Bad News: Retiring to the Philippines Website

If you see books written by me on a website, Retiring to the Philippines, please do not buy them. I am the writer of these books and I am receiving zero compensation for my written works.

I will not go into the long story but the short story is, I have no longer given anyone *verbal* permission to sell my books. I have never signed a written contract for anyone to represent me or to be my agent for marketing anything about the Philippines that I have produced. That’s the bottom line!

The verbal permission was based on my duly earned commission but since that has been off the table for 2 months, I will put it bluntly. I am being ripped off!

Friends in Low Places

I have written many articles in the past about how foreigners in the Philippines will stab you in the back. Every expat in the Philippines is not your friend. In fact, many are your worst enemy. Even your own Kabayan, or countrymen, cannot always be trusted. Allow them to earn your trust.

I had heard over the years about Crab Mentality in the Philippines. During my 29 years experience in the country, it is not Filipinos with the worse cases of Crab Mentality, it is foreigners. Many of them have personal issues. They cannot maintain a personal relationship with anyone, male or female. They are unhappy and they cannot tolerate seeing others happy. They want to rain on your parade and put crap in your stew…if they can. They don’t even like themselves very much.

I have 2 degrees in Mental Health. One in Mental Health Technology and the other degree in Psychology. I worked 30 years in the USA in Mental Health and in Law Enforcement. I think I can evaluate people pretty well, although I am not judgmental upon first impression. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt…in the beginning.

A Great Life

I suggest that if you think you will be happy in the Philippines only if you are surrounded by a wonderful group of expats, think more about this!

By far, most of my friends and acquaintances in the Bacolod Area are Filipinos and Filipinas. No, not foreigners. Honestly, I can take them or leave them and lately, I am mostly leaving them! I have a core group of foreign friends in the Bacolod Area and we have been friends for 5 years or longer. However, I am not going out of my way to make new foreign friends. If it happens, it happens. If not, that is fine as well.

I have a great life in Negros Occidental. I did not move here to hob knob with foreigners. I am not anti-foreigners in the Philippines but in all honesty, a number of them have created problems. I wish those particular ones would get on the next plane out and go home! Stay there once you get there and don’t let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out! Hasta la bye bye!

There you have it. Do not trust people in the Philippines just because they are foreigners. A number of them are also grifters, hackers, scammers and schemers. Never give out your personal information to anyone.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Let The Music Play

Farmers Market Musicians
Whoever heard of going to a farmers market to listen to excellent music? Well, let me tell you something, brothers and sisters. If you go to the Negros Weekend Farmers Market on Saturday morning, you may just catch two great musicians performing. They don’t sing but they sure can play the fiddle and the acoustic guitar!

Who are these guys? Nimrod Villamarzo and Ashley Ledesma. I doubt many call a violin a fiddle in this area but that is what I call it. I was really intrigued with this stylist playing of the fiddle and this young man really puts his heart into playing.

If you are looking for instrumentalist song stylists to play at your private celebration or fiesta, these two young men are available. Just go to the Negros Weekend Farmers Market and contact them. If they are not there, someone can give you their contact information.

Negros Weekend Farmers Market
Since you will already be at the Negros Weekend Farmers Market, why not browse around all the fruits, vegetables and local food products. I am sure you will find something you like, di ba?

The Negros Weekend Farmers Market food court has expanded and you should be able to find something you like eating.

Please check out my latest article on Retiring to the Philippines. My article is about our fun-filled activities in the Bacolod Area.

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

AmeriSub Food Corner

Are you looking for an American-style sandwich in Bacolod City for P60 or less? AmeriSub is the place to go. Where is it? I thought you would want to know. It is located inside Terra Plaza, on the corner of Rizal and Gatuslao Streets.

You will find AmeriSub at this food cart inside Terra Plaza.

I started out with a ham sandwich, which had lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise. These were the condiments I chose but you can order your sandwich the way you like it.

This doesn’t look like your common hot dog does it? It is actually New Yorker brand hot dog, sliced and served on a sandwich roll.

Due to the lighting in Terra Plaza, this is the best shot I could get with my camera. For sure, you can see the prices. Whichever sandwich you order, the price is P35 for the small and P60 for the large. Sound great to you?

Do you like ice cold beer? I’ve got some good news for you! In Terra Plaza, there are several vendors on site who you can buy a bucket of beer from. Six bottles in the bucket for only P180. Now, is that a deal or what? Red Horse, San Miguel Pilsen or San Mig Light. Or mix and match your 6 bottles.

The next time you want an American style sandwich, drop by AmeriSub Food Corner and Ron will fix you up.

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

2014 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. I would like to thank everyone for reading All Around Bacolod. I wish all of you a very health and prosperous 2015. I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

American Food in Bacolod

Are you ready for that fabulous Hamburger in Paradise? I cannot think of a better place to get that burger you love so much than at Gunny’s! It is located on the side street next to USLC High School on C. L. Monteilbano Street. Gunny has a connection with the USMC, the Marines, in the USA. He is also involved with introducing American football in the Bacolod Area. Bacolod Knights! Drop by and say HELLO to Gunny. Have a burger and knock back a few cold ones!

Burgers on the grill! No prefab burgers at Gunny’s! They are made to order right on the grill before you eyes. The grill is located near the entrance to the restaurant, right out front.

Gunny’s Menu. I always order the Gunner Burger for P99, as that is all the burger I can handle at one time. If you are a real hungry man, or woman, try the Super Max. It is a one Kilo Hamburger! Are you man enough? Are you woman enough? Go for it!

Do you like old time Rock n’ Roll? check out my article on Retiring to the Philippines. I first met RJ Jacinto way back in 1987! He is still rocking and rolling every night.

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

Shaun’s Diners

We planned going to the Indian Restaurant Spice n’Bites several Sundays ago but they are no longer in business, however, Shaun’s Diners is now in the same location. You will find Shaun’s Diners on the 2nd floor of Automobili Dettaglia in Barangay Mandalagan on Lacson Street and next to Convergys.

They were not yet open, so we went back soon afterward, one Friday evening. There was a live 2 piece band performing lounge music around 7pm. Nice music but we came to eat!

Lasagna! I had a man size task to eat all this and I could only eat half! The rest was take out.

Grilled Fish
Grilled Fish!

Complimentary Kimchi! Yes, there are several Korean dishes on Shaun’s Menu.

Seafood Platter
Seafood Platter! Crab, Prawns and Fish. Yummy!

The Hungry Fisherman! Our friend, Randy.

If you want to listen to lounge lizard music, knock back a few ice cold San Miguel and eat good food, check out Shaun’s Diners! I think you will like them and they will like you. Please say hello to Manager Mardz for me, will ya?

A Taste of Canton in Bacolod

Mai Pao
We recently had a family lunch at Mai Pao Tea House, located on 6th Street in Bacolod. Their specialty is dim sum and other Cantonese Chinese dishes. After living 9 years in Hong Kong and mainland China, I am a pretty fair judge of Chinese food! We all enjoyed the food we ordered very much.

Mai Pao
For starters, we had chicken feet dim sum with salted black beans. I have been known to be a Soldier of Fortune of sorts for the past 14 years in Asia and while I still enjoy good ole southern style home cooking, I also greatly enjoy many Asian dishes. Chicken feet is one of them. I also enjoy chicken feet adobo, Bacolod style!

Mai Pao
My order has arrived! Sweet & Sour Pork Bowl. Served with spring rolls and prawn crackers. It was great!

Mai Pao
Beef Brisket Bowl. Looks delicious, doesn’t it?

Mai Pao
Beef & Mushroom Bowl. My wife ordered this one and she really enjoyed it.

Other than the chicken feet, our other orders were from the Big Bowl Value Meals. Only P120 lang! There are 7 different choices for you to enjoy.

Mai Pao
You will find a very nice atmosphere at Mai Pao Tea House. If you enjoy Cantonese food, I think you will enjoy your meal at Mai Pao.

Hey, since you are on the internet reading, why not peruse on over to Retiring to the Philippines and read my latest article? I have more than 120 articles on the site that I wrote. My latest article is “Ride The Double Dutch Bus!” Check it out.

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

Beautiful Women of the Philippines

I was recently asked to write an article on the Beautiful Women of the Philippines. By popular demand, here it is! For sure, it is my belief that the most beautiful women in the world are Filipinas! Almost without exception, a Miss Philippines is going to land in the Top 5 of every International Beauty Pageant and they have for many years. You can take that fact and bank on it!

The burning question among many foreigners is where do they meet these lovely ladies? My advice is to meet them in person, same as you would meet any ladies in the round world! Yes, there are many dating sites and introduction clubs online where a guy can meet and chat with as many ladies as they have time for. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that many of these ladies are not doing the same thing! Most of the women I know from the Philippines are picky, same as you should be. Everyone just does not measure up.

I’m Afraid I’ve Got Some Bad News!

Every Filipina is not interested in marrying a foreigner and every Filipina who marries a foreigner is not interested in living with you in your home country. It is a myth that every Filipino is breaking their necks and selling their souls to go abroad! It is simply not true. There are indeed many younger Filipinas who are willing to marry a much older man just so they can go abroad and live. Not only younger women in the Philippines but women from all over the world! Many older and mature Filipinas are perfectly happy living at home in the Philippines.

Age Is Only A Number

Yes, I have heard this saying for many years and in some respects it is true. Age is only a number.  However, in many respects, once the honeymoon period is over, Age becomes a major issue in the relationship. Too old to disco? To bed at dark and up with the chickens? It takes some major lifestyle changes and stamina to keep up with younger women, even just taking them to one of the many malls and walking around so she can look at every clothing, shoe and jewelry shop!

I’ve told many expats in the past and I will say it again. The most overlooked age in the Philippines among women is the 36-45 age bracket. Believe it…or not! A number of these women have never been married. Some are widows, some married earlier in life and received an annulment. Their children, if they have any, are almost always older teenagers or young adults. Many of these women are still very stunning and many others are still attractive in their own special way!

It was hot news this past week that 44 year old Alice Dixson was voted by FHM Magazine as the # 7 Most Sexiest Woman in the Philippines! There are many more beautiful women in the Philippines, in the age group of 36-45 who may not be famous celebrities but they are successful in life! They have their own career, own their house & lot, drive their own car and they are not looking for a man to take care of them. Some are looking for a gentleman to spend their Golden Year with and they still have a long time before they reach that point in their lives!

Many foreigners miss out because they are looking for an age and not the person! They are missing out on a potential wonderful life with an older, mature lady, who is honest, faithful, affectionate and the right man! These ladies are highly educated, successful, very respectable, classy and elegant.

There are many young women online, who are available to chat with older men and to make them feel that they are the one and only. However, some of these young women are chatting with 10 or more foreigners everyday and receive several thousand dollars every month from them! This is not only in the Philippines, amigos! It happens in Latin American countries, South American countries, Costa Rica, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Russia and in many other countries the world over!

Many foreigners blame the women for being scammed, however, did they put a gun to their head and force them to send them money? Not over the internet! It’s impossible. The guys who are scammed are most of the time the blame for sending the money to someone they never met in the first place, di ba? I never sent money to anyone I had never met and I don’t even like loaning money to people I know because it often turns out bad.

The dating scene is alive and well in the Bacolod Area and I wish all the guys and lovely ladies all the best in life!

It is up to you. While still single, I did not have an age in mind but I had an open mind. I met my Angel in 2003 and we will soon be married 11 years. Life is great! I am glad I fell in love with a person and not an age!

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

PS: Please check out my new article on Retiring to the Philippines. The Philippines is much more than fish & rice, so check out the local foodie scene!

Max’s Restaurant-The House That Fried Chicken Built

Maxs Restaurant logo
One of the first Filipino restaurants I ever dined in was Max’s Restaurant, way back in 1986 when I lived in Metro Manila for one year. Twenty eight years later, Max’s Restaurant is still one of my favorite Filipino restaurants. During my weekly visits to SM Mall, I always drop in Max’s for a late lunch or for merienda, a late afternoon snack. It is not only the food I enjoy at Max’s but I also enjoy the service, which is top notch and A # 1! The wait staff are friendly, talkative and they treat you like you are a special customer! Max’s also has ice cold San Miguel Beer.

Max's Restaurant3
You don’t have to take out this wonderful treat, as you can order it in the restaurant. Max’s Fried Chicken is not KFC but rather, it is Filipino style fried chicken and I don’t think there is anyone around who can turn out this style of fried chicken better than Max’s!

More Than Just Fried Chicken!

Hands down, the fried chicken at Max’s is their specialty, however, you can also find many other Filipino favorites and also food that expats will surely enjoy!

Pancit Luglug! This savory noodle dish is one of my all time favorites! Garnished with chicharon, boiled egg and kalamansi lime, the sauce is very delicious! You can also order Pancit Luglug with lechon, which is nice slices of roasted pork. It is fabulous!


Max’s Chicken Burger! Now, this is an expat favorite! A fabulous chicken burger and who would not like this? A crispy fried chicken patty, tasty cheese and lettuce on the bun.

Max's San_Mig_Light_2_by_jzn515
I cannot think of a better beverage that goes with fried chicken, a chicken burger or Filipino Cuisine than a San Miguel Light! Or a San Miguel Pale Pilsen. Yes, Max’s has both available!

The next time you want to have lunch, mirenda or dinner, do yourself a favor and head out to Max’s Restaurant-The House That Fried Chicken Built. In Bacolod, Max’s Restaurant is located in the north wing of SM Mall.

Enjoy your food!

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

Chili Cook-Off

Gary’s First Annual Chili Cook-Off in Bacolod City is now officially in the planning stages! I am busy putting things together and will have an official announcement in the weeks ahead. There is much more involved in the planning stages than I originally anticipated and for a chili cook-off to be successful, it cannot just be haphazardly thrown together!

Start Practicing!

chili cookoff
There’s my entry!

I know there are thousands of wonderful chili recipes around the round world and I am looking forward to your chili recipe.


Beans! Pinto, Red Kidney, Black, Northern. Which is your favorite? I prefer pinto beans but will use red kidney beans for my chili. I have never been a fan of white bean chili.

Chili powder, some form of garlic and cumin are pretty much standard seasoning in most everyone’s chili and after that, your chili is only limited by your imagination! One of the more interesting ingredients in chili is cigar ash! Yep, I heard that a cowboy put cigar ash in his chili during the Terlingua Texas Chili Cook-off back in the 1970s! His recipe also called for Dead Cow Meat.

What is the best meat for chili? Everyone has their favorite. Ribeye steak, chuck roast, round roast, ground round beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, goat, lamb, sirloin, beef brisket, buffalo, blade steak, ground venison (deer), combo meats and whatever you like!

Celery? No thank you. Not in my chili.

Some like it hot! Which is the best pepper for chili? Poblano, Jalapeno, Ancho, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet? Now, we are talking some serious heat! I don’t enjoy extremely hot & spicy chili like I did in my younger days but I still like chili to have some bite. I use red pepper flakes in my chili with a side dish of pepperoncini peppers.

There you have it amigos, amigas and buckaroos. Get ready for some serious chili!

Don’t forget to check out my new articles on Retiring to the Philippines. You can also browse our online book store and check out the books written by yours truly. We also have some new services for expats, so be sure to check out the entire site! We have a lively forum, if you need some fast answers about retiring to the Philippines.

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