Sam I Am Blog

My Newspaper of News, Lifestyle,Culture

Posts Tagged ‘Tagalog

Warrior’s Welcome : Faithful 44

leave a comment »

Editor’s Prologue

January 25, 2015 — Philippines National Police Special Actions Force commanders enter the jungle to “Arrest” a suspected Islamic terrorist.  The PNP’s SAF commandos end up engaged in a firefight with “The Enemy.”

January 30, 2015 is declared “The National Day Of Mourning” to honor the memories of the brave men who engaged and fought the criminals and terrorists in the jungle.

I am a retired United States Air Force photojournalist and editor.  I am a pro-military writer.

Christy, my wife, is a Filipina.  My children, Samuel Ranilo Warren and Donna Junea Warren are Filipino-Americans.  My father, Samuel E. Warren served in The United States Army Signal Corps in the Philippines in World War II.  I was assigned to and served at Clark Air Base in the Republic Of The Philippines in the 1980s.

Needless to say, whenever anything happens in The United States or The Republic Of The Philippines, I and my family feel “Connected.”

I have been fortunate to meet and work with members of the Armed Forces Of The Philippines and The Philippines National Police.

I can understand and related to the grief of the families who lost loved ones in the combat in the jungle.

As a writer, I felt the best way I could express my condolences to the family members was to author a short story to celebrate the devotion, duty and dedication of the Philippines National Police Special Actions Force commandos.

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

One Warren Way

Barangay Baras, Republic Of The Philippines

Warriors Welcome: Faithful 44

FALLEN 44 Graphic e164b190-a820-11e4-b9c1-bf0dde9868b9_Screen-Shot-2015-01-30-at-9-32-29-AM

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Trumpets Of The Universe sound.  Planets in space reverberate. 

Comets and asteroids brighten for an instant and shimmer as the celestial symphony of sound passes them.

The solar bodies of stars glow with renewed radiation, which causes them to shine light Gold, Ruby and Lapis against The Eternal Charcoal Of The Universe.

For an instant, The Celestial Trumpets Sound and The Universe is a Crystal Of Courage And Compassion, which spreads throughout the infinite canvas of Eternal Night. 

Not a single scientific instrument on Earth or adrift in the Infinite Celestial Sea will record the miraculous music.

The Archangels and Angels, in their dress uniforms, stand in their positions, on both sides of The Red Carpet Corridor.

The Souls arrive at the end of the carpet and begin their measured step down the great corridor.

At the end of the red carpet is The Mystical Presence Of The Stranger.

The 44 Souls stroll the carpet past the formation of archangels and angels, who stand in Admiration and Respect.

The 44 Souls stop at about six feet away from The Mystical Presence Of The Stranger, which has the energy form of a human, but not the definition of flesh and form.

Before their eyes, the 44 watch The Transition.  The Stranger’s energy takes on a human form in a military dress uniform.

“Welcome To Valhalla !”

The words are spoken and emerge as English, Tagalog, Cebuano, and Waray.

The stranger smiles and nods.  “Call me, what you will, ‘ God’, ‘Mars’, ‘Ares’, ‘Thor’, I am your host for this ‘Welcome Reception.”

“You, Gentlemen, are ‘The Fallen 44 of the Philippines National Police Special Action Force’ we are assembled here, this evening. to salute, honor, witness and testify to your courage in battle.”

“You all perished in combat.  None of you made the conscious choice ‘To Die.’  All of you fought diligently and courageously to protect yourselves, your comrades-in-arms and to achieve your Mission.  No one in The Universe can question your courage and dedication.  You died in service to your country, your families and your fellow citizens.  There is No Greater Selfless Sacrifice In The Universe.”

“Tonight, this feast is to ‘Welcome You To Our Immortal Ranks.’  Tomorrow, you will witness from your positions here in Valhalla, ‘The National Day Of Mourning’ in the Republic Of The Philippines.  It will be a challenge for you.” 

“As Souls, you have your celestial bodies.  You retain the memories of Love for your families on Earth.  Grief, is difficult for humans to understand and express.  It will be difficult for you to watch your families grieve and it will be hard for you to accept and acknowledge the intense emotions.”

“Here, I have designed a way that you can welcome and accept the true emotions without you experiencing overwhelming grief for the families you have left behind.  Yes, your loved ones remain on Earth.”

“They are angry.  They are upset.  They are broken.  They are confused.  In time, they will understand your devotion and dedication to duty demonstrated your undying Love for them.  You sought to protect their Lives and an infinite number of lives around the globe by the successful execution of your Mission.  There was a definite valid reason for your sacrifice.”

“You, Gentlemen, are representative of what humankind was intended to be.  Caring, humane, selfless individuals who lived your lives in appreciation of each sunrise and helped other people on your journey through Life.”

“I salute you.  We salute you.  The Archangels and Angels Of The Universe salute you.  Gentlemen,  I welcome you to our ranks.”

“You, now, stand enshrined in eternity as “Heroes.” 

You out rank every prophet, saint, pope, ecumenical patriarch, archbishop, grand mufti, rabbi, ayatollah, imam, cleric, priest, preacher, or evangelist who has every lived, who lives or who will ever Live.”

“This is Warrior Heaven.  This is Warrior Paradise.  You ended your lives on Earth trying to protect and save the lives of others, there is No Greater Love.  You perished in a thought for your comrades-in-arms, your families, your country and your world.  No God, No Goddess, No Entity In All Of Creation could ‘Ask’ more of any mortal in The Universe.” 

“I Welcome You To Valhalla !”

God salutes the assembled 44, who stand at attention proud, but, slightly uncomfortable at the celestial pomp and circumstance.

The Archangels and Angels salute.

God smiles and nods.  “Gentelmen, the Valkyries, Amazons and Archangels stand ready to help you settle into your quarters at the conclusion of our formal dinner this evening.  Saint Michael and Saint Samuel will show you gentlemen to your seats at the head table.”

God winks.  “Tomorrow, will be a challenge for you, gentlemen.  Tonight, you dine and rest to witness tomorrow’s activities on Earth.

God smiles and gestures to The Official Reception Line.  “Gentlemen, this concludes my official welcome speech.  Here in the reception line are The Ancestral Comrades-In-Arms who are anxious to congratulate on your acceptance into our ranks at Valhalla.”

“I believe, many of you, gentlemen are familiar with the combat records and historic valor of your hosts this evening.  Allow me to introduce General Emilio Aquinaldo and General Paulino Santos of the Republic Of The Philippines and General Douglas MacArthur and General Mark Clark of the United States Of America.”

God smiles and steps back to allow the 44 Souls in their dress uniforms proceed to the reception line.

God proceeds to His Throne at The Command Table and raises his glass to the assembled heroes, “Gentlemen, I salute, ‘The Fallen 44’ !”  God renders a salute.

God raises his glass at the table and looks at all of the honored souls in uniform and into their eyes : “I welcome you into my presence.”

“I welcome you into Valhalla.  I hereby confirm your immortal rank, honor and glory and welcome you, as the risen ‘Faithful 44 ! ’”

The End

Philippines National Police Special Action Force National Day Of Morning Jan 30 2015 Image

Philippines National Police

http://pnp.gov.ph/portal/

Philippines National Police symbol 1017742_710715138969745_6654143956528279625_n

Philippine National Police — Quezon City — facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pnp.pio

Fallen 44 Links

Acting PNP chief: Retrieving, treating casualties in Maguindanao clash a priority

January 25, 2015 11:48pm

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/416668/news/regions/acting-pnp-chief-retrieving-treating-casualties-in-maguindanao-clash-a-priority

At least 30 elite cops killed in clash with MILF

ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at 01/25/2015 7:18 PM | Updated as of 01/25/2015 10:57 PM

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/25/15/govt-milf-report-casualties-rare-clash

Editor’s Epilogue

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I am not a religious man.

I do believe it is logical that there is an intelligence in The Universe beyond the understanding and comprehension of humans.

Thus, I tend to believe in “A Spiritual Intelligence” in The Universe.

In my mind and heart, I believe, “Heroes”, especially “Military Heroes” are always honored for their selfless dedication to their country and their fellow citizens.

I choose to believe “The Fallen 44“ have an immortal place of honor in the ranks of all the military warriors who have always served their nations and fellow citizens.

I salute “The Fallen 44“ as “The Faithful 44“

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Advertisements

Written by samwarren55

February 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to 2013 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

with 2 comments

New Year’s Eve Party sings the year in in style

 

Welcome to 2013 !

CHRISTY WARREN AND LENEIL SALDANA SIT DOWN TO DINNER_resized

Silent Supper

 

Christy Warren and Leneil Sadana sit down to a silent New Year’s Eve supper. Mano Bito, in the background of the snapshot, watches TV news coverage of the countdown to 2013. After I take this snapshot, I take a plate and sit down to supper.

The conversation is sparse. We all wonder if Ranilo Saldana’s classmates will attend the New Year’s Eve Party. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Supreme.

 

I rate Ranilo Saldana’s New Year’s Eve Party,”Supreme.”

 

Ranilo Saldana had the idea for a New Year’s Eve Party to welcome in the new year. “Aunt Christy” Warren liked the idea as well.

 

Even before Christmas was over, they discussed ideas and started small tasks. December 26, 2012, Aunt Christy was already, “swabbing the deck.” She had water and a mop and was mopping over the porch floor.

 

The furniture seemed to take on a life of it’s own. The final days of December 2012, the bamboo chairs, coffee tables and end tables kept moving around the porch in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evenings.

 

By December 30, 2012, it was mentioned that in rural Leyte people stay around home on New Year’s Eve. The classmates might not show up for the party.

 

The Whole Hog Concept Of Partying

 

Nonetheless – New Year’s is New Year’s. In the United States, the day embodies the hope and optimism of the coming year. Thus, you gear up to welcome the new year. As we say,in the Ozarks, “You go whole hog.”

 

The “whole hog” times of life means you set aside conservative thoughts and go liberal. You pull out all the stops and do what you want to do. Common sense, of course, reminds you that you are not going to do something that will hurt you or others. Common sense, further reminds you, not to spend your last centavo on a celebration or party because you will want to be able to eat again tomorrow.

 

Overall, the”whole hog”concept as it relates to a party means you will do what it takes to have fun for you and your friends without you going broke or doing something that will put you behind bars for breaking the law.

 

Christy and Ranilo set up the karaoke arrangement of the TV, DVD player, speakers and the temperamental microphone. Mano Bito cut the bamboo limbs to use as decorations. The disco ball was in place.

 

New Year’s Eve evening the only thing missing was the guests.

 

Christy Warren and Leneil Saldana had been busy in the kitchen and the table had been set.

 

Would the guests show ?

 

While I wait for the guests to arrive, I jot down a note to outline men’s fashion issues in my New Year’s Eve article for my readers. The article within the article would address the barong and business suits. The article would point out my successes with these styles of attire.

 

My Business Barong

 

I put aside my T-shirt and walking shorts and went with denim jeans and a yellow barong. A barong, is a formal shirt in the Republic of the Philippines.

 

The holiday significance of the evening tempted me to consider wearing my military mess dress uniform. However, since the guests were suppose to be teenagers; I didn’t want to walk in and “Freak Them Out.” A duty military uniform can make some adults uncomfortable just walking past you on a sidewalk in the United States.

 

I decided the chevron and the medals would of probably made the young guests feel like they were in a military recruiter’s office and I would leave recruitment to the professionals, who get paid to do the job.

 

The barong has all the prestige of a tuxedo and the formal appeal of a white dinner jacket with slacks or a white sport coat with slacks. The message is simple: “This is a social function, but my professional attire means I am willing to talk and do business.”

 

The beauty of the Philippines’ barong is it is a designed article of clothing that is conscious that weather can and does affect formal dress. The barong is always comfortable like a T-shirt or polo shirt.

 

Business suits and military mess dress uniforms are always impressive, sometimes stylish, but, seldom comfortable, especially if you are in a situation where you will be wearing the clothing for a long period of time.

 

The barong has the debonair and panache of a tuxedo and escaped associations with the leisure suit. Leisure suits were popular in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

 

Leisure Suit Lament

 

The Leisure Suit is basically a long shirt and slacks. Leisure suits are comfortable attire. On a temporary duty assignment to the Kingdom of Thailand, in Bangkok, I located a tailor, who was willing to try my designs and deliver my tailored leisure suits.

 

I designed seven. One for each day of the week. I looked at the bolts of cloth and choose a rainbow of colors. I had a light blue leisure suit and a dark navy blue leisure suit. I had a dark green leisure suit, but I did not choose red because there were no casual or formal functions that a red leisure suit would work at at that point in my life.

 

I kept the leisure suits and wore them out. Even after the “fad” passed, I kept the leisure suits because they were comfortable and functional. In essence, a leisure suit is really a combination of a barong and a matching pair of slacks.

 

In the tropics, the leisure suits were really a brilliant idea because they were comfortable and provide a bridge between casual walking shorts, jeans and business suits.

 

Unfortunately, negative publicity quickly made leisure suits obsolete. The Leisure Suit Larry computer game was hitting big in the United States about the same time that the fashion fad of leisure suits was gaining ground.

 

Leisure suits seemed to quickly disappear as a man’s fashion choice in the States and men were back to either denim jeans, sport coats and slacks or business suits.

 

Leisure suit-style uniforms can still be found as fashionable in some places in Asia and the tropics.

 

Common Fashion Sense

 

Women have no problem wearing colored pants; men sometimes have the “macho” mindset that men should not wear brightly, colored or loud pants. Women have always had “fashion sense”, which explains why the fashion businesses or the world concentrate on trying to impress a woman.

 

A man’s concept of “fashion sense” is “Barbarian Basic.” If the religious, political, moral, business and social ethics of the world would allow, a man would wander around the world, naked, or only wearing a towel or a pair of denim jeans.

 

Thank God for Mothers ! Thanks to mothers, a boy learns at an early age not to mix plaids and stripes to wear out in public. A loving mother does not let her little boy grow up without some “common fashion sense.”

Suddenly, the global publicity took a negative spin on leisure suits. The attire became yesterday’s news. People began to associate the clothing with grandfathers whose fashion sense seemed antiquated.

 

Coveralls’ Culpability

 

The people who didn’t like leisure suits would point to overweight men in polyester coveralls and snicker that the man looked like a guy in a leisure suit. Dumb comparison.

 

Coveralls are basically bathrobes with legs. Instead of a terry cloth bathrobe belt coveralls have a zipper or Velcro fly. Coveralls are important work uniforms. You slip on a pair of coveralls and you go out and feed hay to the cattle in winter. Those type of coveralls contain insulation to keep you warm.

 

Men’s coveralls really do not work for casual or formal dress functions because once a man gets past his 20s or 30s, then, the physical silhouette of his body changes and men usually look like they have a “Beer Belly.”

 

The skintight, form fitting polyester men’s coveralls of the 1970s unfortunately called attention to a man’s physical appearance. Any man on the planet past age 22 always “looked like an old sow about ready to drop a litter of pigs.”

 

God’s “Beer Belly “ Design For Men

 

When God designed Man, He knew Men had no need for a wider or larger pelvic girdle like women, so He didn’t add that design detail to a Man’s body. Thus.men need a belt or suspenders to hold their pants up.

 

With or without alcohol, over time a Man’s body ages and gravity pulls at the stomach. “The Middle Age Spread” for men means nature has lowered your stomach and around your hips your favorite belt is going to “fit” differently.

 

Look in the mirror. A young man puts on a belt and the buckle “Points Out At The World” and that image is reflected in the mirror.

 

A middle age man puts on a belt and the buckle “Points Down At The Ground” and that image is reflected in a full length dress mirror.

 

Readers, notice for yourself, that at a certain age men have “The Beer Belly Flaw.” Look at the pictures in newspapers and magazines, especially at the side views of men and you will notice that “the belly pushes the belt buckle down.”

 

No article of clothing really hides or melts away “The Beer Belly Flaw.” In pictures of Arab leaders you will notice that in their robes that age has elaborated and elongated their bellies as well.

 

Appearance conscious men realize that age does their physical appearance no favors and they try to work around “The Beer Belly Flaw” with a suspender option; it doesn’t work. Suspenders and overall galluses pull the pants up and actually make the beer belly more noticeable.

 

I don’t wear suspenders often because to me they are uncomfortable. In my case, they would always rub over and feel like a weight on my shoulders. Whether the suspenders were clip on or the button-hole type, I could never get the suspenders to adjust to my level of comfort.

 

Some men resort to girdles for physical appearance or health issues like a back injury. The health issue is an understandable concern. A girdle looks uncomfortable.

 

God has a sense of humor. He gave women the pain of childbirth to remind them as a mother that she has a responsibility to love and care for her child. Men did not get off “Scott Free”. God gave men “The Beer Belly” to remind them of their responsibility as a father to love and raise their child.

 

For nine to 10 months, God made it obvious that a woman is “Pregnant.” Forget the”Healthy Glow” and look at a woman’s body – the obvious physical appearance screams, “I’m Pregnant !”

 

God’s sense of humor is evident with Men because while a woman carries and gives birth to a child, God reminds the father and grandfather’s of their responsibility by giving them “The Beer Belly.” The sense of humor is: “Pregnancy lasts around ten months. Parental Responsibility lasts a lifetime.”

 

The vanity of physical appearance is a personal issue of a man. You can’t beat age, but, you can reach an acceptable compromise with common sense and some effort.

 

In my lifetime, I have never noticed or discovered an article of clothing that will remove the physical design of “The Beer Belly.” However, leisure suits do seem to make a man’s middle-age and senior citizen “bulk” less obvious.

 

Leisure Suits Conceal Beer Belly

 

The nice thing about fashion is if something in the past had many people that loved the clothing or the style then the item will return. The bad thing is bad fashion ideas come back also.

 

Leisure suits’ main trump card with men is they were comfortable. For dress or business, once, a man had his slacks on, all you had to do was slip on a clean, white, cotton athletic T-shirt over your body and then slip on and button up the leisure suit shirt.

 

Leisure suits’ secondary trump card is they were functional and fast. Business suits require matching shirts and matching ties to the color and style of the suit. For instance:You don’t wear a wide tide with narrow lapels.

 

Sam’s Style

Business Appearance

Rules For Men

 

In the Real World, in your lifetime you will, no doubt, have an event where you need to at least look like a business man or a business women. I was fortunate to have a mother, who from an early age noticed my appearance. If I crawled out of bed looking like a creature from the sewer, she would not letting me go out in public until I at least looked human.

 

Around 1973, I learned about “Gentlemen’s Quarterly” magazine. For years I bought monthly copies. Momma had taught me all of the basics of public and business dress. “GQ” pointed out style changes, fads and used the terms that a man would use in working with his tailor for a new business suit or tuxedo.

 

Thanks to Momma and GQ, whenever I don a business suit, I know I will be successful.

 

I am passing on these rules that I have used and hope they will benefit my readers. Keep in mind, “Everything changes.” so what worked a week ago; may not work today. Life is usually cyclical, which means at some point the 1940s hairstyle for women will be a fashion focus for a time for women.

 

A major point to remember in business dress is to “Dress Conservative.” Women would not wear a PVC,Spandex or Lycra dress to a business interview. Women know better.

 

Men should not wear a sport coat and basketball shorts to a business interview; but, someone usually has to tell a man because men don’t always listen when their mothers are trying to tell them not to go outside looking like a dork.

 

The Business Of Business Suits

 

Business shirts and dress shirts, means the neck size has to be comfortable for a man. If the buttoned collar is too tight, then, you unbutton the collar and find a tie stay or tie bar to slip under the necktie that will hold the collar down and give the collar the appearance of being buttoned.

 

Learn To Tie Your Tie

 

Business suits require neckties or bow ties. Clip on neckties and bow ties have to be manufacturer by fashion designers, who know how to make the tie seem natural when worn.

 

If you do not know how to tie a necktie or a bow tie: Learn. A badly tied necktie is a “Visual Eye Sore.”

 

Business Bow Ties

 

A bow tie can work with a man’s business suit and look professional. The secret is the man has to select the bow tie.

 

Before you buy the tie, look at your face in the mirror and hold up the bow tie. The bow tie calls attention to your neck and the area around your nose. If you look like an “Off Duty Clown”; choose another bow tie or select a necktie.

 

French Cuffs

 

Business suits require dress shirts that may have French cuffs. I love French cuffs on my business shirts. French cuffs require cuff links since there is “No Button” to hold the cuffs.

 

White Suits

 

Business suits require the right material. Forget “The Memorial Day White Sale Mentality” that says you never wear white until after Memorial Day. That idea disappeared around 1965 or 1966, when women started wearing white anytime of the year. Mark Twain loved his white suits. He must have had closets full. There are many pictures of Mark Twain in a white suit.

 

Men can wear white. Men can wear white business suits. Men who wear white business suits should be conscious of the style – because if you look like a “Bozo”, someone will smile and give you directions to the circus.

 

Business Suit Weather Considerations

 

Business suits rely on climate for comfort material choices. You do not wear a paper thin tropical business suit to Alaska, Russia, China, Korea, Missouri or any other cold climate in the dead of winter unless you want to rush out and buy a heavy parka. If you do business in states or countries with cold, winter climates then choose wool or a heavy fabric for your business sport coats and suits to remain attractive, comfortable and warm.

 

Salute To Sharkskin Suits

 

Sharkskin Suits” are the shiny business suits. I loved my sharkskin suits. When I found a tailor in the Kingdom of Thailand, while on a temporary duty assignment, I sketched out the design I wanted and ended up with two beautiful business suits, a shiny silver and a light blue shiny suit. I wore them out going to parties, instead of board rooms.

 

The sharkskin suits are beautiful material that plays with the lights. Entertainers love shark skin suits because they seem wired with electricity because light brings out the sheen of the material, even in a dark room.

 

Sharkskin business suits are beautiful and do work in a business setting, but, you have to match your accessories from your wrist watch down to your cuff links and your socks to make sure the accessories compliment and do not challenge or make the sharkskin suit seem gaudy or garish.

 

Sharkskin suits were popular business suits in the late 1970s and early to mid-80s. Unfortunately, the late 1970s to the mid-1980s was “The Era Of The American Televangelists”. Every two-bit con man with a Holy Bible and a buddy with a video camera started their own “Ministries” and empty your pockets for God scheme.

 

The televangelist became so associated with the sharkskin suits that it did not matter whether a minister was credible or a conman because the shiny suits got unjustly associated with the “crooked preachers” of the era and the suits went into storage.

 

Business Suits Genius Of Style

 

Business suits usually require accessories. The overall business suit design for a man or a woman is a pure work of genius because the suit gives an overall uniform appearance to people committed to being, acting and dressing in a professional manner.

 

Women have the option to choose a skirt or slacks to go with their business suit attire. Women have learned since they were little girls how to “accessorize.”

 

The Breast Pocket Handkerchief

 

Men need to learn to pay attention to the accessories they choose to compliment there business suits. In the early 21st century, men are still “ignoring” the breast pocket of the business suit.

 

For the record, guys: A handkerchief goes in the exterior breast pocket of a business suit. The handkerchief is functional because it can be removed to wipe sweat from your brow in an emergency. It is wiser to carry a clean, folded, white cotton handkerchief in a rear pants pocket.

 

The breast pocket handkerchief is an important accessory. The presence on the business suit states, “I Pay Attention To Detail.” In the good old days of business suits, breast pocket handkerchiefs came boxed with a matching necktie.

 

Always Carry A Handkerchief.”

 

Gentlemen, if you ignored your mother; listen to me, “Always carry a handkerchief.” The second handkerchief is the most important and should always been in a rear pants pocket or an inside breast pocket of a suit. It can be used to wipe sweat off your forehead, take care of tears or sneezing. And, any one of a bazillion situations that come up from a wound dressing to waving down a taxi; you can use a white handkerchief for.

 

Business suit accessories include your watch and your rings. Silver, gold, black or brown leather watchbands are business staples. Pay attention to the rings you wear with your business suit. Pay attention to the socks you wear with your business suit.

 

Slip On The Shoes

 

Shoes are important with the business suit, They should be stylish and comfortable. If you wear basketball sneakers with your business suit, I would hope the company calls building security and either has you escorted off the premises or transported to the nearest mental institution. Basketball shoes are for the basketball court; never for the world of business.

 

Boots ? If someone is from a western or southern state of the United States or some part of the world where the boots are normal footwear, then, they should be accepted as business footwear. The key is to go with the traditional colors of black and brown to compliment and not overwhelm the suit.

 

Hat Headliners

 

Hats ? Hats have style. Hats are functional because they keep the sun out of your eyes, keep the rain off your head, hold your hair back and in cold climates a hat helps to retain some of your body heat. Fedoras were popular business hats of the 1940s through 1960 in the United States to be worn with a business suit.

 

Western hats should be considered a cultural tradition for people who live in the American south or west, so they should be considered a part of the business attire. The key with an appropriate Western hat is the crown and the brim. The crown and the brim should compliment the wearer’s face and not overwhelm or hide the wearer’s face. Leave “The Goat Roper” wide brim, tall crown western hat in the pickup and choose a more conservative style like a Stetson stockman hat to wear with your business suit.

 

Baseball caps are not hats. Baseball caps are for playing baseball. If you wear a baseball cap with your business suit I would hope building security removes you from the premises and possibly has you transported with the “basketball sneaker” wearer to the nearest mental facility. Baseball caps look dumb with business suits and a business suit is designed to be professional.

 

Quick Change

 

One of the greatest selling points of “The Leisure Suit” is the “Quick Change.” Just like Clark Kent running into the phone booth to change into “Superman,” the Leisure Suit gave men the ability to quickly change into a professional business style of dress that looked presentable, professional, and comfortable.

 

A business suit is a professional form of dress that require conscious effort in the selection and wear of the suit. The leisure suit allows men to bypass a whole series of decisions that should be made in the wear of a business suit.

 

The leisure suit being a comfortable and functional designed shirt with matching slacks solves a majority of the issues that have to be considered with a business suit. Plus with a leisure suit you do not wear a necktie or a bow tie. It is acceptable to keep the top button unbuttoned.

 

The other major plus of a leisure suit is age makes a man’s “beer belly”predominant. Some men their stomachs literally shout,”In Your Face !” The leisure suit seems to overcome the physical appearance issue by design. The material like any shirt rests on a man’s shoulders and the length of the material hangs down long enough to cover the stomach without drawing undue attention to it.

 

Forget the belt with a leisure suit. The belt brings back the “Beer Belly.”

 

Super Supper

 

I look at the clock on the wall and realize that 2012 is about to be history. Ranilo’s young guests have not arrived.

 

While Christy and Leneil cater dishes to the table. Mano Bito arrived, The black disco ball light slowly spun colored lights out around the bamboo decor

 

Everyone anxiously awaited the Noche Buena feast, a few days ago. I love food. I am always anxious about dinner.

 

The magick furniture had at last settled into positions that would allow people to be able to use the microphone and TV for “Karaoke Night.” A large enough area of the floor remained vacant to allow for dancing.

 

My appetite recognized the containers of Pancit Canton and fried rice. The platter of lumpia confirmed that 2012 was being sent into oblivion with a full dinner table of delicious food. The last platter had watermelon, pineapple and an assortment of nuts.

 

I lost no time, seating myself at the table and satisfying my appetite. Christy, Leneil and Ramon joined me.

One nice factor of being a writer, you can use your imagination to look at the end of the table and watch women in evening gowns and men in tuxedos and white dinner jackets with pink carnations stepping out on to the dance floor. Balloons bob about, while the orchestra in their dinner jackets play the music of the evening. My “Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” mindset is interrupted by the brief visit of Rafael and Virgie Saldana

 

Rafael and Virgie Saldana stopped by to say, “Happy New Year !” They didn’t stay for dinner.

 

The black disco ball spins out it’s colored lights across the bamboo decor I notice the lights briefly wash over the Christmas Tree. It reminded me of Aunt Bill and Uncle Audrey Irwin’s small silver artificial tree and the color wheel still decorating one of my holiday memories of the 1960s.

 

After supper, dreams of a Waldorf Astoria New Year’s Eve Party were vanishing. The hours had become minutes. Each passing minute cast aside a New Year’s Eve Party dream.

 

The clock on the wall displayed the civilian digits of 1-0 and I smile at the military memory of “2200 hours.” I smiled at Christy and remembered the New Year’s Eve Party at Clark Air Base, where famous Filipina singer, Regine Velasquez sang in the new year.

 

Carry Out The Plan

 

Life has taught me you never give up on a plan.

 

A celebration is always a celebration. New Year’s Eve is one of those celebrations that you should always celebrate because everyone only gets so many holidays and celebrations in their lifetime. It is silly and senseless to waste a single one.

 

I Am A Party Of One

 

The nice thing about having grown up an “only child” is I can appreciate “The Party Of One” concept. You maybe “alone”, but, you are not “lonely”, unless you choose to be.

 

If I want to party, whether I am in the middle of the Sahara Desert or in an igloo at the South Pole, I will find a way to “Par – tay”.

 

In my lifetime, I have made it my mission to “uproot wall flowers” and try to get them out on the dance floor. I stroll to the karaoke setup and browse through Christy’s collection.

 

I play the “One Night In Bangkok” selection and begin to dance. The nice thing about your senior citizen years is the “Liberation.” People look at your white hair and wrinkles and, no doubt, consider your possible “senility.”

 

Alas, my friends, if you live long enough, you too will sport the snow on the roof.

 

Sam’s Psychology Of Dancing 101

 

The kids and the adults watch Sam slippin’ and slidin’ across the dance floor. At first, they snicker, giggle and laugh. Minutes pass and before long, I am not alone on the dance floor.

 

Years of people watching and barroom boredom have taught me that people like to dance; few are willing to be the first to “get out on the dance floor.”

 

An empty dance floor simply means I have room to dance. Once a person or a couple begin to dance, then, other people who really wanted to dance will sneak or proudly strut out on to the dance floor.

 

After all, whether they realize it or not, people come to a dance – to dance. Sam’s Psychology Of Dancing 101 seldom fails because people do like music and people do like to dance.

 

Sometimes in the Real World people become so grown up that they forget sometimes to allow the “kid within” to slip on his dance shoes and party down.

 

The kids were enjoying kid style dancing and the adult were making brave attempts to overcome their “nervous knees” and actually cut loose and dance.

 

The kids were having fun. I’m too old not to have fun. I put in the“Rock Around The Clock” selection, closed my eyes and mentally time traveled back to a dance of my youth.

 

Dynamic DeMolay Dance

220px-Brasao_DeMolay_jpeg

 

The Ozarks Chapter of the Order of DeMolay boys went to the dance in Republic. Missouri. It was a formal function, which meant we wore coats and ties to the dance. Rainbow Girls and Job’s Daughters in their evening gowns waited patiently for the DeMolay boys in their stylish 1970s attire to ask “the girls to dance.”

 

A nice blessing of having been “A Momma’s Boy” in my youth is I put my mother on a pedestal. My allegiance to my mother meant that I have always respected and been attracted to girls and women. Therefore, anytime as a youth I noticed an attractive girl or woman, she became “Helen Of Troy Incarnate.”

 

At the dance, under the spinning disco ball of light, across the room I noticed a beautiful young brunette woman in an evening gown, Donna Knight. She did me the honor of walking out on the dance floor with me.

 

I have always hoped that I did not embarrass her. My formal dance training consisted of copying the moves of Elvis in his movies, My dance philosophy has always been, “Let the music move you.” This dance was the first time that I had ever been permitted to dance in public. Stone County, Missouri’s religious values outlawed “dancing” and denied seniors a “prom.”

 

This night, my heart was beaming. My mind raced, My body reacted. Joy, exhilaration, excitement, celebration – No English dictionary on the planet contains enough words to describe the overwhelming positive emotions flowing through my body. I cloud dance. And, dance I did.

 

Although films like “Dirty Dancing,” and “Footloose,” had not been made,yet, like the leading men of those dance films, I was out on the dance floor dancing my heart out. My young lungs ached and my leg muscles went numb.

 

I love to dance.

 

Anytime I am in a situation, where people come to dance, but are reluctant to take the first step; I do.

 

I think back to the DeMolay dance. I realize one of the pleasures of life is being able to move your body in ways you never realized that your body could move.

 

Regardless of your age, if you do a freestyle form of dancing and allow the “music to move you”, you will shock and offend some people, so, be aware of not only how you dance, but where you dance.

 

To me, dancing and the right music is just too precious to waste sitting it out on the sidelines. When you see the digits 6 and 0 vaguely on the horizon, you might have to back off of the “No Pain, No Gain” approach to dancing, which means you might not want to spend as long out on the dance floor.

 

I left our dance floor to sit out the next song, Ranyiel stops dancing and picks up the microphone to sing. He kept the karaoke microphone warm with his Tagalog and English songs until his brother, Ranilo, returned with a guest.

 

Chrismar Mora, Ranilo’s cousin, stopped by.

 

A better karaoke microphone got plugged in and passed around. Sarge, our blue heeler, and Smiley, our mixed breed wooly dog, became our resident music critics and let loose their canine howls.

 

Forget the judges of “American Idol”, Sarge’s bass howl is a loud piercing ambulance siren wail that raises the hairs on the back of your neck.

 

Smiley’s tenor bark is rapid and persistent.

 

The canine karaoke judges voted with their barks only a couple of times during the evening. I realized it was time for me to quit trying to sing Beatles tunes.

 

 

Whenever Chrismar Mora took the microphone, it became as quiet as a church and you could hear a pin drop.

 

I can’t play an instrument; but, I can play a radio or a record player. I’m no musician, but I know what I like in instrumental and vocal music.

 

My Music Memories

 

My mother had always had a radio on somewhere around the house, when I was growing up, so country music became part of my genetic code. I got exposed to opera,jazz and various forms of music.

 

When I was working my way through college at KSOZ-FM at Point Lookout,Missouri, I would pay attention to singers and new releases.

 

I learned how to dance watching Elvis Presley movies and would imitate “The King’s”vocal style as a child. In grade school and high school, there had been the great hard charging rock and roll music of the 1960s.

 

As I remember, the early to mid -70s gave the world Bachman Turner Overdrive, ZZ Top, Boston, Rush and the “Heavy Metal” that reached into the souls of musicians and stress tested the absolute limits of instruments from guitars to pianos.

 

From Iron Butterfly’s In A Gadda Da Vida to Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, the music came in through your ears and the pores of your skin. It seemed the tone vibrations of the music always rattled the red and white blood cells flowing in your blood stream.

 

You might doze off on an elevator playing “Elevator Muzack”, but, “Heavy Metal” music seemed destined to flow through your body and attempt to bond to your immortal soul.

 

I love Rock and Roll and Heavy Metal because both types of music seem to flow into your bloodstream and challenge you to react. Rock and Roll and Heavy Metal music call to mind the Black Oak Arkansas lyric about standing in the Hall of Commons between the devil and God.

 

Bubble gum” rock like Partridge Family music had a following. The movie “Saturday Night Fever” sent ever man in America to the tailor to find a white suit and try to learn to dance. Disco became a definite form of music overnight thanks to the movie.

Rap or Rat music?

 

I had been exposed to a lot of styles of music and could accept them all until “Rap.”

 

The introduction of “Rat” music “tuned me out,”

 

Take a boring, repetitive, rhythmic beat and apply it to the dirtiest words in the English language and you have a “Rap Hit” on your hands. Early rappers all seem to be “tone deaf convicted drug dealers on their way to Federal lockup.”

 

Like disco, everyone predicted “Rap” music would end; unfortunately, “Rat” music survived. As always the “Doomsday Prophets” were wrong and fast talking vulgar noise became an accepted part of the music industry.

 

By the 1990s, I might hear a song, but unless there was something special from the 1980s on, I didn’t get all that excited about music,with a few notable exceptions like Pat Benatar, Bonnie Tyler and Huey Lewis and the News.

 

This young man can sing !”

 

My skepticism and cynicism of global music “took the night off.” Chrismar Mora proved there are still people in the world who can sing and bring back the feeling of a song. As we say, in the Ozarks, “This young man can sing !”

 

Chrismar Mora’s voice singing along to the words on the karaoke screen reminded me that music could be beautiful, interesting and soothe the soul.

 

Happy New Year 2013 !

 

The TV shuttled back and forth between the ABS and CBN countdown and the GMA countdown to midnight. The family, began the remarks of “Happy New Year !” The fireworks in the distance exploded to signal the arrival of the new year. A slight breeze stirred through the tropic night and Christy commented, “A cool breeze.”

 

After the welcome of 2013, family members began easing off to bed. I really appreciated Chrismar’s singing,so I stayed on the bamboo loveseat until 2 am. Ranyiel relinquished his microphone and went to bed. Ranilo would take a turn at the mike now and then. Sarge and Smiley had voted against my singing earlier in the evening, so I sat back and listened.

 

My eyes became heavy. I remember a lyric about “singing until the break of day.” Perhaps, Ranilo and Chrismar did. I felt the party had been a success.

 

My recognition of the definite presence of 2013 came thanks to a familiar song I heard on New Year’s Day. Family members and friends arrived to spend some time with us on New Year’s Day/

 

In the midst of the conversations, I heard music coming from a distance through the jungle. I recognized the voice of Bonnie Tyler, singing. “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

 

For my readers, I wish you the best that 2013 can bring to you.

 

Happy New Year

2013 !

Sam

 

New Year’s Party Links

 

Regine Velasquez

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Encarnacion_Ansong_Velasquez

 

Barong Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barong_Tagalog

 

Tuxedo Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuxedo

 

Military Mess Dress Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mess_dress

 

 

Sharkskin Suits Wikipedia

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharkskin

 

Gentlemen’s Quarterly “GQ” Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GQ

 

GQ Magazine Online

http://www.gq.com/

 

Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Life_of_Walter_Mitty

 

One Night In Bangkok Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Night_In_Bangkok

 

Rock Around The Clock Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Around_The_Clock

 

Order of DeMolay Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_DeMolay

 

Rainbow Girls Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Girls

 

Job’s Daughters Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job%27s_Daughters

In A Gadda Da Vida Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_A_Gadda_Da_Vida

 

Black Oak Arkansas Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Oak_Arkansas

 

Saturday Night Fever Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_Night_Fever

 

Helen Of Troy Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Of_Troy

 

Total Eclipse of the Heart Wikipedia

lhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Eclipse_of_the_Heart

 

Waldorf Astoria Hotel Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf-Astoria_Hotel

 

13th Air Force Crest Thumbnail

 

Clark Air Base Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Air_Base

Pacific Air Forces Crest Thumbnail

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

January 3, 2013 at 6:08 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Editorial, Family, Holidays, Leyte, Money, Nature, Philippines, The Ozarks

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Avon Lady

leave a comment »

Avon Calling. . .”

 

The Avon Lady

1_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0047a_resized

 

The Avon Lady of Barangay Baras

Republic of the Philippines

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

In the United States, I remembered that my mother had bought Avon products. I remember hearing my aunts in Texas talk about Avon products.

 

In my teenage years or early 20s, I recall a fad in the United States were people were “collecting Avon bottles.”

 

When I would come home on a break from college or on leave from the US Air Force, momma would smile and say, “Here, son, I bought this for you from the Avon Lady.”

 

Of course, when I got married, then, it was Christy, who would say, “Honey, I got this for you from the Avon lady.”

3_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0004a_resized

 

Leneil Saldana looks at an Avon box, while Christy Warren reads the label of Avon shower gel.

8_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0006_resized

The Avon Lady” answers Leneil Sadana and Christy Warren’s questions about all the Avon products that she has to offer.

I would see a commercial now and then on TV. In surfing the Internet, I have come across some Avon web pages.

 

To be honest, as a boy or a man, I never really stopped to think about Avon.

 

Once Christy and I moved to the Philippines, we were settling in and this woman comes walking down the narrow path through the dense vegetation.

 

In the early days of our arrival in December 2011, I suspected the woman was another Saldana relative,on the island of Leyte, that I had yet to meet.

 

14a_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0037_resized 

  Leneil Saldana is obviously

   pleased with an Avon purchase.

The women were in the living room talking in Tagalog and Waray. Suddenly, my ears detected the distinctive English word, “Avon.”

The Avon Lady” takes an order.

19_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0012a_resized

 

If you move to another country, sometimes it is the most unexpected words and events that can bring a smile to your face.

15_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0024_resized

 

Leneil Saldana listens to “The Avon Lady” while Christy Warren performs a “smell test” of a scent of an Avon product.

Now, like Christy, Leneil, Vanissa and Junea, I look forward to the visit from the Avon Lady.

 

When you consider that you have moved half way around the world and live in a little remote section of the planet,behind rice fields, and way out in the coconut trees – it is nice to look up and see “Avon calling.”

10_The Avon Lady_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0048a_resized

 

 

 

 

 

Good-bye, until the next time, when you hear, “Avon calling.

 

Nikon D 70 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Links

 

Official Site Avon

http://www.avon.com/

 

Avon Products Inc.

http://www.avoncompany.com/

 

Avon Philippines

http://www.avon.com.ph/PRSuite/home_page.page

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

The Birthday Party

with 6 comments

Plan, Host, Entertain, Celebrate, Reminisce, Enjoy

 

The Birthday Party

1_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 002

In preparation for the party, Christy Warren already has all the furniture moved to an arranged location on the porch. A tablecloth adds prestige to the rustic, rural coconut lumber dining table. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr

The day of your birth is obviously the most important day of your life because that is the day your life begins. .

 

The average citizen calculates their year based on the current calendar from January 1 to December 31 each year.

 

Back in the 1980s,the United States Government determined their fiscal year would be from October 1 of one year until September 30 of the following year.

 

I have determined my calendar time-keeping system runs from October 30 of one year until October 30 of the following year. Therefore, my birthday is my yearly calendar.

 

The Most Important Day Of Your Life Each Year

 

My annual birthday anniversary each year is the most important day of my life each year. No one celebrates your birthday before you were born and it is unlikely anyone will celebrate your birthday, once you leave this life.

 

To celebrate your birthday, you need a party. Fortunately, in my life, I had a mother and I have a wife who understands the dynamics of planning and hosting a birthday party. I am a cake and ice cream person, which is all this 57-year-old man expected.

2_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 005

   

The table settings combine the traditional American arrangement of the place settings of dishes with the daily arrangement of a Filipino table setting. The traditional large soup spoon and the fork, common daily silverware in a Filipino home, rests in the shallow soup bowl dishes.

 

The Pancit Canton in the plastic container is the Filipino food that symbolizes “Long Life” in the Filipino culture. Therefore, the noodles in the container are not cut during cooking. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Event Planning

 

Important, prestigious, social events demand professional planning and execution that is equal to, but, fortunately, not as crucial, as military operations. The success of any event begins months, weeks and days before “Zero Hour.”

 

Where the formal event – a party– is taking place in a boardroom on Wall Street or a diplomatic gathering at a building in a foreign nation’s capitol: the event has to be “right.” because it will be remembered and discussed for years to come.

 

Most people will not consider their birthday – a “Black Tie Affair At The White House.” I ain’t like most people. Daddy was a Texan. Momma had a sense of protocol that “There is a right way to do everything.”

 

4_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 016

The dish, in the foreground, is barbeque pork sticks. The pork pieces are marinated for, at least, 24 hours and then placed on bamboo skewers to be roasted over an open grill fire.

 

The next dish is pork fried rice, Tiny pieces of pork, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables are mixed into the white rice that is then fried.

 

The main dish is Pancit Canton. In the Philippines, there are two major type of pancit: Canton and Bihon. Bihon is the large, fat noodles. Pancit Canton is the extremely slender noodles that is cooked with a variety of vegetables.

 

The last dish is another plate of barbeque pork sticks. The pink plastic pitcher contains Pepsi Cola. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Southern Hospitality

Factor in my Texas aunts and uncles into my life and while I never refreshed with the mint julep, wearing my white suit and Panama Jack hat on the front porch of the plantation mansion – I still got the importance of Southern respect, hospitality, tradition and protocol.

 

Military Customs And Courtesies

 

Then, of course, Uncle Sam put me in numerous situation to work with and alongside protocol officers and sergeants and the diplomatic formal significance of events finally modified my DNA. “An event is always intended to be an Event. It is a moment of time that is intended to be remembered for years and, one would hope generations.”

 

Diplomatic Protocol

 

You do not have to be “The Ambassador Of The United States Of America” to a foreign country to host a memorable event. A birthday party should always be a memorable event because all of us only get so many. . .actually, so few, birthdays in our lifetime. Each birthday should be memorable.

 

If you really want to get formal with an event, then, you come up with a guest list and make sure the invitations go out in plenty of time for people to put the event on their personal business or social calendar. Naturally, you would either rely on your “Official” protocol people or hire a professional party planner.

 

In difficult economic times, you learn to do your homework and develop a to do list of tasks to be accomplished. Fortunately, for me, I married my “professional party planner”, who got exposed to military and diplomatic functions in the United States and overseas. Then, of course, my mother, Opal M. DeLong Warren took great pride in briefing Christy on Warren and DeLong Family Traditions.

 

Know Your Surroundings

 

Christy understand the salad fork, lobster fork, soup spoon place settings and napkin ring holders for table settings. While she didn’t have an elegant American dining room to set the party up in, she knew the surroundings for the party location and knew hat had to be done.

 

Flexibility is a military reality and a common sense civilian virtue that always seems to get overlooked in planning.

 

In the United States, Christy had a gas stove, oven and air conditioning to be able to prepare a variety of dishes. She had the silver chaffing dishes with the sterno cans underneath to keep the food warm and she set the table to allow for buffet style birthday parties.

 

In the Republic of the Philippines, she had a two burner hot plate hooked to an RV sized hot plate, a wooden table serves as the kitchen island. She has some large pots and pans to cook in. A curved rebar rod on two small concrete blocks set beside the house will provide the makeshift camping stove that Leneil Saldana usually uses with coconut shell briquets to provide an extra cooking stove for an additional dish like pork sticks.

LENEIL SALDANA_0140_resized

Leneil Saldana

Coconut Shell Briquets

 

In the United States, portable barbeque grills using charcoal briquets and lighter fluid provide the fire for outdoor cooking. In the Philippines, the plentiful coconut shell gets busted up and set on fire. Like charcoal briquets, the coconut shells seem to burn evenly and slowly for a consistent fire and heat for cooking.

 

Temperature is a persistent and, sometimes uncomfortable, reality in the Philippines. The kitchen area is currently “too” open to allow an air conditioner to work in the kitchen area. October’s frequent monsoon rains provides a change in the humidity that makes it easier to cook that in August when the sun reigns supreme over the landscape.

 

Christy Warren always exceeds expectations, regardless of the conditions; which is the mark of a true “party planner.”

 

Fate’s Flexibility Factors

 

Fate loves to dabble in event plans, which is why, it is always crucial to remember – Keep The Plans Flexible. Fate is that mysterious entity always luring in the shadows waiting for the right moment to throw a wrench into your plans.

 

The Battle Of Leyte Gulf Anniversary Week and Tropical Storm Ofel were events that made the event a touch and go operation going down to the wire.

 

I had spent the week researching and writing articles on the 68th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Leyte Gulf because the dates of battles for “Freedom” rank right up there with birthdays in my world view.

 

Then, Tropical Storm Ofel decided to complicate matters by using high winds to knock out the power for six days. When the lights did come back on briefly for about 20 minutes on October 28; a transformer blew and darkness returned. When the power did finally come back on on October 29, I dashed to the laptop and began editing photos and polishing the copy for an article for my blog.

 

The sun rose on October 30, 2012 and once I saw that my Sam I Am Blog article was published. I could finally get a good night’s sleep. At around 8 a.m., I decided to get some sleep. “Happy Birthday to me.”

CHRISTY IN WHITE 017_resized

Christy Warren – Party Planner

Christy The Birthday Party Planner

 

Meanwhile, Christy already had her own plans underway, My wife is a Leo, a Fixed Sign. Fixed Sign Zodiac people have their own way of doing things.

 

Leo is the one sign of the Zodiac that is “Born To The Spotlight.” More actors, kings, queens,princes, and princesses are born under the sign of Leo than any other Zodiac sign. In my experience, if a Leo is your party planner, you may as well take a “nap” because they have the situation handled from the git go.

 

While I slept, Christy went to the local market and bought the fresh vegetables for the dishes to be cooked. She directed the kids on where to move furniture and prepared the meal. When I awoke in the afternoon, after my Rip Van Winkle nap, the only task that remained for the party planner and our nephews was to set the table.

 

Ranilo and Rayniel Saldana, my nephews, took their own initiative, and allowances, to select the chocolate cake, icing and the decorations to go on the birthday cake.

 

I heard Christy tell the kids the birthday party was “semi-formal”, which meant T-shirts, walking shorts and sandals were the attire for the Philippines’ afternoon heat and the dining area on the porch.

 

The tablecloth hid the rustic dining table’s humble rural coconut lumber origin. The plastic light green chairs replaced the usual wooden bench seating that goes with the table. The plates and the silverware setting were what you would expect for a traditional birthday party table.

 

Birthday Party Cuisine

 

The menu consisted of barbeque pork sticks, pork fried rice and, of course, pancit canton. In the Philippines, pancit canton is long, skinny noodles cooked with slices of carrots and other vegetables.

 

Pancit Canton is the food served to symbolize “long life,” so the noodles aren’t cut and you have a food that has those lengthy spaghetti style noodles that you either wrap around a fork or lift high up to get in your plate.

 

A couple of plastic pitchers filled with Pepsi Cola for the kids and, of course, coffee for Sam. While everyone ate and talked, I looked around the table at the faces and smiled because I thought of family and friends back in the United States.

Family And Friends Faraway_resized

Family And Friends Faraway On a family outing to the beach, earlier this year, I shot the photo of these local fishing boats on the shore. The number of fishing boats on the beach are symbolic of a family. The Pacific Ocean in the photograph is a reminder of family and friends faraway.

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Family and Friends Faraway

 

I thought of Cousin Donna and wondered if she would be going to play the slot machines in the casinos anytime soon and wished that we could check out the casino that I spotted on Clark Air Base.

 

I wondered if Ken Sexton is still working with the local Vietnam Veterans’ group and performing color guard functions for military funerals and at public events.

 

I imagined Wade Martin is still driving a Galena school bus and would be amazed to see that farming in the Philippines is a lot like farming in the United States. I was surprised earlier in the week, to stroll along and notice a Jersey heifer munching on the tall grass in a nearby barangay.

 

Nancy Campbell, a close friend of mine and my wife, Christy, had left Missouri and moved back to a small town in Texas. Every time I see a motorcycle in the Philippines, I am reminded of Nancy – there are a lot of motorcycles in the Philippines.

 

Nancy is one of those people you meet in life and would never imagine her “headin’ out on the highway . . . on a Harley.” But, Nancy said that in her 20s, she enjoyed the wind through her hair and the feel of the open road stretching out across the horizon.

 

It is nice to image, Nancy,in her Harley leathers riding along the open highway flashing past those square black signs with the proud white Lone Star State crest brandishing the highway numbers.

 

I wondered if T. Michael Ottens still lived in Elkins, West Virginia. We were classmates back at School Of The Ozarks, back in the days before computers, the Internet, facebook, twitter and cell phones. We didn’t have to use stone hammers and chisels to do our homework, but, typewriters, like their children the computer – weren’t always cooperative.

 

United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Jake Slusher, my “runnin’ buddy” back at Kadena Air Base Okinawa probably is a grandfather by now living somewhere in the United States. . .or possibly, in the Philippines.

 

United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Bobby Thomas, a “runnin’ buddy” and fellow Air Force newspaperman was putting down roots somewhere in Japan, years ago, when I caught the “Freedom Bird” out of Okinawa.

 

J.R. Baker, was my roommate, back in my Bossier City, Louisiana, days. I saw J.R.. years ago. and he had went into the United States Army and went up in rank. I would be surprised if J.R., did not retire as a United States Army command sergeant major because he always understood, “The System.”

 

Greg Pyron, my friend and classmate at School Of The Ozarks, I learned had become a grandfather. Greg always had the award-winning smile and his code of personal appearance each day, looked as though he litterally stepped out of the pages of “GQ” magazine. He became the living embodiment of “The Classic American FM Voice.”

 

Greg had the soft, distinct voice that merged with the air in a room full of girls and women. Greg would speak and you would see a change come over the women in the room. A twinkle would appear in their eyes and the emerging smile on their lips confirmed a flight of fantasy had begun in their minds along the lines of Harlequin Romance novels.

 

In college, at radio station KSOZ-FM, Greg helped me overcome my fear of “The Open Mike” and taught me ways to relax behind the microphone.

 

Michael Roy Truly Rogers, my contemporary hero and classmate at School Of The Ozarks, had a dream to work at radio station WLS-AM Chicago. I heard that Mike’s dream came true. Mike, a handsome man, took the 1970’s James Dean Rebel Approach to life.

James Dean, the young Hollywood actor, became “The Immortal American Teenage Rebel Symbol Of The 1950s. Mike Rogers’ approach to life took the basic “rebel” idea and slipped on the contemporary 1970s wardrobe. He usually wore T-shirts and denim jeans cut-offs. He had a distinct deep voice that had almost a James Earl Jones quality, with the Wolfman Jack energy.

 

In a room full of girls and women, Mike would smile,speak and the women be “mesmerized” into a Count Dracula state of hypnosis.

 

Little girls would bounce up and down like they were on pogo sticks, teenage girls would swoon, middle age women would have a motel smirk curl the smile of their lips and senior citizen “granny” women would smile.

 

The transition of “granny” age women happened in the eyes. You could watch them blink away the years, and the innuendo smile on their faces would suggest their minds were “rewriting” a fantasy that had Mike as one of their beaus, center stage, in their past.

 

The Ladies Men” – Mike and Greg

 

I always admired Mike and Greg because their “Radio Disc Jockey Voices” seem to give them an almost uncanny power “over” women or the audio quality to get through to women at any level, virtually any time they seemed to wish it. They had made “Star Trek’s Mr. Spock Mind Meld Technique”as easy and natural as breathing and it seemed “every woman on planet Earth was powerless against the suave, debonair voices of Mike and Greg each with their distinct traits.”

 

Mike always seemed more aloof and not as easy to become friends with as Greg. Mike was only about a year older than me, but, I looked up to him like he was a respected, revered, wise, sage elder. And, Mike also helped me to become relaxed behind the microphone and proficient, even skilled, at operating the controls of a radio station in the control room. At KSOZ-FM, we classified Mike as the living, breathing, embodiment of “The Classic AM American Rock Disc Jockey Voice.”

 

I like to imagine that Mike is still working as “an AM Rock Jock” and teaching legions of future broadcaster how to pull off a contemporary Wolfman Jack voice with such class and style that listeners tune in every morning to get the Walter Cronkite credibility and the adrenaline voltage to take them from their morning coffee and newspaper straight to the boardroom to close million dollar deals without batting an eye or breaking a sweat.

 

The Birthday Party Guests

 

My family and friends in the United States, weren’t seated around the table for the “birthday party”, but, the fact that they were in my mind ,reminded me, that I was grateful of the roles each of these people had played in my life and to me – it meant they were at the birthday party.

 

I looked around the table at Edwin Mora, Christy’s cousin and a local hog farmer, who smiled at his wife Babysel, who leans back in the chair to accommodate her prominent pregnant stomach. “The Babysel Watch” began October 26 and the “bouncing bundle of joy” is apparently taking his or her time to get their itinerary in order.

5_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 021

 

Rachel Mora, smiles at me and drops down out of the chair to check on her little brother, Randolf Mora, Leneil Saldana passes her husband, Ramon, Christy’s brother, the platter of pork sticks. Ranilo Saldana concentrates on the pork fried rice on the plate, in front of him.

6_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 027

Rafael Saldana,Christy’s brother and a coconut farmer, adds some more pancit canton to his plate. Nieces Vanissa Saldana and Junea Tanahale had errands to run with Virgie and Esmeralda, their mothers, so they were not at the party.

7_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 029

 

Christy waves to her Aunt Pising walking by and she turns around and walks into the birthday party. Mano Bito, a local rice farmer, strolls into the party. Everyone is talking in Tagalog and Waray and I am truly enjoying Christy’s pork fried rice and “finger lickin’ good barbeque pork sticks”. Young Rayniel Saldana looks at the birthday cake and at me – I get the message.

 

Five-Star Birthday Party

 

Rayniel’s big eyes looking at me brought me out of my mind and back into The Real World.

 

English ?

 

Tagalog ?

 

Waray ?

 

Language is not necessary, when the cake remains to be cut and the containers of cold ice cream are placed on the table.

 

One nice thing about being a cigarette smoker, your lighter to light the candles is always in your pocket and ready to use. I lit the candle and made my wish. I blew out the candles on the first try. The cake and ice cream went around the table to the smiling hungry faces of the children.

 

Once again, Christy had planned, prepared,and hosted a five-star birthday party that became a successful reality. She created delicious dishes and provided the relaxed atmosphere for conversation and reflection that is needed for any event or party to be memorable.

Philippines’ Ponder Points

 

It has been less than a year,since we returned to the Philippines. Life has proven that you are never too old to learn. Your expectations overall don’t always work out the way you think they will – that is a “life lesson” that I seem to get reminded of each year.

 

My After Action Report for 2012

 

One of Uncle Sam’s requirements I have held on to. After important events, the United States Government always takes the time to reflect and collect data on an event to see if it achieved the goals.

 

If the event is an annual event, then, what needs to be done next year to make sure the event Is a success. Watch your Hollywood movies and the actors playing government officials, diplomats, generals and admirals are always talking about their “Sitreps” – situation reports – and their “After Action Report.”

 

I sat at the table, lit a cigarette, sipped my coffee and thought about “My After Action Report” for the current year.

 

Overall, though, when I stop to remember the day we arrived at the airport in Manila and looked at where we stood on October 30, 2012, like they say, in the old commercials, “You’ve Come Along Way, Baby.”

CHRISTY AND VANISSA_6205_resized

  Christy Warren, and our niece, Vanissa Saldana stroll, in front of< Robinson’s Place in Tacloban City to go “shopping.” Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

  NIKON D 100 Photo 0010_by Samuel E Warren Jr  Junea Tanahale, our niece, makes a flower arrangement. “Aunt” Christy Warren, one summer morning, instructed Junea and Vanissa Saldana on the way to do the formal place settings on a table and instructed them on making flower arrangements. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Christy and I have learned a lot in less than a year. There are obvious similarities between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States and there are some significant differences between both countries, even if you lived in a rural area of the USA.

 

I could look around the table at the faces and remember moments from earlier in the year when we bought the refrigerator, but it was only delivered to the side of the road because the yard was too soft for the truck to take it all the way, so family members carried it to the house.

 

Life’s On The Job Training

 

Ramon, my brother-in-law has always been more like a son to me. When I was a young G.I., Ramon lived with Christy and I,in Angeles City, near Clark Air Base, and went to school.

 

Now, Ramon is a man with a family of his own. A mechanic, Ramon has become a self-taught carpenter. He built a wall-mounted shrine for the living room. Then, he used bamboo and concrete and built an impressive hog house..

HOG HOUSE_resized

HOG HOUSE

in this photograph the second pen of the house house is still under construction. The first pen already had two hogs rooting around the pen. Ramon Q. Saldana Jr., built this hog house. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

SARI SARI STORE BUILT BY RAMON

SARI SARI STORE built by Ramon Q. Saldana Jr.

Ramon is a self-taught carpenter. He built a hog house and, then, built a Sari-Sari Store in Barangay Baras. In this photo, Ramon and a visitor sit in front of the small store. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

We had been fortunate to go to the beach and go swimming a couple of times this year. We had all survived. My Canon EOS 40 D camera didn’t. An accidental dip of about 30 seconds in a big wave must have been too much for the onboard sensors. Fortunately, I had a Nikon on standby.

 

Division Downsizing

 

A US Army-sized division of distant relatives had greeted us at the airport in Manila and a battalion of distant relatives had escorted us to Leyte. As the fiscal budget year wore on , Christy and I didn’t always sign off on proposals like the Manila based 10-wheeler cargo trucking line to Leyte.

 

The companies of disgruntled, distant relative began their own “downsizing” and “redeployment” back to the island of Luzon and the municipalities of Angeles City and Manila.

 

Warren-building

 

While the United States Government, Iraq and Afghanistan continue their “Nation-building” of governments, infrastructure nad cultures, Christy and I have been involved in Warren-building on the island of Leyte. I have concentrated on my photography and writing articles for my blog. Christy has concentrated on the renovations to turn One Warren Way from an unused rice mill building into a home.

 

Christy got her dream of the CSW Cafe in Tacloban City. Eight kids began the school year at One Warren Way, Four kids went “Republican” and exercised an “Exit strategy” to “retired” to somewhere else on the island of Leyte.

 

All in all, it has been an exciting year of challenges, successes and a couple of disappointments. Christmas is beyond Halloween, so that future operation is under Christy’s chain of command.

 

My significant shortfall, this year, is that I didn’t plan far enough ahead for the kids to have a “Halloween Party.” I had hoped they and their friends would be able to have the Halloween costume party at the house. The Halloween custom seems to be catching on in Manila, but, has, yet, to make it to rural Leyte.

 

My Holiday Is Halloween

 

Halloween is “my holiday” and is the other day of the year I look forward to each year. I have my mother to “Thank” for the Halloween Party memories.

 

As a small boy in rural southwest Missouri in the 1960s, “birthday parties” were an uncommon idea. There were no McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Taco Bell, or any other fast food restaurants to offer birthday party plans in nearby Branson, Missouri in 1960. Silver Dollar City had just recently opened their gates and the old white clapboard Abesville grade school stood across the gravel road from the brick school house.

 

The old Abesville Grade Schoolhouse was the classic small white schoolhouse with the steeple and red roof that you see in the Hollywood movies; it had retired as a schoolhouse and had become the meeting place for the Abesville 4-H Club.

 

Halloween And Birthday Party Tradition

 

Beginning in the first grade, my mother, Opal M. DeLong Warren set a precedent: my birthday party.

 

Kids in rural southwest Missouri really didn’t have birthday parties in the fall and winter months. Your classmates didn’t live blocks away; they usually lived miles away.

 

School District Logistics

 

The Galena RII School District would have kids who lived a few steps from the Reeds Spriing school district get on the yellow bus to made the arduous commute to Abesville Grade School or Galena High School each morning.

 

Meanwhile, kids in Wheelerville, Cross Roads, and Jenkins would watch the yellow school buses of the Crane School district pass by their farms, while they waited patiently for their Galena school bus.

 

Thus, Galena school students from, near Reeds Springs, and from near Wheelerville, Cross Roads and Jenkins, were like American G.I.s because each morning they had to “deploy” for the long bus ride to and from Abesville or Galena

 

The students might spend about two hours on the bus each morning before they ever arrived at school and then two hours each night before they ever reached home. The School District Logistics Of Travel each morning and evening worked against the childhood opportunities to attend a birthday party.

 

Weird Weather

 

The fall weather, in October, was always as uncertain as the promises of a politician; the weather changes quickly in southwest Missouri in autumn.

 

The weather for Halloween in southwest Missouri is usually like a Wes Craven or John Carpenter horror movie where the London fog meets the Seattle rain. Some years, the skeletal bone-chilling cold would sink through your coat and speed your steps The tips of your nose would tingle in the cold. You could feel the sting of the biting cold bite into your ears, The weird weather of Halloween seemed to exercise demonic persecution of children, who just wanted to get a few pieces of candy.

 

It seldom snowed on Halloween, in my childhood, but, the dismal, eerie, cold. Damp, depressing feel of the weather always kept children close to home. If you were lucky, your parents might drive you to Galena, so you could go “Trick Or Treat” at a few homes.

 

By the 1980s, officials at the Stone County Courthouse had arranged a Halloween Party to allow the kids to “Trick Or Treat” in a more fun and less “survival expert” way to celebrate Halloween.

 

Momma’s Miracle – My Birthday Party

 

In the 1960s, in southwest Missouri, the idea of autumn and winter birthday parties and Halloween Parties were as vague as the dream of the Internet.

 

My mother talked to Mrs. Russell, my first grade teacher, My birthday party and the class Halloween celebration became an annual event that continued each year for seven years; right up until my classmates and I entered the eighth grade at Galena High School.

 

Momma would bring the big vanilla sheet cake that always had my “Happy Birthday” greeting and “Happy Halloween” lettered in icing on the cake. The Kool-Aid with the cake gave me the reason to look forward to my birthday and the other kids commented that when they saw the cake they knew it was time for Halloween.

 

At 57, I can look back on a successful birthday party, remember the fun parties of childhood, and make a note to plan for the nephews a Halloween Party for next year. Then, again, I think I know a party planner up to the challenge of hosting a Halloween party: “Christy, honey, what do you say, for next year, we plan,for the kids, a Halloween Party?”

 

Christy ?”

THE CAKE_Happy 57th Birthday Samuel E Warren Jr Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr 029 - Copy

The Birthday Cake

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

November 4, 2012 at 5:41 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Current Events, Editorial, Family, Holidays, Leyte, Observances, Opinion, Philippines, Photos, Stone County History

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Blackouts In Leyte” — The Electricity Editorial

with 4 comments

Blackouts

In

Leyte

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In the United States, when the lights go out, people shout, “Blackout.” In the Philippines, when the lights go out people shout, “Brownout.”

Perhaps, the term, “brownout” seems more politically correct or suggests that the power outage may not last as long as a “blackout.” Despite the political correctness of words, I like the term “blackout<” because when the lights go out – day or night – you are “in the dark.”

The major drawback to life on the island of Leyte, in the Republic of the Philippines is obviously “electricity.”

Frequency Of Blackouts – “Preposterous, Ridiculous,

Nonsense”

The frequency and the number of “blackouts” since December of 2011 until the day I started to write this article, August 8, 2012, brings the words, “preposterous”,“ridiculous”, and “nonsense” to mind. Sometimes the “blackouts” last several hours as in 12, 16 or a whole day. Sometimes the “blackouts” only last a few minutes. What is frustrating about the “blackouts” is the frequency. Hardly, a 24-hour period goes by that there is not at least one “blackout.”

Government Seeks Answers

A couple of months ago, the Philippine government announced that they had questions about the high electric bills that citizens on the island of Leyte had to pay. I haven’t seen anything in the newspapers recently on the situation.

The most frustrating factor of daily life in Leyte is the unreliability of electricity. The electricity is as unreliable as the political campaign promises of an American presidential candidate. I could appreciate the circumstances if I knew that electric company officials were working to solve the problem. But, I haven’t seen or heard anything in the news media to suggest that anyone is doing anything.

Rural Missouri Blackouts

As a boy in Missouri in the 1960s, I knew that come the winter months, there would be probably a couple of times during the winter, when we would be without electricity for two to three days. Snow and ice would collect on tree limbs and either the limbs or trees would fall on power lines and then the electric company would have to locate the tree and try to repair the line. By the 1980s, power outages in winter time in rural southwest Missouri had become one of those events that usually belonged “to the memories of childhood.”

Why The Blackouts ?

I don’t know why there are so many “Blackouts” in Leyte ?

I can theorize that the island infrastructure presents a challenge to maintaining a consistent and persistent supply of electricity. I have, no doubt, that weather situations like typhoons and monsoon rains bring havoc to power lines. I even imagine the number of household that rely on the electricity and the appliances and devices that they use are taking a toll on power consumption and supply. I am more than willing to give the power company the benefit of the doubt. I can understand and appreciate these limitations.

But. . .

On a sunny day, when it has not been raining and the power goes out – then, you wonder, “Why ?”

More than an annoyance or frustration, the “blackouts” are probably taking their toll in credibility. Leyte is a beautiful island, which should attract herds of foreign investors seeking to do business in the Philippines.

Profitable Population

This eastern visayas paradise – Leyte – offers a culturally diverse population. Chinese immigrants were among some of the first settlers to this island, so there is several Chinese businesses in Tacloban City.

Of course, the significant Spanish history and influence of the Philippines for more than 400 years is reflected in the Waray and Tagalog languages as well as cultural ideas and lifestyles.

The American presence at the beginning of the 20th Century, though World War II and until Mount Pinatubo brought the closure of Clark and Subic in the 1990s accounts for the wide use and understanding of English.

The Airport Of The West – Western World Ways

Thus, the Philippines in the Asia realm is “The Airport Of The West”, where people can land, stretch out, relax, rest and be ready to try and relate and communicate with a major section of the world that does not always understand, appreciate or have a way to communicate and relate to Western World Ways, in terms of ideas, or the English language.

People in the Philippines truly understand “The West.” The major reluctance of the use of English by Filipinos seems to be a “cultural shyness” in the use of English. Other English speaking citizens: Americans, Australians, British, Canadians and South Africans – are quick to “criticize” the use of English words and phrases.

Thus, the availability of a population that is accustomed to tourist, foreign business people and other languages should have foreign business investors beating down the door to offer employment to the population. Then, of course, “the lights go out.”

International Reporters and Photographers – Power Up !

If your editor sends you to cover breaking news in Leyte or another island of the Philippines. Before you dash to the airport, check your laptop battery and consider buying or packing another digital camera battery. Electricity is as reliable as an American politicians’ campaign promises – it isn’t !

In country, in Manila, Tacloban City, Tanauan and other large cities in the Philippines you can find the voltage regulators to handle the American 110 volts, but, if you get off a chopper, hop off a jeepney or a trike into the small villages and towns, the American laptop or American digital camera will have to use the power it has.

Remember, Canon and Nikon, are Japanese cameras that make American models to handle US voltage. Laptops bought in the US market are not designed to handle Asian 220 voltage. Know your gear, before you plug it into an Asian electric outlet. You might consider packing a small battery alarm clock and a small battery flashlight in with your camera gear to handle “blackouts.” Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Voltage Regulator

The voltage regulator in the photograph was purchased at Citi Hardware in Tacloban City. The 578 Emporium and the Gaisano stores in Tacloban City usually have the voltage regulators for sale. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The Big Hole In Your Wallet

My wife, Christy opened her, “CSW Cafe” in Tacloban City, near Leyte Normal University. Like any small businessman or businesswoman, she meets the daily challenges of business. Her cafe provides buffet style Filipino food in a bistro atmosphere Fortunately, in Tacloban City, the “blackouts” don’t seem to be as frequent as “out in the country” where we live.

But, when the power goes out – the air conditioning goes off and the tropical temperatures of the Philippines sends you looking for a shade tree or a cooler place to wait until the power comes back on.

Blackout” or “Brown out” – whatever you call the situation. The unstable state of electricity is more than frustrating or annoying – it comes down to “The Big Hole In Your Wallet.”

The Electricity Gamble

This morning, – “Blackout.” It lasted for five to ten minutes, while the kids got ready to go to school. Fortunately, the kids had already had their breakfast. Unreliable electricity is no doubt one reason, why people rely on small canisters of propane and a large hot plate appliance to cook meals, rather than an electric stove.

 

Camera
NIKON D100
Focal Length
58mm
Aperture
f/11
Exposure
1/30s
Camera
NIKON D100
Focal Length
58mm
Aperture
f/11
Exposure
1/30s

 

Gas Stove ?

The large appliance is a two burner hot plate. The line runs to a Recreational Vehicle-sized propane canister and is, essentially, a gas stove in Leyte. I have not seen any electric stoves and the frequency of “brownouts” and “blackouts” would explain why electric stoves, ovens and ranges are extremely rare, if at all. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The afternoon past without a “Blackout.” This evening – from now until midnight is still “a flip of the coin” because electricity in rural Leyte is “a minute to minute and hour to hour gamble.”

Without unreliable power, it makes it difficult for all businesses to do business. Unstable power means farmers and fishermen really have to rely on the daylight, in order, to be sure they can earn their day to day living.

Families in rural Leyte, seem to have adopted a “slot machine attitude toward electricity.” You realize some days are like pulling down the arm and watching the machine “hit”, “Three Across !” The dials click into place and you listen to the jingle and jangle of coins clanking into the tray.

Electricity Is A Slot Machine Gamble In Leyte

Pull the arm of any “One Arm Bandit” slot machine and watch the dials whirl. If the mechanical or computer programmed machine “hits” then you get a “payout” of tokens or coins.

 

Daily electricity in Leyte is like playing a slot machine. From second to second, minute to minute and hour to hour the dails whirl. Somedays in Leyte, the only “payout” of electricity is a persistent “blackout” that can last for minutes to several hours and there can be several “blackouts” on a given day.

 

And, like slot machines, it seems the electric bills can consume major portions of your wallet for an erratic payout of electricity over a month’s time. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Other days, you pull the arm and the dials spin. Clunk ! Clunk ! Clunk !

Nothing on the three dials match and those are the days, when the electricity may be on and off again several times throughout the day or the electricity may be out for several hours during the day or night. You almost have to have – A Slot Machine Attitude – because from sunrise to midnight, you never know what the celestial spinning of the dials of the cosmic electric slot machine is going to “payout.”

In the 21st Century, it is ridiculous for any citizens to have to try to farm, do business or live like 12th Century peasants. The peasants had daylight and candlelight. They used the daylight to accomplish the majority of the day’s tasks.

Keep The Candles Handy

Thus, somewhere on planet Earth, in the 21st Century, someone should hold “The Secret” or the knowledge to help the power companies of Leyte to figure out “How To Keep The Lights On” and make “Blackouts” a historical footnote of the past. Until then, don’t forget to keep your candles and box of matches from the sari-sari store handy.

Keep The Candles Handy

Local sari-sari stores in provinces in the Philippines are numerous and usually have a ready supply of candles and small boxes of matches. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sam

She Males Pass In Review

with 51 comments

She Males

Pass In Review

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Life is always full of surprises, especially in Leyte, Republic of the Philippines.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Eyes right !”

Eyes front !”

Yes, I see an exotic, woman, in an island headdress, slender bra, short grass skirt, and translucent high heels strut flamboyantly down the rural barangay road.

Saturday, May 12, 2012, the Barangay Cameri Festival is underway. Family and friends have found their way to One Warren Way. Everyone gets them a plate of food and something to drink.

The adults crowd around the long coconut wood dining table and settle on one of the two matching benches. The kids take their plates of food and drinks and head outside to find a log or rock to sit on and eat. Everyone gets comfortable to eat, drink and talk.

Mano Bito, Junbean and I are sitting at a small wood table talking and smoking Philip Morris cigarettes. Junbean and I are drinking our San Miguel Pale Pilsen beers. The nieces, nephews and their cousins rush past us laughing and giggling into the dense jungle vegetation of the front yard. My wife, Christy, tells me the kids are excited about the “bakla” parade. I smile and take a swig of my cold San Miguel.

A few minutes later, I glance out at the road. I turn back and raise my San Miguel bottle. It is beer number two and three-quarters of the cold brew sloshes in the bottle. I look at the coconut trees and they are not blurred.

My mind and eyes are fine.

A tall island woman appears to have stepped out of an Aztec island culture and sashays along the road.

The tall, slender, exotic woman is no hallucination.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The tall, slender, exotic woman is not a figment of my imagination.

Each footstep wobbles the monolithic peacock feather headdress. A long statuesque leg rises and rustles the grass skirt out of the way. Sunshine glistens into a star burst off the toe of the clear, plastic, acrylic high heel. And, the thick platform sole shoe steps on to the asphalt barangay road.

My mind reminds me : Plastic and acrylics weren’t around in island cultures at the time of Ferdinand Magellan.

My mind suggests: “There is a story here.”

Hermaphrodite, Cross-dresser,Transvestite, Transgender, Transsexual,Trannie, Tranny, Tgirl, Ladyboy, SheMan, and She Males are all American English words used to describe a person, who does not fit into the traditional category of either – a man or a woman.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr,

In the Republic of the Philippines, in Tagalog, the word, “Bakla,” (pronounced: Bach – la) means a person, who does not fit in the category of man or woman. In Waray, in the Eastern Visayas, the word, “Bayot”, (pronounced –Bye –you—T) means a person, who is outside the category of man or woman.

In Life, things are not always what they seem.

Thus, the woman in the Polynesian island costume and high heels, who at first glance, looks like a future “Playboy” centerfold – is not a biological woman at all.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

None of the women, who appeared to be fashion models strolling the runway – were biological women.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In a few moments, other baklas in a variety of costumes worthy of a Hollywood movie studio stroll along the rural barangay road. Adults and children wander out to the road to watch the she male parade pass in review.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I pick up my Nikon D 100 camera, which had been taking pictures of family, friends, food and kids. I walk up to the road and watch the parade sashay along the winding road.

Like American politicians campaigning for office, during an election year, the she males, stop, smile, wave, speak to the spectators and children. And like skilled American politicians on the campaign trail, they pause long enough to strike a pose for pictures.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Then, the She Males continue on to the Barangay Cameri stone heart-shaped boundary marker.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Despite the sweltering heat, the parade participants took their time to smile and wave at the onlookers.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Even children make their way to the roadside to watch the parade intently.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Some people stare at the she males. Some snicker and laugh. Other people simply watch.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Then, the well-disciplined she males, wave, an execute a relaxed, casual, about face maneuver and begin back down the road.

The flamboyant she male in an Aztec style costume, flourishes his purple train, turns and with the confident demeanor of a Paris fashion model breezes down the road like it is a fashion runway.

Heads high, shoulders back, the she males soldier on back down the road to the Barangay Baras Basketball Court.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In single file formation, they walk with an air of dedication past the spectators, who watch the she males pass in review.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

This is the first time I have ever had a news story or photo opportunity literally stroll past my front door.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

My reporter’s curiosity has the best of me.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Camera in hand, I step into the back of the ranks of the passing parade. My squad of curious nieces and nephews fall in step on my right and left flanks.

People stand along the roadside of Barangay Baras and watch the she males pass in review back to the Barangay Baras Basketball Court. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

It requires “Courage” to be able to take a stand and do something out of the ordinary that is a different view of the status quo of society at large. And, yet, these people in costume are strolling past the public with confidence in their steps. I admire the conviction and strength of character of these she males.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I and my troops pick up the pace.

I move briskly through the ranks and take photos of the spectators along the roadside watching.

My young troops try to hasten their steps to catch up.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Since I do not know the organization at the basketball court, I need to try to rush ahead to try and discover the event structure that is in place. Then, I will know, where I need to be to get photographs of the events as they happen.

I arrive in a crowd of people on the basketball court.

The basketball court is a temporary in-the-field command post of chaos and confusion – with no one apparently in charge. There is no entry control point, no admission gate and no way to determine, who needs to be at a certain point at a certain time.

The returning she males drift to the concrete bleachers on the sidelines to take refuge from the heat and adjust their costumes.

Nikon D 199 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Some of the returning she males wander out on to the basketball court to await further instructions. They hover around the half-court line like children waiting for church to begin.

Suddenly, a man, obviously, with a plan, and, no doubt, an organizer, emerges from the fray of spectators and begins to shout instructions in Tagalog to the she male models.

Meanwhile, a cheerful man, exhibiting the exuberance of a Las Vegas casino winner, appears on a sideline at the back of the court and chats with two of the tall she males.

Then, the man’s friend raises a small compact digital camera. The two tall she males step beside the man. They stand straight and tall to strike a pose. His arms lash out around their backs to draw the models closer. His friend clicks the shutter.

The two tall she males in their elaborate costumes remind me of the movies of Las Vegas showgirls waiting to go on stage.

I watch with camera in hand. I glimpse my nieces and nephews at my side, wearing confused looks. I do not need to be a mind reader to see the question uppermost in their minds: “What is Tito Sam up to now ?”

I grin, I raise the Nikon D 100 slightly. They smile and nod. Message received.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Some people drift on to the basketball court to watch.

Nikon D 199 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Some of the models stroll out on to the basketball court ready to poses for photographs.Some of the local kids bring a basketball on the court to shoot hoops in the background.

Soon, the organizer, has the she males line up on the half-court line for a group photo.

Some of the local people watch and some of the curiosity seekers with compact digital cameras and cell phone cameras take photos and video.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Years of reporting and photography experience has taught me that whenever a group of people have to stand together for a photo, there is always the “human nature” programming that kicks in.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Whether it is a child standing next to it’s mother, a husband standing next to his wife, or people who work side-by-side everyday of their lives – “Hesitation” kicks in. Perhaps, it is a “personal space” issue, but, it is always up to the “Official Photographer” to encourage the people to move closer together.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Film and digital cameras do not understand or care about “personal space.” The camera viewfinder is only a certain compact size, regardless of the omnipotent lens that may be on the body of the camera.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The she male group, like any group of people, would only move so close together for a group photo. There was no “Official Photographer” to smile or bark orders, so everyone moved to a certain comfort point and stood their ground.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Like a bird in flight, I fluttered about, swooping around and trying to get a complete group photo. Human nature trumped my efforts and I could only get so many of the group within the viewfinder at a given time.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I tried different angles. The only alternative would have been to walk up and keep encouraging each person to move closer together with their toes positioned on the white basketball half-court line.

I was one of many photographers at the event.

I was not the official photographer.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I represented no newspaper or wire service, so I was not getting a paycheck, which meant, it was not my call. “Time,” “Newsweek,” “USA Today,” “The New York Times,” or “The Washington Post” had not call to say, “Sam, we want you on a photo assignment in the Philippines” – so, my personal photographic pursuit did not justify my interference.

As a working news photographer, I learned you are always suppose to get the story and the shot, but you are not suppose to be so dominant that the photographer becomes more of a memory than the actual news event, which means news photographers are suppose to be like Bob Kane’s “Batman,” you swoop in and out and then disappear into the shadows.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I got all of my photo shots. The organizer was still giving instructions and hand gestures to try to get the group to move closer together, when I looked at my bewildered nieces and nephews standing behind me.

I nod and gesture the camera at the entrance to the basketball court. They fall in step behind me.

While the parade had been one of the fiesta activities, it also served to promote “The Barangay Cameri Miss Gay 2012 Beauty Pageant, which would be held on the Barangay Cameri Basketball Court, Sunday, May 13, 2012, which proved to be an interesting event – but, that is another Samuel E. Warren Jr., News Story.

The “Warren Wander Warriors” stay in step, on both flanks for the ready “beat feet” deployment back to the house. I hand my Nikon D 100, to my niece, Vanissa Saldana, my photography assistant. I smile, “It is San Miguel time !”

I step off the road and stroll through the thick fern foliage back to the house.

Life is always full of surprises. Still, I never would of imagined a news and photo opportunity would have sashayed past my front door.

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sam

%d bloggers like this: