Atmosphere Resorts & Spa owner and architect matthew Holder muses about life in Dauin

So, it’s 5:30 am and I am sat on my verandah drinking a small frothy coffee after my (new fitness campaign) early morning swim. The birds are awake, I hear a tricycle somewhere in the distance, and of course a rooster! This is after all Negros Island in the Philippines – the home of the finest cock fighting roosters in Asia.

You see, yesterday during our management meeting, our head of marketing looked me deep in the eye and announced that as yet I had not contributed to the Atmosphere blog.  I twitched awkwardly in the meeting because I am no Bill Bryson or Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I am an architect. Sure, I can draw and design stuff, but anyone who knows me well (such as my teacher parents, who coached me through every English homework) will tell you that writing is not my strong point.

I have come to realize in the past 24 hours that it’s not just the writing that scares me but also what to write about. My wife and two great kids are still asleep so I thought I would just start writing my thoughts in the hope something happened… I’m still waiting. Ok I have it… wait for it… it could be about anything, right? Let me tell you about roosters! That’s right, I said roosters.

Not only do we have a few roosters roaming the gardens here, in the hope of catching a small earth worm or one of Atmosphere’s complimentary canapés at happy hour. Not only can you hear one or two in the distance wherever you are in the Philippines. And not only is Negros a fighting cock capital with a rare breed called the Fighting Red but also…

In my native home of England, we say that a rooster wakes up and shouts Cocka-doodle-doo! I am sure a few of you are nodding in acknowledgement. Well, unbelievably here in our little corner of the Philippines called Negros, they say a rooster wakes and shouts Tak-ta-laok! And there it is, my wisdom for the day. Go on, have a go, it sounds quite good actually.

Let us know what they say in your country, write to us and tell us your home turfs version of the infamous shout of the rooster.

Thanks for enduring me and have a lovely day – I have to go as I hear a small shout of “daddy!”

Matthew Holder

Owner & Architect

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