Will Lolo’s new nipa hut serve as the temporary HQ for the Tom Cat? Regular readers of Philippines Plus will know that The Tom Cat, who has spent time in the Philippines, is an American friend of mine currently living in the Sunshine State, Florida. He is engaged to one of my asawa’s thousands of relatives, LenLen, who resides on our island province. LenLen’s and The Tom Cat’s touching story of how they met can be found in this post from June 2011: Romance at Raymen?
Listen, I’m pulling out all the stops. I consider Tom one of my very best friends. And I don’t have many friends. I didn’t have that many back in the States and I don’t have that many in the Philippines. I’m a crusty old expat geezer fart that is fairly anti-social. Sure, I can pretend to like people when I go out in public but there’s very few people I feel comfortable having a cold beer and exchanging B.S. stories with. Tom is one of those.
OK, in full disclosure I do hang out every Wednesday afternoon with a couple of mates from Australia. We share a few cold San Mig Lights (the beer is so cold that the bottles are covered with a coating of frost when served to us). But those guys keep a low profile. While we wouldn’t mind if some other foreigners joined us for an adult beverage or two at Camp Alfredo’s in Ravina around 3 pm, I’m not going to reveal their identities in this post. They’re private guys and I respect that.
Now I have been known to share a brew with Rease over in Iloilo. He’s a good guy, retired Air Force. Papa Duck and his Asawa Anne have come to our island province before and Randy, aka Papa Duck, is good company, too.
Rease and The Tom Cat
But when The Tom Cat, formerly known as Brother Tom, when he helped out during Mass Services at the Trappist Monastery, lived in Guimaras we shared quite a few beers and a ton of stories. I’ve never encountered a person who has met Tom that didn’t like him. Despite being a vegetarian, he’s one amazingly nice guy. And, despite his looks, smart.
Tom, along with his buddy, master plumber and chick magnet, Fearless Frank from Florida, who vacationed in Guimaras with his high school chum Tom several years ago, are two of the craziest and funniest guys you could meet.
I sincerely hope that the duo can make it back to our mango province next May for the next Manggahan Festival.
Tom and Frank have expressed a desire to return to the Philippines for a visit and I have offered the nipa hut as a temporary HQ for Tom. A timely comment from the Fearless One has prompted me to consider building a guest nipa hut on the property as well. We already plan to have a guest bedroom in our new house but a guest nipa hut, in addition to Lolo’s. is an excellent idea.
It will take several months for our new home to be built and we have offered the dwelling to Tom as a place to live in during his stay. My wife, despite my constant pleadings, will not let her father-in-law stay in the nipa hut alone until our home is completed and we are on site full-time. I would welcome Tom as our new security guard at the property and will have Internet provided at the site so he can continue his graphic design work.
The nipa hut is sheltered and far from the main road
I can only hope that God answers my prayers and that The Tom Cat will return to the Philippines soon. And if Fearless Frank from Florida could join him, that would be extra gravy on my mashed potatoes.Tom and Frank, remember, the beer is cold at Camp Alfredo’s. Hope you can join us soon for a few frosty ones.