Need to move some prime Philippines real estate? Well, just hire a Bayanihan crew. Actually, it's an all volunteer effort, just reward your workers with some pancit and San Miguel Pale Pilsens. Doubt that you will find this Filipino tradition in any Philippines travel brochures, but the practice is still alive and well in the provinces. In my last post, I described how I decided to join in with the crew of pinoys that helped my father-in-law to move his home 200 meters down the road from its present location. I was the first American expat to ever participate in this cultural event in this local barangay in Buluangan, a small village in Guimaras . That really didn't come as a humongous surprise to me. Only a little over 800 residents in the entire hamlet.
After clearing a papaya tree from our path and getting loose from a fence our crew of 50 workers had managed to almost annihilate, we managed to carry this prime piece of Philippines real estate a total of about ten minutes before we had to stop again. Start up. Stop. Start up. Stop. Jimmy, an Iloilo taxi driver and friend of the family who was standing nearby, advised me that it would probably take another 60 minutes before we reached our objective. Actually our load seemed to be getting lighter, but that may have been due to the fact that I was probably a good six inches taller than most of of the Filipino crew who were undoubtedly carrying the bulk of the weight.
But despite Jimmy's prediction, maybe this unique means of Philippines travel would be over sooner than expected. Visions of pancit and San Miguel were surely motivating the movers as we covered a huge distance without having to stop and put down Lolo's house. We actually were approaching the home's new location quite faster than expected. That was fine with me. All of sudden the two-ton structure seemed to be getting a lot heavier. I was sweating like a dog in a Chinese restaurant.
Now the really difficult part of our task was beginning. Maneuvering this piece of Philippines real estate onto the foundation. Took quite a few minutes of lifting the house and up and down several times, but we finally were able to situate my father-in-law's home onto its new location. I was elated! My back was hurting, and I needed to rest. The actual move had taken about an hour. My sweat-soaked T-shirt was clinging to me like a needy co-dependent crackhead. Poured some tubig (water) down my gullet that my asawa had wisely brought along in our Coleman jug as the hard-working aggregation of volunteers headed for the piles of pancit.
Since my spouse passed on the feast, I followed suit, and asked my asawa what our next location was. Seems we were headed for her father's place nearby to plant some mahogany seeds she had packed in a plastic bag along with her digging tool. Lolo's farm was literally located in the middle of the jungle and has plenty of room for new trees and plants unlike our small lot. After having already done my daily walk early that morning at our Provincial Capitol in Guimaras and lugging a house around my back, I was not eager for this next part of our adventure for the day. But since I didn't want to pay a tricycle driver P250 (5.87 US Dollars) to take us back home, we had to cross through Tatay's (father) property anyway to catch a jeepney in Ravina.
My asawa handed me a pack of SkyFlake crackers which I quickly devoured, and we were on our way for the final leg of our journey. Did not have any idea what was in store for me next, hadn't been to this part of the jungle in the Philippines for years. As the sun continued to punish us, we headed down the path which was just a few short meters from the entrance to my father-in-law's new venue. My back was killing me. My legs and feet were sore. It's tough being a 59-year-old American expat geezer in the Philippines. The adventure continues in the next post.