The Tom Cat and the Fine Filipina


Brother Tom is no longer with us. No, he's not gone onto a better place, my American expat friend is dropping the "brother" from his name. He wants to be known simply as "Tom" now. I think it is most inappropriate to not have a nickname in the Philippines, as most Filipinos here do, so I will refer to him as "Tom Cat" now.DSC

My friend from Florida is still working as an oblate, lay person, at the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras, but is cutting back his duties  there to concentrate on a graphic arts design website he is currently working on. 

Since Tom will not (understandably) commit to being a full-fledged monk which would involve giving up beer and women, the multi-talented American is content with his current status quo as "brother" at the monastery, though he will no longer use the moniker outside the grounds.

The lanky American expat in the Philippines lives on a secluded property owned by the local Cistercian Order at the Trappist Monastery, and Tom affectionately calls it "The Farm." He spent many hours and a ton of money to renovate the peaceful paradise he know resides on.

So when my asawa and I visited Guimaras for the recent Manggahan Festival, Tom graciously let us stay for a couple of nights, and his visiting friend from Florida,  the amicable "Fearless Frank, " gave up his guest bedroom on the first floor and retreated to the refurbished basement.

The first night of the festival Tom Cat and his girlfriend, LenLen (see next photo of the couple taken at  The Shirven Hotel in Guiamaras), one of my asawa's many attractive relatives,  along with Frank, joined us as we took a trike ride to the mango fest grounds to check out the festivities.DSC

After a few beers and another taste of balut for me, twilight fled the festival grounds, and we soon heard the strains of a band on a nearby stage. Frank decided to return to "The Farm" but made up for that party as the "fearless" one and I joined forces the next evening for some fun.

A band from Iloilo City, The First Edition (pictured below), were playing some covers of popular tunes. The crowd was fairly apathetic and our quartet of party-goers were the only ones applauding or making any noise. DSC

We were fairly close to the stage which was blocked by a fence that was put up to contain the crowd for the ABS-CBN Kampamilya Karavan and featured the cast of the "Walang Hanggan" show which was held earlier in the afternoon.  I had never watched the show,  but the following Filipinos shown racing to the stage in the next photo certainly must had. DSC

DSCBut I guess the group assembled in front of the stage to hear the Iloilo City band wasn't warmed up yet. Our entourage had been drinking a few bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen by then along with a couple of mango shakes spiked with Tanduay Rhum. We were ready to party.

So when the lead male vocalist asked if anyone in the crowd was single and wanted to come onstage, I slipped behind the Tom Cat and pointed at him. The singer called him onstage, and he obliged. I was roaring with laughter!

But as seen in the lead picture at the beginning of this post, it didn't look like ol' Tom was too shy. I don't know what LenLen was thinking, but I was yelling at him from the stage and being my usual obnoxious self (but even more so when I've imbibed a few beers.)

And then the Tom Cat tried to dance! Hide your eyes, the next photo isn't a pretty sight except for the cute Filipina!DSC

Tom finally got off stage and thankfully LenLen didn't bash him up alongside of the head with a bolo. We listened to a few more songs and made our way back to the festival grounds and caught a trike ride back to "The Farm" to settle in for the evening.

It was a great day with some good friends. Living in the Philippines and enjoying retirement. You can't beat it!DSC

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

9 thoughts on “The Tom Cat and the Fine Filipina

  1. Dave, I still remenber the time we spent a night at Trappist Monastery way back in 1995. It was really a peaceful place . It’s suited for meditation and to clear the cobweb in your mind. I did see some Cambodian or Myanmar monks but not Brother Tom. I presumed he was not still there at the time. Now a lot of tourists are going to Guimaras and visit the Trappist Monastery. That’s good. Regards.

    1. Very peaceful place, indeed, Reynaldo. I love visiting the Monastery. The Tom Cat was not there when you visited, but future visitors to the sanctuary should be able to spy the lanky expat from Florida occasionally now. And you’re right, favorite spot for tourists visiting Guimaras. They have some great jams and jellies and mango treats available there which are sold in some stores throughout the Philippines.

  2. Funny thing as nicknames go, last week my 3 year old niece called me “color white” and it stuck and can’t understand why? I have a good tan going on. I guess it’s appropriate though:)

  3. Dave,
    It sounds like a good time was had by all. I can’t believe you set Tom up for a possible bolo attack. Now you would have felt guilty if that happened lol. Take care.

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