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The Pig and the Shell Station in the Philippines!

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The Pig and the Shell Station in the Philippines! On my recent walking regimen that I have started, and  increased  from 30 minutes to one hour, despite my better judgment, I encountered a pig pulled up at the local Shell gas station in Jordan, Guimaras, our rural province in the Philippines. The porker’s cage is hooked up to a motorcycle. I have learned long ago not to be surprised at anything I see here, but I just had to take this photo.
There was a Shell station attendant (yes, they still have full service stations here!) standing nearby, and I said ” Picture. Pig. It’s a nice looking pig.”  The young Filipino, in full uniform, just nodded at me probably thinking what is matter with the loco loco Americano,  has he not seen a pig pulled up to a gas pump before?   Truthfully,  I have not seen this before, and I had worked a few years for my Dad’s service stations back in the States when I was quite younger. As I had mentioned in a previous post, one of my Dad’s service stations was located just off a major interstate in Illinois. I waited on drunks, politicians, drunk politicians, preachers, priests and nuns, automobiles full of kids, cats, dogs, and birds,  but no pigs. Not a one. Of course I have seen (and smelled) cattle and hogs being shipped via trucks on the interstates of America, but not a single porker carrier system as this one.
The Compound Kids went back to school after Christmas break (gasp! yes, they still call it “Christmas Break” here), so I thought I would walk with my 16 year old twin nieces, April and Michelle, to their school as part of my exercise routine. They both looked at me odd; I thought they would be pleased to have their “Dad” (that’s what they call me to my face), go to school with them. I am sure my American readers with teenagers have fallen off their breakfast stools or slid off their sofas and are rolling around on their living room floors in fits of laughter by now. “No wonder they call you a Bonehead!” is what you are probably saying, “Walking your kids to school in PUBLIC where all of their friends can see you! Do you want to scar them for life!”  Wait, wait, wait. I am in the Philippines! The kids listen to you! They hold hands with their parents in the malls, in the streets, and along cow poop laden subdivision roads such as the one we live by.  So I was a bit puzzled with the girls’ reactions.
Michelle, April, and I walk over to “The Crossing” where the tricycles queue up. Then they kiss me goodbye on the cheek, and get inside a tricycle! I ask why they are not walking the rest of the way to school? It is only  another five minutes away! They just look at me, and take off. What! Are they so lazy they cannot walk another five minutes? The sun is shining; it is a beautiful day! Wait until I get home and tell their tita (aunt) Melinda! Don’t some of you faithful Rooster Readers remember walking 20 miles to school (one way) in snow so deep it came up to your chin, and in sub-zero temperatures with cardboard covering the holes in your worn out shoes? And these young kids could not walk another five minutes? I was stunned!
I continue my journey in a dazed state but still manage to get the pig picture. My walk takes me to the “New Site” market, about a half hour from “The Compound”, and then I head back home. I did not see any more pigs pulled up to the pumps at the Shell station on the way back.  The Sainted Patient Wife is outside by her sister’s bamboo nipa hut, and I tell her about the twins going to school via the tricycle instead of walking. “Their school is outside of town!” she says. “What?”, say I, “We have gone by that school before, it is only 15 minutes away!” “That is not THEIR  school, that is the other kids’ school!” SPW informs me.  “You mean, Sharwin, Shaina, and Din Din (our nephew and other nieces) cannot walk to school?(A tricycle picks them up every day at a cost of about $13 a month.)  I am informed that the kids are too young and that their books (that they carry in backpacks) are too heavy. For the record their ages are nine, ten, and twelve. I reply that my two brothers and I walked across town from the first grade through the sixth grade in rain, snow, tornadoes, and endured bitter cold temperatures (and we did!), and we did not have any friggin’ backpacks.  (Guys, remember in yesterday’s blog I advised you to “let it go” when discussing issues with your wive sometimes? Evidently I do not follow my own advice.)  SPW’s final remark is “they are girls!”  “Sharwin is not a girl”, I cleverly retort.
Dear Rooster Readers, it is not a safety issue for the kids to walk to school here. The streets are safe. If I had children of my own, I would have no reservations about them traveling to school in a group. I have not heard of any trouble on our island of Guimaras with kids walking to school. I have heard and read stories of other places in the Philippines where child molesters are caught by people in the neighborhood and have the crap (or worse) beaten out of them before the police can get to them. I would do the same if it was my kid that they had harmed. But in our town, it is safe for the kids to make the trek to school. Well, that discussion was an exercise in futility, that is what happens when I do not follow my own advice and not just “let it go.” This is why I refer to myself  as The Bonehead. Shoot, even the pigs here are lazy and hitching a ride here! Thanks for reading “The Rooster Crows at 4am!”

15 thoughts on “The Pig and the Shell Station in the Philippines!”

  1. This is the first time I have seen a picture of a pig in a cage like that. Interesting. No wonder you were named "Person of the Year" by TIME — you have endured so much as a child…walking in rain and snow up to your chin, braving tornadoes and sub zero temperature with worn out shoes just to be able to attend school. I don't know why I doubted you. Please accept my apologies.

  2. Hi Grace, thanks for your support of my Time magazine award. I appreciate it. It was a struggle just to get to school every day. And we really did have cardboard in the bottom of our shoes to cover the holes along with holes in our jeans before that became fashionable. But we were happy. Thanks for your comments, Grace.

  3. Hello your niece and I have the same first name… Michelle. Anyway, I can remember that during my gradeschool and highschool days, I walked to school with our helper in tow. I was young you know and can't cross the streets of busy Manila. Crossing the street here in Manila scares the hell out of me even until now. xoxo

  4. Hi MrsMartinez, Oh, yes, you do have the same first name! And I've tried crossing the streets in Manila, and I know you are right! It scared me, too! But in our little town the traffic is not that bad, but the kids will still be taking the tricycle. Thank you for your comment.

  5. You had me with your pig,hehe. My childhood friends and I used to walk from and to school (grade school) but it was just 3 long blocks away so it was fine. But in high school, we'd choose to walk on our way home so we could use our money to buy food. And we're not just talking about a 5-minute walking distance here, our high school was bloody far.Via tricycle, it was a 10-min ride.But for us then,walking together was our way of catching up with each other and having fun.We had lots of unforgettable moments together during those long walks that until now,I still cherish.Those friends that I walked with in gradeschool and high school are still my closest friends up to now.

    Now that I have a daughter, she rarely walks to school even though her school is just a few meters away from our apartment.

    Kids today seem to have that common denominator -They don't like walking to and from school no matter how close it is to home.They're missing out on great bonding adventures that long walks have in store.

  6. Hi "Mom"! I really enjoyed your comment. My gosh, a ten minute tricycle is a long distance, but you had that bonding time with your friends who still remain your good buddies today. That is a great story.

    I am at a loss why the kids do not want to walk today. They really are missing out on a lot as your comments prove. Thank you for such an insightful comment, and congratulations on your new job, I just visited your blog!

  7. DAve… hahahahaha! I love the pig in traveling cage … you see If you have not been living in Guimaras … 'ti indi mo ni ma-kit-an' (ask SPW) what does this mean … (assignment) heheheh!

    Your walking payed off. Good night!

    o wait .. love the banner pics also.

  8. David, Your posts are vivid, takes me right there with you. Maybe one day I'll visit your cast of characters. Thanks, to you too, fellow blogger. Peace.

  9. Hi Don, thanks for stopping by and good luck on your blog. Sure, stop by and visit us anytime. I think you would love the Philippines. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Hi Vernz,I cheated and asked my niece Michelle to translate, Tita Melinda is outside watering her garden now. Michelle translated your phrase as "so you can see it." You are right, if I was not in Guimaras I would never have seen this.

    Yes, I am enjoying my walk, gives me more photo ops AND exercise.

    Thanks for the banner comment, I ran across that idea to optimize my ads at this website http://www.helium.com/items/388386-how-to-increase-your-adsense-clicks
    supposed to be within google tos, thanks for visiting, Vernz!

  11. Those pigs are usually called travelling boars. The pig's owner is sometimes paid with offspring from the boar's mate.

    For the pig, that's got to be the life. You're chauffered to all the females you can mate with. Well, until the boar can't perform any longer and contributes his own meat. There's just no retirement package for the pig. 🙂

  12. Hi replim, Wow! Thanks for the information, I had no idea that pig, or boar, was having such a great life. I really appreciate your comment. Thanks again!

  13. When I was a kid growing up in Kansas I could ride the bus or walk. School was about 1.5 miles away. When the weather was nice I walked…up hill both ways. When it would rain I would wade waist deep water. If we got a snow shower it was always knee deep. Aw..those were the days. All true Dave, all true! 🙂

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