This is my first post, let me know how it goes, I have many more stories to tell.
Firstly a bit about my situation;
I am an Aussie, nearly 50 years old who is married to a local girl from Cebu region, I am a roster worker in Australian, meaning i work so many weeks then have so many weeks off. I stay in a work camp when working and return to Cebu for my time off as I have a house and family there.I pay for my own flights,12 per year and this is still cheaper than maintaining a house here in Aussie land.
Let me start with a subject you are all familiar with…Christmas!
I have just returned to work from a 4 week break at home in the provinces south of Cebu city. We live in an ok area of our town, near the edge, mostly rice fields around, nicer houses and good neighbors (mostly). However my wife comes from what i will call the seaside slum area, and densely populated fishing area with open sewers and lots of idle folk with blank faces. We go down there a bit, I take my dogs in the tricycle to roam the beach and we drink beer at the store with her brother and friends.
This particular day, just before Christmas, I see this kid, probably a relative, throwing something in the air and when it lands it lets off a loud bang. I call him over out of curiosity to inspect his ordinance. He has a spark plug, electrode removed, with a bunch of rooster feathers tied to it.
The place where the electrode once sat is replaced with a firm fitting 5mm hex head bolt.There is rubber bands holding the bolt firmly inside the spark plug. The bolt is pulled out, a charge of gunpowder caps or blanks is inserted and said device is thrown directly up to then fall to the ground with the striker (5mm bolt) landing first due to the tail feathers creating drag. The resulting explosion creates much joy to all…..except me, killjoy that I am, started to think of shrapnel as the kid was not content with putting 1 blank charge inside,but as many as he could beg money for. I prompted to him to piss off away from me and my kids with it and warned him of the danger of overloading it
I watched him up on the concrete barangay road for a while, some miss-fires, some late detonations and thought he is gonna get hurt with that, numerous adults, including the barangay captain and Tanod captain watched.
To get to the point, 2 days later I’m down there, the kid is limping around, holding the shattered remenants of his mortar bomb in his dirty hands.
Seems he achieved a successful detonation of maximum charge. The rubber bands holding the thing together let go and he took a piece of his leg out on the side of the calf muscle. The wound had a dirty piece of cotton wool stuck to it (first aid Pinoy style) and was weeping a watery, bloody mixture down his leg. I was going to go home and get my trauma kit and dress the wound for him but then he asked me if I had an old spark plug and 5 peso so he could rebuild his mortar and buy Bala (ammo) and get back into the action.
I pulled him in close and whispered to him that he was a moron and I hope his leg got infected and fell off. I then told him to fuck off away from my kids.I will give an up-date on his progress after i get back from my R&R in early Feb.
Thanks for reading, Unggoy out.Published in