No series of articles about the Manggahan Festival, held last April in Guimaras, the sweet mango province, would be complete without a post that featured my American expat friend, The Tom Cat, aka “Brother Tom.” Tom, a bona fide Renaissance Man, is dating LenLen, one of my asawa’s countless relatives in the Philippines.
After living as an American expat in the Philippines for nearly three years, I've had several close encounters with balut, a fertilized duck embryo that's boiled alive and eaten in the shell. I've seen Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods on TLC chow down on this favorite street vendor food of the Philippines, but there was absolutely NO WAY I was ever going to digest the thing. It looks absolutely disgusting (see photo after next from Wikipedia for a close-up.)
American expat, Brother Tom, pictured on the far left, is back. My favorite oblate from the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras has returned after an eight month absence from the Philippines. His personal business in the States now cared for, he arrived a week ago this Friday after a lonnnngggggg 15-hour United Airlines flight.
My friend, Brother Tom, is back in the United States. He has some business to take care of and will return next March to Guimaras, home of sweet mangoes and even sweeter Filipinas (I know, I married one.) As you can see by the following photo, Tom is making himself at home and getting reacquainted with some old buds. No, I don't know how long it took him to empty those, felt it best not to ask.
Decided it was time to hang out at The Shirven Hotel with my American Expat friend, Brother Tom. My asawa came along. She needed to get out of the house more. It was a Saturday night, and the hotel in Guimaras has been known to have some expats that gather for a few San Miguels and small talk on the weekend. A great combination.
My American expat friend, Brother Tom, sent me a text message Wednesday morning. He was supervising the rice harvest at his farm and wanted me to come over. He was going to take some pictures of me in action. That sounded dangerously close to work so I replied that I would pass on that “opportunity” but would be happy to meet him later that evening for a round of San Miguels at our favorite hangout, The Shirven Hotel. It was my turn to buy. A bottle of Pale Pilsen costs 30 pesos (69 cents) as opposed to P13 (30 cents) for a bottle of Gold Eagle if purchased by the case, but since my expat friend was leaving to return to the States for six months, I threw caution to the wind, and advised The Sainted Patient Wife I would be meeting my amigo later. My asawa did not protest, happy, I’m sure to get me out of “The Compound” for a couple of hours.
Left off last post with my family and I waiting at Raymen Beach, a beach resort in beautiful Guimaras, home of the sweetest mangoes in the Philippines, for my wife's attractive relative, Lyn Lyn and my new American expat friend, Brother Tom to arrive. My wife and I were playing the part of Cupid as we wanted the two to meet and see if there would be any chemistry between them. Lyn Lyn has been separated over 15 years and Brother Tom is also legally separated. I really like Brother Tom, 52, and Lyn Lyn, 40, who is currently working as a caregiver in nearby Iloilo, and thought they would make a good match. Trouble is, it's 9am Saturday morning, and no word yet as to whether either one is going to show up.
Visited American expat Brother Tom's farm in Guimaras the other afternoon. After a free lunch (who says there's no free lunch?) at the Trappist Monastery where Tom serves as an Oblate in addition to his other duties as chief engineer, graphic arts designer, marketing consultant for all the delicious products made at the monastery factory, … Read more