Monthly Archives: September 2011

Las Ruinas Boquete Restaurant Revisited

My last visit to Las Ruinas was in March of 2010. Since I wanted to talk to Hal at The BOOKMARK, I decided to try Las Ruinas again for last Sunday’s lunch. Ir recently got the highest number of votes in the Boquete Guide poll.

The restaurant looks pretty much the same as in my original post.

I thought all prices on the menu were very reasonable.

I chose the Philly Cheese steak sandwich.

To be honest, I was disappointed. I am a provolone cheese steak kinda guy and cheez whiz just is not what I want on a cheese steak. Other than the cheese, I thought the rest was fine. I liked the coleslaw and ranch fries.

My dining companion had the fish and chips. Continue reading Las Ruinas Boquete Restaurant Revisited

Gringos In David – October Get Together

I received the following request to post.

From……: Josie

Hi Don Ray,
For the next three months I will be arranging the Gringos In David get togethers.
Would you please post on your site that the October’s social will be at Stella’s in Petragal on October 6 at 2 p.m.
Thanks, hope to see you there!

Here is a recent post driving to the Marina and restaurant.

Need for A-Negative Blood


UPDATED September 27 Afternoon. The surgery was performed. No donor had come forward. The doctor was O- and said if blood was needed  he would give blood following the operation.

UPDATED September 27. The blood is still needed. It can be A- or O-.

To anyone who can donate A-Negative blood:

Cynthia O’Barr is having immediate surgery and has just been told by Chiriqui Hospital she must have one pint of A-Negative Blood (plasma won’t do) as soon as possible. Donors may go to the lab at Chiriqui Hospital.

Cynthia is a long-time member of the ex-pat community who lives in David.

Thanks to anyone who can help,
Carol Kennedy

Watch Stolen in Home Invasion

I received the following email request. I also posted the theft on the Chiriqui Watch site.

I was recently robbed at my house in Bugaba. Although the thieves took many things, the single most valuable and easiest to identify is a limited edition Omega Liquid Metal wrist watch. There are only five of them in the country. Because of it’s value, the resale market is mostly in the foreign community. I would appreciate it if you could help me get the word out to the “extranjeros”. The details are in the attached flyer.
Thank you,
Captain Jesse Flora

POLICE REPORT FILED AT: D.A.’s Office in La Concepcion City, Bugaba District, Chiriqui State / Tel.+507.770.58.45 / Case Number:335 / Lic. Denice Torres Mendez (D.A. in Charge).
LEGITIMATE OWNER: Mr. Jesse Flora. Tel. +507.6.638.8422 / /
DETAILS: The watch was stolen in a Home Invasion Break-in, in La Concepcion City, El Porvenir Suburb, Bugaba District, Chiriqui State.

A Friend in Need

I am going to stick this post as the first post for a few days. If you have read it, just skip forward to new posts.

Thanks to those that have contacted me to make deposits via PayPal. I will post an update of the PayPal transactions.

UPDATE September 26, 2011 – Made three deposits today to Hal’s account in the amounts of $100, $25, and $25.
UPDATE September 27, 2011 – Made two deposits today to Hal’s account in the amounts of $500, and $100. This is the message I got with the $500 deposit.

Please do not reveal our identity if possible – and we will be sending more as it is available. We love Hal and he’s been there and lifted our spirits many a day with his blog. Curmudgeon or not, we think he’s a real marshmallow in the center of his heart. We wish him only the best.

I think this carries the sentiments that most of us feel. Those of us that really know Hal, love him. I think that is what we all want Hal to take away. While money always helps, it is knowing that others want you to stick around and continue enriching our lives that has the real value.

UPDATE September 29, 2011 – Made two deposits today to Hal’s account in the amounts of $50, and $50. One of the deposits had a message for Hal.

To Hal, Dear Hal, Thanks for your positive imprint on the world and your courage to tell it the way you see it. We wish you the best in your fierce battle against a formidable for. Cheers, Joel and Kris Cunningham

UPDATE October 1, 2011 – Made one deposit today to Hal’s account in the amount of $20. This was an individual that saw me yesterday and said he wanted to contribute.

UPDATE October 3, 2011 – Made two deposits today to Hal’s account in the amounts of $300 and $20. The $300 deposit has the following message.

Howdy Don – so glad you are there to help move things along for Hal – hope he’ll be able to get his cash register now and be able to tuck a few coins away for the PC stay. Will send more if we can. With love to our Hal… L&C

UPDATE October 6, 2011 – Made one deposit today to Hal’s account in the amount of $100.

The original post follows:

I received the following email today.

From……: Bonnie Williams

Don Ray:

Assuming there are customers of The Bookmark who live in David, you may want to post the following:

As many of you already know, our friend and neighbor Hal De Mun of The Bookmark in Dolega is undergoing a medical crisis. His colorectal cancer, for which he was treated several years ago, has returned, in his words, “with a vengeance.” He is facing travel to and stays in Panama City for treatment through the public health system. Hal subsists on social security and the meager profits from his bookstore, whose sales have plummeted with the advent of electronic readers, and is unable to afford the associated costs of travel and accommodation.

Not only has Hal provided a valuable service to the community for many years by maintaining a laudable inventory of English language books, but many of you may not be aware that he also has been generous in supporting charitable and civic endeavors such as Bid 4 Boquete, Hospice and Health Foundation, Amigos de Animales, the new Boquete library, etc. It now is our turn to support Hal in his time of need. Contributions, large or small, can be made directly to his bank account, as follows:

Bank: HSBC
Name: Harold De Mun
Account #: 0101036573

No deposit slip is required; just give the name and account number to the cashier.

I was going to post a similar notice, but Bonnie beat me too it. Following lunch today, I stopped by the BOOKMARK and spoke to Hal. I had read two of his recent posts on his blog and was aware of his situation. Here are the two posts, that informed me of his condition. Post one. Post Two.

Hal and I have a fair amount of history together and I consider him a friend. I set up the BOOKMARK blog for Hal and continue to do the admin work of authorizing new comments.

I have always been a staunch supporter of Hal’s through his last battle with cancer and I have told him that I will  do anything now, that is within my power to do.

To that end, I will also make my PayPal account available to anyone that lives outside of the Panama area that would like to help Hal in his time of need. In this case, if you notify me that you are making a deposit, I will make a like deposit in Hal’s HSBC account and email you a copy of the deposit receipt.

As Bonnie said in her message, Hal has been a pillar of support for others. It is time we give back to Hal. Chiriquí Chatter will make a deposit in Hal’s account. I encourage my readers to do the same. I think Hal’s orneriness brought him through his first bout with cancer. I pray that the same orneriness will serve him just as well this time.

Reader request

I received a request to post the following:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

A big THANK YOU goes out to all you lovely people who attended the very successful Boquete Jazz&Blues Festival wine-tasting on Saturday!

It was a great event again, and everybody was having a fabulous time in beautiful Casa del Risco by the canyon!

The appetizers were excellent, 118 bottles of wine were emptied, everybody loved the music of Boqueteña singer/songwriter Lorena Ledezma, and Rigoberto’s Jazzband got patrons up on their feet to dance the evening away.

At the end of the day we were happy to count $ 677 for the Boquete Jazz&Blues Festival, a great success!

Thank you to Isabella Gomez and her crew of Casa del Risco for their help and support!

Thank you to the new Chef of Casa del Risco for creating sumptous appetizers that everybody just loved!

Thank you to Felipe Motta of David for supporting the event with great wines at promotional prizes!

Thank you to our gracious brigade of volunteer servers. We couldn’t have done it without you lovely ladies!

Thank you to Barbara Lapid for donating one of her great necklaces for the silent auction!


We hope to see you at the next ‚Sunday Morning in the Park’ free concert on Oct. 9th from 10am till 12 noon.

We are planning another wine-tasting fundraiser for late November or early December. Watch out for further announcements on noticias! If you missed Saturday’s wonderful event DON’T MISS OUT ON THE NEXT ONE!

Ain’t No Do Overs In Life

Ain’t No Do Overs In Life
By Don Ray Williams
September 25, 2011

I have had some missed opportunities. There are some things I wished I’d have done.
There are girls I wished I had kissed. There are some bells I wished I’d have rung.
One never knows how the future would change with opportunities taken.
Life wasn’t always meant to be stirred, sometimes it was meant to be shaken.
In the distance the drummers play along with the fife,
And the message they bring is that there ain’t no do overs in life.


And of course I have made some choices that if I could do over I wouldn’t have taken.
Maybe at that time I should have been stirring. Instead, looking back my life was certainly shaken.
That is the problem with hindsight. It is easier to know what one should have done.
You can’t take back a kiss once given and nor the sound of a bell once it’s been rung.
In the distance the drummers play along with the fife,
And the message they bring is that there ain’t no do overs in life.


Now of the two, which do you think is worse? Opportunities lost or opportunities taken.
Should one gently stir life or should life vigorously be shaken?
Looking backward, some answers may be easily given.
But the same cannot be said at the time your life you’re liven.
In the distance the drummers play along with the fife,
And the message they bring is that there ain’t no do overs in life.


Maybe the answer is to try to live without regret, to not look back and say what if.
Whether shaken or stirred is not important, as long as each day is fully lived.
So dream as if you live forever and live as though you’ll die today.
Remind yourself of these words and live by them each and every day.
In the distance the drummers play along with the fife,
And the message they bring is that there ain’t no do overs in life.