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?)