I had to chuckle in disbelief when a fellow American expat informed me that GUIMELCO blames geckos for Guimaras brownouts. We’ve had a rash of almost daily, unscheduled outages the past two months. Those geckos must be pretty smart. The tuko are usually hitting us at the same time every night, just before 8:00 pm.
It’s time for another look at our new garden in the Philippines. Along with our major swimming pool project and brother-in-law Joery’s painting of our new home’s exterior, my lovely asawa is continually adding new plants, pottery and flowers to our landscape.
A Kapre lives in an old mango tree in my asawa’s elementary school in Guimaras, the island province of the Philippines we call home. According to Wikipedia, a Kapre is a Philippine mythical creature that could be characterized as a tree demon. It is described as being a tall (7 to 9 ft), dark, muscular creature. Kapres are normally described as having a strong smell that would attract human attention. After a sweaty day in the archipelago, I sometimes have a strong smell that repels human attention.
Lolo’s nipa hut in the Philippines is completed. It took my brother-in-law Joery and his two man crew eight weeks to complete the project at a cost of 4,000 US Dollars. I’ll have a breakdown of the construction costs in a future post. While the building took longer than I thought it would, it occurred during Christmas week and New Year’s Day. Delays can be expected during those two major holidays in the archipelago, but we’re not on any specific time table so time is not really of any concern to me; we have a lease on our current residence, “The Farm,” until the end of October of this year.
Lead Photo from Imgur
Never buy your asawa clothes for Christmas. If she’s anything like my wife, you’ll end up going to a SM City Mall the day after Jesus’ birthday celebration and face massive mobs that rival the hordes of Hade. I kid you not. I would (almost) rather have each of my fingernails and toenails pulled out then encounter the crowds that my spouse and I had to deal with. I had to navigate the crowded mall filled with morons that hypnotically gazed downward at their cell phones as they checked their latest asinine Facebook message and never watched where they were going. Crowded eateries that reduced us to eating at Pizza Hut (at Robinsons, our first stop) which is never packed out.
Joery’s electrician contact was on site. My asawa and I were at our new property site in Guimara, Western Visayas, the Philippines, when my asawa and I walked up to the new nipa being built for my father-in-law who will live on the premises. I absolutely did not want to be seen by the electrician as I feared the price he was charging to sign off on my brother-in-law’s electrical work, 350 pesos, would substantially increase once he saw a “rich” foreigner. But it was shocking news as the electrical work done at the nipa hut was approved without any additional charges. The dreaded kano “skin tax” was not implemented. My brother-in-law had contracted the services of an ethical man. Unlike Diogenes I did not need to carry a lantern in the middle of the day to find an honest man.
Lolo’s nipa hut in the Philippines nears completion. Foreman Joery, our brother-in-law, along with three other employees are hard at work underneath the blistering tropical sun. The exterior walls of my father-in-law’s new digs are almost done. The interior walls, consisting of plywood purchased from the New Guimaras Traders, will soon be installed.
Here’s the latest nipa hut progress on our new property in the Philippines. For few weeks now, our brother-in-law Joery, Cousin Doening (whose daughter Mera works for as a domestic helper), caretaker Gerry and Joery’s neighbor Jon, have been busy constructing a new domicile for my father-in-law, Lolo, who is afflicted with dementia and loves to converse with dead relatives and belt out silly songs all hours of the night. Yes, I know that the poor guy, who recently socked me in they eye and gave me a shiner that lasted three weeks, cannot help himself. But have you ever lived 24/7 with someone that has dementia? The fact that he cannot control his actions doesn’t make his behavior any less annoying.
My asawa, along with our brother-in-law Joery, and nephew Sherwin, recently visited my father-in-law’s property located in Lawi, Guimaras, my wife’s homeplace where she grew up with no electricity, no running water and dirt floors. Lolo has extensive land holdings, over 2,500 acres, 1,035 hectares. His property is covered with mango, coconut, cashew, mahogany, hitang hitang and banana trees. Bamboo grows all over. Material for the new hut in the Philippines are now secured as my wife and Joery picked out several hitang hitang trees along with an aging, massive mango tree that is dying but will provide us with a unique wood for the floors of our new residence.