SM Supermarket Beer Haus

Beer

During the past month or so, SM Supermarket has largely expanded their beer section with a good variety of imported beers. In this article cover photo, I have included some of the beers I recently purchased and enjoyed from SM Supermarket. Of the 7 samplers I bought, my favorite is the Belgian Beer, Stella Artois. It is beer that literally danced on my tongue with such a marvelous taste! I also liked Victoria Bitters from Australia but a distant second from Stella Artois.

I hadn’t had a King of Beers, Budweiser, since I moved to the Philippines, so that is why I bought one Bud. It seemed to taste better here than it ever did in the USA or in China, where I lived for 9 years! In mainland China, Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of the most popular imported American beers among Chinese. Believe it..or not! It is true and it is even served on China Southern Airlines. I can’t say it is among my favorite beers.

I’ve found most of the Japanese Beers to be pretty good and Sapporo Beer is no exception. When I eat at Cafe Bob’s Deli, I usually have a Kirin or Asahi Beer, both of which are Japanese Brews.

Some of the best beer in the world comes from Germany and while Beck’s is not top of the line, it is better than many local domestic beers. Yeah, I enjoyed the ice cold Beck’s from SM.

Dos Equis XX was popular where I lived in south Florida, with the large Hispanic population. It is a Mexican Beer and it is much better than Corona in my opinion! Corona is available at SM but I did not buy one. Had it many times and is much like San Miguel Light in taste.

I had never heard of Bear Beer before! It hails from Denmark but I think Carlsberg is better and it is also available in the Philippines.

I don’t drink beer to get drunk or to raise hell but I enjoy sampling beers made from around the world! Being a Beer Connoisseur is a personal hobby of mine. I have my own favorite in the Philippines and it is Beer na Beer Pale Pilsen, brewed by Asia Brewery. I also drink San Miguel Pale Pilsen when I am out and about since Beer na Beer is not common in most establishments.

If you enjoy a different taste every now and then with your beer, check out SM Supermarket’s new imported beer section. They should have something you like when you are ready to go for the gusto!

Retiring to the Philippines

If you are a music lover, you can check out my new article and read about the music that is alive and kicking in the Philippines!

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/the-music-is-alive-and-kicking/

Without a doubt, Music is a very important part of the Philippines Culture! I enjoy listening to music and I enjoy singing every chance I get.

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

4th of July in the Philippines and a Submarine

Although the 4th of July is no longer the official Independence Day of the Philippines, it was July 4, 1946 when the Republic of the Philippines was born after their independence from the USA. The 4th of July is still celebrated by many in the Philippines as Filipino-American Friendship Day. Every year, the 4th of July has a special meaning to me since I am an American living in the Philippines. The 4th of July is also my dad’s birthday and he would have been 91 today!

A barbecue and fireworks were always part of our 4th of July celebration when I still lived in America. Today for lunch in the Philippines, I had grilled Buffalo Wings and to celebrate Filipino-American Friendship Day, I used Mama Sita’s brand Buffalo Wings Sauce. Yep, it is a product of the Philippines and let me tell you, Mama Sita’s Buffalo Wing Sauce is hot as hell!

A friend in America once told me that he could not live in the Philippines because he could not eat fish and rice everyday. He was surprised when I told him all the different wonderful restaurants there are in many areas of the Philippines that are serving much more than fish and rice and Bacolod City is no exception. I can also honestly say that I can buy most any food products that I want in one of the three major supermarket chain stores in Bacolod City. My wife, son and I enjoy dining out several times a week on average but we enjoy preparing food at home. After all the 4th of July BBQ, here is a good alternative for a late supper. A shrimp submarine sandwich.

Cole Slaw

Being a Southerner from the USA, I think Cole slaw is a staple with any kind of seafood. It has that special crunch and when served chilled, it is great when eating hot and spicy food. It seems almost everyone has their own recipe for Cole slaw and I won’t bore you with mine but simple ingredients can turn out a nice Cole slaw. Shredded cabbage, non-sweet mayonnaise, vinegar and ground Spanish paprika are my ingredients. Some like sweet Cole slaw so it is not a sin to add a little sugar. The ground Spanish paprika on top gives the Cole slaw a little color.

If you want to order a good Cole slaw while dining out, try Max’s Restaurant. In Bacolod, it is located in SM Mall. I have a special place in my heart for Max’s Restaurant “the house that fried chicken built.” Max’s Restaurant was one of the first restaurants where I dined on my first trip to the Philippines, way back in 1986! Max’s has been around since 1945 when the original owner served fried chicken to American GIs, right after WWII.

Deep Fried Shrimp

The plating may not look all that but hey, I am at home! Anyway, my wife Grace helped me out on this and fried up seven battered shrimp.

Good Bread

If you are going to make a sandwich, good bread is just as important as what you plan to put inside the bread. This particular submarine roll is one I cut from a long loaf of French Bread, which I bought at Cafe Bob’s.

Shrimp Submarine Sandwich

I couldn’t get all seven friend shrimp on the submarine sandwich but five is still a food number. I made my own tarter sauce using mayonnaise, a bit of vinegar, a little kalamansi juice, or local lime juice, and sweet pickle relish. I slathered the inside of the submarine roll with the homemade tartar sauce before adding the shrimp. I sometimes make and use my own cocktail sauce for this type sandwich and when I do, I don’t apply the cocktail sauce to the bread but rather add it on top of the shrimp.

Add the Chilled Cole Slaw

Next comes the added crunch to the submarine sandwich. Cole slaw.

Let’s Eat!

“Let’s eat” is very common to be heard in the Philippines right before eating and this shrimp submarine sandwich is ready to be eaten. It is fine to toast the bread in a toaster oven before building your sandwich and I enjoy doing that at times but not this time. I was hungry and ready to eat. The Cole slaw added enough crunch for me.

Beverage of Choice

Either red wine or an ice cold beer is the beverage of choice with the shrimp submarine sandwich. Tavernello Sangiovese Rubicone may not really be the Number One wine in Italy but it really is a product of Italy and it is available in Bacolod City. San Miguel Pilsen is my favorite beer in the Philippines.

I am wishing everyone a very Happy 4th of July Independence Day and Filipino-American Friendship Day celebration! I hope your day was as fun as ours.

Mambukal Mudpack Festival

Annually during the third week of June, there is the Mambukal Mudpack Festival held at Mambukal Resort in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental. This year, it was June 23-24. Mambukal Resort is only a 25 minute drive from our home in Bacolod City.

The annual Mambukal Mudpack Festival is an exciting event that advocates and promotes the preservation of the Philippines environment. The theme of the Mudpack Festival is the harmony of man and nature. There is multi-colored clay at Mambukal Resort and it is used in body art to promote ethnic Filipino tribal dance, arts and crafts.

With Tribal Dancers

These were only three among many of the contestants in the competition at the Mambukal Mudpack Festival. There are several categories in the competition. Tribal Dancing, Clay Body Painting, Solo Dance Improvisation and the Miss Earth Mambukal Pagent. Sorry guys, that event was held in the evening and I was not there to get any photos of the lovely, talented and beautiful lady contestants.

One beautiful lady with a tribal dancer

One more beautiful lady with a tribal dancer

I did capture a couple of photos of some beautiful ladies with tribal dancers. One in particular is sooooo near to my heart, mind, body and soul!

Group Tribal Dance

It really was a hot day and the San Miguel Beer Sign is facing the dancers. I think some were ready for a cold one!

The La Carlota Drummers performed but I could not get near enough to get a decent photo. The music of the event was really cool.  Drums, shakers, pan flutes and the type of music that reminds one of a rain forest and tribes in harmony with nature.

In harmony with Nature

The Number One Tribal Dancer

You don’t have to wait until next year’s Mambukal Mudpack Festival to visit the resort. They are open daily and the hot springs are the highlight of the resort. There are several nurseries where you can buy native plants and potted trees. There is a trail taking you up the mountain and to the waterfalls but be prepared for hiking. There is the butterfly gardens if you are interested in butterflies and there is also the boating lagoon.

If you are hungry and/or want an ice cold brew or soft drink, check out Jean’s Place in Mambukal Resort. The chicken inasal, local BBQ chicken, is very good. They also have grilled fish and seafood. Jean’s Place will fix you right up if you are hungry and thirsty with a place for you to kick back, relax and take a rest. The wait staff have a smile and they are friendly.

There is overnight lodging at Mambukal resort in the form of cottages, lodges, suites, hotel style rooms, dormitories and tents for those who are adventurous and enjoy camping. A nice room is only P1,000 and that is about $23 US Dollars. You sure can’t beat that!

We really had a blast at the Mambukal Mudpack Festival. I hope you can make it the third week in June in 2013. See ya there!


Philippine-Hong Kong Connection

It seems that many in the Philippines have a family member, a friend or both working in Hong Kong. Personally, I think it is a great experience because there are more than 100,000 Filipinos, both male and female, working in Hong Kong. It is true that those working in Hong Kong are away from their family and friends in the Philippines but there would be fewer locations in the world that are more Philippine friendly than Hong Kong.

Hong Kong and south China was our home for 9 years. In my opinion, Hong Kong rocks! We are happy living in the Bacolod Area of the Philippines but if we just had to move, it would be to Hong Kong. We still have family and friends working in Hong Kong and we know it very well.

On the weekends in Hong Kong, it is almost like being in the Philippines. You will see Filipinos everywhere! In the malls, in the parks, on public transportation, in restaurants and especially in World Wide Plaza, aka World Wide House, located in the area between Connaught Road Central, Pedder Street and Des Voeus Road Central. Every Filipino in Hong Kong, except maybe those who just arrived during the last day or two, knows where World Wide Plaza is located.

World Wide House Plaza

The photo was taken at night and it has a good shot of the moon!

At World Wide Plaza, you can buy everything Philippines! There are many shops, which are operated by Filipinos, selling cell phone loads, snacks from the Philippines, canned goods from the Philippines, newspapers and magazines from the Philippines and just about anything one would want from the Philippines. There is a San Miguel Brewery in Hong Kong, so no need to go to World Wide Plaza just to buy a cold Pilsen brew! San Miguel Beer is sold in all the 7-11, grocery stores and in small shops most everywhere in Hong Kong. You can send money to the Philippines and receive money from the Philippines at World Wide Plaza. You can also exchange currency. There are also several camera shops, cell phone shops and jewelry shops.

Do you need a new barong or terno dress in Hong Kong? World Wide Plaza is the best place to find both and you can even have them custom designed and hand made. Do you need a Tagalog Bible? Look no further than World Wide Plaza. In the mood for Philippine cuisine, then you will find several small Philippine restaurants located inside World Wide Plaza. There is also a Jollebee Restaurant located right next door to World Wide Plaza. However, be aware, on the weekend, you may have to wait a long time for a seat!

The churches in Hong Kong very much welcome Filipinos to their services. The Baptist churches especially cater to Filipino OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers. KIBC, Kowloon International Baptist Church, is one where there are many Filipino members and the choir is mostly Filipinas. Kowloon Filipino Baptist Church is another one to attend if you want to meet compatriots. KIBC often has field trips on Sundays to the different scenic places in Hong Kong and they often have Sunday pot luck lunches. You can enjoy food from Manila, Ilocos, Negros, Iloilo, Cebu, Mindanao and other places from the Philippines.

On a Hong Kong Street

Everyone loves to shop in Hong Kong.

Tree house in Hong Kong…

at Disneyland!

Always a drummer!

Yes, I have always been a drummer and you can ask my old elementary teachers! Without thinking in class, I would be drumming on my desk or on my books, sometimes with my hands and sometimes with two pencils in hand.

Donald Duck says “Hey!”

And we would soon be saying, “Bye Bye” and back to the Philippines we would go the next day.

There remains a lively Philippine-Hong Kong connection and it is never as good as being home but it is not so bad if you find yourself in Hong Kong and you need to find some of the comfort foods and other things from back home. The good thing is, people from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao can meet together without regional differences and unite as being Filipino together.