National Pizza Day

italian-pizza
National Pizza Day is still on in the USA, Feb 9. In the Philippines, as well yesterday, as a number of pizzerias had all day promos.

According to the statistics, 1 in 8 Americans will eat pizza on any given day and 3 Billion Pizzas are sold each year. The statistics indicate that the number of American pizza eaters do not vary among race or gender. According to Pizza Hut, 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once per month.

One Pizzeria I will mention is Rio Bella, aka “Rio” Greenoz, located on Lacson Extension in Bacolod City. Their Pizza Chefs have changed over the years but they are still better than a number of other so called pizzerias. I still enjoy singing there in their Karaoke Bar. That is exactly what we did last Sunday afternoon with our Chinese friends from Shanghai.

I am not a big fan of Pizza Hut or Shakey’s in the Philippines. I did enjoy the 1954 Vintage Classic Pizza at Shakey’s in 2014 but it is no longer available. I remember the days back in the 1980s and in the 1990s when Shakey’s Pizza was great. The Shakey’s on Roxas Blvd in Manila had Draft San Miguel by the pitcher and a kick butt Rock n’ Roll Band at night. Ever hear the cover of “Mexican Black Bird” by ZZ Top?

Papa John’s Pizza is in Manila.

National Pizza Day Survey

In today’s National Pizza Day Survey, Lombardi’s in NYC, Capo’s in Chicago, Bollo Woodfired Pizza in Houston, Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland, Pizza Domenica in New Orleans, Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, Proof Pizza in Miami (Neapolitan Pizza), Sotto Pizza in LA, Cart Driver Pizza in Denver and Tavola in NYC are the top Pizzerias in America. Never tried any of them but it may be true, although I do not put much stock into American surveys or polls. Otherwise, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House!

I really cannot tell you why but we have never tried Pizza Republic in Bacolod or in Cebu City. We need to check it out since it seems that more Indie Pizza Restaurants are losing their touch.

I would enjoy it very much if Hungry Howies Pizza came to Bacolod, as they have great pizza in Florida.

I remember very well my first pizza and that was way back in 1960 in Middletown, Rhode Island. At a Mom & Pop Pizzeria, owned by a Portuguese couple. They also had fabulous Spaghetti & Meatballs, Grinders (submarine sandwiches) and Antipasto Salad. Wow! Would love to eat there again right now.

Filipinos Love Pizza

Filipinos in Bacolod and in Cebu City also eat a lot of Pizza. It is a mixed bag when you read online pizza reviews and listen to recommendations from others. It does not matter how good the pizza toppings are, if the pizza crust is not good, it is not good pizza…to me. If the crust is excellent, I can enjoy a plain Cheese Pizza. Others have different standards for pizza. Mama Maria Pizza in Kabankalan had very good pizza but we have not been there to eat in several years. Not sure if they are still on the planet or have the same ownership if still open. Mama Maria Pizza in Bacolod folded several years ago.

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In the Bacolod and Cebu City malls, there are a number of kiosks making and selling pizza but I never try those. I can see them on display and I know, it is a poor attempt at making good pizza. They can keep their Eden Kraft Cheese!

Sbarro Pizza is or was in SM Mall Bacolod but I am not a big fan of them. Seems they were much better in Florida, best I recall.

I find Pizzaro Pizza to be very good. There are several branches in Bacolod City but we prefer their Gold Field Branch. Pizzaro also has branches in La Carlota and in Victorias City. Pizzaro has Korean fast food on their menu. However, Hanok in Golden Field is the place to go for authentic, full service Korean Cuisine, as I wrote in a recent article right here on All Around Bacolod.

I could write more about pizza in Bacolod but this article is long enough. I will recommend Italia Restaurant on Lacson Street, as they have excellent pizza. They are the A-Lister these days, as other once excellent Bacolod pizzerias are falling by the wayside.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Coal Is Not Dead!

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Despite an outcry from environmentalists, the Philippines is moving forward in building 25 new coal powered plants across the country and all are under construction. Al Gore is not happy. Regardless, the Philippines consumption of coal is up nearly 30% since 2014.

In America, President Trump campaigned on the promise to put coal miners back to work. With his Executive Order, with a majority in the House and in the Senate, he will make it happen.

Coal Company stock is taking off! Last year, you could buy stock in one coal company, Cloud Peak Energy, on the NYSE for $1.60 but today, it is $5 per share. Last year, Westmoreland Coal was $6.40 per share but today on NASDAQ, it is up to $18 per share. No, I do not own stock in their companies. Just passing on information.

On Mom’s side of the family, coal mining paid the bills, fed the family, built houses, bought cars, paid college tuition and gave a good quality of life to hard working country folk in rural Alabama in Walker County…for 2 generations. Cousin Walt was elected UMW, United Mine Workers, President and had to move to West Virginia to carry out his responsibilities.

Loretta Lynn is a Coal Miner’s Daughter from Butcher Hollow, Kentucky and she is still performing today at age 84. She now lives in Hurricane Mills,Tennessee. I met Loretta Lynn and her hubby Mooney/Doolittle at the Holiday Inn El Camarote Bar on Roxas Blvd way back in 1987 in Manila. She had performed for US Servicemen at Subic and Clark. Loretta is a sweetheart and we hit it off since I am from Alabama and she knows a Southern Gentleman when she talks to one. Loretta Lynn asked me not to tell anyone who is was but someone recognized her. She was brought up on stage to sing and dance with the house band. The Tennessee Two Step and the Rocky Mountain jig. Can’t remember about her but Doolittle was drinking San Miguel.

lorettalynn
Loretta Lynn, the Coal Miner’s Daughter, is one of my favorite people! In 2004, she crossed over from Country and made an Alternative Rock album, “Van Lear Rose”, with Jack White of White Stripes from Detroit. Fabulous Album from start to finish. Loretta can Rock n’ Roll and I like it! When her album won the Best Album of the Year Award, she said, “I am a Rock Star Now!” A long way from the coal mines of Kentucky.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Bacolod Jazz Fest 2017

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I send this out to all you folks in Bacolod City, the City of Smiles, and to all you folks in Negros Occidental. Some of you expats are mean little bastardos but we can’t do without you! Also to those of you who may be visiting soon, I have something for ya.

The annual Bacolod Jazz Fest will be at the L’ Fisher Hotel La Proa Grand Ball Room on Friday, February 17th, with warm up jam session beginning at 6pm. Tickets are now on sale at the hotel and they are selling quickly.

Anders Paulsson, recognized as one of the world’s best saxophonists today, is the headliner. Kat Agarrado and her band, Manila Blues Experience, will also be one of the headliners. Working Stiff, Manila’s Premier Jazz Fusion Band will perform, as will AMP Nonet.

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Classical Jazz, New Age Jazz, Latino Jazz, Reggae Jazz, Fusion Jazz and All That Jazz will be featured by a number of Jazz Stylists. Get ready, it’s gonna be Awesome!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~