Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

November 25, 2008

Freud in the Philippines

Filed under: siquijor — Donald @ 8:25 am

Long ago, at just about this time year, I was invited by a high school friend to go quail hunting on his farm. The November sky was a soft gray that I’ve always loved against the brown earth and tan corn stalks. At first I was excited with anticipation, but after walking fence rows for a couple of hours my mind moved on to other things. When we finally did scare up a covey I was so startled I couldn’t decide which one to shoot and ended up missing them all. Traumatic events have a way of recurring, and when this one does, I intend to correct it.

On a manifestly and latently related note, I met this week a guy who introduced himself as special operative in charge of security throughout the island; a Captain of some sort. We had a nice chat looking out over Lazi Bay and he invited me to his home for a few shots of “ginseng wine”, which turned out to be the local brandy with a ginseng root stuffed into the bottle. Amazingly the root continues to grow, sending out so many tendrils that after a few months the entire volume is filled. My new friend spoke very highly of the manly virtues of this concoction and promised to prepare a bottle especially for me if I returned a few days later, which of course I did. When I arrived he was cleaning his assault rifle and 9mm. Now he’s invited me to target practice with the head of the armed forces and the Governor. Excellent prep for the recurrence, I think. Those guys must have bagged lots of quail.

November 7, 2008

Akong Balay

Filed under: siquijor — Donald @ 5:10 pm

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My House

I have an obsessive mind and for all my last year in Michigan it was obsessing on the Philippines. Even when I was in class saying things I didn’t really understand about the hippocampus it wandered off to my favorite places, like the long, white beach in Solangon, Siquijor. The pics here are of a house I just leased on that beach. At the moment the owner is living in a nearby resort where she is the caretaker. Her mother is away in Manila. One dark, moonless night I slipped in the back door and before they found me out I had squatter’s rights. The place is not yet finished, which is perfect since bare concrete and no ceiling is exactly what I can afford.

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This is the mother’s bedroom when she’s here, which she might just be in April and May. The family offered to move her elsewhere but I couldn’t do it Probably we’ll both regret that.

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The garbage disposal system is highly redundant and will have wonderfully crunchy brown skin come fiesta time.

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These guys keep the bugs down and fertilize the sandy soil. I’m told that stepping in chicken dung negates the effects of the local love potions; easy excuse when I strike out.

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This is a standard Filipino comfort room. You flush the toilet buy dumping water from the bucket.

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It’s about eighty meters down to the beach. That has advantages over being right on the sea; salt spray is simply evil for electronics (one reason this update has been so long in coming), and the house probably won’t flood next typhoon season.

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Fishermen live within a few dozen meters on either side. Premium varieties are scarce here, but people get smaller ones and squid fresh off the boat.

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I’ve spent many hours looking at Apo Island. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has a reef modeled on one at Apo.

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Plenty of cold beer in the fridge. Last one here’s a balut.

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