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.