Ho Hop, Wo Hop or Po Palace


Binondo, the Oldest Chinatown in the World, may well be your only bet to eat New York Style Chinese Food. Not only in Metro Manila but anywhere in the Philippines.


The above Photo is a painting by Arko, depicting Binondo in Metro Manila.

In Bacolod, it is a mixed bag about Chinese Restaurants. They have Chinese Food and that is the only positive. None really light a fire with even a spark. None have that notch kicker to make me enjoy Chinese Food. I lived in China for 9 years, where I worked as an English Teacher. I enjoyed American-Chinese Food in America for 3 decades and I enjoyed Chinese Food in Binondo, when I lived in Manila two times.


There is one main Chinatown in NYC but there are actually 8 different Chinatown Neighborhoods in the Big Apple. The Chinese of NY have developed their own Style of Chinese Food, known as NY Style. The owner of Joy Young Chinese Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama sent his Grandson Chef to NYC to actually study NY Style Chinese Food at Pearl Palace Academy.


Opened in 1919, Joy Young was the First and the Oldest Chinese Restaurant in the entire State of Alabama. Joy Young Property was reportedly sold to Developers in the 1980s and no more Joy Young! However, a Descendant of Joe Young, owner of Joy Young, had their famous recipes. He opened the Chop Suey Inn on Green Springs Hwy in Birmingham.


The Po Palace, with the appropriate name, in Alachua, Florida offers NY Style Chinese Food on a Budget. If you have $4 or $5, you are eating a good NY Style Chinese Lunch! Gainesville, near Alachua, has a a NY Style Chinese Restaurant near the University of Florida Campus. Many meals are served in the Iconic cardboard Chinese Takeout Box with Wire Handle, for authenticity.


Did you know that those cardboard Chinese Takeout Boxes can be folded out to make a plate?

Wo Hop is a famous Chinese Restaurant in NYC Chinatown. They keep alive NY Style Chinese Food and they are open 24/7.


Ho Hop is a NY Style Chinese Restaurant in Green Cove Springs, Florida. The Politically Correct Squad has not zeroed in on Ho Hop about their name. I doubt a Judge in Florida would make the owner change it, anyway.


American-Chinese Chefs not only created a New Style of Chinese Food, they also created New Names for Chinese Dishes. In China, you will never see or hear…Moo Goo Gai Pan, Egg Foo Young, Crab Rangoon, Chow Mein, Chop Suey, Won Tons, Egg Rolls, Egg Drop Soup, Pineapple Chicken, Fortune Cookies, Chinese Mustard or other American-Chinese specifics.


Cold Sesame Noodles, Chicken Almond Ding, Shrimp Chow Mein, Pineapple Chicken, Chow Mai Fon, Goon Bo Gai and Walnut Shrimp are a few examples of Original NY Style Chinese Food.


You gotta love NY Style Chinese Food. It is an American Icon. originated by Chinese-Americans. American Chinese Food will blow your socks off! It Rocks and will never die.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

Seafood…And Eat It!


There are a number of good Seafood Restaurants in Bacolod. However, even eating at the best, I have experiences Mild to Moderate GI Disturbances after eating there. Therefore, the best and safest Seafood is at Gary’s House!

My wife and I both know how to safely handle Fresh Seafood and we know how to prepare it.

The Seafood Dish I eat most often at home is the Fish Po Boy. I use Vietnamese Catfish Fillets, AKA Cream Dory, to make the Po Boy, Deep Frying the Fish.


The key to any Fried Fish is…the Batter. I like Beer Battered Fish. Other Ingredients include…Cornmeal, Flour, a variety of Spices of Choices but I use All in One Creole Seasoning that is all in. Everything is in it already.

I dip the Fish Fillets in Beer and then dredge it in the Seasoned Cornmeal-Flour Mix. If you do not like dipping Fish in Beer, dip it in a beaten Egg first.


On the Po Boy, I slather both the bread and the Fish with Mayonnaise and Horseradish, accented with Pickle Relish. I then top with Cole Slaw. The Fish Po Boy is down home New Orleans. Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez! Let the Good Times Roll!

I make a Shrimp Po Boy from time to time, using the same Technique as making the Fish Po Boy. If I see the large Oysters, an Oyster Po Boy is awesome!

When eating Boiled Shrimp, I make Shrimp Cocktail as the Sauce. I leave off the Pickle Relish and I use Ketchup instead of Mayonnaise, never forgetting the Horseradish. Required!

Scallops and Oysters are at the top of my favorite Seafood. I learned my lesson well and I will never, never, never again eat Raw Oysters in the Philippines.


I also like Clams, especially Razor Clams, Mussels, Crabs and Sea Snails.

The Fish I eat, I am very picky about. Head and Tail on does not bother me but them Bones do bother me!

Vietnamese Catfish, Lison, Lapu Lapu and Bangus are the Fish I enjoy. Forget Tilapia!


There is a Marine Bounty and a Treasure Trove of Seafood…all around Bacolod. I hope to see you here…one day!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

 

Sisig-King of Filipino Food


Sisig is a dish that is made from Pig’s Mask and is loaded with spices such as Onion, Garlic, and Chili Peppers, as well as seasoned with Calamansi. It is typically served with a cracked egg on top. Many Filipinos in the Bacolod Area also top their Sisig with Mayonnaise.

A kilo of sliced Pig’s Mask is available at the Burgos Public Market in Bacolod for only P100.

This famous dish that can be served for lunch or dinner or even used as a pulutan in gatherings originally came from Pampanga in Luzon.\In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.

In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.


Sisig, which means “to snack on something sour” or “salad” was first mentioned in the 17th century and has become a culinary tradition around the Philippines. This prompted the City Government of Angeles to pass an Ordinance declaring Angeles City as the Sisig Capital of the Philippines.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

National Food Days


Somewhere out there, it seems that at least one day each week is a National Food Day. I think it is great!

Tuesday was National Hamburger Day in America. Many Burger Joints had Promos, Giveaways and Discounts.

It has not been that long ago when it was National Pizza Day in America. Same things…Promos, Giveaways and Discounts.


In Bacolod, there was a recent Chicken Inasal Day and 3,000 BBQ Skewers were given to Senior Citizens for Free.


Manokan Country in Bacolod has an Annual Festival. The BBQ Chicken Complex is located near SM Mall on Father M Ferrero Street. There are many BBQ Chicken Restaurants at Manokan Country. Nenas Rose is the most famous but I like Rositas best.


Most of the Restaurants at Manokan Country also have Talaba on their Menus. It is Grilled Oysters, still in the Shell.

One of my favorites is Lechon Baka Day. Slicing Medium Rare Beef from the Lechon Prime Rib Roast or from Leg of Beef brings pure happiness!


I often have the same American National Food Day at our home in Bacolod. I remember National Hot Dog Day and I went to work! I made Slaw Dogs, Kraut Dogs, Chili Dogs and Chicago Hot Dogs. I enjoyed making the Dogs about as much as eating them!

In 7 States in the USA, there was recently, May 13-26, Filipino Restaurant Week.

When I lived in Orange Park, Florida, there were 2 nice Filipino Restaurants. Pearl of the Orient and Little Cavite.


Today in Greater Jacksonville, Florida, there are many more Filipino Restaurants. Most notably are…The Jeepney Stop, Nino’s Pinoy Express, Lola’s Filipino Cuisine, L&L Filipino-Hawaiian Grill and Maharlika Grill.


In Ft Walton Beach, Florida, one of interest is a Lumpia Wagon. Nellie’s Lumpia on Wheels.

Happy National Food Days and Happy Food Festivals.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Dark Agenda: The War Against Christian America


Despite its many problems, the Philippines remains the only Christian Nation in Asia. No, all Filipinos do not practice Christian Values but it is still God’s Christian Nation in Asia.

In the Philippines, Prayer is not restricted in Schools or at Public Events. SM and other Retail Stores broadcast a Prayer every evening on their PA System. These same Retail Stores pipe in Gospel and Christian Music on their PA System every Sunday. No one is going to complain or file a law suit!

David Horowitz new book…Dark Agenda: The War Against Christian America should be alarming to Americans regardless where they live, including in the Philippines.

David Horowitz is actually a Liberal Jew who has Conservative Thinking. He is a famous attorney and a Harvard Law Professor.

America could have only been created by Christian Founding Fathers. Sweeping away our nation’s Christian Foundation will pave the way for all of our Freedoms to be threatened.

Wackos

The current rise of Socialism in the Democrat Party is a disguised effort to destroy Christianity in America.

The Radical Far Left Progressive Liberals hate Christianity because they hate America. Their sick and twisted efforts are to create a Godless, Heathen America. These rising hateful attacks threaten all Americans! They are dead set on extinguishing Judeo-Christian Values, which are the very Foundation of our Democracy in America.

This movement is not exactly new but it is gaining strength daily. It all started when they forcibly removed Prayer from Schools and that was only the beginning. Together with Abortion, which is murdering babies in the womb. Now, they want Abortion up to the day before the baby is to be born and even the day the baby is born. This is not Abortion but it is indeed Murder, Infanticide.


I watch Fox News daily and I hear new stories all the time. The Radical Far Left Progressive Liberals are trying to force towns and cities to remove Crosses at public places. They protest against Nativity Scenes during Christmas. They try to force Christians to support their values everyday and take away our Christian Religious Rights! They hate Chick fil-A because it is Christian owned and they close on Sundays.. Many support Islam and Sharia Law, liking to see it more in America. They hate Israel. Antisemitism rhetoric is accepted these days in the US Congress.


All of these happening should alarm all Americans! I am so very concerned and even though I live in the Philippines, I am doing my part in fight back. Everyday. I am keeping on the Firing Line for My Lord. The Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Pork Chops at Olimba


Yesterday, I dropped by Olimba Resto Grill on Lopez Jaena Street, Barangay 31, in Bacolod City. If you are looking for good Native Food, a place to spend the night in a Pension House, a place to receive a Wellness Therapeutic Massage and a place to sing Karaoke, I can tell you the place to go. Olimba! It is also a Coffee Shop and they are open 24/7.

Cold Beer


For sure, you can order San Miguel Light or Red Horse Beer at Olimba.

Great People and Great Service

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Olimba, Cherry, and several of her family members. They are all very friendly and they will treat you nicely. The price is the same, for one and all, as no higher price for foreigners.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod. Maybe it will be at Olimba?

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Wild Night is Calling, Alright


I knew yesterday that Sunday would be a Wild Night. That is exactly what happened. All the girls walked by, dressed up for each other and the boys did the boogie woogie on the corner of the street, as described by Van Morrison.

The first Annual Negros Grill Fest ended Sunday night, early Monday morning, staged at Ayala District Mall in Talisay, right outside north Bacolod.

I met up with The Brothers from North Carolina, Scott and Gene, aka Gunny. Let me tell ya, when you get 3 Redneck Southern Boys together in the Philippines, we know how to have ourselves a time! That is exactly what we did. Scott and Gene are retired US Marines with more than 20 years in and that pretty much says it all, di ba?

BBQ

It was really a great night of fun. I also met up with Dave Gee, of Miami. I had wondered what happened to Dave, as I had not seen him in a couple of years. Dave Gee has 7,000 pigs, imagine that! North of Bacolod is the farm but for security reasons, I will not name the place to prevent Pig Rustlers, lol. Dave supplies the Pork for two Meat Shops in Bacolod. Both well known with a large customer base. You can believe that!

Dave had a 4 hour smoked Rack of Ribs on the grill and several dozen Chicken Wings as well. Everyone had good food, who were with me. Cerveza Negra was the Beer of the Night. Dave Gee set us up just right but That’s What Friends Are For!

I was not driving and made it home alright. No headache and no hangover, although I may have pushed it a little bit, to say the least.

Sorry to see the Negros Grill Fest come to an end. My buddy, Martin, of the Bacolod Food Hunters, was a little late in telling me about the Grill Fest but I made it, with time to spare before it shut down. Martin took me around and gave me a tour of the Grill Fest, introducing me to Restaurant Owners.

The Few, the Proud

Two Marines and one Correctional Officer had fun sharing War Stories. Middle East Wars and Prison Wars are not fun but we still talk about what we did, with Pride. However, the hairs on our arms stood up.

We also celebrated the 30th Annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, May 28. America will never be destroyed from the outside but within, IF We Allow It! All you have to do today is read the news and see that it is already being attempted by the Far Left, sadly, by elected officials!!! You know who they are.

God bless the Marines and Corrections Officers. Different fields but we pretty much do the same. Protecting Freedom, the Constitution and the Public. There is not any guarantee that when we go to work, we will come home at night. That’s the Reality. Death never takes a holiday and Death Rides a Pale Horse.

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 ~

Expat Complaints: Angry White Guys

angry-man-yelling

Over the years, I’ve heard many expat complaints from guys who are living in the Philippines. Sometimes, they have a valid point and a complaint of merit. Sometimes, their complaint is about something that really bothers them but other times, they seem to be on a witch hunt. Other times, I have wondered if they ever spent any quality amount of time here before making the move. If they had, they would know what they were getting into. No surprises!

Not finding a plumber or an electrician, who measures up to their expat standards, is one common complaint I hear. We have not had any plumbing problems to speak of during the past 7 years, other than an occasional clogged drain, which was easily fixed. We have not had any electrical problems in our houses. Occasional brownouts don’t count, as there is nothing we can do about those and most of us know there are brownouts in the Philippines.

Noise

I learned long ago about the Art of Making Noise in the Philippines. Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, there will be noise at one time or another. In some locations, there is constant noise! We are blessed in that there is not normally loud, disturbing noise in the Bacolod subdivision where we live. We know during the Festivals, we will hear music in the distance but it is not disturbing to us.

Even though I have not lived at the farm full time in 5 years, the crowing of roosters do not disturb me. For others, it may well be a disturbance. Chickens are most everywhere, even in some city subdivisions.

Get With The Program

Some complaints are attempts to change the Filipino Culture to suit the expat and that’s not realistically going to happen. At least not over the long haul. Such complaints will often fuel ill feelings and resentment from our Filipino family and friends. I am not here to change anyone and Filipinos are not trying to change me. We have mutual respect. They have their way of doing things and I have my way of doing things. Both sides with mutual respect.

Some expats do not know the taboos in Filipino Culture and some Filipinos do not know the taboos of various Western Cultures. I think for those living in the Philippines, it should be asked about, after all…this is the Philippines. Even if our wives never lived in our home countries, those who have been married to us for some time know about our Cultures. My wife has spoken up several times and said, “Don’t ask him that. It’s not polite.”

Just sharing recent and long time expat complaints I have heard. Some expat complaints are the same as they were 30 years ago. “Why are they speaking their language?”

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

A Filipino Way of Life

pulapandan2
Last weekend, we headed south about 25 km from Bacolod. One of my brothers in law had contacted us about fresh live sea crabs for P250 per kilo. He helps his girlfriend operate her restaurant in a fisher folk village. They buy their seafood direct from fishermen. A number of people go to the restaurant because it has a good view of the sea and Guimaras Island, which looks like a large crocodile in the distance. They also have some of the cheapest prices for ice cold beer.

We left home in Bacolod around 1pm. When we arrived at the fishing village, the fisherman was just going out to check his crab nets in his motor boat. I got a cold one and watched the fisherman from a distance. He went out in his boat about 1 1/2 km and he began checking 8 or 10 crab nets he has. It took him a couple of hours to get his catch of crabs and re-bait his nets.

fishing boat philippines
Several children were playing a game in the sand, using the larger bottle tops from soft drinks, placed in a drawn square in the sand with a stick, and smaller crowns from beer and soft drink bottles. Each larger bottle top children were able to hit, after throwing their crowns at them was theirs. At the end of the game, whoever had collected the most large bottle tops was the winner.

I also watched our son playing tag with two girls on the beach. They ran around for about an hour. One girl is about our son’s age and the other one was about 6 years old but she could run fast! We had to ask them to take a break long enough to drink bottled water. They were having a blast!

When the fisherman returned to shore, a number of children ran up to his boat to see what he had. A number of adults also walked out to take a look. He had a mess of crabs!

There were 6 of us and my wife boiled the crabs in the restaurant kitchen. She used the Zatarain’s Crab Boil that I took along. Everyone compliment the flavor of the craps that was enhanced by Zatarain’s, which is a little spicy. I had fresh boiled sweet corn with the crabs and others had rice, of course. I had forgotten to bring the Sweet Chili Sauce but the crabs were still very good. Others used coconut vinegar as dipping sauce for the crabs.

crab3
I really enjoy going to the fishing village on Sunday afternoons and we go as often as we can. My wife, our son and our best friend Randy also enjoy it. Randy has to drive back to Bacolod because it is usually dark when we return home. I do not drive at night.

We are friends with a number of people who live in and around the fishing village. I enjoy the atmosphere very much. Cool sea breeze and watching life going on with the Filipinos who live there. It is about as laid back as it comes! The people do not complain about anything and they are really happy every time we see them. They do not create cares or create worries that do not exist or fret over things they can never change. They have the wisdom to know the difference!

The people in the fishing village eat from the sea, they have free range chickens and there is always rice. There are a number of cashew trees right there in the village and many more coconut trees. The children do not spend hours with electronic gadgets but they know how to really play together. They create their own games. In my opinion, the people, young/old/middle age know how to really live and be happy. Their happiness is contagious to those who can really see and who are open minded. I already know this and I have for years. I only wish more expats and visiting foreigners can experience it.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~