Short Stories The House on Junquera Street

The House on Junquera Street II

Aftermath at Rio’s

Fuming with anger at his neighbors, who did not even come to his cry for help. He finds one and asks him to come.

“Hey Mikey, come here.”

Mikey walks in towards his little porch, “what’s up, any action tonight?” Mikey refers to the brown bottles, that we also call, Mandaue City’s water, San Miguel Beer.

“Noooo, not any of that for now,” Rio bewildered at his neighbor’s face so unknowing of what has just happened, “say can you stay here for a while and keep Carrey  in company.”

“Sure thing.” Mikey stares at the tools of their trade when looking for a fight, “so what is going on, what is with all of those bolo and the whip?”

“Oh, you didn’t hear?”

“Hear what?”

“We were harassed by an ungo,” (for the Cebuano speakers, the phrase here should be ‘gi-abat kami’ I cannot find a better translation, if any of you do please share.) says Rio to his neighbor.

Mikey blinking and searching.

“What? You don’t believe me?”


“Ask my wife Carrey.”

“Really it was terrifying, I thought it was a joke then it became more violent.” Carrey  confirms what her husband was trying to say.

“Really, how did it happen when?”

“Just now,” Rio replies, “I even asked your cousin if he saw something or heard something he said no.”

“Then what?”

“It became more violent, I had to close the house.” Rio is anxious to feed his wife, “just watch her I have to buy food.”

Rio leaves the house, while Carrey narrates to Mikey what happened.

Along the way to one of the barbecue stands near his house were neighbors close to him.

“You, all of you, you never came to help me and my wife. Didn’t you hear us scream for help, none of you came.” He turns around to buy barbecue pork.

“What was that about?” Rey was shocked at his statements.

“What was that about? I don’t even know. Well you know him a joker and prankster master” Paz his drinking buddy.

“Yeah, it’s nothing.” Enting agrees.

He then turns around, in fact fuming that none of his neighbors took him seriously. 

He points at all of them, “none of you came, how could you, didn’t you hear us scream for help.” He turns around again and walks towards the barbecue stand.

Everyone is quite dumbfounded at what is going on.

He suddenly turns around again, “really… none of you heard us.”

“What are you talking about?” Paz, still confused as well as the rest with the bystanders.

“There were scratches on the walls, none of you heard that.” He turns around and walks away from them towards the barbecue stand again.

“What scratches?”

“There was an ungo I think, it was trying to get in.”

He walks towards home. As he shakes his head in dismay.

“Hey Jimmy, Rio says there was an ungo at his house and it may have attacked them. What do you think?” Paz talking to Jimmy, one of their contemporaries, as he comes out of the little walkway.

“What happened?” Jimmy with a blank stare, and a little way behind the news.

“I don’t know, he just came here blabbering about us not helping him, I still do not get it.”

“Why don’t we go to his house and ask him?”

All four and the other lot, who were all there to eavesdrop, followed.

They found his wife Carrey, a bolo on her hand, while Rio is currently in the kitchen preparing the table for their meal.

“Hey, Carrey, what’s going on?”

It was Carrey’s more calm demeanor, perhaps after having talked with Mikey that gave her the better storyteller of what just happened.

It was time for the couple to dine, and everyone bid their adieu, but not for the night. They all intend to come back, for they too have families, and they must as well dine with them.

After dinner, in times like this and situations like this, in a typical Visayan and even in general Filipino fashion, the light drinker in all of us comes out. 

Paz bought a long neck Tanduay Rhum, Enting brought a case of Gold Eagle Beer, and Rey brought a case of 500ml Red Horse Beer. And all in all brought to Rio’s house, all gathered to deal with the issue at hand, over a drink. 

This is the typical fashion of Cebuanos even at the time before the Spaniards came, all throughout the Visayas and Mindanao, the Visayans usually discuss issues over arak or bahalina.

Jimmy came and brought ice.

They all were sitting at Rio’s porch with stool chairs, a small coffee table in front where the glass shall be, for this was a tagay. One tumbler for all to drink, passed on to another’s turn to drink and to the next and back. 

The bartender is called the gunner, to be one, one must have a sharp mind, lest one gets insulted at one’s carelessness or mistake. You must remember whose turn it is to drink, as well as the gunner must also drink.

With all the drinks in tow, on the floor the cases of beer, on the table a bottle of rum. To each of the three Paz, Rey and Enteng have reasons not to drink their drink. It was a classical impasse during drinking sessions.

Jimmy breaks the impasse, “Are we here to drink or what?”

All three agree, but none could agree which to drink first. It was typical to drink the rum first, in fact it is a rule to them, but none could decide which to drink next. As each have their own issues. 

Albeit it was prudent to drink Red Horse first and Gold Eagle for what we call washing.

Jimmy again breaks the impasse, “Rio, do you have a pitcher?”

Everyone was silent, they all knew what it was. A Mestiza Pegasus.

Because Enting has a job tomorrow and wants to avoid rum, and because Rey hates Gold Eagle as it was too light a beer for him.

Mixing a liter of Gold Eagle with a liter of Red Horse, evens out for them. To satisfy Jimmy even more, a quarter of the rum is added.