Get the Table, Devon!

dudley boyz

You may ask yourself, what has this got to do with the Philippines?

There is not a death penalty in the Philippines but there are tables, di ba? I think you know where this is going. No death penalty but there is Dudleyville and there are tables!

For every foreigner who commits a crime, why not send them to Dudleyville? It depends on the seriousness of their crimes as to how many times they are slammed through a table! They won’t die but they will have some color to see, see! Black and blue. Dudleyville has the tables and many of them!

I think there should be a special hardwood table for all the foreign grifters, hackers, scammers and schemers, who rip other people off from things they worked hard for. An even harder table for foreigners who are Ped-Files!! Same for those who exploit Filipinas.

Of course, I am a foreigner who is proud living here and I am in no way trying to interject into how the Philippines Govt deals with foreign criminals. But, this is good catharsis for all the foreigners who have been ripped off and wronged by other foreigners in the Philippines. There are many of us. Some of us have lost money, some had our written material ripped and copyrighted by others without permission and some others have even lost their wives to the wiles of other foreigners. Send them to Dudleyville!

Non-Violence

I hope you read my article in the way I have laid it down, in the jest. I am a non-violent person and would never harm anyone unless it was to prevent the loss of my life or the loss of others lives. That is the game changer! They deserve more than The Table.

I was a Correctional Officer and Correctional Officer Sgt just a few months short of 5 years. I worked at UCI and Dafe CI. UCI had Death Row. I was once a big supporter of the Death Penalty but after seeing the condition of the world today, it is not really a deterrent to the evil that men and some women do in the world. Just take them to Dudleyville and then lock them away for life! Once again, joke only about Dudleyville. However, it may be good catharsis for some, in their minds. Slam them through the table in your mind and then move on. Forget about them. Never allow your detractors and enemies to control your lives.

I was a Mental Health Professional in Alabama and Florida for over 20 years. Catharsis is good for us all at times!

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

Always, Your Amigo,

~ Gary McMurrain ~

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Pasalubong

pasalubong
Pasalubong is a term in the Philippines which means giving gifts to family or friends after being away abroad or in some other location of the Philippines. I always have great joy in giving pasalubong to the people I love and like. Even to those who are not on my favorites list! I enjoy giving to others.

When we visit the homes of Filipinos, we never arrive empty handed. We always take something with us to give to the host and or hostess. It does not cost a lot of money to spread so much joy in the Philippines.

What Should I Give As Pasalubong?

While the Filipino Culture is similar all over the Philippines, there are many regional differences.

I can’t say all but a number of Filipinas do not want to receive flowers because they are symbolic with a funeral in the Philippine culture. “I’m not dead yet,” may be the response you receive if you indeed give flowers to someone you are courting or married to.

Stuffed animals, chocolates and a gift basket of food goodies seem to be more readily accepted and happily received by everyone. Young and old alike. Be sure to throw in a few imported items!

Among some of the small gifts I brought back to my wife when I returned to the Philippines from my trip to Florida in 2014: a large designer leather handbag from Belk (she loves it), Cruz Chocolates made in Miami, several bottles of perfume, Nescafe Coffee (her favorite), Folgers Coffee (for something new), Orange Pekoe Tea and Panda Green Tea. Of course, I knew in advance the things my wife enjoys, the things she does not like and I also asked her for a more personal list of things she wanted me to bring back. Well, that is personal!

Other Pasalubong

Of course, you should not give others what you give to your wife, girlfriend, fiance or a fine lady you are courting. No Victoria’s Secret or Triumph, di ba?

Some very popular items. Always chocolates!  Stuffed animals. Corned Beef, Spam, sardines, tuna, canned ham, instant noodles, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, wine, liquor, craft or imported beer, coffee, tea, sandwich spreads for bread, pastries, doughnuts, hard candies and what else? The sky’s the limit! Give what they need and want, not what you want them to have. Some imported food items will never be eaten, so think about what Filipinos eat, di ba? Grits? Forget about that!

It’s the Culture

Giving pasalubong strengthens the bond between family and friends in the Philippines. It shows you love them and care about them. Handing out gifts also spreads happiness and gladness that *you* are back home safe and sound. You were missed! No need to wrap pasalubong but give it as it is. The receivers will be more excited when they see it. Guess what? The receivers of your pasalubong will even share it with you! When they crack open that Dak canned ham, you will be eating some! Right here and right now! Filipinos are among the most hospitable people on the face of the planet!

Next time, you visit Filipinos, please don’t forget the Pasalubong. You will be as blessed as they are. You can believe that!

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

Your Amigo, always,

~ Gary McMurrain ~

Beautiful Philippines Sunshine

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I am a proud and patriotic American, however, my love for the Philippines runs deep, as it has for the past 29 years. Whenever I see the Philippines sun, the Philippine flag, or hear the Philippines National Anthem , I also get goose bumps! Just as when I hear the songs, God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner from the USA. Wow!

I think if a foreigner is going to live in the Philippines, they should embrace the country. They should embrace and respect the vibrant Filipino Culture. They should also abide by the laws of the Philippines, which they are subject to while spending time in this wonderful country with beautiful people. The Filipino.

The Philippine Sun

The eight-rayed sun has symbols of unity, freedom, people’s democracy and sovereignty. Also representing each province with major involvement in the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain. The three 5 pointed stars represent the 3 major island regions of the Philippines. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Sun Philippines
There is plenty of sunshine in the Philippines! Not only in the sky but from Filipinos themselves. They will surely brighten your life, if you allow them.

I have about a hand full of foreign friends in Bacolod City but I have 10 X that many wonderful Filipino friends and even more family members! Life is great here in the Bacolod area and I am happy everyday.

The Road Goes On Forever and the Party Never Ends!

The Philippines is a much larger country than some realize. There are so many interesting places to visit, just on Negros Island alone. Cebu is another area I enjoy visiting, as well as Panay Island.

Everyday is a party! This sums up the Philippines, alright. Everyday of life is a celebration. I am not referring to the American sense of the word party, where many people drink and get smashed. No, I am referring to a party in celebration of enjoying life. Happiness. We know that no matter what, God has us in his hands. As I like to say, if things don’t work out the way I expected, I can’t hardly wait to see what God has planned for me next! I know it will be awesome!

A party is a groovy thing! Getting together with Filipino friends and family, talking, laughing, having fun, eating and having a few cold ones. If you ever spend one evening with a group of Filipinos, you are hooked for life! Their sunshine and radiance are indeed addicting. You want it and you want to keep it around you every single day of the rest of your life! And…you can believe that!

I hope to see you here one day soon, somewhere, all around Bacolod. Enjoy the Philippine sunshine and keep it over your shoulder. Life is always better!

Disclaimer and Public Notice

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Disclaimer and Public Notice

I, Gary McMurrain, have not been affiliated with Steve Fleming or the website, Retiring to the Philippines since September 20, 2015. For almost 3 years, I wrote many nice and positive articles about the Philippines on Retiring to the Philippines website and it was not for a salary. It was my personal effort to promote the Philippines as an excellent country for foreigners to retire.

Steve Fleming is the Administrator of Retiring to the Philippines website. He can edit my previous articles in any manner he wishes and re-publish them to reflect me, Gary McMurrain, in a bad light. I have no authority on Retiring to the Philippines to prevent such actions. I was told from Day One that I was the co-owner of Retiring to the Philippines, however, Steve Fleming changed my password and I no longer have access to the website in any official capacity.

I disclaim on this date in Bacolod City Philippines, September 28, 2015, the accuracy of any information bearing my name, which appears on Retiring to the Philippines. I disclaim any information which appears on the website Retiring to the Philippines.

I remain the co-owner of Retiring to the Philippines, yet I am not responsible for that site under its present conditions and management by Steve Fleming, a UK national, according to him.

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/

~ Gary McMurrain ~
Bacolod City Philippines

Groover’s Paradise

Groover
Where I live in the Philippines, it is indeed a Groover’s Paradise. There is pretty much something for everyone. For every groover who enjoys beautiful vibrations!

Nice beaches, fishing, the mountains, hot springs, a midsize city with just about anything you would want and rural farmland. Yes, there is an airport and you can fly anywhere you want. All around the world and back again!

What is a Groover?

I am a groover and I have been a groover since way back in 1968. I know what’s happening, what’s going on in my community. I know what is interesting, fun, enjoyable and downright cool! I know where groovers don’t want to go as well. Stay away, Joe! From those areas in the city. No city is perfect.

You could say, it’s about a mover. Bacolod City isn’t California but it very well can be your Mendocina! It’s goodbye San Francisco and hello, Philippines! Many areas of the Philippines certainly are a Groover’s Paradise!

NIR

We are now officially known as NIR. Negros Island Region. Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental are on the same island but before, divided by Region. Western Visayas vs Central Visayas.

It doesn’t matter what is on paper, Groovers, I think our side of the island has the most to offer. Negros Occidental. We may not be the beast of the east but we are the best in the west!

Grrover Paradise
I miss my old friend Doug Sahm. Sadly, he passed away in 1999 in New Mexico. He was one hell of a Groover, I can tell you that. Like Doug, I also realized early on that music is Eclectic. I love to sing and I sing everyday. Not just the same ole, same ole. I can sing Blues, R&B, Soul, Country, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Southern Rock, Country Rock, Easy Listening, Reggae, Latin, Jazz and whatever else there is!

It’s a Good Night for Singing!

I know the best places to sing in Bacolod City and in Cebu City. Old time Rock n’Roll? I am not part of an actual band but I am seriously thinking about putting one together! Even at age 60. Why not? This is a Groover’s Paradise! The band won’t be anything like “Slim and the Can’t Hardly Playboys!” Filipinos are some of the best musicians and singers in the world. You can believe that!

I knew several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd in Jacksonville, Florida. My all time favorite band and I sing all their songs. For the most part, I stopped enjoying the current pop music in the USA by 2000. What I hear nowadays is certainly not anything I enjoy, for the most part.

I like music and not just noise! Or gibberish!

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

~ Gary McMurrain ~

Wrestling Fans: WWE in the Philippines

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Nanay, my wife’s mom, is spending the weekend with us. She lives less than 50 km from us but she does not like coming to the city very often. She prefers the simpler rural life on the farm.

Last night, while everyone else was asleep, Nanay watched WWE Main Event and NXT Wrestling with me until well after the midnight hour. Nanay is pushing 80. I am still smiling and laughing today, as Nanay was a hoot! Nanay was really into the wrestling matches, speaking loudly in Ilonggo and making some interesting gestures as well.

Too bad Nanay will be back home soon and she will miss WWE Smack Down at 10pm. It will be awesome!

It may seem like something small, but I will never forget watching wrestling with Nanay as long as I live. I am a big wrestling fan and she was more into it than me last evening!

On Friday evening in Alabama for 8 years, I would watch live wrestling in the auditorium. I knew the promoter very well, Nick Gulas. I also personally knew some of the wrestlers. Jerry The King Lawler is one and is now a regular TV announcer on WWE Smack Down.

It’s Here!

I think it is great that wrestling fans can watch WWE and NXT on TV in the Philippines. On Fox Asia HD. The monthly wrestling PPV is free here and it is indeed live from the USA. RAW is shown here on Fridays, so it is only 3 days behind. Smack Down is shown on Sundays here, so it is only 3 days old. Main Event is shown on Saturdays here, so it is only 4 days old. WWE Vintage Collections is shown on Thursdays here and it is clips from wrestling matches of years gone by. Some of those wrestlers are not even on the planet any longer, such as Andre the Giant, the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Macho Man Savage.

A number of my Filipino friends are wrestling fans. A number of wrestlers have gone on to become famous actors, such as Dave Batista, who is a Fil-Am, according to an article I read in the Philippines Inquirer, and The Rock.

Some will disagree but for me, Wrestling is one of the King of Sports! Oh, yeah! Wrestle Mania will run wild on you. And you can believe that!

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

~ Gary McMurrain ~

Kuya J

Kuya J2

Kuya J is one of the coolest restaurants in Bacolod City, The City of Smiles. Kuya J is located at SM Mall on their North Wing, just down the way from Krispy Kreme.

It is mostly serving Filipino Food but there is something for everyone. Most of us like seafood, di ba? I know I do.

Their service is great at Kuya J. Kuya means older brother for the most part in the Philippines and they are serving up some great food everyday. It is Filipino Comfort Food at its best! Their House Iced Tea is served in a type of Mason Jar and it is the best iced tea I have tried anywhere in the city. You can buy it by the pitcher.

callops
One of my all time favorite dishes is scallops. For P160 at Kuya J, you will get 10-12 scallops on the half shell. They are garnished with fried garlic chips and served in a savory melted butter sauce. Wow! They’re awesome.

If you are looking for excellent Filipino Cuisine, please check out Kuya J. I don’t think you will be disappointed. I give them 5 Stars!

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

~ Gary McMurrain ~

Grifters, Hackers, Scams and Schemes

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There are a number of foreigners around in the Philippines, who like to befriend you but they are up to no good. I would like to advise you to be careful about what you tell them concerning your personal information. Do not ever give out your personal passwords to other foreigners! Not even to business partners! I learned this the hard way.

Whatever you may tell these particular characters can be used against you later. I have been a victim of such a scheme recently. It evolved over a period of several months.

Scheming Overtime

You may know these foreigners over several months and even several years! They gained your trust, and while you are naive, they are at work. In casual conversation, they are at work, gathering your information, whatever you give them. To be used against you later. For their self gain. Financially in their pockets, at your expense.

Some times, we read and hear about Filipinos ripping off foreigners but in reality, foreigners also engage in this…against you. In the Philippines. Over the past 29 years, it has been foreigners who created problems for me, not Filipinos! You can believe that!

Advising, please be careful who you trust with your personal information.

If anyone, anywhere at anytime tries to promote an hour consultation with me, Gary McMurrain, do not, do not do it. I am not selling consultations with me. Not here, not there, not anywhere!

Copyright Violations

I have books on a site now about the Philippines and on Amazon, which I will never collect one centavo  from. Why? I am not the one who set up the account but someone I trusted and thought was a friend did. Yes, he is a foreigner, not a Filipino.

My new book, Living in Bacolod, will be finished before too much longer but I will handle its marketing 100%. I have several books on Living in the Philippines and that is a safe site. As of this date of this article, Living in the Philippines is the ONLY site that I have granted permission for sales of my books! Not Amazon and not Retiring to the Philippines. If you buy Gary McMurrain’s books about the Philippines elsewhere, than Living in the Philippines, at this moment, you are buying copyrighted infringement material. Someone else may have somehow gotten a copyright with my books but I never gave anyone permission to do that and never will. No one can ever, no not ever produce a contract with my legal signature on it, where I hired them as an agent to market my books or copyright my material! You can take that to the bank!

http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/

Don Herrington is the owner of Living of the Philippines, the original site and it is not another knock off! Don Herrington is my best friend in the Philippines and he has lived in the Philippines for 20 years. He is one guy who is indeed a friend among foreigners in the Philippines. He loves this beautiful country, the Philippines, and its beautiful people. The Filipino. I use this term for both genders!

I recently set up a new blog on Word Press and in a matter of a day or so, it was hacked and hijacked. Why? Because I am considered a competitor! Who did it? I know and it certainly wasn’t my friend, Don Herrington! You can believe that.

Swordfish

Experience is the best teacher! Sometimes we only learn this the hard way, when we have lost something. If you change your password online, come up with something completely different. If you used a password with Daisy1225 in it, don’t just change it to Daisy1978! Hackers can easily figure that one out. It happened to me!

If you ever watched the film Swordfish, you know exactly what I am referring to. I was a victim of such character. In real life and not on the big screen!

Crab Mentality

Over the past 29 years and living outside the USA the past 15 years, it is foreigners who I have met with the worse cases of crab mentality.

If you have written a book, if you are successful in business, if you are successful in a relationship and if you appear happy everyday, these crabs want to pull you down to their level. They have not accomplished anything, they have failed in business, they have failed in relationships and they don’t even like themselves. So, they want to rain on *your* parade. They want to put crap in your stew. They want to see you at the bottom of the basket, where they are and where they will forever be!

This is my first installment about the behavior of some foreigners in the Philippines. I have  about a handful of foreign friends in the Philippines. I have 10 X that many wonderful Filipino friends in the Philippines and they are all *real* friends. Some are elected officials, some are in the President’s Cabinet, some are police officers, some are in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, some are attorneys, some are farmers, some are vendors, some are businesspersons on a large and small scale. It matters not to me what their social status is. They are friends. We are friends.

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

~ Gary McMurrain ~

Super Metro

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 We went to Metro today so I could look around since I had not been there in a couple of weeks

If I am not mistaken, imported Albers Cornmeal is a product of Washington State in the USA. That was my big ticket item today. P230.50 for a 2.8 lb box, which will last me at least 1 year, maybe longer. Some of the recipes I use Albers cornmeal for are Corn Bread, of course, Sweet Corn Muffins, Tamale Pie, Oven Fried Chicken and for battering various fried dishes.

I was looking for something to prepare a quick meal this evening for myself since Nanay is visiting us from the farm this weekend. I know all she eats mostly is fish & rice. She is pushing 80 now and still in relatively good health.

I found something at Metro. Hamburger Helper- Lasagna! No baking required. Just add browned ground round or ground beef, 2 3/4 cups of hot water, 1/2 cup of milk and the sauce mix from the box. Top with Parmesan Cheese if you like and add Red Pepper Flakes to spice it up if you like.The box states “Italian Style Sauce Mix with Real Oregano & Basil.” It was fast to prepare and I will most likely freeze most of the leftovers. No one but me in our home eats this kind of food! At least not usually but they are welcome to it anytime.

The Lasagna Hamburger Helper was P139.25 for the box. I will eat several times from what I made and I already had 1 kilo of ground round in the freezer but did not need all that today.

I like to keep a box of Instant Mashed Potatoes on hand and I paid P143 for the Springfield brand.

Snacks were also on my short list of things to buy today. Sea Pride Pusit Na Luto is one of my favorite snacks but I don’t eat it daily. Basically, it is Squid Jerky. I like it. A product of the Philippines and only P41.50 for the large package.

Sweets are not anything I eat on a regular basis but I like to have some when I want it. Basically, 30 Dewberry Strawberry & Cream Filled Cookies are P58.80. They are good and I never eat more than 3 at a time.

This is today’s update on prices in Bacolod at Metro for the things I wanted to buy. If you don’t live in an area with many imported food items for when you want them, Metro will run wild on you! I saw so many new arrivals but not really anything I was wanting or needing. Oh, I could have easily loaded up and spent P3,000 but my bill was only P682.55. I bought what I actually wanted. I did not need to buy any meat or seafood today and I did not see anything special to attract my Kano eyes.

Metro has many new canned soups from the USA but I prefer making my own soup with locally sourced fresh ingredients. I control the salt and sugar content.

It does not take much to make me happy in the Philippines! I am happy everyday! The Monthly Weekend Food Fair was outside Metro today, underneath tents. The Das Burgery 101 Burger is P120 and it is awesome in my opinion. Das Burgery does not have an actual restaurant unless they opened one fairly recently but they are at the Food Fairs, at major festivals and at other special events in the Bacolod Area.

Check out Metro and the Ayala Food Fair. I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

~ Gary McMurrain ~

White Knuckle Drive

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I recently said that driving in Bacolod is a snap and it usually is. However, that was not the case yesterday! Many things came up!

A young boy darted in front of me when he was crossing the street. It was close. I don’t tailgate but a red Honda without brake lights came to a screeching halt that I was behind and if not alert, I would have rear-ended it. I almost clipped a jeepney when the driver cut me off!. A dog decided to stop in the middle of the street and I almost ran over it. It seems like every slow driver in the city was waiting just for me! I was behind 3 or 4.

Detour, there’s construction ahead and not even a single traffic enforcer. Cars were trying to move in both directions in only one lane. They were in a Mexican standoff and none were giving way until they realized, we would stuck like that until hell freezes over. Cars don’t fly yet. An empty pedicab was parked in the right lane, blocking it, and I had to wait until traffic was clear to go around. The pedicab driver was nowhere to be seen!

I wish I had just stayed at home yesterday! Normally, it is not this bad but I guess yesterday was just one of those days. I can’t hardly wait later today because I know it will be a much better yesterday to make my day.

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

~ Gary McMurrain ~