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 ~

Four More Weeks of Christmas in the Philippines

It all began on September 1, the beginning of the Christmas Celebration in the Philippines. For some Filipinos, the last day of the Christmas Celebration is on Three Kings Day, each January 6. However, it is not over til it’s over! For other Filipinos…

Christmas continues with the Feast of the Black Nazarene coming up on Monday, January 9 this year. That is not the end. Feast of the Santo Nino is the 3rd Sunday in January, 21st this year.

For Filipinos in Jaro, Iloilo and in Candelaria, Quezon, the final day of the Christmas Celebration is the Feast of Our Lady of the Candles on February 2.

For my family, Three Kings Day on Saturday wraps of our Christmas Celebration. Why not have one more Traditional Christmas Meal?

What do Filipinos eat on Three Kings Day? I do not know what Filipinos eat on Three Kings Day, as we have not met up with others, that I recall, as we eat at home or eat out.

Lechon Asado sounds good to me, which is basically Pork Roast and not a whole roasted pig. I’ve tried the Chinese-Filipinos Lechon Asado and it is basically Char Siu Pork. That is not what I want! Cubans in South Florida make fabulous Lechon Asado and I am not sure I can duplicate their version but I will enjoy giving it my best shot. I have the authentic Cuban Recipe for Lechon Asado.

Happy Three Kings Day!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Luckenbach, Philippines

There was a research article a couple of years back, which was posted about on LinP3. In conclusion, Filipinos are among the happiest people in the world.

We have friends and relatives who many foreigners would deem as being poor. However, these Filipinos do not consider themselves poor at all. It is basically a family commune with a number of relatives living on the same land, sharing for the good of everyone.

They live in rural areas that are not overcrowded, not polluted and a chicken being stolen is considered the major crime of the week. Seriously.

Fishing in the pristine mountain springs & mountain streams, in nearby rivers provide sustenance. Several types of Perch and Eels are usually the Catch of the Day. The people grow a little Rice, Corn, various other Vegetables, Coffee and Fruit trees are abundant. There are yard chickens running around, free range, and there is always a pig or 2 being raised. Large amounts of money are not required and everyone is happy everyday. One relative visited us last year and it was the first time he had been to Bacolod in well over half a decade, by his own choice. My mother in law is not happy in the city. After a one day or two day visit, she is antsy getting back on the family farm in the countryside.

Living a laid back, slow paced life without stress is something more foreigners could learn and appreciate. That was my lifestyle in Southern America.

In some respects, a number of areas in the Philippines can be compared favorably to Disneyland. In a different sort of way but with similar themes.

We spent the night down at the farm last night and much of the day on Thursday. One of my favorite cousins had a wedding planned. I do not show favoritism but Liezel has gone above and beyond being friendly with me and making me feel welcome in the family. She is a fabulous singer who can easily sing in professional bands.

The night before Thursday’s wedding, I made a large pot of Chili. We have a home Karaoke System and it was used until after Midnight.

The wedding was held in a not so far away town in an Independent Catholic Church…Iglesia Filipina Independiente. The Wedding Reception was held at the family compound, where 4 or 5 families in that particular clan live. Before the reception kicked off, two different relatives proudly took us on a tour of their new houses. Both houses are concrete and one house in particular was very impressive, built for around P600,000.

Family raised goats, ducks and a pig were the main fare in the Wedding Reception and all were excellent. BBQ Duck, Goat Caldereta and Lechon. I only eat the Lechon Ribs and that is the part of the Pig I received.

The Uncle of the Bride tends our cattle and we recently added two white Brahman Cows to the herd. They are not scrawny, looking very good, and the Uncle has taken very good care of our cattle for over 9 years.

Appearance can often be very misleading. Down in the boondocks rural areas and simple houses may appear to be the grounds of people living in poverty, however, our relatives consider themselves extremely blessed and well off in Life. In reality, they certainly are!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

All Around Bacolod: Sharing the Grandeur of the Philippines

February 2018 will mark the 6th year I have been publishing articles about the Philippines on my website, All Around Bacolod. My Vision and my Mission have always remained to share the Grandeur of the Philippines, especially about the Bacolod Area.

Who Reads All Around Bacolod?

Word Press has daily statistics that I can refer to as to where my readers and followers are actually located. Today, thus far to this moment, people reading All Around Bacolod are located in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. Yesterday, Russia and Australia made the list together with the mentioned 5 countries.

There are many people around the world who have not yet visited the Philippines. There are many others who have visited the Philippines, some have visited many times, and they have plans to live in the Philippines during their retirement years.

I do not mind expats living in Bacolod reading my articles, however, they are certainly not the base or core of my followers and readers. They are already here and if they get out of their houses, they should already know much about Bacolod City and about the surrounding areas.

The Bacolod Area is not the only location in the Philippines but it has been my home since June 2009. From 1986-2000, I lived in Metro Manila 2 times and I most annually visited, sometimes 2-3 times during the year. However, my experience in Manila is highly outdated and is no longer accurate.

More Than Beaches

Many beaches in the Philippines are very beautiful, however, not everyone likes the beach. Some expats prefer life in the rural mountain areas of the Philippines. Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto are the two mountain areas I am most familiar with in the Bacolod Area.

All expats do not like the beaches or the mountain areas and they prefer living in a large city in the Philippines. Some prefer many more choices to enjoy a vibrant nightlife, many more choices for great dining and many more choices to enjoy great shopping. The city lifestyle is for them!

Why I Chose to Live in the Bacolod Area

My wife is from the Bacolod Area, however, she did not pressure me to live here if I did not like it. After 3 extended visits to the Bacolod Area, 6 weeks each time, I decided that this is the area where I wanted to retire to and live in the Philippines. I have never regretted my decision!

Bacolod City was named this year by a panel of experts as The Model City in the Philippines. Previously, Bacolod City has been awarded as the Greenest, Cleanest and Most Livable City in the Philippines…several times.

In Bacolod City, there is great dining, with many choices of Cuisine and there is also great shopping. Education from K-University is excellent…if the right educational institution is chosen for attending. There are 5 Private Hospitals in Bacolod City. Overall, based upon the words of Filipino family and friends, the Medical Care in Bacolod City is very good to excellent, depending upon the Hospital and their personal MD.

Currently, there are 8 Shopping Malls in the Bacolod Area, which also includes Talisay City. A new larger Ayala Mall is under construction as I write.

Compared to the well known large cities in the Philippines, Bacolod does not have the traffic, crime or pollution problems. Bacolod is a mid-sized city and we feel it is a great place to raise our son.

The City of Smiles

Bacolod City lives up their reputation of The City of Smiles. The vast majority of the Filipinos who are friends, family acquaintances and among those I newly meet are very nice, extremely friendly and are eager to be helpful if needed.

The vast majority of the Filipinos in my circle and the ones I know on a more casual basis are originally from Negros Occidental. Not being critical of other Regions and the people from those Regions, I have found the Filipinos in Negros Occidental to have a very gentle character and a laid back lifestyle. I lived in the Southern USA most of my life and the Filipinos and their hospitality in our area reminds me very much of the people in both Alabama and in Northern Florida. The elderly are respected, God, Family, Flag and Country are loved and people are neighborly.

I have many wonderful Filipino friends in the Bacolod Area. People should do what they need to be happy and having many foreign friends is not a requirement for my happiness. There are only two foreigners living in the subdivision where we live…me and another American. We have not even seen one another since last year.

Moving to the Bacolod Area is the best move I have made.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

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 ~

Bacolod Jazz Fest 2017

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.

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

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

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 ~

Eat Like A Viking: All Day Buffet!

Two days after our son’s birthday, we went to Vikings Buffet, located in SM Mall. Their lunch hours are 11am-230pm and the one price, all you can eat and drink, allows you to stay the entire time, in what they promote as All Day Buffet. The wait staff did not come around until around 2pm to hand out the bills.

Vikings begins taking reservations and handing out Walk In Numbers at 10am and we had W-2, second to be called in at 11am. P588 per adult and P388 for our son, which was based on his not being over 4’6 in height.

Draft San Miguel is included in the price. Red wine is P149 per glass or around P600-P900 per bottle.

When we went to Vikings on Wednesday, no one in our party ate plain white rice or any of the Filipino Cuisine. I had the Louisiana Dirty Rice with Chicken Livers & Gizzards as a side dish. There was a whole pig and diners could ask for Lechon but none in our party wanted any. Everyone wanted the dishes that are not commonly eaten at home or in local Filipino restaurants. Exactly the way it should be.

The Carving Station of the Buffet featured beautifully marbled Roast Beef, Lamb, Chicken and Smoked Sausage. I went with the meat first but I skipped the Chicken. I headed to Mexican Corner on the Buffet and made my own Taco Salad with ground beef chili with beans, lettuce, tomato, onion and sour cream.

The Japanese section of the Buffet has all the good sushi, such as Salmon, Tuna, California Maki and others. The Chinese section of the Buffet only had Egg Foo Young that I was interested in and I did not really look at the rest too much.

I had a small Cucumber Salad, which was hot & spicy as hell and I only took one bite! Too bad. I don’t like it that hot. The only seafood I was interested in was the deep fried crabs and you can eat shell and all. I have developed an allergy with Shrimp and Prawns but I can eat all the other seafood/shellfish.

Several types of ice cream and many types of cakes and pastries are on the Dessert Bar. There are many other drinks other than beer but I wanted the Draft.

Dining Entertainment

Vikings puts on the best Birthday Show I have seen anywhere here. A Reggae version of a Happy Birthday song, other Birthday songs, all their staff come around to sing and dance, including the ladies who keep the CR clean. The photo op includes wearing a Viking helmet with horns. I really enjoyed the show.

I know that Vikings have branches in Bacolod, Manila and in Cebu City.

The bill for 4 of us was P2,300 for the 3 1/2 hour feast and party. A fabulous deal to me!

I think everyone will enjoy Vikings Luxury Buffet. If not, I will wonder about them!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

A Filipino Way of Life

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.

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 ~