss!

  6. says

    The roosters have long gone, Paul, probably never to return. If only they could have talked, they might have said to you in farewell, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone… when I’m gone…”

    • Paul Thompson says

      Somehow within a week I’ve adjusted very well. And with the old Roy Clark song: “Thank God and Greyhound, She’s Gone” helps me sleep like a bear in winter.

  7. Jay says

    Hi Paul,

    I want to start with a positive comment. A good writer paints a picture with his words for the reader to see in his minds eye and you do that. You are a good writer and I normally enjoy reading your articles.

    The problem I have with this article is I don’t like the picture you painted with your words. The picture I got was of a Kano standing on his roof patio with a SMB in hand looking into his neighbors yard counting the number of “naked children” and judging that the number was too great. I feel it is none of your business how many children your neighbor has. In this article seemed to lump the children in with chickens, pigs and roosters.

    On a personal note, my wife was the eight child of nine. Her father was a simple fisherman and her mother had nine children to take care of. I am glad her parents did not stop having kids at 7 because then my wife would not be here. Furthermore my wife grew up with yard birds (free range chickens), pigs roosters, and goats in her yard. These animals helped her family survive. Her family still lives like this. If you don’t want to see people like my wife’s family, I am sure you have the resources to move to a place where they won’t be around. I found this article elitist. Sorry to be so critical but I took offense at what you wrote this week and I felt the need to let you know why.

    Take care!


  8. Paul Thompson says

    My father was one of 9 children, I was one of 5 children being of Irish Catholic decent I grew up in an area of Boston all having large families The part that you failed to read and missed the point on was the parents of these children did not “EVER” work to support them, whereas in my background they did all work and supported their kids, .If pointing out that this family didn’t work makes me an elitist, then that’s what I am.
    And as you pointed out, your wife’s father worked. Maybe I didn’t paint a good enough picture of the point I was trying to make.

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