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Expat In Bacolod

Stephen Bentley - Writer

Tag: Negros Island (page 1 of 2)

White Chocolate Hills Resort

Another re-blog but this time from a local blogger Tony,  who operates the anorthernsoulweb. He blogs about “a bit of this and a bit of that.” This post of his is all about the White Chocolate Hills Resort outside of Dumaguete here on Negros Island. Tony is a resident of Bacolod and we have met and become firm friends. It helps also that we both originate about six miles or so from each other. He is from Widnes and I’m from Huyton.  We are both huge Liverpool Football Club fans and love sport in general.  Oh! And his wife is an excellent cook 🙂 This is his post: Have you ever thought to yourself that it was time to get away somewhere? Somewhere that you can… Read More

The Sugar Bowl of the Philippines

Negros Island is well known for sugar production and is known as the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines.  Below is a further article by Butch Bacaoco in his series Cane Points and reproduced with his kind permission. Butch knows his stuff about the sugar industry and in fact I listened in awe one day to a “history lesson” about the industry that involved an Englishman named Loney. This is an extract from the SRA’s website about the history of sugar in these islands: Although sugarcane was raised since pre-Spanish times in the Visayan islands after its introduction, it did not become much of an industry until after 1850. There were a score of small plantation in the province of Iloilo and a few in Negros… Read More

Dumaguete Road Trip, Philippines

Zabrina and I recently took a road trip to Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, Philippines. I have previously written a lot about my driving experiences here. I was even inspired to write a book about those experiences,  How To Drive Like An Idiot In Bacolod. The book is available on Amazon for those of you who are fans of Kindle. It is available for download here in both PDF and ePub formats – [purchase_link id=”2499″ style=”button” color=”green” text=”PDF version” direct=”true”]   [purchase_link id=”2517″ style=”button” color=”red” text=”ePub version” direct=”true”] Please see the foot of this post to read the latest review of the book on Amazon. We enjoyed Dumaguete enormously. It reminds me of certain seaside towns in England with its boulevard. The ornate street lights all… Read More

Piaya vs. Eccles Cake – Bun Fight!

Piaya [pee-i-ah] is a Negrense delicacy and one of the many things I love about living in this part of the Philippines. It is a specialty of Bacolod in Negros Occidental. That makes sense as Negros Island is known as the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines. I am equally as fond of Eccles Cake, a delicacy originating in my native Lancashire, England. What is Piaya? Piaya is a muscovado-filled unleavened flatbread from the Philippines especially common in Negros Occidental where it originated.  It is made by filling dough with a mixture of muscovado and glucose syrup. The filled dough is then flattened with a rolling pin, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked on a griddle It is delicious and ideal with coffee. I often eat it… Read More

Lakawon – Why Bother With Boracay?

Lakawon is a small white sand beach island just off the northern tip of Negros Occidental, Philippines. It makes for a wonderful day out and is popular with  Filipinos, resident foreigners and foreign tourists. But beware – here is a link to the high tide table at maputils.com. It is essential reading before you go. Why? There is a 20-minute banca ride across to the island. As long as it is not low tide then these boats have sufficient draft to drop anchor either close to the beach or at the  finger jetty at Cadiz Viejo. If it is low tide then you are forced to clamber into small boat to transfer to the larger banca. If like me, you have mobility issues, then it is a… Read More

Road Trip Philippines

This short video of our last road trip in the Philippines is for the benefit of would-be expats, those who are thinking of moving to this wonderful country. It is also a demonstration that driving here can be a pleasure. Just beware of the idiot drivers. It gives expats, tourists and even Filipinos who don’t know Negros,  a little taste of what to expect. It is a beautiful country! I hope you enjoy the video, most ably shot and produced by Zabrina. She is the good looking one sat next to me in our car 🙂   That was the short version – my mistake! Below is the original 1m 45s version – All of this and the road trip makes me want to save the… Read More

How to Overtake a Truck Safely on a Philippines Highway

Zabrina got busy with the video camera earlier today on our drive back to Bacolod from Dumaguete. This clip was shot between Mabinay and Kabankalan on Negros Island, Philippines. In my book, How to Drive Like an Idiot in Bacolod (available for $4.99 on Amazon), I give my credentials as an expert driver. I was a UK police trained driver and was also an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) instructor both on rigid and articulated trucks. If you are American, you will know an articulated truck as a semi. As part of the police driving instruction, every driver is assessed on his/her running commentary. The running commentary tells the instructor exactly what the driver is seeing and doing and how they react to the road conditions. I… Read More

240 Pesos Too Much To Save a Life?

240 Pesos is worth about USD $5 240 Pesos,or to be exact 239.99, is how much my book How To Drive Like An Idiot In Bacolod is selling for. It is $4.99 on Amazon.com. The world is full of eBooks. Many are priced at $0.99 or are free. Some are priced at $8.99 and more.  The book world is saturated with eBooks. I offer two free eBooks of my own but there is good reason for that. [You can find details of them here on this blog and you can find the other on my author website.] Both eBooks were never written for publication. They are promotional gifts to thank subscribers to this blog and/or my author website. The eBook world may be saturated but it is also full… Read More

Takatuka, Sugar Beach – Heaven on Earth

Takatuka Lodge and Dive Resort This resort is as close to heaven as you can get on this world. Seriously! I just love Sugar Beach and the Takatuka Lodge and Dive Resort. I mentioned it before here following a trip there back in June earlier this year with Zabrina. I vowed to return and so we did, in November 2015. I intend to be a frequent visitor. I find the trouble with many reviews of tourist destinations and resorts are that I often ponder just how independent and therefore credible those reviews are. I have no angle in writing this review, in fact, I do not even consider it to be a review, simply a case of “I must share this.” However, keep it to yourselves as I… Read More

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… Read More

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