True to my promise to Fearless Leader Mindanao Bob, I’ll only write about things that happen to me here in the Philippines, shunning political and advice articles to bring our readers real life situations that will pop up when least expected. Showing that with humor and a positive attitude nothing cannot be overcome with time, perseverance and of course, a little money.
For the last few years I’ve regaled our dear readers with stories of Mayang’s yearly house renovations normally undertaken at this time of year. Oh, believe me she had a plan for this year, I’d already shrugged my shoulders in a proper Philippine salute and decided to have a cold beer and just flow downstream with whatever came my way.
Then it happened, fate reared its ugly head and caused the Honda to overheat, if you remember a short while ago it was a wheel bearing, but karma was saving the knockout punch until I was lulled in to a false sense of security. Bam, POW kaboom, the Honda blew a Head Gasket. I was at home holding battle drills with the dog Army and planning emergency maneuvers. The phone rang; my wife highly excited is explaining the billowing white clouds of steam pouring from under the 17 year old cars hood and green fluid freely flowing from under the car to the drains in the street. I muttered (Expletive Deleted) Or Awe shucks, Call Garbes Dizon and get a hold of Kura Greg. He sent Tony who safely got the car into the shop. Yup it’s the head gasket, the engine must come out and Paul you’ll be using public transportation for awhile. Hey, I’ve been there and I’ve done that before.
Okay, someone invariably will chime in and recommend to me; “Hey, Paul sell the car and get another!” and believe me that did dance through my brain, until I thought; “How do you sell a car with a blown head gasket?” So no matter what, the work must be done on the New Old Honda. Then I have a car with basically a rebuilt engine. This will be akin to having a new car; and now I figure they’ll be driving this car in my funeral precession while playing Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd pumping out of the car’s stereo.
Kuya Greg, I shouted;”Work your magic, heal the beast and let ‘er run again.” Remember folks, it was paid for the first day I got it and once more I’ll say, it still looks good. After I get it back I’ll have it detailed fully, and the romance will start anew. Make her as a Phoenix rising from the ashes to soar again.
Off topic for a moment, Mayang is talking daily about the cost of the car repair, as she has not yet given up on her yearly house renovation project. Nor will she ever give up. But unlike the US Congress I must live within a strict budget.
Friday May 10th, on the way to the Barrio to meet with Loren and Mercer for lunch and I will stop to check on the Newer Old Honda progress, and take pictures of her, sans engine and parts scattered everywhere. I’ll store all the extra parts I get back after the work is done and someday we’ll figure where on the car they go.
I’ve stated in the past that cash refunds are NOT done here in the Philippines, the other thing that is not done is an accurate estimate. Oh I’m not saying they won’t give you an estimate, they’ll just never give you a correct one. If it’s for a construction project, either too much or not enough building materials will be figured in to the cost. With an engine rebuild it’s pretty much the same. But I did narrow it down to either 50,000 or 100,000 Pesos. Hell I guess you can’t get much closer than that.
“When will the car be finished” I foolishly asked, well, that was worth a double head scratch, and the famous shoulder shrug. But part of the service was that they will clean and paint both the engine and the transaxle, well there you go, I’ve got all the information I need, so I’ll just wait until it’s done. As if there was another way? In the mean time life will not change very much, except my son-in-law Cecil has no car to drive.
The New Old 1996 Honda will be in intensive care until next week, still on life support as you are reading this. If for any strange reason you’d like to know how the story ends, I’ll do a part two next week. Or not and just change the subject. (I’ll also throw in next week all about Loren’s and my trip to the Hoochie bars in the Barrio with pictures)