How to Repair a Flat- Philippine Style


So there we were having travelled practically the whole island when we decided it was time to call it a day and head for home. But then we were greedy and went for one last stop at the Cambugahay Falls.

After climbing down the steps with ease and huffing and puffing on the way back up, we were happy to see that we were only 2 kilometers from the town of Lazi where we were putting up.

Eager to get in some snorkeling before the sun set, we decided to skip any other possible places along the way and head “home”. That’s when we finally figured out why our trike driver kept making the sign of the cross whenever we restarted the trike. (As in every single time, even if we just hopped off and hopped on again.)

Yep, we got a flat. We were glad it wasn’t anything more serious but then we wondered how we were possibly going to get any help since there didn’t seem to be any people around the island.

But lo and behold there was his friend’s vulcanizing shop just around the corner and he promptly took out the wheel and its inner tube and started looking for the hole.

For those of you out there who wouldn’t know what to do let these pictures be a lesson in DIY should this happen to you. First, get some water (and hopefully you have a pail handy) and just run the tube into the water and wherever it bubbles- bingo! After that, you’ve got to seal the hole and the best way is through a patch that you attach onto the hole via fire.

After a good 10-15 minutes, test the tube again in the water to make sure it is sealed tight and then pop it back into the tire and fill it up with air.

And then the rest is easy just popping the tire back into place. This whole transaction was fascinating for a couple of reasons. First, it was a throw back in time when our cars would periodically break down on the road and I learned a lot about cars that way. In fact, I remembered the whole procedure because I had witnessed it before as young’un.

The other reason for my fascination is the fact that we were just next to a vulcanizing shop when our tire decided to go flat. It was not a fun thing to have to go through but at the same time it was fortunate. We figured we still had time to snorkel, having lost only 40 minutes tops. But then we arrived and found that the sea had receded from shore. Low tide was not pretty.

Our beach apparently was the rockiest beach on the island. And we could do nothing but call it a night and wait for high tide the following day. In the meantime, we clapped the night away trying to rid ourselves of the many insects that wanted to keep us company.

We figured that would be the worst of the lot, but boy were we mistaken. Tomorrow would be another beautiful day in Siquijor, but we would not be leaving without further incident.

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4 thoughts on “How to Repair a Flat- Philippine Style

  1. I should read more carefully. I saw the distance marker, and you saying the driver kept crossing himself and I thought you were referring to a Death March memorial marker.

    • Hahhahah … I really wanted to ask him. I mean, the first time we got on, ok. The second time, as we took a 15-20 minute walk around the springs, sure. But when he started doing it every time we got on and off the bike (including just buying a bottle of water from a sari-sari store), it really made me wonder what untoward things he was expecting! I wish I had asked him still but didn’t want to offend him (or maybe I didn’t want to know the reason either, heh heh).

  2. The falls really look beautiful and enchanting. I wish I could visit Siquijor one day. Despite the mishaps, at least it’s just a flat tire and nothing more and you were able to visit the falls first before it happened.:)

  3. Yep, the flat was no big deal. We were just sad that we couldn’t go into the water by the time we got back to our little house by the sea. It was the following day that we got upset and perturbed.

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