From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
2012 MANGGAHAN FESTIVAL: Rumble in the Jungle?
"Fearless Frank" from Florida, and I had been trying the assorted mango shakes available at the various food vendors at the 2012 Mangahhan Festival in Guimaras and pouring in a liberal dose of Tanduay Rhum to add a little kick to each concoction. I was keeping our stash of the really cheap stuff, only P26 (60¢) a bottle, in the back pocket of my cargo shorts.
You can probably guess by now that my asawa was not nearby. She was taking my 12-year-old nephew and 14-year-old niece from Guimaras to the carnival area and had left me with my American friend who was visiting his amigo who lived here in the Philippines, Tom Cat (the former "Brother Tom.")
Tom Cat and his girlfriend, my asawa's relative, LenLen, were back at "The Farm." Tom wasn't feeling so well. We had polished off a few Gold Eagles early in the morning and had downed several bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen at lunch over at Lisa's Talabahan Etc.'s main restaurant in San Miguel, Jordan, the site of the Manggahan Festival. There were several swigs of the rhum interspersed throughout the day also.
Frank and I had just passed Lisa's stand at the festivities, and as we were about to sit down we spied a particularly tall unattractive lady boy that we had spotted at the main restaurant during lunch. It looks like "he" was giving Frank "the eye," and we decided to park our butts elsewhere.
Now Frank and I certainly have nothing against guys that dress like women, and we have both noted some that can almost pass for a female if they could have hidden their Adam's apple better. But we both don't care for ugly no matter the gender.
(Photo by Joseph A. Ferris III © All rights reserved from Flickr.
"Manila's Ugliest Ladyboy Jeepney Pose")
As we sat down to savor another rum-tinged mango shake, a thirtyish Filipino seated himself at the table adjacent to us and just stared at us both.
Frank wisely suggested we move to a different table as we both were about ready to get up and ask the guy what his problem was. When we moved and sat down to our new location, my American friend advised me that the guy we had left had pulled down his zipper and was evidently pleasuring himself.
The bonehead was either drunk or stoned on shabu. I was glad we had moved. If I had seen what Frank had witnessed I would certainly have had something to say to the pervert. I certainly wasn't going over to say "hello" and shake his hand.
But Frank and I were thankfully not followed and after a few bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen, I spotted a group of familiar young people I had seen in Guimaras before. It was the local Peace Corps volunteers. They pushed some tables together to join Frank and myself and set their beer of choice in the Philippines, Red Horse, in front of them.
I bought a round of Red Horse for my Peace Corps friends that I met at last year's Manggahan Festival in Guimaras. Except for Stephanie (seen in the following photo on the left with her Filipina friend, Cinderella, and that's her real name), who I had seen occasionally when we rode the same jeepney, I have not had the opportunity to party with America's premier volunteer group since the last mango fest.
As soon as the drinks were brought to our table, our visitor, the stoned pervert, returned. I quickly jumped to my feet, got in his face and yelled at him to leave our table or I would call security.
A female employee of the nearby PitStop restaurant quickly took the man away as he quietly said "thank you" to me.
I sat down and apologized to the Peace Corps workers and Frank. It was my first real confrontation after almost three years of living in the Philippines. I had too much to drink at this point. There was no security nearby at the time so I simply handled the situation myself, but probably not in the best way.
But our mood soon lightened and there was lots more time left to celebrate. The party at the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras was just getting started despite my near "rumble in the jungle!"
Next up, Rob from the Peace Corps introduces me to Red Horse's brother, "The Happy Horse!''