From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
The President, The Hippie and The “Crazy Cano” in Iloilo City
Jeff, the self-proclaimed "Crazy Cano" was still showering as Fergus, his asawa Rose, The Sainted Patient Wife and I arrived 30 minutes early for the big guy's 45th birthday bash. Imagine! Appearing early for a party (or for any event for that matter) in the Philippines, a country which religiously operates on "Filipino Time." But I was in no hurry. I was passing the time with one of my best friends, aside from my wife, that was sitting in front of me; a cold bottle of San Miguel Pale Pilsen.
The birthday boy emerged from his home as I started on my second bottle of Pilsen. My asawa was nursing a blue T-Ice (her first of only two; two is her limit, unlike her American expat husband. I have discovered that many Filipinas are much wiser than their foreign partners.) Jeff asked if anyone would mind if he played some jazz. Of course we didn't. It would match the mellow mood. And who was going to disagree with the big guy anyway?
I believe Eddie, seen in the above photo, an American Filipino gentlemen that worked in the United States for 27 years, was our next guest. Friendly guy. Wasn't long before he was having a brew. However, for the record, he was drinking San Miguel Lite. I fear his time in the States had affected his taste buds which can only explain his desire to not partake of the far superior Pale Pilsen.
Jeff was getting continual text updates from Paul from Iloilo, aka "The Chief." He was already late. Now you would think that it would not matter. Again, as mentioned earlier, we are on "Filipino Time." Who cares what time you arrive? But Paul is retired military, like Jeff, and being punctual is extremely important. I wondered what could be keeping our mutual friend?
In the meantime, Jeff and Rose's cute kids came over by The Sainted Patient Wife (hair by Bambi at Ricky Reyes, SM City in Iloilo), and she asked me to take the next photo. Absolutely delightful children to be around. SPW is the Official Staff Photographer (an unpaid position) for PhilippinesPlus and took the other pictures you see in this post.
As the San Miguel flowed and the pineapple appetizers soaked in soy sauce filled our bellies along with some chicken, Jeff announced that Paul was on his way. A bridge in Iloilo City had been closed and would be causing some delays. Paul lived some distance from his chief drinking buddy, but you could absolutely count on the guy to be there.
Nestor (and I'm sure I've mispelled his name) made his entrance. He's one of the absolutely coolest guys that Jeff knows and makes quite a striking appearance with his long grey hair. He's 62 years of age and is a widower of five years. But he has a 19-year-old asawa now, so Nestor is apparently doing just fine. He's in the next photo (far right) along with American expat James, to the left and his lovely asawa next to Rose and Fergus.
"The Chief," Paul from Iloilo, finally made it sans his wife, Bing, who would be arriving at the birthday bash later. Their housekeeper had recently quit leaving them without any help. A 19-year-old Filipina who was supposed to arrive at noon for a job interview to replace the previous employee had been several hours late for her job interview.
The party music stopped just as Paul arrived. Another Iloilo City brown out. Jeff said Paul and brown outs go hand in hand. Fortunately there were plently of chilled beverages in the coolers. At this point of the birthday celebration, I don't think anyone really cared if there was any electricity or not.
But soon there was a buzz in the air (and in my head by that time) when word got out that "The President" would be coming to the American expat's festive birthday celebration. The President? Yes, the president of the local homeowner's association of which Jeff is the Vice-President. He arrived later with his entourage, benefiting some one of his status, which involved his business manager and another gentlemen.
I apologize for not remembering the President's name. By the time he made his entrance, I had honestly lost count of how much Pale Pilsen I had consumed (and a couple of bottles of Red Horse thrown in for good measure.) He's in the next photo, and can be seen seated in the middle at the head of the table.
Here's the birthday boy, Jeff, doing a reeactment of blowing out his birthday candles for my Official Staff Photographer and standing next to Fergus who is loading up his plate with some (more) chow..
To the best of my knowledge, my asawa and I left the party around 8:30 pm. Fergus and Rose kindly gave us a ride back to our subdivision home (thanks again Fergus and Rose.) I can remember making it to our bed, but that's about all I can recall.
My spouse advised me the next morning that I had snored very loudy and also had forgotten to lock one of the doors to our residence. I had no aftereffects whatsover and had a great time with my asawa, Jeff, Paul, Fergus, James, Nestor, Eddie, the President and the rest of the guests. Thanks so much to Jeff and Rose for the super celebration. And Happy Birthday again to The Big Guy, "The Crazy Cano."