House of Flies

There’s a mall in the Ortigas section of Manila called Podium. It’s a five minute walk from SM’s Mega Mall. It was one of their first attempts to do something a bit higher end. One side of the mall has some restaurants that have their own entrances – good for bypassing the security check at the front door and also good for getting in and out for a quick smoke. These doors open to the street that runs to their parking lot. Then there’s a wall, and on the other side of that wall is a huge outdoor car park. The construction workers for the tower above Podium (seems like they’ve been working on this on and off for close to ten years now) dump their trash here.

One of the restaurants in Podium with its own exit that I like is Borough. They do what they call NYC comfort food, and it’s not quite that, but they do a real nice fried chicken & waffles and a decent facsimile of a Philly cheesesteak. They’re open 24/7 and at night they have a DJ and it can get busy with people having a few drinks after work.

I went there today to meet a friend for lunch at 12:45. Weekday. Lunchtime. The place was stone cold empty. One of the waitresses was walking around with one of those fly-swatting electric tennis rackets and it was crackling non-stop.

“What’s going on?” I asked. “There’s a pile of garbage at the construction site and it’s attracting all these flies.” “Really?” “Yeah, every restaurant here is affected.” “Why don’t you call the police and complain?” “Hahahahaha.”

Really, that was her reaction. Laughter.

My friend arrived, I explained the situation, and we left to have lunch somewhere else.

So on one side you have a bunch of legitimate businesses in one of the more modern parts of the city. On the other side a bunch of idiot construction workers who do what they want without thinking about how it might affect others. And that’s it. Their lunchtime trade (and probably dinner too) is destroyed for at least a few days. I certainly won’t consider going back there for at least another week. And not only is there nothing they can do about it, but the suggestion that they actually try to do something about it is met with laughter.

Published in Dining


  1. Profile gravatar of Beavis

    Update about the boy.

    The dearly departed mother was buried on Thursday. Family is not ready to release the boy to my custody just yet. I received a text with a very demanding tone, instructing me to come to the family house so that I can have a “discussion” with the family before the boy will be released. No offer to meet at, say, a mall or anything like that. No: only a visit to the residence will do. A residence that they are well aware that I have never been to before, and I would be attending alone. Me alone on one side, the entire family on the other side. It is noteworthy that the live-in boyfriend of the deceased mother is also there.

    I have not heard from the boy in about five days. Just after that, I was contacted by a very, very kind and helpful stranger. This stranger informed me that she is the only one who has internet access in the place, she is the only one with a computer that anyone could possibly use, and therefore any time i want to contact the boy must come through her first. I declined this invitation.

    First grading period in school is fast approaching. I have been told that it will be almost impossible to enroll the boy in a new school once first grading period is over. Tick tock.

    I have given you only the facts, not my opinion about the matter. My response to the vaguely threatening text was to let me know once they are ready to take the boy to the airport, and I will happily purchase a ticket for him to pick up at the airport. Stay tuned, this is getting interesting. Never a dull moment with these people.

    1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

      fight with fire,
      I would get an powerful person that is in a position to actually do something on your side to plead your case. Of course, this may cost a bit,, but still cheaper than dealing with these fuckwits,
      They all deadly afraid of somebody who knows somebody ”higher up”

    2. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      It sounds like you are refusing to comply. If I read that right, very good for you. Maybe if I could pay 4 PNP officers P1,000 a piece to come with me along with a couple expat friends I would do it, definitely not on their terms. The boys mother just died and they’re playing games, that is so disgusting. If they are capable of that, they are capable of anything.

      And as we have found, if someone tells them bull shit that is appealing to them they will believe it as if it came from the bible. But also depending on your country it may also be true. My paranoia, someone told them if the foreign father dies the child will receive benefits from the government of the fathers country. Beware of the Filipino Plan.

      Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someones not out to get you. Your sons only hope is for you to keep breathing, even if it takes years, even if it takes until he is 18. No money sent to him can help, or risking your life. Keeping him away from you at this time is so selfish and evil, to use him as a pawn shows their lack of caring about him at all. They like to copy things from the west. How about that old 60’s show, Love Filipino Style.

  2. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    i would entice them with visas to your country, Of course you and the boy would have to go there and apply for them.
    Perhaps that will ”entice” them

  3. Profile gravatar of

    I just want to butt in and say that this site contains some of the most truthful commentaries about life in the Philippines. I’ve read that you are all doing this for therapeutic purposes. If so, good for you and I wish all of you the best. But I’m sitting here both amazed and amused at the accuracy with which you are able to articulate the faults and shortcomings of the Filipino. If I am the president or a local public official here and I am able to reason well (like you all are), I would look at this website and see a goldmine of ideas.

      1. Profile gravatar of

        Yup, it’s quite unlikely. The second condition (being able to reason as well as you all do here, which consequentially means being able and interested to spot opportunities for improvement) will probably never be met. But who knows? That’s what surprises are for.

        Like who knows in 15 years I become president of the Philippines. Probably the first thing I will do is appoint a PhilippineFailBlogdotcom idea miner and set up a department of improvement staffed by fresh graduates with an iq of 130 and higher. It’s all wishful thinking but hey, conor mcgregor will say whatever he wants lol

  4. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    speaking of houses

    have you noticed how little color variation there is in house PAINT?????

    Whats the choice for inside paint jobs?
    1. light blue
    2. pink
    3. green
    4. cream/yellow

    thats it!! in a pretty much 99% of houses.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike

      We rented one house where they had the rooms painted a shit color brown. So I went in and over three days repainted the whole place white on the inside. So the owner pisses wife off and we move again about month and a half later. But by then you could not tell I painted because the filipinos had the walls so dirty from putting their feet up on the wall. These were kin who came to visit. No fucking common sense or manners. Fucking morons.

      1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

        I know a person they went away (speaking of owners going away) and the owner stayed at their house!!!
        and used their helpers to do things!!!

        another case:

        I had a friend that rented a place for a restaurant.
        it was cheap. shitty, no paint dirty
        he did the place up
        the owner came!!
        and then wanted to kick them out
        why? well he had totally renovated the place and gotten the rent for a pittance
        of like 3k a month in a group of shops
        the owner was spreading rumours, threatening him
        threatening staff
        ….. JUST PLAIN FUCKING GREEDY – GREEDY FUCKS with no morals, as wanted to reclaim the shop now he’d renovated and rent out for around 16-20k a month.

      2. Profile gravatar of 30-30

        Hello to all.
        I was researching on the internet about roofing sheets for the Philippines. I was amazed to discover that that measurement (gauge) is smaller as the number goes up.
        Example 20 gauge is thinner than 16 gauge. Has anybody encountered this with roof sheeting before??/
        I am building a house in Manila.

          1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

            thanks , buddy,, I did know that either. I wonder why they did that for measuring????

          2. Profile gravatar of Mike

            For shotguns it the weight of the lead if I remember correct. A “00” 12 gauge shell has about 9 balls the size of a .32 bullet and weighs about one pound.

  5. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    You can get the proper gauge but you have to look around and find a reputable supplier.
    They have two qualities, the Flip quality which you can roll cigarettes with and heavy gauge, Which is Australian standard, unfortunately you have to be there when it is packaged for you and check every fucking sheet, they will slip the cheap shit in on you .
    I have had experience with both, the heavy gauge you can construct it with confidence and walk on it and have 600 mm centers on the rafters, the cheap shit you need to support with half inch marine ply.
    How that is cheaper you GOT ME.
    After rainy season I am repairing the second half of my roof redoing the shit job done by previous owner.

  6. Profile gravatar of dpjb2923

    I watched a Youtube video about a bus driver in London that went to Manila to drive a taxi
    big black dude who could hardly fit in the jeep
    a side story was this lady who collected the chicken bones thrown out by JB
    took the trash home spread it out on the cement and picked out the bones (one for the poor doggie)
    put them in a pot and boiled them. and served them to paying customers as Pack Pack
    Now there is a wow but this is how she made her living and others eating this said they likeit because its cheap