I was out to sea most of the time while my house was being built so I didn’t see that much of the construction. Plus living here for over 20 years I never took the time to give it much attention until September 2014. That has opened my eyes.
The roosters are gone next door, and then I noticed that the folks were gone next. A crew showed up with a couple of my brother-in-laws on it and started removing the roof. Then five guys with one sledge hammer and four claw hammers commenced to bring the house down by hand. By the end of the second day it was gone, down for the count, a former house. It was now a pile of rubble. The house came down with ease as I noticed that it was built with next to no rebar and that those few were the smallest at 10MM, the way the cement turned to dust told me that the original builder had used more sand to cement then they should have.
Now for the funny stuff, an 18 wheel dump truck arrived and dumped sand directly inside the only gate got stuck in the mud and torn off the gate while trying to leave. It did not hit my adjoining wall so I popped open a beer and relaxed. The gate was fixed within an hour.
Twenty minutes later three elf trucks show up filled with more cinder block, rebar and cement and then a truck full of gravel was idling just down the road. Did I mention the huge pile of sand that was blocking the entrance? One guy with a spade tossing sand out of the way while the rest of the crew had to mule haul all the other supplies up and over the sand mountain. I got so tired watching I had to have another SMB. Hours passed, the crew is worn to the nub and the truck load of gravel wants to unload, but (You guessed it) the sand was still in the way. Mahal KO, would you bring me another beer? Of course the guys found a way to get the gravel in the yard.
The new house was going to be larger than the old house and the next day they were laying the footprint out with bamboo. Wait a cotton pickin’ minute there is the old septic tank which is now within the footprint of the new house, and no, it had not been pumped dry and filled in, it was full of a ten year supply of stuff soon to be part of the foundation of the new house. Who am I to judge? Send out for more beer.
Those of us who live here will fully understand when I say that not one power tool has been used so far, and I’ll be surprised if I ever see one in use during the construction phase of the exterior of the building. The entire rusted galvanized roofing material has been patched and ready to serve as a foundation for a slab ceiling, as they dug down ten feet and added a bedroom underground. What an idea, my first time to ever see that here, and with us being on a hill it won’t flood as the owner waterproofed the floor and walls. All old lumber has had the old nails removed and a young kid is sitting in the backyard with a hammer attempting to straighten them out. Waste not want not, is the job site mantra.
In the rain and wind of the Typhoon of 15 Sept. the crew next door kept on working, they took shelter during hard rain but they kept coming out to work when it let up. We mostly had rain and a little gusty wind as the brunt of the storm hit Northern Luzon the following week, we caught the edge of the typhoon of 18 Sept. and the crew never stopped working. Dear Lord you must respect their work ethic.
The house is being built correctly with the proper amount of rebar, the following week the old septic tank was removed and filled in (I was worried a tad about that). Now the most amazing part to me, an over regulated westerner, was that there are building permits, .but no zoning restrictions and no set of blueprints or plans to build the house. But somehow it’s being erected and built well plus the electric and plumbing with no building inspectors are getting in the way and slowing the job down. Over regulated? Not here in the Philippines, that’s for sure.
Being the Kano neighbor I was invited to hang around with these guys, but they wore me out just watching them work. So on Saturday night I drop off a few bottles of liquid libation (Emparaflu Lite) they slept in on Sunday.
The roof is going up as I submit this to “Fearless Leader Bob” but there is a lot of inside finishing work left to be done, but in four weeks the house is 75% complete and is really starting to look good. I will tip my cap to the foreman and his crew, as they toiled very hard and did a great job, with no electronic measuring devices, power tools or other fancy stuff. Respect is what I have for them, and if needed I would proudly hire each and every one of them to build something for me.
The roosters have been replaced by a few large turkeys and five or six ducks, and the noise is better than the 40 plus roosters. If one of those turkeys hops my wall, well Thanksgiving is next month…