Had just arrived with our rented jeepney at the Jordan Wharf a week ago this past Tuesday afternoon in Guimaras. Part two of our trek to Iloilo City was in progress. Our local porters, young Joseph and the mullet-wearing Neil were helping the crew of the Tawash load the pump boat for the journey through the Guimaras Strait. It was decided by Larry, the skipper of the vessel (shown in the next photo standing next to your fat-headed author), to go to Fort San Pedro instead of the Ortiz Dock we normally would use because of the availability of more jeepneys. It had rained all morning, but we were currently taking advantage of a reprieve from the bad weather. With the four members of Larry’s crew along with our two porters and our jeepney crew, it did not take long to unload our vehicle Riding The Tawash.
I paid our youthful jeepney driver 700 pesos, over 300 from what he had requested. I realize that is quite a generous tip, but I felt we were charged a very reasonable rate, plus our two man crew were hard workers and had done a good job. I was very satisfied with their work. Anyway, I had been informed earlier in the day by a relative, Joel, that the rental could cost 700 pesos or more. Phase One of our three part journey was completed. Our usual porters from Guimaras, Joseph and Neil, had asked my asawa if we wanted them to accompany us to the wharf in Iloilo City. I answered in the affirmative. Since we were not docking at Oritiz, Lang Lang, our trusted porter, would not be available. I wanted a couple of reliable guys that could help the Tawash crew unload.
The waves on the Guimaras Strait were starting to kick up as we started our voyage to San Pedro. Most of our boxes and luggage were covered underneath the canopy of the pump boat, but it looked as if darker skies hovered over our destination. Once we completed this second phase of our move and had our gear loaded onto another jeepney, I would feel much better . It had been a stressful day that wasn’t over yet. I knew my asawa and I would be relieved once we were in Iloilo City headed to our new home.
We arrived at the Fort San Pedro dock in about 25 minutes. Larry, still wearing his rain slicker, hopped off his pump boat to hail a passing jeepney on the busy thoroughfare. I felt a few sprinkles of rain and was concerned we wouldn’t get everything loaded before a new rainstorm pummeled us. The skipper was not having too much luck in getting a jeepney that would agree to the journey to our subdivision which was located about 30 minutes outside of Iloilo City. I feared we would be starting the last leg of our move in a downpour. Various members of the crew, along with our Guimaras porters, fanned out in an attempt to locate a vehicle that would help us. Finally, after about 15 minutes, Larry was able to hire a willing multicab driver. I was concerned that the smaller vehicle would not be able to load everything, but with the sprinkles of rain continuing, I knew my options were limited. Plus, the driver was going to charge a reasonable rate of 600 pesos, so I gave the OK to start loading.
Larry’s pump boat crew, consisting of two young Filipinos, a middle-age man, and an older gentlemen that I guessed close to my age, stepped into high gear. Larry was on hand to supervise the packing. I had my doubts that the vehicle would hold all of our gear. It was filling up fast. Our sofa bed, along with a storage rack, went up on the roof of the rig. The few drops of occasional rain had momentarily halted, and soon the crew and our porters had loaded the multicab.
Joseph and Neil now asked if we wanted them to continue onto to our destination to help our driver unload. We had been using the services of this duo for years and trusted them. Wanted to give them one more opportunity to earn a little extra cash from us. We probably would not have much opportunity to use their services in the future, plus I really had no desire to unload any boxes at this point. Problem was, Larry did not think there would be room for my asawa and I along with our porter friends. The Tawash captain said we would probably have to take a taxi, and that our driver would follow. I did not want that extra expense and made it abundantly clear that we would be going on the multicab even if I had to stand on the rear bumper and hold onto the hand rails. They soon made room for us in the front.
I asked Larry how much I owed him for the use of his pump boat and his crew. He said the words I absolutely dread to hear in the Philippines: “It’s up to you. Whatever you want to pay.” But since I considered the skipper a friend plus the fact that his wife and he supported six daughters, I paid him 1,000 pesos. He had four crew members that had helped load and unload, and on previous occasions when we had to hire a pump boat, we had paid 450 pesos to carry our sofa bed from Iloilo to Guimaras. I shook Larry’s hand and hopped onto the front seat along with my asawa, and we were off with our porters Joseph and Neil hanging on in the back. The afternoon traffic was heavy in Iloilo City, and a light drizzle had started. I was worried our sofa was going to get wet, but it was covered. Not much else I could do at this point but hope and pray that another downpour would not start. We still were about 40 minutes from our new home but at least we were on the final leg of our move.
Next post, Part Three, the conclusion. Find out if we make it to our destination without getting soaked, and if our driver can find the way. Go with us we arrive at our new home and have our paperwork to enter our subdivision cleared by armed guards. Check out the reaction of our new neighbors as a new Americano moves into the hood. Hang on to your lizard’s tail! It’s going to be an adventure!