C How They Made Me! Chapter 36

Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer

C How they made me chapter 36:

Sharing is caring but not quite yet

Sabang was a deceptive place because time seemed to move so slowly with each day seemingly melding into another then all of a sudden I would sit back and say to myself, wow it’s that date already where the hell did all that time go. I would then make up my mind that I was wasting my life away here with far to many idle hours being spent sitting around with my mates drinking cheap booze, fucking Rosie, eating, playing pool and then maybe for something special on the weekend visiting Sabang disco and trying to discreetly hit on some of the local talent.

Often I would find myself reflecting on this lifestyle and saying to myself come on martin shake yourself out of this, you are going nowhere it’s like you are a beach bum and there isn’t even a decent beach. I would often get to the stage where I would start to pack my bags saying to Rosie “hey girl you ready to go back to Manila I am come on let’s get out of here tomorrow”. Rosie would always smile roll her eyes up and reply “ok hon we go bukas” knowing full well that something would distract me and somehow we would end up staying in Sabang for yet another week.

And the problem was, she was right. No matter how many times I vowed to get out of there something would always come up and I would find myself staying yet another week doing exactly the same things as I had the week before. In fact now I look back on it life in Sabang was just like a continual groundhog day, only being in the Philippines it included getting laid on a regular basis.

Along with the alcohol there was plenty of weed around in those days and just about every second night the boys and I would simply sit by the barbeque drinking local rum or gin and getting stoned off our tits on the local puff. Having grown up in Sydney and attending university in the late seventies early eighties I had indulged in my fair share of pot but there was something special about smoking this shit in Sabang. Not that it was strong or of particularly impressive quality but the environment seemed to lend itself to the experience and I can remember watching many a sunset sitting on my little porch, Tanduay Rum in one hand and a good smoke in the other.

On the weekends we would often head to Sabang Disco which was a chance for me and the boys to check out the local talent and any new talent that might have found her way to Sabang from Manila. Surprisingly enough Rosie who knew exactly why we went to Sabang Disco never seemed to mind and in fact I got the impression she quite enjoyed visiting there with what she considered her group of guys. This particular occasion it was Friday night and about 11PM, all of us had been drinking and smoking fairly heavily before coming to Sabang Disco and then as we mingled just chatting with some locals while scoping out the females big Phil came up to me and said “mate I need to talk with you can you come outside”? By this time I considered Phil more than a casual acquaintance but I could see by the look on his face that whatever it was he had on his mind was fairly serious and he obviously felt the need to tell me right now so I just skulled my rum and coke and replied “sure mate lets go now”.

When we got outside big Phil lead the way to a small sari-sari store where he invited me to sit and ordered 4 rum and cokes. By this stage I was getting a little bit guarded wondering what the heck was so important that Phil had to talk with me about and my feeling of foreboding only got worse when the first words out of his mouth were, “mate I have to tell you a few things about your bird Rosie”. Big Phil was never one for prolonged soliloquies and as such he basically came right out with it. “Mate to be honest me and some of the other blokes have been rooting Rosie’ After hearing this I was suddenly totally straight and as I looked him straight in the eyes I asked mate is this when you knew her before or while she has been with me here in Sabang? Phil gave me an apologetic grimace and replied, “both mate” .

At this stage in my relationship with Rosie I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about her, for me there was a torrent of feelings and most of them were contradictory. On the one hand I realized she was a hardened bar girl and very much a product of her environment but on the other hand I had taken her out of the bar and she was my lover as well as my friend. Or so I thought. I felt pangs of jealousy juxtaposed by my worldly logic that said what do you expect she is a bar girl, this is the only way she knows how to survive. I felt a sense of betrayal by both Rosie and Phil but then again they had known each other long before I had known either one of them and besides who was I to tell Rosie she could not fuck around when here I was banging the land lady’s daughter. Should I be upset or should I be relieved, should I feel betrayed or should I just put it down to life’s experiences, should I be proprietary and impress upon this big bloke whose woman she was or should I just not take it personally and let it slide.
As I sat there speechless for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only a couple of minutes the gamut of emotions bombarded my mind like items of clothing in a tumble dryer and this must have been obvious by my facial expressions because Phil actually reached over placed his big hand on my arm and said “you ok there mate”? When I felt his hand on my arm I was jolted out of my self indulgent musings and said, “get your fucking hand off me cunt” and straight away he pulled back like he was withdrawing his hand from the snapping jaws of a crocodile. Listen mate there’s no need to get all agro mate I’m just telling ya for your own good because I’m a mate and I thought you should know“. “Well if your such a mate why are you fucking my girlfriend” I replied and straight away he said well mate I don’t see her as your girlfriend and she don’t see you as her boyfriend”.

Those last words hit me like a sledge hammer completely taking the winds out of my sails and once he saw this Phil stood up and using the extra 3 inches he had over me told me “sit down mate and lets have a fucking drink. I reckon you could do with one right now”. With this said he proffered me two rum and cokes and then it suddenly dawned on me why he had ordered four in the first place. I took one look at the big guy towering over me and thought to myself maybe discretion is the better part of valor besides the semblance of rationality I had left was dictating that I should stay and talk with Phil in an effort to find out more details before I decided on the best course of action.

So mate I asked in a calmer voice how long has this been going on and he replied by saying mate ever since the first night you came to the compound. When he said this he could see my temper beginning to boil again so he said no mate it’s not like that remember where you are, this is the Philippines and everything’s all fucked up over here”. I replied mate just because it’s the Philippines that doesn’t mean you should change your values and start doing things like fucking your mates girl friend”. When he heard this Phil just smiled and said “I would like to agree with ya but the fact is you’re wrong Marty. Over here in the PI you gotta change and go with the flow mate coz if you don’t you will go fucking bonkers”. In the years to come I was to face this dilemma many times and I think the answer is to adapt a little bit but at the same time maintain the nucleus of what makes you, you. Phil was right, to survive in the Philippines for any length of time you have to adapt and often that means throwing your beliefs and to some extent your morals out the window but at the same time always keep a part of what you used to be inside, otherwise there will be nothing which separates you from the Filipinos.

Even though his words were not exactly calming me down I let my cool head prevail thinking I need to find out more info before I do anything and besides if I am going to get this big bastard I better make it a surprise attack or else there was no way I was going to win. So mate what do suggest I do about this I said which caused Phil to look at me and say well mate there’s not much you can do mate the damage has been done. But Marty it wasn’t personal mate Rosie is just a bar whore mate and it’s probably better your mates do her than some bloke you don’t know”. When I heard this I actually spat my drink out onto the sand and asked what did you just say and big Phil just smiled and said yeah I know mate my reaction was the same when some cunt first told me that but it’s fair dinkum mate. You are better off having your girl rooting your mates than some bloke you don’t even know”.

At first I couldn’t believe what I had just heard and I wondered if Phil was serious but when I looked across the table at him I saw no trace of mirth in the mans eyes and I realized he was deadly serious. I looked at him and said mate you are just trying to justify doing the dirty on me and this is when he shook his head and said, “well you may see it as doing the dirty on ya but I see it as doing you a favor because I have taught you how it is around here and I have shown you what sort of girl Rosie is. Now don’t get me wrong mate I like a girl who bangs like a dunny door in the wind as much as the next man but mate now I have shown you how she truly is ask yourself is that the sort of girl you really want to get involved with?”.

Well I thought to myself if that doesn’t just top off everything here is this guy who has been fucking my girl and now he wants to tell me he was doing me a favor. Of course at this stage of my Philippine development this logic made absolutely no sense at all but many years later I was to find myself using exactly the same logic when answering a friends question about his girlfriends activities. Now, now I know what your thinking, Martin has been fucking one of his mates girlfriends but if this is what you are thinking then you are wrong. Remember how I stated earlier if you live here you have to adapt but at the same time keep some of what makes you, you. Well part of what I have kept is the belief that there is right and wrong and fucking your friends girl friend just doesn’t seem right to me no matter what angle I look at it from or what justifications I may employ. As a result I have never fucked a mates girlfriend well not while she was his girlfriend anyway and I probably never will.

With these words of wisdom spoken Phil made to get up and go but I grabbed his arm and said “wait a minute mate you said that you weren’t the only one fucking Rosie so could you tell me who the other dickheads are” to which he replied “well Marty let’s just put it this way it’s two other blokes who live in the compound mate” . Now I was pissed and it must have shown because Phil moved his chair a few inches away from me and said “calm down a bit mate I keep telling you this is not personal. Tell me mate how much money are you giving Rosie?” When he asked this I realized that I had been giving Rosie next to nothing and here was reality lesson number 2 these girls all need money. They may appear to have their own money or they may be independently wealthy or just to shy to come right out and ask you for it but the bottom line is they always need money.

When Phil asked this it had the calming down effect he was aiming for and I somewhat sheepishly replied “to be honest mate I give her fuck all” and then Phil smiled and said mate always give your girl some money. I’m not saying this will stop her from fucking around but it will decrease the chances and it will solve you many problems if you adopt this policy here in the Philippines. It’s all about the pera mate.” So there it was an economic reality slap in the face and yet somehow this didn’t make me feel bad at all. In fact I think this was a handy excuse that I could cling to and use to massage my bruised ego. Now I could say to myself these other guys are cunts but they didn’t mean it personally and as for Rosie well she was only doing it for the money.

Phil saw me calming down a bit and said ok mate time to finish our piss and lets get back to the disco I got a sheila I was eyeing off tonight and I reckon I can pull her no problem. With this said he stood up and slowly ambled off in the direction of Sabang Disco leaving me to order five more rum and cokes while I pondered my situation. I have no idea how long I sat there just pondering what Phil had told me but next thing I knew the lady who owned the sari-sari store was making noises for me to pay up because it was late and she wanted to close. I rummaged through my pockets found a couple of hundred and laid them on the table which seemed to please her no end as she grabbed the money and surprisingly quickly for someone her age disappeared behind the sari-sari store. Now left on my own and with a head full of Tanduay Rum I stumbled towards the Sabang Disco showed the door man my entrance stamp from earlier that night and stepped inside only to see Rosie dancing with big Phil. When I saw this I knew exactly what the saying seeing red like a bull meant and as all rationale thoughts flew out of my head I crossed the dance floor shoved Rosie aside and took a massive swing at big Phils jaw.

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