Derek Gallimore and The Philippines – Radio Interview

Ep 049 Derek Gallimore

In this episode, Derek was interviewed by Rose Mary Magsaysay and Attorney Bong Suntay and they discussed Derek’s journey with outsourcing and his mission with Outsource Accelerator to get more people from the West, business owners and businesses generally to consider outsourcing and try outsourcing specifically here in the Philippines.


  • Derek was introduced first to the Philippines not by coming here but by outsourcing. So, he actually had three staff previously in the Philippines. And then he eventually visited them.
  • Back in 2009 Derek started a service company in London and then in 2011 and he started having staff here to operate the London company. And he effectively used an outsourcing or BPO operator for that.
  • There’s a lot of traffic in the Philippines which is good if you like reading books you would have a lot of time for that.
  • So now, Derek no longer has a Serviced Apartment company. He built that office to about 60 staff here in the Philippines and there were about 15-20 staff in London.
  • Derek is so enamored by outsourcing that he now runs Outsource Accelerator which is an information hub and authoritative site for outsourcing. Encouraging more Western SMEs, small to medium sized enterprises to come over to the Philippines and try outsourcing.
  • Mary Rose and Attorney Bong knew Derek through an initiative of the PCOO of Secretary Martin Andanar and Asec. Marie Banaag and that was a dinner at the palace.
  • The BPO industry has been growing year out. And a lot of companies have been setting up and creating a lot of jobs for Filipinos.
  • There are a lot of initiatives to getting outsourcing facilities out into the provinces in an initiative to decongest Metro Manila and to create jobs in provinces.
  • The functions that BPOs carried out have now broadened to almost any job that is done in front of a computer screen or doesn’t need direct interaction with clients.
  • PEZA is giving out incentives for business owners who will set up their companies in Visayas and Mindanao.
  • The problem or the only challenge which needs to be solved when setting up BPO centers in provinces would be of course infrastructure and of course fast internet connection.
  • Mary Rose spoke about a contact center inside a Women’s correctional facility.
  • The media sometimes tends to sensationalize news which actually scares people especially foreigners who are not that familiar with the Philippine situation.
  • After discussing BPO and outsourcing, the three discussed some famous food in the Philippines, must-visit places and some hobbies of Derek.
  • Derek also mentioned that he has never felt uncomfortable or unsafe in the Philippines. Also, the Philippines is a great place for both business and leisure.


Key Points

  • BPO and outsourcing have been going now for about 20-25 years and it really started with the advent of cheap telephony and then the internet. But it was only available to big conglomerates.
  • Employees can now work in the comfort of their own homes. Either through Upwork, Freelancer or other SMEs.
  • The BPO industry grew rapidly in the Philippines because of the Filipinos’ grasp of the English language. They are also very culturally aligned to the West.
  • Outsource Accelerator’s target audience are SMEs.






[read more=”Read Full Transcript” less=”Hide Transcript”]

Hi and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator Podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is episode number forty-nine. So today we have something a little bit different for you. Last week I was honored to be invited on to a radio show. It is DZME 1530 and they also have a live Facebook channel. If you want to check them out. So, it was hosted by two very distinguished people. Mary Rose Magsaysay and Attorney Bong Suntay. And we were discussing my journey with outsourcing and now my mission with Outsource Accelerator to get more and more people in the West that business owners and businesses generally and having them consider outsourcing and try outsourcing specifically here in the Philippines. So, it’s an interesting conversation topics we cover here. One of them is my recent visit, I was very honored to visit the Malacañang Palace which is the presidential palace here in the Philippines for an official event. Also in this interview, we discuss generally BPO in the Philippines the shift work of BPO workers and the fact that BPO is now moving out into the provinces. and then we also discuss the now very overt government support for outsourcing and generally you know business happening here in the Philippines. So, it’s a great conversation. Again, I’m honored to be invited on to the radio station and this is a slightly abbreviated version of that interview if you want to check out the interview. If you want to see the live streaming then go to DZME but we provide all of these contact details in our show notes for that. Just go to Enjoy.

Mary Rose: Okay, tonight we have Mr. Derek Gallimore. And we’d like to interview him for many, many reasons and we’ll start out with who is Derek, right?

Derek: Wow. That’s a good question. Yeah.

Mary Rose: That depends on who’s asking the question, right?

Derek: So.

Mary Rose: Please go ahead, tell us something about yourself.

Derek: Wow maybe I could say that I was introduced first to the Philippines not by coming here but by outsourcing. So, I actually had three staff I think here. And then I eventually visited them.

Mary Rose: What’s that again? Yeah go ahead.

Bong: Outsourcing. What business are you engaged in Derek?

Derek: So, back in 2009 I started a service company in London and then in 2011 I started having staffing here to operate the London company. And we effectively used an outsourcing or BPO operator for that.

Bong: Okay. So how long have you been in the country? Are you now based here?


Derek: Yes, I’ve been. So, I started the office here in 2011. I actually moved here predominantly in about 2014 and I spent my time between here and London and a little bit in Sydney now.

Bong: Okay. So, you shuffled between the Philippines London and Sydney.

Derek: Yeah.

Bong: Okay. So, it’s a big, big difference. A while ago I asked you where you came from you said you came from Rockwell. And going over here the last 1.5 kilometers you decided to walk.

Derek: Yeah

Bong: Couldn’t bear the traffic, huh?

Derek: A bit of a thing with Manila huh? This is one of the things that people often comment on especially you know people from outside.

Bong: So, how do you like our traffic?

Derek: There’s a lot of traffic. There’s a lot of traffic. It’s good if you like reading books you have a lot of time at the back of cars. No, it’s good. Yeah. Traffic is a bit of a problem so I should get here tonight. I did walk the last. 1.5 kilometers.

Bong: Well at times I do the same thing you know just from the corner going here to the studio. Sometimes it takes you 30 minutes just from the corner of Shaw Boulevard. So many times, I’ve also done what you did.

Derek: Amazing.

Bong: Walked. Yeah and like what you said it’s good if you have a book or. Well, I use downtime in traffic to watch movies in the car.

Mary Rose: Wow.

Bong: In the car.

Mary Rose: You’ve finished the movie?

Bong: Average traffic here if you’re coming from Quezon city going to Makati would be an hour and a half.

Mary Rose: Wow. Yeah

Derek: So, you get to listen to the radio as well.

Bong: Yeah.

Derek: There’s upsides.

Bong: Okay. Tell us more about your maybe your BPO outsourcing. What do you service?

Derek: So now, I no longer do the Serviced Apartment company. We built that office to about 60 staff here in the Philippines and there were about 15-20 staff in London. So, to give you some idea of the majority of the operations was being done here in Manila. I am so enamored by outsourcing that I now run Outsource Accelerator which is a, It’s an information hub and authoritative site for outsourcing. Encouraging more and more Western SMEs, small to medium sized enterprises to come over to the Philippines and try outsourcing.

Bong: Wow. So, thank you very much for doing that and creating more jobs here in the Philippines. But what made you decide to set up here in the Philippines?

Derek: I mean commercially when I moved to outsourcing there were really only two options there was India and Manila, sorry, Philippines and Philippines wins hands down in terms of a lot of the customer service in terms of a lot of the voice because that very sort of almost native English speakers they are very culturally aligned and you know beautiful people so customer service comes second nature.

Bong: Okay. And if you notice, Filipinos after a while even the diction even the pronunciation of words. They get it.

Derek: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, no I mean it was it was no you know it was an easy decision. And I’m very thankful that I did make that decision. And then working in outsourcing you know it’s obviously a massive industry. I think it’s about 30 billion US spent about 10 percent of the GDP of the Philippines and is growing at double digits every year. So, there’s a huge amount of change within industry for the Philippines but also for the West to say.

Mary Rose: Oh, Derek I’d like to also explain to the people that we got to know Derek through an initiative of the PCOO of Secretary Martin Andanar and Asec. Marie Banaag and that was a dinner at the palace.

So many people from that group they didn’t really understand what was happening. But if it’s just like us visiting your country and visiting the Buckingham Palace. So that’s exactly what you did. And more likely much better because you are fitted to a dinner by no less than the cabinet secretary which is Secretary Andanar. So please tell us about your experience for that dinner. Did you enjoy it?

Derek: Yeah it was fantastic and it was an absolute honor to be invited to the palace and meet secretary Andanar. A really fantastic experience and you know it is something to be said of the hospitality of the Philippines and to be not only accepted within the society but embraced and supported. So, it was an absolute honor and you know a part of the dinner was to tour around the Grand Ballroom.

Mary Rose: Yes.

Derek: To see a lot of the.

Mary Rose: To see my whole team.

Derek: Just super incredible and yeah quite an honor.

Mary Rose: We do the same thing in Bong’s house. We just barge there and then go over there and eat dinner there.

Bong: But if I could recall correctly it was an express tour.

Mary Rose: Yes, I know, you know earlier today we were in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and we were seeing let’s do the same thing again but this time on the natural resources foreign expatriates that are here in the country that they be given also the same kind of welcome that we gave the ones in the tech and the other verticals that goes with the tech industry of the country. And we know that we first initiated it with the ones that green in the most which is the BPOs of which the country depends on a lot. And I understanding our earlier conversations that it is indeed a very opportune time for it to happen all over again. But in a different context that they can be able to serve from their homes. Please explain to us.

Derek: Yeah, I mean BPO has been going now or outsourcing has been going for about 20-25 years and it really started with the advent of cheap telephony and then Internet. But it was only really available to the big conglomerates.

Mary Rose: Before

Derek: Before. Now it is available to everyone to start ups to the small to medium sized enterprises in the western world. And because of that it also increases the accessibility to all Filipinos to work within a BPO environment whether it’s within a.

Mary Rose: Large facility.

Derek: Yeah, whether it’s someone that employs 10,000 people or whether it’s a small BPO out in the province or whether even they work from their own home.

Mary Rose: Home. Less traffic.

Derek: Less traffic.

Bong: So now you have BPO centers or people working from the confines of their home. So, what they did just what they just need a computer maybe a laptop or internet connection. That’s it.

Derek: Yeah absolutely. It is. I mean the Internet is basically breaking down orders it’s breaking down geographic or relevance. And now you know even through things like Upwork and Freelancer where these affect the contractor platforms. Filipinos can. It’s a meritocracy where they can go up against the best-educated people in London in New York and win a contract based on their work as opposed to you know wherever they are sitting which is really exciting because then it levels out the opportunities and the, you know the income opportunities from everyone around the world.

Mary Rose: See. I like that.

Bong: Yeah well that’s very nice to hear. And well here in the Philippines the BPO industry has been growing year out. And a lot of companies have been setting up and creating really creating a lot of jobs here for Filipinos.

Mary Rose: You know Bong here is with Basic taxi and I know he ferries a lot of these people around also but the hours that they pass the roads become the ones who come from the BPO. It’s not really the kind that goes into the traffic all the time right. Bong, what time does the BPO people usually require your services for transport?

Bong: Well a lot of BPO centers here in the Philippines work on a 24-hour basis so employees usually work in shifts.

Mary Rose: Yes.

Bong: So, some of them would go home midnight some of them would go home at 4:00 in the morning.

Mary Rose: Yes.

Bong: So usually those who take the public transport service would be those employees going out between 10 in the evening until 4:00 in the morning.

Mary Rose: So that means they don’t contribute much to the existing traffic. Am I correct?

Bong: Yes. Yes.

Mary Rose: Okay. I like the idea because then the mommies like me who wants to take care of the kids can already stay at home. Right. If they have the capability to serve and if you need them right.

Derek: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s really accessible to anyone that has a reasonable internet connection and a computer.

Bong: So, talking about a reasonable internet connection to. Because the Philippines is very famous for the speed of the Internet that we have here. So, what do you need? What would be the requirement?

Derek: I mean, I don’t know the technicalities on how. I know a lot of the BPOs they actually wire, they actually root in their own cable to ensure they get that connection they need.

Mary Rose: I know

Derek: Also, you know there are a lot of initiatives getting facilities, outsourcing facilities out into the provinces.

Mary Rose: Yes

Derek: And with that there will be the infrastructure there which is really exciting because you know you will have hubs that go further and further out to the provinces and bringing very good incomes and salaries to the people out there.

Mary Rose: Because I know in our province, like in Subic we already have fiber. All the way up to the north.

Bong: Yeah, I believe there are some BPO centers in Subic and inside Subic. In fact, I’ve seen some in as far away as La Union and well especially Baguio. It’s climate. Yeah.

Mary Rose: And I know in Baguio it is, I mean they speak English all the time they speak English more than they do Tagalog. So, they are. Ilocano and English. We should ask Asec. Marie.

Derek: And they have very good Universities up there as well.

Mary Rose: Yes, that’s true. And they Yeah, go ahead Bong.

Bong: So, I was listening to, but that’s true. Well I think the reason for an expansion of BPOs here in the Philippines like what was said earlier is because of the well Filipinos basically all Filipinos know how to speak English it’s a second language which is of course widely used in the BPO industry and I think it’s the it’s the primary reason why we’re competitive.

Mary Rose: And we’re very nurturing. In fact, we’re very patient. That is the Filipino way. And sometimes I know that they had problems before dealing with a certain country with a large population because of the. They really said you know, how do you say it. They tend to debate the clients. You know which one?

Derek: I don’t know.


Mary Rose: Fill in the blanks. I don’t wanna say it.

Bong: Well Filipinos are basically service-oriented so it suits them.

Mary Rose: Yes.

Bong: You know talking to clients and to customers or trying to help them

Mary Rose: Configure things out.

Bong: how to solve a problem.

Mary Rose: Yes, that’s true.

Bong: So how do you see the BPO industry in the Philippines in the next five years 5-10 years.

Derek: Yeah, I’m really excited. The, initially as we said is sort of a telesales and the basic kind of customer support services. There’s a huge amount of upskilling now. So, you know not just in voice you’re dealing with I.T. very technical professional services and with 3D CAD rendering.

So, you’re getting a whole range of professional services and professions which are catching up with the waste in terms of provision. So. You know initially they used to be back office functions here executed but now you can literally get an entire organization run in the Philippines with just one or two representatives in the home town the West. So, you’re getting to a point where you can tip the pyramid upside down. Which is really.

Bong: Wow.

Mary Rose: Yes. Wow. Well Okay.

Bong: Now, how do you cope up with the number of employees that you would need because of the competition with other BPO centers here. So

Derek: Yeah, I mean I think like in Subic there’s I think had about 12000 seats open. Well, just in Clark station there. It’s had about 12000 seats open and I think in the short term it’s then difficult to get bums on seats but there’s 500,000 graduates each year coming out of the Philippines with obviously a very good English comprehension and also the younger kids these days they’re brought up on a diet of. YouTube and Western media but also learning from blogs and the same stuff that the kids do in Silicon Valley. So, you know there’s half a million incredible graduates each year and the outsourcing industry today own it’s a huge amount but it employs about 1.2 million people. So, there’s still a lot of supply coming through. And also, the Philippines has a very young population.

Mary Rose: Are we a part of that so Bong.

Bong: Young “raw kaya ako lang”.

Mary Rose: Young at heart. Young in mind.

Bong: Now, for example, if I wanted to get employment in the BPO, what skills what characteristics should I possess?

Derek: I mean the nice thing about BPOs now is the functions that BPOs carried out are broadened to almost any job any profession that is done in front of a computer screen or doesn’t need to be directly to the client can be done in the Philippines. Which means you know potentially the majority of jobs could be executed here. So, I mean it’s everything from being a virtual assistant or a secretary to

Mary Rose: Accounting.

Derek: Accounting is a huge one.

Mary Rose: HR.

Derek: HR, backend, legal sort of work, research work. To. All of the operations to all of the sales all of the web I.T. marketing all of these things can be done here and are being done here

Bong: So, it’s not necessarily just talking to customers on the phone.

Derek: No. Now this is my initial impression of a BPO before is I’d have a headset to the phone and I’d be facing computer and trying to help someone maybe operate an appliance or something like that. That was my initial impression.

Mary Rose: Derek change his views. Tell you.

Derek: Well I think it started like that. They were call centers and the majority of stuff was done by voice and it was just backend operations. But now it’s moving up the skill ladder and up the sort of seniority in terms of operation execution. There is still the vast majority while the majority done is call centers. I think it’s about 60 70 percent of the employed as call centers. But more and more is getting into those other skills. And just to add you know it’s the SMEs across the world, the small to medium sized businesses that are getting broader roles. So, they’ve want generalists people that can do a little bit of everything or a little bit of web management. And so, it’s the SMEs that are actually broadening the skill base because they don’t come over here and we want 1000 you know telesales that they’re sort of saying we want five people that can do a bit of everything.

Bong: So. So how do you market yourself how do you get your clients to do use your service?

Derek: So, what our target audience is actually the successful business people out there in high cost English speaking world. And they, outsourcing is just not on their radar and they just don’t know about it or don’t really think about that. And so, it’s my job to first introduce them to the concept then build familiarity and then build concept, build comfort. And then just slowly introduce them. So, I’m dealing right at the top end of the funnel. And. It’s a slow process. So, if someone’s into basketball and I’m trying to sell them some golf clubs it’s gonna be very difficult. So, I need to tell them that golf is fun and gradually introduce them into the game of golf. And then. You know say that the opportunity is here. So, it’s just sort of slowly education and then showing them the opportunities in the Philippines.

Bong: So, going back now working in the BPO industry. How is your schedule like? Yeah like I have some friends working there and their schedules are crazy. They work at night and sleep during the day. Is your schedule similar?

Derek: No, I mean I’m quite lucky actually. We don’t actually run a BPO operation we just run an advisory for BPO. So, we’re not actually too operationally involved. But I mean the BPO workers really you know the troopers of the country. And you know originally a lot of the clients were U.S. based. So that is crazy as you know that’s really the night shift I suppose. Yeah and it’s just the workers are incredible. I think that they’re very used to now work in every kind of shift. And you know when I came over here I actually came over here because I needed 24/7 covered because it was an accommodation service. And that would just not have been financially feasible in the West. And then you come to the Philippines and not only is it financially viable but everything is set up and it’s so normalized. So, you know it opens up the amount of opportunity to outcompete.

Mary Rose: Now. Apparently, you’ve enjoyed your experience with that that you are now in our country for a longer period of time. And do you expect to be staying in our country for a longer period of time.

Derek: Yes

Mary Rose: Hopefully.

Derek: No, I really do. I am not a great medium to long term planner certainly I am you know very enamored by the Philippines. I find that you can have a fantastic quality of life here. The weather is amazing the people are beautiful. And also, there’s just huge opportunity in the Philippines of Southeast Asia. A very young population and you know high growth rates so huge economic opportunity and it’s a great life over here.

Mary Rose: Have you tried living in Thailand?

Derek: No, I haven’t. I have visited Thailand

Mary Rose: Yes.

Derek: I don’t find the people so friendly and the beaches aren’t so pretty.

Mary Rose: Yeah. That’s so true.

Bong: That’s true. So, you just take away the traffic from Metro Manila and it would be bearable.

Derek: Yeah.

Mary Rose: I think they’re giving incentives for a you know not to be in the radial area of the metro to be able to set up there with the PEZA zones. So, Daisy Plaza who heads PEZA they are getting a lot of incentives for BPOs and other foreign companies setting up in the PEZA zones in the Visayas and Mindanao much more if they set up in Luzon. So, you can also look at that opportunity.

Bong: Yeah. Yeah that’s actually that should be done there a lot I think setting up BPO centers in the provinces would be more viable than setting it up with the crowd, inside crowded Metro Manila. And then of course salaries are cheaper in the province. Cost of living is cheaper.

Mary Rose: Yes

Bong: The problem or the only challenge which needs to be solved would be of course infrastructure, the fast internet connection to all phone lines.

Mary Rose: Yes, but as I understand what you have experienced also in dealing with the BPOs in Cebu.

Derek: I mean, I know that they’re all you know sort of pushing out into the provinces too. You know and again things are so sophisticated here that they’re not only up there because they can be but it’s because they all have failsafe they all have you know secondary backups and because of those sort of typhoon risks but generally you know it’s like a military operation to ensure that they can have 100 percent up time and facilities whenever they need them wherever they need them. So yes, definitely going out to the provinces when I was in Puerto Prinsesa at New Year there’s a new BPO going on there I suppose it’s Sitel. So, it’s really exciting for the provinces and I think then eventually it will go further and further out into the provinces and the smaller towns.

Mary Rose: You know I had a proposition to him.

Bong: You mean you propositioned Derek.

Mary Rose: Yes, because there are women in the correctional facility. Okay. This is really weird but Asec. Marie Banaag and I and Sandy Arellano we visited the facility here in Mandaluyong which is a correctional facility for the women and apparently one BPO opened up inside.

Bong: Inside the correctional facility?

Mary Rose: Because there is no absent. There is no stealing of headsets because they’re there. No strike.

Bong: Really, so the agents that they have are inmates.

Mary Rose: Yes. It’s already there. It’s already working and I want to go back and check the “ano” how it is doing.

Bong: It’s the first time I ever heard about that.

Mary Rose: And then that you don’t get to build the facility because they’re inside the facility right. No strikes no you know, no absent, no late. And they’re 2000 inmates.

Bong: Yeah, but do they know how to speak English?

Mary Rose: Yeah. Millennials.

Bong: Okay.

Derek: Let’s do it.

Mary Rose: Oh see. Yeah. I mean you can sample a couple of women and then see if it works because they want to do their best. They want to be able to earn not much really. I mean you know compared to if you have them outside of the metro and you’re not sure if they’re going to come in late or they’re going to come in all. This one can never be absent and I’m sure there’s a. If you lack one more you can come here. I don’t know how it goes. I don’t really know how it goes. But generally, you know they’re there.

Derek: I mean the definition and requirements of BPO are getting broader and broader. I mean I guess you can buy a $100 laptop in a very basic laptop and doing basic work. You know and they don’t need to actually have that much output to cover their cost and effective profitable sustainable function where they earn money and everyone involved.

Mary Rose: OFWs come home Derek is here.

Derek: There’s big opportunity.

Mary Rose: Yeah.

Derek: And it keeps the skills at home. I mean it upskills people in prison it gets some income. It provides them with sort of more careers the jobs they can do when they come out of the prison. But also, I mean it keeps skills at home so the OFWs don’t have to go overseas. It stops the brain drain. It’s really you know it’s.

Mary Rose: It’s something, something really positive

Bong: And it’s really huge in the scene in the Philippines now. It has kept on generating a lot of good job opportunities for the locals that we have here.

Mary Rose: I know, in fact it would be nice if at the end of the day we can be able to really trickle it down all the way to local government units because sometimes you talk about it here. But then for the other people who need to be involved in it to have the jobs the fresh grads who are trying to look for a job. They don’t know about it yet. So, you know we have to also on our part, as cross-pollinators be able to disseminate it as soon as possible when the opportunity has will also help us Derek here.

Bong: And as Derek mentioned it’s very easy to set up and you could operate remotely. So, it’s nice to set up BPO centers especially in the provinces to decongest Metro Manila

Mary Rose: Yeah, My God that’s true.

Bong: That’s another factor that we need to look at. Being able to generate jobs in outside Metro Manila.

Mary Rose: And for those young people to be able to stay with their excuse me, parents.

Bong: Like you. Yes, you’re staying with your dad.

Mary Rose: Yeah. That’s true. But he’s not here. Tommy’s in the province. In any case, we want to be able to ask because we you’re streaming live so I’m going to be sending you the link and then you can show them that we indeed are you know helping cross over from the government to the private sector. So, you can show it off that we are very interested and very happy to be able to help the foreign companies to come into our country because you know there are a little bit of news of this and that but you know these are isolated news. And investor confidence is very important with us just like in any other countries that they have some isolated incidents happening. It’s isolated.

Bong: Yeah and sadly, news the media tends to sensationalize everything which actually scares people especially foreigners who are not really that familiar with the Philippine situation. But relatively basically Filipinos are very friendly very hospitable.

Mary Rose: Yeah.

Bong: And still flourishing. I think the growth of ASEAN as a group and especially the Philippines for an English-speaking country it’s all good news for everybody out there to be able to come over to our country experience the Philippines at its finest. And its beaches and the food.

Derek: And the mangoes.

Mary Rose: And my Gosh the mangoes. And you know what other foods Philippine foods do you think. Did the purple yam get you?

Derek: Yeah. I mean there’s the halo-halo

Mary Rose: Yeah

Derek: And there’s the ado..

Bong: Adobo

Derek: Yeah. I mean it’s all, it’s fantastic food. You know I go a lot for the fresh seafood and it’s just.

Mary Rose: So, you go to Dampa?

Derek: Yeah, actually I was there on Sunday.

Mary Rose: Oh see.

Derek: I wasn’t always there but I was there on Sunday.

Mary Rose: What did you eat?

Derek: We had tiger prawns and just we got about two kilos of prawns to squid and lapu-lapu there was a little bit of everything.

Bong: Yeah. The Philippines is very famous for sea seafood and pork that’s a staple food. We Filipinos either seafood or pork.

Mary Rose: Are you a pork person?

Derek: Yeah, I eat it all the time.

Bong: Yeah, have you tried the lechon?

Derek: Yeah, actually the famous Cebu Lechon.

Bong: Oh yeah. Oh

Derek: We got some of that.

Mary Rose: Do you know you can bring that home to Manila?

Derek: I have been at a few events where they actually brought them to Manila because they are quite famous aren’t they?

Bong: Yes, yes, they are.

Mary Rose: You can actually order it and then they’ll send it to the airport and you can have it pick up from there or you can have a basic taxi to pick it up.

Bong: The problem with buying it is. I’ve done that several times ordering from Cebu and having it brought here through the planes. The skin would no longer be crunchy and that’s what’s important when you eat lechon, it’s the the skin. So, when you when you go to a party and they serve lechon the first thing that gets wiped out would be the skin. You see a pig without skin.

Derek: Yeah. You want it crunchy huh?

Mary Rose: Yeah

Derek: I mean there must be a thing or way to get it crispy. They need a lechon express.

Mary Rose: Lechon Express

Bong: The problem that happens would be because it’s in the box. So, the moisture actually softens the skin.

Mary Rose: Should be hand carried Bong.

Bong: So, going back to the beaches. Do you dive? You don’t surf but do you dive?

Derek: Yeah, I dive and actually I learned to here down in Anilao.

Bong: Anilao, that’s very close just a few hours going towards the south. Have you tried we have some famous dive spots here Malapascua.

Derek; I don’t know Malapascua but I went down to Dumaguete so I dived Apo island.

Bong: Apo reef.

Derek: Apo reef and Coron and I went to the ship.

Bong: What are about Tubbataha?

Derek: No

Bong: That is a must dive that you should do you, you should do and live aboard and.

Mary Rose: Oh my God Tubbataha.

Bong: The water there is really perfect and then everything that you would see the sharks.

Derek: Amazing.


Bong: We have hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks.

Mary Rose: Do you dive Bong?

Bong: Yes, between two feet.

Bong: Yes, yes, I used to dive a lot before and that’s why I was able to go to see these places. I’ve dove over in Cebu and there’s a now there’s an area they call it Malapascua. It’s an island off Cebu and you. There you see treasure sharks. Treasure sharks during early morning dives then in the afternoon. They have big really huge manta ray jumping out of the water. Really, really awesome sight.

Mary Rose: I’ve never seen those things you’re talking about. Yeah. But the sharks we’ve eaten that in Zambales and the Manta Ray also. We eat everything in Zambales. No, you know apparently, we are a tuna route. Right. What do you call that? Is that the correct term for that?

Bong: I don’t know. I’m not a fisherman.

Derek; Wow we’re going very.

Mary Rose: But the yellow fin tuna they’re coming.

Bong: Yeah, they’re. But Pacquiao, Gen San.

Mary Rose: Also, there but here in our province, Zambales. It’s China Sea. Yeah. We get to see them. We seem to get some of our share of tuna. Yeah. So, every morning my dad will tell the fishermen to make sure he has about two pieces of tuna for lunch right. And then we grill it. Oh that’s the best. That’s the life you know. And then you watch the sunset go down.

Bong: Okay you know just talking about it made me hungry.

Derek: We’ve got to dinner out.

Mary Rose: That’s the best you know.

Derek: No, it really is it’s a paradise here isn’t it. You know zero as you were saying before there is this. People should come here shouldn’t be influenced by the media blowing up a few incidents. I’ve spent a lot of time in London and as you know so set these places for this many incidents in London and people are fearful. But it’s you know generally the countries are safe from some of the things that I’ve had nothing but good experiences. You know, seen and met with beautiful people.

Bong: Well thank you very much you know we need more people like you visiting or country living here working here because we need people to spread a good word.

Mary Rose. The good news.

Bong: The good news about the Philippines because basically at times most of what they hear would be. What would be printed in the media or sensationalized story which sometimes would be unfair. Yeah because they tend to generalize the situation in the whole country which is not really true.

Mary Rose: We have good people like Derek here to be able to trumpet for us soon right. Derek?

Derek: Yeah absolutely. I’m there for the Philippines. No, I completely agree. You know like I have no, I’ve never felt uncomfortable or unsafe at all. You know I’ve done a lot of traveling I’ve been to a lot of countries and to be honest probably at times you know most unsafe is downtown New York and places like that. And the Philippines is. It’s a great place for leisure and it’s a great place for business so come and do both. You know I like it. It’s a very warm culture. And also, you know there’s a bit of bureaucracy in terms of business for the super on board in terms of supporting business.

I see that and start ups and hackathon and some funding and the VCs are starting to come in now. So, the business economy is really supportive and thriving.

Mary Rose: And booming.

Derek: And then there’s the Mango’s and diving.

Bong: Thank you very much for that. Derek.

Hope you enjoyed that. That was episode 49 and that is my interview with the highly esteemed Mary Rose Magsaysay and Attorney Bong Suntay and the radio station is DZME 1530. And I appreciate being able to use their footage. So, if you want to watch the full interview. if you want to watch any more from DZME go to our show notes and for all of the links that is at And if you ask us anything please do just email us at [email protected]. See you next time.



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