Of rain and other things.

If things go on as they are, there is an imminent danger that I may catch up with myself.  Well, that'll be a first.  I shan't write a whole pile here as I have been invited to a birthday party on the beach today, some random Swiss guy I bumped into a couple of days ago.  It looks like a lot of my mates from here are going and it is nearby so it should be a fun day.

Unfortunately, he has seen my guitar tattoo and iknows that I play, so there is a threat of a guitar being produced for me.  Oh dear, the good denizens of Negros Oriental are liable to be mentally scarred and put off live music for life.

Silliman University, Dumaguete.
It's not all fun and games here, you know.  I decided one day that I would make the effort to do something a bit cultural and headed off to Silliman University, the most prestigious of the four in Dumaguete where all the rich kids go, which was supposed to have an ethnological museum.  Silliman was founded in the very early 20th century by a retired American businessman.  It was subsequently granted University status in 1938, although I am somewhat dubious about the educational standards.  The general consensus here is that as long as you pay your fees, you pass.  I know of a young lady studying nursing, a very popular choice here as it means you can leave the country.  Look at the number of Filipina nurses in the UK.

I will digress here slightly to explain about Philippinos moving overseas, and there are a lot of them.  It is unlike European countries insofar as you need a visa to leave if you are a citizen.  These visas are like gold dust.  Like everything else here, you need to be connected or be able to pay.  I am not making any moral judgement on this system, it is just the way it is here.  Probably the second most popular qualification is "care giver" for which there is again a huge demand overseas.  I genuinely think that the Philippino authorities are terrified of half the population looking outward and wanting a better life elsewhere, I can think of no other explanation.

The young lady I mentioned studying Nursing at Silliman recently sat some exam or another.  The "lecturer" or whatever announced that everyone had passed.  She asked about a score or grade for her paper and was told, "Everybody passed."  DEnd of story.  Hmmm.

Look closely.
Back to the museum whch was frankly a huge disappointment although worth the small admission fee for the air-con on a stinking hot day.  I thought their struggles to find worthy exhibits were summed up by the presence of a commemorative spoon from the marriage of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton.  That had to be at least eight months old.  A museum?  There are millions of them remaindered in tat shops in UK.

Now, I am sure that many of you are becoming jealous listening to me rattling on about sun and heat when you are languishing in the midst of a Northern hemisphere winter, so I shall attempt to make you feel better.

It rains here and when it rains it really rains.  Honestly, if you have never experienced Asian rain, you have never seen precipitation at it's height.  Here are a few images to make you feel better.

This was one afternoon when the Heavens just opened.  Normally the rain happens at night so it is difficult to get images but this particular day it just started mid-afternoon and it did not let up for a couple of hours.

My little home in the rain.
And here is poor little Suzi getting a good wash.  Well, she probably needed it, she was getting a bit mucky.

Suzi in the rain.
Locals tell me that this amount of rain is unusual at this time of year which seems to mirror my belief that the climate generally is changing.  What the cause of this is I really don't know, the alleged "evidence" being so conflicting.  I just know from personal experience that seasons are changing all over the world.

I actually managed to achieve a small life ambition one night when it decided to absolutely chuck it down.  I hadn't had a shower and needed one as it had been so sticky hot all day.  You are probably ahead of me here.  To the amusement of the few others similarly sheltering from the weather, I armed myself with the handwash from the bar, wandered out into the middle of the car park in my swimming trunks and proceeded to shower in the full force of the torrent, for such it must be described.  In deference to the ladies present, I did go out the back for the more intimate of the ablutions but I have to tell you it was possibly the most refreshing shower I have ever had.  It certainly beats the life out of some of the B&B's I have suffered (and I use the word advisedly) in the UK, great fun and if I can get my mate Mac to email me the photographic evidence, I'll share it with you if you think your constitution can stand it.

I am going to give you a few random observations now, prompted by the way I write this.  The only way I can keep up is to upload my photos chronologically so I don't miss anything.  Hence I seem to be jumping from subject to subject.  Bill Bryson, you have nothing to fear from me, mate.

Sendong aftermath.
I have mentioned several times about typhoon Sendong which just about decimated this place a month before I arrived.  The good people of Negros Oriental really have no luck, do they?  First a catastrophic typhoon, massive flooding, then an earthquake and now me.  And they still believe in God?  I had seen this hulk lying a few yards offshore in Dumaguete and had been told that it had gone down in Sendong trying to shelter but frankly there is little shelter to be had here and she would have been too big to get into Tambobo Bay.  I wasn't too bothered, apparently there was no loss of life (they could have waded ashore) and no doubt it was insured.  I later heard that she was laden with a cargo of San Miguel beer from Cebu and that did sadden me greatly.  I believe the locals were swimming out to salvage cargo and the entire population of Calindagan, the local barangay, were blind drunk for a fortnight.  Shades of that old Whiskey Galore film.

Enough said.
I have mentioned Mac aka Baboy (the Visayan word for pig) before, although I cannot for the life of me imagine why he has attracted that soubriquet.  Judge for yourselves.  They awere going to call this place Baboy's place but due to some quirk of the frankly incomprehensible Philippino legal system they couldn't as there is some chain of bottom end lechon (roast pork) places with the same name.  It is almost as ridiculous as the British Olympic mafia managing to copyright the term 2012.  How bloody stupid and who gets rich?  Damned lawyers as always.  Anyway, we have reverted here to La Fiesta restobar and even that was subject to legal challenge.

How did it ever move?
A fellow resident here is an American guy called John and one day I was treated to this for an image.  John was backriding Mac into town to collect something.  Shall we say they are not small men and it must say someting about the durability of local motorcycles that they made it there and back in one piece.  I really fear for that back tyre (Americans, note the correct spelling of tyre!)

I mentioned earlier that I have hooked up with some bikers here and a lot of them use the place I live as a pitstop o runs up and down to Siaton or Bayawan.  Here are a few images of some of the lovely machines that turn up here.

The boys are back in town.
This one belongs to a mate of mine, well they all do actually.
Isn't she a beauty?

There seem to be a lot of very nice bikes in this part of the world.  Here is one of them.

And here are a few more.

A few more million pesos worth of machinery.
However, one of my favourite bikes hereabouts is a mere 150cc.  My mate Gerry, who I think I mentioned before, is a complete petrolhead is forever chopping bikes and you can always tell his work because he invariably resprays his machines in red and black.

This is what it can look like.
I mentioned in the last post about the revolution of the Rusi 150cc bikes here.  OK, you don't remember the bike but you probably remember Edsal draping herself all over it.  Let's be honest, it is a cheap nasty Chinese import that shakes itself apart over 60kph but with a bit of imagination and a decent paintshop you can actually make it look like something.  There will be more about this particular model later in a somewhat different livery but again you will have to wait.

Well, it is getting dark now, which is my time to play, so best I go and sluice my stinking bones before heading off to this party, wherever it might be.  I tell you, it is hard work here!

No comments:

Post a Comment