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Month: November 2015

Driving in Bacolod, Philippines: Part 3

Driving Filipino Style – No Fun No Joke No Common Sense I have previously written here and here about my perspective on driving in the Philippines as a foreigner.  I really thought it was “out of my system” and had fully acclimatized to the “different” way of driving and lack of traffic discipline here. Hell! No! I may have acclimatized to driving about Bacolod, the City of Smiles but on the laughably described national highways you would have to be brain-dead to get used to it! My first two posts on this subject went a little viral (20k + readers on Medium for example), certainly here in the Philippines, and were met in some quarters with criticism. “Who the hell is this foreigner telling us what to…

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Football Philippines

More Filipino Football but a bit Flat … You will all know I watched the first day’s play in the Philippines  Football Federation Regional Under 22 Play-Offs. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Today I returned for the third and final day anticipating quite a ding-dong match between the two best, and physically strongest, teams Cebu and NOFA (Bacolod). It was disappointing. I don’t blame the young men who were playing. It was their third match in the space of three days. That was far too much to ask especially in temperatures of about 30C. In fact, it’s ridiculous to ask players to perform like that in three consecutive days. They had to cope with a hard, bobbly pitch, high temperatures and an even stronger wind than on…

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Hey Robbie Fowler or Ian Rush!

Robbie Fowler – Bacolod and Philippines Football Needs You and LFC One of the very few downsides of retiring to, and living in the Philippines is missing my football fix, particularly when it involves Liverpool Football Club. Robbie Fowler, you are needed here. Let me explain. View image | gettyimages.com   As my readers will know, I have been an avid fan of Liverpool Football Club for just over 60 years now, having seen my first football match at Anfield back in the old Second Division days under our then new manager, Bill Shankly. Yesterday, I had the most pleasurable experience watching two back to back games at the Panaad Stadium, Bacolod. It was the first in three days of football matches in the Regional Under-22 Play-Offs to decide…

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My True Undercover Detective Book is One Step Closer

To Being Completed …… Three cheers and a huge hip hurrah for my sister! She arrived in the Philippines last week suitcase full of my important stuff I had left behind in England. The Holy Bible that Dad bought for us all when we were kids. It must have cost a fortune then back in the day and boy! It’s heavy! Five kilograms in weight! I love that Book, not just because of the Scriptures, but also because it is replete with prints of famous Rembrandts and Reubens paintings depicting Biblical scenes. As you are aware, from my newsletter, I have a “forthcoming book” in the pipeline. It is my story. A true story of a remarkable part of my life as an undercover detective…

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Pray For Paris and the ISIS Vision of the Apocalypse

ISIS are not Psychopaths In my last post here “Pray For Paris” , I wrote – “Imagine a scene, if it were ever possible, where an ISIS fanatic was invited to unarmed combat in a room to take on say a US Navy Seal or a British SAS member. My money then would be on the fanatic being revealed as a coward too!” It appears that is not going to happen. I read with great interest this article in the Atlantic Magazine titled, “What ISIS Really Wants.” I recommend it wholeheartedly as both an informative and well-written piece. The sub-heading reads as follows – “The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key…

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Pray For Paris

Pray For Paris: are the Perpetrators Cowards or Fanatics? As Facebook and social media in general,  understandably went into meltdown with the “Pray For Paris” phrase, Damian Grammaticus of the BBC wrote on November 14 2015 – It’s just 10 months since Paris was the scene of multiple terrorist attacks, first the massacre of staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket. What happened in Paris on Friday night is exactly what Europe’s security services have long feared, and tried to foil. Simultaneous, rolling attacks, with automatic weapons and suicide bombers in the heart of a major European city, targeting multiple, crowded public locations. The tactics have been used before, in Mumbai and elsewhere. But how they’ve come to…

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Bacolod Normal: “Very Traffic” in Manila

We, Zabrina and I, just got home to Bacolod after three days, two nights in Manila. We went there as my sister and friend arrived from England on their first ever visit to the Philippines. Naturally, I was delighted to see my sister and we now have over two weeks together to show her the “sights” on Negros Island and slightly further afield.  We plan to go to Mambukal,  DS Benedicto, Sipalay and Boracay to just name a few places. It was  both interesting and amusing to hear and observe my sister and her friend’s reaction to witnessing the chaotic traffic in Manila. The “oohs” and “aahs” were so funny as they witnessed the usual antics displayed by the typical Filipino driver in Manila. It also served…

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Cinco de Noviembre

I have a penchant for discovering the history and the culture of places in “foreign” lands that I have had the pleasure of living in for any length of time. The Philippines is rich in both history and culture. I was grateful recently to have an interesting chat with one of Zabrina’s family members, Butch, about the native sugar industry here in Negros Island. I learned a lot. I am also grateful to Butch for sharing this link on Facebook. It was such a fascinating piece of history that I thought it only right and proper to share it further afield. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.   The 5th of November is a special day in Negros Island.  The Negros…

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Honest Thai Cop – They Don’t Grow on Trees

There is a connection between the title of this post and a recent post of mine here  about Phuket Beach Madness. There have now been some new developments about the beach “madness” and I am once more grateful to Phuketwan for being the bearer of that news. You will later learn as to why there is a connection between the title and Phuketwan. Rohingya Peoples and Human Trafficking In case you are unaware, Phuketwan is an English language newspaper based in Phuket, Thailand. Unfortunately, it is not being published after December 31 2015.  I am unaware as to the reasons for it shutting down and I can only assume it is to do with its role in exposing the Royal Thai Navy’s involvement  in corruption concerning human trafficking…

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Top Cover on a Snatch Vehicle

Top Gun Top Cover “Top cover” is arguably one of the most important jobs for an infantry soldier in a British Army snatch vehicle. As the name implies he (or she) is perched on top of the vehicle at its highest point gaining the best possible view to scope everything that is going on when on patrol. The vehicle does not carry armaments. Top cover will only carry their own personal infantry weapon. View image | gettyimages.com   Snatch The snatch vehicle is based on a Land Rover and offers minimal protection to the occupants particularly from roadside bombs (IEDs). Its origins are to be found in  the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland when it was used to drive into the rioting mob to assist the “snatch…

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