Looking out the car window while riding along MacArthur Highway in Davao City, Philippines, gave me the inspiration to write a novel I would title MacArthur Highway. I asked what would General MacArthur think today riding along a highway named after him (incorrectly spelled “McArthur”) after he drove the Japanese out of the Philippines, today plastered with Japanese logos on billboards. Who won the war? General MacArthur had been my inspiration since I took his side in a debate when I was in the third grade. He inspired me to graduate from West Point. But there was no action in my story, so I added characters onto the stage and let them dance. To create characters for MacArthur Highway I hung out in a bar, listened to people talking and observed. I observed a devout, married missionary with two kids talking to a gay guy, and I meshed them into one character- a conflicted, married, gay pastor. I went to cockfights and made the master of the ring an evil character, “Kristo”. A nice young lady was made a “retired” prostitute and a farmer unknowingly sold his daughter into sex slavery …and so the characters evolved. I imagined how my unique characters would interact with each other and then the story began to write itself. One time the bus I was taking from Davao to General Santos City hit a bump and woke me up. I was surprised. Iconic Mount Matutum in the far distance; a drug addicted bum sitting almost naked in the near gutter with his penis dragging in the green ooze. Things had changed along MacArthur Highway.