Made a solo trip this past Sunday morning riding shotgun in the jeepney to Jordan Wharf in Guimaras. Had to make a stop in Iloilo before the big trip to Manila.
- "Biyad " ("pay now") I said to my driver with the shaved head as I handed him the fare of 13 pesos.
- "Do you know Ilonggo, sir?" he asked. (Illongo is the local language, the proper name for it is "Hiligaynon.")
- "Indi" ("no") I replied. "Just a few words."
- "You are an American, sir?" the jeepney operator inquires.
- "Yes, married to a Filipina."
- "I know, sir." he informs me. Turns out that my driver, Ronald, is the second cousin of Albert, who owns the motorcycle repair center near our "Compound" in Guimaras. Was relieved to hear that since I am somewhat leery of anyone that we do not know in Guimaras aware of our location.
The jeepney travels the main road to the Jordan Wharf, and I notice the passing jeepneys honking their horns and waving. As is often the case when it is possible I might be the one attracting any attention since I am in the front seat, I check my trousers to make sure I'm completely zipped up. I am.
- "You're a very popular person in the Philippines, sir." Ronald says.
- "I am? Why do you say that?" I ask.
- "The drivers all say you are a friendly guy. A nice American. Very talkative." "They are honking and waving because of you." Ronald informs me.
- "Well, I try to be a nice guy most of the time, " I tell Ronald."I try to be respectful of everyone." (Man, he sure got that "talkative" part right, my asawa would firmly agree with that.)
Well, I'm certainly pleased to hear I have made some new friends in my home of Guimaras. I later tell my asawa what Ronald had to say about my popularity. She just sort of grunts (in a feminine way, of course) and simply nods her head 'yes" when I bring up the "talkative" part. But it's so sad to see that green-eyed monster of jealously rear its ugly head when it comes to someone you love. Let's see how many jeepney drivers honk and wave if she ever sits in the front seat.