Do You Ever Get Hungry?

I’m not talking about the local gastronomy; I’m talking about a taste of home. I was at a birthday party with some Kano friends, and I arrived at 1130, the young man was turning 12 and his folks had invited his entire class from school and quite a few Madams’ (Teachers). The hosts had put out a feast, and everyone was digging in rather quickly, as we found out after the party all the students had to return to class. My three Kano buddies, Mike, Bill and Don were delivered food by their lovely wives, and they too were chowing down.

Me not so much, as I’d had a big breakfast that morning as I always do and was just not hungry. My wife Mayang leaves me alone; as she knows I eat when hungry, and won’t be forced to eat when I’m not. I eat local food when I have to, but to tell the truth I’m really not that fond of it. There is a lot to like, but I’ll pick what I want a give a pass to the rest. None of us guys wanted beer or cocktails due to the early hour, plus the preponderance of young and impressionable children who were at the party.

What do I like, Breakfast for one, but American style, I don’t want fish or rice, or leftovers from last night. Albeit when I was single, cold pizza in the morning was really good. Mostly I like eggs with bacon, sausage, ham or even fried Bologna. Add in hash browns and toast and jelly and a cup of real coffee and I’m good to go. On some mornings I’ll have Aunt Jemima’s frozen waffles or fresh pancakes. For bacon I like Honey cured local made by “Pure Foods” and sausage I prefer Jimmy Dean or Johnston. But what really gets me going in the morning is the Jimmy Dean, dropped biscuit with sausage egg and cheese which is of course is microwaveable and it’s good to go in one minute.

Then my friend and neighbor Mr. Don Bullock informed me a couple of weeks ago that a new store on Subic Free Port Carried “THOMAS folk split frozen English Muffins” It had been ten years since I’d seen or tasted those. I thought like the Gyro Sandwich I would pass off this mortal core never having tasted them again. So I dashed to the Gourmet Garage (Yup that’s the name) and purchased all they had, now it’s been three weeks and they have not restocked them. Oh I received all the platitudes; “Oh Sir, next week”, for three weeks I’ve been told that. The one that I really like is leave your cell number and we’ll text you. Do I really think that that is the first thing on the employee’s mind when the store open every day? Neigh I think not. Okay so I wait ten more years, MacDo’s has English Muffins with their Big Breakfast” so I’ll make do with that.

Then in the Royal store after a five year hiatus like magic appears my favorite soft drink, Squirt, a no caffeine citrus soda. I emptied the shelf, but I know it’s gone for 5 more years. I’ll just ration it, until it’s I’m out.. If the kids don’t drink it all first, and of course I’d never tell them they can’t have it.

This week I’ll cook a three pound Butter Ball Turkey Breast in my Turbo Oven and then bagged it up with gravy and portion controlled it for hot turkey sandwiches with mash potatoes and gravy when I’m in the mood. I do the same with meat loaf. Also I’ve found Ball Park hot dogs and National Hebrew Beef Hot Dogs on base, and they’re kosher and both lack Red Dye #5.

In my freezer I have TGIF frozen Chicken wings, frozen Pizza and everything I need to make a pizza from scratch, plus other food stuffs that remind me of growing up back home in Boston, including Corn Beef Brisket for Boiled New England Dinner, like my Sainted Grandmother Molly Dugan Thompson fixed on Sunday afternoons.

But mistakes do happen, and if I’m involved they are quite often. On this planet there are a group of people whom refer to themselves as Vegetarians or Vegans. I think they delude themselves, otherwise why would they buy products that imitate meat? Soy Hamburger Patties, Tofu Turkey, and the one they tricked me was “Morning Star Farms Original Sausage Patties” and on the cover is a juicy meaty looking fried patty or link (I bought both), Mmmm looking so good. I toss two packs into my shopping cart. The next day my wife cooked me a couple, first they looked nothing like the picture on the package, they looked like two mini Hockey pucks. I grabbed the package and there printed on the bottom in print not designed for a man in his sixties to read it said; “Savory, sizzling veggie patties” Explain to me that if a vegan is firm about not consuming meat, why do they try to replace it with veggies and pretend it’s meat? That tells me that in fact they want meat, and just won’t admit it. Fine, eat that crap if you want to but don’t try to fool the rest of us carnivores. Humans were born with carnivore teeth we do not have herbivore teeth, what more proof do they want. Next they’ll try to tell me that those rich celebrities that support PETA are wearing plastic shoes and not leather (PETA – People Eating Tasty Animals now you can’t put that in the comment section, you know who you are!) LOL

Okay I’m waiting, I know I’ll catch it from some readers who’ll say that I should eat local food to show respect for the people and where I am. But what I say to that particular belief is; “I’ve never met a Pinoy in any other country on earth that eats the local chow every day, oh, like me they eat it once in awhile, but for the most part they are eating their own food and loving it.” If it’s good enough for the Pinoy’s to eat his own food instead of others, don’t jump on me.

On every ship I’ve ever sailed (And that is quite a few) there were always two types of food served every meal, the type what was on the menu for that meal, and the side pot for the Filipino crew members  Like renting or buying a house I’ll say once again, whatever works for you cannot be wrong, unless you don’t agree with it?

But for me tonight I’ll eat Fish and Chips with British Malt Vinegar and love it, and don’t be surprised if my wife and daughter aren’t eating and loving it also. Bon apatite!

Post Author: Paul Thompson (313 Posts)

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

How to Move to the Philippines Manual


  1. Tom Ramberg says

    Good Morning Paul,

    Since you are well reknowned as the all knowing sage much like my hero Mr George Carlin; I will ask you a question. Why the heck are vegans always trying to make their food look and taste like meat? Meat is supposed to be offensive to them. It seems to me that a big pile of green goop would be more asthetically appealing to a vegan than a tofu pork chop. In my life I have had four or five people stupid enough to introduce themselves and then add that they are vegans. My response has been pretty much standard. “Were you born with a meat allergy or are you just stupid?” For some reason I have no vegan friends. No problem; they make terrible lunch dates.

    • Paul Thompson says

      If they really believed what they say, they wouldn’t try so hard to make things look like meat. Hell I get mad when they try to make bacon out of turkey. A pig’s ass is pork; I love turkey but leave my bacon alone. Plus that goes double for my sausage. But I do eat my veggies as long as they don’t crowd the meat on my plate!

  2. Joseph Stuckey says

    I’m with you Paul. However you are very fortunate in that you have many foods available to you there that are simply not available here in north western Mindanao. I can get the honey cured bacon and pancake mix but that is about all. Like you , I eat when i am hungry and my wife has the good sense not to pressure me to eat things i don’t care for. Canned vegetables like tomatoes beets or beans are not on the shelves here neither are any dried beans. Beef is terrible and very tough. Yes i get hungry for home food but having said that, I still love life here in Ozamis!

    • Paul Thompson says

      We in Northern Luzon are lucky as we get Australian (CORN FED) beef imported and it is wonderful. Any cut you want to include corned beef brisket. The Subic area has quite a few specialty shops for foreign food. Plus butcher shops and bakeries’ that are foreign owned. Due to the large Kano population, even the big stores like Royal and Pure Gold cater to our wants. It was the main reason I picked this area to live. But all of the Philippines is great!

      • says


        How many Kanos would you say live in the Subic area? The last time I was there was in 1985, so I am guessing that it has changed some.

        • Paul Thompson says

          Between The Australians, British (European) and Americans, I really don’t have a firm number, but you’ll see a few of us anywhere you go. But, of course less of the Kano’s than in 1985 when the Navy was here. It is not the same place that you remember Olongapo is a family town now as is the Subic Free Port. But Subic City and the Barrio will remind you of those bygone days of yesteryear. Some things never change.

          • says

            Subic City? Barrio? I’m sure that I’ve never heard of those places. :-) Actually, I am much more interested in how Olongapo has changed. I have heard many good things as you suggest. Really, for Filipinos, that “family town” is a more sustainable economy in many ways.

            • Paul Thompson says

              The Subic Free Port (Navy Base) has become a tourist destination with new resorts, restaurants and shopping. We now have two malls within a 10 minute walk from each other. The Barrio also has benefited with quite a few new foreign owned resorts, and Baloy Beach is now a large Diving center. There are still some nostalgia type clubs as there were in 1985 but they’ve put lipstick on them. Subic City is still, well, Subic City!

      • says

        “Northern” Luzon Paul? You are giving the wrong impression. You are an hours drive from Manila. I live in “middle” Luzon and it is a 7 hour drive to Manila. The more “north” you go, the less you can find. There is no bakery here, no meat market – one mall (CSI) and the rest is Filipino shops and the local wet market. I love bacon – wish I had a chance to get some! I’m going to have to give you geography lessons next time we meet! :-)

        • Paul Thompson says

          (LOL) It’s Northern from where I live. But if you can’t even find bacon then I’ll more than likely not be on my way very soon. Good lord man, what to you eat? Buy a huge cooler and take a ride down to Subic and stock up on some food. I can even buy Canadian bacon here.

    • MindanaoBob says

      Hi Joseph – I am shocked that you can’t get canned tomatoes there in NW Mindanao! There are even Filipino brands of canned tomatoes. We have 4 or 5 brands to choose from here in Davao, imported and also local.

  3. David Tamares-Little says

    I had to laugh about the vegan bit. I was a vegetarian for short while when I was younger. In those days your only option at restaurants was a few varieties of omelette. Not a good way to live hahaha. And now they have all sorts of vegetarian food dressed up like meat. Why? I’ve tried some just out of curiosity. It all tastes awful. I would like to say to anyone thats tempted stay away from anything that contains quorn usually flavoured to taste like beef. It will ruin your taste buds for at least a week. I have a theory about the meat disguise thing. I think these vegans or veggies are trying to trick us into buying their stuff by mistake and hope that we will be converted once we taste it. Some hope there lol

    • Paul Thompson says

      I made that mistake with the two packs of Vegan sausage, even my dogs turned up their nose at it. I was in a Steak House in Tampa and on the menu they stated that they had Vegan menu also, it pointed out the salad bar with a warning to pass on the bacon bits.
      I’ll assume you’re back on meat again, how could anyone say no to Prime Rib!

  4. Lenny says

    Count your blessings as far as it goes or your food selection there…Very hard to find brands you have available there.. Corned beef?? You bet, I would buy it out also.. One thing I thought for sure.. coming here … was a Corn Tortilla would be no problem (what a joke that was) ..But I do cook up a good american breakfast .. bacon… eggs etc and make my own breakfast sausage..Your sitting pretty with your selections up there…

    • Paul Thompson says

      The Corn Beef Brisket has to be ordered a few days in advance, but they know me so I can do it over the phone. Plus both Corn and floured Tortilla are easy to find. Or buy an Old El Paso Taco kit at the store. I’ll eat rice maybe once a week, but with gravy so it has some taste. I also love fish (New Englander) but I’m the one to cook it at my house when I eat it. But that’s only once a week, and the ladies eat whatever fish they want the rest of the time. I don’t get in their way, when it comes to what they eat, as fair is fair.
      This is how I make my Sausage
      When the store is out.
      Farmer’s Breakfast Sausage

      2 Kilo ground pork
      4-teaspoon salt (Little Spoon)
      1-1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or black) (Little Spoon)
      1-Teaspoon nutmeg (Little Spoon)
      1-Tablespoon thyme (Big Spoon)
      2-1/2 Teaspoon Sage (Little Spoon)
      3-teaspoon ginger (Little Spoon)
      1-cup ICE water
      2-tablespoon crushed red peppers (pizza peppers) (Big Spoon)

      Mix all ingredients well, cover and chill in Ref. For 12 hours.
      Mix again next day (or the end of 12 hours)
      Form into patties or leave in bulk, (ice bags work well for bulk)
      (Little spoon big spoon is for my wife)

    • MindanaoBob says

      Hi Lenny – I have forgotten… where do you live? Most of the stuff that Paul mentioned is readily available here in Davao where I live, except for the Jimmy Dean products. I kinda miss that kind of thing, although Feyma does her best to make that kind of thing for me too. We have plenty of supply of both corn and flour tortillas here, at SM.

        • MindanaoBob says

          That’s true, Paul. There are downsides to city life, things like traffic, crowds and such.. but when it comes to product availability.. you can’t beat living in a large city.

  5. John Miele says


    Well, I look at it this way… We were born with canine teeth in our mouths for a reason. Eating meat. I will say this, though. Every once in a while I’ll go vegetarian for a few days, usually when I’m in places with large Indian populations (vegetarian for religious reasons… You might be eating your reincarnated Uncle Bubba), like Singapore or Malaysia (I prefer the vegetarian Indian food… With the exception of the odd tandoori chicken or something, they tend to do vegetables better). After eating veg for a few days, I tend to feel “healthier”, but a double bacon cheeseburger ain’t far in following that up. I once had a vegan girlfriend. Despite her skills in a few areas (mainly related to her body), she was a real PITA at restaurants. So crazy about the meat thing she even tried to put her pet cat on a vegan diet until her vet told her that the diet would kill it (cats were born to eat meat)… You cannot get through to some people.

    • Paul Thompson says

      With Indian food I just don’t care, as it’s all good! Last night I had a large salad for supper as that’s what I was in the mood for. I allow Vegans their beliefs; I just wish they would respect mine. I never went out with any Vegans in the states, because you can screen them at the club’s happy hour that has free Buffalo wings. It always worked well for me.

  6. Jim Hannah says

    Paul, you have given me an answer for a question I’ve long withered away from answering with this statement:

    “I’ve never met a Pinoy in any other country on earth that eats the local chow every day, oh, like me they eat it once in awhile, but for the most part they are eating their own food and loving it.” If it’s good enough for the Pinoy’s to eat his own food instead of others, don’t jump on me.”

    • Paul Thompson says

      That’s why I tell my friends (even Pinoy) that eating the food you grew up with is second nature to most people. I’ve sampled food from all over the world and have found the majority I like if not love. But I will gravitate to what I’m used to, and I think most people are the same. When I have a party I’ll always have Hot Dogs, and Hamburgers with all the fixings, and notice my local Pinoy guests will give them a pass and eat the Pinoy food (Some of the kids and Kano’s will eat mine.) But I agree that they have the God given right to eat whatever they want. As do I.

  7. chasdv says

    The problem i have with Vegans is that when invited to my house for a meal they expect me to cook them a Nut roast, but when i visit their house for a meal they won’t fry me up a Steak, LoL
    (Old joke lang).

    • Paul Thompson says

      I know that true that they are like that, at my house I allow them to graze off my lawn, and save the greens keeper charges. Is beer a vegan drink?

      • chasdv says

        I don’t actually know any Vegans (sounds like something from outer space,lol) but i guess they would drink beer, so lock up them SMBs.

        (Cooking up a Chicken Korma whilst listening to Sade)

        • Paul Thompson says

          Cooking chicken is a slap in all the vegan’s faces, but I’ll bet they can find some dumb ass reason why beer is bad also. It’s an odd planet we live on. I met one vegan, he also voted for Obama, but when he started singing KUM-by-Yar I left.

  8. abb says

    In 1999 a metastudy combined data from five western countries and reported mortality ratios. This broad study showed fish eaters (pescetarians) had a the lowest ratio of 0.82, followed by occasional meat eaters and vegetarians at 0.84. [Range from 0.84 to a ratio of 1.0] (The lower the number the longer the lifespan.) – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol 70 (3): 516S-524S – September 1999.

    ——–Hmmm !!!

    • Paul Thompson says

      Pescetarian (Eaters of fish and vegetables only) might live longer, but who would want to die never having tasted Leg of Lamb, Prime Rib, or Lechon or the many other things here on Earth that just taste good. Me I’ll keep on enjoying meat and if the pescetarian outlives me, I’ll know that I still won! (LOL)

  9. PapaDuck says

    I have to admit i eat veggie burgers every once in awhile as a change of pace. Actually the ones i eat really aren’t too bad considering they are not meat. They have cheese and other seasonings to give them a decent flavor. But there is nothing like a nice beef burger or any other meat cooked on the grill. It sounds like Subic has just about everything you need. Will have to check the stores out when i’m visiting you. Will be in on Saturday night. Will give you a call on Sunday. Bruce and myself thought Tuesday the 23rd would be ok if its good for you. I know your schedule is pretty busy lol. Take care and see you next week.

    • Paul Thompson says

      “But there is nothing like a nice beef burger or any other meat cooked on the grill.” Your words. That sums up veggie NON-Burgers, is it even legal for them to use the word burger?
      You or Bruce e-mail with the day for sure (23rd is good for me) and let me know your plans, as I have no plans, or if I do they are set in mud.

  10. BillB says

    Paul, I agree with you in that I eat move home style food than local, but I do like the local food. Now you talked about turkey and what I miss is my deep fried turkey. I would all most always have turkey in my frig because I would cook about 4 to 5 a year, not hard when it only takes 2 hours from start to finish and that encluds the time to heat up the oil.

    • Paul Thompson says

      And that is good as it’s what you want to do, I eat local food when I’m in the mood. I love Mexican food, but don’t feed it to me three times a day everyday! (lol)
      I’ve never deep fried a Turkey, but at the Royal store on they always have frozen Butterball Turkeys in stock. What do you use to cook it in that would hold that much oil?

  11. sugar says

    Oh wow Paul, now I’m hungry! when ex b/f was here he would always have American breakfast and like you, and him.. I also like bacon and eggs and waffles and sausages and muffins and I could go on.. and on.. baby back back ribs, and cracklings.. and cornmeal and steaks and super moist tastiest cake..ever! and oh gosh.. where food is concern my appetite expands…he he he. How about for ice cream what do you recommend? Ben and Jerry’s ? Dreyers? And also for milk too..what’s the best?

    BTW, I still haven’t been to Texas baby back ribs is best? food review from TV says so.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Cracklings? I’ll assume your prior B/F was from the Southern part of the US, did he like Grits also? A big Southern breakfast can be a wonderful meal, fried cornmeal pancakes with an egg on top and a big slice of smoked ham. Mmmmm…
      As for Ice Cream, is there a bad one? I find the Philippine Ice Cream to be good also, if only they would make Coffee Flavored.

      • gemma says

        hi paul,
        yep, pinoy ice cream is just as good! $6/pint at fancy schmancy gourmet stores in manhattan last summer for magnolia’s tropical flavors.

        i moved to nyc from davao/manila twenty years ago, and my food preferences have evolved not only because of having been married for the past ten years to an irish american, but also because of living in what is probably the most diverse city. i’ve reached a point where american homecooking (mac and cheese, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, etc) is just as homey as filipino food (boiled meat, rice, sinigang, etc).

        • Paul Thompson says

          American of Irish decent, my father would have been an Irish Citizen if the ship had been a few days late. He was born two days after the ship arrived in Boston.
          Food is an adaptive thing and one will acquire a taste for the food where they are living. But the food they grew up with will always be the one they crave, that is just human nature.
          My wife and daughters love some of the food I fix, and my granddaughter now hates sweet pasta sauce, as she likes the way her Lolo cooks it. And she understands that hot dogs do not belong in Italian food. Mac and cheese is a favorite with my family even if it’s eaten with rice on the side.

  12. marjorie says

    Paul, many a vegetarian has been brought back to the fold by the smell fo cooking bacon.

    My daughter-in-law is very fond of fish and chips. She has adjusted to British food very well and she cooks filipino food too. Unfortunately I have never like pork or chicken so she tries to make things I can eat bless her.

    • Paul Thompson says

      So true, who on earth can resist bacon! Years ago I was in a Fish & Chip’s shop with a young lady in Portsmouth UK. She taught me the sheer pleasure of Malt Vinegar.
      No pork or chicken? Then Mutton it must be. Remember where bacon comes from. (LOL)

      • john.j. says

        And I still cant find Malt Vinegar lol. Looked everywhere in Tagum and half of Davao so I have to imagine that taste on my chips.LOL

      • marjorie says

        Chips are not the same without malt vinegar.

        Mutton or Beef, and for some strange reason I can eat bacon and ham. I’ve survived into my 7th decade. Luckily I do not mind having just veg for the odd meal now and then if out visiting someone who does not know my strange preference lol.

        • Paul Thompson says

          I was stationed with the Royal Nave on Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory) for a year in the 1980’s. As we’d sit in the late evening at the Sundowners Section of the Chief’s Barracks sippin’ Gin and Tonics, the Brit Chiefs would lament the lack of mutton at the American mess hall. But since I ran the package store (Liquor) I would have distributors that I ordered from slip in cases of Malt Vinegar into the order just to do my part at “Hand’s Across the Sea,” and good relations between Navies and all that!
          But the Brit guys were amazed that Kraft Company had spray cans of cheese. “Bloody “O”

  13. Lenny says

    Bob, Paul, I lived in the Manila area before and Corn Tortillas were very hard to find. I found some once in a freezer at a large mall market.. but no good.. They had an S & R there also but no luck. I have used the El Paso kit Paul … but .. hey.. you know’s not the same as a East Los Angeles Corn Tortilla. My daughter sent me some last month.. and I really chowed down on them .. made Taco’s .. Carnita’s and a batch of Enchilada’s.. now there gone..Paul do you mix the ice water into the pork? I will try your recipe … just a little different than mine…If you want to turn that recipe into an Italian sausage … add fennel seed and anise .. more fennel than anise .. and extra garlic… Bob …I have moved to Dumaquete now and love it..really love it here………………..

    • Paul Thompson says

      My corn beef brisket is not the same as Mo’s Butcher Shop in Dorchester MA but still good enough. It sounds like you now have a source for your East LA Corn Tortillas, I’d stick with that.
      And yes you add the Ice Water into the mix to moisten it. After you make a batch, adjust it to suit your taste, that’s what I did.
      Italian Sausage is sold everywhere in this area, so I don’t need to make it. But thank you!

  14. Gary says

    I was once in a meat shop in Davao City that is very famous for their Australian beef. So I asked the meat cutter where do they get their Australian beef? Bukidnon was his answer. Never been back. 😀

    • Paul Thompson says

      That could have been where the distributor was located, or not! But it’s easy to taste the difference between grain fed and corn fed. I might not trust that butcher either.

  15. Ron LaFleur says

    Paul If I lived there I would make a trip to Guam about once every three months and do that Balikbayan box thing full of all the commissary has to offer. Lisa’s for meat and I would be good to go. Throw in fresh fruit and veggies from there would be a bonus but that Guam Commissary would be the key to my happiness or at least my stomachs happiness.

    • Paul Thompson says

      If you’re figuring in the plane ticket, rental car, and hotel, that will be one expensive Commissary trip. But it would be a good idea if you can afford it. I can find 70% of the things I like and need right here in the Olongapo area. I still have a lot of friends on Guam, and it is my place of last resort if I need serious medical treatment someday.

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