Easter Lunch at The Shirven Hotel in Guimaras

Relaxed this past Easter Sunday. Went to a 10 am Mass at the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras (see photo) and had lunch at The Shirven Hotel in Guimaras. Our hostess was an attractive 24-year-old Filipina, Maricel Dacunes. My asawa and I had recently been to the Shirven Hotel this past March to participate in commencement exercises for the Guimaras Joyful Noise Learning Center .

I was quite impressed by the staff and the delicious food served at the hotel for the commencement event and decided spontaneously (something I don't do very often) to have Easter lunch at the Shirven. Since I was going to miss out on the pizza the monks at the Trappist Monastery were going to have after the 10 am Mass (my new friend, Brother Tom, an American expat at the monastery,  advised me that I would have to wear a robe to partake of the pizza), I thought it would be nice to have a special treat for the asawa, her sister Alida, nephew Joreal and nieces Din Din and JalAmiel. Good thing my spouse was already kneeling at the Mass when I gave her the news since she probably would have dropped to the floor in astonishment.


After ordering our lunch of Fish and Chips (for The Kano), "Catch of the Day" for the asawa, and chicken nuggets, shrimp soup, cheese stick appetizers and a round of Cokes, we were approached by a smiling Filipina that turned out to be the owner of the Shirven Hotel, the gracious Joy Shriven.

We listened to her stories about her American husband who has since passed away at the age of 92, the co-founder of the Shirven. Joy is quite the world traveler having spent years in Portugal along with her time in the States. She currently has a partner, David, who is in Florida starting a new business. I had heard of the mysterious and elusive David before but have never met him. Other expats living in Guimaras that I have encountered have spoken fondly of him. I have yet to have the opportunity to share a San Miguel with him.

Told Mrs. Shirven, oh, what the heck, let me just call her "Joy," I don't think she would mind, that I had a website where I write about living in Guimaras and Iloilo. She then asked me if I was the David that wrote about a young Filipina I had met at SM City that had a baby and wanted to come to visit me in Guimaras. I said that "yes" I was the one and the same. She had seen my post online because it had also mentioned the Shirven. We had a good laugh about it, however, Joy did not know the young lady in question in the article who said she knew David and the whole staff at the Shirven.

Had a great lunch, very reasonable, and discovered that some of my favorite foods, Mexican fare, was now on the menu. Chicken quesadillas and enchiladas were some of the cuisine being offered, and I told Joy we definitely will return to sample it. She also told me that the group of Peace Corps volunteers we met had been at the hotel recently and were raving about the food.

We're sure to be back. The food was great. The service exceptional. And we really enjoyed our chat with Joy Shirven, the owner. Thanks, also,  to Maricel, our attractive server and hostess. (By the way, if any of you single guys would like to chat with Maricel, she is open to meeting new friends. Just add me, Dave DeWall, as a Facebook friend so you contact Maricel. She's an extremely nice Filipina. So why not get in touch with her?)

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

12 thoughts on “Easter Lunch at The Shirven Hotel in Guimaras

  1. Hi Dave,

    It sounds like you had a great Easter. I guess i did too in a way. It turns out that I had a gwapo day. A gwapo day occurs when I receive extra attention from the ladies. After Easter mass we went to the palankie market to look for items to sell in our hardware / merchantile store. Since I was dressed very nicely for mass I received a lot of attention. I was whistled at no less than thirty times. It was terrible I felt so violated! haha! Even the ladies that work in our house all commented that I looked gwapo. The reality is that regardless of what is said about my appearance I know that I am just different not really exceptional. I teased my wife that maybe the girls think that I have money but little do they know that I already gave at the altar.

    1. Wow! You were whistled at thirty times, Tom! You really ARE gwapo! And I thought guys like Lance the Canadian and Gary Wigle were getting all the attention from the ladies. I can honestly say that I’ve never been whistled at since living in the Philippines. Oh, I’ve heard “gwapo” several times before from Filipinas evidently in desperate need of Lasik eye surgery, but whistles? Never!

      Hmm, guess I’ll have to upgrade my attire for the next Easter Mass and see what happens.

      1. Yeah I was surprised too about the whistles. Like you I have always heard the misguided girls whispering that I’m gwapo. I have explained to some that I used to be active in the Lions Club in America so I could probably hook them up with some glases. The guys in my motorcycle group laugh because when we first arrive at a stopping point all eyes are on the twenty plus motorcycles until the white devil removes his helmet.

      2. Dave

        Glad you had a nice Easter with your family. It looks like the kids don’t seem to happy to get there picture taken. So did you get a basket from the Easter Bunny lol? Do you miss having that nice ham for easter? The hotel looks really nice, would like to go there sometime if i visit Guimaras. Have a beautiful day.

        1. I think the kids were getting tired, Papa Duck. They just sat through a long Mass and were anxious to eat some lunch. No Easter baskets and no ham. I miss both, but I could have checked on some hams at the SM City Supermarket, however, with our upcoming trip to Manila coming up along with some birthday’s The Kano was too cheap to buy a ham.

    1. 40 family members, Tony! You had a packed house, but it sounds like you had a great time. By the way, did you get whistled at by any cute Filipinas like Tom has noted?

      1. Getting a bit long in the tooth and the fact that my ganda asawa is usually with me whenever I leave the house alas no whistles. Whenever we have our kids with us our son usually gets the lion share of the stares/smiles/comments.

        1. Long in the tooth, Tony? Ahhh, I bet you still get plenty of looks from admiring Fililpinas though having the beautiful asawa along can sometimes put a damper on those looks and comments, but not always.

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