9:15 pm Monday. I was already in bed trying to get to sleep. My asawa and our helper, Mera, were upstairs watching a Filipino soap opera. Suddenly I heard a loud explosion! Lights out! Everything went black a split second after the boom. Transformer blew. Heard that sound many times in my almost six years of living in “paradise,” the Philippines.
I flipped on my rechargeable Firefly F615 fan/LED light on high. Thankfully, it was cloudy most of the day and our downstairs living quarters weren’t as hot as usual. I have run our air con one night thus far this summer but have resisted using it as much as we have in the past.
My spouse came downstairs 15 minutes later. I tossed and turn and finally drifted off to meet The Sandman. Two hours later my fan died out. Only has a two hour charge when set on high. But I was tired and fell back asleep until 2:30 am when I heard Lolo, my father-in-law singing upstairs in his bedroom. Our fan always drowns out Lolo but with the power outage still continuing, I had to listen to my dementia-afflicted father-in-law’s gibberish songs which are akin to listening to a sick carabao wailing in the middle of the night.
I go outside to our dirty kitchen to boil water for our two thermos bottles. It saves a little LP gas to use the dead branches and twigs at our location instead of burning up the LP. I could still hear Lolo singing. I can’t wait until we move get him moved into the nipa hut built for him at our new property.
My asawa goes to the market. It’s 8 am now. Still no power. A few minutes later, my wife’s second cell phone she leaves for me, rings. It’s my spouse, “The Boss.”
“The rest of our subdivision has power! You need to go to Guimelco and let them know we don’t have power!” she instructs me.
“What? I can’t hear you!” I reply. How can I hear. She’s riding on a noisy tricycle.
“…[deleted expletive]…I SAID YOU NEED TO GO TO GUIMELCO AND FIND OUT WHY WE DON’T HAVE POWER! OUR SUBDIVISION HAS POWER!” she shouts above the racket of the tricycle which sounds like a mass of mosquitoes hopped up on shabu.
Guimelco is our local utility company. I got the message this time and walk over to our local office. I get past NoNo’s house, our local trike driver, when I see a Guimleco service truck. I wave. The driver honks. I walk over.
“Are you here restoring power?” I ask.
“Yes, sir,” comes a reply from the driver. Two other employees are inside.
The truck takes off in the direction of our home. I walk to our gate. The Guimelco truck is parked in front of our next door neighbor’s house. The three utility employees are already outside pointing at the transformer perched on top of the utility pole at our neighbor’s entrance.
After a brief discussion, one of the men takes out a long pole and snatches something off the top of the transformer. It’s a rat! So that’s what caused our 11-hour power outage in Guimaras.
I thanked the Guimleco employees, opened our gate and made the three minute walk to our front door at “The Farm.”
We had power. I don’t know what the Guimelco guys did with the fried rat. I just hope the filthy rodents stay off our transformers in the future.
(Have a rat problem? Do what they do in Pampanga with rats that only eat rice from the rice fields. Eat them adobo-style. If you can’t beat ‘ em, eat ’em.)