Expat In Bacolod

Stephen Bentley - Writer

Category: Bacolod Life (page 2 of 11)

Bacolod Life is a category composed of posts all about my expat life in Bacolod, Negros Island and the Philippines in general. Bacolod City is where I live and write. I love it here.

With one exception! The road culture!

It inspired me to write my first book “How To Drive Like an Idiot in Bacolod” – An Expat’s Experiences of Driving in the Philippines and How To Survive.

It is available on Amazon and other online retail stores. Click on the image below to take a free preview before you buy.

Coke-Free Panaad Festival Bacolod

I reproduce this article “Coke-free Panaad Festival” by Butch Bacaoco and hope you find it as interesting and informative as I do. I learn something new every day! “Coke-free” Panaad Festival Negros Occidental’s “Panaad Festival”, dubbed as the “Mother of All Festivals” in the province, opens tomorrow. The police have beefed up security measures in preparation for the daily onslaught of thousands of people who are expected to take part in this world-famous event. Police personnel and force multipliers will be deployed throughout the site’s 25-hectare area to deter pickpockets and snatchers, as well as salisi and bukas-kotse hooligans. Right at the entrance, body checks and inspections will be implemented. And for the first time in Panaad’s 24-year history, x-ray scanners will be installed at… Read More

Customer Service Lip Service

Yes I love Bacolod and the Philippines but nowhere is perfect! Customer Service Lip Service came to mind and the title inspired by a sign outside of the CENECO building here in Bacolod. It read ‘Customer Service 24/7.’ CENECO is the Central Negros Electric Cooperative and provides power to the homes and businesses of the region. I challenge it on its claims about customer service because I experienced the fact it either sucks or is non-existent. First, you need to understand what happened. I rent a 2-story town house and was just about to shower last Monday morning when the electricity failed. I thought another brownout, but I was wrong. We had been disconnected. I pay the bills but no one had bothered to tell… Read More

Earth Sunday Productions: Philippines Got Talent

Earth Sunday Productions is a different kind of Philippines talent. In the past I have featured local Bacolod vocalists and musicians. These guys are involved in a film production company. The guys being Jezrel, Rap Rap, Airo and Jay. They are very good at what they do and a fun bunch to be with. You can find out more about them through their Facebook page. They describe themselves under this label – Wedding Photography & Video, Event Documentation, Advertisement, Music Videos, Audio Visual Presentation, Films. They can be contacted on +63 (0)932 8655 382 | (0)977 4740 279. Long story short, ITV Wales hired them to film me for a documentary to be aired in September 2017. It’s all about Operation Julie and my book… Read More

Two Best Negros Island Beach Resorts

Want to know where the two best Negros Island beach resorts are?  Zabrina and I happened to stay at both only last week. Takutaka Lodge Beach and Dive Resort and Bugana Beach and Dive Resort are both close to Sipalay some 4 hours drive or so south from Bacolod City. In my opinion they surpass any other resort on the island and have to be in the top ten in the whole of the 7,100 islands in the Philippines. There is a connection between the two resorts. Let me call it the Swiss connection. Karl is the male half of the Takatuka team running that resort with his partner Cathy. Both are Swiss although I am led to believe Karl was born in Germany. Karl’s… Read More

Memory Lane by Esperanza: Part 2

In the first part of my post on this delightful restaurant (but is it?), I extolled the virtues of Esperanza. Yet, I made it clear I had not eaten there and intended to return. I did both – on more than one occasion. The Food of Esperanza What can I say? Brilliant home cooked food with all natural ingredients. I tried the specialty of the combo and it was simply delicious without being overpowering. The buffalo wings are the pièce de résistance  but the back rib ran it a close second.  I spoke to the brother part of the ownership, and cook, and he told me what he used for the spicy coating of the wings. I correctly identified all ingredients but one. He said,… Read More

It was my great pleasure to meet Ednalyn Grace Samson (Lyn or Edz) last night at the Hat Trick Bar and Grill. It was an even greater pleasure to hear her sing.

She has that rare quality of singing voice that touches your inner soul and I can tell you I was almost moved to tears.

Enough babble from me, this is a selection of YouTube clips I found of her wonderful voice. The Philippines truly has some great talent!

I will also feature her friend Jack soon. He also had a great voice 🙂

Bacolod Liverpool Hull – Any Connection?

Bacolod Liverpool  Hull all have something in common – ships and docks. It’s one of the things I love about Bacolod. It’s on the water and it has a docks area just like Liverpool where I grew up. Hull is an other port in England but is on the east coast at about the same latitude as Liverpool. Hull faces the cold North Sea, Holland and Germany. Liverpool faces the windy Irish Sea, Ireland and America. Bacolod faces west toward Iloilo and Panay island and has a number of fast craft and RoRo ferry services to various parts of the Philippines. It also has some commercial shipping other than ferries.   Why did I mention Hull? There are other ports in England besides that port…. Read More

Work in the Philippines: Teaching

Work in the Philippines: Teaching Want to work in the Philippines as an expat? You know the saying or at least one of its variations: “those who can, do … those who can’t, teach.” Sometimes in my life I have felt that true. At other times, I’m not so sure. It all depends on the person and the circumstances. Well, it’s my turn. I am going to be teaching this April and May, 2017. Who’d have thought it! Yes, that’s me. Although I have thought before about teaching, I have never done it. The last time I had any yearning to teach was before I embarked on my travels to Thailand. I inquired about Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) to teach English in… Read More

Bacolod Recommended Eating – Vikings

Vikings has fast become one of the “must-go” eating places in Bacolod. People rave about it and it was about time I tried it out – what better time than Zabrina’s birthday so I treated the whole family to dinner there on a busy Friday evening. Let me cut to the chase – Vikings is a great experience but the quality of much of the food leaves a lot to be desired. It is really a wonder of marketing and whoever thought up the concept is a clever individual. Vikings is a concept in buffet style eating with a wide array of worldwide foods. Think TGIF but with imagination. It is an experience and once you enter it’s like walking into a cross between a… Read More

Bacolod Recommended Eating – Memory Lane By Esperanza

Memory Lane By Esperanza classes itself as a diner. I think it is more than that. It’s a quirky, “home-from-home” place with oodles of atmosphere, great service and welcoming hosts and staff. As you walk in, you can almost hear a silent shout of, “welcome, my friend – long time no see!” Confession time, Zabrina and I didn’t eat on this occasion but we will in future. The house specialty is wings and they looked fantastic! The basic wings will set you back Pesos 110 and they do three bumper feasts with the maxed-out  Pesos 745 ($15) version coming with 26 wings, much ribs, mac cheese, the obligatory rice and goodness knows what else and includes 1 liter of iced tea.   We didn’t eat… Read More

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