I wasn’t happy. We were encountering a motorcycle gang invasion at “The Farm” in Guimaras, our home province. Our fortress of solitude had been shattered one morning by motorcyclists who had discovered a path through our sequestered enclave in order to avoid detection by nearby Land Transportation Office officers who were conducting a checkpoint nearby.
To add to my displeasure, as I was heading down the lane past our caretaker’s home to find out how the riders got into our encampment, a man had suddenly let himself through a wide gap in the barbed wire fence that surrounds “The Farm.”
“WHO ARE YOU? I asked.
It was our caretaker’s friend who was going to plow the rice field on our property with his carabao.
“OK, go through to Gerry’s,” I said, as I headed back to find the road where the cyclists were coming through on. Meanwhile, my wife, who had opened the gate to let a total of six motorcycle riders go through, was coming from the opposite direction with another group of riders.
I was getting annoyed. My asawa, who had opened the gate to let the initial group through, had slipped through when my wife had opened the gate.
I stepped in the middle of the path blocking this new motorcycle “gang.”
“You are going through private property,” I said, above the roar of the bikes.
“Excuse, us, sir, but may we pass?” asked one long-haired middle-aged Filipino man with a Filipina passenger.
Yes,” I replied, “I know you are trying to avoid the LTO checkpoint, but why are you coming this way? Another group just came by a few minutes earlier than you in the opposite direction. There must be a road that they came through if you want to go out that way.
“O.K., sir, thank you,” replied the long haired-leader, and they roared down the lane trying to make their escape.
A few minutes later I met up with the group as their bikes stopped at the edge of our rice fields.
“There is no way out, sir,” said the long hair.
“Well,” I replied, “that other group came through here somewhere. If you can’t find the way out, I’ll let you out through the gate. You’ll just have to wait outside until the LTO moves their checkpoint.”
Meanwhile I decided to try and find the entrance that the initial group had discovered. I wandered off the path and saw our caretaker and his carabao working the rice field. I kept walking and headed towards the barbed wire fence located about 30 meters away.
There was no path. I trekked through heavy brush and the hot sun was pounding me. This was unfamiliar territory to me. I was lost.
I wandered around for about 15 minutes and decided to head over to a group of trees to seek shelter from the sun. I knew my asawa would be wondering what had happened to me. If the motorcyclists led by the long-haired man couldn’t find their way, I was the only one that had a gate to the key.
Our caretaker Gerry has a spare key but it was his day off.
Finally, after about 30 minutes of wandering around, I located a few wells, which I thought were the wells located near our caretaker’s house. But it turned out to be a secondary group of wells that squatters outside of our property use.
I walked through the rice fields to cross over to the path which would lead to our farmhouse. My wife was outside. The motorcyclists hadn’t been able to locate the entrance to the “hidden road” and were heading back to the gate. I let them out and wished them luck. They thanked me and took off.
“Where did you end up?” my wife asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied, “I was lost.” And that’s a hard thing to admit. About as bad as admitting you need to stop and ask for directions on a road trip.
“You didn’t hear me yelling for you?” my asawa asked.
“No,” I said, “I figured you would be trying to find me but I didn’t hear you. Do you remember Les Stroud (“Survivorman”) always said to stay put if you get lost and don’t wander off? Guess I should have done that, I probably would have heard you.”
“I was worried that you got into a fight with the motorcyclists,” my wife informed me.
“No, I’m not stupid,” (at least not most of the time), I replied, “I didn’t have any problem with them. They were all polite and thanked me for letting them out.”
So what conclusion did I reach regarding this motorcycle gang that invades “The Farm” in our island province of Guimaras? Be polite to all bikers as you never know when you might just be meeting a future member of the Guimaras branch of the “Sons of Anarchy.”