When Paul Stein a sailor stationed at Subic Bay in the early 60īs marries Maria, a bargirl, without getting Navy permission he begins an exotic odyssey which threatens to destroy his identity. To survive he must discover his place in a culture where the storms of social change are as threatening as the typhoons that sweep this archipelago. Like bamboo, which bends to the wind, his resilience is tested again and again by the character and soul of the people who intersect his path:
The loyalty and brotherhood of Billy and Malo his two Filipino crewmen on the charter fishing boat Paul runs for the Navy threatens to sweep him and Maria into a life as fugitives.
Jesse, the smuggler, whose deadly secret almost costs Paul his life, is engulfed by the turbulence of rebellion.
The assassination of Mayor Johnny Santos ensnares Paul in a whirlwind of barrio intrigue and political retribution as Mario, the slick intellectual and cool manipulator saves him from interrogation and torture.
Ellie, the jungle pygmy, an unlikely soul mate, desperately tries to save his tribal culture, yet loses the one thing he cherishes most.
Lane, the filmmaker, offers Paul a new career and Maria an escape from Manilaīs cocktail and gossip circuit so she can nurture a safe haven in the rushing tide of Paulīs life.
But safe havens are few in the islandsī brewing political tempest, and on the eve before martial law is declared Paul is unaware of the fateful decision Maria has made which may cast him adrift.