McDo Kiddie Crew Workshop

This was the first week of school being out until June, when the new academic year begins in Bacolod City. Our son was interested to attend the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop. Today was the last day of the workshop and the students received their certificates. Our son learned how to make burgers, he learned accounting practices and he had a great experience with fun, games, all the McDo food and drinks and making new friends. I think each of the kiddies gained a pound or more! I think I did, too!! Hey, it is only once per year.

McDo Kiddie Crew

Our son and others received their work shop certificate today. Now, they know how to make burgers, McDonald style. The lone pickle, diced onions, ketchup and mustard makes the difference!

It's Ronald Time

All the Kiddie Crew were waiting for today. Seeing Ronald McDonald.

Ronald Can Dance

The Kiddie Crew enjoyed dancing with Ronald McDonald.

Non-Stop Dancing

The entire McDo Kiddie Crew had a blast this week learning all about McDonalds. I tip my hat to the McDonald Hostess of the Work Shop, who did a great job entertaining the Kiddie Crew for 5 days. There may have been some future managers and even a few District Managers in attendance this week during the workshop. Time will tell.

I don’t personally eat at McDo often, but a Big Mac or Fillet-O-Fish every now in then won’t hurt me.


Panaad sa Negros Festival April 9-15, 2012

It is about that time of year again. My favorite festival will begin soon. Panaad sa Negros Festival. Every city, town and municipality in Negros Occidental will have an exhibit at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City. There is something for everyone at Panaad! Negrense Cuisine from north, central and south, handicrafts, other native products, sporting events, contests, eco garden exhibits, agriculture exhibits and ideas (including organic and hydroponics), music, dance, martial arts, trade fair, a derby and fireworks. I can hardly wait!

I will be posting photos from the 2012 event and I will now post a few photos from last year’s Panaad sa Negros Festival 2011.


My son and I at the Toboso exhibit.

Hydroponics from the town of Hinigaran

Being a gentleman farmer, I am very much interested in new agriculture techniques.

Wonderful looking cauliflower grown in Negros Occidental.

Handicraft Vases

Beautifully Carved Fruit

And yes, you can eat the fruit.

Handicraft Jewelry

Panaad is a collector’s haven, as one will find many unique collectibles. The good thing is, you can bargain the prices and both seller and buyer are happy!

Children Love the Panaad Festival

Are you ready to have fun, di ba? Each day of the seven day festival has a new event. If you are an early riser, you are in luck, as Panaad starts at 6am! Every day. Morning, afternoon and night, it doesn’t matter, as you will find something exciting to do. Great food, cold drinks and music all day and night.

ABS-CBN Kapamilya Festival Caravan will be at Panaad on Saturday, April 14 at 9pm. There will be surprise special guests from among popular entertainment personalities.

I hope to see you at Negros sa Panaad Festival one day, April 9-15! I will be there.



Birthday Party In Bacolod

Nope, it was not my birthday party but the party we threw this month for a good friend, Jerson, who also happens to be one of the drivers for my wife’s taxi franchise.

That is me! Guarding the food. Ribs, fried chicken wings, spaghetti, kare kare, native pie, lumpia (egg rolls) and rice. Not bad for a party of six. A birthday party in the Philippines would not be complete without spaghetti. Long life!

Time to display the cake. No, we did not put 33 candles on the cake but we all know how old Jerson is. He knows, too, and says he is getting old na.

Hey, where did it go?

Someone lifted a wing or maybe two! I was distracted with the photo taking. Oh well, there are still plenty of fried chicken wings left.

Kare Kare

Now, we’re talking! Kare kare is my favorite dish in all of Philippines. Ox tail is usually in this wonderful dish but beef leg or beef internal organs can be used. Long green beans, pechay (Chinese cabbage or bok choy), and eggplant are the vegetables. All are cooked together in a delicious peanut sauce. If you want to save time, you can buy Mama Sita’s Kare Kare Mix, as it is complete and you only need to add the meat and veggies. Kare Kare is not complete without bagoong, shrimp paste, for dipping and rice! WOW. The peanut sauce is soooo delicious over rice. The bagoong is the finishing touch of flavor.

Party Favors

Gold Eagle Beer took a back seat to the Generoso Brandy, Tavernello Red Wine from Italy and Laughing Lizard Red Wine from Australia.

Our Niece Singing

It’s a good night for singing! A Birthday Party is not complete without singing.

Dawg is tired of hearing singing or else is hungry

My lovely wife had to see why Dawg was howling! Either the singing was not good or else he wanted some food.

It was not time to say “turn out the lights, the party’s over” until well after midnight but we will get to do this again very soon! With a large extended family, there always seems to be a Birthday, a Wedding, an Anniversary or sadly, a Funeral. These are all part of life in our area of the Philippines. Bacolod City, the City of Smiles.





Healthy Juice

Healthy Green Juice

It is that time of the year again here in the Philippines! Summer Time. March 1 kicked off the summer season in our area. I remember back in my Flori-Days when I lived south of Miami and making a summer time juice in the old juicer or food processor was a real way to beat the heat. And stay healthy, too!

In the Philippines, there are many juices available in stores and in restaurants. Mango, pineapple, coconut, Four Seasons, are all common and there are many different juices made with multiple fruits.

Healthy green juice is one of my favorites but I also like the fruity juices for plain ole enjoyment.

I live in the Philippines, so I have a few more things at my disposal to make a healthy juice. The Healthy Green Juice is made from avocado, malunggay, cucumber, celery, lettuce and/or spinach and pineapple. If it is too thick, you can add coconut water.

The kinds of juice that you make is only limited by your imagination! Who knows? You may create a new rage of the age among those who enjoy drinking a healthy juice or drinking a juice just for the pure pleasure.




El Taco

I can’t say that I am a Taco Man from Macho Land but tacos are one of my favorite foods. I can buy the Old El Paso brand taco shells at SM and my wife and I can turn out some very good tacos at home. Yes, we even have our own jalapeno peppers to kick it up a notch. I prefer a beef taco and I also like a chicken taco but I never cared much for a fish taco. I can tolerate a Century Corned Tuna Taco in the place of chicken and beef.

Since Fat Boys was closed last Sunday at lunch time, we hit Trey’s Restaurant instead in Bacolod City. It is located right across the street from the newest and very large Shakey’s on Lacson Street. Crave Burger is also across the street.

Trey’s is pretty famous in Bacolod among expats for their chicken fried steak, which is actually beef and I think they refer to it as country fried beef steak on the menu. Same thing as chicken fried steak, which is not chicken at all but only beef that is fried like chicken. It is battered beef, deep fried and topped with gravy, served with mashed potatoes with the skin still on. The price is P270 at Trey’s.

Not because I am cheap but I decided to try the steak taco at Trey’s last Sunday for a change of pace. Only P99. I was not disappointed. Lots of steak strips and very little lettuce and tomato as filler. The salsa is homemade and not hot and spicy. Ask for some Tabasco Sauce to kick it up a notch if you like it hot! Trey’s steak taco has nice melted cheese on top. It is served with a small portion of nachos and homemade salsa.

El Taco

Looks great, doesn’t it? It is not a perfect taco but one of the best I’ve had in Bacolod.

I am not sure how well a taco wagon would work in Bacolod but it would be nice if there was one. A different kind of food cart. A taco wagon.

Now, I can stand the heat of the kitchen and I know how to cook and prepare food. You gotta have a good, hard taco shell to make tacos. I use Old El Paso brand, which is available at SM Supermarket, most of the time, as is ALL the ingredients needed to make a very good taco. My tacos include ground beef and shredded chicken. McCormick Taco Seasoning added to the beef and chicken when cooking.

But first, saute some chopped onions and bell peppers, too, if you like. Add the ground beef and shredded chicken and cook all together until no red juices are evident. To save time, have a jar of Old El Paso Taco Sauce or Salsa on hand. Pace Salsa will work, too.

To load the taco, I put the beef and chicken first, together with the sauteed onions and  peppers, then I add the taco sauce or salsa Good shredded cheese is required on top but it does not have to be pre-melted. An original taco is like an original sandwich in that you can add what you like. I also like sour cream or cream cheese on my tacos. I also like jalapeno peppers. I don’t like lettuce and certainly not shredded cabbage on my tacos but I can tolerate a few chopped tomatoes. A slather of refried beans is also good on your taco but hard to find in Bacolod. Old El Paso makes canned refried beans and I have bought them at SM but not available year round.

Some other restaurants try to copy Taco Bell but their product is more like Taco Hell! The taco falls apart in your hands when trying to eat it. Not fun. I really think making your own tacos at home is more fun. However, for sure, Trey’s Steak Taco is a good one if you want tacos out.

Family Day In Bacolod

Nothing much happened in Bacolod City this morning except the potato chip vendor came by. It is usually quiet in our subdivision most everyday and every night. No loud cars or jeepneys, no loud trikes, no dogs barking other than our own Belgian Malinois, no loud karaoke and no hell raisers.

Another vendor did drop by selling lovebirds but he only had one! I don’t know how that happened but no one in their right mind is going to buy only one love bird. Not even at half price. My wife said the lone lovebird will die soon without a partner.

For lunch, we were excited to try the newest restaurant in Bacolod. Fat Boys! Fat Boys was recently reviewed by Bacolod Food Hunters, however, to our disappointment they are closed on Sundays. Too bad.We will check them out in the future.

Trey’s Restaurant is nearby, so we decided on it. Trey’s is famous among expats in Bacolod for their wonderful chicken fried steak with gravy. I had that dish the last time we ate at Trey’s, so today I had the steak taco. At P99, it is a good deal! It is loaded with steak strips with little lettuce and tomato as filler. Nice melted cheese on top. The salsa is homemade. Our son enjoys the deep fried, golden brown chicken tenders and I must admit, they are very good. The potato wedges are good, too! The mashed potatoes at Trey’s has the skin left on, so it is different and unique for our area.

Sunday was the last day of a 3 Day Sale at SM Department Store with 30%-70% off. You can imagine how many people were there! It was a madhouse with a capital “M.”

I did not see any new Western food products at SM Supermarket other than Emborg Cheese from Denmark and you know, I just had to have some.

Sundays are family day for us and it is a day my wife, son and I go out together. It is OUR DAY. Of course, we also go out other days of the week but our Sunday Family Day has special meaning to us. We begin the week right!

Have a great week. I know I am.


Sun Cooked Fish

I think most people are looking for something new and unique to eat. At least among those who enjoy eating!

No matter where you live, proper food handling is important and even more so in tropical climates, such as in the Philippines. Florida, my home State, counts, too. During my 26 year history with the Philippines, I have been ill very few times due to the food. 

I enjoy fish but I don’t enjoy bony fish. Just to keep things simple, I use boneless bangus for my sun cooked fish. The boneless bangus, aka milk fish, is butterflied already when you buy it, so it is perfect for marinating. Most everyone has their own marinating favorites. For me, I use soy sauce, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, a little brown sugar, smashed garlic cloves and grated ginger. Adding Worcestershire sauce adds to the flavor. Some like it hot, so adding peppers of choice is fine and I sometimes do. Even some of the local bell peppers in the Philippines are a little on the hot and spicy side. 

Lemon and lime, as we know it in America, is not cheap in the Philippines, so I use kalamansi, the local lime which works out perfectly well. Kalamansi is not expensive and costs less than $1 for a kilo. It is P30 per kilo in Bacolod.

After marinating the fish for one hour, it is time to let the sun do its work. Place the fish outdoors on a plate, without the marinade, where it will have direct contact with the sun for about one hour. Please make sure there are not any cats or dogs or other critters around to run off with the fish! Once the sun has done its work, it is time to deep fry the fish. It doesn’t take long because the fish is already cooked to some degree from the citrus lemon, lime or kalamansi, the vinegar and the sun. Deep fry the fish until golden brown. Now you have yourself something good to eat!

In the Philippines, most everything goes with rice. But if you want something different as a side dish, the usual favorites I learned in Florida are good, too. French fries, Cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, are all fine. As is garlic bread or hush puppies. I never dip sun cooked fish in tartar sauce or cocktail sauce since it is not needed but if you want to try it, go ahead. Different strokes for different folks!

If you like deep fried fish with a different twist and fish that has been kicked up a notch, try the sun cooked fish. I think you will like it.


Fish Chicharon

Chicharon is popular in the Philippines and we most often see pork chicharon, which is also referred to in the States as pork rinds or pork skins. In the Philippines, many like to dip chicharon in vinegar and sili, which is a local hot pepper, and yes, it is hot!

You can also see chicharon manok, which is made from chicken skin and there is also bulaklak, which is made from pig intestines. All good chicharon is deep fried, so yes, it has calories. Some people bake chicharon to make it healthier but the ones I have tried are bland and without much taste other than from the seasoning.

Fish Chicharon

I have known about chicharon in the Philippines since my first visit in 1986 but it was only last year that I tried fish Chicharon. WOW! It is nice and I would say, it is healthier than the other chicharon.

Fish chicharon is not as common as the pork chicharon, so you have to look for it, as it does not normally come to you via vendors. Bong Bong’s Pasalubong sells fish chicharon and it is also served in several restaurants. I don’t really have an original recipe to pass on to you about making fish chicharon but I am sure it is not too difficult to do at home.

The next time you are looking for a crunchy snack, try fish chicharon. Eat it plain or dip it in vinegar with a little sili pepper or hot chili pepper.