Tag Archives: Philippine cockatoo

Father of the Sword

10 Feb

philippine cockatoo


Joy had the day off. She came in the morning. Took him to the beach where her canoe was waiting. Do you know how to drive one, she said. It is traditional Philippines boat. PVC pipe bolted to the sides on struts to make a catamaran. Black nylon fishing net heaped in the aluminum hull.

It was high tide. White sand stretched out into swaying weeds under calm water. Out on a pier a Chinese family studied distant ships with binoculars. The only other tourists. Tall storm clouds pulled sluggishly at the horizon. The night before he’d taken the scooter into Puerto Princesa to find sunscreen. A hundred kinds but only one that didn’t bleach your skin, for tourists. In a separate area of the pharmacy. On the boulevard by a harbor full of shipwrecks kids dancing in school uniforms stopped him for pictures, laughing. He woke up early. Spent long minutes smearing sunscreen on. Toweling it off. He didn’t want his nose red but didn’t want to be shiny either. Appraised his gut in the mirror. Sitting down like it would be in the boat. Continue reading

The Fisherman’s Daughter

10 Dec


In Puerto Princesa the guard at the resort gate had an M16 with the blacking worn off. A kind smile. He made 50 cents an hour and they posted him by the road. When Abu Sayyaf took you they approached from the beach. They drove speedboats up the coast from the south; he’d read about it. If they came the guard would have to hear the disturbance 200 yards away. Run to the beach, fight off five men with AK-47s by himself. 50 cents an hour. That’s assuming the boats weren’t already halfway back to Balabac where they kept the video equipment dry for the beheading. The hotel came at a significant discount but the desk girl still charged him for an upgrade. We need it sir, she said. No more Westerners now because of the terrorist. She had studied hospitality. Hoped to work in California. You’d be like a movie star there, he said. The men will go crazy for you. Continue reading