Are Women Who Work in Bars Trustworthy?

This is another million peso question that has been tossed around for years. For many women, working in bars is just a job but for many others, the bar is a lifestyle. It is always about hustle to them. To others, it is a venue to meet Mr Right. They want to be rescued by a Knight in Shining Armor. It may be you if you are a single guy, although I do not promote such entertainment. I do not condemn it, either. The nature of some men will come out, however.

I know guys who met their wives in a bar and you would never know today that they ever worked in bars. I think we have to be realistic. How many guys in the Philippines or around the world never spent time with girls who worked in bars? It takes 2 to tango. It is like the pot calling the kettle black. You must have been to the bars to know about bar girls, di ba?

Buenas Noches from a lonely room! Looking for love in all the wrong places can be a big mistake but it can also be a blessing in disguise. It is a crap shoot, just like in any relationship.

People Are People

I do not see bar girls as trash. There are also women in the USA who work in bars. To some, it is just a job, to others, it is a venue to scam men. I am not advocating for readers to cruise bars but I would like to say that there are women who work in bars who are nice women. I met a few over the years. No, I did not meet my wife in a bar but if I did, I would not be ashamed to say so. I would not love her any less.

I have posted many times about my love to sing and I sing often. Not to put a superstar status or a badge on my chest but I enjoy singing. One song I enjoy singing is by Bret Michaels. The chorus includes this, “Guys like Girls dancing on bars, Girls like guys driving fast cars!” I think this is reality.

God bless all the girls who work in bars. They are not all trash but they are people who have to make a living. Many years ago, I had a Filipna friend who was only 4’9 and working in bars was the only job she could land. Not her fault here. To those who are con artists, Karma lives on. We all reap what we sow.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

She Still Has My Ray Bans On

This post is inspired by a song I heard recently, by JT Hodges, which I can relate to. My wife still has my Ray Ban Sunglasses on after 14 years!

We read posts on LinP3, Living in the Philippines3 Yahoo Group, and on All Around Bacolod about bad relationships, relationships that were good but went south and we read posts about guys who have been married 40 years to their wife, who is from the Philippines.

I think a tribute to our Filipina wives and girlfriends is in order. We often read posts and articles about our opinion and our view as foreigners. It would be nice hearing from the Filipina Point of View!

Dalagang Pilipina

It was in the early 1990s when I met and heard the great Filipino folk singer, Freddie Aguilar, perform at Bodega City in Quezon City. There were only about 30 of us in attendance since it was a spur of the moment performance. “Ang Dalangan Pilipina” is one of my favorite songs by Freddie Aguilar. It is about the Virtues of a Filipina. There are so many!


Some want to portray all Filipinas as Gold Diggers and Scammers but this is just a dark side of some women from all around the world. These women are everywhere. But they are not all women! It does not matter if you are in Atlanta, LA, Paris, London, Berlin, Rio, Boca Chica, San Juan, Kingston or anywhere, there are predators who are women. But not all women are predators. Especially not in the Philippines.

My wife is an Angel sent from on high to me. She is proudly from Negros Occidental and I can never praise our relationship enough. I have several close Filipina friends but we are friends only. My wife and I are not teenagers or newlyweds, we do not have a leash around one another neck. We are not green eyed monsters or crabs! My wife also has Filipino friends. Trust and respect is alive. Neither one of us are concerned about our relationship or about our relationships with friends. Male or female.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

7 Sandwiches That Bring Me Happiness in the Philippines

Sandwiches are not as popular in our area of the Philippines, among Filipinos, as in large cities and certainly not as popular as in my area of the USA. An excellent made sandwich is a complete meal for me. Kettle style Potato Chips as a side is enough to complete my meal.

The Clubhouse Sandwich wins hands down if ordering sandwiches in Bacolod restaurants, among Filipinos. Not my favorite at all. In many Filipino homes, Lady’s Choice Sandwich Spread is most popular in our area. There is the Original Sandwich Spread, which is pickle relish and mayonnaise. There is also Chicken Spread, Bacon Spread, Ham Spread and Tuna Spread. Personally, I prefer making sandwiches without using commercial spreads in a jar.

There are several Delis in Bacolod, where you can build your sandwich with what you like. I have found going this route, you are paying about P260 for a deli sandwich, which is not the size of a 6 inch sub. Much smaller and made on toasted whole wheat or white sandwich bread. You are even charged for mayo, mustard, for each pickle, etc. Been there, done that and don’t care doing it again!

Delicioso has a nice BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and a Fish Po Boy Sandwich, both under P200. They are good but not as good as what I make at home. I buy the Italian or French style bread at Delicioso to make sandwiches at home. P40 per long loaf.

Home Style Deli Sandwiches

I use different sausages to make my favorite sausage sandwich. Debreziner, Polish, Italian, Paprika, Louisiana Hot Links and Andouille Sausages. All are made locally by German nationals, other than the Hot Links and Andouille, which are imported from Louisiana. I already had a Paprika Sausage Sandwich this evening and I am still stuffed!

The Cuban Midnight Sandwich is another all time favorite that I make in the Philippines. Ham, pork loin or thin cut pork chops, mustard, Swiss Cheese if you can find it but for sure, good quality cheese, and dill pickles.

A Crab Salad Sandwich is easily prepared in the Philippines. I have never seen Conch here to make Conch Salad Sandwiches and I really prefer Lobster Salad Sandwiches but lobster is not common in our area. We had a whole lobster 8 days ago for the first time in 7 years! Crab meat, chopped celery, chopped green onion, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, a bit of lemon or calamansi juice and mayonnaise. A great Crab Salad sandwich.

Po Boy 2
A Po Boy. I use deep fried breaded butterfly shrimp or deep fried breaded Cream Dory fish fillets to make my Po Boy Sandwich. I use my own homemade tarter sauce and Trappey’s Bull Original Louisiana Hot Sauce on my Po Boy. I usually put Cole slaw on my Po Boys but lettuce and tomato will work for me as well.

Be Creative with Sandwich Making

A Reuben Sandwich. The best corned beef I can find is LIbby’s Corned Beef, product of Brazil. If I go the route of the near to classic Reuben, I use Libby’s corned beef, quality cheese, mustard, sauerkraut, and horseradish. Sometimes, I use homemade Thousand Island Dressing but not normally. Sauerkraut is available in Bacolod. German sauerkraut in jars or Bush’s canned sauerkraut.

A Rachel Sandwich. This is a variation of the Classic or near to Classic Reuben. I buy Pastrami at Cafe Bob’s Deli. I use the same ingredients as the Reuben, only I use Cole slaw instead of sauerkraut.

For my 7th sandwich, should I go with the Japanese Tuna Salad Sandwich with Wasabi or should I go with the BLTA, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado? Both are great, as is a BBQ Pork or Beef Sandwich. I won’t go wrong with any of them.

Everyday is National Sandwich Day at our house but I am the only one usually eating a sandwich.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod. In the meantime, make yourself a sandwich and have a cold one for me. Will ya?

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Ella’s Cafe and Native Coffee Shop

Ella's Coffe Shop
It is amazing that famous establishments may not look like much in the eyes of some foreigners, with its native structure, however, Ella’s Cafe and Native Coffee Shop has been in business since 1972. It is indeed famous in our part of Negros Occidental. The current owner, Ella, told us she was only 3 years old when the coffee shop first opened in Valladolid, a coastal town. It is now her operation! Ella is very friendly in telling you about the history of her famous coffee shop, if you ask. We found her right near the wood fires, brewing coffee.

Ella's Coffee Shop

The Grand Tour

We were given a tour of the place, which did not take long at all. We saw the wood fire brewed native coffee being made. It is poured through a filter and served up in clear glasses. It is really excellent coffee! I added brown sugar and this enhanced the taste for me. Not too much brown sugar but just right. I can see why Ella’s is famous. Great coffee and only P12 per glass for hot, freshly brewed coffee.

ella coffee shop
Ella’s Cafe and Native Coffee Shop is located in Valladolid, on the main coastal highway, right before you get to the Plaza on the right and the old Spanish Catholic Church on the left. Ella’s is also on the left hand side of the Coastal Highway, heading south. Across the street are 2 pawn shops. Cebuana Pawn Shop and M Lhuillier Jewelry and Pawn Shop.

When you are in the area, be sure to drop by for an excellent cup of native coffee.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

You Didn’t Make That!

green goddess3
Oh, yeah! I sure did make it.

Remember Green Goddess Dressing that was made by Seven Seas in the States? Very popular back in the 1970s. I have never seen Green Goddess Dressing in Bacolod. Kraft bought Seven Seas and still makes Green Goddess Dressing.

If you have a blender or a food processor, you can make your own Green Goddess Dressing in the Philippines. You may have to substitute ingredients but the main ingredients are available in cities around the country.

The main ingredients are mayonnaise, anchovies, sour cream, green onion, chives, parsley, spinach, lemon juice, garlic, cracked black pepper and coarse salt. Tarragon is hard to find but you can get by without it.

Some people use buttermilk, milk or yogurt instead of sour cream. Not me. I have never seen buttermilk in the Philippines. Some use watercress instead of spinach but I have never seen watercress in the Philippines. Kale? I do not like kale, so forget about it. If you like avocado, you can add it to your Green Goddess recipe. I like avocado and can eat it anytime. Great for breakfast or anytime.

If you really like the taste of Green Goddess, it is not limited to being only salad dressing. It is a great dip for raw vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, bell peppers and whatever you like. You can also use Green Goddess like Green Taco Sauce, putting it on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, wraps, etc.

Green Goddess is good on broiled fish. It will work on steamed fish as well but I hate steamed fish. None for me, thank you!

Southern Style Pork Sausage Patties

pork sausage patties2
If you miss something you cannot find in the Philippines supermarkets, more times than not, you can make it at home, if you really want it. Jimmy Dean and Tennessee Pride southern style pork sausage patties are good examples. So EZ to make at home with ground pork and the proper herbs & spices, which I can buy in Bacolod.

All you need to make Southern style pork sausage patties is fresh ground pork and the following herbs & spices: Garlic Salt, Ground Parsley, Ground Sage, Coarse Ground Black Pepper, Dried Thyme and Red Pepper Flakes. If you like hot pork sausage patties, add as much as you like of Cayenne Pepper. If you like maple flavored pork sausage patties, add maple syrup, leave out the herbs & spices other than Coarse Ground Black Pepper and add a little salt.

To make the pork sausage patties, mix all the ingredients with the fresh ground pork. Next, you will form the sauage patties using your hands. Fry in a pan or skillet until browned on both sides. Now, you have something good to eat! Southern style pork sausage patties.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

A Speakeasy in the Philippines

Speakeasy is an English word in the Philippines that has evolved from its original meaning in America. Nowadays, it refers to an upscale Resto Bar & Grill. The speakeasy has fabulous food, a large variety of alcoholic beverages, designer coffee drinks, smoothies & shakes and specialty ice teas. They may or may not have live entertainment. Most at least have piped in music on their sound system but not too loud. Jazz and Latin are popular music in a speakeasy.

Last year, I went to a Sports Bar in Cebu City for the first time since the year 2000, while still in Florida. The Sports Bar’s patrons are 99% foreigners. Their menu is 100% pure pub grub! Buffalo Wings, Pizza, Burgers, bowls of Chili, Potato Logs with Bacon and Sour Cream, Jalapeno Poppers and Chili Cheese Fries. That’s it! Take it or leave it.

Tapas Bars

Las Flores, Bar Pintxos, and Txacho are 3 examples of a modern day Speakeasy in the Philippines. As found in Cebu, Manila and Bacolod. You will not find pub grub there. You will find skewers of Padron Peppers and Chistorra Sausage, Sauteed Chorizo with Pearl Onions, Mushroom and Ham Croquettes, Garlic and Parsley Grilled Squid, Shrimp Gambas, Ham with Goat Cheese and Artichoke Hearts, Grilled Oysters, Platters with fresh sardines, olives, quality cheese, salami and other cold cuts, as well as other similar dishes. It costs more than pub grub but not an arm and a leg more. I refer to this type food as Tapas. No full course meals in a speakeasy. Order several tapas, something good to drink, kick back, relax and enjoy. You will not spend $50 or $100 in a speakeasy in the Philippine unless you just want to.

Spanish Red Wine, Craft Beer and Imported Beer are the drink promotions in a speakeasy. You will not find San Miguel Pilsen or Red Horse. You will find Paulaner Pilsner from Germany and Estrella Galicia Lager Beer from Spain. As well as many other imported beers, craft beers and selected imports on tap.

I think you will find at least one speakeasy in every mid size and large city in the Philippines.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Buying Cheese in Bacolod City

There are a number of things I try to keep on hand at all times and good quality cheese is at the top of my list. We lived in a part of China for 5 years where you could not buy butter, margarine or real cheese. We would have to shop in Hong Kong, Xiamen or Guangzhou to buy real cheese and butter.

When we moved to Bacolod, the days of not being able to buy good quality cheese anytime we wanted was over. I may not be able to buy a certain brand of cheese anytime I want but there is always a good quality brand of cheese available at SM, Metro and Robinsons.

Cheddar Cheese

In 2009 and 2010, I found an old friend among cheese. Land O’ Lakes Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Then one day, SM discontinued the brand. They replaced it with American Heritage Cheddar Cheese, product of Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is great American Cheese. It comes in Mild, Medium, Sharp and Extra Sharp. The cost is P190 for an 8 oz block or about 227 grams. I buy Extra Sharp.

Lately, SM has not had American Heritage Cheddar Cheese in stock. They had plenty around Christmas time but not since. I had to buy an alternative and went with Real California brand Cheddar Cheese. It is white colored cheese and I prefer yellow or orange colored cheddar. Real California white cheddar is ok in a pinch.

Last Sunday at Metro, I discovered, for the first time, Real California brand Orange Cheddar Cheese. The cost is P145 for a 190 gram block. I tried some of this new cheese this morning with a croissant and I am very well pleased with the taste. Metro also had the Real California Colby Jack Cheese in stock for a little more in cost. Also a new item in stock.

To switch up, I sometimes buy McLelland Red Leicester Cheese, product of UK. I like it very much and it is about P240 for 8 oz, so it is pricier than American Cheese. SM also stocks 3 or so other types of McLelland Cheese from UK. I have tried them all over time and all are good.

In Bacolod, I have also tried Mainland Cheese from New Zealand and Bega Cheese from Australia. Both are good.

Parmesan and Processed Cheese

Concerning Parmesan, I do not buy Kraft brand. I buy Mondo Vecchio brand, product of Appleton, Wisconsin. It is P99 for a 3 oz bottle. Several supermarkets sell Mondo Vecchio. Lopues Mandalagan had Buy One Take One for P99 not long ago and I grabbed that deal. If in the ref, Mondo Vecchio Parmesan will still be fresh 12 months after best by date.

I stay away from the processed cheese made in the Philippines. I would buy a good quality cheese made in the Philippines but not available for the most part. One Christmas, we bought one brand of Quezo de Bola, Magnolia, which was pretty good. This holiday cheese is Edam Cheese.

This is the latest information you will find anywhere about buying cheese in Bacolod City.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~