Skip to content


About Stephen Bentley – Writer, and Published Author


I write true crime and crime fiction. Before that in my previous lives I was a UK Detective Sergeant, pioneering undercover cop, barrister, and many other things too which you can read in my bio below.

I guess you could say I go on reinventing myself through necessity and refusal to ever quit during the stormy times.

As for my writing, I believe readers think of my books like Marmite in that they either love or hate my books.

Serendipity (one of my favourite words) dictates most readers love my books, thank goodness.


Born in Accrington, Lancashire but raised in Huyton, Liverpool from infancy. I consider myself a Scouser endorsed by a good friend’s docker father who considered me an honorary member of the ‘Brotherhood of Scousehood.’ I still love Liverpool even though I haven’t been there for a few years.  The image of Liverpool’s Liver Buildings below is pure nostalgia for me.

I was educated at Prescot Grammar School, Merseyside, England leaving school at 17 years, and returned to education in 1993 at the now London Metropolitan University and was awarded a law degree LLB (2:1 Honours).

My police service was in both the Lancashire and Hampshire forces from 1966 to 1980 when I resigned with the rank of Detective Sergeant.

Between 1980 and 1993, I worked in a variety of jobs as a sales manager, truck driver and instructor. While reading law full time between 1993 and 1996 I also worked as a hospital night security porter, a London motorcycle courier and chilled food delivery driver to fund my studies.

From 1996 to 1997 I qualified as a barrister at the famous Inns of Court School of Law, London. From 1997 to 2011 I practised law as a criminal barrister defending in cases of murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery, firearms possession and supplying drugs including cases at the famous Old Bailey and the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).


From 2013, I travelled in South East Asia including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines. I also spent some time in Australia riding a Harley motorcycle. I have chosen to make the Philippines my permanent home with my partner, now wife, Zabrina.

My Blog at Expat in Bacolod

My musings can be found here on this blog. It is a collection of articles about the many things in in life that interest me. It is a veritable potpourri!

My author website can be found by clicking here where you can access a free book by joining my mailing list. 

My Writing

Since my retirement to the Philippines, I have been able to concentrate 100% on writing. My memoir with the title “Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story” was published on September 14, 2016 and is available in both paperback and Kindle. It is a true story of my undercover days posing as a hippie to infiltrate the world’s largest LSD manufacturing and distribution networks.

Not only did I accomplish that successfully but also unearthed a massive plot to import huge quantities of cocaine into the UK.  It is a story that involves drugs, some sex and a little rock n’ roll!

I am currently working on a number of books.

My first book “How to Drive Like an Idiot in Bacolod – An Expat’s Experiences of Driving in the Philippines and How to Survive” is now available on Amazon in Kindle format.

Social Media & Contact

My Amazon Author Page is  The Stephen Bentley.

My social media links to Twitter and Facebook are shown in the social media buttons at the top of the sidebar if you wish to follow me there.

This page and some other posts and pages on this site contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of commission if you make a purchase using these links. You pay the same price even if you don’t use my links. The commission is not added to the price you pay at checkout.

All opinions expressed about a product or service are my own. I have received no free products or services. I only promote brands that I have full confidence in.

This website is independently owned and operated by Stephen Bentley. As such, the small amounts of affiliate commission payments help to offset the site’s running costs.






    • Thanks Tony – it’s always good to hear feedback especially when it is as positive as yours! Let me know when you get here and we can hook up over a beer and talk all things LFC! #YNWA

  2. photobyjohnbo photobyjohnbo

    Enjoyed your post on the vitriolic Facebook commenter. I love FB, but sometimes it irritates me to no end. You have said what I often think when I see such “feedback.”

    I have added a link to your site so I can follow you in my reader. Found your post on Blogging 201, and look forward to meeting many of my classmates.

  3. Jack Jack

    Well, well, Stevie B the writer. who’d have thought it. I’ll follow with interest.
    Take care.

  4. Matthew Matthew

    Its really quite rare that you meet UK guys out here so its comforting to know that you are here with some sound advice. I Live at hillside on the other side of town 🙂
    Great site Steve 😉

    • Thanks Matthew! There are more of us than you perhaps think. But I know what you mean as I would wager that most foreigners in the Phils are American.

      • Matthew Matthew

        Oh really?
        I`ve been here for 3+ years and only met a handful of actual UK guys. If I`m honest though I do seem to mingle with the locals more so maybe I`ve been a bit insulated.
        Matt 🙂

        • Insulation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most of the time (99.9%) I am in the company of Filipinos. I enjoy that. I’m not one of those expats that have to seek out expat hangouts. Funnily enough there are no real expat hangouts here in Bacolod. Especially compared to say Thailand where there are loads of expat bars. I guess it’s mainly through this blog that I have got to meet (mostly in the virtual sense) other UK expats in Bacolod. Sometimes it does make a change to have a natter in Brit English with a compatriot.

  5. Kyle McCormack Kyle McCormack

    Great to read some of your stories. Contact me and I can tell you
    a bar or 2 in Bacolod I visit where some of my British, Australian,
    New Zealand and South Africans visit. I have been here since June 2010.
    Kyle from Texas

    • Hi Kyle it’s good to meet you. I will email you. Thanks for the shout out 🙂

    • Rodney Beckley Rodney Beckley

      Hi Kyle. We have relocated to Bacolod and would be grateful for contacts and any info to get to know other expats and hear about their experiences. My wife and I have strong Irish roots but have lived most our lives in Africa and have two daughters. I started my contract here last September but rest of the family only been here since January. Many thanks. Rodney

      • Hi Rodney, Kyle has nothing to do with this blog. There is an expat meeting at Natures Village Resort, Talisay, on the first Saturday of every month and starts about 11 am. Hope that helps.

  6. GP Cox GP Cox

    Pleased to meet you, Steve. You must be a good undercover cop, to still be with us today, but a smart businessman. This promotion should generate quite a few new readers for you, plus get your name out there.
    Best of luck !

    • Thank you! I did enjoy your site and I will be a regular visitor as I marked your blog with a ‘Follow’ in the WP Reader.

  7. Interesting life Stephen. Look forward to reading some of your posts. Glad to see from the archives that they are not just about football!

    • Life? Some would say many lives 🙂 Football is only one of my passions and it does not dominate my life. Thank you so much Carol for coming here and commenting. It is really appreciated!

      • Many adventures yes – but one life obviously lived to the max! ?

  8. Antonio Antonio

    Very interesting to join your “expat” group of friends. I am a local guy from Bacolod. And I came across your blog by accident. Very interesting.

    • Thank you, Antonio. I have replied to your email. Thanks for getting in touch.

  9. Jeffrey c dickenson Jeffrey c dickenson

    I am an American (Philippine permanent resident). My Filipina wife and I will be traveling from the USA to Bacolod on April 15th. Will we be allowed to transfer planes in Manila or will we face mandatory quarantine? Assume neither of us have fever or showing symptoms of Coronavirus.

    • The first thing I would do is call the US Embassy and ask them. My understanding is once you disembark in Manila, you will both be in lockdown, effectively quarantined. There are no domestic flights in or out of Manila and all travel between provinces has ceased. That includes Bacolod and the rest of the province. We, in Bacolod, are currently on emergency quarantine with only one person per household permitted to go out to buy essentials – foods, medicine etc. My fear is once you reach Manila, you will both have to remain there for the unforeseeable future.

    • I have also just learned that Enhanced Community Quarantine is now extended to midnight April 30 for the whole of Luzon.

  10. Ray Ray

    Hi Steve

    Fellow Scouser here but now living over the water in Iloilo since November last year. Some helpful information and good stories on the site so has helped to keep me entertained while on lockdown so thanks for that..

    Sometimes go over to Bacolod for a change of scenery if you fancy a jar some time, Probably won’t be soon given the current ECQ situation, but hopefully things will start to relax soon.

    • Hi Ray! Nice to hear from a fellow Scouser. I guess you must be a red, seeing I got no abuse lol. As you say, it’s impossible to make any plans until ECQ is lifted but I do enjoy a jar or three, so why not?

  11. Ray Ray

    You are right about being a red, used to stand on the Kop for all the home games but haven’t been for about 35 years.

    If you send me an email I will contact you when we can finally escape.

    • Good man! I started going around 1960, before we got promoted to the old First Division. Then, it was the boy’s pen before the Kop. After that, anywhere I could get a ticket. Last time I was at Anfield must have been around 2010. I’ll email you.

  12. John John

    Found your post on “Life certificate” Mine arrived in the Philippines in February and just arrived at my house today, so fingers crossed when I call them this afternoon. Thanks John.

    • Glad to be of help, John. Also good to hear PhilPost is operating once more if you can truly say they ever do “operate.” Lol.

  13. Ray Ray

    Thought you would have had your Champions banner up by now. Thirty years, the wait is over! YNWA

I would love to hear from you

©2021 - 2022 Stephen Bentley - and Hendry Publishing Ltd Registered in England and Wales: Company Number 13486229 Registered Office: 20-22 Wenlock Road London N1 7GU All Rights Reserved