From a Wellness Point of View

Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in Wellness and Alternative Medicine Clinics opening in Bacolod City. I am happy see it.

Since 1986, when I was cured of Asthma with Acupuncture by a Taiwanese MD of Traditional Chinese Medicine, that is the Path I have followed for my personal health and wellness.

I am not putting anyone down for taking Western style medication, as I know some need it. However, for many things, that mode of treatment can be avoided. For me, Western style medication would be a last resort and I am thankful everyday that I do not take any medication for any reason. I have not taken an Antibiotic or a painkiller in decades.

There is a lifestyle of Wellness and the earlier it is started, the better. Harsh Western style medication taken on a regular basis can breakdown your immune system. One of the biggest tragedies is the over prescribing of antibiotics, as seen in America and the other, right up there is the over prescribing of painkillers. The latter is one big reason why there is an Opioid Epidemic in America today.

I firmly believe in the life force of Qi/Chi in the human body. Too much heat, too much cold, too much wind can cause illness. Acupuncture is used to regulate the body’s Qi. It must be balanced for good health, like the Yin and Yang. It is balanced and complementary. Cupping and the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine, always natural and herbal, also will balance the Qi/Chi.


Some believe that high and extreme impact exercise is necessary for good health. I am not one who believes it. I played sports well into my 40s, mostly Softball. I still like to play Wiffle Ball, Volleyball and I have a Football to throw around with others.

For me, Tai Chi is great. It is low impact and it accomplishes much for those who are into it. After only 5 minutes of Tai Chi, I can feel the benefits.

Every morning at Panaad Park in Bacolod, there are many older Filipinos and foreigners meeting up for Tai Chi. I learned Tai Chi in China and I practice it at home. I do not need an instructor of Tai Chi.


Walking is another great exercise for older people or for anyone for that matter. Easily accomplished in the Philippines at any of the many malls. It does not have to be a walk on the wild side! I have seen some of those fast walkers in the mall and if not careful, they will knock you down! And keep on truckin’.

The Human Body is actually a Natural Pharmacy. A key is eating real food instead of processed food so much. Real Food puts natural bacteria in your gut. Motion will activate your body’s Natural Pharmacy, which is in your blood stream, tailored just for you. Going to a gym is not required, as Tai Chi and walking are both motion. Sitting for prolong periods is never good.

I also attribute Faith and Prayer as part of my Wellness. Many MDs have stated that their patients who have a Spiritual Life stand a much better chance to full recovery.

My greeting to you is that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers during this Holy Week Season and through the years. All the days of your lives.

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

Your Amigo,
~ Gary ~

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Corn Dogs


The Texas Rangers baseball team has added the Dilly Dog to their concessions. The Dilly Dog is a Frankfurter inside a large Dill Pickle, battered and deep fried to make a new type of Corn Dog. So far, fans are giving it mixed reviews during Spring Training games. I would greatly enjoy trying a Dilly Dog!

Cali Coast Corn Dogs in Ayala Mall is now out of business. Too bad. It was fun while it lasted, as they were open about 7 months. They had good Corn Dogs but used the smaller Hot Dogs, so you needed 2, which were P30 or P35 each.

Last December, I bought a 16 count box of frozen Foster Farms Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs at S&R in Iloilo. These are excellent Corn Dogs and I have a few left due to my saving them for when I really want a Corn Dog.


Making Corn Dogs at home is not that difficult but I found it takes practice concerning keeping the batter around the Hot Dog. I suggest preparing a dozen Corn Dogs the first batch and if you get 8 out of 12 right, you are a better Corn Dog maker than I am. I read just today that is an easier process is using Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix as the batter. I will try it next time but unless I am just looking for an activity, I will buy more Foster Farms double honey batter dipped Corn Dogs at S&R again. They are Corn Dog Experts!


Metro Supermarket in Ayala Mall sells Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix for P63 per box and I already have 2 boxes on hand.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

 

 

For Those Visiting or Living in the Philippines From UK


I fully realize that Americans are not the only expats living in the Philippines and Americans are not the only foreigners visiting the Philippines. The US State Department statistics indicate that 300,000 US citizens live in the Philippines and I would imagine many of them are Filipino-Americans, who retired to their homeland. There are SSA and VA Reps in Manila to provide services to American citizens. Now, to our UK friends.

I have never seen Marmite in Bacolod City but I buy Vegemite at Bob’s Deli. Metro Supermarket sometimes has Vegemite in stock but not all the time.

The Ploughman’s Lunch is right up my alley and it is something I enjoy eating, midday. Buttered Bread, Sliced Cheese, various Pickles and Beer. Most often, I add Cold Cuts of Meat and Boiled Eggs.


Bryan Reano, from England, was a Bacolod fixture, together with his wife, Rosalinda, selling Lumpia and Banana Turon all over the city. Their varieties of Lumpia were a big hit, which included Spicy Beef, Spicy Seafood, Chicken Curry and Hungarian Sausage. Their Turon included sliced Banana and Jam made with Mango, Jackfruit, Pineapple or Lychee. Sadly, Bryan passed away in December, 2015. He is still missed in the community, a very friendly guy with a big smile and who greatly enjoyed talking to local people.

Commercial Food From UK

Sometimes, you can hear everything but the wind blow. I was recently told that the British Silver & Plum Restaurant and Pub, located at Sorrento Plaza in Bacolod on Lacson Street, no longer promotes British Food. I have not been there lately, so I cannot confirm it. They do not open until 4pm but I plan to check them out in the near future.

When Silver & Plum first opened in 2014, their signature menu included…British Chips, English Steak, Bangers & Mash and Lamb Steak & Mash. A jar of Colman’s Original English Mustard sat on every table.

The Market Pub, located behind the New Govt Center on Circumferential Road, is an English style Pub in Bacolod. I have not been there since they first opened, so I cannot comment on their new menu, at this time.

Last Saturday, I enjoyed a great St Patrick’s Day with my family and friends in Sipalay, Negros Occidental, on the beach.

Last Week, I noticed that Cafe Bob’s Deli had about a dozen bottles of Heinz Malt Vinegar for P170 each and I picked up another bottle for my stock.Always great on Fish & Chips. I go to Bob’s Deli 2 X most weeks to look around at new arrivals, to buy a few things and to drink a Negros Pale Ale..or 2.


A good Deli in various locations in the Philippines, with a grocery section of imported food products, is a good place to check for Malt Vinegar and other hard to find imported food products. Bob’s Deli usually has Heinz Beanz in stock.

I worked with several teaching colleagues in China, who were from England, and I learned a few new things about Food. Heinz Beanz on Toast is one, which I enjoy. You gotta use the Heinz Beans sold in UK and not the local Pork n’ Beans because it is not near as good. It is not good at all to me. I stick with Heinz Beanz, which are sold in the UK.


Another tip I learned is the Chip Butty. For my American readers and others, it is basically a French Fries Sandwich, on Buttered Bread. I like Malt Vinegar on the Chip Butty I make, which is so EZ to make. Ketchup and HP Sauce on the Chip Butty are also good, as I have tried both and both are available in my area of the Philippines.

Colman’s Original Mustard from UK is available at Bob’s Deli, Beer and Ale from UK are available in cities around the Philippines, including in Bacolod City. In the Supermarkets, you can buy Cream Dory Fish Fillets, which make very good Fish & Chips.


I am not from the UK but it is my Heritage, Ireland, which I am proud to say. Guinness Stout and Jameson Irish Whiskey are available in Bacolod City.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Sipalay Revisited


We spent the weekend in Sipalay, Negros Occidental, leaving out Saturday morning around 415am in our Isuzu MU-X. It is about a 3 1/2 hour drive by private vehicle and it is approximately 165 km from Bacolod to Sipalay. Once you get to Kabankanlan, you are about halfway to Sipalay.

For a lack of a better place, we stopped at Jollebee in Kabankalan for breakfast at 6am. I ordered the Bacon, Egg and Cheese Pancake Sandwich, similar to an Egg McMuffin, and it was much better than I thought it would be.

This is our second trip to Sipalay during the past two years, so we are somewhat familiar with the city, which is a small city indeed.


The Jamont Hotel is the best place to lodge in Sipalay, if you want a good hotel. The room we rented, to sleep 4 people, was P1,800 per night. Across a small street from the Jamont Hotel is a beach and swimming is allowed. In 2016, we grilled on that beach one evening but we were told this year that grilling on the beach is now prohibited. Sipalay is known for their excellent Fish and we were looking forward to grilling Fish on the beach for supper that evening. I had also brought along Johnsonville Smoked Brats and Swiss-German-Hungarian Debreziner Sausage for grilling.

The Jamont Hotel, at least in the room where we stayed during both trips, has kicking air con, which actually gets the room cold! Cignal Satellite TV is available, the shower is hot with strong water pressure and there is a large swimming pool for hotel guests. The Veranda is the in house restaurant at The Jamont Hotel but they are not open 24 hours, so I am suggesting ordering no later than 9pm or plan on dining out elsewhere, some place along the actual touristic beach area.

We were allowed to check in the hotel at 9am on Saturday and check out was 12pm on Sunday.

The actual tourist area of the beach near the Jamont Hotel is within about a 2 block walk from the hotel. Impossible to miss.

Best Food

For foreigners, the best restaurant you will find is in that particular beach area and The Mixed Food Restaurant is the place to go. You cannot miss it, as there is a scaled down bamboo structure of the Eiffel Tower out front. The food is French Fusion, the food is great with small prices. They have cold Beer as well. This was our 2nd time to dine at Mixed Food Restaurant, which is operated by a French guy and his wife, both of whom are very friendly. We enjoyed the food we ordered both experiences.

Most every Friday and Saturday night, a live band performs across the road from The Mixed Food Restaurant, on the beach.

Let The Music Play

The touristic beach area was jumping with live music when we went for supper around 930pm on Saturday. We chose a BBQ restaurant, JJ’s Bacolod Chicken Inasal Restaurant and the owners are from Bacolod City. Super nice folks, to say the least. We told them that we are from Bacolod. The Grill Master gladly grilled my Debreziner Sausages, as the other 3 in our group ordered their food for grilling. Chicken and Squid with Rice and Drinks. Beer is ice cold and P50 per bottle. Pilsen, San Mig Light, San Miguel Apple Beer and Red Horse.

The Fish Market, located in the area of the Public Market, is a great place to buy Fish for taking home to prepare. Of course, we had an ice chest with us. We bought a good size whole Tuna for P330 last Sunday morning at The Fish Market.

There are several Diving Resorts in Sipalay, Boat Rentals and Boat Tours. Sugar Beach seems to be a popular spot but not for us! In 2016, the owner of a Sugar Beach Resort, a German National, met me outside his restaurant with lodging and told me very frankly…my place is not for Filipinos! That year, there were 42 in our group, 41 Filipinos and me!

After leaving that Resort, we walked a short distance, all 42 of us, and went to Big Bamboo Beach Resort. The owner, from the Middle East, does not have restrictions on Filipinos, and how could he..legally? The Manager of Big Bamboo welcomed us…very happily. How many establishments have 42 people drop in for lunch and for drinks? In one group?

This trip, we did not go to Sugar Beach. We had plenty of fun with it.

We had planned singing karaoke during our first night in Sipalay, however, we decided to take in the band that performed on the beach. They were very good and they had a small horn section included. They performed a number of Bob Marley and other Reggae songs, together with other pop songs. All in English.


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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~