Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Spring/Summer 2006 issue.
On a typical Thursday evening at Philo’s Music Bar on Calle Delfin in the heart of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the musicians are tuning up while, in one corner of the palapa-covered space, a group of grinning Mexican children are playing “Simon Says” – in English. Out on the patio, boaters are perusing the bulletin boards filled with ads and information, checking email or using the international phone. By the time the English classes are over, the bar and restaurant are bustling and the band is set. Friends greet each other as couples step up to the dance floor, and the evening is on.
Philo Hayward, sailor, singer, songwriter and owner of Philo’s, sailed into Bahía de Banderas in 2000 looking for a place to make music and showcase local talent. Now, musicians from all over flock here. Philo often helps them record their CDs in his studio; the musicians pay with performances.
Today, Philo’s is as much a community center as a bar. In addition to four levels of English classes taught by volunteers, there are Spanish and hatha yoga classes during the day and a book exchange. Wednesday night is reserved for a speakers program. People come to Philo’s to learn what’s going on in town.
Very important to Philo personally is The Friendship Club of La Cruz, based at Philo’s. This organization helps local residents with medical expenses and is involved in building a center for seniors. Hayward is always ready to donate his place for a Fiesta Night or benefit brunch, as long as it’s a good cause.