Almost forgot the “Islands Stay Hotel Puerto Princesa Review” until one of my Canadian friends in Guimaras reminded me. My Canadian colleague freely admits to perusing my posts. I must commend her on her obvious intelligence.
“The City Mall Parola Expat Experience.” A retired fart like me has plenty of time to go shopping with his asawa. I enjoy checking out new places. Parola is located at Fort San Pedro Drive in Iloilo City. Guimaras, the island province we call home, is an approximately 12-15 pump boat ride away from Ortiz Wharf, minutes from Parola.
My asawa and I had visited Bacolod City as I treated my wife to a shopping trip in the “City of Smiles.” We had already visited SM City, and the new Ayala Mall and were headed on a jeepney to Robinsons Place. That’s my sparkling spouse posing in front of the shopping mall before we entered to hunt for more bargains. I was ready to find some lunch but the mall was crowded that Sunday afternoon. It seems that people on Bacolod like to shop just like the residents of Iloilo City, whose major shopping venues are also jam-packed on the weekends.
After visiting SM City Bacolod, my wife and I headed out via jeepney to the North Terminal in our quest to find the best shopping malls in Bacolod City. After making inquiries at the local McDonald’s, we decided a visit to the Ayala Mall was in order. Once at the North Terminal we would be able to catch a ride to “The District” where the new Ayala Mall was located. My wife and I had been using the cheaper jeepney services available in the “City of Smiles” rather than taking a taxi. We did use a cab upon our arrival in Bacolod and our driver informed us that most taxis were charging 300 pesos, almost seven US Dollars, to the Ayala Mall located outside of the city. And that’s for a one way trip.
I’m a Midwest boy that loves his burgers and fries. As an American expat living in the Philippines for almost five years now, I’ve had my share of burgers. Crave Burgers and grilled hamburgers from the Mesquite Grill in Iloilo are some of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. Now I add Flame It! Burger in Cebu City to that best burger list.
An old geezer (aka "old fart," borrowing Papa Duck's terminology) like me, at the age of 60, would have about as much chance as getting a job in the Philippines as that 55-year-old grandma that tried out for the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders this past May. Brothers and Sisters, it just ain't going to happen.
Call it the grace of God. Call it instant karma. Call it sheer dumb luck. Whatever term you use to describe the events of this past Saturday afternoon, January 14,2012, at Robinsons' Place in Iloilo City wouldn't do it justice. What was turning out to be a routine shopping expedition was translated into an afternoon of pure magic for this author. The events that unfolded gave me pause to ponder how truly fortunate I am to have moved to the Philippines.
Gaisano City located in the Lapaz district of Iloilo used to be one of the most popular shopping destinations in the area. My asawa and I had only visited the store once since an initial visit after first moving to the Philippines over two years ago. We weren't overly impressed, and the air conditioning (or lack of it) did not make it one of our favorite places. Good air con and the variety of shops offered at SM City is why you will see that particular mall written about numerous times on this website.
"Smokers face arrest in city of Manila." That was the blurb on the front page of yesterday's The Philippine Star as I sat reading the free copy of my favorite newspaper in the RP at the Jollibee just down the street from the Bureau of Immigration in Intramuros, Manila. As I wiped off the sickeningly sweet mayo dressing that the fat bee's staff smeared on my egg and sausage pan de sal, I turned to the article which had the headline"Lim orders arrest of smokers in Manila" and checked the story out. Alfredo Lim, Manila's Mayor, who was embroiled in the August 2010 Hostage Rescue Fiasco, is playing "hardball" and made the following statement:"From top to bottom, from the highest ranking official down to the janitor, all will be apprehended. We are strictly enforcing all ordinances and laws that prohibit smoking. Violators face the penalty of paying a fine, imprisonment, as well as administrative sanctions." ( Photo from Flickr.)