Wild Wild West in the Philippines

I have no idea how they arrived in the Philippines but while recently shopping in Lopues East Shopping Center, we discovered the American Old West!

Wild Wild West Trophies

Unique but they just would not fit in with the decor of our home in Bacolod City. They would fit well in our home on the farm, south of Bacolod. Yes, these were for sale to the tune of P10,000 each, or about $250 USD. The American Buffalo, or Bison, and a Grizzly Bear.

Native American Totem Pole

My great grand mother was from the Cherokee Tribe, so I am of Native American Heritage. I was really surprised to see this totem pole in Bacolod City, Philippines. No, this totem pole is not Cherokee. It is a replica from one of the Northwest Native American Tribes.

One of my posts would not be complete without the mentioning of FOOD. Fry bread, corn bread, alligator tail, other wild game such as squirrel/raccoon/opossum/deer/buffalo/bear, corn, flap jacks (pancakes), tacos, burritos and bean dishes, such as pinto beans, are all common Native American food, depending on which Tribe. Some of these can be prepared in the Philippines with locally available ingredients. But not the wild game. Buffalo, aka carabao or water buffalo, is eaten in the Philippines but they are domesticated animals. I’ve had buffalo burgers in the Philippines and corned beef made with buffalo and beef.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Each day unfolds a new adventure in the Philippines!” It is amazing but true in my life.

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Gardening in the Philippines

With the severe drought in the USA, it is predicted that food prices will rise 10% or more world wide on into 2013. The Philippines imports a lot of wheat from the USA, together with soybean meal and beef. The prices will be higher in the days ahead.

Since 2009, when we moved to the Philippines, we grow some of our own vegetables. We now live in the city in a subdivision but we still grow potted vegetables and we grow some vegetables on the small strip of soil that we have in front of our house.

The good news is that we still have our other house and farm, located south of Bacolod about a one hour drive, and we recently began preparing for a larger garden.

Our  home garden

Initially, we planted long green beans and pechay, which is Filipino bokchoy. It is the rainy season now in our area of the Philippines, so it is a gamble to plant anything right now, so we will add more to the garden after September. Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Spanish onions and tomatoes are what we are soon targeting.
We have many free range chickens at our farm and we have two “chicken houses” that the chickens like to use when laying eggs. 

Chicken House

Busted!

Someone trying to sneak in and rustle some chickens. Only joking! It is our niece, who was in the sugar cane field looking for some lost chicks who strayed off. No luck.

Orchids and Plants

My wife’s hobby.

More Orchids and Plants

The orchids in the background are growing on driftwood mounts. The nicer ones in our area can be sold for up to P5,000 each or a little more than $100 USD.

We raise sugar cane and rice commercially and we plan to increase our home production of vegetables.

It really is more fun in the Philippines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punta Taytay

In Bacolod City, there is a beach resort located in Barangay Sum-Ag known as Punta Taytay. There are actually several beaches there and Villa Rosa Beach is our favorite.

On the road leading to Punta Taytay is a very large restaurant complex known as “The Viewing Deck.” Each section or restaurant is known by a number. We just happened to stop at Viewing Deck 15 to check it out since this was our first time in this large restaurant complex.

Viewing Deck 15

The photo of the actual building of Viewing Deck 15 did not come out well due to the lighting. It was really a bright, sunny day last Sunday.

Behind Viewing Deck 15 were other restaurants, also numbered, so we decided to take a stroll. A lovely, friendly hostess standing outside Viewing Deck 16 greeted us with a big warm and friendly smile. We decided to go inside and take a look at the menu.

Viewing Deck 16 Bar

All the restaurants at Viewing Deck are native structures and this is the bar area of Viewing Deck 16.

We took a seat in the restaurant that overlooked the sea. Across the way was another one of many Viewing Deck Restaurants.

Another Viewing Deck Restaurant

Without a doubt, night time dining on the sea at Viewing Deck would be nice. Lanterns are used to light up the area when the sun goes down. Of course, there is also electricity. 

Hanging Lanterns

Some expats may not find the menus at Viewing Deck Restaurants very exciting unless they enjoy native Filipino seafood. I enjoy most all the native Filipino food, so I was excited! However, the restaurant we chose, Viewing Deck 16, had grilled pork chops on their menu and I think most Americans would enjoy grilled pork chops! We decided to go the seafood route.

Appetizer

We had to battle the sun in our photo taking but this one is not so bad. My best Filipino friend, Randy, was with us, so we started with an appetizer of Beer na Beer in the one liter bottle. It was about 1pm. The sponsor of the Viewing Deck Restaurants is Asia Brewery, so they do not sell San Miguel Beer Products. Beer na Beer, Manila Beer, Colt 45 and Coors Light is available. Of course, Coors and Coors Light are American beers but they are now brewed in the Philippines by Asia Brewery. 

Sinigang

Sinigang, Filipino soup, was the first dish of our meal. This sinigang had a tamarind base and the meat was lison fish. It also included onions, tomatoes, kangkong or water spinach, long green beans, eggplant and green chili pepper. This sinigang was not overly hot and spicy, as it was just right and A#1!

Grilled Pusit

Up next was grilled pusit, or squid, on bamboo skewers. Very tender which is how I rate a good squid dish. I’ve had some squid dishes that was like chewing on a rubber band but these squid were tender and not very chewy.

Grilled Lison Fish

One of my favorite native fish is Lison. I really enjoy it best deep fried, whole, but grilled well also rocks! Kalmansi, or local lime, kicks up the taste of grilled fish and other dishes. I only ran across two small bones in the Lison, so it was a nice fillet.

Randy and Me

Randy is my best Filipino friend and here we are on the Deck. My lovely wife was busy taking the photos and we never did get a shot of her at Viewing Deck of Punta Taytay!

If you are looking for inexpensive, quality Filipino style seafood, check out the Viewing Deck at Punta Taytay. There are many restaurants to choose from. It has a nice view of the sea and it is on the way to Villa Rosa Beach.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

4th of July in the Philippines and a Submarine

Although the 4th of July is no longer the official Independence Day of the Philippines, it was July 4, 1946 when the Republic of the Philippines was born after their independence from the USA. The 4th of July is still celebrated by many in the Philippines as Filipino-American Friendship Day. Every year, the 4th of July has a special meaning to me since I am an American living in the Philippines. The 4th of July is also my dad’s birthday and he would have been 91 today!

A barbecue and fireworks were always part of our 4th of July celebration when I still lived in America. Today for lunch in the Philippines, I had grilled Buffalo Wings and to celebrate Filipino-American Friendship Day, I used Mama Sita’s brand Buffalo Wings Sauce. Yep, it is a product of the Philippines and let me tell you, Mama Sita’s Buffalo Wing Sauce is hot as hell!

A friend in America once told me that he could not live in the Philippines because he could not eat fish and rice everyday. He was surprised when I told him all the different wonderful restaurants there are in many areas of the Philippines that are serving much more than fish and rice and Bacolod City is no exception. I can also honestly say that I can buy most any food products that I want in one of the three major supermarket chain stores in Bacolod City. My wife, son and I enjoy dining out several times a week on average but we enjoy preparing food at home. After all the 4th of July BBQ, here is a good alternative for a late supper. A shrimp submarine sandwich.

Cole Slaw

Being a Southerner from the USA, I think Cole slaw is a staple with any kind of seafood. It has that special crunch and when served chilled, it is great when eating hot and spicy food. It seems almost everyone has their own recipe for Cole slaw and I won’t bore you with mine but simple ingredients can turn out a nice Cole slaw. Shredded cabbage, non-sweet mayonnaise, vinegar and ground Spanish paprika are my ingredients. Some like sweet Cole slaw so it is not a sin to add a little sugar. The ground Spanish paprika on top gives the Cole slaw a little color.

If you want to order a good Cole slaw while dining out, try Max’s Restaurant. In Bacolod, it is located in SM Mall. I have a special place in my heart for Max’s Restaurant “the house that fried chicken built.” Max’s Restaurant was one of the first restaurants where I dined on my first trip to the Philippines, way back in 1986! Max’s has been around since 1945 when the original owner served fried chicken to American GIs, right after WWII.

Deep Fried Shrimp

The plating may not look all that but hey, I am at home! Anyway, my wife Grace helped me out on this and fried up seven battered shrimp.

Good Bread

If you are going to make a sandwich, good bread is just as important as what you plan to put inside the bread. This particular submarine roll is one I cut from a long loaf of French Bread, which I bought at Cafe Bob’s.

Shrimp Submarine Sandwich

I couldn’t get all seven friend shrimp on the submarine sandwich but five is still a food number. I made my own tarter sauce using mayonnaise, a bit of vinegar, a little kalamansi juice, or local lime juice, and sweet pickle relish. I slathered the inside of the submarine roll with the homemade tartar sauce before adding the shrimp. I sometimes make and use my own cocktail sauce for this type sandwich and when I do, I don’t apply the cocktail sauce to the bread but rather add it on top of the shrimp.

Add the Chilled Cole Slaw

Next comes the added crunch to the submarine sandwich. Cole slaw.

Let’s Eat!

“Let’s eat” is very common to be heard in the Philippines right before eating and this shrimp submarine sandwich is ready to be eaten. It is fine to toast the bread in a toaster oven before building your sandwich and I enjoy doing that at times but not this time. I was hungry and ready to eat. The Cole slaw added enough crunch for me.

Beverage of Choice

Either red wine or an ice cold beer is the beverage of choice with the shrimp submarine sandwich. Tavernello Sangiovese Rubicone may not really be the Number One wine in Italy but it really is a product of Italy and it is available in Bacolod City. San Miguel Pilsen is my favorite beer in the Philippines.

I am wishing everyone a very Happy 4th of July Independence Day and Filipino-American Friendship Day celebration! I hope your day was as fun as ours.