Expat In Bacolod

Stephen Bentley - Writer

Thinking of Buying Property in the Philippines

If you are a foreigner living in the Philippines sooner or later your mind will turn to buying property in the Philippines. I am no expert on the subject and I still rent but after two years here, I am now seriously contemplating all of my options. Those options are to carry on renting or buy a condo or a house. First, a few general observations. By European or American standards, land and homes are still cheap here. For example, about US $100,000 will get you a nice 2-bedroom loft condo on 2 levels with balcony in Bacolod. For much less, it is possible to buy a 3-bedroom, 2-story, 2 bathroom house in a Bacolod sub-division for about US $33,000. You can add a substantial… Read More

Hyperbole: Word Wednesday (Improve Your Word Power)

Hyperbole is a word that is in the top 1% of “look-ups” according to Merriam-Webster. That comes as no surprise to me as it is a word often heard but many don’t know its meaning. I find the “Did You Know” part of the M-W entry interesting. hyperbole noun hy·per·bo·le \hī-ˈpər-bə-(ˌ)lē\ Popularity: Top 1% of lookups Definition : extravagant exaggeration (as “mile-high ice-cream cones”) hyperbolistplay \hī-ˈpər-bə-list\ noun Examples in a sentence Four decades later we’re all blabbermouths, adrift on a sea of hyperbole, shouting to be heard. —Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated, 1 Apr. 2002 … balanced on the razor edge of anachronism, creating a rich stew of accepted and invented history, anecdote, myth and hyperbole. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, New York Times Book Review, 18 May… Read More

Part 2 – Myth Busting: 13A Permanent Residency Visa

Part 1 of my attempt at myth busting over the 13A Permanent Residency Visa can be found by clicking here. This is by way of an update and in particular the process of obtaining your NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) clearance.  Please don’t forget you need to be in the Philippines for at least 6 months to go through the NBI process. If you have been here for less than that time you need to obtain police clearance from your home country. Only yesterday I completed the process and gladly, I found it fairly straightforward with one exception. First, let me give you the link once more to the excellent article on obtaining a 13A visa by way of marriage to a citizen of the… Read More

Vicissitude: Word Wednesday (Improve Your Word Power)

Vicissitude … go on say it out loud! It sounds good right? But what does it mean? The usual go-to Merriam-Webster says this: vicissitude noun vi·cis·si·tude \və-ˈsi-sə-ˌtüd, vī-, -ˌtyüd\ Popularity: Top 10% of words Top 10% of words? Really? I wonder how they work that out? Definition  1 a : the quality or state of being changeable : mutability b : natural change or mutation visible in nature or in human affairs 2 a : a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance : a fluctuation of state or condition <the vicissitudes of daily life> b : a difficulty or hardship attendant on a way of life, a career, or a course of action and usually beyond one’s control c : alternating… Read More

Aiza: Philippines Got Talent

Latest in the series of Philippines Got Talent is Aiza. Her full name is Aiza Delos Reyes Tanggote. I am telling you this lady can sing! She has a really powerful voice with a good range and is versatile across many genres. I never tire of telling her I love her voice <3 You can judge for yourselves in this series of videos shot last Sunday night at the Hat Trick Sports Bar in Bacolod. The vids were shot by Zabrina on her cellphone and aren’t the best quality but it doesn’t detract from Aiza’s tones. Carlo Yrure Martin accompanies on guitar. Together they are known as #UndercoverAcoustic. I wonder where they got that name from? 🙂 If you want to catch them, and I suggest… Read More

Car Dashcams and Idiot Drivers

Car dashcams are a real answer to the problems caused by idiot drivers. That applies whether it is here in Bacolod or anywhere in the world. Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time will know I have had plenty to say about idiot drivers in Bacolod. I even wrote a book about it 🙂 So why should you consider the installation of  a car dashcam? This is what one review site had to say: A dash cam can protect your finances, your time, and your personal property in a number of ways: It can scare off dishonest people who try to take advantage of you; it can provide evidence that’s far more reliable than eyewitness testimony; it can accelerate… Read More

Cali Island: Philippines Got Talent

Cali Island [link to Facebook page] is a band fronted by Deadman Gallardo, aka Dede, who is the lead vocalist. This is the second in the series of Philippines Got Talent. The idea is to feature local musicians primarily, but anyone with talent including writers. When I say “local,” I mean Bacolod. If you wish to be featured here then get in touch and don’t be shy! Cali Island play reggae music and here is a sample of their music style: Pretty good eh? The caption on YouTube says: Published on 9 Feb 2016 taken at Coke Stage, Lacson St. Bacolod City for the Celebration of Bacolaodiat Festival 2016 HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! I have no idea why, but I was a tad surprised to find… Read More

Solace: Word Wednesday (Improve Your Word Power)

Solace is the word for this Wednesday. I find it interesting to note how many words in the English language start with “sol.” There must be a connection to the sun surely but let’s see. Merriam-Webster has this to say about solace: solace transitive verb so·lace \ˈsä-ləs also ˈsō-\ Popularity: Top 20% of words Definition  solaced solacing 1 : to give comfort to in grief or misfortune : console 2 a : to make cheerful b : amuse 3 : allay, soothe <solace grief> solacement  noun solacer noun Examples in a sentence Solaced by an abundance of whisky, champagne and cigars, he always bounced back, restoring and recreating himself through intensely active immersion in one or another of his varied interests … —Robert Kuttner, New… Read More

Hogmanay: Word Wednesday (Increase Your Word Power)

Hogmanay is a Scottish word and denotes New Years Eve and associated with a good few ancient traditions such as “first footing.”  Note my use of the word “Scottish.” Nothing is more infuriating to a Scot, or this Brit with Scottish blood, than the use of the word Scotch in place of Scottish or Scot. Scotch is the drink! Rampant Scotland is where I found this information about the word Hogmanay: What does Hogmanay actually mean and what is the derivation of the name? Why do the Scots more than any other nation celebrate the New Year with such a passion? Why should a tall dark stranger be a welcome first foot visitor after midnight, carrying a lump of coal and a slice of black… Read More

And the Winner Is … Happy Christmas

And the winner is … there are three – so Happy Christmas to all of them and my readers worldwide. All of the competition winners have now received the signed copy of my book. The winner is … Carol –   The winner is … John – The winner is … Tony – All three were winners of a signed copy of a paperback of my book Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story and in addition will shortly receive an Amazon gift voucher to the value of $50. They have all supported me in my efforts and helped enormously by participating fully in all my pre-publication promotions including the three competitions I ran. I value that and am most grateful to them and all the… Read More

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