Warning Signs

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There are about a hand-full of expats in the Philippines who I can truly call my friends and they are the ones I trust concerning the foreign crew. For those coming to the Philippines for the first time and to those who are retiring to the Philippines, I would like to give you heads up! Every foreigner you meet in the Philippines is not your friend! I have heard some say that locals try to get their hands in their pockets, however, over the past 28 years in the Philippines, it has been my experience that it is not the local people I have to beware of but rather, a number of expats! Believe it..or not!

My Filipino friends and regular acquaintances outnumber my expats friends and regular acquaintances 100 to 1. I am certainly not anti-American or anti-UK or anti-Australian but can we be honest here? During the last 14 years that I have lived in Hong Kong, mainland China and the Philippines, with only 3 or 4 exceptions, any problems in my life or any stress were not created by Chinese or Filipinos but rather..by foreigners! Figure that one out! Who would have ever dreamed this?

Please do not misunderstand me! There are a good bunch of expats in Bacolod City, however, there are also some down right scoundrels!

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This Bud’s for you! Be very careful with alcohol when you meet up with foreigners! I have learned that a number just can’t handle it! I had an expat tell me many years ago that if you give the locals too much alcohol, they will run amok on you! That has never happened to me once in the past 28 years. However, I have seen a number of expats show their azz when they had too much to drink and in public to boot!

It seems that in many expat meet ups, there is some mean old drunk who wants to fight! Just like in most bars!

Are You Talking To Me?

Tismis? The local word for gossip. But let me tell you something! Many expats like to tismis. What they don’t know, they make up! If they are bored, they make up stories and tell them. These stories spread like wildfire! To be more accurate, many of these tall tales are outright lies!

Crab Mentality

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Once again, I think this term was actually coined to describe a number of expats! Crab mentality!! Did I ever tell you that I was once pushed down a flight of stairs by a teacher from Australia because I was chosen by the university, where we were both teachers, to be a judge in an English speaking competition and he wasn’t?

For the past several years, there have been two Americans who go online, trying to destroy my business. Why? Because I am successful and they are not! Their attitude is just like the crabs in a basket. If they can’t have it, they do not want to see you have it, either! Just like the crab that has climbed to the top of the basket, another crab will always reach up and pull them back down to the bottom of the basket again. Back down to their level! Well, I have worked hard for the past 40 years to get to where I am today and my reputation is sterling. I will not go down to the crab’s level! I wish everyone all the best in their lives and more power to you all! God’s blessings, as I am very well blessed everyday! I am happy for you in all your success. I am also successful!

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The Love Of Money Is The Root Of All Evil!

That is probably one of the misquoted verses from the Bible. Money is not evil! The love of money is evil! Just yesterday, I met with an American in the Bacolod Area who wanted to hire me as his personal consultant about the Philippines. It was upon his initiative, not mine. His offer of pay was not only insulting, it was freaking ridiculous! That’s the way it goes! Too many expats expect something for nothing and these are the same guys who will leave a P5 peso coin on a restaurant table for a tip to the wait staff. Also the same guys who think $5 for a very informative expat guide all about the Philippines is expensive! Kuripot? Cheap Charlies? Right on both!! Talk about needing a check up from the neck up! Where is their brain? Oh, I forgot, it is in their wallet!!

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I am not setting myself up as judge and jury. I am not the executioner! However, I have a problem with 60 year old men flaunting their teenage girlfriends in public! I am a firm believer that age is only a number but to a certain extent! I know a number of expats who married younger women in the Philippines and they are happily married. It happens. But can we get real here? A 60 year old man with an 18 year old girl? Yes, a girl, not a woman! These guys pull out their cell phones to check their files, like they are some hot shot executive,  but I am only thinking one file. Ped-File! You know what I mean?

In the Philippines, the bride who is below 21 years of age requires their parent’s consent to marry. That means an 18 year old girl is not an adult, right? Or, am I missing something here?

Well, I suppose some may view this as Gary’s rant! Some may even say that I am having a meltdown. I was already accused of that yesterday during a meeting! Actually, it isn’t either. Just some friendly advice to those nice expats who are visiting the Philippines for the first time or to those who are actually retiring to the Philippines. Do not be mislead into believing that there is a large community of expats who will welcome you with open arms and be your best friend for life over here because..it ain’t going to happen. Beware, amigos!

As long as I stick mostly with my Filipino compadres and Kabayans, I am happy as a lark! I never have a problem! Nope, not once in the past 28 years during my experience in the Philippines. I never had a Filipino friend mess with me!

Just so  no one reads more into my article than intended, my experience is collective over the past 28 years in the Philippines and this has been my overall experience, as it is not  based solely on a recent experience. I just happened to have a flashback! I was inspired yesterday to dust off this article and finally publish it. History repeats itself and has since way back in 1986! By the way, one of the most popular songs in 1986 was by Howard Jones, “No one is to blame!” Sound familiar?

Take care and I hope to see you one day, somewhere..all around Bacolod! Just not everyday!

I’ve Got Some Good News!

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RVD! Rob Van Dam! Are you a WWE fan? Well, I have some good news for you! If you are in the Philippines, you can watch all your favorite matches and WWE shows on FOX ASIA TV. You can even watch NXT matches on Fox Asia TV. Our provider is Dream Satellite and I am able to watch WWE & NXT matches that my brother in Florida cannot watch unless he subscribes to WWE Network on his Dish Satellite! Is this not great or what for those of us in the Philippines?

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Ready to see The Shield take on Evolution and kick their butts? You can watch all the action in the Philippines!

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You can see Red de la Cruz on Pacific Xtreme Combat! Catch it on Dream!

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Just because you do not live in a western country, this does not mean you cannot enjoy your favorite sports! Live MLB games can also be watched in the Philippines. Last night, I watched the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees.

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You can also catch all the latest news, even from Deputy Presidential Spokesperson, Abigail Valte. She can be seen and heard on TV Patrol on ABS-CBN TV, as she gives you the latest word from the Honorable President of the Philippines, Nonoy Aquino.

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You can learn about resorts in the Philippines that are not very well known by watching Asia Travel. Yep, it is on Dream Satellite.

I am not going to post the entire TV schedule in the Philippines, but as you can see, there is plenty to watch. Sports Entertainment, News, Travel information and much more is available!

Don’t forget! Check out Retiring to the Philippines. I have a number of new articles that I have written during the month of May!

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/

Take care and I hope to see you one day, somewhere, all around Bacolod!

The Best Pizza in Bacolod: Rio Bella Pizzaria

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This is an update about Rio Bella Pizzaria, located on Lacson Extension, not far from Alijis Road. Rio Bella has the best pizza in Bacolod and this is not based solely on my opinion and the opinion of our son, who is a pizza expert. When he hears the word, PIZZA, he thinks and says, RIO BELLA!

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There are plenty of ice cold beverages at Rio Bella to wash down your pizza! Soft drinks of various brands and beer!

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If you have many in your party, I recommend the XXL, however, the XL is usually what we order. We like pepperoni but the new Rio Bella Meaty Overload is great for those who love meat on their pizza..and who doesn’t? Well, I know, I know, some don’t. Have no fear because you can special order your pizza at Rio Bella. You can order half meat and half veggies or you can order vegetarian pizza. It is up to you!

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The above is a slice of the XL Pepperoni Pizza.

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Only a few slices left!

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It takes 2 hands to hold a slice of the Rio Bella XL Pizza!

An American friend and his wife recently went to Rio Bella Pizzaria and he told me I was right! Rio Bella has the best pizza in Bacolod City!

We have been dining at Rio Bella and enjoying their pizza for some time now and they are always the same! Great pizza, fabulous wait staff and very friendly management. Oh, and don’t forget,  ice cold beer! For me pizza is not pizza without an ice cold beer!

Rio Bella is not a chain restaurant that turns out pizza with frozen dough, as it is made from scratch and all the ingredients are fresh. For me personally, the pizza dough is every bit as important as the toppings.

The next time you want an excellent pizza, check out the pizza at Rio Bella. Maybe you will see me there!

Take care and I hope to see you one day, somewhere…..all around Bacolod!

Paco Beach: Pulupandan

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It is not famous and while most expats and many Filipinos alike may have never heard of Paco Beach in Pulupandan, it is there! Pulupandan is south of Bacolod City and past Bago City. Pulupandan is more known for the boats going to Guimaras Island and you can now actually catch a RoRo with your vehicle from Pulupandan to Guimaras on the Montenegro Ship Lines.

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Of course, you will not be putting your vehicle on this size boat, however, this is the common passenger boat going to Guimaras Island.

PACO BEACH

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The front of the Paco Beach Restaurant

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A San Miguel Beer and pork leg, ordered at the Paco Beach Restaurant. Yummy! If you are looking for imported food at the restaurant, you will not find it, however, if you ask, you may be surprised what the cook can whip up for you, which is not on the regular menu.

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Some call this turo turo style food. Just lift the lid and take a peek. If it looks good, order it! There is a good selection of ice cold beverages to choose from.

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You can take a seat under the shade tree for a good view of the sea.

One of the great things about this area of the Philippines is that you can find interesting places off the beaten path and you will meet some wonderful people along the way. We did! We made several new Filipino friends last weekend while stopping by Paco Beach in Pulupandan.

Take care and I hope to see you one day, somewhere, all around Bacolod!

I’m Back! Sweet Home Philippines

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I haven’t forgotten about ya! I had to make a 4 week visit to Florida to be with my American family there due to some urgent medical issues and procedures among them. I am very happy being back in Sweet Home Philippines!

During my 4 week visit to Florida, I gained a very fresh perspective concerning life in Florida and life in the Philippines. The overall cost of living is 3-4 times less in the Bacolod Area than the cost of living in NE rural Florida! That’s the fact. I know because I know how much money I had to spend there and I know how much money I have to spend here. Same amount! I get a lot more bangs for my buck.

Two days ago, I went to Bacolod SM Mall to do a little grocery shopping and I spent about $20. What’d I get? A package of Australian lamb chops, honey cured bacon, ribs, hot dogs, ground round beef, ground lean pork, a package of 10 Bounty Fresh Chicken thighs, coffee, 1 liter of cooking  oil, Nissan chocolate wafers, potato chips, a few other odds & ends and Japanese Asahi Beer! Now, is that all a deal for $20 or what?

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Way out in the boonies. SW County Road 240 in NE Florida, is Nettles Sausages and it is the only place in that entire area where the meat prices are about the same as in the Bacolod Area! Tell me what’d I say? The Nettles Meats are as cheap as in Bacolod City and I will tell you exactly why. They produce their own meats and there is never a middle man. At Nettles, $20 will get ya 5 packages of their fresh meats. A good variety at that! Now, this is great, isn’t it?

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Yep, that’s me on Nettle’s porch.

If you would like to read a more detailed comparison about the cost of living in Florida compared to the Bacolod area, please read my new article on Retiring to the Philippines. I think you will enjoy it and also see exactly what I am trying to tell ya!

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/guide/about-the-philippines/sweet-home-philippines/

I am really excited about my new book that I am writing! It is about a comprehensive topic that very few have ever written about concerning the Philippines. It is truly a topic where very few have ever gone! I will keep you informed and let you know when it is published and available for reading.

Take care Amigas and Amigos. I hope to see you one day, somewhere..all around Bacolod!