back in auz
Cool nights are a blessing, but straggling mossies here still drag themselves to my bed.
Scene in Bulacan: we are trundling our blue-haze 2-stroke way down the road in a tricycle, Me & A inside,the usual 2 extra guys on the bike seat, along for the ride. I am puzzled to see that one is holding an infant. After a few klicks we stop at a house, and the child is handed back to its mother. Later I learn that this is a recognised protection against gunmen, who it seems are loth to fire on a tricycle carrying infants. Just why we are being followed by gunmen is another story. Good news, all the furniture is out (living in a gated compound cuts both ways - the guards may make it hard to move out, as well as checking for dreadists coming in).
Jelly fish weals have gone, except where I foolishly took local advice and opened some up to rub vinegar in - those few are not completely healed yet. Local health tips are almost always wrong.
The last 40 tourists in RP were in the LA cafe where big screens showed the Blacks beat the Boks. LA cafe is a weird hold-out, all the other bars remain bricked up from a decade ago, but the LA must have big pull with the Mayor, because is jammed with young free-lancers. I dont stay in my favourite hotel anymore because the only foreigners there appeared to be USAnian service types and with Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi still at large it could be ANFO'd easily. Moved down-market when in the city. Wet streets, the word is to wear trainers, because sandals invite Lepto(spirosis) a nasty lasting disease which a buddy in NZ once caught from a cow. I havnt checked the RP news this week, but when I left Senator Gringo Honosan was still hiding out, wanted for kudeta. He was doing the failed kudeta thing back in the 80's when I was there, hiding out a few blocks from me,so I feel close to the fellow.
The word here is kudeta (phonetic from da French) which means APCs around Glorias palace,
Typhoon winds are steady, like a wgtn sthrly at the strongest, but warm, felt like giant mouth breathing death. I threw a little tantrum in the Aus embassy, fun to do in a red security zone (they found 6 tons of nitrate on the wharf that day) - working there where the guy who seriously wants to blow you up was just allowed to walk out of Crame, the central police HQ, must be a bit freaky, even without me turning up sans security badge with a bunch of da family. Just back from the Province (Samar), apparently lots of NPA (Communists) down there, the night before departure I caught a mention of landmines in
Samar, but no checkpoints, no sign of military. A. hadnt been there for 30 years. Auntie Asing has a little room on the riverbank (a kid caught 3 fish while we remade 30 year old connections) and an hours walk up the Boondocks ( that's right its UP not DOWN in the boondocks - a Tagalog word) she has a bamboo hut with her own Pele nut tree (like cashews)
requires 2 skillful cutlass cuts to open. An uncle joined us on the return trip with a sack full of pele, coconut, pumpkins etc.
Any trip long or short, in the RP is open, which means any family member can join without invitation or comment. Sometimes a
short trip to the markets means me, A, her 2 sisters, a brother, maybe grandmother,on a motorcycle 3 wheeler.
Everyone sleeps on thin mats on concrete floors, cooler than mattresses,
the whole household within the arc of the fan.
Rum & candy, my teeth are flaking.
The cool wind that follows a rain shower.
Caribou heads high, neck deep in a wallow.
PinakBet with Bago-Ong,
Camp Crame, July 15, 2003 Indonesian terror suspect Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, the most senior JI jailed in the RP escaped from his Camp Crame detention cell yesterday with two Abu Sayyaf members..
Al-Ghozi embarrassed President Arroyo by walking out of his prison cell at the start of an official visit by Australian Prime Minister John Howard
22 July 2003 Typhoon Harurot Signal No. 4.. 190 kph..gusts of up to 230 kph.
..the strongest since 1998.
27 July 2003
..Magdalo group intended to instal "Kuya" as head of state.
..Kuya referred to Senator Gregorio Honasan,"..
Oplan Kayumanggi also included the plan to assassinate President Gloria..Alejano would lead the presidential convoy to an ambush...an eerie parallel here with the Cory years.
..The Oakwood siege was the last option,..when it became apparent that government had gotten wind of their plans
news item: drought so bad that people are "forced to drink rainwater"
- how far we have come in toxic biophilia that rain has become evil?