They’ve No Idea
BY John Petersen
San Miguel and Red Horse. Red or green Bullfrog. Mojo! For the tea totalers, sipping a White Castle and Sprite poolside at the Whiterock resort. Chowing down on a questionable pizza at the ‘Shakeys’ on Magsaysay. Engineering Dept party at Tigers Den on Rizal. Losing your butt at a game of pool to a seven year old shark.
Trike races in the mud trying to get to the Barrio. Mamason knowing, somehow, exactly when you’ll grace the threshold of the Iron Horse in the Barrio, and having a feast of shrimp fried rice, lumpia and at least two ice cold San MaGoo’s waiting for you.
Countless warm, cuddly, scantily clad bar girls (or at least you hope they were) vying for an overpriced watered down Coke and some company for the night, provided the bar fine was paid. Peso Shows and other wonders (no description given here) in Subic City, otherwise known as the Adult Disneyland. All this enjoyed before the midnight hour.
Awakened at 0430 to the sound of a bike horn and the sole word ‘Balut!’. The morning screamer (ice cold shower in a wooden cubicle), the mad scramble to obtain the necessary transport to get back to the ship before quarters, somehow just making it. Swearing up and down all day that after work, gonna do nothing but hit the rack, get some sleep. Not happening. Come liberty call, the above sequence is repeated, daily until the ship finally gets underway, finally a chance to actually get some rest. Gonna take a week at least to overcome what has to be the most challenging port ‘o call in the Pacific theatre.
My hat is off, and a slow hand salute is offered, to what is now no longer, that being a port visit to Subic Bay, Philippines. Ships may still sail there, but those who visit now will never behold what this port was all about in years past.
They’ve no idea…