From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
The End of the Tubig Turf War!
By all appearances, Jesus has made peace. The Tubig Turf War seems to have concluded. Haven't seen any security guards have a little talk with Jesus since last Thursday. That's when, pardon the expression, "all hell broke loose."
The past two weeks have seen an almost daily contingent of our armed subdivision sentries paying a visit to our neighbor, Jesus the carpenter. The son of Jesus, Mike, and a newly-hired employee make the rounds every day in our development with their tubig (water) truck delivering containers of drinking water for P25 (57¢) each.
Someone had evidently pissed somebody off. A truck from a rival company had stopped by our neighbor's home recently, and my asawa heard the driver talking to a security guard on bike patrol. "He's getting a lot of complaints about his water," is what my spouse was able to overhear.
I would spot guards posted at our intersection looking over at Jesus' home. They would sometimes stay for 30 minutes, always staring in our neighbor's direction. I was hopeful that my asawa's manicurist would be able to give us some details on what was going on. She's known to have all the latest tsismis (gossip.)
But I guess she must have been ill or out of the country as she knew absolutely nothing about our recent events. It's kind of sad when the main person you depend on for information let's you down. I was eager for at least one crumb of chitchat.
So when two of our subdivision's finest came chasing after Jesus' tubig truck, with son Mike driving, and the hired help riding shotgun, I quickly went to our kitchen screen door to check out what was going on. The elder Jesus was nowhere in sight. My asawa said she saw him fleeing the scene.
I could hear quite a loud argument, though I did not understand a word. I managed to take a picture through our kitchen screen door (see first photo), but felt I would be pressing my luck if I asked everyone to argue in English and not their native Ilonggo.
My nephew Sharwen and niece Shaina were seated at our duewende-sized kitchen table having their afternoon merienda (snack), so I asked my niece what was going on.
"Kinachoendelea nje?" I might as well had been speaking Swahili when I asked her what was going on outside. She just grinned and shook her head. She either couldn't hear the commotion (and was obviously already deaf at the age of 14), or didn't understand my "English" slang.
A crowd was gathering. My spouse came in from our sala to investigate. She hears something about water containers. Someone had called in to security reporting that Jesus' crew had taken their water receptacles! Every company marks their canisters (see next photo for close-up of how Jesus marks his) like a cowpoke brands a calf (ok, they use a "Magic Marker" instead of a branding iron.)
One guard whips out his walkie-talkie and quickly takes off on his motorbike. His partner soon follows. Jesus' son and the group gathered around his home are extremely agitated. I keep an eye on things as the guys continue to get steamed up. I'm hoping they don't blow a gasket and turn this into a full-scale riot.
After about 30 minutes Jesus returns. Security does not make another visit that day, and things finally calm down. Why would a competitor claim Jesus was taking his containers? It didn't make any sense to me.
The following day I spy a huge SUV pull up to our neighbor's home. Jesus' truck is not parked in front, but Mike, the only son, goes outside. A rather tall middle-aged Filipino man gets out. He has an air of authority about him. Soon, a rival tubig truck (pictured in the next photo) pulls up.
Soon Jesus whips his truck around the corner. The large Filipino goes up to the window and sticks out his hand. My neighbor shakes it, a huge smile across his face. Jesus' crew is now outside talking to the workers from the rival company. Mike has got his laptop outside furiously punching keys on it.
After 15 minutes and an exchange of some water containers, Jesus and his son drive by our house, wave and honk their horn. Looks like the water container issue had been resolved. My asawa and I had gone outside at this point, me feigning interest in all the flowers and plants my spouse has planted in our yard. We wave back.
The rival truck driver also waves at us as he passes by. We return the gesture. All has been quiet in the neighborhood since then. Now the biggest problem we have are dogs that stop by and poop alongside my spouse's plants and flowers. Do I clean it up? Are you kidding? I'm retired. I think she should just leave it there for fertilizer.