Beware the ides of March is an old expression dating back to Julius Caesar and his buddy Brutus. It also holds the biggest holiday in my old hometown of Boston, and that would be Saint Patrick’s Day, A day that in the past I’ve tried to celebrate here in the Philippines with my family, but for some unknown reason they think I’m bring them to church. The last of the things that happen in March is the summer season starts here on Luzon.
School is out, the kids are running up and down the street shouting with glee and abandon, hey I can remember that same feeling from when I was a wee lad. It was the time of the year when my four brothers and I would be loaded into the family Oldsmobile and taken to our summer house in South Yarmouth on Cape Cod to escape the heat of Boston. My Father came down every Friday night, as someone had to work. In those days it was a 4 t0 5 hour trip, but due to the improved Highway system it can be done in one hour now.
But here in the Philippines most of us live close enough to the ocean (And or Bay) that a long trip is not required, plus the many resorts with swimming pools that you can go to for a day trip or a weekend at a reasonable price, the service is fair but they forget to chill the beer and don’t turn on the ref until just as they open. I always bring a cooler of my own, well iced down.
The folks from Manila will be flocking to Subic Freeport and bring their terrible driving habits with them. The local police and the LTO traffic police will be working overtime trying to get the Manilaites to stop at stop signs and teaching them those traffic lights, are not Christmas lights that we forgot to take down. It’s a losing battle.
This is the time of year to hire special Jeepney’s and load up the family and kids and head to the beach for the day. The first thing to be loaded is food, and beverages, if any room is left then the people squeeze in I’m always surprised. I try to hire a local driver, and invite his family also, I get a better price, and the driver tends not to wander off.
Summer is my least favorite time of the year because of the heat; one would think, that I of all people would be used to it after living on Diego Garcia, Puerto Rico, Florida, Guam and many trips to the Arabian Gulf. I don’t hate it; it’s just my least favorite season. But since the Filipino people has come up with a liquid libation call “San Miguel Beer” I muddle through and make the best of it until the rainy season starts on 15 May. (Set your watch by it) Oh and SMB is just as good in the rain as in the sun!
This month of March is also the time that the New Old Honda goes to Mike’s Air/Con in Olongapo City for a complete check up of “the keep the car cool A/C system” that was built into the Honda by those wonderful people in Japan. I will procrastinate on many things but never that.
As I write this I know I’ll get no sympathy from you folks who live in the Northern Hemisphere who are still dealing with freezing temperatures and snow. I can only repeat what I’ve written so many times in the past, go to the Atlas, look up the map of the Earth, and find the middle latitude, it is a blue or red line labeled 0 degrees and called the Equator. If you not living 15 degrees to the North or South of it, you’re in a cold area and should move away from there quickly Now that I’ve explained that, I take back all I said above about summer heat in the Philippines. I guess I really love it! But you can fry an egg on the hood of your car. Or as the oldsters in Florida use to say; “I saw a dog chasing a cat, and they were both walking.”