God’s Beauty

 

Beauty in Bacolod

The beauty of nature, God’s handiwork, is something we sometimes overlook. We are too busy to stop and smell the flowers or else we just don’t see it. It is there for us but we don’t see them. Everyday in our area of Philippines seems to unfold a new adventure and I am thankful that I am never too busy to enjoy God’s beauty.

A Child Sees The Beauty

Children often see things that we don’t see. We may see certain things but life’s stress may cause us not to really see the beauty.

Stroll in a Garden

Taking a stroll in a garden can do wonders for us if we do so in appreciation of the beauty. 

Sugar Cane

Some may never see the beauty of sugar cane growing in a field but it is one of God’s wonders and many people in Negros Occidental grow sugar cane to support their families.

Mountain

We sometimes need to spend time in the valley to appreciate the exhilaration of the mountain top! 

Living Waters

There is refreshing in the rushing water of a cool mountain stream. Water is symbolic with life and from us can spring forth rivers of living water. 

Waterfall

It is not the best taken photo but I included it as a reminder that perfection and being unblemished are not required to show the possession of one’s beauty to others. 

God’s beauty and God’s miracles are everywhere, if we open our eyes and see them. The inward beauty of many are more precious than gold in comparison to their outward beauty.

 

 

 

 


 

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Punta Bulata

Punta Bulata

Punta Bulata is about 160 km south of Bacolod and it is our favorite resort in Negros Occidental. Punta Bulata Resort and Spa is located near the city of Sipalay, in the southern part of Negros Occidental. One of the fabulous rooms is P2,500 a night. There are nipa beach cottages for up to six people that are more in the P1,500 price range. Rates do vary according to the season and this is the current seasonal rate.

Tree On The Beach

                                                Castles in the Sand

White Sandy Beach

Pilsen Time

Rooms at Punta Bulata

The first floor rooms are Japanese style rooms, complete with zen garden inside.

Sittin’ By the Pool

Now That is a Taco!

The restaurant at Punta Bulata is very good. I was happy seeing tacos on the menu.

Giant Star Fish

No, don’t worry! We did not catch, capture or disturb the star fish since we are conservationists and protectors of the environment. 

Our experience at Punta Bulata is one we will never forget and we plan to go again in the future. Chinese friends were visiting us from Shanghai, actually still on their honeymoon, so we took them to Punta Bulata.Yes, we left them there a few days and nights, and then picked them up to bring them back to Bacolod. My wife, son and I also enjoyed our one night stay at Punta Bulata.

Friends from China

The Love of My Life

“And you decorated my life!” Yes, she has. 

Punta Bulata is not so famous outside Negros Occidental but it is well worth the trip, especially for a quiet getaway, far from the maddening crowd. I love it!

Pandanon Valley Resort

If you are ever in the Bacolod Area and feeling a little low. I will tell you some places to see and I will tell you right where to go. One good place is at Pandanon Valley Resort, which is located in the area of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto, about one hour outside of Bacolod City.

Pandanon Valley

If you are looking for beautiful mountain scenery with a clear mountain spring to swim and a great place to have a BBQ, check it out! You will be happy for it.

Pandanon Nipa Cottages

Our Cottage

It is not fancy but a good place to hang out for a weekend getaway. There is a BBQ grill. Ever tried BBQ squid? Yummy yummy, yummy to the tum, tum tummy.

Mountain Spring

A great place to take a dip or a swim.

Rib Time

The sauce makes the difference! We used mesquite BBQ sauce on these ribs.

More Rib Eaters

I told you the ribs were good!

There She Is

And you decorated my life! Yes, Grace is my true love in life.

There are wild monkeys at Pandanon Valley Resort but we did not find them bothersome. The monkeys aren’t bothersome unless people mess with them.

New Year’s Day is the busiest time of the year at Pandanon Valley Resort and it is best to book in advance. There are overnight cottages available for around P800 a night.

It is time to dig out for now. Catch ya next time, All Around Bacolod.


 

 

 

 

 

Language of Food

I enjoy Filipino food very much and the good thing about Bacolod City, many Filipinos also like the same food that Americans like.

Hungry Pete's Hamburger

One of the best burgers in Bacolod is at Hungry Pete’s in Sorrento Plaza.

Having lived in Florida for 15 years, I became a seafood lover. Bacolod is a great place for seafood lovers.

Steamed Crabs

Boiled Shrimp

Grilled Fish With Onions

I enjoy mussels, which are commonly known as green shells in our area, sea scallops, clams, and a special clam known as diwal. Diwal in English is often referred to as angel wing clams. I haven’t seen any razor clams yet in our area but they may be out there. Hello?

Let’s not forget the Chinese influence on Filipino cuisine. I lived in China for 9 years but I can honestly say that the Chinese-Filipino food is much better. Sio Pao is better than Bao Zhi, although the same thing basically. Both are steamed buns filled with meat (and or vegetables and or glass noodles in China).

Char Siu Pork

We had already dug into this Char Siu Pork at Golden Fortune Chinese Restaurant in Bacolod when the photo was taken but you get the idea. I always order extra to take home, as this Chinese roast pork makes excellent sandwiches. I do enjoy a good sandwich.

Pizza seems to be a great and favorite food in Bacolod with most everyone. We have all heard of Shakey’s, Greenwich and Pizza Hut. Some other local pizza restaurants in Bacolod include Yellow Cab, Greeno’z and Mama Maria’s. Greeno’z had a good idea early on, “Pizza In a Nipa Hut” but it seems like the restaurants are now all in a concrete building. I enjoyed eating pizza in a nipa hut! One of my favorites is our neighborhood pizza restaurant, Pizza Drive!

Grace Shows the Pizza

 

We also like to cook at home, of course, and we don’t eat in restaurants every day. Cooking is one of my hobbies and I am always looking for new recipes to kick things up a notch. Creativity in the kitchen is awesome. I am just scratching the surface, as the language of food will be expanded in future days.

 


 

Sing For Happiness

I have been a fan of karaoke since 1993, when I still lived in Florida. It is a big time favorite thing to do in Philippines and our area, All Around Bacolod, is no different. Singing for happiness.

Sometimes, to make things interesting, we have a singing competition with P100 prize for the best scores, just to make things interesting but most of the time, we just sing for happiness. No gambling involved, as I post the P100 prize and sometimes I win! Most of the time, we don’t care what score we get on the Magic Mic, as we just sing because we like the song and we like to be happy! Happy Everyday!

Singing For Happiness

Me singing and my brother Bobby doing a James Brown impersonation

Singing for happiness is a family affair. It does not matter how off key anyone sings, as what matters is that people among family and friends are having fun and enjoying themselves.

 

Family Fun

My youngest brother in law enjoys singing soft rock and ballads. Sometimes, he sings very well and other times, he cracks people up for laughs. It is all fun.

 

Soul Time

Singing is good for the soul. Self expression, as my youngest brother in law gets into his song.

I think most people have songs that they can relate to in their lives. Being able to sing those songs brings joy. Singing the oldies brings back past times in one’s life. It takes the person back to different times in their lives and most often those times were happy times. I enjoy singing songs by Ray Charles, Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and others, as those are songs I grew up with when my parents were still vibrant and younger. Life was really simple back then.

Rock on! Who doesn’t like to rock and roll a little bit? I know I do. Singing the Rolling Stones is great! I have my own impersonation of Mick Jagger. I also like singing the songs of John Cougar Mellencamp. “Hurt So Good,” which is not a sad songs. No sad songs for me. Even in church, I like the uplifting songs and the faster, upbeat Gospel songs are what uplifts me. Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate! The Holy Ghost Power!

It’s a good night for singing!

 

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A Day In The Life

Never let a day go by! I’ve discovered that there are many things that a person can do in the Bacolod Area that do not cost an arm and a leg. Such as going to the beach. There are many beaches in the area of the farm, just south of Bacolod about 45 minutes.

My brother and I enjoying a Gold Eagle at Canonoy Beach

Garryl buying fish

Son Garryl was swimming in the hospital in the infant pool when he was only two days old, so he loves the beach and the sea.

My brother visited us from Florida in January, 2012, and it was his first trip to Philippines. He really enjoyed himself and fell in love with the Filipino people, culture and country. Wow, Philippines. It is more fun in the Philippines.

At the Ruins

In Bata, Bacolod is the Ruins. The mansion was burned in the 1940s to prevent the occupying Japanese from using it as their Headquarters. The Restaurant at the Ruins specializes in Italian food and it is really good. They make their own pizza and the pasta is delicious.

A trip All Around Bacolod is not complete without a visit to the Summer Capital of Negros Occidental! Don Salvador Benedicto. It is cool and some great photos with a view can be taken.

We Are Fami-i-ly

In the mountains of Don Salvador Benedicto.

A day in the life in Philippines is great. Every day seems to unfold a new adventure. Some of the best things in life are free and it is not hard to discover other things that may not be free but well worth the small cost in enjoying life. Life is short even if we live to be 100, so have a great day in the life today.

 

Earthquake in Negros Occidental

I am sorry about the loss of life on our island and other islands in Philippines. A 6.7 earthquake hit south of Bacolod City right around 12 noon today. My prayers go out to everyone and their family. May God bless everyone.

We did not receive any loss of life in our family and we did not suffer any damage to our properties. We are blessed! We felt the initial earthquake in our home and we had several more aftershocks, even 8 hours later.

The schools in Bacolod dismissed class early and many businesses closed right after 12 noon. There were not many businesses open at Gaisano Mall at 3pm and we would not have been there if we did not urgently need to buy something in the mall.

Things are much lighter and more serious All Around Bacolod today. When natural disasters strike, it should cause one to take a step back, count their blessings and put things in proper perspective. Some things just don’t seem as important today as they did yesterday.

As usually in Philippines, it is the poor people and the less fortunate who seem to suffer most. I understand most of the fatalities were due to landslides among people living in the rural mountain barangays and communities.

Let us lend a hand to the people needing it. Let us count our own blessings and be thankful for what we have instead of being upset about the things we don’t have. Let us not just do these things today but let us do them every day for the rest of our lives.

 

 

A Groovy Sunday

Some of the best things in life are free. Others don’t always have to cost so much.

A groovy Sunday all around Bacolod. Several stops, lots of fun and not much money spent in about 5 hours. First stop was SM Bacolod. It is always packed on Sundays but we still found a table in the food court. Time for some cold San Miguel and a snack, which happened to be a Cheese Hungarian Sausage on a bun for P25 from Hero’s Hungarian Sausage.

Shopping around with Grace, Garryl, Bon Bon and Randy is always fun. Once the SM thing was finished, it was time to head for Lopues East. I needed to buy something there that SM does not sell. TUMS. The hot and spicy Hungarian Sausage was kicking in! Lopues East Supermarket carries some of the most off the wall brand names but from my past shopping pleasure, some of the lesser known brands have turned out to be very gooda! Like Zambo Sardines. And don’t forget the Palm Corned Beef from New Zealand. If you see a round red colored cheese ball from Holland, avoid it! Not good. The local Magnolia Queso de Bola is better and cheaper. Buy Philippines as often as you can, is my motto. Magnolia brand cheese spread is as good as Kraft Cheese Whiz in my opinion. I am not worried about getting sued by an American company for being honest. Pop Cola does not exist any more so I can’t say it is as good as Coca Cola!

From Lopues East, it is a short drive down Circumferential Road to the lawn of the City Government Center. Children and adults like to play there on weekends and in the evenings but it was still afternoon on the groovy Sunday. Garryl set the pace by asking us to buy a bubble blower from a vendor, which was almost a yard long. The bubble blower was almost a yard long, not the vendor! No need to blow these bubbles, as you just load the wand with the soapy bubbles, wave it with your hand and out comes a steady stream of bubbles that has the children chasing after them. After about an hour of this, it was time to do something else.

Back to Lopues East! Time for some dimsum from L’Sea Dimsum and Noodle House and another round. I had the sio pao and short ribs. Chicken Deli is part of L’Sea, so one can order from both restaurants at the same counter. Chicken Inasal with rice for everyone else. Food and drinks for 5 people and still have leftovers to bring home is not bad for the price of P400 (pesos) or less than $10 USD.

It is about that time again to call it a night but I seem to always get the late night munchies. I guess it is not too late for a few Kornados. Those are 3D corn snacks and I have the cheese flavored. I hope it doesn’t give me nightmares!

Natasha, the Belgian Malinois, is sleeping but ever alert. I pity anyone who have any thoughts of dirty deeds done dirt cheap. Ouch! Watch the leg. Seriously, Bacolod is the “City of Smiles” and we are not concerned but it is nice having the same breed of dog that is favored by the US Navy Seals. Almost everyone has a dog of some type that barks if strangers appear, day or night. It may just be an askal, no the local street dog in Philippines, not the national soccer team from Philippines, but they also bark and alert. An askal will work.

It is getting late and I am getting even later with these late night posts. It is almost like the night before Christmas when not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, but this old cowboy is still stirring. Still up and hangin’ on. I like to sleep late in the mornings anyway. No need to get up early. It just makes the day longer.

Noise in Philippines does not bother me any longer. Roosters crowing, the sounds of trikes, early morning karaoke, the vendors yelling their wares, babies crying from down the road and it all falls on deaf ears. But, let someone start swinging a hammer or rattling the gate and I am awake like a flash. About as fast as the Green Hornet.

Have a great week. I know I am, all around Bacolod.

 

 

Which Way Is Loose?

Who knows for sure? It is getting late. Too late for balut. Too late to be eating anything. But, I think I will just have a little Cheese Whiz on Feta Crackers. That will work. Just a few, nothing heavy at this hour.

Hey, wait a minute! A carabao just ran into my living room. Who let it out? Dang, Gheez. If I did not know better, I would say it is about time to head to the Nipa Hutz, which by the way is located just on the other side of the of the OK Corral. I have horses and cattle out there. As long as I don’t find a snake in my boot, I will be alright.

Back to Bacolod. Hmmmm. Many Americans contact me asking about moving to Philippines and where to live. I am sold on Bacolod City and the surrounding area 100%. There are many places outside the city that are still in the nearby area, just a short drive or ride. Talisay and Silay to the north. Bago, Pulupandan, Villadolid, San Ennrique, Pontevedra and Hinigaran to the south. Lovely places, one and all. And what about Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Pena. A great guy!

There are some great beaches south of Bacolod. Soleo Beach Resort in San Enrique. Miranda Beach just south of Pontevedra. Canonoy Beach Resort and Paradiso Beach Resort in Hinigaran. Batang Peninsula Beach Resort in Himamaylan and Bay Watch Beach Resort in Kabankalan, which is about two hours south of Bacolod and getting more out into the wolly bully area of the province.

Never let a day go by! Find something enjoyable to do. Life is short, so make the most of it. I don’t think you will find much more to do anywhere than all around Bacolod. Life is great so enjoy it.

Tale care buckaroos.