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!

Kewpie Mayonnaise


In Japan, many Japanese use Kewpie Mayonnaise in both Food Preparation and as a Food Condiment. Both with Traditional Japanese Food and with Non-Traditional Japanese Food.

Here are several examples for Kewpie Mayonnaise. On or in…

Meat & Vegetable Pancakes
Sushi
Octopus Balls and other Seafood Balls
Stir Fried Noodles
Tuna and other Fish
Japanese Potato Salad
Japanese Cole Slaw
Sandwiches
Fruit Salad
Rice Balls
Pork Cutlets

Japanese Islands is a Dipping Sauce and Dressing, made with Kewpie Mayonnaise and Ketchup. It has a wide variety of uses. Including in some recipes for Japanese Cole Slaw.

In the Philippines, some Filipinos use Kewpie Mayonnaise on Sisig.

Japanese Cole Slaw rocks the house! Of course, add Kewpie Mayonnaise!


Japanese Potato Salad is really…Kicked up Mashed Potatoes.


I really enjoy Japanese Food much better than Chinese Food and certain better than Filipino Food. With a couple of exceptions.

Last night for supper, I had Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Japanese Potato Salad, which was not kicked up.

To make Japanese Potato Salad…

It is all about your choice. Boil the Potatoes with Skin On or Peeled.

Boil the Potatoes until a Skewer or Fork easily goes through the Potato. Mash the Potatoes but not 100%. Be sure to leave parts of the Potatoes still in shape.

Kewpie Mayonnaise and Milk are mixed together and then added to the Kicked Up Ingredients. Or just those 2 Ingredients, without the Veggies.

Kicked Up Ingredients and Options for Japanese Mashed Potatoes…

Onion
Carrot
Apple
Cucumber
Ham

I like just using Chopped Onion, Kewpie Mayonnaise and Milk when I make Japanese Potato Salad. I leave out the Veggies.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Watermelon Margarita


Straight from the Heart of Dixie, the land I love so well, no body but no body makes a better Watermelon Margarita than those wild eyed southern boys from Sweet Home Alabama.

To make the Watermelon Margarita authentically, it takes one extra step and that is…making Watermelon Syrup but it is EZ. Simply combine Watermelon Cubes with Sugar in a sauce pan. Mash the Watermelon Cubes and mix with the Sugar. With medium heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Last step for the Syrup is to strain it.

Next on tap, blend Watermelon with Water to make Watermelon Juice.

Add Watermelon Syrup, Watermelon Juice, Tequila and Lime Juice to a shaker. Now, do the hippy, hippy shake, spin around and shake it up one more time. Strain it, pour it up into a glass that is rimmed with Lime and Coarse Salt. Garnish with a Lime Wedge.


There you have it. The Alabama Slamma Watermelon Margarita.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

The Original Bacolod Tap Hunter


I coined the Phrase…Bacolod Tap Hunter and have the Website, although brand new.

To my knowledge there are no longer many establishments where you can get Beer on Tap in Bacolod. I have not been to Tyrol lately but last year, they still had San Miguel Pilsen on Tap.

Manhattan Gastro Pub has Heineken and San Miguel on Tap.


Bob’s Deli has Kamayan Beer on Tap, while sometimes having Primo Beer on Tap.

I have been a Beer Connoisseur for decades. It is still one of my favorite hobbies.

Different Imported Beers show up in Bacolod on a regular basis. Of course, it is sold in Bottles and Cans, so it is not Draft Beer. Well, Bali Hai Draft Beer, sold in a can, is imported from Indonesia and is sold at select 7-Eleven Stores in Bacolod.


A couple of years ago, I learned of Hite Lager, which is sold at Metro and in several Delis and Bistros in Bacolod. It is the # 1 selling Beer in South Korea. I remember when OB, brewed by Oriental Brewery, was a very popular Beer in South Korea. I call OB…Oriental Budweiser.

Lopues Mandalagan Supermarket comes up with rare Imported Beer several times every year. Now, they are promoting Pacifico Clara Cerveza and Victoria Cerveza, Imported Cerveza from Mexico.


The strangest Beer I ever tried was a Beer brewed in Nairobi. I bought it in the ABC Store in Alabama, years ago.

Bob’s Deli has a number of Imported Bottled Beers that I have never heard of. Right now, their India Pale Ale is their best tasting Imported Beer, in my opinion.

Peroni Beer, Imported from Italy, is sold at Bob’s Deli, the Yellow Cab Pizza in Ayala Talisay Mall and at Delisoso Deli & Bistro.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Do Not Sit On Your Talents


Once retired, a number of retirees simply drop out. Every retiree has a talent that they can share or even pursue on a different level.

I wrote a series of ebooks about the Philippines, 5 in all. It did not take up all that much of my time but I had to actually do it.

There is one area I keep putting off but I need to kick it in and start doing it. Jackson Pollock style Abstract Expression Art. I already have a number of ideas and I just need to put them into action, Just Do It! It is not expensive to pursue this hobby.

I paid less than P400 for a gallon of Boysen Black Paint yesterday. At least it is a start. I need to buy the Canvas and a few more gallons of paint in different colors.

Always a Good Night for Singing

Singing! I have certainly expanded that among my talents. The idea of the band I wanted to form fell apart but not due to me. I am still singing, regardless. Still learning new songs as well, such as most recently, Cadillac Ranch by Bruce Springsteen.


I enjoy going to a Sports Bar in Bacolod and watching the Dog Races, broadcast from England.

Sadly, the talents of a few retirees I know in Bacolod has been expanded into drinking more Whiskey. Broken hips, broken ribs, broken arms, broken relationships have been the results. Sadly, also one death. Falls, both physically and personally.

I never let a day go by. I am laid back but I like doing things…but at my own pace. I am not going to just sit around, waiting around to die.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Foreigners Attire in the Philippines


Hot Weather does not seem to affect me adversely as it does many foreigners in the Philippines or it could just be a lifestyle thing. I would not go out in public dressed like the majority of foreigners I see in public, in our area. It is just not my Style. I prefer Style over Fashion. They seem to think Shorts, Tank Top, Flip Flops are the Fashion for Foreigners in the Philippines.

If they are looking to impress Filipinas, they are dead wrong. I have received many compliments from Filipinas, even strangers, about how nice I appear.

Sharp Dressed Man

I wear Levis, a Bench Polo Shirt, Nike Casual Shoes with Socks when I go out in public. At home, I wear Levis, a pull over shirt instead of a T-Shirt but I indeed wear flip flops in the house. Caribbean Island brand, which last for years and years. Well worth the P239 price tag. They are high quality.

The only time I wear shorts is when I am sleeping.

I have nothing against shorts but I think they look much better on Women than on Men. Daisy Dukes are fine on Women!

One Softball Team I was on decided to change the uniform pants to shorts. I told the Coach if that is the case…I quit! It does not look good plus when I played ball, I was a Wild Horse. I would slide on the bases, make diving catches in the field and I was not hurting my legs by playing in shorts!

Style vs Fashion

All my life, I have been particular about the attire I wear, even at home. My parents gave me money to buy my school clothes and I bought what I liked to wear, not what they wanted me to wear.

I am not much into branded clothing unless I actually like it. I do not care how popular it is.

In 1966 at St Andrews Jr High School in Charleston, SC, I wore Cordovan color Penny Loafers without Socks to school. The Vice Principal called me to the side in the hallway one day and he asked me…who are you wearing those like that? I told him, I am a Greezer! He said…ah, ok, go on to Class. A boy heard the conversation and word spread. McMurrain is a Greezer. The next days ahead, more boys were wearing Cordovan color Penny Loafers without Socks to school.

As an American, I want to look presentable in the Philippines. After all, I represent the USA. Not only that, God does not like Ugly! We cannot change our handsomeness but we can certainly wear presentable clothing.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Expat Fun Activities in the Philippines


There are many Fun Activities in the Philippines that expats will enjoy. Not all expats enjoy the same activities but I think there is pretty much something for everyone.

For me, Bacolod City, the City of Smiles, indeed brings smiles into my life. Never a boring day for me.

The Dog Racing is really great for me because it is something I enjoyed in Florida for years and now, I can enjoy it in Bacolod. P50 is less than $1 bet and it makes it interesting. No one is going to lose much betting that amount and it is cheap entertainment.

Not so many expats enjoy Karaoke but I think it is because they never participated in real Karaoke. Where I sing Karaoke, not many would try to sing if they could not sing fairly well. Many Filipinos are on the pro level of singers, yet they are common people.


Some expats like beaches and some expats like mountains. Both are here in Negros Occidental, as well as in many locations around the Philippines.

Some expats enjoy Casinos and there are many PAGCOR licensed Casinos around the Philippines. PAGCOR also has Poker Rooms and high stakes Bingo Halls. As long as a person can control their bets, I see nothing wrong with playing Cards, Bingo or Slot Machines. Mahjong, either, for that matter. Whatta bout Dominoes? Checkers? Chess? Wagering P10 or P20 per game makes it interesting, for fun! Nothing high stakes and in moderation.

Bacolod has an annual Jazz Festival at the L’ Fisher Hotel.


There are 3 Golf Country Clubs in the Bacolod Area, 2 in Bacolod and 1 in Victorias City.


The MassKara Festival every October and the Pannad sa Negros Festival every April attract many Filipinos and foreigners to the City of Smiles. The Mud Pack Festival in Murcia at Mambukal Hot Springs and Mountain Resort is also popular, every June.


Two days ago, our son was a little achy from Basketball and Volleyball Practice at his school and he wanted to go sit in Mambukal Japanese Hot Springs. So, off we went, as Murcia is only about a 25 minute drive east of Bacolod. Twenty minutes is about as long as I can tolerate sitting in the Japanese Hot Springs, as they are indeed Hot, Hot, Hot…Springs.

I have been dragged into an Entertainment Bar a couple of times by close Filipino friends but at age 63, I know those Non Stop Erotic Bars are just a Fantasy. Nothing I am into. But for those who like it, there are half a dozen such Bars in Bacolod, with many, many more in Cebu City and in Manila.


On a side note, one All Around Bacolod reader told me he met his future wife at the Silver Dollar Bar in Cebu City. She is now in the USA and apparently, they have a good marriage…so far, so good!

Fishing, Boating, Surfing and Diving are widely available…all around the Philippines.

Zumba Dancing? Yep, I have seen foreigners joining in this group dancing in malls and in parks in Bacolod.


I am into Tai Chi and they have it daily, early morning, at Panaad Park in Bacolod. Tai Chi is great, better than meditation yoga in my book. I have created a number of new Tai Chi movements that I use daily. I do Tai Chi at home, mostly.


Art Lessons are given at several Bacolod Malls in a group setting. Low cost and fun in being creative with mostly Filipinos. I have been into Jackson Pollock style Abstract Art for years, so I do not need lessons but I enjoy sharing this wonderful creative technique with others. It is Free Style, basically and you are only limited by your imagination. Run wild!

Do not forget church services! Many think that the Catholic Church is the only church in the Philippines but that is certainly not the case. There are many denominations of churches in the Philippines. Full Gospel, Apostolic, United Pentecostal, Independent Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon churches are all here and others as well.


Every NFL and MLB Season, I draft a Fantasy Football and Baseball Team on CBS Sports and ESPN, while in the Philippines. I am able to manage the teams all seasons.

The above is my team logo for my El Javelinas Fantasy Baseball Team on CBS Sports.

You see, there are many activities in the Philippines for expats to enjoy.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Philippine Business That Expats May Enjoy-Part 1


Above and beyond, if you plan to operate a business in the Philippines, you must have the proper Visa, you must have all your licenses and permits in order and currently valid. It is illegally for you to do otherwise.

Starting a Business

In the Western Visayas, where commercial rent and licenses cost less than in many locations in Luzon and in Cebu-Central Visayas, a neighborhood Bar & Grill may go over well. The key to this business is sound planning and implementation on all fronts.

I cringe whenever I read and hear this business advice…If you have never operated a business before, you will fail. Come on, now! Tell me one person who was born operating a business? Everyone had to start at some point of operating their own business. There are many success stories for first time business owners but honestly, there are more failed first time business owners.

To be successful, it is about planning, location, being innovative, staff hiring & training and managing your profit and loss.


For a Bar and Grill operator. Larger Menu Variety, larger Alcohol choices and better Service are very important. More Food, More Alcohol and Top Rate Service.


Excellent Theme, Decor, Furnishings and Atmosphere of your Bar & Grill can turn your place into a small Gold Mine.

As the operator of a Bar & Grill, once up and running, you do not have to spend 16 hours every day on site. However, you must be on site at some point everyday you are open for business. You can observe problems early on and have them corrected on the spot. There will be problems.


There are not many Bar & Grills that will be successful if you depend mostly on expats to keep your doors open. Your largest Market Base is Filipinos, so you must also cater to them. These days, more and more Filipinos are enjoying Western Cuisine but you must also have Filipino Cuisine available in your Bar & Grill.

Have a daily Happy Hour. An extended Happy Hour is best, say 1pm-5pm. Have a Daily Special on Food Items and have a different Daily Special each day of the week. Switch up the Daily Special every week and do not make, for example, every Tuesday…Meat Loaf and Mashed Potatoes. It is best to rotate your Daily Special on a monthly basis. It is not difficult to come up with 30 or 31 different Daily Specials every month.


Have a number of Draft Beer selections, sold by Mugs and Pitchers. Have a good variety of bottled Imported Beers and have all the Philippine Beers available, in the bottles. Have a well stocked full service bar and trained bartenders.

I have researched operating a Bar & Grill in the Philippines for over a decade. In Bacolod, I see Bar & Grill businesses come and go. I observed the flaws that put them out of business and I observed the positives as to why some are successful. I know a number of restaurant owners in Bacolod, both expats and Filipinos. I have talked to them many times about their business. I have actually made polite suggestions to them about improving their business. Some followed it and some did not.


Never, never, never have to use these words…Sorry, Out of Stock! If supply is short and a menu item is not available that day due to lack of acquiring imported ingredients, cover up the item on the menu with a small strip of black tape. If you are running low on anything that can be quickly locally sourced, send a staff member out to buy it, even if they have to buy it from a market or supermarket at retail prices.


Your Wait Staff, Bartenders and Kitchen Staff are the ones who will make or break your Bar & Grill. Do not hire relatives unless you have the fortitude to say to them…You’re fired!


Last but not least, the name of your Bar & Grill and your logo, will attract customers or drive customers away. Be original and be unique. Gary’s Bar and Grill is not unique and it is not an attraction. Banditos Bar & Grill is a good one!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

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 ~