Be prepared for lots of rain and flooded streets. The picture depicts perimeter road during a rather strong rain fall, for sure carry an umbrella.
Hurray, July is here and the elections are over except for those folks that are still contesting the results. It was an interesting election and one of the oddities is that a serving senator is elected as Mayor of Manila thereby leaving a senate seat vacant that still has three years remaining. Now the power brokers have to decide who will fill that seat. In Angeles City Blue Boy Nepomuceno will take over as Mayor on 1 Jul for a three year term. No doubt some changes will be forthcoming but at this time it is too early to report on those changes. I am sure that the next 100 days will set the tone for this Mayor’s term. When Mayor Lazatin came on board six years ago there was a transition period in Angeles City that saw many positive changes and he had the full support of the entertainment industry. Now, the new “Commander” is on board and he will receive the same full support and respect as his predecessor.
Elections in the Philippines are always interesting and much different from those in industrialized democratic countries. Can you imagine the success of an election in the USA, Britain or Australia being based on how many people are killed? The following extract from a Philippine source follows:
Election-related violence -
In the lead up to the election and on election day, 126 people were killed and 148 others wounded by election-related violence.This is less than the2004 election, when 189 people were killed. The New People’s Army has been implicated in the destruction of polling booths and the murder of election officials. The election was regarded by Director General Oscar Calderon of the Philippine National Police as relatively peaceful, “We have noted a relatively peaceful situation nationwide, and I am confident that this will be the ultimate outcome until after the entire election process is completed”.
Some of the interesting Senator Elects were “Gringo” Honasan who Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, after the election, dropped charges of Gringo being directly involved with a coup d’etat attempt last year; Antonio Trillanes IVpresently in confinement for actively taking part in the coup d’etat. This is what makes Philippine elections so interesting as regardless of one’s indiscretions or checkered past, the people vote with their faith, emotions and forgiveness and fortunately enough vote with their brains so that some truly honest, intelligent, brave, patriotic leaders are elected to lead the country. In comparison, the elections in the States are rather boring. I think a “Gringo” type would be far better to listen to than having to listen to many more months of Hillary Clinton’s flip flop speeches. If you use the same Philippine criteria for electing people in the United States I do believe that Paris Hilton could become a senator. Now that would really bring a bit of life to Senate hearings and sorry, Ted Kennedy, I think Paris knows how to swim. So now the excitement is over and life here is back to normal, at least for the next three years.
Why did Nick remove “Harry the Horse” from the Blue Book, a local Angeles City information magazine? It seems that some Clark SM Mall folks were unhappy with the HTH excerpt regarding the pick-pocket problem at the Mall and indicated possible legal action. Nick was told by a Mall representative that they had no record of such incidents. This is strange since I myself was involved in one incident where I was able to catch the thief in the act of stealing my wallet while ordering food at an outlet in the mall. She spent three weeks in jail! I have received many Emails from folks informing me of actual loss of money and also attempts at pick pocketing. OK folks, somehow, maybe some reports have slipped through the cracks or maybe the security guards did not report the incidents to their supervisors since many times the culprits have disappeared before anything can be done. These thieves are fast and clever and it can be a security headache to try and catch them in the act. Folks, you can help out here! Anytime you are victimized at the Mall do not just report it to the security guard, go to the second floor security office and demand that they record the incident and then also, send me an Email so I can build up a file and maybe be able to help the security folks at SM. Even information on any attempted robbery by the slick ladies that roam the corridors of SM but are never seen would be appreciated. I am sure the security folks at SM would appreciate any such input from you. Meanwhile folks, be very careful about your wallets and pocketbooks when shopping at SM or any other crowded shopping area in Angeles City, San Fernando, or Manila. It is when we forget that we are surrounded by thieves that we become victims.
Now, let me tell you that I am pro SM Mall, in other words, nothing will keep me out of there unless some terrorists set off a bomb. I love the convenience, the cinemas, the eateries and once in a while, the food court, ACE Hardware, SM Appliance, etc. I am a Mall rat! Mrs Horse goes there every day, it is a great place but I do take extra care in trying to protect my wallet especially when I wear those four pocket shorts which the pick-pockets love. My purpose in reporting these incidents that come to my attention is to provide a service to the readers of this column who are tourists and should be warned to take extra precautions, especially when you are carrying large amounts of money. Shoppers become less security conscious when visiting Malls because you see extra security guards, the ambiance is relaxing and you are having fun – that is a mistake and don’t feel bad, it is natural and I am speaking as a victim and I still forget to take due care until Priscilla reminds me. OK, enough of this, I have to get over to the SM Angeles Mall and check out the new Philly Steak eatery located in the Hypermarket. (Note to Tim Boone, somewhere in Saudi Arabia – please Email the horse with your address, Nick and I need some information from you).
I had a guest in my Hotel, from Ireland that fell victim to a robbery by a Korean. This is a new one to me. He related that he took a bus from Manila to the Angeles City Dau bus station where a friend of his was to meet him with a car. While on the bus, a Korean, speaking excellent English, sat next to him and carried on a conversation during the trip. The Korean had a suitcase that he had stored in the baggage compartment of the bus. Upon arrival in Dau, and meeting his friend the Korean asked a favor in could they drop him somewhere where he could find a hotel. They took him along and while on Fields the Irishman asked his friend to stop so that he could change some money. When he got out he left his backpack in the car and asked his friend to watch it for him. Just after he left the car the Korean said he would change money as well and left. Within two minutes he returned and said that the Irishman needed his passport to change the money. So the friend in the car let him take the bag to get the passport and right away this Korean takes off and disappears. He left his suitcase in the car which when opened contained nothing but newspapers and other junk. The Irishman lost all his money, $3,000 and two passports, British and Ireland. This was very upsetting and caused our visitor a lot of inconvenience but a lesson was learned. Do not befriend any smooth talking Koreans on your bus ride to Angeles City because the great influx of Koreans to this area has included some Korean Mafia types that are not here for tourism, golf or business investments.
The owner of Rick’s Cafe sent me the following information about another scam to look out for:
New Scam in town
A couple of days ago a Filipino about 25 to 30 years old, 5 ft 6 or so, wearing a Nestles ID around his neck and carrying a shoulder bag and towel, came into the internet office and appeared to be inspecting the contents of the Nestles Ice Cream Freezer. After a cursory look he went to the employee on duty and asked if we would like to order any ice cream to which the gal responded no. Then he said he was also visiting to pickup the payment from the last delivery. The employee gathered up the previous receipt with the money attached and handed it to him. He signed the receipt as paid and started to depart when the gal asked him where was the official receipt to which he replied it would be dropped off at the next delivery, and then he left. The employee on duty smelled a rat, (a little late though) and called Nestles to verify the collection persons name to which they said, no he doesn’t work for us and you are the third place selling nestles this has happened to in the last two days and we will send a representative right over to gather the information. The representative came over and looked at the in house security cam photos and left to go see the organization that lost their delivery contract with Nestles 2 months ago, suspecting it is one of the previous delivery persons who would know how the system works. We have now implemented a new policy that the collection agency needs to call the day before collecting to preclude this happening again. The only good part of the story is the bill the employee had to pay was for P467 as I hadn’t given her the others for several thousand pesos, so there was a silver lining knowing that by the time Mr. Nestles paid his transportation to get here and leave there wasn’t much left to buy red horse with.
Attention all business owners - be advised that if any individual identifying himself as David Alimorong tries to sell you tickets worth P5,000 each purportedly for a fund-raising project of the the police do not deal with him as it is a scam and should be reported to the police. Recently a businessman was contacted by phone to purchase tickets. It is a scam that was reported on by the Manila Times last March and it seems that this guy is trying to try his luck again. He can be quite convincing so be careful.
Ex-Navy man Thomas Michael Thorpe is back in jail. This time it was the management of the Sydney Hotel that has brought charges against him and he is currently in Station 174, City Jail. This man is a danger to himself and others and hopefully the American Embassy will assist in his deportation. The man has a violent nature when he is off his meds and also has a record of trying to check in to various hotels and then not paying his bills.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has agreed to begin using the DMIA Clark for regional flights. After so many years of negativity towards the DMIA has Mr. Lucio Tan finally seen the handwriting on the wall? The start-up date has not been announced yet.
My heartfelt thanks go out to Roy Barbutt from Australia who has forwarded another box of clothes for my Christmas Charity Project. Mrs Horse and I get a lot of support from many different folks here in town but one of the most difficult items to collect is clothes because in the Philippines families usually pass down their used clothing to their relatives. Roy, see you on your next visit to my stable and hopefully I’ll be around to buy you a few drinks.
This may or may not be true but I have heard that SM City Clark has access to five hectares to the rear of its store and may construct a couple of three star hotels and three call centers on that property. Additionally, they might add a few eating establishments at the area where the fountain is located. No confirmation at this time but I will keep my horse ears on high alert.
It seems that the City Engineers are hot on going after thoseestablishments encroaching on City property again so maybe we will start seeing some renovations taking place that will provide more sidewalk space or whatever. This has been an issue in the past and it is a good objective as long as it is equally applied throughout Angeles City and not just on Fields Ave. Many property owners become confused over this issue because in the past the inspectors have never taken the time to explain the violations clearly so appropriate corrective action could be taken. Maybe this time it will be different.
Kudos to Bob Hartzell, Divine Shepherd Hospital Patient Affairs officer for listening and acting on a complaint from Derk (Dick) Tooi, a Dutch National living in Angeles City. It seems that Derk had to have a cyst removed and went to see a doctor at Divine Shepherd and was quoted a price of P8,000 for the procedure.
The price was no problem but when the doctor informed Derk that he had to sign a form indicating that the doctor was not responsible for anything that might go wrong during the operation, that became a problem. Derk was very upset, submitted a complaint and left the hospital to go to Mt. Carmel where signing such a form was not necessary and only paid P4,000 for the operation. BUT, good news, thanks to Bob Hartzell the doctors at Divine Shepherd met, discussed the issue and changed the form on the same day of the complaint. I must say that the management of Divine Shepherd does take complaints seriously and when possible corrective action is taken. The form change was no problem but the price stays the same!
THE FOLLOWING US IMMIGRATION LAWS ARE PROPOSED:
- There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
- All ballots will be in this nation’s language.
- All government business will be conducted in our language.
- Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
- Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office.
- Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burdens will be deported.
- Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
- If foreigners may come and buy land … BUT options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
- Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
- If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you..Harsh, you say?…….. The above laws happen to be the immigration laws of ” MEXICO “
(Hee, Hee, I just could not resist this, and the President of Mexico has the nerve to complain about our all too liberal Immigration laws? I think the placement of machine gun posts along the US border with orders to “shoot to kill” will dramatically reduce the entry of illegal aliens from Mexico into the US. Now, that might be too radical so instead of that, round up all the folks entering illegally, send them to a one month military training camp and then send them all to Iraq to serve two years. They can be the drivers of the convoys and also assigned to search out and destroy IED’s. Those who survive can return to the US and get their citizenship. After all, they no doubt “love” the US so much that I am sure they would be willing to serve in Iraq to combat terrorism. This would solve our shortage of military personnel problem) P.S. this part is dedicated to Bill Campbell, a US free lance UP News reporter who hates it when I slip into my “opinion” bit that he says applies only to a small segment of my readership. I agree, but I just can’t resist the impulse to try and reach out to that dwindling segment of US Society that remains sane before people like Senator Harry Reid of Nevada take over. OK already, I’ll stop! Damn, I need a drink, maybe Bill will buy me one.
Voodoo is now re-opened in its former location. Running the bar are the ever popular husband and wife team of Bill and Elsa. Also known as Dragonstar and BCMomma on the boards, they owned and managed Byrd Cage. Voodoo’s had a makeover and now has an ‘L’ shaped stage featuring dancing. Entertainment is choreographed by the ever popular ‘Sloppy’. Opening hours are 6PM till 3AM however plans are to open at noon and offer lunch from Kokomo’s. It is reported that several of the staff have migrated from 2 well known Perimeter Rd. bars. Speaking of Sloppy, he’s now put his name (and logo) on the balcony bar at Kokomo’s. It’s open from 6 till 6 (that’s 6 PM till 6 AM). It features 12 GROs, billiards, all night movies and a snack menu.
Many thanks go out to Rotarian Tony Sanders who along with a good friend of his organized a special pool party that raised P213,000 for the Bahay Bata Streetchildren’s Foundation. It is through the efforts of Tony and many other unnamed individuals that many street children from Fields Ave and nearby have found a home and education instead of begging on the streets and sniffing glue. When in town, please visit the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center and become part of the “family”.
The famous Kokomo’s name is back. After four years of fighting with the Dept of Labor over four dismissed employees who were guilty of theft Mo, from Kokomo’s finally had to concede defeat. The reality is that Mo realizes it would have been cheaper to pay off the employees then to file appeals to the original decisions. Even though guilt was proven it meant nothing. Such is the price of doing business in the Philippines. There are many ways to fall into the labor code traps, even when hiring, legally, an American manager on a contractual basis. For advice on what to be aware of, check with VFW Post Home Committee members who can pass on information based on actual experience. You would be surprised how little we know about local labor laws. That lack of knowledge could cost big bucks.
Getting married? Just want to treat your wife or mistress to a special evening? Well the ABC Hotel is offering a honeymoon package for only Php 7,500 for the De luxe Jacuzzi & Php 9,500 for the Junior Suite (with a bottle of wine, dinner with candle light, breakfast in bed, flower set up at the Jacuzzi and basket of fruit).
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN JULY
1 July – 7 PM, Sydney Hotel – Performance by the Welsh Men’s Choir – This is a performance you do not want to miss. They are fantastic.
1 July – There will be a FilAm Friendship Day street party on Sunday July 1. It will be held outside Kokomo’s. It’s being organized by Mo and Big Mark (Hollywood). Plans are for food booths and a live band. Admission is free.
7 July – Kokomo’s will hold it’s 7th Annual FilAm Friendship Day pool party on July 7th. Admission is P500 and includes all you can eat and drink. Staff from 10 bars will be there to help foster FilAm friendships.
7 July – Bridal and Lingerie Show, 7 PM at the ABC Hotel. An evening of music, good food and fashion. Contact the ABC Hotel for details and ticket prices, Ruvina Cubelo, Marketing & Promotions Head. Tel: 892-2222, FAX: 892-5375, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be advised that the ABC Hotel initiated a buy 1 take 1 on all local beers, starting last 8 Jun onwards every happy hour (5 PM til 9 PM)
14 July (Sat) – The return of “Hooray” Howard McKay at the Anchorage Inn (Real Street, fronting the basketball court), 7 PM. This is the lad I wrote about last month and did not know when he would performing again. He had everybody laughing and singing when I managed to see the last few minutes of his performance. Drop by and join the hashers and their ladies for a bit of merriment. Entrance is free and the beer is cold.
RETURNED SERVICEMEN’S LEAGUE (RSL) JUL SCHEDULE:
3rd July 1400hrs Ponderosa Social Tuesday
10th July 1400hrs Cherry’s /Stampede Social Tuesday
16th July 1130hrs Dr.Holmes Committee Meeting
17thJuly 1430hrs Ponderosa General Meeting
24th July 1400hrs Ponderosa Social Tuesday
31st July 1400hrs Ponderosa Social Tuesday
A reader of this column wrote to tell me that he read in some newspaper that there might be a delay in the Clark-Subic expressway (No surprise there). The last thing he read was that the contractor asked for a 300 day extension (yikes, that is terrible, please, please tell me it ain’t true) The main hold up (according to them) is the delay in obtaining right-of-way (This has been going on ever since they started, even before).Story is that a certain important guy at SBMA (No way will I mention a name until I find it published somewhere) bought a lot of the rice fields which just happened to be on the route of the expressway. He wants something like 100 X what he paid. The source who sent me this wrote: “I need to find some deals like that. Anyway, history tells me a couple of things: 1. They probably need 100 days extra. 2. A “certain person” will give them 200 days. 3. They will finish in 140, claim they beat their schedule by 2 months and ask for a bonus (which that “certain person” will give them and they will give half to the spouse of this “certain person”). I’ve been here way too long when ideas like this are the first thing that come to mind.” (The source used a name and I changed it to a “certain person” to keep my ass out of trouble – I have no idea who this lady might be). Well, I suspect that the first part of the statement may be close to the truth but I remain hopeful that we will be traveling to Subic on the new toll road by December 07. Am I being too optimistic? Here are some references:www.sunstar.com.ph
newsinfo.inquirer.net. This is the article that sites the 300 day extension:www.manilastandardtoday.com.
I found it interesting to read that the last female WWI veteran died at 109 years of age and the last WWI Navy veteran died at 105 years old. Mrs Charlotte died March 27 at a nursing home near Boonsboro in Northwest Maryland. Mr. Lloyd Brown passed away on March 29, at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Maryland. Their deaths leave three known survivors who served in the Army, and a fourth who lives in Washington state but served in the Canadian army. What a coincidence that both of these veterans lived in the same state and both were living in special homes. I salute these two fine veterans who served their country so long ago and were blessed to have lived such long lives. (Information extracted from the TREA “Voice” magazine, May 2007 edition).
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Good old Uncle Dan Patterson has, once again, introduced a young member of his family to the cultural thrills of the Philippines, especially Angeles City. A couple of years ago he brought over his nephew, Chris and that lad has never been the same since. He absolutely loves Angeles City! Last month he carried on the family tradition by bringing over his 18 year old great nephew Jesse Sharbutt over the objection of his Aunt Kay who would not give him his graduation present until he returned to US soil. She was afraid he would spend all his money here while “sightseeing”. She was probably right. Uncle Dan reported that half the family is mad at him (the women of course) and that the other half wish they could make the trip themselves. Jesse seems to be a fine young man who is from Slacauga, Alabama and has a baseball scholarship to Bevill State Community College and will be playing in the shortstop position. Jesse, for now, has a cheerleader girlfriend named Kelsi who has been described as beautiful, great personality and talented enough to keep Jess thinking about her even while enjoying the tourist attractions available here. Uncle Dan is doing a good job on pointing out the various historical sights on Fields Ave to include the Egyptian replicas displayed in Nero’s. At this location Jess was able to observe the procedures ancient Egyptians used in giving “body shots” necessary in the preservation of mummies. I am sure he will be able to relate this procedure, in great detail to Kelsi. Now, dear Aunt Kay, do not worry, it will be many, many years before young Jesse will be able to follow in the footsteps of Uncle Dan but be careful, he might just be thinking of putting that graduation present in the bank to start saving up for a return trip to Angeles City. After all, it takes far longer than one week to see all the interesting tourist locations and attractions available here, if you don’t believe me ask Chris. (Picture L to R – Uncle Dan, Jesse and Chris).
TOURIST OF THE MONTH
I have not run into too many folks from Iowa over here, and I also doubt that I will ever get the chance to even pass through Iowa if I visited the States. When talking to Brian Rezabek, who is from Emmetsburg, Iowa, he told me that IOWA stands for “Idiots out walking around” and that Emmetsburg has more hogs than people in Iowa. I was not sure if he was talking about the women or those four legged porkers. He also told me that nobody smiles in Emmetsburg which has convinced me that Emmetsburg just isn’t on “the tourist must see” map. Now, I can see why Brian married a fine lady from Las Pinas, Manila because no doubt Emmetsburg must not have a great selection of single ladies. Brian spent 20 years in the Air Force and owns the family business, “American Best Value Inn (ABVI)” but plans to eventually sell the business and move to the Philippines permanently. Right now he and his family visit the Philippines twice a year and when in Angeles City they stay at the Fontana Resort because his kids like the water park. I guess from now on when I eat my breakfast bacon I will be thinking about Emmetsburg, Iowa which has to be a small town with a lot of hogs and not much else to brag about. No doubt no one in that town is international enough to be reading this column and they probably wouldn’t know where the Philippines is. An exciting night must be when the movie changes at the cinema once a week. Now, if I am wrong with this impression and somehow, by some miracle someone in Emmetsburg actually reads this column and is offended, well, just stop by the ABVI and see Brian and Ellie so they can deliver any messages to me on their next visit. I wonder if Emmetsburg is even on the map, guess I will have to pull up Google Earth and take a look. Brian, it was a pleasure to meet you and after taking six pictures I am pleased to report that we did get one with your eyes open.
ROTA CHILI PEPPER SAUCE
One morning I had a visit from James Holman who works in Saipan and comes from Stillwater, Oklahoma (this must be my month to meet folks from some small towns in the States) and he brought me a small jar of some home made Rota chili pepper sauce. He told me that some old guy named Antonio Manglona sells this stuff at the Saipan airport and that it is mixed with some pure artesian well water. He said that Antonio has never had a government job but his Rota Chili is real popular. I did have a couple of folks try it and they were impressed with the flavor and it has become a popular addition to my hot pepper collection. Jim visits Angeles City once a month and usually stays at the Sunset Gardens Hotel and his favorite drinking spot is the Alaska Club. I always appreciate any additions to my hot sauce collection and it was a pleasure to meet Jim Holman who took the time to stop by my stable and climb the stairs to see me. Folks, my wife cooks up a mean chile offering and believe me, I have the sauces that can make it as spicy hot as you like. I love it when someone comes by, orders the chili and tells me I can’t make it hot enough. Hee Hee, please, “make my day”.
LOOKING FOR A GOOD COMPUTER TROUBLESHOOTER?
The Horse recommends Richardson Guevarra, a new discovery for me but is already known to quite a few VFW members and of course, my friend Chuck. He comes highly recommended and meets my criteria i.e., friendly, has a car, very efficient, knowledgeable, will take the time to purchase any parts for you in Manila where the warranties are better, and most importantly, gets to his appointments on time (eh, his labor costs are also very reasonable). You can contact him at 0919-645-8470 or 625 6484. Rich is also a security surveillance expert for everything from one camera to a whole hotel security system.
The second picture is just an open space on A. Santos Street right now but a 12 story apartment complex is under construction. It is located right across the street from the Irish Pub.Looking for a place to live, or a new hotel to check out? Well, while some Club owners have told me that this is a very slow season and earnings are down but despite this news, construction is on an express track. How about a new five story fancy condominium in the planning stage with construction to start soon. It is named the Grandview Towers and at this time I have no idea how many units are planned or what each will cost. It is the location that is interesting, fronting Perimeter Road (Don Juico Ave) not far from my stable and the VFW (1st picture).
The last picture depicts the latest look of the Orchid Inn Group’s impressive Irish Pub as of 15 Jun. I was talking to Shanno, the lucky guy who will be managing this Pub and I was commenting on the potential customer base. Imagine, right across the street you have a new apartment complex, above the Irish Pub you have the Wild Orchid Condos, plus you have the Wild Orchid Resort. Just around the corner from the Pub the Pacific Breeze Hotel stands tall, then the Swiss Chalet, the Orchid Inn, Central Park and so on. There will be plenty of GRO’s to greet you at the Pub but no dancing girls (thank goodness, no loud music), pool tables and my favorite, two dart boards. I suspect that the Irish Pub will be a huge success and the interior is massive with no expense spared in quality workmanship. I look forward to its opening and it won’t be long before the old image of A. Santos street will be forgotten but I will tell you this, the memories of the specialties offered to customers in the old days will certainly linger. A. Santos is becoming upscale, spic and span clean, well lighted at night and even the few remaining old style specialty shops are cleaning up their act, at least on the outside.
A GOOD TASTE AT “PHILLY’S”
Rob Call is from Philly and he has brought the taste of Philadelphia’s steaks and Hoagies to the SM City Clark Hypermarket. At long last, the Mall has allowed a new taste into their premises instead of the same old food outlets that can be found in every Philippine Mall. Rob told me it wasn’t easy to get in the door and he had to go through an extensive testing of his product before approval was given. The man is offering various steak sandwiches to include his popular Cheese Steak Hoagie and an Italian cold cut hoagie. There are a bunch of other Hoagie combinations offered at very reasonable prices. Rob is a wise man, he agreed with me that the best pizzas are still made in New York. Rob is pictured to the left, the middle guy is a New York lawyer who ate three hoagies at one sitting, and Roger, a long time resident of AC. I think the lawyer was hanging around to see if anyone got sick and would hire him to sue Rob. Not to worry though, no one got sick and business was brisk as customers ate, drank and left with satisfied smiles on their faces. The Hoagie bread was excellent and it is baked on the premises according to Rob’s own recipe. Priscilla and I ate the cheese steak offering and were more than satisfied. Now I am torn between my Nathan’s Hot Dog and a Hoagie at Rob’s counter when I am hungry and am in the Hypermarket. By the way, Rob lived in Hawaii before heading to the Philippines and has been here for four years, happily married and the proud father of two kids. The cost of the cheese steak hoagie was P99 for a half and P199 for a whole one. Believe me, the whole one will really fill you up. Now, when your Mrs or girlfriend drags you to the Hypermarket to shop for groceries, let her do the shopping while you drift over to talk to Rob and check out one of his hoagies. I wonder, if between sandwiches, that lawyer can help me write my will – for free of course?
SMILE MAKE OVER – DENTAL SPA & AESTHETIC CENTER
This is the first time I have seen a dental clinic referred to as a “dental spa” but then, this is the first time in all the years I have been in Angeles City (26) that I have been so impressed with dental service. Yes, I have had treatment by other dentists here over the years and was happy with their work so I feel a bit guilty in switching over to a new clinic but I can’t help myself. One day while visiting the accounting office at the Divine Shepherd Medical Center one Leilani Galvez told me that she had just come from dental treatment at the Hospital dental clinic and that I should give it a try. Well, my son needed some treatment and I needed a check-up so I gave it a try. Boy, was I impressed! Two great dentists, Dr. Maria Bondoc-Castro and Dr. Fatima Jimenez were so professional, friendly, patient and kept my 8 year old son calm as he received his first minor fillings. It wasn’t just the dentists that convinced me to return for further treatment, it was their use of the latest, modern equipment, the lighting, comfort and extra effort on their part to keep a patient at ease. I also enjoyed the fact that they kept a tight schedule on their appointments so that there was little or no waiting time. I appreciated the easy drive to the Clinic and the plentiful parking at the rear of the hospital. When my crowned tooth fell out I was able to get a quick appointment and Dr. Jimenez took an Xray of my vacant space and explained in great details what I needed to have done. She was able to save what was left of my tooth and affix a new crown. Now, I am having further crown work done. These two dentists work so well together and fuss over a patient so much as they both, together, check the progress of treatment. Dr. Bondoc-Castro has twelve years of experience and Dr. Jimenez, 6 years and
the list of services offered at this clinic is impressive as it covers the entire spectrum of dental treatment, i.e., dental implants, tooth whitening, root canal therapy, jacket crowns, fixed bridge, etc. The final deciding factor on making this my clinic of choice is that despite the presence of all the modern equipment and combined experience the prices charged were very reasonable. I also noticed that a great many expat personnel were patients as well and you know how hard to please many of them can be. Their hours are from 0900-1700 Mon through Sat and they are located at the Dental Medicine Department, Divine Shepherd Medical Center, Malabanias Rd., Balibago, Angeles City, (045) 625-6151. By the way, you can check out their website at www.smilemakeoverdental.net and get a good idea of why this Horse recommends this place. They do specialize in providing patients with movie actor/actress white smiles but they told me it was a bit too late for me and to just live with my old man’s teeth. Oh yes, guys, Dr. Fatima Jimenez is still single so if you want to meet a top class lady with a bright future make an appointment for a check-up and tell Fatima that the “Horse” sent you. There are 16 different dental services offered so a long courtship could take place without you ever getting out of the dentist’s chair. Good Luck!
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
This has to go down as one of the fastest courtships from start to finish in Angeles City. Chris Cecere, 46 years old, from Adelaide, Australia is introduced to 18 year old Juningirl from Dapdap, Bamban by her father, Tourist Policeman Elizer Castro on 3 Jun. Chris Cecere and Juningirl were married on 18 Jun, so that only took 15 days. I met them when they checked into the Hotel La Casa for their honey moon night and now I consider my old room where Mrs Horse and I lived in for 16 years as our “Honey Moon Suite”. She is a bit shy, quiet and is a high school graduate. Chris plans to get her back to Australia, get a bit more education and also have her find a job. Chris has never been married before and of course this is a first for Juningirl as well. You better believe that I hope they return every five years or so to our Honey Moon Suite so I can keep track of this “love at first sight” romance and track its longevity. I wish them both years of happiness and wonder if anyone out there has beaten Chris’s speed record? That is only applicable to meeting and marrying in AC, not in any other country. I know there have been quicker match-ups in Las Vegas and nearly as quick divorces as well.
24 MASSAGE PALACE – HIDEAWAY BAR & RESTAURANT
This throwback bar to the old days is a bit difficult to find as it is out of the tourist zone but you might want to join the increasing number of local expats that are discovering this “hideaway”. It is located on Zeppelin Street and it is loaded with ladies of various descriptions that run the range in the looks department from OK to pretty good but in my horseshoe scale from 1 to 10 none reached the 10 level. Actually the beauty scale did not matter because the ladies made up for it in personality and sheer numbers. They had around 25 dancers on board when I visited and more were scheduled to arrive for the second shift. The bar is open from 0900 to 2400 but the massage service is 24 hours and four massage ladies are employed. Too tired to go out for that special massage, not to worry, they do out calls. Four massage rooms are available and they are very nice rooms featuring air-conditioning, individual bathrooms and very clean. Local drinks are only P45 and those ladies drinks are only P65 from 0900-1400 and then P100 from 1401 hrs
until the 2400 closing time. A membership card for P1000 is available which allows you a 10% discount on food, drink and massage. I was told to mention that they have two pool teams so I guess they always have a spot for interested players. The standard rate of P700 and P1000 for special tourism services is quite reasonable with plenty of tour guides on hand to choose from. Mamasan Elma is pleasant enough and eager to make sure all customers are having a good time. The reason I call this a “throw back” Club is because it resembles the many clubs that used to proliferate AC back when the base was here. It is open air, no air-conditioning, nothing fancy, large area and pretty well hidden. It is run by two Australians, Allan and Kenneth and I regret to say that a couple of days after interviewing Allan, who appeared to be energetic and healthy he had a heart attack and had to be hospitalized. He is at home mending now so I expect that he will be back on board by July or earlier. Oh yes, before I forget, they offer a free pick up anywhere in Angeles City but a drop off will cost you 50 pesos. Now, that is a good deal! For more information call 0927-9027429, some lady will answer the phone and no doubt arrange transportation for you if necessary.
I WOULD IF I COULD
For sure nothing would happen with this lady because she is a bit close to home and messing with the help is a big no-no. In fact, this charming 18 year old lady works in my stable at the Blue Boar Inn. Her name is Laomila Gede from Surigao Del Norte and this is her first job serving drinks at a Club in Angeles City. Previously she worked in a Manila Pharmacy but decided she needed a more challenging job and maybe a bit more excitement as well. She is a high school graduate with a family of six sisters and five brothers ranging in age from 13 to 40. Despite the fact that maybe she inherited her mothers fertility Laomila informed me that she only wanted three children. Despite having a very quiet disposition Laomila has a pleasant personality that puts customers at ease. She is not experienced in many aspects of the special needs of her job but is learning rather quickly. Definitely, she is a welcome addition to the staff of the Blue Boar Inn so stop by and have a chat with Ms. Gede.
A most interesting family came to my stable to meet me, so interesting that I had to write a few lines about them here. First off, many people have dropped by to say hello to me and talk about my column and I enjoy the thrill of meeting them. I often wonder if I measure up to their expectations and if I look anything like they imagined. I am not the perfect host, after all, what can you expect from an old horse. Each visitor leaves me with a memory but none as unusual as the Johnson family who introduced me to their full blooded wolf. Yes, that is right a wolf! His name was Hendrix, half Alaskan timberwolf and half Mexican Gray. Would you believe that they paid $400 to bring him with them on their 2 month vacation to the Philippines and of course will pay another $400 to take him back. I have never met a wolf face to face and this 140 pound six month old wolf was a pleasure to see and pet. He was docile, playful and obedient and Jason, my 8 year old son even got to pet and play with him, after a bit of coaxing. Jerry Johnson, his wife Jazmin, son Taylor (15), and daughters Sayde (13), Autumn (11) provided me with a few hours of good stories and company during their visit. They are currently living in Fort Defiance, Arizona, on an Indian reservation. Jazmin is teaching elementary school on the reservation and used to teach at Holy Angel University in Angeles City until she married Jerry. One interesting experience Jerry passed on to me was that on the PAL flight over here they saw ex-President Fidel Ramos board the plane and make his way to first class seating. During the flight Jerry decided that it would be nice to meet this famous gentleman and relate how much he loved the Philippines and that he was fortunate to have a Filipino wife. Well, he made it to the first class area and introduced himself to Fidel but before he could say much more, Fidel, with unlit cigar in his hand looked up at Jerry and said “Shut up and sit down”. I guess some politicians just don’t want to talk to the common folks especially if they have the audacity to disturb them in first class seating. For sure though, Jerry will never forget his encounter with a Filipino President and I am sure he will tell of his experience many times over the years. I will never forget my meeting with Hendrix the wolf and when I told him to “sit” he did the same thing that Jerry did, he shut up and did what he was told.
FREE – THANK GOD, FREE AT LAST!
Many of us in the entertainment area have been waiting a long time to see this group together again because on 26 Jun, at approximately 1700 hrs, the last seven victims of the obscene NBI Manila raid on the Blue Nile Group of Clubs were released from the Angeles City Jail, the notorious station 174. In the photo are David Mason, James, Andy, and Richard Agnew (Top row) and Vanessa, Nita, Perla, Stella, Grace and Vilma (bottom row). David Mason is a World Airways pilot who for five weeks made daily visits to the jail to assist the detainees in anyway he could by providing food and other necessities including moral support. Richard Agnew heads up the Blue Nile Group and this man, from the night of the raid until this final day spent many long hours, 7 days a week working to obtain the release of his employees. I ponder the best way to write about this travesty of justice that has frustrated and angered me and so many others. Besides Richard and David, there were others that contributed so much in obtaining this release. I write of the ACTA lawyer, Attorney Marlon Llauder who from the first moments of the raid and detention of Blue Nile employees was on the scene in Manila and worked day and night to find justice in a corrupt system that exceeded the foul smell of the two piggeries located next to my farm. Attorney Rivera was instrumental in clearing the last obstacle encountered in getting a local judge to finally sign the release orders that had been delayed far longer than necessary. From the beginning this case, initiated by the Manila NBI appeared to be a case whereby some personnel hoped to gain a large amount of money by extortion. Thanks to immediate queries by Mayor Lazatin, Secretary Rene Diaz, and City Director Col Cunanan along with on site questions by Attorney Llauder evidence was found to point to very questionable procedures used in conducting the NBI raid. I prefer not to go into too many details about this operation except to say that seven innocent personnel were subjected to five weeks of incarceration whereby they should not have been detained even for one day. It was found that the original order to raid the clubs was not properly prepared, it was found that, allegedly, the signature of Secretary of Justice Gonzales affixed to the order was forged, the Manila fiscal who, despite obvious evidence of questionable procedures, still decided to detain the seven victims, the transfer of the seven from Manila to the Angeles City Jail, the continued detention despite an order of dismissal from the Dept of Justice because a local judge was on “leave” for a number of days plus many other details all contributed to a horror story for the “unlucky seven”. Through all this Mr. Agnew kept his cool while he negotiated on a daily basis and also paid out a large sum of money approximating one million pesos. No folks, none of this money went to the NBI but you see, once anyone finds themselves in “the system”, the cost to get prove your innocence is quite large. In this case, the salaries and allowances of the personnel were continued as well as extra costs for food, etc., the attorney fees add up and there are substantial costs to “expedite” the flow of paperwork. Without the expenditure of funds the normal legal administrative procedures could have taken months, maybe a year before the “unlucky seven” could have walked out to freedom.
Believe it or not despite the negative side of this experience some positives have been noted. From day one, ACTA personnel were working this problem. For a couple of months prior to the raid ACTA had initiated a program of emphasizing the importance of not having any underage ladies working in the Clubs. A self inspection program was developed, a code of ethics written and distributed, and a new temporary IDsystem between ACTA Clubs and City Health was developed and enacted. As a result, out of the 238 female employees rounded up and carted off to Manila, not one underage girl was discovered and they were all released. Additionally, ACTA President Richard Agnew has been in contact with various high level individuals that were upset with certain illegal activities and are now working with ACTA to develop an umbrella of legal assistance that can be called on to assure that any future law enforcement procedures are carried out according to the letter of the law.
As stated before, I refrain from being too detailed but I regret that the local media or the Manila newspapers have not jumped on this story because it depicts a system that was out of control andnow, maybe, will be brought under control by the Department of Justice. The Mayor-elect, Blue Boy Nepomuceno has indicated that he intends to continue the work of ACTA and will work closely with the organization. He has plans for some changes and has been invited to attend the ACTA general meeting on 5 Jul 07, 2 PM, at Bourbon Street. We are hoping that this will be one of his first public appearances since taking office on 2 Jul.
This Horse hopes, that in my Aug column, I will be able to outline the plans Blue Boy has for the development of Fields Ave which we have heard about, unofficially, but will finally be able to pass on now that the new Mayor has taken his seat at City Hall. I will say this for sure, Fields Ave will grow with new investments and improvements, Angeles City will experience an economic boom and the Free Trade Zone of Clark with the CDC at the helm will see exciting growth. Occasionally, the investors on Fields Ave may suffer a slight blow at the hands of some “bad guys” but we always bounce back and this time we will be stronger than ever, and that is from the Horse’s mouth!
FINISHING WITH A SMILE – 3 Arkansas surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed.
One of them said, “I’m the best surgeon in Arkansas . In my favorite case, a concert pianist lost seven fingers in an accident, I reattached them,
and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England.
The second surgeon said. “That’s nothing. A young man lost an arm and both legs in an accident, I reattached them, and 2 years later he won a
gold medal in track and field events in the Olympics.”
The third surge on said, “You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a woman was high on cocaine and marijuana and she rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the woman’s blonde hair and the horse’s ass. I was able to put them together
and now she’s a Senator from New York who may be our next president.
June was a month full of suspense, intrigue, excitement and worries so you better believe I am looking forward to July. I need to unwind, relax and enjoy the ladies on display at Mo’s 7 July pool party. That should be a fun day and I should be able to spot a couple of beauties to feature in my Aug column. I keep hoping that International flights will be launched from the DMIA Clark that will allow me to fly out of Clark to the States but I suspect that it will not happen for another five years. But at least it is being talked about and PAL has announced that it will build a $50 million catering and maintenance facility at Clark as part of its long term plan leading to international flights and Clark becoming a premiere airport. Now, if only I can live so long to see it. I am afraid that my old knees are beginning to trouble me so much that next year I may have to take a few months off to get my knee replacement surgery. I have been putting it off for years but now my right knee is acting up as well. Damn I hate hospitals and pain but may not have any choice. But, I have been assured that they do not shoot horses unless absolutely necessary so I will continue this column until I can’t type anymore. Meanwhile, come to Angeles City, have some fun, enjoy the sights and by all means, be kind to horses.