SM Supermarket Beer Haus

Beer

During the past month or so, SM Supermarket has largely expanded their beer section with a good variety of imported beers. In this article cover photo, I have included some of the beers I recently purchased and enjoyed from SM Supermarket. Of the 7 samplers I bought, my favorite is the Belgian Beer, Stella Artois. It is beer that literally danced on my tongue with such a marvelous taste! I also liked Victoria Bitters from Australia but a distant second from Stella Artois.

I hadn’t had a King of Beers, Budweiser, since I moved to the Philippines, so that is why I bought one Bud. It seemed to taste better here than it ever did in the USA or in China, where I lived for 9 years! In mainland China, Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of the most popular imported American beers among Chinese. Believe it..or not! It is true and it is even served on China Southern Airlines. I can’t say it is among my favorite beers.

I’ve found most of the Japanese Beers to be pretty good and Sapporo Beer is no exception. When I eat at Cafe Bob’s Deli, I usually have a Kirin or Asahi Beer, both of which are Japanese Brews.

Some of the best beer in the world comes from Germany and while Beck’s is not top of the line, it is better than many local domestic beers. Yeah, I enjoyed the ice cold Beck’s from SM.

Dos Equis XX was popular where I lived in south Florida, with the large Hispanic population. It is a Mexican Beer and it is much better than Corona in my opinion! Corona is available at SM but I did not buy one. Had it many times and is much like San Miguel Light in taste.

I had never heard of Bear Beer before! It hails from Denmark but I think Carlsberg is better and it is also available in the Philippines.

I don’t drink beer to get drunk or to raise hell but I enjoy sampling beers made from around the world! Being a Beer Connoisseur is a personal hobby of mine. I have my own favorite in the Philippines and it is Beer na Beer Pale Pilsen, brewed by Asia Brewery. I also drink San Miguel Pale Pilsen when I am out and about since Beer na Beer is not common in most establishments.

If you enjoy a different taste every now and then with your beer, check out SM Supermarket’s new imported beer section. They should have something you like when you are ready to go for the gusto!

Retiring to the Philippines

If you are a music lover, you can check out my new article and read about the music that is alive and kicking in the Philippines!

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/the-music-is-alive-and-kicking/

Without a doubt, Music is a very important part of the Philippines Culture! I enjoy listening to music and I enjoy singing every chance I get.

I hope to see you soon, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Mambukal Mudpack Festival 2013

mudpack
The annual Mambukal Mudpack Festival is enjoyed by people of all ages! This little guy was one of the better contestants in the body painting competition.

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Just one more look!

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I believe I can fly!

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Somebody’s watching you!

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Another good contestant with his form.

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Squid Man!

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Tattooed and Painted!

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Lunch time! Grace’s Sliders. We brought these mini burgers with us to the Mudpack Festival. There is a Food Court at Mambukal but we came prepared. I can recommend Ikea of Kabankalan at the Mambukal Food Court but we did not want to waste time in the Food Court, as we came to see the Mudpack Competition this trip.

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The swimming pool at Mambukal is stocked from cold mountain spring water. Yes, it is cold!

The Mudpack Festival crowd was a little down compared to years past but we still had a great time, as always. The theme of the Festival is always Harmony of Man and Nature and there is no better place I know to hold this type festival than at Mambukal. The Festival is also a showcase for Negrense artisans to exhibit their artistic creativeness in ethnic song, dance and crafts.

Retiring to the Philippines

A big thank you to all the regular followers of All Around Bacolod, who also read Retiring to the Philippines, the online expat magazine. Thank you for your comments, as we welcome them all.

Here is a link to my latest article:

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/living-in-the-philippines/confessions-from-a-jollibee-tagalog-speaker/

I write 2-3 new articles on Retiring to the Philippines every week for those who are still learning about the Philippines and who are considering the Pearl of the Orient as their retirement home.

I hope to see you one day soon, somewhere.. all around Bacolod!

Who’s Got The Look?

jumping-tiger
We have the look! A new look on All Around Bacolod. After 16 months, I thought it was time for a change. A makeover, if you will. I hope you like our new look.

Please do not forget about the Mudpack Festival this weekend at Mambukal Hot Springs and Mountain Resort. If you have never been, you are in for a treat! I have a post here on All Around Bacolod from the Mudpack Festival 2012. I will be there again this year, this weekend..hopefully.. unless I personally get rained out due to the weather. A lot of rain here lately in Bacolod. If all goes according to plan, I will have a new post on All Around Bacolod about the Mambukal Mudpack Festival 2013.

Do not be alarmed if you have water thrown on your vehicle when going and returning from Mambukal! The Mudpack Festival is always the same time as the Feast of St John de Baptist and people delight in dousing vehicles with water. It is funny, really funny, especially if you are riding in a jeepney or on a trike! It is all in fun and nothing malicious at all.

An American friend is visiting this week in Bacolod. He wanted to know the best pizza in town. I know this is highly opinionated but Rio Bella Pizzaria has the best pizza in town.

Retiring to the Philippines

I have a couple of new articles on Retiring to the Philippines that I think you will enjoy. My latest one is, “New Philippine Tiger Has Wings.” Check it out here:

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/travel/airline-news-and-promotions/new-philippine-tiger-has-wings/

I hope to see you soon, somewhere …. all around Bacolod!

Jomabo Island: No Stranger in Paradise

Jomabo Island
One thing I love about our area of the Philippines is that everyday unfolds a new adventure! Some may think that I am only talking it up when I say that everyday unfolds a new adventure but this has been so true in my life, even after living here year round for the past four years. If you are looking for adventure, you have to go out of the house, as adventure is not going to come to you!

Negros Occidental is the 2nd largest populated province outside the Metro Manila area and the 9th largest province in terms of land area. There is never a shortage of things to do in Negros Occidental, where my family and I happily live! Recently we visited Jomabo Island, located off the coast of Escalante. We took two Filipino friends with us but none of the 5 of us had ever been to Jomabo Island. Due to road construction along the way, it took us 2 1/2 hours to drive from Bacolod City to Escalante but it was well worth the trip. We passed through Cadiz and Sagay City, both a first for us. It was a very fabulous road trip with beautiful scenery and interesting sites to see along the way.

Once we arrived in Barangay Old Poblacion, which some refer to as Barcelona,  in Escalante, we negotiated the price of chartering a boat for a round trip to visit the island. We settled on P1,300, which is about $30 USD, for the rest of the day, as the skipper would take us over to the island, wait for us and bring us back to Escalante.

Jomabo Island
No one experienced seasickness! A very smooth ride.

Jomabo Island
Jomabo Island Beach Resort is the only resort that I have been to where one does not have to rent a cottage for the day to shelter from the sun. There are so many luxuriant trees on the island, providing shade from the hot tropical sun. Admission to the island is P80 per head, which is less than $2 USD. BYOF! Bring your own food, as there are free BBQ grills provided. A great place to have a cookout or a picnic.

Jomabo Island
Yes, sir, it is cooked in the pit! The BBQ pit! Just think about those burgers, ribs, steaks, chicken, sausages and seafood being barbecued to perfection on the grill. Is that nice eating or what?

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I love the smell of BBQ any time of the day! I really enjoy eating it, too!

Jomabo Island
If you want to spend the night on Jomabo Island, there are a number of rooms available to meet your budget and needs. All the rooms are large enough for 4 people and more and prices start at $60 USD per night. For the adventurous, tents are allowed on the beach and the resort will even rent you a mattress and two pillows! I will add that the resort staff at Jomabo Island are among the best I have encountered anywhere in regards to friendliness, helpfulness and willing to meet your personal needs.

Jomabo Island
Clear sea and magnificent beauty!

Jomabo Island
It’s been a lovely cruise!

Snorkeling, kayaking and swimming are the main activities you can enjoy. If you are looking for a world famous beach resort with pulsating music blaring, glamorous night life and elbow to elbow crowds, Jomabo Island is not for you. However, if you are looking for the perfect escape with the beauty of an unspoiled natural white sandy beach, tranquility,  the sounds of the rushing waves that are clearly audible and soothing and a place you feel is like your own private resort, Jomabo Island will not disappoint you.

Many expats are excited to visit the famous hot spots in the Philippines but my greatest enjoyment is going where few have gone. It is the real Philippines experience for me. I am no stranger in Paradise because Paradise is my home and I live every second of it to the fullest!

Philippine Craft Beers

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Craft Beer is gaining popularity in the Philippines! For sure, when you take your first sip of a craft beer, you can immediately tell that it is a different taste from the commercially mass produced beer. To be honest, there is a good chance that you will either like craft beer or you will hate it! Never to try it again. Some of the craft beers remind me of the home brew my dad made back in Alabama. It did not have the same taste of Budweiser!

bogsbrew

Right in Bacolod City, we have Bogsbrew, which is actually brewed here. It is a craft beer made with organic rice, malted barley, Negros Island muscovado sugar, wild bee honey, aromatic hops and natural mountain spring water. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I have friends who like Bogsbrew and I have other friends who tried it and while they did not say it is bad beer, they said it is different. I agree totally that it is different from the mass produced commercial beer and some prefer San Miguel Pale Pilsen.

I was having lunch with friends at Cafe Bob’s Deli a week or so ago and I tried a Bogsbrew Primo Ale for the first time. I really enjoyed it! I had the regular Bogsbrew on many occasions over the last four years and the Primo Ale is remarkably good! It has a different taste from the famous UK Newcastle Brown Ale, aka Newkie Brown, but Primo Ale was still great in my opinion.

There are not many places I know of in the Bacolod Area that sells Bogsbrew. Cafe Bob’s Deli, The Negros Showroom on Lacson Street and The Ruins near Barangay Bata are the only places I know where I can buy Bogsbrew. When my brother Bobby visited us from Florida in 2012, we took him to The Ruins and I introduced him to Bogsbrew. He liked it!

Other Philippine Craft Beers

katipunan beer

Katipunan Craft Beer is an Indio Pale Ale and it is not commonly found in Bacolod to my knowledge. If any readers know where to buy Katipunan Beer in Bacolod, please let us know. Thanks! 

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Fat Pauly’s Ales and Lagers are brewed in Iligan City, Philippines.

I do not drink craft beers on a regular basis but I enjoy having one or two when we are out and about. Always a nice treat!

The Quiet Place Farm Resort

The Quiet Place

If you are looking for a peaceful and scenic getaway for the weekend, The Quiet Place Farm Resort may just be the place you are looking for. Less than 5 km from Barangay Sum-Ag in Bacolod City, many enjoy the ride in the countryside to The Quiet Place, located in Barangay Tabunan, Bago City.

The Quiet Place

You will have a good view of Mount Canlaon, the famous local volcano.

The Quiet Place

There are many shade trees at The Quiet Place.

The Quiet Place

The Quiet Place Resort is actually a working farm, growing rice and corn. Corn for sale! The farmer in charge will do a small harvest for you if you are interested in buying the fabulous white sweet corn and it is only P25 per kilo! We bought 5 kilos to take home. Immediately after returning home, we grilled some corn and boiled a lot more. Wow! It is really tender and sweet corn.

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The rice is nice.

The Quet Place

The Quiet Place

Poolside!

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The Garden Hotel. The Quiet Place has several small hotels on site for you to choose from. Surrounded by the lush beauty of nature, this is an ideal spot for a romantic weekend or just a place to get away from everything for rest and relaxation. For me personally, the luxuriant plants, flowers and trees are the perfect setting for me to enjoy personal down time and spend quality time with my wife and son.

The Quiet Place

For those who do not intend lodging for the night, there are cottages and pavilions for rent by the day. Admission to the Quiet Place is P35 for adults and P20 for children. Use of the pool is an additional P50 per person.

There is a restaurant at the Quiet Place but it was not open the day we went there. I have heard good things about the restaurant, which has such dishes as tenderloin roulade in red wine sauce and rosemary and garlic potatoes with stuffed peppers. It sounds awesome doesn’t it? Dessert includes lemongrass ice cream, mango-ginger ice cream and a few other fabulous desserts. You will want to call ahead and make sure the days and hours of the restaurant.

This past week was our first time going to The Quiet Place but we intend to go back. If you enjoy the beauty of nature, then it is a place for you to check out!

Retiring to the Philippines

Please do not forget to check out:

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/

Every week, I add 2-3 new, interesting articles that I think anyone interested about retiring to and living in the Philippines will certainly enjoy. All my articles are based on my personal 27 year connection with the Pearl of the Orient and my living here full time. In my opinion, the Philippines really is the Pearl of the Orient and I would not be happy living anywhere else in the world!