I Join the Guimaras SWAT Team at Manggahan

Decades ago I was in the United States Air Force military police. Maybe that’s why I always make it a point to be sociable to peace officers no matter where I’m at but especially in the Philippines. I’ve met quite a few friendly police men and security guards in nearby Iloilo on Panay Island and on our own island province. So I guess it shouldn’t come as a complete shock to my readers when I post a title such as the one above: “I Join the Guimaras SWAT Team at Manggahan.”

I had just finished taking pictures at the Street Dance Competition and was headed to the Food Court. It was only 9 am on a Monday morning but I had already finished a bottle of water and needed a cold drink on this sizzling hot summer day in the Philippines.

I noticed a group of men in black that were hopping off a police vehicle. I’ve never seen this contigent of police officers on our island and was amazed to see that they were a SWAT Team.

I walked up to the group and expressed my surprise that Guimaras even had a SWAT Team and asked if I could take their photograph. The men directed me to their leader who willingly granted my request.

Guimaras SWAT TeamThe Guimaras SWAT Team

After the photo op, I sauntered over find a place to park my fat kano butt and have some liquid refreshment. I wasn’t planning on having an adult beverage so early in the morning but I was warmly greeted by the staff at Lisa’s Talabahan and was asked if I wanted a cold beer.

Well, why not? It was Manggahan, after all, my favorite time of year in Mango Land and a cold bottle of San Miguel Pale Pilsen would go down pretty smooth right now.

LisaPhoto Courtesy of The Tom Cat, from Manggahan 2011

As I pulled up a faded turquoise blue plastic chair at one of the long feeding troughs, I noticed a crew from the local BJMP, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. One lone female officer sat among the group of six or seven men and I remarked to her that she was lucky to be sitting around such a group of “gwapo” (handsome) men.

The men laughed and invited me to sit with them. I asked one of the officers sitting closest to me if I could ask them a question. He said he would try to answer any question I might have so I inquired whether or not the former jeepney dispatcher at our Jordan Wharf was still in jail.

The dispatcher, “Sunny,” reputed to be a habitual shabu user, had been in the BJMP,  Bureau of Jail Management and Penology prison,  outside of San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras. Sunny had gotten pissed off at his cousin,  a fellow dispatcher at the Jordan Wharf, over a dispute concerning  a passenger, and which jeepney the passenger was going to ride. Sunny killed his relative.

The BJMP officer informed me that the dispatcher was now under house arrest as he had suffered a stroke and was in bad health.

I then asked if Cousin Alex, who had been sent to Manila for murdering a man on our island province years ago, was out of the hospital. We had gotten word that Alex had fallen ill while in prison. The friendly BJMP guard told me that Alex was out of the hospital and back in jail.

I thanked the guard for the information and told him that if he returned to Manggahan and was off-duty I would buy him a Red Horse. He smiled and shook my hand. I then noticed a pretty pinay working next door working at a local joint where my asawa and I had sang karaoke on previous occasions.

I asked if I could take her picture and she gladly agreed.

pretty pinay at the food court

The cute Filipina in the next picture was preparing a batch of french fries for me when I took this photograph. The young lady has a great smile, don’t you think, like many Filipinas. And the fries? Delicious and fried to toasty perfection.

I got the largest size at a cost of 65 pesos, 1.50 US Dollars. I asked the lady on the right, whose face is obscured in the picture, if she had “salt.” No salt, but she did have ketchup.

cute filipina making french fries

When the pretty pinay handed me my fries, the lady on the right held up a shaker of iodized salt and asked if I wanted “iodized.”

“Yes, yes, that’s what I wanted, “ I replied, “salt.” For future reference, I will now always ask for “iodized” and not make the mistake of asking for “salt.” (We went to Manggahan last Friday and I purchased some corn on the cob. The vendor asked if I wanted some “iodized.”)

It’s like asking for a “napkin” when I first arrived in the Philippines and chowed down at a local McDonald’s.  I received a puzzled look from the counter clerk when asking for said napkin. Make sure you request a “tissue” instead. A napkin refers to a woman’s feminine hygiene product. Lesson learned.

8 comments

  1. Factoid. Victorian fashion with high neck collar was related to your salt issue. Adding iodine to salt stopped most thyroid problems (goiter) so the collars to hide the swelling went away.

    1. Thanks, Owen, didn’t know that. I went for some more fries again today, anda different person at the stand asked me if I wanted “iodized.” I pointed out to the vendor that the word “salt” is also on the shaker but probably to no avail.

  2. Hi Dave you know how to enjoy yourself,it’s nice that the swat team let you take a picture there are a lot
    Friendlier than the ones back home, enjoy the festival I wish I was there could do with a break from
    Renovating the bungalow,but gotta get it done before rainy season.
    Derek in sunny pasig

    1. Yep, the police here have been very friendly to me, Derek. I have one gentleman, a SPO3 with the PNP, who is going to retire next year and always converses with me. It’s been reported to me by a relative that some people don’t like him because he enforces the law. I find the guy to be extremely cordial and if he’s enforcing the law, he’s only doing his job.

  3. Sounds like your having a great time. Would have been nice to talk to the officers there. The iodized instead of salt cracked me up. Does the festival end Friday?

    1. Yep, Papa Duck, the festival ends this Friday. We have a MotoCross going on today at the Sports Complex. I can hear the noise from here but it is supposed to end at 4 this afternoon.

  4. Dave sorry wife and I was not able to attend the festival this year…Some thing came up at the last minute. Like going a couple nights to Bacolod playing in the casino….yes I lost but my better half
    always seems to win some thing. It just got very hot this year and first one that I didn’t attend.

    Dave I also find all the police in the Philippines very friendly….I have many police friends back in the states. I have ask them to send many things like bullet proof vest, boots and so on from the Swat teams…And there departments…They get replaced every two years. I have donated to our Guimbal police force here and even our Mayor got into the act to have a ceremony over the gifts…Also gave first computer and printer to them 8 years ago….before that it was all pencil and paper method. Then installed the software for them….really not all fun and games like I thought they would use it for. Midnight Mass on Christmas Ev Called(bona-noche)we make Spaghetti and Pizzas for the police dept….Good insurance for me…Oh course you never can tell when you may need a friend to help you out.

    Oh and buy the way I bought 3 miniature grafted mango trees from the nursery there in Guimaras 5 years ago….Only 1 survived and I have to tell you this year just as the people there told me takes 5 years to mature harvest….I got 60 very large mango’s off this year…maybe next year 600….Truly are the sweetest as they claim….I compare with a big tree we have on the farm which is also very tasty but you can really taste the difference.

    Guess I will have to be satisfied with bumping into you in the city…You never know. Enough of my big wind.

    1. Sorry you could not make it over this year, Fred and Ofelia. Didn’t know there was a casino in Bacolod. My asawa and I visited there a few days, nice city.

      It was very kind of you to help out the police force. I’m sure they appreciated the help. And like you stated, it’s also a good insurance policy. When my spouse got into the accident with our truck, I made sure I passed the officers filling out the accident report a small gift so they could purchase their merienda. I also bought lunch for a few members of the SWAT team.

      We have a mango nursery near our home, sorry to hear only one of your trees survived. We plan to plant some mango trees on our new property. We have been eating fresh mangoes every day for the past two weeks. At 40 pesos a kilo now, it’s a bargain. Hope to see you in Iloilo sometime. Just give me a shout out if you spot me. Take care.

Leave a Reply