GUIMARAS, SHABU LANE? That’s what a headline in The Daily Guardian recently suggested. We moved to Guimaras, an island province in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, over nine years ago. This sleepy, provincial island, known for the sweetest mangoes in the world, is generally quiet and peaceful. While someone might occasionally get a snootful of too much Red Horse and stab someone, we haven’t had any major problems while living here.
“More Female Pushers in Iloilo Peddling Shabu.” In Western Visayas, the region of the archipelago we call home, 34 women have been arrested for drug dealing. The bulk of females selling shabu (meth) are located on nearby Panay Island, Iloilo province.
“The City Mall Parola Expat Experience.” A retired fart like me has plenty of time to go shopping with his asawa. I enjoy checking out new places. Parola is located at Fort San Pedro Drive in Iloilo City. Guimaras, the island province we call home, is an approximately 12-15 pump boat ride away from Ortiz Wharf, minutes from Parola.
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.
Headless Ghost in Barong Visits Our Nephew at The Farm. Regular readers of Philippines Plus must be scratching their heads and wondering if “The Kano” has consumed massive qualities of Red Horse. No, I haven’t quaffed an adult beverage for a few days now. The following story is true and without any embellishment.
Here’s the latest nipa hut progress on our new property in the Philippines. For few weeks now, our brother-in-law Joery, Cousin Doening (whose daughter Mera works for as a domestic helper), caretaker Gerry and Joery’s neighbor Jon, have been busy constructing a new domicile for my father-in-law, Lolo, who is afflicted with dementia and loves to converse with dead relatives and belt out silly songs all hours of the night. Yes, I know that the poor guy, who recently socked me in they eye and gave me a shiner that lasted three weeks, cannot help himself. But have you ever lived 24/7 with someone that has dementia? The fact that he cannot control his actions doesn’t make his behavior any less annoying.
You never know what to expect in the Philippines. Sometimes it’s a shabu, meth, dealer that is firing his weapon at a next door neighbor. Other times it could be your niece that has decided to shack up with the son of Jesus. Or it could be my father-in-law, afflicted with dementia, who lives with us and has physically attacked me twice this past week. Our current crisis is dealing with 11 hour brownouts in paradise, the mandated rotational power outages that have hit our mango island province, Guimaras. The scheduled brownouts, from 6 am to 11 pm, hit our area every other day and great impact our daily life.
Our niece Shaina had arrived home around 6 pm without her younger, 13-year-old brother,Sherwin. I heard my asawa speaking to someone on the phone minutes earlier and was extremely glad it wasn’t me on the receiving end. Our niece and nephew that live with us go to the same high school and have specific instructions from my spouse to travel home in the jeepney together. Vehicular traffic was backed up in front of our subdivision gate in Savannah, Pavia, Iloilo. A robbery had occurred and one of the thieves had been killed in a shootout right outside our main gate.
My niece, Michelle, was walking home the other day through our subdivision in Iloilo and passed up a group of workers. She didn't take the shuttle service and saved her "Dad" and "Tita" seven pesos. The guys were part of an army of landscapers and other laborers employed throughout our development. When my niece arrived home, I heard her chatting away animatedly to my asawa and her twin sister, April.