June 2013

Posted by admin on May 31, 2013 in 2013 Monthly Newsletters |

Welcome to June folks.  The afternoon rains started last month and they will be more frequent this month as the rainy season officially starts as well as the school year.

But I am giving advance notice of one of the most looked forward to events of each year, the ABC Hotel super pool party scheduled for 7 July.  This will give all you tourists a chance to plan ahead, get your tickets and look forward to what looks like the best event event of the year.  Leave it to Gerard and Gerard Jr to outdo themselves.  You know the routine, get your tickets early as EVERY seat is scooped up quickly, then standing room only, great food, plenty of ladies and I mean beautiful ones.  Following are the details as provided by ABC’s beautiful marketing lady, Irene:
“Hi Harry the Horse, the much awaited party in town is back and we are seeking your usual support in promoting this spectacular event by adding our poster to your site. Please see attached file and details for the said event.  THE KANDY KRUSH POOL PARTY - Sunday July 6 at the ABC hotel Pool Area!  The said event will also be the Official After-Party of the King of the Cage with the Special Appearance/Performance of the UFC former L.Heavy Weight World Champion, Rampage Jackson along with Lowen Tynanes and Sean Strickland.
Female General Admission is FREE.  VIP Female: P500.00.  General Admission: P1,000.00.  VIP Ticket: P2,000.00.  Drink all you can!  For table reservations contact us at info@angelesbeachclubhotel.com.
Sincerely, Ilene Marcos, Events Coordinator, ABC Hotel Group.
I believe that many of you do know that the “C” Italian Restaurant had a bit of a fire on their second floor serious enough to force their closure.  I thought that they would be able to open last month.  They did, but then the City Closed them down as they still had to meet a few more requirements.  Naturally, the owners wish to comply with all standards and appreciate the City guidance.  Hopefully they will re-open this month.  Not to worry though for the “C” Panizza eatery at the Gas Station on Clark has expanded its menu to include some of those favorite dishes offered at “C”.  I was also surprised to hear that a branch of “C” Italian will open, this month, at the Stotsenberg Hotel on Clark.  Now, that is good news!
I also believe that Don’s Meat Shop will be opening this month in Hensonville.  I see a lot of work going on there.  Look for my breaking news when it opens.  June is here, come on over and stop by my stable for a visit.  Love meeting you folks who take the time to read this old horse’s words.   Oh, one other thing, just heard that Cuba-Cuba has closed its doors.  Don’t know the details yet but will try to get an update.  Maybe it is just temporary.


Harry, I have witnessed the North Koreans exhibiting Bat Shit Crazy behavior for at least 50 years. It is one of the things in life that you can count on……like it being hot here in May. It’s how they are. This guy and his father before him and his Bat Shit Crazy Grampa before that. It never changes…….it’s how they have always been!

But wait……suddenly it is Obama’s fault!!!!! Of course…..something that has gone on for 50 years is now Obama’s fault. Well that makes perfect sense.  Since 1999, I have seen about a dozen bar raids…..(shake downs is what they are)……here in Angeles. It seems that it works out to almost one per year. Between 2000 and 2008 you blamed the corrupt police or the NGO’s……but you never blamed George Bush or Condoleezza Rice…….But wait………starting in 2009…….you started blaming Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama……..for something that has been going on since the Marcos administration!!  Well….once again……that makes perfect sense.  Maybe North Korea is not the only place with a crazy grampa?  Karl Wilson  (Aw hell, I figured that since Obama blamed Bush for everything that I might as well throw a little blame in a different direction)

Hi Harry, I just had to give my 2 pesos worth after reading your reader submissions regarding the Dominican Republic. I used to vacation there but I will not return. There are two very nice beaches there. One is Boca Chica and the other is Sosua. Boca Chica was once a single man’s paradise however the local constables have pretty much eliminated the small nightlife that existed there but to my knowledge the beach is still nice and is worthwhile to go for a swim in the warm and clear Caribbean ocean but the scams are many from beach boys to other unsavory personalities. Sosua is also a very nice beach with warm and clear water. There are several bars that open in the evening in Sosua on the main road through the middle of town. There are probably 5 or 6 and one disco.

One night I was sitting at one of the bars when a petite chica (my type) sat down next to me. I ended up buying her a drink and before she finished her drink she asked me to give her girl friend 100 pesos for something to eat. I declined and it all went down hill from there. I decided to move onto another bar and called the bartender to pay my bill. It was at this time that the woman I was sitting with demanded I pay her for her time sitting with me at the bar. Again I declined. When I handed the money to the bartender the woman attempted to grab the money out of my hand and ripped the bill in half. It was a small bill so I let it go in order to get out of there as quickly as I could and managed to pay the bartender and leave the bar. Well the woman followed me and demanded I give her the half of the bill that she ripped in half. I just quickly walked away but did see her grab an empty beer bottle off the bar and attempt to break it so she could make a weapon to attack me with. I ducked into the bar next door which was German owned and full of people. I sat down at the bar and ordered a drink but I could see the girl outside the bar still trying to break the empty Presidente beer bottle. She put the bottle down and just came after me throwing punches. I just blocked the punches with my arm and hand and she finally gave up. I thought that it was finally over and went back to my bar stool. All this time a crowd is gathering to see what was going to happen. I glanced outside just in time to see the woman finally break the bottle and then she started to approach me. I stood up and picked up my bar stool to protect myself. Just before she got to me the bouncer snuck up behind her and grabbed the bottle out of her hand. He held her until the police came and they took her away.

During that same trip I had my wallet stolen from another woman I agreed to share a moto taxi with. I also had a moto taxi driver try to charge me a very ridiculously high amount of fare for driving me to the other side of the beach back to my cottage. It was a 15 minute ride and he tried to charge me the equivalent of $25.00 US which would probably be $5.00 at the very highest. Well I told him I wasn’t going to pay his ripoff fare and we argued until the landlord of the cottage I was renting came out and intervened and we finally negotiated a settlement. All through this it was pouring down rain as a tropical depression had moved in the week I was there although I can’t really blame anyone for that.

Now you might think that I am a trouble maker because of these things that happened to me but I can assure you that I am not and have traveled to the Philippines about 20 times as well as other countries in SE asia without any problem except for a few minor incidents that most travelers have experienced like bill padding which I usually just let slide unless it is a great amount of money. In addition, I had been to the DR several times before that with some bad experiences which I never experienced in the Philippines

As far as rating the women in the DR I would (without trying to hurt anyones feelings) put them one rung below American women if you know what I mean. There are exceptions but as far as attractiveness goes the Filippinas have a very great advantage when it comes to looks, attitude and behaviour of all the countries I have been. Maybe it’s just me but that’s the way I feel.

As far as travel distance and time goes, it might be closer for those that live on the east coast of the US but I live on the west coast in the US and it comes out to about the same amount of time because of the long layovers in New York or Florida. There seem to be a lot more flights available to asia as well at about the same price. I know that there are many Americans and Canadians and other nationalities who are retired in the Dominican Republic and own businesses there so I think that some of the people claiming this preference for the DR may be business owners catering to the tourist industry. It’s either that or they have never spent any time in the Philippines and simply don’t know what they are talking about. I enjoy reading your column and I appreciate your information. Keep up the good work. Regards, Gary S.
(I agree with you Gary.  I have spoken with a customer in my bar who has spent a lot of time in the DR and he says he has no desire to return there. For sure the people here are nicer and the ladies are far more beautiful. That story about the lady with the beer bottle is enough to put me off)

Mr. Horse,  I realize you are in the final homestretch
in the derby of life so I’ll try and be kind.  I’m an avid reader of your blog, but as of late it has become maddening. It’s full of information, but you lack on details. If someone doesn’t give you the info, you gotta get back in touch with them and get the important info. It seems like you don’t really do this.  Here’s some examples:  Clark Museum — I’d love to visit the Clark Museum you mention a month or 2 ago. But I have no idea where it’s located and I’ve been living here for 4 years. How about an address or something that it’s near? How about hours and days of operation? How much? Just the basics.

Mike The Bug Guy’s Water — I saw something about him doing water. I don’t know this guy. In your article, no phone number or name of the water company. Fortunately whilst shitting one day I noticed an ad in Blue Book and figured it was the guy and got it sorted out. More info in your blog plug would have been helpful.

Big Dom Meats — All any Western dreams about is getting some quality beef. You have a weird email exchange with him last month, then actually meet him in person and don’t get info like where his shop is going to be? How to become a member? A contact #? You meet this guy in person and don’t get this info to put in your article?????? P.S. Wagu beef is a breed like Angus originating in Japan, similar to Kobe beef, but different. Very expensive, very marbled and fatty. You can get a good taste of it at Mall of Asia at a Japanese place for a few thousand a portion. Sure would be nice to know how I could contact the guy who’s gonna have that meat here in AC….. Please try and get details so your articles have more than just tidbits of information. Thanks!  (I hate answering an Email with no name but:  Clark Museum – On Clark, at the north end of the Parade ground, near the Fire Department. That is the best I can do for you on that.   

Big Dom Meats, his shop will be in Hensonville, when he opens and provides me with more details, it will be in my column. How he plans to distribute his 1000 memberships? Has not told me yet.  He will be located at the site where the “Firkin” Pub was.
After living here for four years I would think you would be more familiar with the area but I will take your suggestion into account and try to provide a few more details.  Thank you for being kind to an old horse in his final stretch of life.)

Harry, I was in the PI when Dizon was arrested . Three years ago, I think . The Expat crowd was enraged . Primarily, I guess , because the ex VFW Commander was murdered . A prominent American . Plus others . ” Hang the fucker ” they said . The Expats want justice . But, that is American style Justice in their minds . Not Philippino and the Prosecutor and the Judge know this . But, so far nothing has happened . No progress . But , you see , , really , the Philippinos do not give fuck about an American or the others getting murdered in the Fields/ Balibago area . They say they care. . But, not really . Who cares ? I think the court foot dragging supports my opinion . Where is this case at now ? Three years ? Or, more ? If the Expat Community is serious and wants justice . Then ” pass the hat ” and come up with some real money to ” grease ” the Judge and Prosecutor . Then you will probably will see something happen . Joe Walker.  (Yes Joe, the case is dragging.  Here in the PI waiting for a trial to finish is like watching a snail racing in slow motion.  There is no Jury system, only the Judge.  A hearing could take place once a month or twice a month.  If the Judge goes on vacation, it will be delayed a month or two.  It goes on and on.  All I can say is that he is still in jail and still shows up in court with his usual smart ass smirk on his face)

Hi Harry,  I just sent the following to the Philippine star. Of course whether they will read it, print it or consign it to the junk folder is a matter of question.  Stay well!
“I was hoping to spend Christmas and the New year in the Philippines again but find that the visa on entry for tourists is still only 21 days and will cost nearly 5000 piso to extend the visa for my stay to 30 days (or a month) The competitor for tourists in the region is Thailand which gives a 30 day visa on entry.

I cannot see why the Philippines would not see it as an advantage to try to keep a tourist in the country for the extra week, benefiting from another week of spending in cash revenue and tourism jobs.  From the European or American Tourist point of view, after paying a high price and spending a lot of time travelling to the Philippines it makes more sense to spend as much time there as possible, and most employment allows for a month of holiday entitlement. This is especially true at the moment given the difficult economic climate in these regions.

I deeply regret the economic necessity to visit Thailand instead and urge the Philippine Government to maximize the tourist benefits of their country and people in competing for their rightful share of foreign visitors.  yours respectfully, Peter Gore, Derby, England.
(Peter, I agree with you wholeheartedly but you see, the Philippines is more interested in getting money out of tourists instead of making the country tourist friendly. There was talk of a 30 day visa but that was all just talk. Sad isn’t it?)

First and Last Name: shel kaufman
Email Address: skaufman321@gmail.com
Comments and Remarks: I am shel kaufman, the younger brother of tim kaufman. Growing up tim was always my idle he changed his life around when he went into the marines, and worked hard to gain a better ultimatum of respect from my family. A level of respect i have yet to earn.
I would appreciate it if you would shine a better light on his story instead of casting him into the shadows. He is not a murderer, he is a hero. One who fought for our country and after he served stayed in iraq to report intelligence. Shortly before his arrest tim was about to get a visa cleared for him to work over seas again for agencies that guarded important leaders around the world. He helped more people than he ever hurt. The negative publicity to such an amazing person, brother, marine. Is so disgraceful people need to know who he really is, not what he is claimed to be.

(Shel, I think at this time you would have a hard time convincing anyone here of what a nice guy your brother is. The evidence against him is overwhelming. We suspect drugs had a play in his actions. He allegedly murdered in cold blood a fine English gentlemen and his lovely girlfriend. Let him come back here to Angeles City and prove his innocence. Let someone else shine a better light on him, not me!)

Hi Harry, Greetings from Dublin Ireland !’m Not sure if you heard but it was announced yesterday that from the 28th October Qatar Airways will start flying from Doha to Clark (http://www.arabnews.com/news/450678) , just one week after Emirates commences services.  Really enjoy reading your monthly column so thought id pass on the information to you. Best Regards to you, Chris H.
(Thank you Chris.  Have a nice Irish Day but I know you wish you were back here) 

Harry, I know that you are dead set sick of this subject but here you go anyway. What bullshit!  Stephen P.

From: Bureau of Immigration National Operations Center

Please be informed that determination of the sufficiency of documents rests on the immigration personnel at the airport and you may prepare the return ticket stating that you’ll be travelling together upon return, for ready reference. Currently the bureau is implementing strict departure formalities pursuant to Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003” and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995” as amended by Republic Act No 10022 and other related laws. Corollary to this is the declaration that Right to Travel is Not Absolute pursuant to Supreme Court’s en banc decision A.M. No. P-11-2927 dated Dec. 13, 2011 states;

3] The “Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003” or R.A. No. 9208. Pursuant to the provisions thereof, the Bureau of Immigration, in order to manage migration and curb trafficking in persons, issued Memorandum Order Radjr No. 2011-011,[12] allowing its Travel Control and Enforcement Unit to “offload passengers with fraudulent travel documents, doubtful purpose of travel, including possible victims of human trafficking” from our ports.

Hence, immigration officers are bound to verify all documents required to be presented depending on the passenger’s purpose of travel. Verification likewise involves questioning, profiling, assessment and even referral of passengers for secondary inspection.

This is also for purposes of ascertaining the truthfulness of the declaration or statement of the passenger in connection with the scheduled travel. Any ambiguity or resulting inconsistency therewith, the immigration officer is bound to disallow the passenger’s departure from the country. Thank you.

Should you have other immigration-related queries, please do not hesitate to call the BI Helpdesk HOTLINE (632) 524-3824 or (632) 524-3769, visit our website at www.immigration.gov.ph or like us on Facebook: officialbureauofimmigration and follow us on Twitter: immigrationPH.  (Stephen, now you know why I am fed up with all the Immigration bull shit on this particular subject. I have written all I want to on this subject. Bottom line, you are at the mercy of the Immigration officers at the airports and you can only hope that you do not run into an asshole that has no common sense at all. It is a gamble)

Hi Harry, this is Terry (UK) – Not his real name - i have stayed in Angeles for over 3 years and love every day and read your column regularly. I did however get scammed for 200,000 PHP in the oldest trick in the book. I put myself in a dodgy position and I have copped it sweet in my learning curve. This occurred some months ago so its not recent and I have not encountered trouble since.

This began with a street girl from Dau, as usual best left alone who was a weekly visitor and great performer, mainly short times and a few long times over 2 years. Gangsters pounded the door and she jumped up and let them in only to discover hidden drugs placed by her.  At gun point we were kidnapped and taken to a house past Dau and held till money was sent from the UK. 2 of the gunmen were posing as policemen, however, fake i believe. The girl was very relaxed throughout the ordeal and is known to the men as i observed all communications, undoubtedly she had done this before.

They were of course interested in the money and after it was paid i was released. The girl stayed with the gangsters and I was released in Dau. I was held for around 24 hours while the money was transfered. Naturally all communication is cut with the girl however is still around working the forigners mainly Diamond, Santos, Fields and Dau areas. Again this was not a randam scam but a calculated hit after establishing a repore as a short time customer. This enforces the risks taken with any street girl and as usual, buyer beware.

I am however still loving Angeles and don’t feel in anyway negative about what happened, just take the lesson and move on, thank God for Angeles and Asia.

(For sure this story will be published as a warning, again, to men to stay away from the street walkers, free lancers.  This lady built up a reputation as a “trusted” girl of convenience and set this lad up, big time.  What bothers me is that this girl’ named (Terry changed his mind and asked not to put her name here as he was afraid of repercussions) could still be plying her trade on A. Santos or in Diamond Sub-Division.  I also suspect that maybe one of these thugs could have been an actual policeman, who knows.  ”Terry” learned a lesson the hard way, please dear visitors be advised that this is a lesson you should avoid at all costs.  If anyone wants the names used by this lady, contact me – - Update:  The victim changed his mind.   He did not want to give her name.  But now, he has see her again plying her trade in the same area as before.  He is afraid that another foreigner will fall victim to her scam so he has provided the following information:
“The Street girl, Pia (Cherry – real name), 28yrs, Tarlac is home base, lives in Dau, light build, works around Santos and Diamond, set up merchant, be aware.”

Hi harry! I don’t type so bear with me, I tried to search your column but couldn’t find much info.  i want to put this out as a general warning and don’t want to be identified as I still own the car.  6 wks ago I bought a used car from a man in san Fernando and got stung,  id love to tell the sordid details but as I say I still own it at least for the interim.  Cars and jeeps are smuggled in the country and find their way out of the bullshit free ports.and are assembled and even registered by the locals for a number of years before they are sold.  Enter the unsuspecting foreigner. the vehicle I bought had the frame numbers altered and cant be registered or transferred into my name.   i can drive it by renewing the old owners rego.  BUT its just a matter of time before the diligent gendarmes check the frame numbers and sieze it.  my SAGE ADVICE is and take this to heart folks, never pay the cash until the vehicle passes macro, if the seller doesn’t “have time” or is nervous and jerky take your cash and say aloha!i don’t care if hes your best drinking buddy since Christ was a sea cadet!  Same goes with any vehicle that’s been sold a few times but never had a title transfer.  Good deals in this country are far and few between, and any, REPEAT, ANY transaction deserves the utmost scrutiny. And when you finish checking it out, do it again just to remind yourself you’re not in the money give away business! Regards john.
(Indeed, this is a very good heads up.  It is one of many scams that one can run into in this country.  This is the first time that someone has brought it to my attention but I am sure that John has not been the first one to be scammed.  Whether it is an automobile, motorcycle, or scooter do a thorough search with the TMO folks before parting with your money.  A “good deal” in the Philippines all too often leads to one being scammed)

From: joe walker Subject: Gates of Hell , Pinoy outrage
In a recent book called ” Inferno “, the author , Mr Brown , referred to Manila as the
“gates of Hell ” , referring to the filth , pollution , squatters, beggars , prostitution, grinding poverty , rats etc.  Needless to say the Philippino politicians etc. were “outraged at such lies “, Liable. Slander.  Prominent Lawyer Talentino , Secty of Transportation said Philippinos consider Manila as the gates of ” heaven “. Wow !!!! If the past is any example, Mr. Brown will probably be banned from the PI Paradise . Clare Dane , the actress who made a movie in Manila about 2000 was banned from the PI by then Pres Estrada when she referred to Manila as a ” rat infested shit hole” . And it stank.  It seems that Philippinos have a difficult time dealing with the truth. I always felt that.  Especially if the criticism is from a foreigner.  Manila is the ” gates of heaven ” ?  Wow! What the fuck is that guy Talentino (Secty of Transportation) smoking? Must be some good stuff.  (Well Joe, they do have some “good stuff” in the Philippines so you might be right)

From:  Ferrari Doug.  Harry, per our phone conversation, please warn your readers about the following:  I have run an ad in the blue book continually for years to buy old coins and currency.  I met a Filipino who claimed to have USA $10,000, $5,000, $1,000, and $500 Bills.

I met him in the Clarkton Hotel, and as soon as he produced the bills, I could see they were counterfeit and told him so. {The paper was wrong, the ink was wrong, the details were indistinct, they contained no silk fibers, and the serial numbers were too high on the 5 and 10 K bills}However, he knew “someone” whom pronounced them real and was selling them to foreigner customers. He said he had 2 bundles of each.

Next, he produced a series of old looking, but computer generated bonds from both Wells Fargo, and the US Government. All with the wrong portraits on them and other incorrect details. He also showed me 2 enameled steel tiles ostensibly from Wells Fargo.

He had a wonderful story about a 93 year old American WW2 pilot that crashed his plane in Mindanao, and this stuff came from the plane wreck which is still there along with diamond encrusted gold plates and $100,000. Bills.

$100,000 bills were never released to the public, but were used for bank to federal Reserve transactions and were all recalled and accounted for by serial number.

Years ago, I got offered another deal similar to this from a guy who e-mailed me that the gold and bills were in the hands of his “muslim brothers in Mindanao”

Harry has asked me to give him the name and phone number of this person, but I prefer to fly under the radar, and just pass the warning on. These bills are very rare, and you have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding a real bill here. Please be careful. Not only are they fake, but it is illegal to own them. (Most of us will not have business with this character because we do not deal with that amount of cash.  But, too bad no name is given to look out for but I understand Doug’s reluctance to do so.  It is a good warning to pass on though)

Gidday mate, I have been reading your monthly news letters now for the past 7 years now. I always love to hear the stories of the scams and rip offs that occur here in Angeles City.  I went to the T & A Bar in Don Juico Avenue, Clark View, just down from your stable, for a drink one night. Saw a girl that I knew from another club and asked her down for a drink. (Editor’ s note:  I had to delete the details of this complaint as I printed it by mistake.  My intention was to talk to Mario, the owner of T&A to get his side of the story so I kept a hard copy of the issue to show to him.  Regretfully, by mid-June I had not made it there yet but I forgot to delete it from here before it went to print.  Next time I will file it in my hold basket until I get to the bar involved.  Age and memory loss is hell!)



“New public school standards in the U.S. do not require children to learn script. Room for Debates asks: Is that a mistake?”  i was happy to see this question asked.  When last in the US, Las Vegas, NV, to be exact, I was shocked to see that my two Grandchildren could not write cursive.  Then they told me the school will not teach cursive.  Before, they learned in Catholic school but now, in public school, they have forgotten how to do so.  For me, not knowing how to do so is a mistake.  It is another example of the laziness shown in our education system in the US.  I know that today, no one writes anymore, they use keyboards, Iphones, etc. They do not know how to write a signature.  They do not want to read either, just get the gadget that converts text to speech.  OK, I am old and old fashioned but it saddens me to see cursive writing disappearing in our Society.

A 73-year-old Darwin resident was delighted when he met a flirtatious younger woman while on holiday in the Philippines.

But the next morning, he woke up stranded, feeling groggy and $3400 poorer. Retiree Keith Sauerwald told ninemsn he met the woman in a shady part of Manila on Friday, February 1.  She said her name was Linda and she was going to visit Mount Pinatubo, a volcano he was also hoping to see on his trip.  They decided to catch a bus together, along with three of her friends, and “Linda” became increasingly provocative as they drank, took photos and sang together at a karaoke bar.  ”Had I known what was about to happen, I would have left immediately,” Mr Sauerwald said.  But despite drinking less than one glass of beer, he soon started to feel very drunk.  ”I remember staggering out of the karaoke bar in what can only be described as an intoxicated state,” Mr Sauerwald said.  ”I couldn’t walk straight, but how could I be drunk? … I didn’t even have one glass.”
He said the group helped hold him up as he staggered across the road and checked him into a nearby hotel.  ”The absolute last thing I recall is being helped up the stairs,” he said.  ”I do not remember reaching my room, nor do I remember being put on the bed.”  He woke at 9.30am the next day and soon began to suspect he had been drugged. “There was no one in the room except me and the bed had not been slept in,” he said. “I started to become more than a little worried.  ”I checked my wallet and the first thing I noticed was my credit card was upside down.”  Still feeling under the weather, he staggered to the lobby to see the thieves leaving but wasn’t able to follow them.  He managed to make it back to Manila and checked his bank account.  ”My account showed that six consecutive withdrawals were made from my credit card,” he said.  ”They left me with just $1.23 on my credit card.”
Also missing was much of the cash from his wallet and his Sony camera.  At the time he was one month into a three-month trip through Asia, which was cut short after the theft.  After returning to Australia, Mr Sauerwald said Manila police told him they were still investigating the incident and were sifting through CCTV footage from the ATM machines used.  ”My hopes for the outcome (of this story) is that they’ll catch them,” he said.
“I don’t give a damn about the money because thankfully NAB has paid back every cent that I lost (on the credit card).”  A police report into the incident said Mr Sauerwald may have fallen victim to the “dreaded Ativan Gang”, which preys upon solo tourists by gaining their trust and lacing their drink with the sedative Ativan.

The report said the matter had been referred to the Angeles City Police Station for investigation.  Source: Keith Sauerwald, Manila Police District.  (The person who sent me this story said it is not good for Angeles City.  Hey, I disagree. It is not good for Manila.  This guy was a bit careless.  First he picks a lady up in a “shady area” in Manila (Bad move #1).  Then gets on a bus with her along with three of her “friends”. (Bad move number 2″) and heads to Angeles City, no doubt a place he has never been to before.  In Angeles they drink at a karaoke (bad move #3), drinking with strangers.  Linda was getting “provocative”, sure, in other words she was leading up to sex and old Keith was falling for it.  I have met many good lads from Darwin who come here on a regular basis and they are 100 times smarter than this old Keith.  He fell into a trap that many inexperienced travelers to this part of the world fall into.  I wonder how he made it back to Manila without any money?  Oh well, it is another scam that visitors have to be warned of.  This gang has been around for years, makes you kind of think the police investigations are not all that successful)

Not too long ago I had heard that Doug Slade, owner of Home Based Pies, had been shot and wounded in the arm.  I did not know for sure that this happened but recently I was able to confirm the incident.  There is a possible motive for the attack but I will refrain from giving any details.  I will say though, that it appears a bit of his past problems from years back might have reared its ugly head again.

Congrats to Mario, Ice Bar on his acquisition of the T&A Bar.

The Dynamic Steve, Friends Bar has taken over what used to be the Sunshine Bar and will be opening soon.  He had a bit of delay in getting a new name approved but has gotten over that hurdle.

I like this definition:  ‘Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth theproposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.’****

Message to the Tooth Fairy (Alan J. Parker), exalted member of the Doghouse Boys from Melbourne.  It is with great regret that I was not present during your annual barhopping visit to my “Stable”.  For the first time in a number of years I missed out on taking your group picture.  I do not know if you had any new faces but hopefully, next year I will be on hand to greet you.  Unfortunately, I was attending a meeting during your visit and missed seeing a group of fun guys I look forward to seeing each year.  So, stay well, stay drunk, work hard (Only Melbourne Dogs can do all three at the same time) and I will see you in 2014.

TRUE DELICIOUS INDIAN FOOD – My recommendation remains with the Rasoi Restaurant in Hensonville.  From 1100 to 1400 hrs you can dine in or take out and get a 20% discount.  His the prices are not that expensive so that discount is a great incentive to eat there.  Stop by and tell Richard that the “Horse” said hello.

Over the years I have eaten at the Holiday Inn many, many times with the wife and friends.  In fact we belong to the “Priority Privilege Club” which I strongly recommend to one and all.  You can imagine my surprise and dismay when after dining at the Mequeni on the evening of 24 May upon arriving home I immediately had to head for the bathroom.  Not once, but three times before I could go to bed. Then I woke up at 0300 hours and threw up three times.  I did not recover until late in the afternoon the next day.  I suspect that maybe I ate too much of the butter bread pudding.  It happened to be a Friday night and I never ate there on a Friday before as it is seafood night and I do not like fish.  But I do gobble up the shrimp.  I doubt that I will go there on a Friday again but for sure you will still see me on any other day of the week.  I truly love eating at both Holiday Inn restaurants and will continue to do so but I wonder if I was the only one who got sick that night.  Maybe I just ate too much, but I always do that when dining there.  Oh well, strange things happen once in a while.  But, honestly, sign up for the Priority Privilege program, it is a damn good deal.  Check it out with the marketing folks there.

On the 14th of May Carmen and Michael Castle married.  This is the first marriage for both of them and I promised him that I would post his picture.  It was a quiet ceremony, nothing fancy because Mike is on a limited budget but they sure were happy and very much in love with each other.  Mike has been living quietly here in AC for a few years and he made contact with me when he was having problems with a local company.  It has all been sorted out and finally he has peace of mind and now, a new wife, to help him.  Life is fine now for Michael.

TRI-CARE DEMO PROGRAM BEGINNING TO FAIL - Recently I wrote a message to Global24 telling them that Sacred Heart Hospital might drop out of the program because the doctors were not being paid for their services by Tri-Care.  I also explained that Global24 had not adequately trained the HMO people in Sacred Heart on the use of proper coding to send to Wisconsin.  They sent me a less than adequate reply.  Now, I received this message from Dr.  Quintos, Sacred Heart: “FYI the Tricare Demo program at Sacred Heart will be suspended effective June 1 because of failure of Tricare to update payments – as of last week accounts receivables have totaled approximately P6 million since Jan this year.”  I suspect that AUF will follow suit in the near future.  I put this squarely on the shoulders of Global24 and also Tri-Care as they have not properly trained the personnel here in the proper codes to use when submitting the Doctors professional fees.  This a program that is needed here and should have worked but but something is going horribly wrong.

New Philippine Law – keep an eye on this one.  It was only a matter of time but I am sure the police will find ways to use this to their financial advantage.

MANILA, Philippines–Don’t drink and drive. This time the authorities mean it.

This admonition against drunk driving now comes with tough penalties—a fine of as much as P500,000, as well as a corresponding jail term.

President Aquino signed on May 27 Republic Act No. 10586, otherwise known as the Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs and Other Similar Substances.

The anti-drunk and -drugged driving law, which was designed to ensure road safety, takes effect 15 days after its publication.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, who announced the signing of the law in a Palace briefing, admitted that it could be open to abuse, especially by traffic enforcers who would demand bribes from motorists.

However, she said grievance mechanisms were in place.

“We encourage the reporting of law enforcement officers who may want to take advantage of this law,” Valte said of the safety nets for motorists against “kotong (extortion) cops.”

The law mandates the Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and deputized local traffic enforcers to conduct sobriety tests on drivers suspected of drunk driving.

Motorists may be pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) by a “law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or similar substances by apparent indications and manifestations.”

According to the law, the telltale signs of a DUI are “overspeeding, weaving, lane straddling, sudden stops, swerving, poor coordination, evident smell of alcohol in a person’s breath or signs of use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances.”

Traffic enforcers are required to use a breath analyzer (breathalyzer), a gadget to determine the blood alcohol concentration level of a person through testing of his or her breath.

“Your law enforcement agencies are now empowered under this law to conduct field sobriety, chemical and confirmatory tests,” said Valte.

“If the law enforcement officer feels that there is any indication that the driver is under the influence of the relevant substances, under this law he may pull you over and ask you to undertake a sobriety test,” she said.

Failing the sobriety test, the person under question may be subjected to a breathalyzer.

The law, however, does not specify the “level of intoxication” needed to fall within the definition of a DUI.

Instead of setting a threshold level, the law gives the determination to the Department of Health, National Police Commission and Department of Transportation and Communications.

In the United States, the current blood alcohol level limit is pegged at 0.08 percent.

For drivers suspected of driving under the influence of illegal drugs, law enforcement officers may bring the driver to the nearest police station for drug testing.

There shall be compulsory alcohol and/or chemical testing, including a drug screening test, of drivers involved in motor accidents, as mandated by Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

Aside from the mandatory testing of drivers involved in accidents, the law calls for “direct liability of operators and/or owner of the offending vehicle” of public utility vehicles, delivery vans, cargo trucks, container trucks, school and company buses, hotel transports, cars or vans for rent and taxi cabs.

The vehicle owner and offending driver will be principally held liable for civil damages.

Penalties range from three-month imprisonment and fines of P20,000 to P80,000 if the violation did not result in physical injuries.

The fines get heavier if the violation results in physical injury.

“The fine goes up to P100,000 to P200,000 and the penalty for imprisonment also goes up. If the violation involves homicide, the fine goes up to P300,000 to P500,000, as well as the penalty for imprisonment,” said Valte.

The law also funds the acquisition of equipment (breath analyzers and drug-testing kits) and nationwide training seminars for deputized law enforcers, to be taken from the Special Road Safety Fund (derived from the motor vehicle user’s charge) and the General Appropriations Act.

Section 4 mandates driver’s education to be part of procedures for getting or renewing one’s driver’s license.

“Driver’s education should now include the course on the information relative to safe driving, including the consequences of driving or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of the aforementioned substances,” Valte said.

She said the Philippine Information Agency, Land Transportation Office and local government units involved have been mandated to conduct a nationwide information campaign on the effects and parameters of this particular law.

Valte said the law had a “provision for training” of traffic personnel for conducting sobriety tests.

Sorry to report , but the grim reaper has taken my friend and long time Angeles resident Wade Conger. Wade was a real fun guy when I first met him, and he was a regular @ both the Gentleman’s Club , and Alaska . Eventually, he found his wife Emily on Date in Asia.com, and had been so happy that he stopped going to the clubs. He had many health issues over the years, but it was finally esophageal cancer that got him. I’m sure I’m not alone in missing him.  Ferrari Doug.

Jess Eres passed away in hospital on Apr 29.  I did not learn of his passing in time to put it in my May column.  Jess was well known to most Club owners in Angeles City as he was very close to the Mayor and his appointment putting him in charge of the Angeles City Entertainment Promotions Office (ACEPO)  made him even more visible.  He had a heart attack and was in the AUF ICU unit for a few days before his heart and organs gave up on him.  His wake at Holy Mary was well attended and flowers of condolence were lined up wall to wall.  I knew Jess, he knew me and we did not always agree but he always took the time to talk to me whenever I contacted him and we had a mutual respect for each other.  My condolences to his family, he was far too young to to go this suddenly.  I know he had many plans for the future, he will be missed in City Hall as well as his wife Rica and children George, Irene and Boyd.

Hi Harry, Just heard me ol’ drinkin/darts/tennis mate Billy Bates died last week (3rd or 4th May), in Newcastle, Australia.  Bill was a real character, always there with a smile and some earthy Aussie banter! He was an A/C resident pre and post Pinatubo, and ran a small sewing shop, making anything that needed making for the local bars/restaurants.  Hope all’s well with you “H”.  John Ord.

AC T-Shirt fame.  Sad news… My old long time mate, Billy Bates, passed away last Thursday or Friday in New Castle.  Funeral details, 14th May at 11 a.m. Roy Hope Crematorium New Castle. Bluey Lewis.  Keith Gray also sent me a note on the sad passing of his mate.  This from Keith:  ”bill bates lived in angeles city from 1978 to 1994 in the early days he was working periodically in the oilfields but in the early 80.s he started the first t shirt business in angeles which he ran until his return to oz. he died on the 3rd may aged 78 cause of death lung cancer.well known to the racqueteers tennis club while living in Angeles City.”  Additional info follows:

Thanks for the reply Bluey. Last I had heard, Billy was off the piss but that was a long time ago. Regards, Noel.
Verdun John Lewis wrote:
hi noel, billy died from a demon 2weeks on the piss he has a army mate who lives near me here in brisbane who was his drinking mate who put him on the plane here in brisbane in a wheel chair.  They took him off the flight at Newcastle the same way, this was Thursday.  I rang thursday night, no answer, same again saturday (he lived alone). Sunday, his sister answered, told me they found him dead Saturday time of death cause i did know he had a bad cough which nearly killed him before, belching up blood.  i put a bucket beside his bed in case he belched up blood here but he said he had not brought up any blood, me been a non drinker, kept telling him to have a day off he reckoned the 4x was like drinking malt.  he had been living a good life he inherited his sisters house paid one bloke 50bucks to mow the grass another 50 to weed the garden. him and his mate were both punters.  billy had a spot on his lung, something he did not like to talk about.  Cheers blue lewis –  p.s forward this on to the angry mob.


I am so glad to be able to put this announcement in here.  You know why?  Because today when I loaded it up the electricity went off and I lost it all.  Of course I cussed and jumped up and down and was pissed.  Then, later in the evening I tried again, no internet.  Reset my router, got internet.  Then I had to try three times to get the picture downloaded to this page.  I am frustrated.  So, after all that effort, please attend the Howard McKay/Doggie Dave night of raucous music on Tuesday, 18 Jun, 7 PM at the Blue Boar Inn “Stable”.  Now, let me save this before the juice goes off  and I lose it all again!


Maybe it comes with age but I find that I try to avoid cemeteries, I guess they remind me that I am getting a bit too close to that final resting place.  But, when I was in Las Vegas I visited, with my wife and son a  place just out of town called Goodsprings.  We were visiting the Pioneer Saloon there, a place I want to visit again some year.  Anyway, we did a bit of exploring, driving up the hill a bit to check out houses and we came across the Goodsprings Cemetery.  We stopped and went in and I was really touched by the place.  It was on a hill, nothing fancy, a good view of the desert and the mountains.  I kind of thought that this is a nice place to be buried.  Goodsprings is a small community and it sort of made me think of the old movie pictures I saw that had scenes of “Boot Hill”.  When I saw the headstones with the names of a World War one veteran and a World War two veteran I kind of felt they deserved a salute. The graves were simple but they depicted love and respect for those buried.  Why would I mention this now.  I guess because the unconditional surrende of all German Forces was signed on 7 May 45; V.E Day was 8 May 45, Memorial Day was 27 May, Invasion of Normand (D-Day), 6 Jun 44 and the Korean war began on 25 Jun 1950.  All those dates reminded me of all the veterans buried at the Clark Cemetery and also those few buried at the Goodsprings Cemetery, Nevada.  I will visit them again. (Eh, I may even add a beer can to the one below.  Nothing wrong with a beer lover)













The Peregrine Management L.L.C Inc. company, well known for their construction project on Clark(Global Gateway Logistics City) have added build to order housing to their resume.  I attended a combined open house/house warming event at one of the completed houses.  It was impressive and the owner was very, very proud of the house.  He and his wife were excellent hosts.  Peregrine offers quality construction and I was impressed with the finished product.  The amenities included are impressive, i.e., 11kg heavy duty dryer and 10.5kg heavy duty washer, 6 SQM nook bar & 12 SQMBar, 21 cu ft refrigerator, 60 CM rangehood, 50″ inch plasma TV & 43″ inch plasma home theater and much more.  In other words, stateside designs and workmanship.  When I visited I was surprised to see how the Pulu Amsic Subdivision has developed so much and so quickly.  There are a lot of expats/foreigners living in this sub-division.  I was surprised as it was not too long ago that it was an empty field located behind the Angeles City Sports Club.  The only thing I did not like was the closeness of the houses.  The house I visited was very nice indeed, but one side of the house was attached to the neighboring house and the division on the other side was quite small.  It did remind me of the US in which the houses are nearly on top of each other.  Also, I am a bit funny about bathrooms.  If one is able to build a house to one’s specifications why spend all that money and have the toilet in the master bathroom right next to the sink.  I have seen people build 10 million peso houses and still put that damn toilet in open view next to the sink.  OK, that is just a pet peeve of mind.  But, I do believe you will want to get more information on these Peregrine houses so take a look see on www.peregrinedc.com.  Oh, the price range is between P7.6 and 9.0 million dependent on amenities and lot.





At a hearing on Wednesday 8th. May,in Angeles by City, Philippines, Ken Graham, an Australian Retiree, 76 years of age was ordered back to jail from his hospital bed.,by a Regional Trial Court Judge.  Mr. Graham who had decided to retire in the Philippines with his Australian/Filipina wife had been forced to help out with his Wife

Lydia’s family business of a small hotel and bar when she unexpectedly died of a heart attack in February 2012. Ken was arrested in late March in the same year at his private residence on charges ranging from Human Trafficking, operating a bar, prostitution and dancers wearing improper uniforms. to name a few.  Ken has already spent over 13 months in detention, 11 months of which have been in hospital where he has been diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver Stage 4 , Hypertension, Cardiac Disrythmia, Prostatic Hyperplasma, Reflux, Bronchial Asthma, Gout and Deep Vein Thrombosis. He takes 21 different types of medicine a day and has four hourly nebulization and needs regular inhalation of oxygen.

Judge Erum said that the guards reported to the Jail Warden that he looked well and their opinion overrode the Specialist Government Doctor John Kit who had not been asked for an updated report.  Ken said this was an unexpected decision as Judge Erum is well known for her correctness and integrity which is unquestionable.  Mr Graham’s Attorney Francisco Yabut is filing Certiorari to the higher appeals court as he considers the decision inhumane. Dr Kit had submitted in February this year a report to the effect that it was against his patient’s interest to return to jail where his conditions would be exacerbated. . Dr Kit had not been asked for his opinion at yesterday’s hearings but reconfirmed to Mr Graham that he was too sick for jail. There have been 12 hearings so far in which the prosecution has presented its case. Several of the Prosecution Witnesses who worked in the Bar, under cross examination have said that the only thing Ken did was drink in the bar and talk to his friends and stayed for a short period each night due to his medical condition…He gave no orders in the bar to staff or participated in any management but was given respect by the staff as the husband of the owner/manager.

Mr Graham originally emmigrated to the Philippines in 1975 and as his wife was Filipina considered it unnecessary to take up Philippine citizenship. The family left at country in 2002 after financial hardship caused by the closure of the tourist entertainment area where he owned and operated a hotel..On return he was given the Australian age pension. After financially recovering from the previous losses the family decided that they would return to the Philippines in 2009 as homecare costs were so much cheaper and the Lydia’s family could help out in business, . The raid and closure of both the hotel and bar was devastative with the Police confiscating essential operational equipment such as computers from the English School and Internet Cafe as well as front office equipment CCTV’s and music programmes and the padlocking the businesses.

During the first 27 years in the Philippines Ken Graham was active in many and charitable and service organizations. In Angeles City he became member and President of the Angeles North Rotary Club where he spent 13 years as a member. In 1982 he was awarded the honour of being the first Australian to become a adopted son of that city for his promotion of Tourism.. He joined the Skal Club (Association of Tourist Professionals) in 1979 and rose from member to President of Manila to President of the Philippines and finally President of Asia. He also represented the Philippines as International Councilor on the World Council of that body. Ken was also a member of the Philippine Council of Tourism and represented the Philippines at an International meeting in Osaka. Mr Graham was a member and Director of the Australian – New Zealand Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years.

During the 400 days of incarceration there have been only 12 hearings all evidence from the prosecution. Ken was promised a speedy trial! He said it feels like a death sentence.with his condition deteriorating. As for being sent to jail from his hospital bed to prison Ken stated that he had been to jail in June last year which nearly killed him. The conditions are deplorable. Around 64 prisoners to a cell about 12 feet by 20feet. No beds. No ventilation except a small fan for all inmates.. One meal a day inedible. The electricity is turned off for four or five hours a night. So no use of the nebulizer if an asthma attack occurs. 2 small bathrooms. As he has needs a carer to wash him and help him this help is unavailable at the prison.He will remain unwashed.No mattresses or reading lights. Dr Kit has told both him and the court that Ken could not take these conditions which would cause his condition to worsen.

The trial is expected to take several more months. Ken’s concern is that a body called the International Jurist Mission (IJM) is taking an active part in the prosecution. They are heavily funded by United States people. There have been rumours that several witnesses have been coerced into giving false testimony. There have even been American lawyers present as onlookers and advisors. Ken feels as does his attorney that he is being persecuted by the IJM. They have gone out of their way to downplay his serious illnesses. The IJM also took their Philippine attorney to United States for over a month seriously delaying the trial.

To end, it is not a pleasant story. Ken needs help as Medical, Hospital and Legal services have exhausted his resources. Thanks to his four children Don, Chris, Kristina and Sophy have tirelessly both visited him and sent money support as has his brother Robert and sister Pat.  (This Ken Graham drama continues.  If he is removed from hospital and put into the City Jail I suspect he might find life extremely difficult and no doubt could become quite ill again.  It appears that local judges do not feel like listening to medical doctors and are not happy with long term stays in hospital.  I must say that I think Ken Graham has broken the record for length of stay under detention in a hospital.  The last being John Martin who was a victim of a blatant police set-up way back in June 2001.  He was under hospital arrest for six months.  Recently, a Judge ruled against the hospital stay of Bernd Gerbes as well, also against medical doctors advice and also an innocent victim)

A news release:

Qatar Airways has announced route expansion in three continents together with a huge increase in capacity in Pakistan as part of the Doha-based carrier’s continued aggressive growth strategy. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker announced the expansion during a press conference on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) . The Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa will become the carrier’s 20th destination on the African continent, launching on September 18, followed a month later by Clark International Airport in the Philippines from October 28. Effective March 1 next year, Philadelphia will become the airline’s fifth US gateway. In addition, Qatar Airways is significantly increasing capacity to Pakistan where it currently operates 17 flights each week across four cities of Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar.  Beginning next month from June 1, Qatar Airways will step up frequency to Pakistan by 60 percent to 28 flights each week — Karachi up from daily to double daily; Lahore from four to seven flights a week; and Peshawar securing an additional flight to three services each week.  “Yet again Qatar Airways is bucking the trend across the industry demonstrating that we are resilient in times of global economic austerity because while others are cutting back, we see the opportunities to expand our global footprint,” he said.  “Our three new routes we are announcing today show we have faith in expanding our operations across different continents. This year for example has certainly been the year of growth in the Middle East with five of our eight scheduled route launches in the region alone,” said the CEO.
“We stepped up capacity to the US, introducing Chicago as our fourth US gateway last month and will now add Philadelphia next year,” he said.

“Philadelphia is one of the major hubs of the soon-to-be-merged American Airlines/US Airways and will provide Qatar Airways’ customers with onward connections to over 100 cities across the US,” he said.

“With the implementation of code share agreements with American Airlines and JetBlue which offer numerous connections beyond our US gateways, Qatar Airways is making big strides to strengthen its presence in the United States to ultimately give our passengers greater travel options,” he said.

Al-Baker said: “We have been looking to fly to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for some time, and extremely delighted we will be able to do so later year as new aircraft join the fleet. And Clark International Airport in the Philippines provides us with great opportunities to boost our presence in the Greater Manila area and northern region of Luzon Island. This comes as good news for the well traveled Filipino community with ever increasing demand for flights to and from the country.”

Qatar Airways currently operates twice-daily scheduled flights to Manila.  Al-Baker also gave Middle East and international media an update on the reintroduction of the carrier’s five Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which began flying again last week on the Doha — Dubai route, with gradual phasing in over the next few weeks of the other aircraft on long-haul routes such as London Heathrow, Munich, Frankfurt and Zurich.  (Man, I can only hope homeland security and Immigration are beefing up their procedures in Chicago and Philadelphia to check out passengers arriving on Qatar Airways.  It seems like a good pipeline for some unsavory folks to enter the US.  OK already, so I am a bit nervous about folks in that part of the World) 


This is the beautiful young lady I introduced you to last month, but left out her details.  She was recommended to me by a reader of this column who was and still is mesmerized by Anne.  She is 26, he is, of course, much older and sensitive to that.  She works as a waitress at the ABC Hotel poolside bar, a beautiful setting for a beautiful lady.  It took me a while to meet with Anne.  She does not work every day and on the one day I was to interview her I became a bit ill.  I found that she works with a good friend of mine, the equally beautiful Princess, and she helped me arrange an interview.  Naturally, I enjoy any opportunity to visit the ABC and enjoyed a great 45 minutes chatting with Anne.  She is from Leyte, High School graduate and completed 2 years study as a computer secretary course.  She does have a four year old son, you saw them together in a picture last month.  There are 4 sisters and 2 brothers in the family.  Yes, she would love to marry and travel and would be happy with a man 45 and “older”.  When I mentioned “70″ she made a face and said “no, no”.  So, guys my age, don’t write to her!  She enjoys singing but indicated she is not a party girl.  In other words she would enjoy the quieter life of a house wife.  Sounds good to me.  Her Email address:  szungiberath_anne03@yahoo.com.


hi Harry, I know you have written about this before and thought the immigration problem was getting better, but apparently not if you read the below link. What can we do to get story out in media or politics, guess that’s only way some action will be taken?  http://www.philippines-travel-guide.com/philippine-immigration-departure-requirements.html

(If you can access the link you will be able to read at least 90 similar comments from as many “victims”.  For sure you will never read any of this in the local papers or on TV News.  This just shows how badly the Philippine Immigration officials treat their fellow citizens.  You can really get a sense of the anger that is bubbling up.  I still get some people writing and asking me what to do about getting their ladies through Immigration.  Now I just ask them to Google the subject and hope for the best) 


I was offloaded last July 10, 2012 for reasons I cannot fathom. I have recently resigned from my job which i have stayed with for 6 years due to the fact that I am planning to start a catering business with my brother, since I got a fairly decent separation pay from my employer, I decided to go on vacation and tour Malaysia sine I do not want to go thru the hassle of getting a Visa anymore. I have emailed Philippine embassy as well as Malaysia embassy prior to booking my flight to make sure I have the documents i will be needing. both told me that I just need my passport and return ticket itinerary with me.

The day of my departure came, I have with me my passport, ID’s, Return ticket, hotel booking itinerary and this good for nothing Immigration asked me questions abt my job. I told her I used to be an English teacher, based on her reaction I knew right away that they discriminate english teachers because they know that itis highly in demand in other developing countries. THE REASON SHE GAVE ME FOR DENYING ME TO BOARD MY PLANE WAS ” U MIGHT NOT COME BACK, I THINK U PLAN ON APPLYING FOR JOBS THERE”….. WTF! who gave u the right to deny me to board my plane just because of what you think!!! YOU are a public servant and taxes that I myself contribute to the government is the money used to pay you MORONS! It’s not like I have criminal records or anything. I have money I wanted to travel AND YET I CANNOT just because u dont feel like letting me pass through!!! BE OBJECTIVE, IMPLEMENT RULES, BE FAIR!!! wasting 15 to 20 thousand pesos is not easy to accept. If u had given me a fair reason why I cannot travel I would understand. YOU ALL ARE ILL MANNERED!!! DID u expect people u denied boarding to kneel in front of you, cry and beg?! IF I HAD ONLY TALKED TO ONE OF THE AIRPORT GUARDS EARLIER THAT DAY I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT YOU GUYS JUST WANTED A FEW EXTRA MONEY IN BETWEEN THE PAGES OF MY PASSPORT!!!


Won’t look into my papers – by: Badong 

I had an experience with these immigration officers once. It was my second time to travel out of the country. I got to the immigration gates when I was questioned what I was going to do in my country of destination. When I told them the answer that I was going to visit my wife they insisted on seeing our marriage certificate which I stored in my check-in baggage(my bad). The officer started to berate me with other questions( most of which were unnecessary) which I answered calmly. All of these happened with the officer not even taking a peek into my passport. I repeatedly told him to look into my passport to see that I have gone out of the country and came back on time. He didn’t bother to look at into it and instructed me to move out of the line and go into the nearby booth to fill out some kind of affidavit which I was absolutely positive not necessary. I almost missed my flight but they don’t seem to care when after about 15-20 minutes the officer finally decided to take a peek into my passport and saw the records marked therein.I remember clearly that he kept asking this question which was clearly marked in my visa, ‘do you have a sponsor in the country where you are going?’. Yes, I answered that question in the positive and pointed it out on the visa which he refused to read. I was so lucky I still caught my flight. This situation did not happen only to me. There was this lady and two other persons who were supposed to be on the same plane as I was. I never saw them on that flight. Why won’t he look into my papers? Why does he keep asking questions which I have answered consistently? Can’t he read? Why is it so difficult to get out of our country? If I missed that flight my wife could have been suspended from work or worse she would have lost her job. The company that my wife worked for sponsored my visit and it would have been a waste of their resources if I was not on that flight just because this particular officer refused to read the papers evidencing that I have left and come back into our country. It is so unnerving for a Filipino to travel out of his own country when these people who are supposed to help you ease the difficulty are the ones who make it hell for you to even get to the plane. I understand that these Immigration officers and their superiors have a difficult job but that doesn’t mean that they have to make it difficult for us to leave our country whether we are looking for a job abroad, or for a holiday or pleasure, and specially when we go to visit our loved ones who have sacrificed to leave the country to provide a better future for their families. Filipinos may be timid at times but they are not stupid . But timid or not Filipinos are persons just the same as any other citizen in the world. We deserve proper respect and courtesy.Oh and what is up with that travel tax?Is it used for the airport’s maintenance? The airport looks and feels the same as I saw it the first time during the 80′s.

Dynasties tighten grip on Philippines

Date: May 21, 2013 – 1:55PM Lindsay Murdoch (an Australian reporter)

The Ampatuan clan was never going to be thrown out of power, despite being accused of killing 58 people, including 32 members of the media in one of the worst massacres in modern Philippine history.  The latest count in the country’s mid-term elections has family members, including three wives of senior clan figures, who are facing murder charges, winning 19 local government positions.  The women were elected town mayors while 16 other family members were elected vice-mayors and councillors in Maguindanao, a Muslim-dominated southern province, deepening fears that justice may never be served in the 2009 killings that prosecutors say were a bid to quash a rival’s challenge to become governor.

Bobby Tuazon, director for policy studies at the Philippine Centre for People Empowerment in Governance, said the elections last week had entrenched the dominance of political dynasties across the country in a brazen display of oligarchic power.

“With political dynasties even more entrenched in the House of Representatives and Senate, hopes are now dim on the filing of an anti-dynasty enabling law,” Professor Tuazon said, referring to a Supreme Court petition last year aimed at ending dynastic rule in the country.  Professor Tuazon said while the Philippines has been ruled by political families since the turn of the 20th century their new strategy was to field more family members for more elective positions in what they saw as a win-win situation.

The Ampatuan family, which denies involvement in the massacre, fielded 80 candidates last week.  ”The political system is dominated by oligarchs and democracy is at best accurately described as ‘elite democracy’ – a democracy in form and procedure without substance,” Professor Tuazon said.  Records show that 160 families have continuously served in both houses of the Philippine parliament since 1907.

The family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos perpetuated its dominance in his home province of Ilocos Norte at the election, with his 83 year-old wife Imelda winning 88 per cent of the vote for a seat in her nation’s lower house.  Marcos’ eldest daughter Imee was elected unopposed as governor of the province while his son Ferdinand junior is a serving congressman gearing up for a presidential bid in 2016.  (This is the lady that used to cry that she was poor and did not have any money.  The lady who fled to the US with her husband with misguided US help)

Joseph Estrada, the former president forced from office over corruption allegations in 2001, won as mayor of Manila while his son Joseph Victor won a Senate seat and Mr Victor’s mother won re-election as mayor of San Juan in Manila.  (This one makes me think of the song, “send in the clowns).  Mr Estrada’s nephew Emilio Ramon Ejercito won re-election as governor of Laguna, a neighbouring province of Manila and another son, Jose, is an incumbent senator.

Vice-president Jejomar Binay was not running in the elections but his family was a big winner: daughters Nancy and Abigail won parliamentary seats while his son and namesake Jejomar junior was re-elected mayor of Makati.

The Singsons, the oldest political clan whose members have held power since 1823, won nine elective posts. One of the winners was Ronald Singson, who three years ago was sentenced to 14 months in jail in Hong Kong for cocaine possession. He regained the lower house seat he had vacated after the conviction.

Another former president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, won more than 88 per cent of the vote to get a second term as a congresswoman in her home province of Pampanga, despite facing multiple corruption charges. (She is still confined to hospital yet won without any effort on her part)

A report by the Centre for People Empowerment, a local public policy centre founded in 2004, said the dynastic rule was generated by public perceptions that dynasties were above the law, giving their candidates a 30 per cent greater chance of winning than non-traditional rivals.

Jose Rodriguez was unopposed as mayor of San Marcelino, north-west of Manila, although he is on trial for the alleged rape of a 12 year-old girl in 2010. He denies the charge.

Cipriano Violago has gone underground after winning a hard fought mayoralty race in San Rafael, a town 40 kilometres north of the capital. He is wanted on a charge of killing a policeman, a claim he denies.

The election success of the Ampatuan family follows the assassinations of three witnesses and three potential witnesses in the trials of 93 people accused of involvement in the massacre, some of them the alleged gunmen.

Noemi Parcon, whose journalist husband was among those who died, said the election results “could really crush the people’s hopes that those responsible for the massacre will be punished”.

(So ended the May elections with interesting results.  Other politicians with colorful records, like Gringo and Trillanes were also elected.  Locally, Mayor Ed Pamintuan won reelection to continue the Pamintuan family hold on local politics.  The Pamintuans, Lazatins and Nepomucenos have been the political forces in Angeles City for many years.  The elections appeared to be pretty peaceful with no major scandals or violence.  The businesses on Fields Ave and Perimeter Road suffered a major slow down of customers because of the Comelec announcement of a 5 day ban on liquor sales instead of two.  Many bars were prepared to close during this period and there was a mad scramble to obtain “waivers”.  This was well publicized but then just two days before it was to take effect the court stepped in and declared that the Comelec did not have the authority to add three days to the liquor ban and declared the normal two day ban would be exercised instead.  It was too late to bring back the many tourists who had decided to skip trips to Angeles City during this time.  It was an interesting time and now all is back to normal)

Lets see, hard to count the medals.  I do recognize some of them:  Legion of Starvation (For starving over 300 peasants); Pistol Expert (For shooting in the head 100 peasants); Loyalty Medal (For kissing the ass of the Great Leader); Education Medal (For graduating from Elementary School); Restraint Medal (For not trying to f–k the Great Leaders Wife) and many many more except I can’t see the good conduct medal.  It must be sewn to the ass end of their underwear.  These North Korean uniforms remind me of the “Pearlies” I used to see when stationed in England many years ago but they had talent and brains.


Well, school is just around the corner for those of us that have kids. My kids are excited to get back in school and see all their friends. My daughter will be graduating this year – my how time flies!! My daughter and friends went to Wendy’s at Harbor Point Mall on SBMA, and she reported to me that Wendy’s has in fact straightened up their act and the burgers are now larger than the one that I got when they first opened (mine wasn’t any bigger than a silver dollar). So I guess we will give it another try in the future. If you are in the barrio area, and are walking, be real careful, especially at night, as there is a gang of filipino’s that stalk foreigners and rob them. Also in the barrio, Bubbly Bones Restaurant is under new management, as Paul had to go back to the states to address some medical issues. The new owner, Mark, has told us that nothing on the present menu will change but that he does plan to open earlier and serve breakfast and may add a few new items. Prices will remain the same on both the food and drinks. I go to Bubbly Bones frequently, along with Dynamite Dicks (best burgers in town). If you have been to barrio recently, you may notice there is construction going on beside Mango’s where Islander and Little Wheel bars used to be. I heard from a reliable source the plan is to build a Chow King restaurant and a hotel. The Wednesday Dart League came to an end on May 29. There will be a meeting on June 5 to elect new officers, go over rules and collect entry fees from old and new teams wishing to participate. The league will begin on June 12. The Harbor Point Mall on SBMA has been expanding every day, and there are a lot of new stores and restaurants that have opened. Elsa takes the kids there quite a bit – I am not much of a shopper, so I leave that up to her. I don’t know a lot about the retirement visa, but I have been told there will be a meeting at Sit ‘n Bull restaurant in barrio on June 11 at 2 p.m. for those that are interested in attending. Well, that’s about it from barrio. Make sure you buy a new umbrella if you need one because rainy season is very close to being here.


This month we have a bit of an interesting story here.  Featured are Gary and Loraine Brown.  Naw, they are not married.  Gary is the son of George Brown and Loraine is the daughter.  George had told me that his daughter, who he had not seen in 25 years was visiting but he was taken by surprise when his son showed up as well.  Needless to say was extremely happy to see both of them and believe me, you could not ask for a better host.  I was pleased when a few days before they were to return home George brought them to my stable for a visit along with a few of his mates.  Loraine and Gary were extremely happy with the visit and loved the Philippines.  They came all the way from Stonehouse, Scotland and both are still single.  Loraine works at the Larkhall Leisure Center as a recreation assistant and Gary works as a forklift operator at the Argos Catalog Center.  Never heard of Argos before but I was told it is the biggest in Scotland.  I don’t think 25 years will pass before their return visit and I am sure Gary might have caught a taste of the Angeles City virus and is already planning his return trip.  Their out of town trip to Marinduque, where George has a bungalow on the beach was the highlight of their trip or maybe it was the visit to my Stable.  What do you think George?


How come it seems like Mother’s Day comes along faster with each passing year.  Isn’t it great how we husbands and boyfriends look forward to this each year?  Of course we do realize that it is another one of those important dates that we better not forget.  Flowers and dinner out is on the menu.  The flowers used to be a bit of a hassle to get because there was no flower shop in the Clarkview area so I had an excuse but no longer can I say that.  Right in front of Daniela Apartments and the VFW is a neat little flower shop.  I ordered flowers ahead of time and they delivered them on Mother’s Day while “Priscilla” was in church.  Great start!  Now, where to go for dinner. It has been some time since we had been to the Oasis Hotel dining room.  I remembered what a great buffet they have there and the pleasant atmosphere.  I figured it would be perfect for dinner and it certainly was.  The food, service and atmosphere was absolutely great.  The Mrs was happy, I was happy and maybe I will repeat the whole process again next year.







After the great dinner at the Oasis we went back to the “stable” and met up with the other family moms who were playing cards.  They were bored so they threw in the cards and said “lets go for coffee”.  OK, fine, but where?  We decided to check out the new Nepo Quad even though it was already around 9:30 PM and boy did we love it.  I have been here for years and am very familiar with the Nepo area which is near to the Angeles Electric Company main building.  Plus I play Santa at Nepo Mall.  The real old timers remember the NEPO market as a big time Black Market outlet for BX goods when the Americans were here.  A lot of military wives used to make some extra spending money back then, especially the Filipina and Vietnamese spouses.  The challenge was “how to beat Merchandise Control”.  Anyway, that is another story and a bit of history.  What is exciting is to see the transformation of this area into a place where all ages will now want to go to eat, drink coffee or just hang out in a safe environment up to as late as 0100 hrs.  It is very exciting to see.  New eateries, coffee shops and restaurants are opening there.  Even 24 hr MacDonald’s is nearby.  Outside dining is offered as well inside and it is great to have a meal or snack there at night time.  There is plenty of parking and it is well lighted.  It sort of a Parisian atmosphere, in fact one restaurant, the Gustav has a mini-Eiffel tower in front, great for taking pictures.  We ate a snack and drank coffee for two hours at the Gasto Harbor Point and enjoyed watching the folks passing by.  We walked down a bit to take pictures in front of the Gustav Cafe.  I was able to talk to the manager who was greeting people outside and learned that another Gustav Cafe will be opening in the new area across the street from the Jolly Bee located on Fields Ave.  In fact, it looks like something similar to the Nepo Quad is developing there as well.  That should add an interesting feature to the Fields Ave area.  You really have to check out this area, it is exciting, I love it.  Hell, you might see me there with my gang of moms and husbands or just with Priscilla for a romantic evening.







MANILA, Philippines — Four girls, including a minor, were rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation from being forced to work as guest relations officer in a bar in Pampanga.  The recruiter, who was arrested and charged with human trafficking, was identified in the NBI report as Herminigilda Hermosa Mañalac, 49, of Habilan, Floridablanca, Pampanga.

Agents of the NBI Central Luzon Regional Office (CELRO) National Capital Region (NCR) acted on an intervention request in Cebu from the International Justice Mission (IJM), a non-government organization handling cases involving human trafficking and sexual exploitation, about two sisters who were enticed to work in Pampanga.

The two were recruited by a certain Jacklyn in Cebu City and were turned over to Mañalac in Pampanga.  When told that they were to work as GROs at Princess Refreshment, the girls refused but they were padlocked in a room and a guard was posted outside.  One of the sisters was able to contact her mother through her cell phone and asked to be rescued.  The mother in turn sought the help of IJM which referred the matter to the NBI earlier this week.
NBI operatives together with some social workers conducted a rescue operation, leading to Mañalac’s arrest and the rescue of two other workers.  The victims were turned over to DSWD for debriefing and counseling in preparation to their eventual return to their province.

 (I am including this only to show that once in a while the authorities do raid somewhere else besides Angeles City.  There are some similarities in that, once again, a “mother” is used to start the ball rolling.  Also, of course, you see the use of the International Justice Mission (IJM).  Question:  If you are going to lock girls up, why do you allow them to have their cell phones?  In the legitimate Clubs in the entertainment district of Fields Ave/Perimeter Road you never hear of any ladies being “locked up”.  In fact, if you went and interviewed every woman working in the Clubs I venture to guess that NONE would say they want to be rescued.  My question is, if you can identify an underage girl, especially one who is planted, then just arrest her and the Mamasan and the City officials who issued her the proper four different ID clearances?  Instead, they take all the girls, harass them, scare them, try to get them to make false statements, and abuse their legal rights.  Just as I was writing this I was informed that 14 women taken during the Camelot raid who were SUSPECTED of being underage are still being held at the DSWD Cabanatuan.  During this detention they were forced to sign papers under pressure. The attorney for the girls has filed a motion for desistance.  All the girls have already signed an affidavit in front of a judge stating that they ARE NOT victims.  Finally, these women should be released soon.  
The six ladies still in prison at 174 plus Berny are still going through the legal process (Court Hearings) and it is hoped that with no evidence of wrong doing that the cases against them will be dismissed.  The next hearing will be on 10 Jun at 0830 hrs and I sure do plan to be there. Hopefully to hear that all charges have been dismissed.  It is still in the court of Judge Buan and she appears to be smart, sharp and fair)   


Ah Hah, if you missed this performance it is your fault.  I told you in advance to buy tickets.  I paid, I ate, I listened and had a great evening doing so.  A good sum of money was raised for charity to include underprivileged children, residents in an old peoples home (No, I do not live there) and the gift of life program.  It was held at the Noblesse International School, a very upscale, well regarded school.  This was a first for the school and the event was held in their spacious auditorium, to my dismay, on the second floor.  It took me ten minutes to get up the stairs.  Regardless of the stairs, I think the venue was perfect as was the food and of course the singing.  I also enjoyed listening to the performance of the N.I.S Violin Ensemble.  Don’t laugh but I took up violin in Junior High School and in High School.  I kick myself for not pursuing it seriously, I could have been another Jack Benny.  No doubt the Choir will return next year so plan on attending.  By the way, thanks go to Kokomo’s Bar for providing the beverages and running the bar and contributing all funds earned to be donated to the Charity.  Additionally, thanks go to the Blue Boar Inn and Garfields for the waitresses.  The two pictured above came from the Blue Boar.

















I think the Wild Orchid Hotel is one of top hotels in Angeles City to stay at when visiting this area.  I have always liked it from the time it was built, through its expansion up to the present day.  I like the staff and the management.  I respect and enjoy the company of Kevin Wakely and Manager Dave Crowe.  Dave has been a friend since the days of the Powder Keg.  I am sure many folks remember that place. I am writing now because of the latest addition to the lobby of the Wild Orchid and that is the addition of the Sarong Lounge.  The Mrs and I stopped by there late one Saturday evening to have coffee and check out the place.  I had heard quite a few complimentary remarks on the grapevine about how great it was and that it was a very nice place to visit in the afternoons and early evenings.  I meant to get there earlier then I did to take some pictures of it when it was full of customers.  We did not get there until after 10 PM and caught Dave just as he was leaving for home.  He was nice enough to stop and host us for an hour.  I was very impressed.  It is a mini sports lounge with a very comfortable seating.  The atmosphere is such that you do not want to leave once there.  Despite the late hour I took pictures because I hoped to be able to show you how nice it is.  The TV’s are strategically located, the waitresses in their Sarongs are very nice and easy to talk to.  You can visit just to drink, have coffee, chat, meet friends and also have any meal off the menu.  I will visit again, but at an earlier time.


UPDATE:  This was a full scale raid.  Girls arrested.  Bar shut down.  There was about 6 vans.  West, the manager and all the girls taken away.  Spearmint Bar also closed as all the girls ran away.

Please note that both these bars are owned by Ray Kelly who suffered a raid a couple of years ago where he was arrested along with two managers and they spent months in jail.  Is this some sort of vendetta on the part of the NBI?  NBI personnel even went through Phillie’s Sports Grill looking for someone from next door.

NEW: OK, the above was printed in my breaking news last month.  Mgr West, the Mamasans and some girls are still being kept at Camp Olivas as of 30 May.  There has been an inquest and now they are waiting for paperwork from Manila.  So, they are in the “system” and shortly they will be transferred to the City Jail to keep company with the folks from Camelot. They do have a very good lawyer and he is working hard to find legal technicalities that may or may not be helpful.

The reason I posted the picture above is because she was one of my “I Would If I Could” girls last month.  She worked at Eager Beaver and a reader of my column tried to write to her but her Email did not work.  Sure hope she is not one of the ladies being detained.

I do believe that is it for this month.  School starts this month so on this first weekend in June we have to go to Subic one day for lunch and a little sightseeing. We always enjoy that drive on the SCTEX.   Priscilla still won’t let me drive.  Was surprised today to see the Peso rate to the dollar went to P42.15.  Good timing as we are building a guest house at our farm and that will help with construction costs.
Hey Joe T.  Here’s a picture to remind you of the couple you are accused of murdering in their beds.  You even attended the funeral before you skipped town.  Remember?  Are you feeling the heat in Bangkok?  Do you smell the cops getting closer to wherever you are hiding?  I just wanted to say hello.
June is here and I am sure we will have some serious rains soon.  Don’t forget the Miss Pinatubo contest on 15 Jun at the Wild Orchid.  Great time for pictures.  The contestants are not just those represented by various clubs but independents as well.  See you there and all the ladies MUST be kind to horses.



LIST OF TRAITORS (Folks these are not my words.  I do not feel these characters are “Traitors”, just idiots that were voted into office.  It does not surprise me to see Harry Reid’s name listed.  I have written before how Obama and Hillary were anxious to give away our sovereignty on this issue and how I was against it.  For now, it has been avoided but our elected dictator President will try again)

Over the weekend, we came four votes away from the United States Senate giving our Constitutional rights over to the United Nations. In a 53-46 vote, the senate narrowly passed a measure that will stop the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.  The Statement of Purpose from the bill read:To uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

The U.N. Small Arms Treaty, which has been championed by the Obama Administration, would have effectively placed a global ban on the import and export of small firearms. The ban would have affected all private gun owners in the U.S., and had language that would have implemented an international gun registry on all private guns and ammo.  Astonishingly, 46 of our United States Senators were willing to give away our Constitutional rights to a foreign power.  Here are the 46 senators that voted to give your rights to the U.N.

Baldwin (D-WI), Baucus (D-MT), Bennet (D-CO), Blumenthal (D-CT), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Coons (D-DE), Cowan (D-MA), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Franken (D-MN), Gillibrand (D-NY), Harkin (D-IA), Hirono (D-HI), Johnson (D-SD), Kaine (D-VA), King (I-ME), Klobuchar (D-MN), Landrieu (D-LA), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), McCaskill (D-MO), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Mikulski (D-MD), Murphy (D-CT), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Sanders (I-VT), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Stabenow (D-MI), Udall (D-CO), Udall (D-NM), Warner (D-VA), Warren (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

Hello All, here is the list of all the TRAITORS in the U. S. Senate–Thank God there were none listed for OK, AR, TX.  Please distribute widely. This needs to go viral. These Senators voted to let the UN take our guns. They need to be voted out of office. We have been betrayed (again).  46 Senators Voted to Give your 2nd Amendment Constitutional Rights to the U.N. Remember their names when you cast your votes at the next election.  Be who you are and say what you feel…. Because those that matter… don’t mind… And those that mind… don’ t matter

Pregnant Iranian woman executed by hanging

Iran: This woman was raped and became pregnant. When she told the authorities she was asked to provide 4 witnesses. End result? They executed her while she was 2 months pregnant.  This photo was taken before a crane was used to lift her neck up and suffocate her to death.

This is Islam. This is Islamic Justice.  (Coming to America, Britain, France, Spain, Canada, Belgium, and so many other countries wrapped up in political correctness)

My list of liars so far for 2013:  President Obama, Atty. General Holder, Hillary Clinton, Lois Lerner, Sarah Paul Ingram and Jodi Arias (who should have got the death penalty).  No doubt this list will expand as the year progresses.



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