The Palms Food Complex


Yesterday, we went to The Palms Food Complex in Bacolod, located behind Starbuck’s and the Shell station on 18th Street, off Lacson Street. We wanted to order Pizza at the new Neenan’s Shack…Pizza and Burgers. The principal proprietor is a foreigner.

The Pizza was great, prepared in a wood fired brick oven. I rank Neenan’s Pizza among the best in Bacolod and the 4 in our party all agree. Two thumbs up! Now, we come to the prices. Margherita Pizza is P145 and Pepperoni Pizza is P160. All pizzas are the same size but among us, we had two slices to bring home, leftover from those two Pizzas we ordered. Those were my breakfast today!


At The Palms, there are maybe 6 restaurants and most all the tables are outdoors but covered by an awning up high. No beating down hot sun or rain to be concerned about. I noticed on the end of the Food Complex, every outdoor table was taken, so I walked down there to see what is so popular. It is…

Beers and Wings! On Wednesdays and Saturdays, 3pm-8pm, there is Unlimited Buffalo Wings and Rice for P199 per head. Beer is extra, of course.

I would like to thank the Bacolod Food Hunters for telling all their followers about the newest and greatest restaurants in Greater Bacolod City. Thank you much!

Almost every week in Bacolod, new restaurants open their doors. Bacolod City has long been known as a Mecca for Fabulous Food. There is something here for just about everyone! Negrense and other Regional Filipino Cuisine, American, British, Indian, Latin American, Spanish, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Asian Fusion and other delicious Cuisine as well.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Politics: Everyone Does Not Play Fairly


It is the agenda of the Intellectual Idiots, in millions of dollars orchestrated effort, to shut up every Conservative in America. There are also Tools, a minority, in the Republican Party elite who are just as bad! However, the Red Line has been drawn and Conservatives will no longer tolerate Slander and Libel.

I vote in all the Florida State, County and American National Elections from the Philippines via Absentee Ballot. I take my voting right seriously.


Michelle Malkin, a Filipino-Amercian, whose parents legally immigrated to America, was born in Philadelphia, PA. Her dad is a MD and her mom is a Teacher, both proclaiming to be…Reagan Republicans. Michelle Malkin is one of my favorites on Conservative Talk Radio and on Fox News, as a regular contributor. She is great and a Rising Star! Even greater than ever. I watched Michelle Malkin on Hannity, Fox New last night, in Bacolod City and her comments about the Progressive Left in America were Riveting and right on Target!

In the Philippines, Freedom of Speech is well respected and is well protected because during Martial Law, it was taken away from Filipinos. Never again…will always be remembered in the Philippines. Opposing Views may not be liked but they are not silenced in the press and in other media. There are special interest people in the Shadows, who will try to destroy a candidate with black propaganda and the same happens in America. However both Libel and Slander are crimes in the Philippines. If convicted, the offender can go to prison! I support this kind of Law 100% and I hope to see it in America as well. It seems the current law, which is a Civil Offense, has no bite.


I do not recall anyone going off the deep end when Richard Nixon was elected President in 1968. He won and both parties went to work in the American Legislative Chambers for America’s best interests.

The rage began on election night in America, last November, when the Democratic Party realized they lost the Election. Hillary Clinton did not Shatter the Glass Ceiling, she was Shattered! In 30 of the 50 States. They rejected her TRAPO Platform. The platform of a Traditional Politician.

Progressive today?! I’m afraid I got some bad news. It is Regressive! Beyond any recognition and American voters rejected the Progressive Platform last November.


I have been a fan of Philippine Politics since I first lived here in Manila for one year, 1986-1987. However, as a foreigner, I never involve myself in Philippine Politics but I enjoy reading about it…every single day. I know what is happening in the Philippines, day to day.


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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

The News: Fair, Balanced, Unbiased and Fearless


The Philippine Daily Inquirer, online and the hard copy, are not affiliated at all with American Tabloids, like the National Enquirer. The Philippine Daily Inquirer has over 50% in the market share of the Philippines, concerning media. They are like Fox News, reporting fair, unbiased, balanced and fearless news.

In America, and I am sure this could create backlash, Fox is the only Fair and Balanced News reporting in America. Other stations only report from a political slant. For example, the gunman in Fresno, California, just in the last few days, who shot and killed 3 men. Mainstream News reported the killer yelled “God is Great! That is not true, he yelled out “Alluha Akbar,!” Big difference. Political Correctness in full mode! It was an act of terrorism! Clear cut but only covered up. A hate crime? Yeah, right. The guy was a radicalized Muslim Terrorist. His internet history proves it!


Fox News has been around since 1919. Reporting world and local news in theaters during movies, in the beginning. I never watch the other news stations for real news but I see their reports from time to time. More intellectual idiots.

In 1986-1987, I read the Manila Bulletin Newspaper but times have changed. Philippine Daily Inquirer and Fox News are my real news sources.

A number of the long time, once reputable news reporters have fallen by the wayside, including Ted Koppel! They have apparently allowed Partisan Politics to deteriorate their brains. Just watch the interview Koppel did with Fox News reporter, Sean Hannity. If you can find it! Sean Hannity is Bad for America? Fake News and Liberal News with a 100% political slant is bad for America!!

Even if the news about people I like and support is bad news, I want to read it/hear it and I want it reported accurately and unbiased, in all fairness. To hell with Political Correctness, Cover Ups and supporting a White House Narrative, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office! Yes, even if about Donald Trump, who I voted for! Give us the Real News, not Fake News.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Dogs In The Philippines


You will find many pure bred dogs in the Philippines, which you will find in your home country. Including the Siberian Husky, Rottweiler, Doberman, Pomeranian, Chow and so many more.

The native dog to the Philippines is the Askal. Some foreigners and Filipinos refer to the Askal as a street dog or a mongrel, however, some Askals are loved as pets in homes. They come in all sizes and colors. Some Askals are part pure bred and others are a mixed up breed of dog.

Meet My Dog: Tasha

Without a doubt, the best dog I ever owned is our Belgian Malinois, Tasha. She was EZ to train and we got her when she was a puppy. She is 6 years old now. She sleeps a lot in the day time and is fully alert a night time. The entire night!

We never have a problem handling and controlling Tasha. She responds positively to our verbal commands and she is highly intelligent. In our subdivision compound, Tasha has a lot of running around room. She will just take off and start running within our gated family compound. From one end to the other. Plenty of energy. Other than a skin disorder, Tasha has been in perfect health.

Tasha is a very affectionate, playful and sensitive dog but not to strangers, however, she has never bitten anyone. She is very kid friendly and tolerates hot weather just fine. We keep plenty of water available for her. Quick on her feet, Tasha had captured and killed a couple of rats, which were outside but within our compound.

House Dog vs Outside Dog

The Beligian Malinois is not a giant dog but a little large to be a house dog. We allow Tasha inside our house but she does not linger long. She prefers the outdoors. We do not keep Tasha caged but her dog house does have a door which we can latch from the outside. We put her up when strange people, to her but not to us, come to our house. Her dog house is not enclosed to make her too hot.

This morning when I woke up, Tasha was sleeping in the open, right under the sun! She can come and go concerning her dog house but she only goes in when we need to put her up or when it is raining. She hates fireworks and wants to come into our house when she hears them.

Overall, I think Dog is people’s best friend. Will Rogers, an American Cowboy, Philosopher, Humorist, Performer and Writer once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went!”

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

National Pizza Day

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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.

pizza

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

bacolod-jazz-fest
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.

jazz
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 ~

Eating Korean Food In The Philippines

korea
A new Korean restaurant opened at Golden Field in Bacolod and the name is Hanok. I have been hearing a lot of talk about how great the Korean food is at Hanok. Of course, if you already know you do not like Korean food, no need to go there, as that is all they serve. Some of the dishes, you can cook at your table. There are many dishes that are prepared in their kitchen by an actual chef, so you do not have to cook!

A friend contacted me and told me that there is a Korean owner and a Korean chef at Hanok and he knows I know Korean food very well. I ate Korean and Thai food 4 or 5 times each week when I lived in Ft Walton Beach, Florida. A Korean friend owned my favorite restaurant/watering hole/karaoke bar in the Florida Panhandle. Mary Esther, Florida.

Korean Dining Experience

korean-star
Four of us dined at Hanok last evening and even our 11 year old son raved about their food! We could not eat all the food, of course, as each dish is for 3-4 people, depending on appetites. It is about social, getting together, ordering 4 or 5 dishes, sharing and having a few drinks. We ordered 5 dishes, a pitcher of house blend cold tea without ice and a couple of beers for my friend and I. My wife and I were the only ones who could use chopsticks and Korean chopsticks are normally metal, not wooden. Do not worry, as they have regular eating utensils as well at Hanok. The fare was exactly P1500 and we had a ton of leftovers to bring home.

For brunch today, I had leftover Korean Green Onion Pancakes and Cheese Egg Rolls. These egg rolls are not like Filipino Lumpia or Chinese Egg Rolls. No, no, no. They are actually eggs, rolled up and stuffed with wonderful cheese.

Finding an Excellent Korean Restaurant

I will be the first to tell you, finding an excellent Korean restaurant in Bacolod and even in Cebu is hit or miss. Mostly Miss from my experience. I have eaten at 2 different Korean restaurants in Cebu City and both were not good at all. Not authentic. Hanok is the only authentic Korean restaurant we have found in Bacolod. The only one!

A good tip for ya. See which restaurant has many Korean patrons eating there. If they eat in a Korean restaurant that is crap, they will not go back again. If you find a Korean restaurant with many Korean patrons, I think you have found the gem. Word of mouth spreads. “Don’t go to _____(fill in the blank.) No good!”

Last evening, there were two lovely young Korean ladies dining there and each had a full bottle of Soju. They are a better man than I am if they can drink a bottle of Soju! Perhaps they were drinking the 18% ABV Soju? I have only tried the 45% ABV Soju in the past and I already knew if I messed around drinking much of it, it would knock my socks off! I found it to be a hard drink.

No thanks! Just give me an ice cold OB, a Korean Beer. There is a joke that OB is Oriental Budweiser Beer. It is good beer.

I had not eaten an authentic Korean Green Onion Pancake since 1995. I am very happy I found them again at Hanok.

If you want to enjoy excellent authentic Korean Cuisine in Bacolod City, I highly recommend Hanok in Golden Field.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Wing Master: The Taste of Real Buffalo Wings

wing-master-77
On a tip from an American friend, a former pro wrestler in Boston, we checked out Wing Master last night. It was an awesome experience. Wing Master is located in Zone 15 of Ayala North Point District Mall in Talisay, just north of Bacolod City.

The husband of the owner of Wing Master, Ron, is a member of LinP3. His wife, Russel, is the hands on owner of Wing Master. Both are from Buffalo, NY, so you know their Buffalo Wings are the real deal! You can believe that.

I cannot resist Country Fried Steak, aka Chicken Fried Steak, with White Gravy and Wing Master has it on their menu. It was great. Of course, later in the evening, I had to try their Buffalo Wings.

It’s Still Rock n’ Roll For Me!

A fabulous bonus for me was the live band, which is every Friday night at Wing Master. They were gracious to allow me to sing 6 songs with them during their sets. Every night is a good night for singing and last night was no exception. The guitar player in the band is a real pro, as he may not have been so familiar with my songs but he picked it up right away to lead the way on his electric guitar. Sweet Home Alabama, My Sacrifice, Unchain My Heart, Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Nothing Else Matters and Free Bird.
Rock n’ Roll and a little Blue Eyed Soul. Sad songs and waltzes do not help me at all. I enjoy Full Tilt Boogie and Ram Jam.

You Got Friends

At Wing Master, there is not only great food and fabulous music but Ron and Russel are good people. Very friendly and talkative. I already know that you will like them!

I am passing on this information to you free of charge. I am not a paid advertiser. If it is real, I tell you about it, if not, I will not mention it to you.

Let’s Party Like It Is 1999

I just have to mention it. It is been awhile since one of my favorite NFL Teams, the Buffalo Bills had a great team. They were 11-5 in 1999. Let’s hope a new coach will make the Buffalo Bills great again! The talent is already on the team. Just a few more good men needed to be added. Tired of being 7-9 every year!

wing-master3
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Have a good one!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Christmas Vacation: Siquijor Island

Siquijor
Beginning on December 20, my wife, our son, a Filipino friend, 2 nieces in their 20s and I hit the road, to places we have never been before.

Our real destination was Siquijor Island, where a cousin lives with her 2 children. The RoRo departs for Larena, Siquijor at 10am and at 6pm from Dumaguete. We chose to spend the night in Dumaguete at an Inn with Executive Suites for P2,800, breakfast buffet included. All 6 of us comfortably slept in the same suite.

We had dinner at El Amigos Restaurant, which was a challenge..for me. Everyone had received their orders, had eaten and I was still waiting an hour later! I asked for the bill and told the Mgr to take my order off the bill because I was not waiting any longer and I was not paying for something I didn’t receive. It worked out. The others all said they enjoyed their food and good for them. I took everyone to McDonald’s and I had the Cheeseburger Deluxe Combo for P129. I enjoyed it.

Only the Bank of Commerce had an ATM in Dumaguete without very long lines on the 21st.

Larena, Siquijor

The 10am RoRo to Larena, Siquijor got us there before 12 Noon. We met the cousin and her 10 year old daughter for lunch. First time I had ever met them. She suggested Jo’s Chicken Ranch and that is where we had lunch. Very good food there at Jo’s.

The resort where we stayed in Laren was very nice. Once again, we were all able to comfortably sleep in their largest cottage, which was P2,800 per night and we stayed 2 nights.

Cliff Resort
Both nights, we dined at Vikings Sports Bar, not to be confused with Vikings Luxury Buffet. Their Spaghetti Marinara was very good, which I ordered both nights for dinner. Vikings also has a billiard table and an excellent karaoke system. My Filipino friend, 1 niece and I always enjoy singing. Vikings had many of my favorite songs on their karaoke system, including…My Sacrifice by Creed and…Jeremy by Pearl Jam.

vikings-beer

On the 22nd, we drove around Larena, Maria, San Juan and the actual municipality of Siquijor, which is the island Govt Seat. The oldest Convent in Asia is located on Siquijor Island and also one of the oldest Catholic churches in the Visayas. We saw both but only toured the old church.

In Campalanas, Siquijor, there is a 400 year old Balete Tree and from the tree roots, a fresh water spring flows. In the spring are many Garra Rufa Fish, which nibble at your feet. Fish spa anyone? Frankly, I had the feeling that spirits live in the old Balete Tree. Sure enough, that is part of the folklore. Tikbalang Spirits dwell in the tree.

On site of the tree and fish spa park are 2 voodoo stores. Dolls and potions of all kinds for sale. I sure did not buy any!

Back to Bacolod City

We headed back to Bacolod on the 23rd and we took our time. We reached Kabankalan and our driver friend was tired, so we spent the night in a pension house. The suite to lodge us all was only P1700 per night. We dined at The Melting Pot and I ordered the whole deep fried catfish. I was very pleased with it. We went singing at Amigo’s Karaoke that night. Since Kabankalan is only about 2 hours from Bacolod, another Filipino friend from Bacolod joined us for singing.

The 24th breakfast was at Red Buck’s Cafe in Kabankalan. I ordered Eggs Benedict and I enjoyed it much.

After dropping the girls off in their home in the province, we came on home to Bacolod, arriving around 230pm. I admit I was a little tired from the whirlwind trip and I hit the rack at 930pm. I skipped out on the Midnight Noche Buena at a friend’s house. I needed the rest. No way was I going to wake up at 1130pm for that! I slept all through the night.

We all had a fabulous time this Christmas Vacation. I for one, get Rambling Fever from time to time and I enjoy road trips to places we have never been before. But only the interesting places, as I do not care one thing about going to one horse towns anymore.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~