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Now I’ve Seen It All

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A few years ago my friend was moving from one house he owned here on Luzon to another. It went smoothly until at the end we’re looking at his 1957 Chevy which the body is on blocks and the frame and running gear is separated. The frame is easy; we push it like it was a completed car. But the body was a horse of a different color. We Kano’s drank beer and came up with many different plans. The Pinoy’s working with us got tired of the talking and disappeared. Twenty minutes later they were back in force with ten extra guys and a few pieces of bamboo. Within a few minutes the body of the Chevy was in the air and moving down the road. We blocked traffic, and had every person on the street watching because it had now turned into a “Happening” Other guys just joined in to help and relieve us older beer soaked Kanos.

For a long time after, any time we’d be in the area the guys would laugh and talk about the day we carried the Chevy for over a mile. The amazing part was after the car was in place at the new house, the joking really started; the SMB’s and Red Horse flowed like… Well; “BEER” the food was prepared and the rest of the move was postponed until another day, let the party begin Do you see how flexible we can be here in the Philippines?

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So it’s now 7 years in the future, it’s the first week of December 2011. And now I can proclaim to the world that I have seen it all. I was standing on our roof patio when I looked down and noticed that the Nipa hut that had been sitting there for the past three years was gone. The first thing that came to mind was the rooster thieves, and they had graduated to “Grand Theft Nipa?” Then I heard a commotion at the front of my house and spied the missing Nipa Hut resting there with about 30 of my neighbors milling about. I dashed to get my camera and ran to the front and out to the street. The Nipa was on the move again, but only in twenty foot intervals before it was set down while the Nipa Team rested. A cry rang out and it leaped forward twenty more feet and a rest was called.

 

Again a traffic jam ensued. Trikes were backed up and could not get by. But all was peaceful and many jokes were told. I asked where the LTO Tags were and that it had no tail lights. (I never said they were good jokes) Twenty feet, rest and another twenty feet, rest. Now we are at its finish line (We can only hope) it final resting place, at my friend Gary’s house.

Poor planning raised its ugly head and it was found to be too large to enter through the gate. Since it was a bamboo fence, a section was removed and the Nipa Moving Mission was now completed.

I’m heading back to my house when I notice my niece Shay-Shay was beside me. I remembered it was Bonifacio Day so she had no school. Mayang and Claira (Her Mom) were in town, but I knew what she wanted without her having to explain it to me. Cartoon Network and Oreo’s and milk. I seeded the living room TV to her and went outside to read my book. It’s one of those little things she likes, control of the TV without brothers and sisters ordering her around, I had four brothers and knew how she felt. She twelve now and she’ll become a teenager next year, and things will change. I’ll miss her!

That day I witnessed a testament to the good neighbor theory; the way everyone jumped in to help Gary move his Nipa up the road, that kind of helpful spirit is very common here, and is just one more tic on my “Like It Here” list, to why I live here.

A follow-up on last week’s rooster robberies, although no preps were apprehended, and the culprits’ remain unknown, the crime wave is now abated and peace has been restored.

We can only pray that Do Dong does not fall in love again.

Paul Thompson

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!

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Neal in RI
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Neal in RI

Paul
Great article on how to get things done the Filipino way.
And it was done without Permits,Zoning Boards, Zoning Variances, extra police traffic details. You know all the crap that it takes to get things done here in the good old USA.

You had better shake the dust off the Louisville Slugger to keep the boys away from your Niece. And start putting a few bucks away each month from your Beer money so you can fund her “16 Roses or Debyu” Party what ever they call it there on the mountain.

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Neal;
Here they just do it without all that bureaucratic rigmarole I used to have to put up with. I’ve learned alot by living here.
As to Shay-Shay, like all the girls I’ve helped raise, they know how life should be, and not one has ran off with a trike driver to live in poverty. But you’re right she is going to be a beautiful young lady, and hanging around her favorite uncle she now speaks very good English, uses my computer and loves American snacks. Your suppose to spoil girls aren’t you?

Hudson
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Hudson

Hey Paul,
A moveable Nipa hut, is that the pinoy version of a mobile home? Do they have Nipa courts where they park these all together so the typhoon can hit them all at once?

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Hudson;
I didn’t think about the wobble box idea, a set of wheels on it and there you go. Or mount it to the back of an old pickup truck like a camper. Business opportunities abound here in the Philippines.

Jack Moloney
Guest

Hi Paul

I wasn’t long in Philippines when some local lads decided to play a joke on a friend of theirs. While this friend was sleeping off the result of one too many SM’s, they decided to move his location, hut and all (it was only a 1 room set up). So a crowd of them carried his hut (him asleep inside) to a totally different location. Can you imagine his suprise when he woke up. Seemingly this kind of thing used to happen more in days gone by. (not too often these days though). I’m glad my place is anchored.
Jack

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Jack;
Thank you for sharing that, it’s quite funny and sounds like it would be a fun thing to do. Now I’m wondering if anyone was asleep in Gary’s hut!

PapaDuck
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PapaDuck

Paul, All it takes is some SMB and anything can be accomplished. Seeing that Nipa Hut being carried down the road is priceless. Would have loved to see the 57′ Chevy Body moving down the road. Like the old saying goes, “only in the Philippines”. It looks like Shay Shay will be a real heartbreaker soon. Enjoy your time with her and love her before the boys get her. My G/F’s niece who lives with her is eight, but is really becoming a pretty little girl. She can’t wait to see her future Tito. Thanks so much for another humorous… Read more »

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Papa Duck;
Moving the Chevy is legend here in the Subic area. I only wish one of us drunks had been smart enought to take pictures. Little girls grow up too fast as it is, I’ve lived here on the mountain for a long time, and those spindly legged little girls running barefoot and playing in front of my house are all lovely young ladies now.

Larry Saum
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Larry Saum

Hi Paul;
A funny article, and it brought to mind a prank that was played on a girl at a church function one evening, when I was young. She had a small car, it might have been something like a Volkswagen beetle or something of similar size. While she was inside the church some boys picked up the car and placed it beteween two trees, that happened to be bumper to bumper apart. It later had to be carried out again since there wasn’t room for her to drive it out.

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Larry;
Now you’ve got me thinking we should have done that to Tommy’s Chevy, but after all he was supplying the beer!

JCook
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JCook

Good story Paul and yes. you are to spoil the girls.

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

JCook;
I thought that was the rule! And a good rule at that. (lol)

dans
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dans

Paul,

The moving of nipa house is a trademark of flipino’s “camaraderie” or also known as the “Bayanihan”. in most filipino literature books and in some paintings, you’ll see photo of people “moving the nipa house” to emphasize the meaning of “bayanihan” and filipinos knows it when they see one.

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Dans;
Thank you for that piece of knowledge, that a great thing to know and understand. I’ll now add “bayanihan” to my list of things I’ve experienced here.

Speb Freespiritme
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Speb Freespiritme

Hi Paul, You just experienced what we call as ” bayanihan” like what dans has said. I live and work in Manila but I hail from Mariveles, Bataan and come home often to see my folks. My fondness memory of bayanihan is after any storm where you see neighbors help put back tin roofs,rebuild homes, clean the yards as well as the streets.I haven’t seen that for years especially in Manila, heck I barely know the name of the next door neighbor in my apartment building. By the way you guys are doing a great job with this site.Kudos to… Read more »

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Speb Freespiritme; I’ve lived in cities and found them lacking in the day to day interactions that make life fun. I’ll take my dog Coco the Flying Labrador walking every morning and I meet new people everyday and talk to them about life in the bondok. Coco has a fan club of the young kids and now that they know her, they all want to touch her to show their friends how brave they are. Ymir Thea (Yhen) will be coming home in February, with her husband and our soon to be born grandson. So I’m looking forward to that.… Read more »

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