C How They Made Me! Chapter 39

Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer

C How they made me chapter 39:

The air is cleared and the province beckons

As much as I hated to admit it Rosie was right, if I was going to live in the same compound as these other guys I would have to confront them and try to mend the wounds especially with big Phil. I figured what Phil had done was wrong at least for me but then again it took two to tango and Rosie was not exactly blameless either. With my mind firmly made up I tried to shake Rosie awake but to no avail so I grabbed a quick shower then headed out the door to find big Phil and see what could be done to renew our friendship.

I found big Phil sitting on his balcony overlooking the ocean sitting there sipping a beer while a lady whom I had never met before grilled a fish on the barbeque besides his hut. As I approached I decided the casual approach was probably my best option so I simply strolled up to him and said “gooday mate sorry about the other night” to which he replied ah Marty I have been waiting for you come up here and have a fucking seat we have some unfinished business”. Upon hearing these words I looked at the size of the man and thought to myself I can run now and avoid this or I can take my beating like a man and put up some sort of fight. I realized that if I ran away I would lose all respect from Phil and his mates plus I would lose all self respect and most importantly I would never be able to face this man again. There are times in life when one just has to bite the bullet and endure the consequences of ones actions no matter how painful they are and this was certainly one of those times for me.

I looked up at him and decided “fuck it, if he is going to hit me I will try my best to get a few in and lets see what happens. I knew instinctively that running away or avoiding the man would just exacerbate the problem so I decided to confront the problem face to face. I walked up the three steps and sat in a chair besides Phil who no sooner had I sat down said to me “hey Marty go get us a couple of beers from the ice box will ya mate easier to talk with you over a beer”. Feeling like an errand boy I made my way inside Phils hut to find a cooler with ice and a dozen San Miguel beers inside. I grabbed two and then proceeded outside to continue my chat with Phil.

As I handed him the beer I started with the humble approach and said listen mate I am sorry for swinging at you in the disco and all that. It’s just that I was drunk and when I saw you dancing with my woman I jst saw red like a bull with a red flag. It wasn’t anything personal mate and I want to apologize” Apologizing for hitting a guy who had been fucking my girlfriend just didn’t make any sense at that time and I still felt my actions had been morally justified but at the same time I realized I had to live in the same compound as this guy and if eating a little humble pie would make the situation better then I was prepared to do that.

When he heard my words Phil gave me a lopsided smirk and said Marty you got a lucky one in mate, now I know how you fight I will be ready next time and then I’m going to kick the living shit out of you’. As he issued this promise the smirk vanished and became a scowl and I realized he was intensely serious. Upon hearing this I backed my chair away from him slightly and said mate where you and I come from you don’t fuck your mates girlfriend and let’s face it that’s exactly what you were doing and I was bloody pissed of. Phil looked at me with an expression of utter disbelief and said “Marty you are such a beginner you are not in Aus now mate so let me explain how things work around here”. I just want you to know I have been going with Rosie on and off for at least 2 years now long before you knew her and considered her your girlfriend. Mate you need to understand Rosie is a professional bar girl who has had more pricks than a pub dart board and she will never change. She will always fuck around on you mate because that’s the way it is over here and that’s the only way they know how to make extra money. Besides mate fucking is in the Filipinas blood they love it mate”.

For me Phil’s words were not exactly shocking but they were a bit harsh and bitterly truthful. Phil looked at me digesting his words and after a while he said there are a couple of other things you should know mate. Rosie was the one who approached me and she was the one who approached 3 other guys in the compound and we all gave her one mate. Upon hearing this my blood began to boil which must have been fairly obvious to big Phil as he reached across, put his hand on my shoulder and said relax Marty I have told you it’s nothing personal. It’s just that Rosie is a slut who needs to make money and the only way she knows how to do that is by fucking.”

I looked at Phil and replied yeah I get all that but the fact is she is my girlfriend, you are my mate and mates don’t do that to each other. Phil replied, “yeah we are mates and that’s why I told you I didn’t want you hearing it from somebody else”. That’s also why I said it’s nothing personal against you man and besides Rosie was my girlfriend long before she met you so get real mother fucker and realize where you are and what you are doing here. For me with my Australian scale of values everything Phil was saying went against the grain but somehow I knew where I was and what country I was in and Phils words in a distorted way made sense.

I looked at Phil and said you know what mate I am trying to see your point of view and to be honest I am caught between two worlds here. My Australian world tells me you are a cunt who has been fucking my girlfriend but in the Philippines I kind of understand where you are coming from. So mate lets just leave it at this Rosie is my girl now I will support her as best I can and I would appreciate it if you and the other boys could refrain from fucking her until she has split up with me. Phil sia that sfair enough mate I will pass the word along to the other blokes but in the meantime two more beers mate.

So there it was, I had confronted big Phil, I had stated my point of view, we had cleared the air, come to an agreement and best of all we were still friends. Okay I knew it was never going to be like before, at least not in my mind, but at least we were cordial and my existence would now hopefully be a little peaceful while I was spending time in Sabang.

After we had downed about 6 beers each had a good long chat and to some extent rekindled our friendship I told Phil I had to go see Rosie and I thanked him for the beer shook his hand and strolled back to my hut. As I walked I could feel Phils eyes on my back and I knew that even though we had reached a peace it was an uneasy one and the relationship could turn sour with only the slightest provocation.

I entered my hut, gently shook Rosie awake and told her lets go get something to eat. Rosie and I strolled down the beach until we came across what looked like a little outside eatery and Rosie’s eyes alighted on a fish being grilled and she was suddenly adamant that we should eat here. I had no idea what was so special about this fish but I wasn’t about to object as I am comfortable eating just about anywhere. We sat down in the plastic chairs at the plastic tables in the front of the eatery and Rosie in rapid Tagalog ordered some fish and rice.

As we sat there with me drinking a beer na beer and Rosie sipping on a mango juice she began to tell me about her life in the province. She regaled me with stories of her relatives, the food and her day to day existence in a very simplistic and in some ways hard world. She explained that whatever the fish was they were cooking was abundant in her province so when she saw this it bought back many happy childhood memories.

As we dined and listening to Rosie talk I saw another side of her that I had never seen before. She was animated and excited and it was very obvious that the province was close to her heart. When she talked about her experiences there she was continuously smiling and I could see she would love a visit back there. As for me I thought the situation here in Sabang was a little tense I had not really traveled in the Philippines and besides a trip to the province would make Rosie happy and probably earn me numerous brownie points in our relationship.

So now I was decided and as Rosie and strolled back to the hut I asked her “darling what is the name your province”. She looked at me deep in thought and responded “ano”. When I heard this I smiled and made up my mind to visit Captain Greg’s tomorrow where I could find a map and check out the location of her province named Ano.

The next day I woke up comparatively early and made my way to Captain Gregs where I knew if anywhere had some maps this would be the place. I made my way upstairs to the restaurant area and there sure enough were some maps of the Philippines. The girl there asked me what part of the Philippines am I looking for and I replied I am looking for the island Ano. Suddenly the girl started giggling and then said sir no island name Ano in the Philippines. But there must be I said because that’s what my girlfriend told me and why would she lie about something like that. The girl not sure if I was serious or not said sir I promise you no Ano in the Philippines. I looked at her in disbelief and said can I have a look at some maps anyway maybe I will be able to find or something with a similar name. The girl looked at me again and said certainly sir I will get you map of Visaya region because your girlfriends province probably there. With this said she ducked down behind a counter and then surfaced holding a large scroll type map which I took over to one of the tables ordered a cup of coffee and began to study the thing in earnest.

I studied the map for at least twenty minutes and was just about to give up when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of that magical three letter word Ano. Feeling excited I quickly took the map over to the counter girl and presented it showing her the minute Island named Ano. The girl of course had to do a double take but there was no denying it there was the little island Ano. I asked the girl where this island was and how hard was it to get there and her reply was this island is near Cebu but she doubted I had met a girl from this island as it looked very small and the population was no doubt tiny as well. When she expressed her concerns I told her to keep the map open while I went and got my girlfriend and she could tell us if this was in fact her island Ano.

Forty minutes later I was back with Rosie in tow and then I showed her the map with the island Ano she simply burst out laughing. This was followed by a rapid dialogue with the counter girl then between them they poured over the map until they had found what they were looking for and then called me over to have the counter girl point at some island named Masbate and say “that is province Rosie sir”. I looked at this island named Masbate and asked why did she tell me her provinces name was Ano when it’s name is Masbate? This caused more laughter from the girls and in between giggles the pair of them managed to explain that Ano is a common expression used when they forget the actual name for something. Upon hearing this I had to laugh as well and then turning to Rosie still chuckling I asked her how would you like to visit your province with me?

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