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Month: January 2017

The Jomax Peak Experience

This post first appeared at ZabrinaSabrine.com – ZabrinaTheWanderlust, Philippines travel blogger. The Jomax Peak experience is one worth trying at least once. But be warned, you will want to return. What and Where is Jomax Peak? It’s a picnic resort set high, about 800 m high, in the mountains close to Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Island. Why Go There? The views and the fresh mountain air are scintillating! Forget a day at an expensive spa hotel, this is inexpensive and way, way healthier! The details and how to get there are to be found at the foot of this post. But please note this – they do not accept walk-ins. You must make an advance reservation. Apart from unlimited coffee, there is no catering either.…

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Bacolod #1 Tourist Attraction – The Ruins

What qualifies as the Bacolod #1 Tourist Attraction? It has to be the Ruins. Strictly speaking, it’s in Talisay but … It has taken me the best part of two years to finally visit and it was worthwhile. It is a superb destination and only a short distance from the city. Some know it as the “Taj Mahal” of Negros Island because of the sad love story that underpins the history of the grand building. It is a shell now, but a magnificent shell. It’s a shell owing to the fact it was burnt to the ground. During WW2, when the United States Armed Forces in the Far East came to the area, there were some rumors that the Japanese forces might use the mansion…

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Safety in the Philippines

Safety in the Philippines in general and drug-related killings in particular, have been world-wide news lately. Yes, it is a problem but it’s important not to over react. I lived in London for many years and shootings, mainly drug related and often black on black, were common currency and probably still are. Firearms are readily accessible here and so is shabu. Shabu is a form of methamphetamine and is highly addictive. President Duterte has sworn to eradicate the drug trade by use of some controversial methods. As a veteran of the so called “war on drugs,” I am no longer convinced that such a “war” is winnable and the world needs to try alternatives to the present system of prohibition.  I have written at some…

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Ebullient: Word Wednesday

Ebullient! That’s me when I have heard good news 🙂 What does Merriam-Webster have to say about it: ebullient adjective ebul·lient \i-ˈbu̇l-yənt, -ˈbəl-\ Popularity: Top 30% of words Definition 1 : boiling, agitated 2 : characterized by ebullience : having or showing liveliness and enthusiasm <ebullient performers> ebulliently adverb On hearing good news, I show liveliness and enthusiasm as opposed to “boiling” or becoming “agitated.” Oh! come on good news! Did you know? Someone who is ebullient is bubbling over with enthusiasm, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the adjective ebullient derives from the Latin verb ebullire, which means “to bubble out.” (The stem bullire is an ancestor of our word boil and derives from bulla, the Latin word for “bubble.”) In…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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