From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
American Expats, Oysters and San Miguel Pale Pilsen. Enjoying Life in the Philippines!
I decided to be spontaneous this past Wednesday morning, something I rarely am. My poor asawa had already flopped back down on our bed at 7:30 am to watch some television. I know she was getting bored. My hardworking spouse never watches TV during the day.
The Sainted Patient Wife is always sweeping the floors (at least twice daily), watering or weeding her plants and flowers or doing some other mundane household chore. With Brother Tom back in the Philippines, I thought we should take the pump boat to Guimaras and visit my American expat friend and LenLen, his girlfriend, and one of my wife's countless relatives.
Took two jeepney rides to the Ortiz Dock in Iloilo and hopped on the pump boat to the Jordan Wharf in Guimaras. It was a hot and crowded jeepney ride to San Miguel, where my asawa's home and Tom's farm is located. I was sweating like a gerbil at a gay bar.
My asawa and I climbed off the jeepney at "The Crossing" in San Miguel located in Jordan municipality, the capital of Guimaras, a rural province in Western Visayas which is home to the sweetest mangoes in the Philippines.
I stopped by Cousin Emma's Jade Market as my spouse took a side trip to buy some allergy medicine at one of the local pharmacies. My asawa arrived about ten minutes later. We only stayed for a few minutes before leaving out the back door to catch a tricycle to Brother Tom's place.
We had received a text message from LenLen that our expat friend was now at the farm and was waiting for us (he previously had been at the Trappist Monastery taking care of some business.) I asked my asawa to have the driver wait for us since it was a long walk from the farm to the main road to catch another trike ride. My wife and I were both hungry, and we planned to stop at Lisa's Talabahan Etc. for some cheap beer and cheap food, an unbeatable combination in my books.
Our tricycle driver snaked his way through the winding path to "The Farm," and we soon approached the secluded farmhouse, a property belonging to the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras which Tom had completely renovated. I made some goofy bird noises to alert the occupants we had arrived. We heard someone stirring in the house, and my expat friend came out to investigate.
LenLen was still getting ready. Tom asked her how long it would take for her to finish. We did have that tricycle driver waitng for us. "Ten minutes," was her response. I cringed. We were in for a long wait. If a woman says she needs only ten minutes to get ready to go somewhere, you can automatically make that at least one hour and that's not factoring in "Filipino Time."
But only 30 minutes later we were off to Lisa's to enjoy a bowl of oysters, one of my asawa's favorites, and for only 30 pesos (70¢) per serving, it was a great bargain. And with bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen for only P25, we were in for quite a pleasant lunch.
The talabahan was packed when we arrived around noon. The staff warmly greeted us, and I instantly spied a "french fries" sign at the menu board. I asked my asawa to order that for me along with four sticks of pork BBQ. I personally placed an order for three bottles of Pilsen.
Our bottles of Pilsen arrived, but according to Brother Tom, who is friends with the owner, Ralph, the proprietor still hasn't purchased a new cooler to properly chill one of our favorite brews in the PHL. I didn't mind. I've been living in the Philippines for close to three years now and have made the adjustment. My expat friend, a certified Brew Master, assured me that the beer, however, wasn't as warm as European beer.
(Check out the photo above. My asawa wanted that pic for her Facebook profile! I shaved my head almost two weeks ago on a whim so I'm wearing the cheap cap I bought at Robinsons in Iloilo City for 149 pesos, 3.47 US Dollars.)
My four sticks of grilled Pork BBQ arrived along with two bowls of oysters for my asawa. The pork was delicious! I quickly polished off the three sticks (gave one to the moocher next to me, "Florida Frank") and waited for my french fries. Tom, the oddball vegetarian, was waiting for his vegetable dish. We were not aware at the time that the cook had sent someone to the market to buy some fresh veggies. Now that's what I call excellent customer service!
I went up to the counter to check on the status of my french fries. Still in the fryer. I went back to our table after placing an order for some more San Miguel, and continued to chat with Frank and Brother Tom. My fries finally arrived, but with a fake cheese powder sprinkled all over it, which I've encountered before in the Philippines.
At least the stuff wasn't as bad as the awful-tasting "cheese" powder they put on the popcorn at Robinsons' MovieWorld. But I washed the fries down with some San Miguel as I spread around some more B.S. with Tom and Frank.
After our meal and drinks, which Brother Tom graciously paid for, we were off to The Shirven Hotel in Guimaras for some frosted mugs of Pale Pilsen per my American expat friend's suggestion. I'm retired and have all the time in the world. At this point I had decided my asawa and I would just stay the night and crash at "The Farm."
Next post will cover that visit along with my first taste of balut, a fertilized duck embryo that's boiled alive and eaten in the shell. I'll tell you how I trained at The Shirven for that culinary challenge. I can tell you that it involved numerous bottles of San Miguel products along with some Jim Beam. Get the picture?