Expat In Bacolod

Stephen Bentley - Writer

Tag: Philippines (page 1 of 5)

Golf in the Philippines

Little did I think I would seriously consider playing golf again. I used to play a lot until arthritis struck. An arthritic hip makes it difficult to play golf. But … today I had the most wonderful day out and it culminated in a visit to Victorias Milling Company Golf and Country Club, near Canetown, Victorias City just outside of  Bacolod. As a result, I am now serious about giving the game another try. Take a look at these pictures and you may understand why I feel like I do.   The lower of the two pictures shows the 18th green away to the right. Both of the top two pics are taken from the club house. Look at that amazing scenery, beautiful trees, lush… Read More

My Lips My Teeth Your Neck

Another short story by G and I’m sure you will enjoy it. Like me, G has retired to the Philippines and spends at least part of his time writing. I appreciate that he permits me to publish his stories here first. Not only are these stories worthy of reading but they also serve two other purposes. One, they give you the reader something different to read – a different voice to listen to. Second, they give me a breather. A breather, but  not from writing. I am busy writing with my other commitments. And, the final editing of my undercover book is also time consuming. That book should be published any time soon. The Philippines has a tradition of ghost stories and tales of the… Read More

Back To School in the Philippines

Back to school very soon now here in the Philippines. It took a little getting used to when I first settled in Bacolod to calling the period between Easter and June the summer. That is the period the kids here take their long summer break from school or college. Back in England that long break happened between July and September and was also, somewhat euphemistically, called the summer holiday. Over the next few days parents all over the Philippines will be counting the pesos and shelling out for school clothes, supplies, books and fees. But hey! Moms and Dads! If you have anything to spare don’t forget there are also some great deals on at the moment for items for the adults. For instance there… Read More

Dirty Kitchen Dirty Ice Cream

Dirty Kitchen! Is that Where you Eat Dirty Ice Cream? Any foreigner new to the Philippines whether tourist or not will soon hear the terms ‘dirty kitchen’ and ‘dirty ice cream.’ It was during my house hunting that I first heard ‘dirty kitchen.’ I was genuinely puzzled. The words were uttered with pride and an inner satisfaction which added to my puzzlement. How on earth could someone be proud of a ‘dirty kitchen’? It conjured up images of cockroaches and rat infestation in my western head. Thank goodness I could not have been any further wide of the mark. A ‘dirty kitchen’ is such a great idea. It is practical too. I’m sure its origins lie in the days when all cooking was done on… 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

Message to Mouth – Engage Brain First

It’s an old saying – “message to mouth, engage brain first.” It is a maxim that most politicians are adept at practicing. Occasionally, even the most adept come a cropper. Does it matter? I think it does. Not because it displays a lack of political nous but because I believe it gives us an insight into the ‘real’ person who commits the faux pas, or utters les mots mal. There are Presidential elections going on in the Philippines right now. As a foreigner living here, I have tried so hard to keep my counsel for two reasons. One, I know nothing of the politics here and two, it’s nothing to do with me. It’s nothing to do with me but I sincerely hope this wonderful… Read More

3 Good Reasons To Buy My Books Here

There are 3 good reasons why you should consider buying my books here through this site. My first book How To Drive Like An Idiot In Bacolod is available for download in both PDF and ePub formats. See my eBook Store page for a guide to both formats. Both are eBooks and capable of being read on all devices whether they be computers, smartphones or tablets as long as you have the reader installed. The readers are free. As I am an independent author and self-publisher (indie) you may not be surprised to learn that a lot of time and effort goes into writing and producing a book. All of that, and running two websites costs money! The two websites are this blog and my author website. 3… 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

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