Had you told me in 1955 when I was an eight year old kid in Boston; that for one thing , I’d make it to the year 2015 and the second thing that I’d be living in the Philippines I know what I would have said; “Bullpucky, and where the hell is the Philippines?”. But two years later in the fourth grade at the Minot School in Dorchester, Mrs. Ahearn told us all about this Asian area of the world. And my wanderlust was born. Geography had just become my favorite subject in school, with History a close second. What a debt I owe to that one teacher who never knew the effect she had on my life. This was also where my dislike of Hall Monitors started at the Minot School. But that’s another story altogether.
So when 2015 arrived I was asleep already before it happened, surrounded by part of my very nervous dog army. My wife daughter and grandson were off to great grandmother’s house for their traditional New Year’s Eve blow out. When I awoke it was 04:30 and the power was off. Now this could have been caused by a wayward pyrotechnic or the boys at the power in the Bataan plant had one too many and pulled the wrong switch. So I fired up my generator figuring everybody was drunk and the noise won’t bother them. The power was off until late afternoon. It’s been years since I’ve drank on amateur night (New Year’s Eve) but I figure that party at the power plant must have been wild; I’ll try and get an invite next year.
All is back to normal in my neighborhood, the few that work are working, people are out carrying their roosters up and down the road, and I found out that further up the hill is an underground Cock Fighting Arena, ran by some nefarious type but he does stock very cold beer.
Christmas decorations have come down, and all inside curtains and seat covers are no longer in the festive holiday design. I’ll miss that. As I write this I remembered that the neon Santa and sleigh are still on the roof, but it won’t be me that climbs up there to get him. I must have a “Guy” for that.
Now last week I did go into Olongapo City to pay my Philippine Head tax, and last year it was a madhouse what with providing pictures and finding a shade tree lawyer to sign the form plus the pandemonium at the Philippine Immigration office But as I reported on Face Book, this year it was as smooth as silk. I arrived at the office, the High Person, pointed to me and called me over, he asked for my I-Card (Philippine Immigration Card) I went outside to talk to the guard, but was called immediately back inside. The high person pointed with his lips to the cashier’s window, where I paid my Head Tax received a receipt and was done, finished, out the door completed. As I said on Face Book, I looked around for the hidden camera as I knew someone had to be punking me. But on Face Book, many reported the same experience as mine. This has me worried about next year?
Pretty boring year so far, but on Thursday 8 January (Yes on Elvis’s Birthday) we were invited to a wedding, and my wife Mayang was a nenong, and I was her plus one. But the Grooms parents are dear friends and nothing could have kept me away. The service was again on Subic Freeport, I’ll assume it has become a popular venue because it has central Air/Con and a lot of parking. The US Navy built it, and didn’t know any better. A very nice service it was and only 2.5 hours long. The reception was held at sunset in the Barrio, at the By-the-Sea Resort, the place where the groom and his family has met with my family for many a Friday night Mongolian BBQ, On the far side of the property they have a well set up party room that is open air with a view of the beach and Subic Bay. Very, very nice.
Shock of shocks, I did not imbibe in any form of drink that contained alcohol, even the staff who have know me for years could not get over that. Tommy who was paying for the affair was out to sea (Merchant Marine) and his son was visiting from the UAE where he works (He’s the groom) and the schedules didn’t match up. If Tommy is not there to share a bottle of Tanguy Superior Rum with me then I don’t want it.
My last accomplishment for this two weeks was to have my taxes (US) done and mail them in. Now I know that sitting here at my computer I could have done them by myself, but here in is the rub. For the last twenty years my friend Jerry has done them, and I pay him because that is how he earns extra money, at this late stage of the game I’ll be damned if I’ll kick over his rice bowl, albeit I will come home and check them for accuracy. A friend is a friend.
Hopefully some odd or unusual thing will happen this week here in this magical land of the Philippines that will set me to laughing and give me a subject for next week. I’ll just wait and see.