The WoodStocks Worksite

The Worksite

This is the worksite.

Far from your airconditioned upper floor corner office in Makati.
This is deep inside the University of the Philippines grounds on one of the so-called ‘areas’.

Kinda depressed neighborhood.
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I chose the site because it is cheap. . .

Besides, I’m able to get extra help from the community when needed – an electrician here, a welder there, an extra hand here and there. Mostly either out of work or in between jobs, men usually make tambay around, probably hoping that I get to hire them for a day or two. The feeling of getting to help these guys, even temporarily, makes my work more satisfying.

My two guys, Eric and Aljon pounding away.

My two guys, Eric and Aljon pounding away.

 

Lala, my ‘landlord’  has seven kids! (cute kids actually). Her husband, Utoy, offered to build an ‘extension’ of our shack . . . actually, more of adding some bamboo poles for posts and a used-up trapal for roofing. I really don’t need an extension yet but I’m guessing Utoy needed the money. . . so what the heck! I might need that extra space in the future.

 

Then there’s Tatay, dad of Lala, who has a mini piggery not f tar from the shack.  On some days, and depending on the wind direction, we do get a whiff of . . . well, what do you expect? It’s a piggery, diba?

Tatay hangs around the shack when he’s not attending to his pigs and we exchange pleasantries – no, more like exchanges alaskahan with my two guys. He used to be a caddy of the University golf course, doing the rounds with Virata, Duavit, and some other biggies of the 70’s. He recounts this with pride of days gone by. Cute.
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I chose the site because it is cheap.  . .

We also have Mang Rading. He’s the neighborhood handy man and my delivery guy. He charges well below regular Metro delivery rates. Why? Well, that’s his jeep which doubles up as a sampayan. He built the vehicle all by himself from scratch. It still looks like scratch but it serves my purpose of hauling timber and transport of finished goods.

I do get to ride that jeep at times when we pick up wood. I also get to sit in front since I’m the “boss” :).
But for the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out how to open that contraption Mang Rading calls a door. Each time we reach our destination, he has to rush out and open the door for me from the outside.

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So am I feeling señorito or maybe like Marlon Brando in the Godfather?. . . in a much humbler level, maybe.
Ok, much, much, much humbler level. That jeep ain’t exactly a stretch limo, you know! 🙂

 

Alan is the neighborhood steel works guy. He doesn’t have a regular job so I let him do our small welding needs.
I know he overcharges me but he doesn’t know that I know. A hundred bucks here and there- I just let it slide.

He’s doing me a favor actually. I feel good paying his ‘overcharged-by-a-hundred-pesos’ rates. I can’t imagine how it feels to be out of a regular paycheck. So I’m thinking help is help – no matter what form.

 

I chose the site because it is cheap.  . .

The neighbors hold cockfights every Saturday at the site. It goes without saying that we don’t get to do much work with a lot of men milling around the workplace making usyoso.

Sometimes, I still do dream of the time when I can afford a roofed factory; an air-conditioned office, free of the smell of Tatay’s piggery. It would have wifi, a modest stereo system and some magazines with me on the cover of Entrepreneur Today  🙂 

 

But I’m not holding my breath.
I feel that I getting much more than what I pay for the worksite.

 

I chose the site because it is cheap.  . . but only in pesos. 😉

I have a word for that . . . oh yah – priceless.

 

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Oct. 2014

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