May’s Organic Garden: Magnificent Beauty

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On the holiday, Ninoy Aquino Day, we went to May’s Organic Garden, which his located south Bacolod City and before Barangay Sum-Ag. We did not go until the afternoon, so the restaurant was about to close up but we were not hungry yet! Next time.

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There are a number of bonsai trees near the convention center.

Bonsai
If you are interested, you can rent one of the Swan Boats and take a spin around the lake!

May's Organic Garden
Fabulous landscaping!

Convention Center
A great place to have a wedding reception or for holding a large association meeting in their convention center.

Fountain
A photo taken from the bridge, the large fountain.

May's Organic Garden
Across the lake.

Papaya
Papaya

Pine Tree and Corn
A Pine Tree and Corn.

Greenhouses
Greenhouses

Lagoon Style Pool
Lagoon Pool

May's Organic Garden
A Bridge Over Untroubled Waters!

May's Organic Garden

We had a fun-filled afternoon at May’s Organic Gardens! Admission was P100 for adults and no charge for children. If you plan availing the swimming pool, it is P100 for adults and P50 for children. We did not need a cottage rental for the day, so we did not ask the price. There were plenty of shaded places to sit because there were not many people there in the late afternoon. There is a hotel on site and we were told it was P1,500 per night. Since we live in Bacolod, we didn’t need a hotel room! The restaurant closes at 2pm, so if you want to eat, go early. The restaurant is located at the entrance of May’s Organic Garden. A friend told me they have great fruit shakes!

There is organic fertilizer, vermicast, and we were told that organic fruit and vegetables are also sold, when available. We saw a lemongrass distillery for making lemongrass oil. One use for lemongrass oil is mosquito repellent.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of nature, I recommend putting May’s Organic Garden on your must see list.

The Quiet Place Farm Resort

The Quiet Place

If you are looking for a peaceful and scenic getaway for the weekend, The Quiet Place Farm Resort may just be the place you are looking for. Less than 5 km from Barangay Sum-Ag in Bacolod City, many enjoy the ride in the countryside to The Quiet Place, located in Barangay Tabunan, Bago City.

The Quiet Place

You will have a good view of Mount Canlaon, the famous local volcano.

The Quiet Place

There are many shade trees at The Quiet Place.

The Quiet Place

The Quiet Place Resort is actually a working farm, growing rice and corn. Corn for sale! The farmer in charge will do a small harvest for you if you are interested in buying the fabulous white sweet corn and it is only P25 per kilo! We bought 5 kilos to take home. Immediately after returning home, we grilled some corn and boiled a lot more. Wow! It is really tender and sweet corn.

The Quiet Place

The rice is nice.

The Quet Place

The Quiet Place

Poolside!

The Quiet Place

The Garden Hotel. The Quiet Place has several small hotels on site for you to choose from. Surrounded by the lush beauty of nature, this is an ideal spot for a romantic weekend or just a place to get away from everything for rest and relaxation. For me personally, the luxuriant plants, flowers and trees are the perfect setting for me to enjoy personal down time and spend quality time with my wife and son.

The Quiet Place

For those who do not intend lodging for the night, there are cottages and pavilions for rent by the day. Admission to the Quiet Place is P35 for adults and P20 for children. Use of the pool is an additional P50 per person.

There is a restaurant at the Quiet Place but it was not open the day we went there. I have heard good things about the restaurant, which has such dishes as tenderloin roulade in red wine sauce and rosemary and garlic potatoes with stuffed peppers. It sounds awesome doesn’t it? Dessert includes lemongrass ice cream, mango-ginger ice cream and a few other fabulous desserts. You will want to call ahead and make sure the days and hours of the restaurant.

This past week was our first time going to The Quiet Place but we intend to go back. If you enjoy the beauty of nature, then it is a place for you to check out!

Retiring to the Philippines

Please do not forget to check out:

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/

Every week, I add 2-3 new, interesting articles that I think anyone interested about retiring to and living in the Philippines will certainly enjoy. All my articles are based on my personal 27 year connection with the Pearl of the Orient and my living here full time. In my opinion, the Philippines really is the Pearl of the Orient and I would not be happy living anywhere else in the world!

Mambukal Revisited

Mambukal Revisited

It is a family tradition going to scenic parks, resorts, beaches and other interesting places on holidays. Easter afternoon was no exception! We loaded up the Crosswind and took off for Mambukal Hot Springs Mountain Resort.

Flying Bat

Flying Fruit Bat

There are thousands of fruit bats at Mambukal and locally, they are known as flying foxes.

Hanging Fruit Bats

Hanging Fruit Bats

During daytime hours, most of the fruit bats can be seen hanging from one of the many trees, however, some enjoy flying around even when it is not dark.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs

In the later afternoon, the crowd in the hot springs pool had thinned out. There are private spas one can avail at Mambukal, providing hot springs from the mountain.

There is a lively food court inside Mambukal where fresh seafood, native Filipino dishes and a few Western favorites are served. We decided to dine at Ikea of Kabankalan in the Mambukal Food Court.

Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger at Ikea of Kabankalan

The owner of the restaurant came over to our table to speak to us personally. The Bacon Cheeseburger was not on the menu but I asked nicely and the owner agreed to prepare it just for me! Lots of crispy fried bacon. Keeping the burger with the local influence, it was garnished with sliced green tomato and cucumber. It was awesome! The bacon cheeseburger was also served with a side of deep fried shrimp or lobster crackers.

Halo Halo

Halo Halo

Halo Halo is a delightful treat and is found most everywhere in the Philippines with each region having their own favorite variation. The Halo Halo at Ikea of Kabankalan in the Mambukal Food Court is made with shaved ice, firm cubed gelatin, purple yams, rice krispies, various slices of tropical fruit and ice cream. Fabulous!

If you haven’t been to Mambukal Hot Springs and Mountain Resort, by all means, check it out ASAP. You don’t realize what you are missing! If it has been awhile since your last trip to Mambukal, a revisit is always as fun as the first time. Adult admission is P50 per head, a little more than $1, and children admission is P20 or sometimes, even free.

Have Fun! It really is more fun in the Philippines!

 

 

Gardening in the Philippines

With the severe drought in the USA, it is predicted that food prices will rise 10% or more world wide on into 2013. The Philippines imports a lot of wheat from the USA, together with soybean meal and beef. The prices will be higher in the days ahead.

Since 2009, when we moved to the Philippines, we grow some of our own vegetables. We now live in the city in a subdivision but we still grow potted vegetables and we grow some vegetables on the small strip of soil that we have in front of our house.

The good news is that we still have our other house and farm, located south of Bacolod about a one hour drive, and we recently began preparing for a larger garden.

Our  home garden

Initially, we planted long green beans and pechay, which is Filipino bokchoy. It is the rainy season now in our area of the Philippines, so it is a gamble to plant anything right now, so we will add more to the garden after September. Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Spanish onions and tomatoes are what we are soon targeting.
We have many free range chickens at our farm and we have two “chicken houses” that the chickens like to use when laying eggs. 

Chicken House

Busted!

Someone trying to sneak in and rustle some chickens. Only joking! It is our niece, who was in the sugar cane field looking for some lost chicks who strayed off. No luck.

Orchids and Plants

My wife’s hobby.

More Orchids and Plants

The orchids in the background are growing on driftwood mounts. The nicer ones in our area can be sold for up to P5,000 each or a little more than $100 USD.

We raise sugar cane and rice commercially and we plan to increase our home production of vegetables.

It really is more fun in the Philippines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!


2012 Panaad sa Negros Festival

The Panaad Festival kicked off on Monday, April 9, and will end on Sunday, April 15. The weekend will be the highlights of the Festival but every day is good. We heard the fireworks from our home on the opening night.

Tropical Treasures

There is a little bit of everything at the Panaad Festival. Almost every city, town and municipality in Negros Occidental has an exhibit.

More Tropical Treasures

Food and drink are one of the many pleasures at the Panaad Festival. Luscious fruit, fabulous vegetables, native cuisine and native drinks make an enjoyable experience.

Miami Dolphins??

Not today! Philippine Dolphins at Panaad. 

More Luscious Beauty

It really is more fun in the Philippines!!

Oh, yes! We have some bananas!

There are many types of bananas grown in Negros Occidental and this is one showcase.

Five more days to go in the Panaad Festival. I will be there every day and I will share more. If you have a juicer, blender or food processor, just imagine all the great drinks you can whip up from the fruits and vegetables from the Panaad Festival. The Showcase of Negros Occidental, my home. It is Showtime!

 

 

 

God’s Beauty

 

Beauty in Bacolod

The beauty of nature, God’s handiwork, is something we sometimes overlook. We are too busy to stop and smell the flowers or else we just don’t see it. It is there for us but we don’t see them. Everyday in our area of Philippines seems to unfold a new adventure and I am thankful that I am never too busy to enjoy God’s beauty.

A Child Sees The Beauty

Children often see things that we don’t see. We may see certain things but life’s stress may cause us not to really see the beauty.

Stroll in a Garden

Taking a stroll in a garden can do wonders for us if we do so in appreciation of the beauty. 

Sugar Cane

Some may never see the beauty of sugar cane growing in a field but it is one of God’s wonders and many people in Negros Occidental grow sugar cane to support their families.

Mountain

We sometimes need to spend time in the valley to appreciate the exhilaration of the mountain top! 

Living Waters

There is refreshing in the rushing water of a cool mountain stream. Water is symbolic with life and from us can spring forth rivers of living water. 

Waterfall

It is not the best taken photo but I included it as a reminder that perfection and being unblemished are not required to show the possession of one’s beauty to others. 

God’s beauty and God’s miracles are everywhere, if we open our eyes and see them. The inward beauty of many are more precious than gold in comparison to their outward beauty.