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February 2011

Posted by admin on January 31, 2011 in 2011 Monthly Newsletters

FEBRUARY 2011

You might think it a bit strange for me to start off my column this month showing a Kangaroo stranded on top of a haystack somewhere in Queensland, Australia but it is only one of seven photographs I will be showing later on in the column.  You see, I have a heck of a lot of readers of this column from Australia and there are a fair lot of them in Queensland and the flooding that took place in parts of Queensland to start the New Year made me sad and also a bit thankful that so far in my life I have never had to go through such misery and hardship.  Whenever I read of such tragedies anywhere in the world, including the US (New Orleans) I remind myself how lucky I am.  But there is something special about the Aussies that I will touch on later in my column when I include the rest of the pictures.

On Wednesday, 26 Jan the headline in the Philippine Daily Inquirer read “Edsa bus bombing: 4 dead.  Bomb left under passenger seat; P-Noy eyes terrorists”.  It went off at 2 PM on Edsa near the north gate of the upscale Forbes Park Subdivision in Makati City the day before.  It has been a pretty lengthy time (Feb 14, 2005)since we had one of these bus bombs go off in Manila and we all tend to forget about them but then, regretfully, a reminder is given once in a while.  Outside of a massive traffic jam business within the City went on as usual. Also, as usual, business was not affected in Angeles City and most folks here did not learn about it until later in the evening as word spread and the TV news picked up the story.  Naturally, this incident will be thoroughly investigated.  Update:  31 Jan – Sure would like to know how the investigation is going but nothing in the news other than they feel it is the Abu Sayaf or some other group.
We are in the month of romance now so dust off the wallets and be ready to take your special lady out to eat or give her candy, whatever.  If you have someone here, drop Rick a line and he will deliver goodies, his ad is just below.
Sorry, I have waited until the last minute to get this to my computer guy, it is 31 Jan already.  Dare I say he might get it up late.  Not to worry, I am determined to get better organized.  In fact I am working with my friend Chuck to experiment with a blog.  We already have a little bit on Harrythehorse.asia and if I can figure out how to use it, it will be easier for me as I will have direct access to it and will be able to put it on line myself and keep it updated.  I will still try to put the meat of the column each month on the first.
That will solve one problem, how to write my column when I am on vacation in Apr.  We will depart for New York on 1 Apr.  This will be the first time I have visited my home town since 1984.  Will see my sister and her extended family.  I will be showing my son and Vina where I grew up in Astoria, Queens.  Of course I want to see my old High School, Bryant, and my JHS 126 if it is still standing.  Coney Island and Central Park are on my list as well. The trip is costing a fortune in plane fares, ground transportation and hotel bills, never mind the food and shopping.  It is a one time deal, I will not be returning to New York again, my sister can visit me here.  After New York, we travel on to Las Vegas from 11-27 Apr and then head back to the Philippines, a lot poorer then when we left.  You know what we will be bringing back, and this probably sounds weird, BIG ONIONS for sandwiches.  Man, I miss those big babies so 5 or 6 will be packed in the luggage.  I will be eating cherries, strawberries and yellow grapes again.  Hey, I have to thank my friend Alex who brought me back a pound of cherries from the US as well as some good paperback books.  He works on those Merchant Marine ships and takes care of me each time he gets back to the PI.
Enough chatter, time to get on to the rest of the column.  Please remember that Feb is one of the nicest months here, weather wise, so get on over here for a visit.

 

THE FEED BAG (New name suggested by my friend Chuck)

Harry, I have some comments on the Global Gateway Logistics City (Global) that you wrote in your Dec column.  Firstly, I have to say that the decimation of so much valuable farm land to create yet another concrete jungle borders on ‘environmental vandalism’ in my view. Why not follow the example of Hong Kong, Singapore and other places that have come to terms with the scarcity and value of their land? If all the building heights in the Global scheme were doubled, they could have used half of the land. The probable excuse of ‘can’t do that – it’s too close to the airport’ doesn’t hold water as you need only to look at the old – and indeed the new – Hong Kong airports to see the mass of multi-storey buildings around them. There are clear FAA regulations on flight path clearances and these have proved no problem at Hong Kong and other places.

The farm land that existed before Global started was of prime quality so far as I could see. Some parts of it I would have called valuable wet-land. Was an environmental impact assessment done? Of course I would guess it was, but the conclusions did nothing to mitigate the decimation so far as I can see. I was horrified to see them cutting down some large Acacia trees down one weekend. If Global claim that the tree cutting was unavoidable I would say, “Baloney”.

The plan and layout of the Global project has also precluded the recreational access through the acacia trees that once existed near the Mabiga  Gate. In any development, existing access routes for recreation should be maintained.

Harry, you write of gas stations on the site. My goodness, do we need another? Is there no control over these on Clark, or indeed in Angeles generally?

On the subject of the new hospital you point out that it will have a trauma burns unit, a “first for this airport” as you put it. As you well know, there was a functioning hospital on Clark base when the Americans departed.  It  reportedly had the finest burns facilities in Asia. This hospital was left under the care of the Philippine Air Force in 1991. It was systematically looted and empty shell can be seen to this day near to the Pure Gold supermarket. Some of the hospital equipment is still on sale at the corner market in Dau. Zimmer frame anyone? (Sir, I do not see your point here.  Are you against the hospital?  I can’t see any reason for that.  It is true that the Air Force Hospital, after Pinatubo was disgracefully stripped of everything that could be moved.  There was so much rampant theft and man made destruction during this time and even members of the Philippine Air Force were guilty.  But, I applaud the Global folks for bringing a new hospital to this location)

I tried to look into the background and history of the Peregrine Company that is quoted as the Developer of Global. Their web site and linked sites are long on various ‘claims’ of their previous achievements but very short on real detail. Looking at details of the few CV’s I could locate for their key personnel, it seems that some of the claimed projects are actually projects that some of their current personnel previously worked on and were not  actually carried out by Peregrine or its close associates. One claimed project is “The privatization and management of Mimosa Golf Club” which we know is absolutely not the case. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the management of Mimosa and the Club is not privatized.

It seems to me, and to someone else who has looked into the Global scheme, that is a project cooked up by persons with a relatively lightweight track record who have managed to get some Arab money to seed the whole thing. I would suggest their funding is limited, however, and they are relying on the inflow of cash from new locators to carry the whole thing forward. This would explain why there has been relatively little real construction to date, save for an office and some fancy sign boards. In history, many people have been successful with schemes like this and I do wish them all the success. I will nevertheless watch their progress with interest.

I am sure many will recall the True North golf course project on Clark where the whole thing went broke and many people lost their money. This was another example of a project started on the basis  of fancy claims, various promises, glossy brochures with the proponents failing to realize the on-going investment that was necessary to keep the thing going. The mass of weeds that was once a 9 hole course can be seen to this day.

Returning the subject of land decimation, this is going on within Clark at a horrible and seemingly uncontrolled rate. In recent months, the previous access at the old Gate 14 has been closed off for the benefit of an ‘investor’. This gate was previously open to various recreational groups to access the land beyond, for hiking and hashing. CDC seem to be simply ‘selling off the family silverware’ to line the pockets of Government and others, with no regard to the people who enjoy the natural environment in and around the base. If there is a local environmental pressure group in this area, I would like to hear about it. I never thought I would become a ‘tree hugger’ but I am appalled by what I see around me in recent years.

Finally, I was a bit amused by the future passenger projections you state for Clark Airport. If Clark is indeed handling 7 million passengers in 5 years time and we are both still around, it’s a slap up steak meal on me. Third and fourth runways? I think we will be colonizing Planet Mars before that happens. Regards, H.M.

Hi Harry, Compliments of the season to you and for the great articles that you put out each month. I first visited AC in Oct 2008 and have been a regular visitor since then; hopefully will be back in March this year. I know this is probably one of the weirdest request of many that you receive. However, I have tried to find your “stable” over a number of visit but failed to have an introductory chat with you – plus the obligatory beer. To ask the “stupid” question where on earth is your “stable.” I hope to settle there in the next few years with the lady I met in 08 and would love to have a yarn of the pluses and minuses of such a decision and the pitfalls that abound.
Looking forward to your reply, Kindest regards, Terry Blundell.  (Terry, if you go to the very bottom of my column, after political rantings, you will see a map.  This map should give you a pretty good idea of where I am located)

Hello Harry, I have noted the comments made in the December blog, relating to Angeles v Pattaya. First on arrival if you book a taxi prior, it will cost you P2400 from Manila airport to Angeles, this is about 20% more than the fare from Bangkok airport and not twice the price as indicated, although it is noted that the distance is further from Bangkok airport, it is better to arrive safe, with your wallet intact. Yes the value of hotels is better in Pattaya, I think Id call that competition, unless its Christmas, there are an abundance of empty rooms in and around Pattaya. The food I can not argue with, yes I like Thai food, but Ive never gone hungry in Angeles or in the Philippines for that matter, plenty of choice on Fields Avenue alone. As for EWRs doing an early exit, well I think the answer to that is obvious, your not in a candy shop with a wallet to match your ego, try being nice, of course there is never no guarantee its not Waltermart.
Pataya may be safer, Ive been to Angeles several times each year since the 80s without any serious incident, read the Pattaya mail, or try to walk down the beach front in the early hours, if you can get from North Pattaya to Walking Street without being stopped by several working girls and pickpockets of all 3 genders, I will buy you a beer, even if its 100 baht on Walking Street which is more than Id be paying in Angeles City. Cartel price fixing, yes its a concern, but business is business and those bars have big overheds to cover and you can still find many cheaper smaller bars, or perhaps if you really want to save money, do as they do in Pattaya, sit outside the 7/11 store. I will continue to visit both Pattaya and Angeles City over the next few years, I enjoy both, but guess which Id choose if I had to make a choice. Wilnot  -  Leicester City – England.
Dear Harry, please feel free to publish part or all of the above letter and between me and you, its Angeles all day long, please let me know if you do publish, Im sick and tired of the negative comment of fun city, I prefer to say to them, if you dont like it, Fu-k off home. Wilnot.  (First, I would venture to guess that your first choice would be Angeles City so you can be near me (smile).  Secondly, you are a man after my own heart – Angeles City is here folks, like it, hate it, tolerate it, be happy, be sad, be angry just realize that most will return so please book a room at my place, I need the money)

Happy New Years Harry …It seems that I have been reading.  I always reminisce over forty years ago when I was stationed at NAS Sangley Point outside of Cavite City, when I was a bachelor.  I was attached to an airborne reconnaissance squadron there in 1965 and 1966 and another outfit in 1970 flying out of Cubi Point.  I fell madly in love with the Philippines and the people.Upon returning to the states in 1971, I married a half pinoy (pinay) in Calif.  We have been happily married the last 40 years, but late last year my companion passed away from a sudden illness.  I am beginning to think about returning to the islands.

 

I am also retired military, Chief AW (E-7), US Navy airborne airdale. I realize a lot has changed since then, but your newsletters over the years have been really entertaining and informative.  I had never though that I would be in the position to return. Linnea ‘Nea’, my better half, did not want to visit the Philippines and see where her grandfather came from.
Tentatively, I am planning on returning to the islands later this year around October for two to three weeks.  I am open to the dates and any other suggestion that you may have.  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, for all the effort you put into the newsletters, there are a lot of us out here that look forward to it each month. Dave from Stockton.

To buy or not to buy a car here, that is the question? This is how one reader of this column justifies not doing so:  Why I didn’t buy a car in the Philippines: People keep asking me, where is my car?  Well I don’t have it anymore, so I was looking at buying one here.  The pro is that I have transportation available whenever I want it and I did not even take into consideration the parking problems, etc. However, assuming a cheap used car for $5000 plus insurance, fees, minor repairs, gas and oil changes, etc for a year comes up to about P320,000.  So I did a cost/benefit analysis and this is what I found I could do with that amount of money:

- Trike rides for a year

- Transportation for 12 trips to Angeles (once per month)

- 36 nights in nice hotel in Angeles (3 nights each trip)

- 36 bar fines at 1500p each

- trip for 2 to Baguio

- trip for 2 to Singapore (Airfare and Hotel, etc)

- trip for 2 to Hong Kong (Airfare and Hotel, etc)

- AND that leaves enough money for 675 SMB’s

From that perspective, trikes and jeepneys aren’t all that bad. Bill G. (Gosh, great research, but please do not pass this information on to Mrs. Horse.  You see, we have two cars, plus one L300 used for an all around work horse (pardon the pun).  I do not worry about the expense of the two cars.  Why? Because 1) The Mrs. has her car, I have mine.  She goes her way, I go mine so we both have a degree of independence and I do not have to drive her around on her daily shopping trips to the Mall and the morning market.  I get to sleep late as she gets up at 0600 to go to the market.  2) I get to do my bar hopping without her knowing where I am and can get home when I want to.  I do not need to use any Hotels and do not pay any bar fines (please note that Priscilla reads this column).  3) I have no desire to travel to Baguio, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malayasia, China, or any other exotic place not only because of the airfares but the large amounts of money Priscilla would spend on shopping.  OK, I would spend a bit too.  Of course, now I can justify not making those trips thanks to you.  Once she realizes how much we spend on the two cars she will now know why we can’t afford to travel.  Now Bill, drop on by my stable and purchase at least 35 of those 675 SMB’s, I need the business so I can pay for our gas. Luv ya baby!)

Harry, I Wanted to comment on your OUTRAGE…The United States has always done this, I mean give money to others instead of taking care of our own.  Look at New Orleans and Katrina?  I am still paying back loans to the Government for the damage my house sustained due to the Hurricane.

Politics: Now that the Republicans have the House and the Democrats still control the Senate, expect nothing to get done in the next two years.  This will hurt the Republicans more because they argued for it during this election cycle. (It is not the Republicans fault if the electorate re-elected characters like Reed, Barney and others but you are right, regretfully it will be a stale mate all too often)

The Religious Right (I mean Tea Party) was able to seize the House because voter turnout was very low.  All of the gains they made will be lost during the Presidential elections, unless they cater to the Middle Class and Working Poor of the Nation!(Sure are a lot of folks in those categories)

President: With the Presidential Election season kicking off soon, I would have expected a stronger field of candidates to emerge from the Republicans? This is not the case.  The old favorites are there Huckabee, Romney, Palin, etc.etc, but no new faces or ideas.  The problem is none of them can beat the Obama machine.  The downfall of the Republican party is they have Palin.  She is seen as a big joke and that is hurting their chances in 2012. (yep, I am not a Palin fan.  She should have stayed as Governor of Alaska but then she would not have made as much money)

The other problem is the Republicans are saying Nothing New!!! Cut taxes, Cut Spending…This is nothing new and without explaining how to get America back to work, they will not beat Obama. (True, Chris Cristi of New Jersey is interesting but he says he does not want to run, at least he says that now, who knows by 2012.)

The smartest thing Obama did in two years?  Woman’s Vote!!!  That is right…He put, not one, but two women on the Supreme Court. (yes, but a lot of women are a bit disenchanted with him now)

He locked the Hispanic vote with Sotomayor and double dipped with Kaegan…Don’t Ask Don’t Tell gives him the Gay vote (a larger group than anticipated). (yes, one group that loves to do things illegally and the other that will do anything to push the gay agenda.  A very serious indication of why America is losing credibility.  I really do not know how dropping this “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will work.  Maybe it will be good for those one year isolated tours, especially when transvestites join up.  As long as they can shoot and are not exempt from combat, they can die just as well as the next guy, eh, girl, eh, whatever.)

Health Care…Like it or not, the man has a record to run on now and will have the Democratic base behind him. (not necessarily, it will require changes, not repeal).

Unless the Republicans come out with something new, they will be soundly defeated!!! Repeal of this or that isn’t a rallying call.  They need to come out with some definitive legislation in two years or they’re done…(Damn, I hate to agree.) Happy New Year. Bobby Donaldson.

This observation of Thailand is  from a major Expat investor here in Angeles City who visited Thailand during the Christmas season is quite interesting.  “As I mentioned, I was in Thailand this past week.  I had not been there since ship visits dating back to 1983, so had some preconceived ideas… boy was I off target.  I was so pleasantly surprised.  I spent three days in Bangkok touring and then four days in Pattaya with John Seymour.  We visited a lot of places (no, not just the bars).  First, I was amazed at the road infrastructure, the color and cleanliness of taxis on meters (yes all color coded with clean paint jobs and AC that works), the absence of beggars, and to be honest, didn’t see any Tondo-like hovels… anywhere.  The CRs were by and large clean and with tissue, little litter, and was generally impressed.  They have blown past the Philippines… in large part because Filipinos just don’t believe in their own country and want to believe in the worst and spread the gossip.” (This is something I have observed during my many years here.  The Filipino, all too often lacks pride in his own country. A good example is right outside my stable where people throw trash everywhere in the alleyway and urinate on the walls at any time – If I put out trashcans they would be stolen.  I get tired of hearing about how Thailand is so far ahead of the Philippines when I know that this country should, at the very least, be on a par with Thailand.)

Dear Readers, be prepared for this one, it is quite long but the answers to the comments submitted an Expat living in Angeles City is worth a read.  I appreciate the patience and time it took the President/CEO of GGLC in preparing his comments.  I agree with Mr. Dennis Wright’s answers, completely.  They are so informative and well written. It really should be an eye opener to the many Expats/Investors living here and those investors considering the Philippines as an investment.  The opportunities are boundless.  The comments from Dennis are in bold font. By the way, Dennis thought that the writer was a Filipino and that was my fault.  The writer, Howard, asked that his name not be used but I should have at least let Dennis know the Nationality which is Australian.

Howard - Harry, I have some comments on the Global Gateway Logistics City (Global) that you wrote of last month  (Dec).

Firstly, I have to say that the decimation of so much valuable farm land to create yet another concrete jungle borders on ‘environmental vandalism’ in my view. Why not follow the example of Hong Kong, Singapore and other places that have come to terms with the scarcity and value of their land? If all the building heights in the Global scheme were doubled, they could have used half of the land. The probable excuse of ‘can’t do that – it’s too close to the airport’ doesn’t hold water as you need only to look at the old – and indeed the new – Hong Kong airports to see the mass of multi-storey buildings around them. There are clear FAA regulations on flight path clearances and these have proved no problem at Hong Kong and other places.

(Eh, unless my eyes are messing me up I do not see the mass of multi-story buildings around the new Hong Kong airport as shown in this current picture – could they be underwater and appear at low tide?)

The farm land that existed before Global started was of prime quality so far as I could see. Some parts of it I would have called valuable wet-land. Was an environmental impact assessment done? Of course I would guess it was, but the conclusions did nothing to mitigate the decimation so far as I can see. I was horrified to see them cutting down some large Acacia trees down one weekend. If Global claim that the tree cutting was unavoidable I would say, “Baloney”.

Dennis – Unfortunately your analogy of Hong Kong and Singapore to the Philippines is not quite right.  While all three are islands, there is much, much less land available in Singapore and Hong Kong for development or agriculture, and both are much more densely urbanized, industrialized and modernized the Philippines.  Also, both HK and Singapore can provide jobs for their people and they have by and large eliminated Poverty.  The Philippines in contrast has much more land available for agriculture yet still can’t feed itself, nor provide sufficient jobs for its people.  You have to ask yourself Why?  Not because of insufficient land but because farming is done on small family plots without the aid of technology or agribusiness oriented processes and archaic thinking.  The Philippines has a major problem with poverty and unemployment, and according to the National Statistics Office, unemployment runs about 10%, however most suspect it is significantly larger.  The Philippines will never escape the shackles of poverty, or its ability to feed itsel unless it embraces advancement through modernization, technology and industrialization and more importantly, embrace progress, something I sense you might be reluctant to embrace.  The country cannot escape poverty by perpetuating small family plots of land where tenants grow rice with caribou plows and raise a few fish in small ponds.  The country cannot escape poverty without jobs and industrialization.  The land you are speaking of was never originally farmland, but rather was only used as farmland by the squatters that remained in the old CABCOM area after the refugees from Mt. Pinatubo were located there in 1992.  This also is a very poor use of land in and around an airport which more appropriately should be zoned commercial/industrial, not agricultural.  Land around airports is much better suited for commercial use, which also create jobs.  Just look at Narita, Suvarnabhumi, Dulles, O’hare and other international gateways, each has brought hundreds of thousands of jobs, as DMIA will.  In order to do that you must use that land in and around the airport for supporting facilities such as GGLC is designed to host.  GGLC is designed to create over 150,000 jobs, far more than the 107 informal settlers that were relocated from the site, and with jobs that will provide much more family income than what the settlers were receiving from that same land.  Land in and around an airport is strictly governed by Civil Air Authorities, such as FAA or CAAP.  These are defined in regulations.  GGLC is 100% compliant with the height restrictions and has maximized the vertical height allowed, to do so would have been fiscally imprudent.  You can rest assured they want as much vertical height as they can achieve, but must comply with all CAAP and FAA requirements.

The plan and layout of the Global project has also precluded the recreational access through the acacia trees that once existed near the Mabiga  Gate. In any development, existing access routes for recreation should be maintained.  Actually the master plan for GGLC does just the opposite of what you state, and it does allow for, and includes, a right of way for a long 3.5KM linear park along the easement between GGLC and the Mabalacat fence line, with route of the new North Rail Project on the eastern side of the fence line where once again informal settlers squatted years ago.  The access you are referring to where the Acacia trees are was in fact closed off because of concern for the safety of people.  On any given day, GGLC has some 15 to 20 pieces of heavy equipment operating.  These pieces of equipment, as you noticed in my photos, are digging large holes for culverts and underground utilities which also create dangerous holes and pitfalls during the hours of darkness for people transiting.  Operating heavy equipment and a construction site are not conducive to the free passing and transit of children playing or people passing.  These big pieces of equipment also do not have the best of visibility to see or observe small children or pets playing in and amount the vegetation or dirt piles.  The access you are referring to was restricted because it is now a large construction site with lot of moving heavy equipment.  To do otherwise would have been imprudent and unsafe. Howard – Harry, you write of gas stations on the site. My goodness, do we need another? Is there no control over these on Clark, or indeed in Angeles generally?

Dennis – Gas stations and commercial ventures by nature must be profitable and are based on the law of supply and demand.  Otherwise no one would build them. The reason you see so many gas stations on and off of Clark is because of their need and market demands.  New automobile sales were up over 30% this past year, and new bikes even more, all this is driving a big increase in demand for petrol.  I sense you are frustrated with this, when you should be celebrating that the Philippine economy is doing so well and robust enough to have people out buying motorized vehicles which in turn is driving new demand for gas stations.  While there is a downside to all the increased traffic in congestion or air pollution, the upside is that Filipinos are finally in a position to have transport of their own, which is a sign of a healthy and vibrant economy.

Howard – On the subject of the new hospital you point out that it will have a trauma burns unit, a “first for this airport” as you put it. As you well know, there was a functioning hospital on Clark base when the Americans departed.  It  reportedly had the finest burns facilities in Asia. This hospital was left under the care of the Philippine Air Force in 1991. It was systematically looted and empty shell can be seen to this day near to the Pure Gold supermarket. Some of the hospital equipment is still on sale at the corner market in Dau. Zimmer frame anyone?

Dennis – This is all true, but moot.  It is now 20 years later and this is nothing but anecdotal as the old USAF hospital can no longer be effectively restored, nor would any used equipment that is 20 years old be of much good to modern health care needs.  So I am not sure of the point you are trying to make except that again, you should be celebrating that blue-chip entities, such as The Medical City, one of your country’s best health care providers is coming to Clark.  Again, in large part because of the emergence of Clark as the next Aerotropolis which is further stimulating the economy which will bring jobs and an improved quality of life to everyone in Region III.

Howard - I tried to look into the background and history of the Peregrine Company that is quoted as the Developer of Global. Their web site and linked sites are long on various ‘claims’ of their previous achievements but very short on real detail. Looking at details of the few CV’s I could locate for their key personnel, it seems that some of the claimed projects are actually projects that some of their current personnel previously worked on and were not  actually carried out by Peregrine or its close associates. One claimed project is “The privatization and management of Mimosa Golf Club” which we know is absolutely not the case. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the management of Mimosa and the Club is not privatized. It seems to me, and to someone else who has looked into the Global scheme, that is a project cooked up by persons with a relatively lightweight track record who have managed to get some Arab money to seed the whole thing.

Dennis – I know these guys well, and I also reviewed their web site.  I think you misread their web site.  You need to look under their “Projects” section to see past work experience.  The reference you make to the company and Mimosa is listed under their “Opportunities” tab, which are or were “future” opportunities, not past “projects”.  Peregrine was in fact one of the original 10 proponents and ultimately down selected to one of the final four bidders on the Mimosa Privatization in 2006.  The government later declared a ‘failed bid’ and no award was made to any bidder.  Peregrine was also one of the registered bidders for the 2008 Privatization, the government again in 2008 declared a ‘failed bid’.  In 2009 a Korean group put an offer in and again it resulted in a failed approach.  Mimosa today is still operated and managed by the government and is in fact still a valid and exciting opportunity.  Peregrine has been actively seeking out potential new investors for this exciting “Opportunity” which is correctly listed on their web site as a ‘potential’ opportunity.  It was not listed as a historic project, their historical work is properly listed under their Projects tab.  I have personally met many of their corporate officers, and have found them to be both professional and well qualified, and their CVs accurately depict their work history and experience, both in Peregrine and former positions, which are correctly identified and not misleading.

I have also found the folks at Peregrine to be very conscientious when it comes to supporting their people and local community.  They have helped the city of Angeles every time the Mayor has requested them to loan some front end loaders and dump trucks to help clean up some areas in the city, they are presently donating and building a new fence around the Veterans Cemetery on Clark, the one vandals have stolen and damaged, and have supported numerous charity causes.  They have demonstrated to me that they are doing the right thing, and intend to transcend “pwede na” by building a quality park and doing it in a safe and environmentally friendly a manner that can be achieved.  They are leading the transformation of Clark and tout that “CLARK IS IT”, which has become their motto and mantra.  This will help lift metro-Clark by creating jobs and further stimulating the economy, something all of us old times have longed to see and clamored for.  And it is happening right before our very eyes.

Howard - I would suggest their funding is limited, however, and they are relying on the inflow of cash from new locators to carry the whole thing forward. This would explain why there has been relatively little real construction to date, save for an office and some fancy sign boards. In history, many people have been successful with schemes like this and I do wish them all the success. I will nevertheless watch their progress with interest.  I am sure many will recall the True North golf course project on Clark where the whole thing went broke and many people lost their money. This was another example of a project started on the basis  of fancy claims, various promises, glossy brochures with the proponents failing to realize the on-going investment that was necessary to keep the thing going. The mass of weeds that was once a 9 hole course can be seen to this day.

Dennis – I can sense a degree of negativism and pessimism in everything you say and write about, which is unfortunate.  It is a shame more Filipinos don’t believe in their own country the way these foreigners do.  As for GGLC, it is a massive undertaking, 177 hectares and over 4.5 million square meters of floor space to be constructed.  If you know the site as you seem to infer, then you know that in the time that Peregrine has been developing it much work had to be completed planning and preparing the site.  First, the master plan had to be finished an approved by your government.  You cannot build roads with all the underground utilities if you do not know where they will go and how many structures and people they must serve, and what kind of industry or commercial applications they will support.  In this regard, Peregrine retained Palafox Associates, arguably the best Planning and Architectural firm in the country to assist in this enormous task.  All this ‘office work’ had to be done before a bulldozer could begin to move dirt.  Next, the government had approve it.  Also the government had to relocate 107 informal settlers that squatted on the property that was all part of the former USAF base and later part of CDC.  Each of these squatter families had to be dealt with and agreements reached to relocate them from the land they squatted on, which was never farmland, but rather Air Force property.  This also took an inordinate amount of time, as you know, nothing is easy in the Philippines which unfortunately also acts as a disincentive to foreign developers investing in the Philippines.  We should be thankful that Peregrine and GGLC persevered through all of this.  Then trees had to be relocated or cut.  GGLC did everything by the book, including getting approvals of each and every government entity between CIAC and CDC to DENR, including all regional approvals.  In this regard, once approved by the government, they transplanted as many of the trees as they could and cut only those to big to be transplanted and that had to be removed.  And in accordance with Philippine regulations they provided 50 new trees for every tree cut and 30 for any tree injured.  GGLC in the end gave the government 14,030 new trees.  The wood cut was salvaged by DENR with 100% of the proceeds going to DENR in accordance with Philippine government regulations.  Again, all this took a lot of time.  Also on a side note, those people you talked about using the Acacia trees for relaxation severely damaged many of them by burning out the centers for shelters.  GGLC is attempting to save and restore as many of these as theycan. Further, if you recall, there were many old derelict structures and facilities on the site, some from the USAF, some from the PAF and some from the old CABCOM operation.  All of which also had to be removed.  As you can see today, there is a lot of work going on the site.  GGLC has already infused $20 million in the Philippines and has created over 500 jobs in project execution, including construction, security and local contractors.  This number is growing over time.  The planning and construction of the new Medical City hospital to be delivered in 2013 is but one example of the new vertical construction that will start soon and only add to those numbers.  What you have to remember is that 100% of all the infrastructure is going underground, nothing will exist above ground in what will become the most modern logistics and business parks in not only the Philippines but also Southeast Asia.

 

Howard - Returning the subject of land decimation, this is going on within Clark at a horrible and seemingly uncontrolled rate. In recent months, the previous access at the old Gate 14 has been closed off for the benefit of an ‘investor’. This gate was previously open to various recreational groups to access the land beyond, for hiking and hashing. CDC seem to be simply ‘selling off the family silverware’ to line the pockets of Government and others, with no regard to the people who enjoy the natural environment in and around the base.

Dennis – You certainly are making a lot of accusations I cannot relate to.  I have found the government representatives serving Clark, both CDC and CIAC, as well as the locators I have met operating on Clark, to be most professional.  I think you should again be celebrating their success.  During the heyday of the USAF, some 25,000 Filipinos were employed, today, CDC and CIAC have generated over 60,000 jobs, which in large part are the reason SM and Marquee malls are so successful.  This trickle down economic effect is because companies like GGLC, TI, Samsung, Singapore Airlines, Yokohama, Nanox and others are creating jobs and Clark is booming.  The same success can be seen as Subic.

Howard – If there is a local environmental pressure group in this area, I would like to hear about it. I never thought I would become a ‘tree hugger’ but I am appalled by what I see around me in recent years.

Dennis –  It is unfortunate you see it this way.  It is a travesty that the widening of MacArthur highway between Angeles and San Fernando has been abated because of individuals who don’t want to cut a tree.  MacArthur is the only major north-south thoroughfare outside of the NLEX and is woefully overloaded, unsafe and chaotic.  It is unfortunate you cannot or have not traveled internationally, because you would quickly see that the Philippines, once the strongest economy in ASEAN has now regressed to one of the poorest because it has not kept pace with the infrastructure.  What has caused Thailand, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries to excel is the emphasis they placed on infrastructure, the roads, the emergence of business and industrial parks and airports.  Yet people like you seem to be fighting it much to your own detriment.  Just how would you propose to attract new businesses, good businesses, not service sector jobs, if you don’t accept progress.  It is a travesty to see children on the street begging and not in schools, it is a travesty to see families living in poverty and squalor because they cannot find jobs, it is not a travesty to cut a tree on Macarthur highway or on a commercial site which stifles growth and attracting new businesses to the Philippines.  No one is talking about deforestization, people are only talking about cutting trees where they need to be cut like on the shoulders of MacArthur or in an areas where a structure or road needs to go.  Urban development can be complimentary to the environment, but cannot occur if you try to protect every tree, and every parcel of land that is better suited for commercialization and creating jobs so beggars can restore their dignity and pride by finding jobs, working and supporting their family.  I fear everything you have said is counter to helping your country develop.

 

Howard - Finally, I was a bit amused by the future passenger projections you state for Clark Airport. If Clark is indeed handling 7 million passengers in 5 years time and we are both still around, it’s a slap up steak meal on me. Third and fourth runways? I think we will be colonizing Planet Mars before that happens.

Dennis – Again, it is so unfortunate that foreigners have more confidence and optimism in your country than you do.  You don’t need to go very far to see the rapid growth of development.  Fort Bonifacio sat dormant for many years because of the 1997 Asian financial collapse, but four years ago, as the 1997 crisis abated, Fort Bonifacio took off with a vengeance.  In just four years, Fort Bonifacio has grown to 100% build out, with new areas targeted for development.  If you are not familiar with the area, it is adjacent to Makati and has seen unprecedented growth and economic boom in just the past 3-4 years.  Similarly UP-Ayala and much of Quezon City have sprung up, along with Eastwood, Green Hills and other areas.  Further, look at the completion major infrastructure projects such as the SCTEX, the SLEX extensions/expansions, the MRT extension down EDSA from North Avenue to Caloocan, the new 700 TEU container port in Subic, the new North Rail through Malolos and even the more modest expansion of the Clark passenger terminal.  Everywhere you look you see growth and expansions.  At Clark, you have Texas Instruments investing $1+ billion, Samsung purported $2 billion, Singapore Airlines $100 million dollar hangars, GGLC $2 billion investment over 7 years, all the new Korean projects including the Officetel Building next to Parksons Duty Free, the SM mall four years ago, the new Ayala mall last year, the second McDonalds, the third Jollibee, all the new condos and hotels along Perimeter Road and Fields Avenue, not to mention all the new housing developments ranging from Xcevera, Enclave, Savannah, Fiesta etc. not to mention all  the gas stations you are complaining about.  In Subic you have similar growth with 18,000 new employees at the billion dollar Hanjin shipyard, the new Pure Gold store, Ayala’s new investment and many new hotels.  What do you think is fueling all these developments.  All of this just over the past four years.  Sit back and try to think what will the next four to five years hold.

 

What you also may not realize is that the Manila airport is saturated, it is at its “operational” capacity, the only alternative is DMIA and Clark.  This is why you see so much foreign interest in Clark and why MPC and San Miguel both have announced transition into infrastructure projects with special eyes on Clark.  There were two major studies done on DMIA, one by the Japanese and one by the Koreans, in addition to GGLC’s own analysis.  All project the immediate need for 7 million passengers and 23 million by 2023.  Are you aware that the airport will service one million alone next year, even without any new government efforts to make it happen, and solely through low cost carriers?  Imagine the rate of growth when the government really supports and backs its development and the impact when the scheduled airlines arrive. You also should be applauding your government’s vision for protecting the land such that a third and fourth runway can be added.  This lack of foresight has rendered NAIA obsolete.  Those runways will be needed and fortunately your government recognizes this and reserving that land.  Do you realize that Manila, one of the largest metropolises in the world is the only major city with only one airport.  Every major city requires not only two, but many three airports to support the demand for aviation activities.  You complained about the number of gas stations, why, because Filipinos are becoming more mobile.  So too, more and  more Filipinos are flying thanks to the low cost air fares like Cebu Pacific is offering rather than taking long bus or ferry rides to domestic destinations.  Similarly domestic tourism is up, and the demand for air travel is increasing at the same rate as the need for gas stations.  So I will take you up on that Steak offer.

In summary, I sense a lot of animosity, negativity and skeptism and in general attitude toward your government and what is going on around you.  This is most unfortunate, as Filipinos tend to be their own worst enemy.  As I said, I find it ironic foreigners believe more strongly in your country that Filipinos do.  What I have found in Clark and Subic and really throughout the country over the last few years is refreshing, with the country being on the cusp of one of the greatest comebacks of all time.  What it needs is optimism, not pessimism and people who beleive.  I have talked with Dennis Wright, President of Peregrine and the developer of GGLC who has offered to brief you and give you a personal tour, just as he did for me so you can get an ‘up close and personal’ view of what is going on, not just at GGLC but Clark as a whole.  Invite a few of your friends, I think you will be really surprised at what is happening in your own backyard.  Become informed, become a supporter not a naysayer.   And oh by the way, I like me steak medium well, and please make it a big Porterhouse.

Harry, According to an internet article today, with a January 2011 increase the Philippines has some of the highest electric rates in the World and the highest in the Far East . The recent increase raised rates to about 29 cents per KWH ( the US avgs. 8 cents KWH .  Canada 6 ), apparently, Visaya is even higher .  Iloilo has some of the highest rates in the world according to the article . 2. The bars must really be feeling the pinch, pushing the A/C many hours a day, the hotels as well. The monthly bill must be a bitch! 3. With the recent increase of food and rent in the PI  and the declining exchange rate , I fail to see where the PI is a ” cheap ” place to
live for an American. My wife and I saw that when we visited a while back. Prices in Barettos and the Super Markets had gone way up.  Milk outrageous as well as rice.  Then no  TRI Care or Medicare coverage (I guess you have to MedEvac to the Navy Hospital in Guam if really sick.) 4. When I first came to the PI to live after 911, most guys felt you could get by on about $1000 a month and that was when the dollar was 58 pesos. True, back then I had plans to live in the PI but, sorry, I no longer have such plans.  The PI is a fun place for a single man for month or so and that is it.  5.  But, the Europeans still think it is great. Sure, with the cost of living in Europe 3 x that of the US and 50 and 60% tax rates , I would too.   Later, Joe Walker.  (My goodness Joe, I have printed comments from you before and many are so negative and depressing.  Yes, it is getting more expensive to live here for those foreigners on a fixed pension plan but one can adjust.  Obviously, you are not living in New York, Chicago, and other high cost of living areas in the States.  I know that many couples in the States are working two jobs just to pay their bills and must budget every dollar they make.  Yes, electricity is high here, too damn high considering the poor services that are available and the need to have generators if one is in business or even living in a house, but one cuts down the usage to cope with the increases.  The Bars and Hotels, well, they adjust their prices to cope with the increases.  You are right, food is expensive but one can deal with that as well, steaks, roast beef, etc., are not eaten on a regular basis unless ones income allows for that.  I hate to tell you this, but we do have Tri-Care access here but yes, no medicare and I hate to keep paying that 96 dollars every month for something that is not recognized here but, and this is an important but, if I do get sick enough, I can return to the States and be covered and yes, maybe even check out that Navy Hospital on Guam.  I am glad you and the Mrs are so happy in the States, but take it easy on us retirees over here that are still happy and have no desire to return to the US other than to visit and than can’t wait to get back to the PI.  Why, too damn expensive for me over there!)

I couldn’t resist this one. I just read a story on www.angelescity.com that I just had to get your take on. I read on a different website about an armed robbery at Le Mirage this past New Years Day only to find out that the alleged criminal committed a similar crime back in July at King’s Poker Sports Club. The original crime story reads as follows:King’s Poker Sports Club situated along Friendship highway was violently robbed by none other than its own security guard yesterday at 7:15am. A co-worker claimed to have heard screams from a room of the Poker club, only to find the club’s cashier, Maria Olano, handcuffed on a stainless steel table. In a statement, Maria Olano remembered a loud noise which prompted her to check and thus open a locked door. Here she was confronted by a man clad in black jacket, face covered with a black cloth and at gun point with a handgun pistol, who cocked the firearm 4 times before announcing the heist. Translated in English: ”Sorry, my needs are quite demanding and tell your boss I didn’t do this, I just need to get my baby”.  The victim immediately recognized the voice as their security guard Benamante Belleza, who added: “Remember my face, I know where your husband works.  You owe your life to me, I’m Waray!” After handcuffing the victim, as if in a movie, he then revealed his covered face and gave the victim a kiss on the lips before taking cash in the amount of over P800,000 from a cashbox and escaping through the backdoor. CCTV footage of the entire robbery was handed to the police, who failed to find the suspect at his residence.
Now, unless I’m way off on this one, this crime took place back in July with the victim positively identifying, and even knowing the name of, the alleged criminal. The police had CCTV footage and knew where he lived and they still weren’t able to locate and arrest this guy until he committed yet another crime, at gunpoint again, this past New Year? Holy Crap!! Are the police in AC that inept or do they just not care? Either way, that’s pretty pathetic. Local businesses are better off with private security…but wait…oh yeah, that’s what this guy was…You just gotta laugh. Happy New Year and keep up the great reporting on the Harry the Horse site. Regards, Andrew.  (The cops here are not completely inept but, of course, there is room for improvement.  That is my first understatement for 2011!)

Hi there Harry, I always read with great amusement and utter disgust the complaining, whining and grousing from so-called “men” who fly to the Philippines from the “first world” (i.e. The United States, or the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, etc.) expecting the “third world” to provide them the same courtesies and comfort that have been taking for granted back home. (So very true but the comforts here through great shopping, cable, modernization has improved dramatically over the years. As far as courtesy is concerned I think the US lags behind the Philippines.  Comfort, OK, the US is still a bit ahead but not so much that folks coming here have all the much to complain about so I sure do agree with you)
It is even MORE ridiculous to hear comments from portly, mostly-obese 60-year-olds like, “The girls in AC have gotten fat,” or from the “squeezing Lincoln till he cries penny-pinchers, “You have to watch out, these girls will down their LD’s very fast and you’ll have to pay for more,” or from the gutter accommodation connoisseur, “I cannot believe the girl I took back to my flea-bitten shithole hotel didn’t want to stay the night with me! Gee! What does she expect, me to wash and shave or something?”  (Actually it might help if some of these elder lads did wash up a bit, shave, gargle a bit of Listerine and dab some underarm odorant into the armpits)
Truth be told, any man who is lucky enough to discover AC should daily (and especially nightly) thank their lucky stars that the place even exists. (Believe me, many do!) Sweet, very young and (initially anyway) innocent smooth-skinned, deliciously brown and beautiful women make their way to AC to make MONEY in the bars. They (censored), they encourage men to buy ladies drinks for them for MONEY, they try and get together long-term so you will support them. They give themselves willingly to fat, bald, over-the-hill old men who are well past their prime, and most do so gladly with an adoring smile, lots of little kisses and open arms –(edited out)—. Perhaps in their naïve little overly-Romantic hearts they hope (and even pray?) for a “nice foreigner” to fall in love with them and take them away from the squalor and pitiless poverty that pervades the Philippines. And our response? Complain about a $3.48 ladies drink? My God!
AC is heaven on earth for men. It is a paradise of hundreds of young women, readily available for a very small price. Yeah, it cost about a $1000 to fly there from the U.S., and sure, it takes almost 20 hours to get to Manila, and yes, there is a 2-hour or more car ride to your AC hotel, and yeah, it costs about $34.88 for overnight entertainment.  OK. So? Tell me where you get what we get in AC in any first world country? (I changed a few words here but you CAN get similar experiences in first world countries if you are prepared to spend hundreds, and at times thousands of dollars but even at that price the “sweetness” would be lacking)
When I read the small-minded, spoiled little boy “feedback” you sometimes receive here Harry, I just want to say, “Just stay with your white whales in the first world and leave AC to those of us who truly appreciate what is available there.”  I will see you in March Harry, and many, many more times until I can no longer do so.  : )  - John L. Whitener, and AC ENTHUSIAST!!! (Eh John, luv ya baby, a true fan of Angeles City that appreciates the little things in life.  Forgive me, I had to change or delete a few words that were a bit too descriptive.  You won’t believe this, but there are certain elements of society that do not completely agree with our social pursuits here in AC).

Hi Harry,  Happy New Year!  I just got back to work from being off since Dec 23rd. I just got caught up on my email and read your Jan newsletter.  I hope you and your family have a great year full of health and prosperity.  I enjoyed seeing the latest pictures of Jessica and Joshua.  They are such cute kids. That little Josh has the same cow-lick I did at that age.  (Sadly no more.)  Please pass on my well wishes to Margaret and Alan.  She truly is a marvelous woman.  I hope you keep sticking it to that murderous bitch Evelyn.

I read where you wrote about the wonderful work the VFW is doing with the cleft palate children.  I have heard of a similar charity advertised here in the States called the Smile Train.  Is the VFW program connected with them in any way?  I am contemplating contributing in some way once I finish helping my family in the Philippines this year.  The Smile Train says that operations can be done for as little as $250.  I don’t think that is too much to really change a person’s life in such a drastic manner.

Take care of yourself and yours in the New Year.  I look forward to coming over and seeing you again.  It will probably be in Dec 2012 as the wife wants to visit her village at their fiesta time around Dec 13. Bob Harris, From Maryland, USA (Thanks Bob, the VFW Cleft Program is not connected to the Smile Train project, it is strictly a VFW project overseen by Cliff Wilsey.  I will certainly continue my yearly message to Evelyn the killer.  For sure Margaret is a fantastic lady along with husband Alan and I suspect she will be reading this and appreciate your message to her.  See you in 2012)

Good Evening Harry, I’m one of the readers of your site, and I mentioned this to somebody I know, especially to some foreigners who’s planning to visit here, I asked them to at least read something on your site because its really help for them to be safe here. I don’t like that my Co – Filipinos treating foreigners with Discrimination. I just hope all of the people in Position will do something more for the safety of foreigners, do they realize that Tourists and Investors can help a lot for the improvement of this country…How I wish! hehe!. Anyway, here’s the main reason why I emailed you. I wonder where are those Bosses who’s hiring somebody without asking them to have sex with them, hiring somebody without Discrimination.  I applied for a jobs recently, today I had an interview with American man who’s hiring for a caregiver, he didn’t hire me because I don’t want to do sex with him, I don’t want to cheat on my Irish bf. Here’s the thing, my point is why this man posted that he needs a caregiver if the truth is he just need a sex buddy hihihi! If I just know about it, I didn’t even bother to text him.  Have a good health Harry! Always take care! Thank you very much I appreciate your time for this interesting email from me, interesting, isn’t it? hehe!  (Hi Joy, I must say that I seldom get an Email from a Filipina who is a reader of this column.  It was a pleasure to receive your message.  I believe that the caregiver ad you replied to was the one in the Jan issue of the blue-book.  When I saw it I suspected that the person placing the ad might have some things on his mind other than hiring a caregiver only.  I happened to be in Thi-Hi at the time and showed the ad to one of the ladies there and told her that she should apply but I told her that I thought the guy might be after a bit more than just someone to empty his bed pan.  Guess I was right.  Are there bosses hiring under 30 year old ladies without asking for sex.  Absolutely!  They usually wait a month or two before asking.  So, you have an Irish boyfriend, that must be why you laugh a lot.  You got me smiling and I hope you find a job, by the way, I really like fish balls – Jocelyn did reply and confirmed that it was the blue book ad)

Received the following message from VARO Manila:

Greetings all; I am happy to announce the opening of your new VA Manila facility – located on the U.S. Embassy Seafront Compound. Your new VA facility will provide enhanced services by establishing a “one stop shop” for all your VA needs. The new facility doubles the number of clinical exam rooms, provides new diagnostic equipment in a number of clinical areas and offers greater and more convenient
access to all VA services in a modern, secure and state-of-the-art facility. The Manila VA Regional Office will open for business in our new location Monday, January 24, 2011. The Manila VA Outpatient Clinic will open for business in our new location Monday January 31, 2011. All those with an appointment on or after January 24, 2011 will receive a phone call this week from one of our representatives to remind them of our new location.  Please feel free to share this information widely throughout the Veterans community here in the Philippines. I’ve also included a picture. After five years of planning and construction, I am confident you will be pleased with the end result: A VA designed for you and built to serve you. I look forward to seeing you at your new VA soon. Respectfully, Jon Skelly, Director,U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, United States Embassy Manila.

Hi harry hope you are well. I am currently in angeles city visiting my family, and enjoying catching up with friends in bars and enjoying great hospitality from the filipino people. I am so sorry sometimes to hear a lot of negative comments coming from vistors but not all of it is justified.  Whilst barhopping around the bars a few nights ago the demon drink got the better of me and decided to cut short my night, and visit one last bar Champagne this is one of my favourite bars. I find it safe and appealing. I caught up with noy noy and mommy cely. The bar tenders are great the dj also, and of course the girls are fantastic. I left quite early around 10.15 got home went to put the phone on charge, you guessed it, no phone. It was an expensive nokia n95 and had all my work contacts ring tones etc on it. I must of left it in the trike. My wife was in the province with the kids so we could not contact each other. The next day i went out and bought a cheap nokia and resigned myself to never seeing my old phone again. Two days later my wife returned from the province and she asked why i had  not contcated her. I explained that i had gone shopping one afternoon and must of left the phone in a trike. She then started to laugh ln crazy filipino fashion and asked do you want to repeat the story but the truth this time. I asked what was the joke? she said that this morning noy noy texted her saying that he had  the phone and was eager to return it to me. That night my wife collected the phone. And the next day feeling fully refreshed and hiding my embarrassment i returned to champagne to offer my thanks to noy noy and his team. I sincerely hope harry you will include this item in your next issue and my heart felt thank you to champagne bar.  I would truly recommend this bar to anybody visting angeles city. Steve Galloway. (Nice story and I suspect your wife is still laughing at you – nice try Steve).

Hi Harry,  You rightly hit on AEC and they are partially to blame. But what has been missed is the fact that members of the SVM committee acted without any consultation either with the residents whom they are supposed to represent, or with AEC themselves. There was no DENR permit for pruning trees; the residents didn’t ask for them to be pruned. There was no coordination with AEC, who would not have switched the power back on had they been made aware that the SVM committee were trying to save a few dollars by having a private unqualified contractor do the work instead of AEC themselves. The President, Willem Hoejenbos, 75-09 Timothy Street, SVM, should therefore be made fully accountable for these mens’ tragic and needless deaths, for it is he who was negligent in the planning and execution of what should have been a routine task, had all the necessary precautions been taken beforehand. Mike F.  (This is in reference to the item I wrote last month about the two lads who were electrocuted while pruning trees in the Sunset Valley Mansions Subdivision.  It is strictly the opinion of the writer, Mike)

 

An English lad by name of Stirland Bradburn provided this new ad for a rather large fantastic house in a first class subdivision in Hensonville.  He provided the following information:  As I told you I have a small business here with my fellow English business partner and we have been building houses on spec for a little over 7 years in AC now. Mainly our houses are tailored for the higher end property buyers and we have mainly constructed our houses on Hensonville Plaza. I was also the one that built the first 2 large properties on Angeles City Sports and Country Club. My partner and I enjoy our work and the attention to detail and finish of the buildings is very forth coming to our buyers. We have not done many houses for other people under contract but I do, however, have 3 additional plots (500 sqm each) in Hensonville Plaza ready for construction that i own. One has already got the plans and building permits approved and is waiting to be commenced. I have been approached by one or two people interested in ourselves doing a “Pay as we build” on the proposed next house. I have the plans available for anyone to view and a projected price for the full construction including the lot.

Hi Harry, Just a short note that may interest some of your Melbourne readers. I know you have lots of them, I am one. For those wishing to learn the Filipino language there is a school here in that has Saturday classes. They also do classes for kids so they can learn to read and write the language that mum speaks to them.  They have been around since 1995. http://www.philippinelanguage.webs.com.  I am not involved in this organization. Cheers!! Frosty.

Hi Harry, I’m retired USAF and a “shirt tail relative” of Charlie Barnes who’s living in Vegas now.  Like Charlie (his real name is Adolph but no one but his family knows that) I’m also married to a Filipina and was stationed at Clark (from 83 to 86).  I was also stationed at Kunsan, Osan, Kadena, Udorn (Thailand) and in the beautiful sunny Republic of Vietnam (Cam Ranh Bay and DaNang). I used to come to Clark on Cope Thunder exercises back in the late 70s before actually getting my best Christmas present ever and being stationed at Clark for three full years. By the way, that “road” leading out the side gate is not an alleyway, it is still a dirt road and guess right, I use it a lot, my stable is right around the corner.

Thanks for keeping us old farts in the loop about the goings on in AC.  If ever you get a good mailing address for Tick Bostick let me know.  He and I shared a hospital room back in 84 when he had a vasectomy reversed..  I had my appendix out and we were roomies at the Clark hospital.. Take care and maybe one day I’ll see you. Arval E. (Arv) Cogdill. (Arv, my man, happy to hear from you.  Please tell Charlie, oops, I mean “Adolph” that I will arrive in Vegas with the Mrs and son on 11 Apr.  I regret to inform you that good guy Tick Bostick passed away last year.  He did not leave a forwarding address but I am sure we will all meet up with him again someday)

TIDBITS

THE Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) is not for motorists driving over the speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour (kph) as they will surely be stopped. This is the message of the continuing campaign being waged by SCTEx authorities, particularly mobile patrol crews of the Tollways Management Corp. (TMC), service provider of the 94-kilometer tollway. Since the SCTEx began full commercial operations in mid-2008, a total of 12,605 drivers have been arrested, most of whom were issued citation tickets for violating set speed limits—a minimum of 60 kph and a maximum of 100 kph. The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), owner and builder of the SCTEx, continues to intensify its antispeeding drive in keeping with its commitment to provide safe, hassle-free and comfortable travel along the tollway that connects Subic Free Port Zone to the Central Techno Park in Tarlac City via the Clark Free Port Zone in Mabalacat, Pampanga. SCTEx records showed that from a low of 2,872 arrests in 2008, the figure went up to 4,231 in 2009, representing a hefty 47-percent increase. For the current year 5,502 erring drivers were stopped by the SCTEx patrols for a 30-percent apprehension performance improvement. “Open highways have always been a magnet for speedsters who have little or no regard for their own safety,” said SCTEx spokesman and program manager Robert Gervacio. “But they won’t go far inside the SCTEx because our traffic enforcers are on the job 24/7,” Gervacio stressed. Gervacio noted that the quality of construction of the SCTEx, praised by many for its well-paved and smooth roads, bridges and trumpet-style interchanges,  is on a par with world-class expressways found in other countries. He added that the smooth pavement of the SCTEx has somehow led motorists to think that they are driving slow despite going beyond the 100-kph speed limit. Gervacio advised motorists to always check their speedometer to ensure driving within the speed limit. “By driving within the speed limit, you are not only ensuring the safety of your passengers but also the passengers of the other vehicles as well,” he noted. (This was taken from the business/mirror.com site.  In my opinion the requirement for a maximu speed of 100 kph is nothing more than an organized speed trap.  They talk about a first class expressway, which it is but my goodness, a speed of 120 kph would be more reasonable since most of the road is a straight-a-way.  Despite the accolades after opening it only took a few months before one could see extensive repairs being made to the road which remains on-going.  So much for “first class” but regardless, the opening of the SCTEx was and remains a blessing.  It is a wonderful, scenic drive, but the low max. speed limit is riduculous.)

Only a month and a half ago a local newspaper reported that Philippine President Benigno “Nonnoy” Aquino was eyeing the full development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and its support infrastructure, particularly the Northrail project which was hampered because of funding problems.  Hell, my reaction was “about damn time!”  How many Presidents have said this already and we are still waiting.  For me, the proof will be when I see the actual work being done and planes landing here that are truly international flights to the US, Canada, Europe, etc.  Additionally, I will believe when I see the rails being laid and a train station being erected at the Checkpoint.  Until that time, ” talk is cheap!

A GROUP OF MEN TAKE OVER THE BLUE NILE HOTEL IN A BIZZARE INCIDENT20 men take control of the Blue Nile hotel in one of the most bizarre incidents of the year.  Just hours after New Year, about 20 men entered the Blue Nile Executive hotel on Fields Avenue at around 5:00 am and took control over the hotel.  One individual, Herico Gedaya, coerced the hotel staff and all its guests to immediately leave the hotel claiming that it was under new management.  All staff and hotel guests immediately left the hotel. The other men who entered the building were mostly construction workers, including carpenters, plumbers and painters whom were instructed to start working on renovating the hotel. Upon arrival of the police and the owner of the hotel, Mrs. Ana Gomez and her attorney Norman De Guzman, Mrs. Gomez presented lawful documents that she is still the legal owners of the hotel.  The individual that claimed that the hotel was under new management, on the other hand, had no documents whatsoever to prove that the hotel changed ownership. The police then arrested and detained 13 of the men and allowed the hotel to continue operations. Ah, there was a glitch though, guess what?  Yep, P15,000 was missing from the cash box. The money went missing from the Hotel’s cash box after Gedaya instructed the front desk receptionist to leave all cash in the cash box while leaving the hotel. The incident is still under investigation at this time, 6 Jan.

 

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – City health authorities yesterday reported 10 new suspected cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) here. Dr. Teresita Esguerra, chief of the social hygiene center of the city health office, also noted an eight percent increase in cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among thousands of women registered as workers in local bars and other tourist-oriented establishments. She told The STAR that there are about 13,000 registered workers in local entertainment establishments who are all required under a city ordinance to undergo weekly smear tests at the social hygiene center. “Since last July, the number of such workers coming for the tests has increased from an average of 700 to 1,200 daily,” she said. Center nurse Lynne Velasco quoted the STD victims as saying that Koreans have replaced Americans as the suspected sources of their ailments. Angeles earned the tag “sin city” as American soldiers stationed at the former Clark US Air Force base frequented the “red light districts” here for their “rest and recreation.”

The red light districts suffered a slump when the Americans abandoned Clark in 1991, but resurfaced a few years later when Clark was converted into a special economic zone. Esguerra noted that since 1985, at least 100 locals, mostly women working in bars, have been confirmed to be HIV-positive. HIV eventually leads to the fatal Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
“A rapid test we did recently revealed 10 more suspected HIV cases but we are not informing the concerned girls yet until we receive a confirmation from a laboratory in Manila,” she said. (why would she disclose it to a newspaper if it is not confirmed?)
Esguerra, however, said her office has lost track of most of the 100 confirmed HIV cases. “We got feedback that some went back to their provinces, while about 10 have already died of AIDS,” she said. Velasco said the victims included three siblings, now aged two, four, and seven who were orphaned by parents who died from AIDS. These children are now under the care of a foundation in Manila.Esguerra cited limitations provided by Republic Act 8524 of the Philippine National AIDS Law that prevent health authorities from tracking down probable sources of HIV in the city’s foreign community. “We also cannot control the activities of the HIV patients. We cannot forbid them to return to the bars to work, neither can we warn the bars on the health of the patients,” she said.
Esguerra and Velasco said attempts to provide the patients with other forms of livelihood have failed. “The cash given them just vanishes. It seems that their experience in bars has developed an outlook for easy money,” Velasco said. She said six confirmed HIV patients are now under the care of the city government. Four of them are employed as “peer advisors” to other bar workers. Esguerra noted though that compared to other major cities in the country, the local HIV situation is not as bad. “But we have to be vigilant,” she added. Next month, she said random HIV tests would be done among registered and freelance entertainers as well as tricycle drivers, among whom STD cases have been reported to be significant. “At least 300 from each group would undergo behavioral and blood tests,” she said. Esguerra said her office is pushing the availability of condoms in nightspots to help prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs.“The female entertainers, however, report that most of their customers refuse the use of condom. In gay bars, the male workers are embarrassed to admit having had sex with customers, so they refuse blood tests,” she said.

 

By the way, the word boondocks originates from a Tagalog (Filipino) word bundok. Means the same thing as we know it for the most part. To live up in the mountains. We picked it up during the Spanish-American war. That’s my trivia of the day.. Regards, Bender…..(Well shucks, I did not know this so will pass it on – interesting)

LACK OF HARD EVIDENCE AGAINST DIZON (From the Punto local newspaper)ANGELES CITY – The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) here said yesterday suspected serial killer Mark Dizon – charged with the murder of  nine, including three foreigners in this city in July last year – could yet be acquitted amid lack of hard evidence against him. Lawyer Anselma Medina, one of Dizon’s legal counsels from the PAO, said that like in the multiple murder case,  even the evidences of the prosecution on the theft charges against her client were also all “circumstantial”. She noted that the prosecution even failed to produce the alleged tape taken by a closed circuit television (CCTV) when Dizon allegedly pawned cell phones and other personal items purportedly belonging to his victims. “Once acquitted, Dizon would be free because the case could no longer be appealed under the principle of double jeopardy,” she said. Irked by this development, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, who is also a lawyer, said he would be willing to take the witness stand to testify that he had seen the CCTV tape that showed Dizon pawning the personal items belonging to one set of Dizon’s victims. In an earlier interview, prosecutor Allan Pasamonte had admitted that the evidences so far presented to Judge Philbert Iturralde of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 58 here were indeed circumstantial. He said such evidences still had to be “woven” before any conviction could be expected. Pamintuan said that as a lawyer, he was aware that “ preponderance of even circumstantial evidences can pin down a suspect,” he said, noting that the items allegedly stolen by Dizon from the Mitchell household after the murders were personally turned over to him by the pawnshop owners, one of whom was his wedding godson.
This, even as Medina said that the trial of the case has virtually been suspended when Iturralde filed sick leave starting last Sept. 20 up to Jan. 20 this year. Iturralde’s staff at the court said the Supreme Court approved the sick leave as Iturralde had to undergo surgery in Canada. It was only last December that the judge went under the knife, the staff member said. Medina said that in the meantime, RTC Branch 59 has been attending to matters related to the case, except the presentation of any evidence which would resume only after Iturralde has returned. Dizon was arrested in La Union by local police operatives, and later pleaded not guilty to the charges related to the murder of the Mitchells. He was not allowed bail. In an earlier interview, Dizon expressed confidence he would be acquitted.   “There is no evidence to link me to the crimes. The incidents occurred in subdivisions where sentries normally list down names of guests, and my name does not even appear in any of their log books,” Dizon said. He noted that even the alleged close circuit television camera that was initially reported to have recorded his presence at the Clarkville Compound turned out to be non-existent.
Dizon said he had been reading legal books while in jail since his arrest in La Union last July 27, and that he found out that his rights were allegedly violated when he underwent “custodial investigation” despite lack of legal counsel. “I know of a rape case which was dismissed because of that same reason and so I can not understand why the judge still accepted testimonies of witnesses and presentation of evidences despite this flaw,” said Dizon who spoke English well. (This article from a local newspaper nearly sent panic through the Angeles City Expat community.  So much so that the Mayor called a special meeting at City Hall a few days later in which key personnel were invited.  This important information from that meeting follows:)

Notice received by me from the Angeles City – City Information Office 10 Jan – City prosecutors and local police say:

MARK DIZON WILL NOT BE ACQUITTED”

ANGELES CITY – Government prosecutors along with the local police has assured the public and Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan that they have a strong case against suspected serial killer Mark Dizon that would eventually merit a conviction. In a case conference held at the city hall, Assistant City Prosecutor Allan Pasamonte together with Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, Director of the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO) presented additional evidences to Pamintuan that will be used by the prosecution in court as soon as the trial resumes in March. The city mayor told during the meeting that a recent news report about Dizon going to be acquitted is ‘misleading the public’. “Our police have collected very strong evidences against Mark Dizon,” Pamintuan said. He even brushed speculations that the suspect will soon be released from jail. Among the five cases filed against Dizon including nine (9) counts of murder, illegal possession of firearms, and robbery, only one is being heard in court. “The only reason for delay is because the judge assigned to the case has been on leave because of surgery,” the mayor added. Regional Trial Court Branch 58 Judge Philbert Iturralde, who handles Dizon’s case went on sick leave on Sept. 20 to prepare for a surgical operation to remove a mass at his back. According to court personnel, the judge is not scheduled to report for duty until January 20 and is set to continue hearing the case on March 14. Iturralde originally planned to conduct a marathon hearing on Dizon’s case docketed under IS no. III-01-INQ-10G-00376, pursuant to an old Supreme Court memorandum circular, as the case involves the murder of a foreign national and therefore has international significance. According to Pasamonte, it is impossible for Mark Dizon to be acquitted even for his theft case alone. “We’ve got a lot of strong evidences and witnesses who are willing to testify against Dizon. The mayor is even willing to testify in court against him,” Pasamonte said. City Prosecutor Atty. Oliver Garcia who is also present in the meeting said the cases filed against Dizon are non-bailable and that there will be ‘no plea bargain.’
The city mayor, prosecutor and the local police appealed to the public not to worry about Dizon going out of jail. They even encourage the concerned public to see for themselves the trial of Mark Dizon as this is being held open to the public.
The case against Dizon is related to the robbery and massacre of retired US Air Force M/Sgt. Albert Mitchell, 70, former commander of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 2485 here; his wife Janet, 53; helpers Isabel Fajardo, 29, and Marissa Prado, 29; and family driver Yulberto Catli in Hensonville Court Subdivision in Barangay Malabanias here on July 22.
The police also tagged Dizon as the suspect in the murder of Briton James Bolton Porter, 51, and his live-in partner Melissa Madarang, 22 in Sta. Maria subdivision, Barangay Balibago on July 16 and Canadian Geoffrey Allan Bennun, 60, and his live-in partner Abegail Helina, 20, inside their house at the Clarkville Compound, Barangay Anunas on July 12. But Dizon has not been charged related to these cases due to insufficient evidence to link him to the four’s murder.
Dizon pleaded not guilty during his arraignment for the theft and five counts of murder on August 2.
(OK, there you have it.  I have been trying to stay on top of this case but there are things that still bother me. After Dizon was arrested we were told that there would be quick justice and that the trial would be fast tracked and completed within a short period of time.  Then they assign the case to a judge who, within a short period of time requires lengthy sick leave to have surgery.  So, instead of assigning the case to another judge we all have to wait many months (seven) for the wheels of justice to turn again.  Even before the Punto article I kept hearing about this “circumstantial evidence” story and was not happy about it.  There is a big difference between possession of firearms, robbery and murder.  The murders committed were done so with premeditated cold blood, no conscience, no regrets and now he wants to sit on his ass in jail reading legal books.  It is too bad that he has been separated from the general population in the City Jail and is protected.  But, that is the justice system, good or bad and we have to live with it.  That does not stop me, from wishing with all my heart, that this ass wipe Dizon someday meets a violent, painful death.  My confidence in a just verdict coming out of this court has diminished since I have read about cases such as the Vizconde murders in which Webb and company are now scott free and a few other similar cases in which guilty people have been released from jail for one reason or another, all under a cloud of doubt.  The judge will start hearing the case again on 10 Mar and will be open to the public. The exact times and dates of his trial will be posted on the Angeles City Government web site: http://www.angelescity.gov.ph/. It should be interesting)

Philippine Economy – International credit rater Moody’s Investors Service has revised to positive from stable its credit rating outlook

on Philippine bonds, citing the improvement in the country’s external and fiscal positions. Economic managers said this signals a possible upgrade of the credit rating of the Philippines by Moody’s soon, following an earlier move by Standard & Poor’s. “This brings us closer to a credit rating upgrade,” said Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. This was echoed by National Treasurer Roberto Tan who said the change in the credit rating outlook is a welcome development for the credit market. “We are pleased with the improved outlook on our rating which takes cognizance of the strength of the country’s economic fundamentals. We hope that with this favourable outlook change, an upgrade is forthcoming in the future,” he said.

Ah hell, I couldn’t resist this one - A quote from a marine:

“When I joined the military it was illegal to be homosexual, then it became optional. I’m getting out before Obama makes it mandatory.”

Could the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival held each year at the Air Force City Grounds, Clark Air Base lost favor from some of the bit wigs supporting it in the past?  A local paper reported that former Pampanga Press Club (PPC president and broadcaster Diosdado Pangilinan has urged organizers of this annual event to look for an alternative venue.  He suggested they consider other locations in Luzon, Cebu or even Mindanao.  Don’t know what pissed this guy off but he revealed that the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival receives million of pesos in sponsorship, but organizers have failed to report how the money had been spent.  The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) infuses P3.5 million yearly to the event but they are also in the woods on how the funds had been spent, according to Diosdado.  The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Central Luzon did not participate last year and this year the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) will no longer take part.  Pangilinan indicated that he was concerned about the safety aspect of the Festival as he felt it posed a danger to arriving and departing flights at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) which sounds like BS to me.  Personally, I think it is all about the money and who is not getting appropriate shares.  Whatever, it will be interesting to see if the event will be held in February as usual.  I was disappointed in the event for the last few years because they changed the location which is OK but they did away with the evening entertainment.  It closes down too early, 6 PM, before one could get there later in the afternoon and spend enough time at night to listen to bands, have rides and be able to eat at one of the money food booths.

RUMORS:  Last month I wrote about stories, or rumors that were making their way around the old neighborhood, some of which turned out to be true and one in particular I am more than happy had no bearing whatsoever.  This one was where some folks here were under the impression that the AC Swagman resort might be having a few financial problems due to some of the recent damages caused by mother nature.  Well, I have had two visits from Aussie owner Ron in which he very convincingly assured me that there is no merit to this rumor.  In fact, occupancy is up to a high percentage and his recent purchase of the adjoining house previously owned by Peter Bellamy will be integrated into the Swagman operation.  As I stated at the beginning of my comments on this subject last month where I wrote “tell me it ain’t true” I am more than happy to say, quite specifically, “it ain’t true”!  In fact, I am hoping to get over to the Swaggie this month and take a few pictures of what awaits those loyal long time customers of the Swagman as well as first time customers who no doubt will turn into loyal “Swaggies”.  Since my arrival in the Philippines in 1977 I have been a fan of the Swagman and always considered it a first class operation and its tradition has continued with the changes of ownership.  Now, with Ron at the helm “Mother nature be damned”, he just dug in and turned a minor disaster into a positive with the construction of beautiful new rooms and continued innovative changes that are on-going now and will continue well into 2011.

Affinity Luxury Condo Resort -  In Dec I wrote that there were some complaints against this Resort by a few people that have led to court cases.  I am not at liberty to discuss any details on that and my only interest was to let folks that might want to look into units offered by the Affinity to make sure that there were no legal stumbling blocks in purchasing or renting a unit.  It will be up to the courts to make any decisions as to whether any complaints have any merit.  But, I received a letter from one Sherrylou Ebitner, President of the Affinity stating that “contrary to allegations in my article, the Affinity did not and will not sell condominium units to which it does not have the absolute legal right to sell and/or lease.”  Additionally, she stated that “Affinity, did not and would not engage in any unfair and malicious dealings with the buyers/lessees of our condominium units.  We are in business to afford luxury living”. She also wrote that “while it is true that there is a pending case filed by your informant, Tim Duncan, it does not mean that the case he filed has basis”.  It is not up to me to say whether Mr. Duncan’s case has any merit or not.  My only intent was to warn folks, in general, to very careful in any real estate dealings they might have in this country.  One could run into no problems 95 percent of the time, but then some folks like Tim Duncan, Mike Anker, Adrian Powell, Alan Thompson, and Noel Rodney Smith could decide that they are not completely happy.  That is the difficulty of running a business, especially one which is as complicated as building a condo/hotel and having to deal with so many regulations.  No doubt Director Timothy Wright and Sherylou Ebitner have the best interest of their clients at heart and have built a very fine looking building but at this time, unfortunately, have to deal with some of those complications.  That is their problem and those that have filed cases but in no way should it affect a potential buyer/renter at the Affinity.  By the way, congratulations are extended to Sherylou who moved up to President of Property Corp. Inc., replacing Timothy John Wright who remains a director.  I wish you and your company continued success.

A couple of things have come up relating to the Immigration that have me scratching my head because I do not have all the details yet.  One concerns the Immigration cards (ICR’s) issued to permanent residents and the fact that the newer ones have expiration dates but the older ones do not.  I went through my annual registration without anyone saying anything but now I have learned that a renewal is necessary and must go to Manila to accomplish the task.  Supposedly it will cost $50 and can be done a month earlier than the expiration date.  Yep, I know, many of us do not have an expiration or issue date, nothing like confusion.  I wonder how hard it would be for the Immigration office on base to put up a notice that the cards must be renewed every 5 years and that this year those initially issued are now due for renewal.
The second issue is that I have learned that there is a big change coming for the Retirement Visa Program that will make it a lot more expensive to obtain and will require an annual fee as well.  I will be trying to get more specific information on that but I was advised that if anyone is planning to get one to apply NOW before the new requirements go into effect.

Folks, the Philippine Government has just fucked up a great retirement program.  For the past few years I have told folks wanting to stay in the PI permanently to sign up for the Special Resident Retirement Visa (SSRV), especially those folks over 50 years old with a pension of at least $800 a month.  Those 50 years old with pension could deposit $10,000 in a bank account as part of the requirements for this special visa and the rest of the requirements were easy (without pension – $20,000).  For those under 50 the amount required to be deposited in the bank was $50,000. It was a great program and had many advantages for the retiree.  Now, effective sometime this month the new requirements are:  A) Foreign Nationals at least 35 years old are eligible to apply for the SSRV visa with indefinite stay and multiple entry privileges.  B) Application Fee (Processing Fee – Same as old rule ) – $1,400 principal applicant and $300 for each dependent.  C) $20,000 inconvertible deposit into active investments withdrawable only upon cancellation of SSRV. D) A yearly fee of $500 called the Annual Maintenance Fee (MSF) for principal and spouse.  They did away with the different age requirements and made it $20,000 for everyone and the yearly fee is ridiculous. What maintenance?  I do not know the reason for these changes except That there is a new General Manager who is from the private sector and this is all his idea.  I feel that it is business as usual for the Philippines where they have a talent for fucking up any program that is working and is good for people.  It could also be construed as another round of screwing the foreigners. The $500 MSF plus $10.00 for the card each year is surely something that will make this program unacceptable to most folks thinking of retiring here.  Hell, it would be cheaper to stay and just pay for extensions.  If you are married to a Filipina you can take advantage of the Balikbayan one year visa.    Before the PRA directors  were screaming for retirees to come here and the Philippine Retirement Authority was giving road shows to promote their friendly program.  The GM for the PRA was a retired PAF retired General who was wonderful and did so much for the program.  The only good thing about the new program is it is not retroactive so those already in the program will not come under the new rules, at least for now.  I would advise that anyone here in Angeles City that has been thinking about getting into this program should do so immediately before the new rules come into effect.  We figure you might have a window of two weeks to get in under the wire. If you are interested I strongly advise you to get in touch with Alex Stevenson who can get you processed within 13 days.  You would only need one trip to Manila with him after you get your medical clearance.  He is an accredited marketer with the PRA.  You can contact him via Email at aws447@gmail.com.

I have heard that the new Princess Madison Hotel is about to open this month or March.  I was surprised to see this hotel being built because of its location at the end of the Roxas extension road where all the Karaoke stalls are located behind Fields Ave.  This is a road that is dangerous at night for foreigners and the musical noise goes on until at least 0500 hours every day.  I can only presume that the hotel has superior sound proofing materials built in.  When it was mentioned to me that it was opening I was told that there was a possibility that the City and CDC may not renew the operating permits for these Karaoke stalls.  That should have been done years ago based on the complaints from this area but somehow, I doubt that the City will come through on such a policy but it sure would be nice.  I will visit the Princess Madison this month to get more details.  Right now, I sure would be reluctant to book a friend there  because of the location.

 

Let me introduce you to my wife’s niece, Chrystal Banting.  She is 21 years old, a college graduate majoring in business management and is currently working full time on Clark for a successful drilling company.  She mans the front desk and greets folks with that big smile.  She lives at home with her parents and 15 year old sister, Jamie.  She enjoys singing, dancing and of course shopping.  She got that from my wife.  Her Email address is banting_chrystal@yahoo.com.  Now, guys I have to warn you, I am her favorite Uncle and I am very protective of this lady and very strict as are her other uncles.  The reason I am putting her picture in is that I would like her to be able to meet or at least communicate with some nice SINGLE, not too old folks in other countries.  This is a lady that would like to travel and see other countries.  She is smart and ambitious, nothing lazy about her.  You better believe she is one of my favorite relatives and if anyone arrives to court her, I am the chaperone.  It is my hope that she will not get hooked up with some no future local lad and just make babies.  Chrystal would make someone a great wife and will be good in business as well.

A familiar face from the 90′s has shown up in Angeles City. Mr. Alan (Pudd) Shields and wife Agnes have returned for a short vacation.  Pudd was a well known bar owner back when and he has been gone so long that some folks thought he was dead.  “Not so” said Pudd, I am alive and kicking and enjoying the hell out of life.  Pudd is known to be one hell of a nice guy and seeing him back in town brought a smile to the faces of a lot of lads that remembered him from the old days.

On Sunday, 30 Jan, the RSL had Fields Ave closed down for their great Chili Cook-off.  This is an annual fun event that attracts most foreigners in town for an afternoon of eating chili, drinking beer and eating at the various food stands.  One Australian friend of mine told me that he saw a sight that brought a smile to his face.  Everyone knows that the Bill, the owner of the Walk-a-Bout has a hot dog stand outside of the hotel year round and of course it was operational for this event.  Right next door was a booth put up by the Blue Rock folks from Subic selling, what else, hot dogs.  He told me that the Walk-a-bout booth was handing out free hot dogs, all you eat and he put two down his gut and enjoyed every bite.  The Blue Rock was SELLING their dogs, I believe he said, for P50.  Was there a bit of contention here?  Hee, Hee, for sure I would have enjoyed putting down a few of those free dogs, well done Bill.

Speaking of the RSL activities, I have a suggestion.  Dallas, why not just drop darts from your list of activities. You do not give any support or publicity to that sport at all.  As usual, you look for someone to run it for you on the day of the event but then that is all you do.  Darts is not even listed on your posters, no publicity at all.  It was scheduled for 2 PM on Saturday, 29 Jan and no one showed up.  In fact, as late as Thursday night, the owner of the venue, Phillie’s Sports Grill, did not know anything about it.  No players from Subic showed up and only three lads from Angeles City, one of which was Graham, the MC for the non-event.  My suggestion is that you hold the dart event in Subic where there is a large dart contingent and the three or four players from AC can drive up for the day. It would be easy for someone there to organize it as they have a hell of a lot of active players who would love to play but not keen to do so if it means driving to AC.  Anyway, give it some thought even though we all know darts is the furthest thing from your mind.

Many were happy to see the “Angel Bakery” move from Hensonville to a new location on Perimeter Road.  I will get there to take a picture this month.  Another move will be taking place as the “Bunny Burger” will be moving a few doors over to a bigger space so there will be more seating and I believe the kitchen will be upstairs.  Have not checked it out yet but that will be another picture I have to take. Mrs Horse and I really like the Bunny Burger and for sure they needed more space for seating.  It is getting too popular to stay small.

 

On the night of 30 Jan the doors of the Vortex were closed and and the lights were off.  I have no idea what happened and whether this was a one night closure of a more permanent one.  This is a Gary Stone operation and Gary can be full of surprises.  With his years of Club experience I suspect that this closure is temporary.  Will do a follow-up here.

The Sun Star Pampanga newspaper reported on 31 Jan that “Sr. Supt. Danilo Bautista has relinquished his post as Angeles City police director following a controversy involving his men who were accused of extortion by a suspected drug dependent.  The police officers were assigned to police station 1.  The four police officers allegedly asked a 40 year old man, who was reportedly caught sniffing marijuana inside his car last January 19, to settle the case for P400,000.  After tgiving the money, the drug suspect reportedly filed an extortion case against the police officers”. Why does this not surprise me?  Gee Whiz, cops extorting money in order to drop charges?  Cops from Station one?  Folks, it is no damn surprise, it has been going on for years and will continue no matter what new Chief of Police they bring in.  I am disappointed that Col Bautista had to relinquish his position.  I have met him many times since his assignment and liked the man.  I know that he did try to eliminate corruption within his Command and that at the very least he was effective in reducing it.  So now, we have a new man assigned, one Sr. Supt. Melchor Reyes who no doubt will proclaim that he will eliminate police corruption and use nearly the same words as Col. Bautista did when he came on board.  I predict that Reyes will try his best but he will not be able to eliminate a money tree system that is part of the Philippine culture and is so much a part of the Police mentality.  I wish Col Reyes all the luck one can have in achieving whatever objective he sets for himself but I also wish to extend my sympathies to Col. Bautista who was let down by the corrupt men of Station One.  Their names are:  Chief Inspector Rico Cayabyab, SPO2 Ronald Santos, PO3 Michael Villareal, and PO2 Cyrus Lising.

The Penthouse Hotel (Previously Lexus) – I was fortunate to be invited to a media briefing for the Penthouse Hotel that was held at the Lewis Grand Hotel last month.  It was an impressive meeting and I will give more details next month.  For now though, the good news is that this Hotel is fully funded now and is under the development by Copperhead Capital Ventures.  They have invested almost three million dollars into the acquisition, design, development and construction into this project.  It has been decided that the Condo-Hotel will rise to 15 stories which will make it Central Lzon’s tallest ever building.  Imagine the view from the top floor, which by the way, will house a restaurant open to the public.  The estimated completion date and delivery of the hotel and residential units are planned for the 2nd quarter of 2012.  The prices for units range from 2.6 million to 10.5 million pesos.  I am so happy to see the on-going construction taking place along the Abad-Santos street after such a long time of non-activity.  It is time to forget the name “Lexus” and celebrate the “Penthouse”.  Check outwww.thepenthouseinvestments.com and sales@thepenthouseinvestments.com.

Some friends of Billy Miller who was murdered last December gathered at Suave’s Music Lounge to share a few drinks and give Billy a respectful wake of sorts. The occasion was a serious one but like most of us expats here we kind of like to know that when we do pass away, for one reason or another, that our friends will gather for a fun send off.  Funerals are too depressing but a wake can reflect our way of life here and a bit of booze, along with food and song is how we like to gather for the send off.  His friends did it up right and Billy would have been proud.

TAPS

Terry Thomas from Australia passed away 6th January 2011 in his apartment off perimeter Road (near Garfields).  He was found lying on the bathroom floor by his live-in partner, Evangeline Apuya Y Calixtro, 35 years old.  Terry has lived here for quite a few years and was well liked.

It is not always easy to write this portion of my column, especially when I must relate the passing of someone I knew, respected, and liked.  Such is the case with SGM Retired Frederick (Fred) Edward Smith who suffered a heart attack at 0400 hrs while in bed at home, was rushed to the hospital and expired at around 2130 hrs the same day, 12 Jan.  He is survived by his wife and three children and a brother that lives in California.  Fred was a popular person within the US retired military community here in Angeles City.  He was a soldier’s Soldier who served in the US Army Special Forces (Green Beret) and was the recipient of many decorations.  I knew him to say hello to and only recently was I getting to know him beyond just a hand shake and a passing hello.  He and three others members of the Special Forces Association, Chap 46, Guam, visited me in Dec to drop off clothes for my annual charity.  On 8 Jan Fred headed up a meeting of his Association in my newly opened Stable meeting room so I was getting to know Fred a lot better and enjoyed talking to him.

Just 4 days later I was shocked to learn of his death.  For so many years I saw him at the Phoenix Hotel and then lately at the “Hang-out” where he would spend a few hours each evening chatting with fellow Expats.  Fred was 68 years young and looked the picture of health and he had the build of a warrior.  He survived Vietnam and who knows how many parachute jumps out of a military airplane but one night, without warning, his brave heart decided quit working properly.  No doubt, already, Fred and John Hollis are up in heaven somewhere organizing a bit of a reunion. A beautiful memorial service was held for him at the Clark Cemetery on 20 Jan that was well attended as members of the SF, SFA and VFW bid him a sad farewell.

 

Jim (Kelly) Ruland - This is one that is a bit of a mystery as folks do not know much about the circumstances of his death.  Everyone here knew him as Jim Kelly and he was well know in the community partaking of pool.  He rented out pool tables, took care of purchasing pool equipment and even was able to replace pool table cloths.  His mode of transportation was a bicycle for a long time and then he switched to a motorbike. Anyway, the story is that he was in AUF for an operation and had a fatal heart attack.  He is not a veteran and the story is that he had left instructions for his burial to be accomplished within 24 hours. The details on Jim’s passing are very limited.  It was unexpected but if I can find out more before going to press I will add here.  Bottom line, Jim Kelly, as we knew him is no longer with us.

 

FEBRUARY EVENTS

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Jan. 5 (PNA) — Officials of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and a tourism-oriented foundation have recently signed an agreement for the staging of the 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) from Feb. 10 to 13 here. The event is expected to attract some 100,000 local and foreign tourists. More than 25 countries are expected to participate in the annual event. Among the participating countries in the previous events are the Philippines, Sweden, United States, Hungary, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, England and South Korea.(I have been  attending this annual balloon festival since the first one but now I just go there for one hour each year.  It has become a parking night-mare and the walk from the parking to the festival grounds itself is quite long.  The parking, one can live with but what disappoints me now is the lack of evening entertainment which they had in the first couple of years.  But, I am jaded, it is a great event, especially if you have never been to one before and the various military units put on great displays and a few exhibitions.  Last year I was impressed with the PAF women’s drill team.  They even had a few that were good looking but I’ll tell you this, their military routine was done with professionalism and precision.  No doubt they put in many hours of practice.  There are more than enough food booths on hand to satisfy all appetites.  It is hard for me to believe that this is the 16th year already, maybe that is my problem, 16 years ago I did not have that much difficulty with the long walk.)

11-12 Feb – The Koreans are putting on a special event at the Bayanihan Park named the KOR-FIL Cultural Exchange Show.  They chose these dates to coincide with the Balloon Festival as they felt there were not enough activities during the day at that event.  This location is easy to get to and admission is free.  They will showcase Korean wrestling, which I looked at last year at one of their festivals and found to be different but a bit boring. The participants were amateurs but the biggest problem was that, as usual, the Koreans did not care if any non-Koreans understood what was going on.  Maybe it will be different but I doubt it.  Look for a trade fair, various entertainment and bands to provide music. I think you might find me at this event instead of the balloon festival.  I never get to see the balloons anyway as I can’t get up at 5 AM to see them fly off and all too often you do not see them return.  In fact many do not bother as the team members have consumed too much beer during the day to be able to float back.

MEDICAL NEWSPart One – Laser Technology

Last month I wrote a little bit about the new technology offered at the Britannia Medical Center dealing with what we laymen call face lifts, skin tightening, tummy tucks and generally tightening up the flab and wrinkles and all that stuff that makes one feel better about themselves.  I always heard about folks going under the knife to do all that stuff and then you see them in the hospital looking like mummies with all the bandages.  It ain’t that way anymore, well, it could be if you want it to but now they got all this laser stuff that does the job without even getting undressed or put to sleep.  Every time I talk to Dr. Brian Tan at Britannia he’s got something new and great offered at the Medical Center.  Now it’s this machine called Fire-Xel (Dynamic 3-way mode) Fractional CO2 Laser with skin analysis.  It automatically checks out your skin and then selects your skin type.  Based on the analysis the doctor can adjust the degree of laser that is best for your skin.  If the doc was writing this he would be able to come up with all the big scientific words but for me, simple words for my simple mind.  It is a hell of a machine and Dr Tan is an artist with it.  I wanted to see how it works and wanted to know if I could observe a procedure from beginning to end.  He said no problem, how about your wife?  Now, Priscilla has put up with a lot of shit from me and over the years has gone along with a lot of my wacky ideas and always supports me in doing this column.  But, for this, I had to do a bit of convincing.  Fortunately, she agreed and to tell the truth, she was never all that happy with those bags under her eyes.  So, folks, what you see is her first treatment or procedure.  She has had two and will need one or two more with intervals of three weeks and more between each procedure.  It only takes less than two hours each time.  An anesthetic cream is applied to the face and allowed to set for 35 to 40 minutes which is a good time to take a nap.  Then Dr. Tan comes in, and goes to work with the laser and you can smell, a little bit, the skin burning but the laser is adjusted for her skin type and no screaming was involved.  It is really neat.  I thought he would only work on the bags under her eyes but to do the job right he has to do the entire face.  When he finished, Priscilla got up off the table, feeling good, no ill effects and the only thing she had to do is apply a moisturizer to her face three or four times a day. Needless to say I will provide periodic updates on her progress and provide a before and after picture when it is all over.

 

I would like to say, that is it and I was happy to let Priscilla be my test subject and let her go through this painless procedure while I could sit back and just give her verbal support.  But no, payback was on the way.  Dr. Brian asked, “what about me”.  I told him, naw, I still looked young, no wrinkles and he gave me one of those doctor looks like, “what mirror are you looking at”?  That’s nothing compared to the look Priscilla gave me!  OK already, I got one of those turkey flaps hiding my adams apple that I try to ignore and the doctor said “I could fix that”.  I said no but Priscilla said “get your ass on the table”.  So, now I am undergoing the procedure and that darn machine said I had dry skin.  I said, “shut up machine, so what if its dry, it’s my skin”.  But it did make a difference to the doc and he told me some technical stuff that I forget.  Bottom line, adjustments made and the first zap of the laser had me telling doc that more adjustments were necessary.  Now let me tell you a truth here, you do feel it and you do smell it and I am trying to figure out if it hurt or not.  It was a strange feeling but it did not hurt all that much, after adjustments it was just a bit discomfiting, like someone kept tapping my skin with a needle or a toothpick.  Not hard enough to hurt but hard enough to be glad when it stopped.  I sort of got used to it and each time he stopped and applied some kind of cream, hey, that felt good.  Would you believe that this laser can cut through steel so having confidence in the skill of the doctor is a must. I could not take my own picture so will wait on that.
No way would I volunteer for this stuff if it required being in the hospital and getting cut up because at my age I am sure not worried about my looks.  But, with this new technology and the skill of Dr. Tan and the chance to tell many people about it I figured, what the hell, let me give it a shot.  Let me tell you this, I’m not the only one, every day Dr. Tan has at least three patients coming to him from the US, Manila and other provincial towns seeking this treatment at a much lower price then you would pay in the US and other countries.  At Britannia the cost for each procedure is P15,000 (around $345 bucks) where the US price would be $2,000.
Britannia is located at the Enclave, Fil-Am Friendship Rd. Pampang, Angeles City, Philippines 2009.  The web site is:  info@britanniamedicalcendter.com.  There are only two of these machines in country, one in Manila and the one here at Britannia.  Treatment is by appointment so there is no waiting around when you get there.  Check out the site for more specific information.

 

PART TWO – DENTAL  – SMILE MAKE-OVER

I have written about Dr. Tey and her dental clinic before and how I am so pleased with the services offered at this Clinic.  Naturally, all my dental work for me and my family is accomplished at the hands of Dr. Tey and I am positive that the quality of the work offered at this clinic is equal to anything you can find in the US and other countries at a quarter of the price.  The reason I am mentioning her now is that I have been undergoing an extensive repair job on the bridge for my front teeth.  The bridge finally gave out on me because of one tooth that it was attached to losing the bone mass it was attached to.  It was necessary to perform a procedure called a Apicoectomy with bone grafting.  I hope I spelled that correctly.  This was the biggest dental procedure that I had ever had before and I was a bit nervous about it.  This required surgery and as soon as she said that word I was not a happy camper. I thought about having them put me to sleep instead of being awake but in the end I chose to bite the bullet and take it in the chair.  The reason I am telling you this is because I did not know dentistry involved bone grafting and I damn sure did not know that the Smile Makeover folks did this sort of thing.  It was another reason that I do not hesitate to recommend this Clinic and Dr. Tey.  By the way, her team of dentists and assistants are all extremely professional as well.  I had the procedure and thought I had some pictures to put in here but could not find them so you are spared viewing a few gut wrenching pictures that no doubt would have brought tears to your eyes in sympathy for me.  It would please me to tell you that on the day of the procedure I went through it bravely, bearing the pain, the hours in the chair, my heart pumping wildly, my blood pressure at dangerous levels yet I stood my ground and came through it all.  Ah, that would be bullshit.  I was nervous as hell, prepared for pain but actually, after the Novocain shots painlessly administered by Dr. Tey the rest was a piece of cake.  No pain at all!  The only discomfit I had was after sitting in that chair so long my skinny ass was getting sore.  Man, I am talking major work here, they cut through my gum and laid it out and went into the tooth bone and grafted some material there that will grow into new bone.  I saw the pictures, it was something else.  Dr. Tey and her team handled me with a gentleness only a new born baby could appreciate.  The other thing that amazes me is that my temporary bridge was waiting for me when the procedure was finished.  They make it right there at the Clinic.  I never had to go out in public without my front teeth.  The Clinic is expanding to the second floor where a full scale dental lab will be set up and more chairs added.  I will be checking that out next month.  Now you know why I love Dr. Tey and it isn’t because she has nice eyes!  Well, what else can you look at when the dentist is hovering over you with that mask on?  (On a side note, I called Dr. Tey today to get the name of the procedure and she was in the hospital with a bad back.  She hit the floor at the Clinic with spasms and had to crawl and yell for help.  I know the feeling as it has happened to me three times and is the reason I have my toilets raised in my apartment along with support bars. She is on IV pain killers and muscle relaxants.  Only us folks with bad backs can know what she is feeling.  I am hoping for her quick recovery, she is a super lady).

PART THREE – DR. PAINFUL

One morning I woke up with one hell of a sore, stiff neck.  It hurt like hell.  I could hardly turn my head from right to left.  I put up with it for four days and then out of desperation I went to see Dr. Luke (Yi Hong Kwak) at the Phil-Kor Health Care Center.  Dr. Luke is a acupuncture/chiropractic doctor who studied and practiced his trade in Korea for twenty years.  He retired and brought his business to Angeles City.  I had never been to a chiropractor before but I was told about this guy from “Alabama Dave”, a fellow dart player who told me doctor Luke made him feel as healthy as a 10 year old.  He was so full of praise that I figured, “what the hell, I am already in pain so why not”.  My goodness, what an experience it was and I guess still is.  This guy specializes in acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, organic herbal juice, growth clinic, foot therapy analysis, facial treatment and liver cleaning.  I went in for my neck but ended up with treatment for my blood circulation, heart and balance and when I stopped I had bought special shoes and sandals from him, got my circulation moving, swelling in my feet reduced, my blood pressure down, not sure about the heart but still had that damn sore neck.  I called him doctor painful because he stuck needles all over me, in my feet, my hands, arms, back, neck, and legs.  He beat the shit out of my back and neck with two different machines that felt like I was in a boxing match and as you can tell by the last picture he bled me on the back, bottom of my feet, and the sides of my legs.  Believe me, all this was not pain free but it sure was interesting.  The treatments started at P2,000 a session, then P1,500 and finally P1,000 where upon my drinking money was nearly gone.  I will say this, he has some great analysis machines that feed information to a computer in which he can tell what needs to be treated.  In no time he knew I walked out of balance, had bad circulation and also had some problems with my arteries to the heart.  Did he help me, yeah, he did, I think.  Those shoes he sold me are weird and take some getting used to but my legs don’t hurt as much when I walk a long way with them, the same with the sandals.  He has a patent for the sandals and shoes.  I believe his acupuncture treatment is helpful.  The only problem I have is communication, he speaks very little English.  Oh, he sold me a special pillow to sleep on as well and the jury is still out on that one.  I met a visitor from Hawaii who

had some pain issues and also had developed a problem with his ear, he could not hear out of it.  He went to Dr. Painful and the ear problem was cleared up right away and he continued with treatments for the one week he was here and was quite happy.  I also noticed that he had quite a few patients each day that I visited and all were foreigners.  This guy was effective but he definitely is not gentle, hence the title “Dr. Painful”.  His clinic is located at #9-26 Zeppelin St., cor. Malabanes Road.  That is the road heading to Hensonville, you pass what used to be the PIH Hospital, go over the small bridge and make the first right and he is right there on the corner.  His number is o921 646 8861.  I would recommend you just do a walk-in, do not call.  Oh yeah, take a banana or two for the monkey, I enjoyed feeding that little character.

PART FOUR – DR. GENTLE

My goodness, here we are, back at the Britannia Medical Center.  Why are we back here after my long dissertation above?  Heck, I did not know that they had a acupuncture lady on board there until after my sessions with Dr. Painful.  While talking to Doctor Tan and telling me about my sore neck and Dr. Luke he told me that he had an acupuncture specialist at his place as well.  It seems that Dr. Song, yes, another Korean with limited English speaking abilities, is an acupuncture specialist with years of experience and even treated past President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal and the late Lito Lapid.  Her fee per session is only P500 so I figured, what the heck, let me compare the two and see what is different.  The main difference is in how she treats the patient.  She is gentle with a capital G, hence she is now Dr. Gentle to me.  She does not have all the fancy electronic equipment and computers that Dr. Painful has and she limits her treatments to acupuncture only.  I had two appointments with her prior to her departure for Korea and she asked that I return after 10 days.  Maybe it is my imagination but I felt that finally, the pain in my neck was subsiding but it might also be due to the fact that I started to take Celebrex and a muscle relaxer pill.  I liked Dr. Song and will return after 10 days.  No doubt I will return to Dr. Painful as well as he does work that improves my circulation but with a bit of pain.  So, there you have it, my mission to inform you of some of my medical experiences and introduce you to a couple of new medical oudtlets you might be interested in has been achieved.  I am pretty sure that if my neck does not become pain free I will have to see a regular doctor and get an X-ray, just to make sure that all is well and maybe only rest is needed.  Of course, I have been told to spend less time on the computer but how can I do that and still write this column?  My heart is still with this column but maybe my body is protesting.  People say you are only as young as you feel so maybe, with a little help from Dr. Brian Tan, he might make me feel much younger than I really am.  Thank goodness, no matter what, I am still young enough for Priscilla and believe me she is as gentle as they come.

 

A VERY WET TIME IN AUSTRALIA

As I wrote in my introduction to this month, my heart goes out to all the Aussies that have suffered and continue to suffer the worse flooding in years.  A lot of readers of this column come from that part of Australia that will feel the effects of the floods for many more months, dare I say years.  One reader was able to send me some pictures and keep me up to date and he is an example of the Aussie spirit.  I have never been to Australia or Queensland yet but by meeting and talking to so many lads from Australia and from that neck of the woods I have always admired and respected their toughness and can do attitudes.  In all the Emails I have received I never had one where there was bitching about the Government or anyone looking for hand-outs.  I only got a sense of “It’s a bitch mate, but we can handle it” and it was more of I can lift myself up and when necessary my neighbors will chip in and help each other.  Australia is one hell of a big country but ain’t it great and I’ll tell you this, any Yank can’t go wrong to have an Aussie friend at his side.  With all the shit going on all over the world I hope to hell that America and Australia keep that mutual kindred spirit alive.  So, for now, a bit of cleaning up is going on there in Queensland and those snakes and Crocs will soon be too tired of swimming to mess with anyone.  When things settle down a bit I am hoping a few lads from the flooded area will stop by and show me a few pictures and let me know how they coped with this latest Mother Nature’s challenge.

I WOULD IF I COULD

This is not the normal way I present my lady of the month but I kind of had mixed emotions about my selection.  You see, I finally made it to the Silly Hat because my pool team was playing there one afternoon so I figured it was a good opportunity to give it a look see.  I wanted to take a picture of the front of the bar but the owner, Tony, is in the process making a few renovations and the front was not looking all that good.  The inside was a different story as it looked pretty good, nothing out of the ordinary but a nice set up with the ladies taking up the front and the pool table in the back.  While sitting there my eye kind of got interested in 28 year old Jenny who is a native of Angeles City.  The problem was that I could not get a single picture of her that I was happy with.  Jenny is one of those ladies that you have to meet personally to appreciate her.  Plus, in this instance, I might be the only one that thought she was kind of special.  For this reason I included her in a group shot so you could see some of the other offerings at the Silly Hat.  Jenny is the lady sitting in the front with her arm around another co-worker.  She has two kids but no boyfriend at this time.  Her Email address is: jhen_yakabud2000@yahoo.com.  I guess what I am really trying to say is that the Silly Hat is well worth a visit and that the ladies there are mighty friendly and very informal.  You can enjoy yourself and that is what counts.

BIG HITS

I wanted to put these pictures in because it will soon be a part of the Angeles City history.  This is a very fine sports bar with an enormous amount of space run by Greg Harbard and his wife.  Together they have built up a small mom and pop operation that has become very popular.  They signed on for a 10 year lease with option to renew for another 10 years.  Then they put a lot of money into renovations, TV’s, satellites and a place to live in back.  The future looked good as business built up and the town was growing as optimism about tourism growth in Angeles City kicked off speculation leading to higher property prices, a building boom of hotels and condo’s, more bars, more restaurants, etc.  But then came the kick in the ass as the very success of the city led to investors buying up everything in site and regretfully, out of the blue he learned that that ten year lease was out the window.  A big conglomerate had purchased the mortgage on the property and Big Hits hit the chopping block.  Notice was served and fairly, more than enough time to prepare had been given.  The notice to vacate was to take effect on 1 Mar, this year but Greg is hoping that he may get a bit more of an extension.  Every additional month he can hold on gives him time to locate another suitable location where he and his wife can start all over again.  I like this couple and I like Big Hits.  I am hoping that whatever time Greg has left that his customers will continue to support him with their presence and that many more in the community will stop by for a drink or a bit of a snack.  This couple is strong and independent and they are not looking for any hand-outs at all.  They have been dealt a bit of bad luck but realize that business is business and they will play the hand they have been dealt.  Together, they will find another location to build up a business again.  Certainly, it will not be as ideal a location as the one they now occupy but the fact is that this is a couple that will not give up and wherever they might open up again with Big Hits Two, their loyal customers will be there for the grand opening.  Greg, once you find out the last day you will be open, prepare a party and let us all know.  Put out a big collection box and I will be glad to be the first to drop in a thousand pesos for moving expenses.  It ain’t charity, it ain’t anything special, it is just appreciation for giving us BIG HITS.  Keep a smile on your face mate, life isn’t bad as long as you are breathing and you have friends.  Cheers!

HOW ABOUT ILLUSIONS?

Boy oh boy, talk about a transformation and it only took 13 days!  We all know that Wolf sold Illusions to Shane from the Gentlemen’s Club and we saw the place closed for renovations.  In no way did I expect such a dramatic physical change in such a short time.  It was a complete face life except that Barry is as ugly as ever (smile).  I am still in shock after one month.  Everyone I talk to that has seen the place is equally amazed and appreciative.  The dancing girls are gone but the friendly, good looking GRO’s are a mix of the old and new who know how to be friendly and give the place a fun atmosphere.  They gather to one side of the Club and over at the other side is where Barry and company hold court at their big table.  The bar is the centerpiece now and beyond that is the pool table and one dart board.  They even have two bathrooms one of which features two urinals which Shane was real proud of.  I caught two lads blessing the urinals as one appeared to be giving instructions on what to do. Shane did a great job but he pointed out that the man who did all the work was Bong, a talented builder/designer who has put some of his magic touches on many of the bars in the entertainment area.  If you want a man with the experience to put together a hell of a good job in designing an interior to a bar and then making it a reality, call Bong at 0927-219-2010, he is one of the best.  Guys, you really have to put Illusions at the top of your barhopping list, especially those that saw the old Illusions and have not visited the new one yet.  For sure, I will be returning there real soon.

 

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

Will lookie here, a couple of “good ole boys” hitting the streets of Angeles City.  They took time out from their activities to stop by my stable to say hello and I am sure glad they did.  On the left there you have 61 year old Larry Carnes from El Paso, Texas.  Now that is one hell of a State that I admire.  I have visited San Antonio, Houston and Dallas but never El Paso.  Larry is retired from the Army and not working at this time, just kicking back and enjoying life.  He visits Angeles every January and doggone it, I forgot to ask where he was staying.

His traveling buddy on the right is 67 year old Max Kaulston who hails from Douglas, Arizona.  He retired from the Air Force and Army and said he carries a prayer rug in his suitcase. Like Larry, he is not working either and believe it or not is a virgin to Angeles City.  He already had caught that incurable disease “Angelesitis” and after only two days was already planning his next trip.  He quickly realized that the pickings in Arizona for 67 year olds were pretty damn slim compared to this good old City.  The man could not stop smiling.  We were having so much fun just jawing about all sorts of things that I forgot to get any details out of them other then hearing about how they just happen to run into each other at some airport coming over here and ended up becoming friends.  I sure am looking forward to meeting them again and see if Max fell in love before he finished his holiday here.

KALAKLAN GATE SUBIC

My super correspondent in Barrio Barretto, Ron Chesley has informed me that he visited Subic a couple of days ago and checked out the progress on the Kalaklan Gate.  He was impressed and felt that the estimated completion date of June/July might be met.  That would be great.  I took the pictures of the construction in late November last year.  At the time I was surprised to see the size of the construction in that I did not expect to see the massive approach road improvements.  No doubt in the time since I took these pictures much progress has been made.  Guess I better get my ass over to Subic and get some updated pictures.  Right now, it appears that Super Bowl fever is starting to grab hold and everyone will be glued to the TV this coming Monday morning.  I will relax in my jammies in my upstairs stable where I can watch without a lot of noise keeping me from hearing the commentators.  I am neutral, not rooting for any team in particular.  I hope it is a close, knock out brawl and that the half time show is better than last year.  I don’t need all that kiddie rap shit they put on.  What’s wrong with a bit of country music instead?

Thanks go out to Bob Kolleck for the old Maverick City “one free drink” chip.  Will add to my memory chest. Lest I forget, enjoyed the copy of the Las Vegas Review Journal as well. Guess I better thank Colin McKenzie for the pictures of the flooding of Toowoomba.  My goodness, I am so grateful that here in AC where my stable is that we are on high ground.  May the residents of Toowoomba survive and recover as quickly as possible. With that said it is time for me to book on out of here.  By the way, 25 Feb will see me getting a year older, will have been around 73 years, and damn glad to see the old heart still ticking.  If you happen to be around on the 25th stop by my stable and I can at least shout for a free drink.  No party this year, am waiting until I reach 75 or am I being too optimistic.  Guys and gals, remember, be kind to horses, especially old ones.

POLITICAL RANTINGS – SKIP THIS PART

I read an article in a paper recently with the headline:  “Muslim population growth outpaces non-Muslims.  I have read statistics on this before but I wonder how many people are aware of this and how many feel apprehensive?  I am not going to retype the whole article but will pick out a few facts.  By 2030 Muslims will make up 26.4 percent of the world’s population, which is expected to total around 8.3 billion people by then.  Man, that is scary, 8.3 billion Muslims that want to kill all infidels.  US Muslims will jump from 2.6 million people in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030. Lets see, twenty years, hell I will be 93 and six feet under so you younger folks have a lot to worry about.  I have a solution, more non-Muslim men have to start marrying Muslim women and dilute the fanatic thoughts they have.  Integration solves all problems.  Somehow, I kind of think my idea won’t work.

 
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March 2000

Posted by admin on January 15, 2011 in 2000 Monthly Newsletters

MARCH 2000

It’s a Sunday night and on Monday, at 3 AM I have to head to Manila’s NAIA to jump on a plane heading for Japan then onward to Las Vegas.  I will be eating my oats in that town for around 30 days.  John, at Beeline, insisted that I submit a few words prior to my departure and I agreed after he gave me a discount on my ride to the airport.  My original intention was to depart around 15 Apr but the Airlines decided to start their high season rates in mid-march rather than April.  The money I saved will go towards paying the ridiculously high  exit -entry fees that the Philippine loves to charge us permanent residents.

I like good news and today I read that our flesh eating Mr. Manero has had his pardon revoked.  I guess Manero got carried away with the Dr. Adkins Miracle diet in which you can eat all the meat you want.  Speaking of eating meat, Mo’s steak house is reporting better than expected sales and the word is out that this is a great place to eat.  Yes, it is a bit more expensive but you are getting quality food and big portions for the pesos you spend.  True to my word though, I will wait until I get my first social security check before I eat there (Opens at 4 PM).  I did not wait to try the Kokomo’s Mongolian Bar-b-que as it looked too good to pass up and I was hungry.  I tried it and thought it was great and I liked the  as well.  I was able to put on a rather big feed for only P100.  This tasty feast is available on fri-Sat-Sun by the poolside.

More interesting business coming up towards the Clarkview area.  Now we welcome Kevin and Aurora, owners of the “Aurora Sports Bar and Steak House” at the location where the Bali Hai Restaurant was located (right next to the Good Times Bar).  The outside area features a nice bar and three large TV’s situated in strategic locations.  The steak house is closed in and air-conditioned.  I checked out the menu and it featured some very nice meals at reasonable .  I did not have time to eat but did enjoy talking to Kevin and will definitely put in a feed when I return from Las Vegas (if I still have money left).

Wes Prentiss may still be in the old lock-up and trying to figure out how to pay off some high  lawyers but he is still managing to have folks continue working on the opening of his new  parlor.  Going through the place it appears that it will have a bar and at least 5 or 6 massage rooms.  Each room will have a bed and shower.  As soon as I can find out what the prices will be, I’ll let you know.   I am waiting for the return of Wes so I can get him to autograph the  of him that I cut out of the newspaper.   Isn’t it great to live in a country that treats foreigners so well??

Wes is in the process of building up a hotel in the premises of what used to be Randy Ram’s Hotel.  This will be in the back of the Aurora Sports Bar.  Well done Wes, keep spending that money before the greedy lawyers get all of it.

In case you’re wondering what happened to Charlie Horne’s Armenian Airline and all the great service that was to be  I can only report that everything is on hold at the moment.  It seems like the aircraft and crews departed for Armenia or Russia to take on some charters for a month or so.  After all, the crews had to be fed and someone had to make some money.  Old Charlie is taking this time to try and sort out procedures and paperwork so he can, once again, try and get this very worthwhile endeavor off the ground.  Regretfully, we will have to wait a bit longer.  Meanwhile, keep an eye out for other charters that may be landing and taking off from Clark.  Try to remain optimistic.

The new Veteran of Foreign Affairs (VFW) building  is fast becoming a very popular place for locals and foreigners to eat.  They also feature a very large steak meal and daily specials.  It seems that many of the Filipino customers who used to eat at the RHUMPA are moving over to the VFW.  Who can blame them, some one needs to paint that place and do some renovations to brighten it up.  I always called it the “Home of the Living Dead” because of some of the folks that used to sit around there but lately I have not seen them.  Never-the-less, the atmosphere inside is just as depressing as ever.   Still, why quibble when you can eat a good meal at a very reasonable price.  Me, even though I am tight with the peso, I’d still rather pay a bit more for a clean place to eat.  Lead me to the VFW.harry01.jpg (22799 bytes)

You know, if you wonder around a bit, there are a lot of different places to eat at locations run by ex-pats  good food at low prices.  For the budget conscious let me direct you to the Street Lights Tavern on Don Juico, especially on Wednesdays when they have a great Bar-B-Que feast;  Hotel La Casa/Blue Boar Inn which features their super whopper burger, Hungarian sausage hot dog and dynamite omelet;  Jerry’s Café – a good feed any day of the week featuring Jerry’s toothless smile;  Thai food at the Swagman;  Chantel’s (just next to the Highlander in Diamond Subdv.) and the place next to the Iron Horse run by an Englishman (sorry, I forgot the name and am too lazy to look it up).  Now, a bit more up-scale in prices but worth a visit are the Zapata Mexican Food Rest. on Don Juico and the Cottage Kitchen right next to Street Lights.  You know, for a treat or if you want to really impress your Mrs or date of the night, try the buffet at the Oasis Hotel.  Shucks, now I’m hungry again and here I am

Happy Birthday Harry

Gee Whiz, the Balikatan is just about over and all those terrible GI’s that are ruining the Philippines will have to go home.  What a load of bull—-!  These folks want a Mutual Defense Treaty to help them if they get their ass in a sling but heavens forbid if a soldier will walk their streets.  They welcome the money, the aid, the Civic Action projects, but not the people who have to leave their families and life style elsewhere to come here for a few weeks,  just to suffer verbal abuse, rudeness, demonstrations and bad press.  God forbid that some worthwhile mutual training will enable the US and Philippine military to work together and bond as a cooperative fighting force so that less people will be killed.  The only thing that the likes of Susan Pineda are concerned with are our “poor women” will be abused.  Tell me Susan, who are the people who are abusing these young ladies when they are growing up in the Provinces?  Gosh, a place where there are no GI’s at all yet they are being raped, seduced and left pregnant by who?  It couldn’t be a sex starved Filipino lad could it?  Anyway, as long as there is a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) exercises like Balikatan are necessary.  Now, not many people in the States would care if the MDT were scrapped, but if that happened, they better add Chinese to elementary school agendas as the Chines could walk in here as easily as the Japanese did back in the 40’s.

Dave Donney since leaving the Flying Tigers Restaurant/Bar has moved to the Park Hotel and is promoting that location as a place to stay when visiting Manila.  It appears to be a nice alternative to the Swagman which does not even have a swimming pool and the rates are reasonable for Manila.  It is located at 1032-34 Belen St., Paco, Manila, tel:  521-23-71 to 75.  Their e-mail address is parkhotl@parkhotel.net.  Give Dave a call or e-mail, tell him “Harry the Horse” recommended the place and he may give you a discount, well, maybe only a free drink, but what the hell, better than nothing.

Picture left: scenic view Iba Zambales

Someone told me to ask “is it true that Robert Sullivan’s brother went to school with the King of Thailand?”  Speaking of Robert, I saw him yesterday and I asked him if I could say anything positive about his shopping center project.  He kind of smiled and told me to tell one and all to watch out for June, things will be happening at that time.  Guess what folks, he has found some new investors that are going to put some pesos into the project.  Stand by for news!!

Welcome to the Philippines.  One ex-pat was telling me his woes in trying to get some money.  He wanted to open a dollar account at a bank but was told the minimum deposit was $100 but this could not be in cash.   He was told that a check would be OK, but he did not have one.  He asked what would they take, the answer was “a travelers check would be ok”.  Fine, could they sell him one – “yes!!”  He purchased the travelers check and then deposited it and was smiling happily when the transaction was completed.  His smile faded when the teller told him that it would take 21 days to clear!!  Ain’t that amazing – but to long time residents here, it doesn’t surprise us at all.

Going to Barrio Barreto – check out the Siam Angel Thai Restaurant and Bar.   John Gamber, a Denver Colorado man is the genial host.  He has plans to renovate the place in the near future but right now he is ready to welcome one and all.

Never send Jim Button of Tahitian Queen out on a motorbike to find a suitable picnic spot.  Like a good scout Jim traversed the terrain, high and low and not even a small river would stop him – oops, actually, it did stop him halfway through.  He got stuck and had to seek out assistance to extricate the bike from the quicksand like mud.  That elusive picnic spot is yet to be found.

What friendly Australian puked all over the well-known Don-Don while he was sitting in Valentine’s bar?  Don-Don did not get mad until the guy smiled at him, thinking it was pretty funny.   Don’s physical answer to this caused him to leave quickly before the coppers arrived.

Heard a rumor that Charlie Horne was trying to get into the fight promotion game featuring Tyson and some heavy weight contender out of New York.  Wanted to bring in some high rollers and VIP’s on his plane!  No doubt just a baseless rumor as nothing has been heard officially.  What is this Charles, yesterday – charter planes – today – fight promotions – tomorrow – the world?

Picture right: Scenic View of Fields Ave

This old horse has to get ready to depart in 3 ½ hours so my weary fingers will bring this column to a close.  Probably won’t be able to update it until sometime in May because of my stateside visit – until then – enjoy life, but remember, be kind to horses.

 

 
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April 2000

Posted by admin on January 15, 2011 in 2000 Monthly Newsletters

April Issue Not Published

 
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February 2000

Posted by admin on January 15, 2011 in 2000 Monthly Newsletters

February Issue Not Published

 
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January 2000

Posted by admin on January 15, 2011 in 2000 Monthly Newsletters

January Issue Not Published

 
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December 2005

Posted by admin on January 13, 2011 in 2005 Monthly Newsletters

December 2005

This is a busy month for me as Prisicilla and I start preparing for our yearly Christmas party for poor evacuee kids located near our farm in Bambam.  This year 100 children from 2 to 12 years old will share food, games, prizes and a gift from Santa who will arrive by carabao and cart.  Then on Christmas Santa will visit two charity hospitals to give out food baskets, candy and money to each patient.  This is a private project by the Mrs and I but the success is owed to donors like John James, George Brown, Karel Heinen, and many others including those that use Santa for special events and donate money, candy or canned goods for our project as payment.  When I first started in 1985 I was a thin Santa and needed padding, now, well, for the first time, this year, I can get by without the padding.  December is a great month here in the Philippines because of all the special events and the pleasure of the weather starting to cool off a bit leading into the great cool months of Jan and Feb.  Once again, I am grateful to have survived another year and regret the passing of acquaintances and friends no longer here to greet the new year.  Most of all I wish each and every military person serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world a safe Christmas season.  Hope you all make it home OK next year or soon thereafter.  Merry Christmas folks and a happy New Year to you!

TIDBITS

I just read your November Issue, can’t wait to read the one for December.  Hope your knee gets better, and be careful Mr. Horse, some times problems like that only get worse with time. Just finished reading that part about The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the information someone sent you is a mixture of fact and fiction, example, the drinking alcohol part, which is fiction.  Here is the website http://www.tombguard.org/FAQ.html which separate fiction from facts.  Being in the military I feel is my obligation to get the facts straights to any matter related to us.  Thanks for everything,  Alexandro Esteves.  (Thanks Alex, I checked out the site and it was very interesting.  I did not know they had such a site to refer to.  I appreciate that there are readers such as yourself that help out this old horse in times of his ignorance).

Last month I wrote about the passing of Jim Frisby but a few extra words are required.  A friend of his dropped by the Blue Boar to tell me that Jim was a survivor of the infamous Bataan death march in which the Japanese soldiers displayed utmost cruelty and put our prisoners of war through hell.  Jim was a legend in our small town and his strength, as a young man in surviving such an ordeal was displayed for many years, right up to his passing.  Every survivor of that death march and subsequent incarceration is a hero in my book. If there are any other survivors of that march living in Angeles City, or nearby provinces, please contact me.  I would love to put your pictures in this column.

Once again the community, through the efforts of Angels Club came to the financial assistance of Allen, the manager of Angels through a fund raiser held on the night of 26 Nov.  Allen had a heart attack and was hospitalized but is now resting at home, he has an angina problem.  But, a source informed me that this is the third time in two years that Allen has been in hospital and not too long ago a fund raiser was held for the expenses he incurred when his twins were born prematurely.  It is estimated that over the last couple of years approximately P200,000 have been raised to help Allen and his family.  Who says that the folks in Angeles City are heartless?  But, there comes a time when someone has to stop and take a look at their financial status and consider returning home to take on a regular job or something to build up some funds, if he is still medically fit to do so.  The pay for managing a Club in this town is not so high that one can put extra cash into the bank.  A lesson to any expat who is considering settling in this town is that you do not do so unless you have a steady income to live on and become a Club manager only as a past time and not depend on it for survival.  Everyone is happy that Allen is on the road to recovery and that he will be back on the job shortly.  Life can be tough and Allen has had enough problems already for a lifetime yet he is still smiling – good on you mate.

Beeline Travel Services

Over the years I have seen and heard of the ladies that go around town selling fake whiskey and nothing is done about it.  With experience folks know never to buy booze from someone on the streets.  Recently the Tourist police TP) spotted one lady dealing/selling fake whiskey on Fields Ave in front of Mo’s Place.  She was identified as Rowena Manalo Austria, 31, residing at 5034 P. Gomez, Lourdes, NW AC.  two 1L bottles of JW Black and one 750ml bottle of Chivas Regas were confiscated and kept as evidence.  Rowena then took elements of the TP to the location where the fake whiskey is being produced and this location is now under surveillance.

It had been a while since I had the opportunity to return to the Bourbon Street Restaurant on Fields Ave so one night last month I asked Priscilla to join me there for a special treat.  While waiting for her arrival I kept looking at the menu and fought the temptation to order the Prawn cocktail appetizer because I usually shy away from appetizers because of the added cost to the meal.  But, I love a shrimp cocktail, mostly because of the anticipated delicious horseradish sauce that I can dip the shrimp in.  I finally could resist no more, I ordered the appetizer and shortly thereafter Mrs Horse arrived and we took a table inside.  As usual the ambience, music and service was so nice and once again I thought that I must once again, thank Mr. Kelly for adding such a nice eatery to Fields Ave.  Then my prawn cocktail arrived with mouth watering large prawns and pounced on them.  Immediately I was crushed and cursed myself for not asking before hand what kind of sauce they provided.  Instead of a tasty horseradish sauce I was greeted with a plain salad dressing sauce.  Yuck – great disappointment.  This from a Cajun restaurant!  Alas, it was my fault but it taught me a lesson, one, return to my cheap ways regarding appetizers and secondly, if tempted to order shrimp cocktail again, ask about the sauce first.  Despite this set back, I must say that the rest of the meal was excellent.  The total cost for two was P1,100 and that is a fair price for, what I consider, an upscale restaurant.  Priscilla was happy with her meal as I was once I got over the cocktail sauce.  On the way out, I mentioned my disappointment to the lovely, pregnant, manager who was kind enough to look sympathetic but I am not sure if my suggestion that a better sauce be available did any good or not.  Then again, maybe I am the only one in town that prefers a horseradish sauce over a salad dressing.  If that is the case, then on my next visit to Bourbon Street, I will bring my own homemade sauce with me.

He comments below were extracted from the AC message board.  I was impressed with therestraint shown by the writer in dealing with this whacko Filipina.  She was definitely trying to entrap him but it backfired and her suspension was well deserved.  For years, in Vegas, the trend has been to hire more and more oriental female dealers, many of whom are Filipinas and Thais and I suspect that working with some of them would not be all that easy.  Many of them appear to have been “Americanized” but you better believe that they retain sensitivities and resent any reference to Filipina bar girls and easy sex.  This lady in question was way off base in how she handled the situation and the guy that repeated the private conversation to her was no friend.  What I found to be amusing is that even many of the American women react negatively when they hear someone talking of their adventures in the Philippines.  That is understandable when you realize that the only reason most of these women are married is because their husbands did not have the opportunity to visit the Philippines first!

“Discussing AC and the Phils with my coworkers caused enough resentment from a Filipina that she tried to get me fired?

Its a cold night and Im on Break, as many of you know I am Casino dealer, Anyway Im talking to some of my coworker friends in the breakroom, One of these guys is whipped on a Filipina that is a dealer, So whipped that he goes and tells her that Im degrading Filipinos by saying the women are available for the price of a movie and Popcorn here in the US.

Next break she sits at my table and the conversation went something like this.

Her) Hey
Me) I dont answer
Her) I said Hey
Me) Are you talking to me?
Her) Yeah
Me) My name tag says Bill as I show it to her and I tell this american born bitch that she will address me as Bill if she wished to talk to me Not Hey.
Her) Why do you travel to the Philippines
Me) Who told you I travel to the Phills?
Her) answer my question
Me) Are you asking or are you demanding I answer you?
Her) Is it because you cant get laid here?

I knew what she was doing, She was trying to bait me into getting into a sexual discussion which is forbidden at work under our current Policys.

Me) You know that by asking such a question, You are not only insulting me but you are breaking the rules and your hidden agenda of trying to bait me into breaking the rules will not work.

Her) Im sick of all you fucking guys going to the Philippines and having sex with Filipinas, You guys are taking advantage of filipinas and you make all of us Filipinas look like sluts, I hate guys like you.

I just looked at her smiled and said Okay, I then went to my Casino manager and told him this cunt has it in for me, He had a meeting with both of us and she blatently addmitted that she wanted me to cross the line and break the rules so she could get me fired, Shes been suspended for her actions.

When we left the Casino Managers Office, she looked at me and said, Okay you won this battle, I looked at her and said, Your a Filipina the only way you can come close to playing me is if you!!! and I stopped myself right there and just smiled at her, She got it.

I just cant beleive that this fucking guy is such a pussy that he went and told her.
I also cant beleive how pissed off and resentfull she was about the whole issue.

Have any of you guys had any similar problems at work when discussing the PI?

I mean, when I have Filipinos at my table and when I fuck around and say Talaga or Batay they get a kick out of it and ask me if Im Filipino, I say No, but I have been there a couple of times, they say really Where I smile and say Ermita and Angeles City, Not only do they get a kick out of it They laugh there asses off and make some remarks like cheap honey huh, Never has one gotten upset.”

I was surprised to see a darkenedRodman and Robinson bar/soul food restaurant when I ventured down Fields Ave to enjoy their great food.  After speaking to the cashier that was keeping an eye on the restaurant I found that, once again, a partnership just did not work out.  It is another example of the difficulty in keeping a successful partnership in this town.  A lesson to be learned is that if you are going to invest a substantial amount of money into a business here then be prepared to stay in town long enough to watch what is going on.  An investor must choose a partner very carefully, especially when one of the partners does not have any money of his own invested.  In this case, things just did not work out and closure was necessary which was a shame for this establishment served great meals at a very reasonable price and Rodman was a good host.  Will it ever reopen?  At this time nobody really knows, only time will tell.  As for me, I have two of my legs crossed hoping that the lights, once again, will be turned on so this old horse can eat those combination platters again.

On 5 Dec the on again, off again Mo is taking over Treasure Island.  Mo should be famous now as the “move them in, move them out man” as he has had many clubs that he owned, let them out and then taken over again.  Treasure Island, for quite some time has kind of been under his realm of influence anyway.  The young “poker man”, Troy, will be looking around for new challenges but I hear that Brett (manager) and the current mamasans will remain in place..  Troy would have liked to stay with TI but his lease with Mo was up and the challenge to improve on an already successful was too much of a challenge to pass up.  Mo keeps telling me that he is going to retire from the Club business but it seems he just can’t give up all that attention from the ladies, and, the money ain’t all that bad either.  If you attended his recent 63rd birthday party you can understand why this senior citizen (Mo) won’t quit the action until they carry him off the playing field.

An American was arrested by the police after complaints from a cashier at a local market that he was being rude to her.  What happened is that when paying for a purchase he handed over five or six five hundred peso notes and it turned out that one of them was counterfeit.  When the cashier indicated that one of the notes was fake the American went ballistic and started yelling at her and doing one of those American reactions to a situation he was not happy with.  So, he was carted off and charged with “possible possession of a counterfeit note” as well as disrespect to the cashier.  That night he called a member of the Angeles Clarkfield Tourism Association (ACTA) to explain his situation and ask for help.  Further calls were made to some key people, including the new Chief of Station four, Major Imperial, who was convinced that he could release the American to the ACTA member who would be responsible for him.  The charges were dropped and all that was required was a promise to meet with the cashier and apologize to her.  Without the quick assistance of this ACTA member and the people he called, there is a strong possibility that this American might have had to pay a bit more for his actions rather than just an apology.  Bear in mind that, for sure, he was innocent of trying to pass counterfeit money, it could happen to any of us, but, losing his temper and verbally abusing an innocent cashier nearly landed him in a shitpot full of trouble.  Moral of the story, be nice to cashiers, especially if they are good looking!

Looking for something different to do while visiting AC then put Dec 2 and 3 on your schedule as the third Sisig Festival will be held at the Nepo Quadrangle, Angeles City.  I attended this event last year and it is an exciting event to attend.  The event will be holding a Sisig cooking competition that will feature 176 unique Sisig recipes.  The winner of last years contest is now employed at Hidden Vale Sports Resort.  What can you expect during the two day festival?  How about an overnight street party, motor bike show, dance showdown, street dancing, and body painting.  It will also feature live bands, airborne exhibitions and a great display of fireworks.  Admittedly, it will be crowded but it is a lot of fun and the opportunity to see that great big, giant plate of Sisig being prepared is well worth the effort to get on down to the Quadrangle.  This is an event you do not want to miss.

If you are planning to visit Boracay, do me a favor and add the Frendz Resort to your list of places you might want to stay at.  Mrs Horse and I seldom get out of AC and I have never went to Boracay but I must be honest here.  Two great friends of mine, Steve and Rose have built up this little bit of paradise and their brochure looked interesting.  Steve is an Australian that stayed single for a long time until he met, through Charlie Kemplin (UTP) the lovely Rose and after a bit of courtship, the finally married and now are a picture of happiness.  One year I may get around to making the journey to see them but for the more energetic readers of this column, I am hoping you will make the trip for me and say hello to these two perfect hosts.  For enquiries you can email them at frendzresort@hotmail.com .  The telephone number is 03-6288-3803 and the rates from Nov to May range from P1500 (Standard) to P1800 (Deluxe) per night.  Put it on your list and if anyone goes there, let me know how you like it, and tell Steve and Rose that the Horse sent you (He might buy you a drink).

The monthly meeting of the Knights of the Brown Ring (AH Club) will be meeting on Saturday, 3 Dec, 12 Noon at the Blue Boar Inn.

Many folks are aware that last month elements of the NBI raided the Bunny Ranch Club using a mission order that listed the names of specific female employees suspected of being underage.  Investigation found that the so named ladies were not on the premises and technically, the law enforcement personnel should have called it a night and left.  Instead, they carted off two mamasans and five entertainers.  The Bunny Ranch was closed for a few hours but was able to reopen within a short period of time.  There are a lot of questions to be asked here and certain actions are under investigation by the Mayor at the request of the ACTA.  The main question being how can the Clubs on Fields Ave avoid such actions in the future?  On this occasion the charge did not involve underage ladies but the Club being a front for prostitution (two dancers signed statements to this effect).

TAPS:

On 2 Nov 05 David William Davis = Big Willie Of WILD WILD WEST BAR, passed away at home from complications from his long term illness, diabetes, and asthma.  David was the owner of the Cleopatra Club which was famous for its many openings, closings and renovations.  Willie enjoyed sitting in the back of the Club with one or two ladies at his side and was always a friendly, approachable host.  During a short forced absence, compliments of the police, Willie put the well known, popular flower lady, Myra in charge and she worked her butt off to keep things going for Willie.  She stayed loyal to Willie right up to his demise and his many friends gathered at the Wild Wild West Club on 10 Nov for a special wake from 8 to 10 PM.  Willie had a very interesting past and life style and no doubt he could be the subject of many stories but the saddest story of all is, that now, Big Willie is no longer with us, but for sure I bet he is using one of his multiple passports to gain access to the Pearly Gates.  Two days after Willie’s demise Don was able to take over the Wild Wild West and is keeping it open.  During an interview with Myra, the ex-flower lady, she told me how she remains responsible for paying off the debt held over for the uniforms of the girls and some other debts.  She is jobless at this time and only through the help of her mother is she able to make payments on these debts.  Since Don took over the Club maybe he could talk to Myra and see if he could lend some assistance to her or maybe those many friends of Willie could assist as well since Myra signed for those expenses on Willie’s behalf.

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

A friend of mine sent me words I had written in one of my earlier articles and it is funny how as the years pass it seems that things just don’t change all the much in the Philippines.

“What a very interesting political month we had in January.  Mrs. Horse was glued to the TV set, along with many others as President Estrada was forced to see the light through People Power II and finally retreated out the back door of the palace and sailed by barge into the sunset.  Gloria took her oath of President and now optimism/hope for a bright Philippine future has brought a sigh of relief to every Philippine citizen and to a hell of a lot of ex-pats as well.  With Estrada “stepping down” I thought the Peso would gain value so I changed some dollars at P46 to $l.  A day before it was still 54 to 1.  As usual, I made a wrong decision as Monday saw the peso at 47 and now it is 49 plus.  The politics remain interesting as Gloria’s cabinet appointments are being questioned, Loi Estrada wanting to run for the Senate, former friends of Estrada seeking favors to testify against him, especially Mark Jimenez who will do anything to keep from being extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.  All of this is is keeping the economy down and the exchange rate favorable to those with dollars to spend.  Will justice be served this time or will Erap be allowed to go the same route of Imelda Marcos who continues to buy shoes and walk around quite freely to enjoy her millions?  It is a daily soap opera with interesting players and it is anyone’s guess as to the outcome.  For sure, hope runs eternal that Gloria Macapagal will have the backbone to be a strong President and that she will be surrounded by honest, hard working supporters that will be interested in helping the country and not just filling their pockets with corruption stained pesos.”

It is kind of amusing isn’t it!  Over the years we have been witness to the on-going drama of Estrada versus President Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) whereby he has been “arrested”, settled into comfortable living quarters, taken a trip to Hong Kong to reside in luxury while having his knees operated on by an American doctor, and after this long, still no further progress on his legal status; reminds me of Imelda Marcos who still makes a fool out of those in power.  Now GMA is on the hot seat with allegations of corruptness, especially accusations voiced against her husband and son. The opposition is working hard to try and get GMA out of office and there are numerous rumors of a coup, with the latest rumor indicating that a coup will take place in Dec (Rumor control number 16).  The common folks are not happy, especially with the E-Vat taking effect on 1 Nov (10% increase with another 2% to be added on 1 Jan) and being told that those folks that could hardly afford to feed themselves before the increase should just suck it up and do without for the good of the country.  Now, I don’t understand economics but it seems that the World Bank is happy and now the Philippine Government can borrow more money so the same people that have been in power for many years can siphon off more into their personal bank accounts.  I wonder if any of the additional tax money will be used to help the people of the Philippines?  All I read is that with the additional money collected they will be able to make more payments to reduce the National debt that accumulated during this and past administrations so now they can borrow more money.  Despite all this borrowing of money, the Philippine Air Force does not have any planes to fly except for a few old ones that are seldom flown because they can’t afford the fuel.  Additionally, it is reported that the PAF is losing most of their experienced pilots to commercial airlines because there are no planes for them to fly.  The budget for the local police officials to do their job is pathetic.  You want a criminal case investigated?  “eh, could you please help us by putting gas in our jeep” is a common PNP request. Meanwhile, the elite super rich businessmen in the country get away without paying any taxes or very little.  Sounds a little bit like some folks in the States where the middle class pay the bulk of the taxes.  But,  one thing for sure, it is still a pleasure to live here, just don’t try to figure out what is going on!  Follow the advice of GMA – just, -  “suck it up”!

The Clark Development Corp. (CDC) is working hard to inform visitors to Angeles City of the many package tours put together at Clark for tourists and locals alike to make their time at Angeles City more interesting.  Many tourists think that when coming here there is only bars and more bars to see and quite often they do not get past the nightlife.  For those interested in day time activities that offer a bit of adventure and picture taking opportunities the following tours are offered:

1.  Historical Tour – Features a museum tour, rolling tour of Clark, break time under the trees (bring your own lunch and drink), plant visits and shopping. (Price:  Php 100/person)

2.   Arts and Crafts – Museum Tour, rolling tour of Clark, Jewelry-making, Origami, face painting, basic drawing, storytelling, shopping.  Inclusions – Materials for the respective courses.  The tour fee entitles the participant to two (2) of the listed activities.  (Price:  Php 150/Person)

3.  Lahar Trek – Features a museum tour, rolling tour of Clark, lahar trewk, rapelling, group dynamics, break time under the trees (bring your own lunch and drink), outdoor games, shopping.  (Price:  Php 150/person)

4.  River Trek – Features an Aeta cooking demo, river trek, river wading, river swimming, 4X4 ride, shopping.  Inclusions are one (1) tour guide per 10 pax, snacks, water, 4X4 vehicle. (Price: Php 500/person)

5.  Proposed new tours for sometime next year are an orchid/citrus tour, kapampangan cuisine tour, Clark-Pinatubo Sky Tour, sports tour and much more.

Your contact for signing up for the various tours and more information is:   Office Address:  The Clark Museum, 2499 Sergio Osmena Street, Clark Field, Pampanga.  Telephone:  63 (45) 599-2854, 599-6235, 599-3222.  E-mail -info@visitclark.com , the website is www.visitclark.com . (I did have a name contact but she was fired two days after a briefing I attended – have not learned the name of her replacement).

TOURIST OF THE MONTH

Meet Chris Ridley, from Birmingham, Alabama who was just divorced last December and has now discovered that being divorced is not all that bad, as long as you can pop over to the Philippines once or twice a year.  Chris is a computer programmer and he explained to me that where many old timers remember Birmingham as a blue collar city, it is now mostly white collar workers who are involved in the medical trade. The City hosts the University State Medical Center of Alabama at Birmingham.  That sounded impressive to me and I guess they have no need for horses there.  Chris stayed at the Wild Orchid Resort and was impressed with it but he could only stay one week.  A hard working stiff, he only gets two weeks holiday a year and divides that time into visiting Angeles City for one week each in Feb and Oct of each year.  He’s trying to figure out how to get his job transferred here.  You better believe that he enjoys himself while here and the ladies are all over this young guy that is young, single, has a good job and is very available.

Now, wisdom runs in the family because his Uncle, Dan Patterson, introduced Chris to Angeles City and he is anxiously waiting for Jan to roll around as he will be returning to his favorite location for a bit of recreation.  Dan, when you hit town, drop by the Blue Boar Inn where I am stabled and have a drink or two.  Try to be here on 3 Dec for the Knights of the Brown Ring (AH) Club meeting.

So, folks, this is an example of how “family oriented” Fields Ave can be, just like Disney Land, except with different “rides”.

MAKE ME AN OFFER I CAN’T REFUSE

His name is Tony Gambino!  No, no, wait a minute, that’s wrong – his name is really Anthony Philip Breddkin Heywood! He’s a Yank – eh, no, he is British.  Hey, he’s a retired colonel in the US Air Force!  My goodness, wrong again he is just the co-owner of what used to be Private Dancer and is now known as “Boys Night Out”.  Tony is connected with the Gambino Mafia family, oops, wrong again, he just thinks he is.  He’s a nice guy!  Well, one or two folks think he is but his tendency to threaten the lives of some of his fellow expats and their families kind of offsets that image.  Actually, it does not matter anymore as this man with one hell of an imagination and a bit of a hot temper was  arrested on the night of 18 Nov 05 and kept in the holding cell of Station four until Sunday when he conveniently complained of chest pains and managed to get himself checked into the hospital.  The only medical problem he had was a bit of high pressure, caused, naturally, by the forced stay in a terrible holding cell that did not offer a bunk or a chair to sit on.  Tony was charged for grave threat, alarm and scandal, resistance and disobedience, and concealing true name.  Some of the complainants against Tony are Wolfgang Fenchel, Erling Rune, and David Short.  After being released from the hospital Tony was able to make bail and is now lying low in his residence until Immigration figures out what to do with him.  There is the strong possibility that Immigration authorities may require him to leave the country.  Tony admits to threatening the life of Wolf and his family but denies the other allegations which is well enough, but there are so many complaints against this man that he would be better off starting another career in some other geographical area.  He could always go to New York and try to gain employment as an enforcer with some of the families he admires so much.   (Be advised that there are always two sides to a story and to be fair, during my interview with Tony he strongly denied any threats to personnel other than Wolf and felt that some people were just out to ruin him).

SUNDAY CHARM

It is a great excuse to take your family out, or your favorite girl, for a nice relaxing luncheon at the Wild Orchid Resort.  The swimming pool view is pleasant, the people serving you are nice, the service is great and the touch of a Mariachi band that plays soft, melodic music as they drift from table to table is the final touch to a perfect afternoon.  The Mariachi members are from Olongapo and go by the name “Triple Choice.  If you visit Subic Base stop by the Tabola Italian restaurant to watch them in action but I guess at that location they must feature Italian songs.  Getting back to the Wild Orchid Resort, starting early this month they will be featuring a mouth watering Bar-b-q every Sunday and that should be a big draw.  You will notice that I include a picture of Ron Wakely here in front of a nice ship display but what interested me were the pictures in the background; when you visit the resort, check them out and you will see Ron in the company of Lee Marvin, one of my favorite actors.  Be warned though, Ron looks a lot younger in these pictures and a bit thinner so you may have trouble spotting him.

ANOTHER TONY

One of the perks from writing this column is that I get to meet a lot of people and I especially enjoy running into those folks that have been reading my words for a few years and do not hate me.  One of those readers is Tony (Pieman) Byrne, from Sydney, Australia. Tony has been making frequent visits to AC for a number of years and it is strange that our paths did not cross before.  He stays at the Orchid Inn and enjoys drinking and eating at Roy’s Pub.  On the night I met him he was at the Blue Nile and Wee George introduced us.  Despite the loud music, somehow, Tony and I were able to communicate enough to get to know each other.  I hope the next time we meet it will be at Roy’s Pub which is a bit quieter and we can talk without shouting in each other’s ear.  Some year Priscilla the Horse and I hope to visit Sydney, Australia and see what it is like, and maybe look up some of the folks we have met over the years.

CHRISTMAS CHEER FROM THE THI-HI

The ladies at the Thi-Hi Club are always ready to party, especially if a couple of single, young lads happen to wander in.  Since December was so close the ladies and the two very happy customers decided to wish all the readers of this column a very Merry Christmas.  Now the picture to the right appears a little wider than usual, but if you click on it, the normal view will pop up.

A LOOK AT THE FUTURE

These two pictures will give you an idea of what one side of Santos will look like sometime next year and I tried to include a view of the interior of the condos that are currently being sold like hotcakes.  They are out of my price range but it appears that the Orchid boys are on the right track.  If you like the old Santos Street, you better get here real soon and get some pictures because it won’t be long before another landmark becomes history.

A RELUCTANT BEAUTY

I do not know this very attractive lady’s name nor any other details other than the fact that she is tall, has a good figure, a charming face and a smile that lights up the room.  I spotted her at the Dirty Duck on the night that Atlee and the management team were celebrating the official completion of their renovations that added 32 seats to the Club.  I kept trying to get her picture but she avoided me and it became a bit of a joke between us.  Even one of the managers could not get her to pose.  The most I could get was her back and I had given up the quest.  But, as I was reviewing the pictures of some of the dancers on the stage I happened to notice, in the corner of the picture, that by accident I had managed to get the picture I sought.  I was able to blow it up enough for you to see the woman, who in my opinion, was the best looking young lady in the Club that night.

12 YEARS OF FUN

No doubt many people will disagree with me, but I feel that the Road House is one of the better run Clubs on Fields Ave and one of the most successful over the long run.  Mark has indeed provided 12 years of fun for any patron entering his establishment.  You can also thank his right hand lady, Girlie for contributing to that success.  I do believe that Mark would be lost without her at his side, helping to run the business.  On top of that, I think she is one of the finest ladies in AC that I have had the pleasure of meeting.  She is smart, personable and completely loyal to Mark and the business.  Imagine how patient she has had to be to work that closely with Mark for 12 years, some folks don’t last 24 hours.  As usual, on this festive occasion the place was packed, the food was plentiful and delicious and Mr. Smith displayed his normal organizational abilities.  It was a bit different seeing him in a WHITE long sleeve shirt and wearing glasses which made him look like a gentle version of Telly Salvalas, all that was lacking was the lollipop.

CHRISTMAS IN CHRISTMAS

OK Guys and Dolls, it is that time of year again.  The last fund raiser this year for the Bahay Bata Streetchildren’s Center will take place on 28 Dec 05 at the Roadhouse.  I do not have to go into any details here because most of the readers of this column are very familiar with this project and the great effort Mark and many others put in to provide a home, medical care and education for the Angeles City street children.  With a monthly budget of approximately P250,000 it is only through the help of the many folks that empty out their pockets a couple of times a year that the Center is able to achieve the success experienced in the last few years.  It is a very worthwhile project dear to the hearts of many people and I am sure that many will answer the call, once again, on 28 Dec.  See you there.

OLD CLUB OWNERS DON’T DIE

And this one refuses to “fade away”.  Dave (Mo) certainly knows how to celebrate a birthday and only he can make it an all day, all night affair.  What 63 year old man would not want to be able to celebrate becoming a year older while surrounded by so many lovely women?  Did Mo enjoy himself?  You better believe it!  Did he get a lot of cake in his face?  Yep!  Did he love every minute of it?  Oh boy, absolutely!  Not only does Mo enjoy himself but but he makes sure that all those attending his various parties do as well.  Mo has an eye for hiring some very attractive ladies and over the years it appears that his eyesight is getting better rather than degenerating.  Of course, one must realize that if they had a contest to select Angeles City’s Dirtiest Old Man I suspect that he would be in the top five.  Hey Mo, that is one contest you have not thought about yet, how about it?  There has to be a lot of contenders in this town and the judges, of course, would have to be female. By the way, happy birthday old man!

MEET THE FAT BASTARDS

I happened to walk into Bretto’s meat shop and restaurant one night last month and found a few well fed lads sitting around a table in a very festive mood.  The wine was flowing and Bretto himself indicated that he had been sampling the red stuff since early afternoon.  They called themselves the “Fat Bastards” and indicated that the gathering was to spread good will upon Brian Waters (Australian Blue Tongue Lizard) after his heart operation.  This gathering stemmed from the wine club that meets every Monday at the Phoenix hotel for their lamb feast.  Each of the lads said that two years ago they were all quite thin but after attending each of the Monday meetings since it began they gradually evolved into the “Fat Bastards”.  There is an actual Club House for these lads located in Campbells Beach Resort at Big Lalaguna, Pueta Galera.  Bob Campbell wanted to pass on that if anyone wanted an 06 Fat Bastards calendar they could contact him atcampbellsbiglalagunaresort@yahoo.com.ph .

I WOULD IF I COULD

It had been a while since I checked out the Blue Nile Club but I decided it was time for this old Horse to drop by and buy manager, Wee George, a drink.  I try not to make a habit of doing such a thing but I had spent a month saving up my change and was feeling generous.  While talking to George and the “Pieman” I happened to see, a few feet away this lovely 5’8″ waitress named Daisy.  This picture probably does not do her justice but I do believe you will get a fairly good idea of why she caught my attention.  Naturally she is single and I was surprised to learn that she was raised in Angeles City.  She is 26 years old and I think that is a very good age, not too young and definitely, not too old.  It was a crowded, busy night and I did not get to interview her as long as I would have liked so I did not get to ask all the details that I normally pass on to the readers.  What the hell, I think that you would agree that she looks good enough that anyone interested can do their own research.

NO BIRD FLU AT THE QUACK-QUACK CLUB

The Dirty Duck, since it opened has been a very successful afternoon Club and the original owners were more than pleased at the success of their investment.  As things go in this town, ownership changed and the well known, successful Club owner Atlee added the Dirty Duck to his stable of various businesses.  What was already a success became even more popular and successful.  Enough so to convince Atlee to extend the operating hours and to make renovations that added more room and streamlined the appearance.  The operating hours are from 1200 hours to 0500 hrs seven days a week and there are 80 ladies on hand to keep your eyes occupied.  The amazing thing is that the changes were made without ever closing down and that took a lot of planning.  The renovation completion party was a huge success and I have never seen Atlee with such a big smile as he carried a tray of candy shots around to pass out to the attendees.  Make sure you visit the Dirty Duck and a bird flu shot is not necessary as the chicks on hand are checked every week.  Folks, this is a fun stop on any barhopping jaunt, well done Atlee.

HIDDEN VALE SPORTS RESORT

Left to right we have the Lawn Bowls teams from Brunei and Malaysia and then the dynamic trio of Blue Boy Nepomoceno, Rey Pineda and Mark Smith. The two Lawn Bowls teams were early birds in checking out the venue for the SEA Games Lawn Bowls competition.  We are hoping that Malaysia does not dominate as they have in the past and that our own Hidden Vale team will give them a run for the gold.  Blue Boy was on hand checking out all the improvements being made to the Resort and the future plans that promise to turn this Club into one of the most sought out memberships in town.  When this picture was taken Mark Smith was fast running out of steam after chasing contractors around all day.  They are pictured standing in front of the newly tarred road that would soon welcome a new layer of asphalt.  I have been told that starting in January the monthly dues will double from P500 to P1,000 a month and this time, I have no complaints for, at long last, very visible improvements are being made. The Club House will be fantastic featuring separate changing rooms for men and women with lockers, toilets and saunas and I mean first class construction as well.  Members can look forward to two to three different dining areas with one featuring fine dining, gym facilities with free weights and tension machines as well as jogging machines.  At least two new access routes will lead to Hidden Vale, one from the road next to Zapatas and one from Friendship which will allow members and guests to avoid a lot of the congested traffic one normally runs into.  There is an energy, and resolve that I have never seen displayed at Hidden Vale and the biggest change is that, this time, one can see the positive results taking place on a daily basis.  By the way, this Horse is so optimistic that I just paid my dues a year which, of course, allows me to save P6,000 over the next year.  You don’t have to believe what I am writing, just go and take a look for yourself.

It is time for me to hook up the old calesa and get on out of here.  As I get older the years seem to pass all too quickly and the arthritis in my fingers is making it a bit more difficult to write this column.  Priscilla is always happy when I put this column to bed each month for she says, only then can she grab my attention for a few days before I start all over again.  One year she will lose her patience with me and I will have to sign off permanently, but until then, be happy, be safe, and please, be kind to horses.


 
-

November 2005

Posted by admin on January 13, 2011 in 2005 Monthly Newsletters

November 2005

The unusual design painted on this VW has been sent to me a number of times and I found it amusing but did not bother to save it or pass it on.  Shortly after returning from Vegas with a couple of  of extremely big rear ends of female Americans that are becoming normal sights in the US, especially at the buffets in Vegas, I looked at this  differently.  To tell the truth, some of those asses I noted, I am sure, if turned around nd, would just about duplicate the size shown here. OK already, there were some nice looking ladies with nice figures around as well but they are becoming a rare breed.  It is certainly good to be back in the Philippines where corruption is a way of life.  I was with my son in Arizona when he was stopped by a policeman in Arizona for speeding and I had to remind myself not to  a bit of cash for “consideration” so my son has to attend some driving school in order to avoid points in addition to paying the fine.  After 28 days I find the political situation just as topsy-turvy as ever with GMA hanging on with desperation and the opposition trying to think of any black propaganda to topple her from office.  The construction of the SM Mall on Clark is moving along at a fast pace and that is wonderful, it will certainly be a good draw for this area.  The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEP) is progressing but as usual, some local Mayors are causing problems.  Before it was Mayor Boking Morales that had a few objections and now Conception Mayor Noel Villanueva, a few weeks , confiscated dump trucks being used by the Japanese contractor for the SCTEP construction in order to try and a change in the design of the toll road to avoid dividing the town.  Mediation between the principals is ongoing now but wouldn’t it be nice to see a construction project meant to benefit the entire Central Luzon Region go on without too much interference. Let us hope that Mayor Villanueva can be appeased quickly so that the common  will not suffer from any unnecessary delays.  The holidays are fast approaching with Thanksgiving this month and Christmas and New Years fast approaching.  For this month I want to send my thanks to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan whose lives are in danger every day, month after month and year after year.  It is a dirty, rotten war with no front lines and no clear lines of progress, and left wing reporters embedded with the troops whose only mission is to report anything that would make our troops look bad.  On this Thanksgiving may you eat well, and at least have one day of relative safety.

TIDBITS

OK, here is something I want to pass on that might be helpful to a few folks, but hard to tell.  A customer at the Blue Boar Inn that travels back and forth from Bangkok to the Angeles City told me that there is a business that will ship boxes to your  here in the PI at a reasonable cost.  It is called the Clem & Jhoan Cargo located at 101/26 Petchburi Soi 17, Soi Somprasong 4, Pratunam, Bangkok, 10400. Harry, could you put in your next Harry the Horse an item that VVA Chapter 887 is looking for contestants to compete in a local beauty contest for the Miss Chili Pepper contest in La Union on 26 Nov.   Our local selection beauty contest will be on 18 Nov at our monthly social.  The location has not been selected yet, but we are  trying for T Times. The chapter will pay for the winning contestant’s and her female companion transportation and two night s at La Union.  We ask only that the bar/club pay her usual salary and any per diem and help with her costume (swim suit and long dress).  If you have any question stop by the DAV to see me.   E. Ralph

How many of you remember the porno movie Deep Throat, starring Linda Lovelace? It was put out many years ago but became a classic and set the guidelines for many movies to follow.  Well, Jerry (last name withheld by request) has copies to sell at $5 each and the quality is what you would from such an old movie but believe me, it is very viewable (yes, I had to check it out myself).  Jerry is taking orders and the copies will be available 12/1 so give him a call at 09107385814.

A reader of this column from Korea sent a comment about a message board in Cebu that has added a section that acts as a hotline for needed blood.  Capt Jack at PIH might be interested in getting with the AC Message Board moderator to see if something like this could be added to that site.  I know that Jack bleeds a little bit himself every time an emergency call for blood comes in and a patient has to wait so long for help, sometimes, it is just too late to help.  Thanks for the input Chris. “I was reading your Sep edition and you mentioned about the difficulty involved with blood at the hospitals.  I am not sure if you ever visit the Living in Cebu site ( http://www.cebuliving.com/forums/ ) or not, but the have a new section called “SOS Philippines”.  This section is to help people that need blood and for other medical emergency needs. I always enjoy your news letter. Take care and have fun in Vegas. Regards, Chris”

In order to lose a bit of weight I have started my nearly daily swimming at either Hidden Vale or the Phoenix Hotel.  I am also trying to strengthen my leg in anticipation of knee replacement surgery which I have been putting off for many years.  My reluctance is due to the time I would have to take off and of course, the painful recovery period which I am not keen on.  But, some folks that I have talked to have told me it is not too bad and that I should not worry about it.  Well, once, when at the VA Clinic in Manila, taking a blood test, I saw a veteran that had his left leg amputated nearly up to his waist.  I asked him what happened and he told me that, through the VA, he underwent knee replacement at St. Lukes Hospital in Manila and came down with a hospital infection.  they had to cut off his leg.  OK fine, that was a couple of years ago and of course, I did not opt for my surgery.  Then, last year a couple of Vets here in Angeles City had their knees replaced at PIH and told me it was a piece of cake and that there was not much pain involved.  Did I mention that I hate any kind of PAIN!  Lately, Priscilla the Horse has been on me to get the operation and I was building up my resolve to do so until I met “Les” at the Phoenix Hotel pool.  He noticed my knee brace and asked if I had a knee operation in which I told him no, but was contemplating one.  He then proceeded to tell me that he had the operation and it was the most painful thing he ever went through and would never want to get another one.  He described how for a straight 36 hours they put his leg on a motion machine and after he was out of hospital, he had to return for a minor procedure with anesthetic to force his knee to a 120 degree angle.  Needless to say, thanks to Les I must tell Priscilla that it will take me another one or two years to build up my nerve again.  Thank goodness no one has decided to shoot this old horse to put me out of my misery.

Jim Benz sent me the following information: “According to Transparency International, a world coalition against corruption, the Philippines ranks in the bottom half of the world when it comes to rampant corruption.  The Philippines even ranked below such countries as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Vietnam, Ukraine, Palestine and Nicaragua .. .However, they did rank ABOVE such wonderful places as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Haiti, Angola, Venezuela, and Papua new guinea. Sad!”  (Jim, thank goodness, how else could I get by for so many years without paying any traffic tickets!)

Glad to read a note from Trev in Darwin regarding last month’s Newcastletourists, I guess it brought back some memories: “G’day, Just a note to say my Mrs was tickled to see Mark and Craig (the Newcastle Mob) in the October edition. She remembers them well from the Rhum Runner and ran into one of them up in La Union afterwards. If they read your pages she’d just like to say Hi and that she is married to the original drunken bum that stole her from said Rhum Runner in 88 and has a 4 year old boy and has been living in Darwin since 92. Love keeping abreast of happenings through your column. Regards Trevor and Sunsineth Wood.”

Only once was I able to visit Arlington National Cemetery in Washing DC and observe the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It was a sobering effect but at the time I did not know what these men and women had to undergo to be a part of that guard.  The description below has been passed to me a few times and after reading I deleted the message.  This time I thought I would pass it on for general information, especially for those of us that like a drink or two during our lifetime.

” For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be
between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 2″ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.”  Other
requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the
tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on
or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the
rest of their lives and  cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in
any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on
their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only
400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their
lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat
and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the
top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty
in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor
watch TV.  All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid
to rest in Arlington National Cemetery . A guard must memorize who they are
and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe
E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most
decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for
guard duty.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching   Washington ,   DC , our
US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC
evening news, it was  reported that because of the dangers from the
hurricane, the military  members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They
respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!”  Soaked to the skin,
marching in the pelting  rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding
the Tomb was not just an  assignment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously,
24/7, since 1930.”

Some exciting changes are taking place at Hidden Vale! Recently, Mark Smith and Rey Pineda took me on a walk through to explain what is going on with the new construction and some of their plans for the rest of this year and next year.  There is a major construction project going on to turn the T-house into a first class facility that will feature a fine-dining restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, lockers, sauna, changing rooms, massage rooms, Jacuzzi, and so much more.  Oh yes, a name change is in the works as well wherein Hidden Vale will become the Angeles Sports & Country Club.  This time, I believe that the present construction will see completion and some of the amenities that members have been waiting to see for a long time will finally be a reality.  There is more, much more but because many tentative plans are not final at this time management has asked that I hold off a bit longer.  No problem, it is enough just to see construction activity going on again.  Now, I did not broach the subject about membership costs and monthly dues because I simply did not want to know.  No doubt, like gas prices, increases will follow like what has happened with the current food menu, but, well, it sure will be a quality club and quality does cost more.  Oh well, see you around the swimming pool, at least for the remainder of this year.

TAPS: James Lloyd “Jim” Frisby, a well liked member of the VFW passed away last month and was cremated on 14 Oct.

Who says business is slow in Angeles City? According to Mo he had tremendous sales in October and I am sure there have been similar sales in other Clubs.  One late afternoon I had the opportunity to visit Magic Moments and they were doing a rather brisk business.  Naturally, some businesses will be slow as there probably are not enough tourists to fill up all the clubs but this should change this month.  One sign of how much money is spent by Tourists and Expats in and around Fields Ave and Angeles City is that the bank has informed Mo that the ATM located at Mo’s Place averages P400,000 a day in withdrawals.  This is a lot of money but as with many ATMs it goes off line too often and occasionally eats the card and the customer gets mad.  Mo is thinking of removing the machine because o of the complaints that he has no control over.  I was surprised to hear how much money is being withdrawn on a daily basis and the figures were taken over a 17 month period.

There is a little bit of drama taking place at the T-Times Club on Perimeter road as it was illegally padlocked by the previous owner who claims he was not paid.  The previous owner is an American and Kevin, the present owner is an American.  Kevin swears that he has paid all that is due and has the receipts to prove it.  This is a sad incident as Kevin has sunk a large sum of money into renovating the Club and it appears that the previous owner might be trying to regain control using rather underhanded, illegal methods.  In any case, the lawyers for both sides are trying to sort the mess out and T-Times has reopened but electricity, for now, has to be provided by a generator.

On Saturday 29 Oct I made a quick trip down the road to see if the new owners of Cherry’s Club wanted to continue their ad in this column.  I was able to meet and talk with Les who is a fine, friendly lad from Australia but so far, I have not been able to meet the second half of this team, Charlie.  To my surprise, when Les sent a text to Charlie to ask about the ad the answer was no, because Charlie had had enough and wanted to sell out.  Boy, if sold this would have qualify as one of the quickest turn-a-rounds for bar ownership in recent years.  So, even Les was a bit surprised but he also indicated that owning a Club can be a bit of a hassle and he is not sure if he will buy Charlie out, sell just Charlie’s share to someone else or just give up the ship completely.  Bottom line, if anyone is interested in buying a share of Cherry’s Club, or possibly the whole operation, please stop by Cherry’s Club and get in touch with Les or Charlie. Who knows, Jerry himself might buy it back, at a lesser price of course.

The Happy Days bar on Perimeter Road has gone the way of the old TV Series, it is now history.  Terry decided he wanted to handle fish and shrimp instead of booze so he sold the place (for a good price of course) to an American, Ron, who hails from Chicago.  Ron is fairly new to Angeles City but never-the-less is jumping in with both feet on the ground to do a complete new concept for this location.  Surprisingly, Ron decided to keep the name “Happy Days” for his new building that will be two stories with a two bars.  On the first floor will be a girlie bar with entertainers and on the second floor will be an open Karaoke bar with a separate entrance.  The regular bar will be open from 1100 to 0200 but the Karaoke bar will remain open to 0500 hrs.  These are the initial plans and of course between now and the projected 1 Dec opening those plans could change.  It is a different concept in that Ron is attempting to attract both the foreign and Filipino trade at the same time.  This could be a good idea as long as the Filipino customers are not mixing with the expats in the girlie bar.  Most foreigners are a bit nervous of being around Filipino men when they are drinking excessively because of the possibility of violence and all too often, gun play.  My suggestion to Ron was that he consider closing in the Karaoke Club because of the noise factor.  Too many local lads and ladies sing horribly and it is no pleasure to be trying to sleep between 0300-0500 and have to listen to some loud idiots on the microphone.  If left open, the sound travels and there are residential areas behind the Club.  I took a picture of the ongoing construction but will hold it as a comparison next to the completed building.  Be advised though, that there are more and more clubs opening on Perimeter Road which feature lower drink prices lower take out fees.  This is made possible by lower overhead costs and the fact that the owners on Perimeter Road are willing to make a little less in order to attract the customers.  That makes sense to me!

FOR SALE – The AC1 Gym on Friendship Highway if up for sale.  The asking price is P4.5 million but that is negotiable.  Stop by the Gym for further information or call (45) 887-3165 or 0917

A lot has been written about putting slot machines in come clubs on Fields Ave – the following comments were sent to me by Terrence Skeet: “G’day Harry, this is about the impending slots for Fields.

Here in Australia their called ‘Poker Machines’ & you can find hundreds of them in every pub or club (RSL-Sporting etc) all over this big land & they spell TROUBLE! I know that you yanks have zillions in L.A. but here every town, ever so small, have ‘pokies.’ and they are forever in your face & eventually ‘suck you in.’ And, of course you lose those hard earned bucks. Which brings me to Angeles. What concerns me is not the tourists or ex pats that might get sucked in (when they drop say ps1500 & they realise what that could have bought last night at the bar – they’ll say shit & move on) it is the Filipino girls that worry me big time. Harry, Filipinos are big time gamblers! Here in Australia, any day, in my town you will see Filipino ladies at all times hitting the pokies. They simply love them! So what might happen in AG. The girls (some) working in the bars will gamble all or most of their earnings, can’t send money back to support their family – become depressed (suicidal?), scam more to recover what they lost last night – and become more addicted than flying on shabu. Ok, call me an alarmist. But I’ve seen it happened here in Oz. Pokies are bad for Angeles, they are not entertainment – they are a social evil. Ok, you don’t have to play them – but Adam didn’t have to eat the bloody apple either! Piss them off. Angeles doesn’t need them. Cheers, Terry (Ah Terry, I am sure many folks will agree with you but the lure of gambling is that there is money to be made and it is true that many people are definitely drawn to putting a bit of money in the slots.  But, Las Vegas, various Indian Reservations in the States, Macao, and many other locations accept them.  There will always be pro and con opinions but I think that if they do make it to Fields Ave that the end result will be a better, more exciting Fields Ave with more upscale clubs and much more entertainment available.  The project remains stalled because of difficult negotiations with the companies that must provide the slot machines).

A clarification message was received from Jack McDonald , PIH Administrator, regarding the death of Shane Rickie and the question about the availability of blood for a transfusion that was mentioned in my Sept column:

“Shane Rickie came to the PIH Emergency Room on August 15.  He was diagnosed with internal gastro-intestinal bleeding and told by no less than our Hospital Director himself that he needed to be admitted and receive an immediate transfusion.  Shane refused all treatment.  The Director then explained to him and to his wife that if he did not, he was in danger of dying at any time in the near feature.  He even offered to transfer him to the government hospital, Ospital Ning Angeles (ONA) if expense was an issue.  Shane refused and departed.

Some time later or the next day he went to ONA on his own where subsequently he suffered a heart attack.  He was transferred to PIH by our ambulance at the request of his wife.  He was immediately admitted and treated by our Intensive Care Unit, but expired about two hours later of a second, massive coronary.

PIH has a small blood bank.  Normally it does not contain a supply of the rarer blood types, such as O-Negative, which are unique mostly to non-Filipinos.   This is because there are a very limited number of donors and the shelf life is only 30 days.  We have access to the large HVC blood bank at Subic Bay Medical Center (SBMC) and also can contact local hospitals to obtain blood.”

ACE HITS THE BIG FIVE O

It has been 17 years since I celebrated my 50th year of life and I was so glad to have survived that long that I threw a rather large bash in celebration. On 14 Oct Ace, that jolly rotund fella with the ready smile hit the same milestone and put on a great feed with plenty of booze and soft drinks at Josephville II club house.  What made the event special was not only did many of his local mates attend, but many of his relatives from various points of Australia flew in for the event.  Lets see if I can read my notes correctly, family in attendance were:  two sisters, Coleen and Jane, brother-in-law Noel, nieces Jane Marie and Sheree, nephews Damian, Rodney (with girlfriend Carly), and daughters Katherine and Julian.  I hope I got that right, all in all they stayed in town for 18 days and enjoyed the hospitality of the Sunset Garden Hotel. My goodness, I have known Ace for some time and I never asked him for his real name, so, sorry mate, I forgot to get your full name or that of your Mrs. see, that is what happens to one’s memory 17 years after celebrating the 50th.

THE COLD DROP

Last month I wrote about the downfall of “The Last Drop” on Friendship and its reopening under the new name of “The Cold Drop” and it appears that my words led some folks to believe that I was disparaging the reputation of “Kenny Mac”.  Believe me, that was not my intent, in no way would I intentionally write anything negative about this fine individual.  Kenny is one of those honest, intelligent, professional individuals who, during his time in Angeles City has had the misfortune to team up with some folks in ventures that just, over time, do not pan out. I was able to interview both Kenny and John Davis and as usual, there are two sides to the events leading up to the closure and the end result was a voluntary action by Ken to rectify a situation he was not happy with.  But, what is past is past and the present finds The “Cold Drop” open with John at the helm who is doing his best to bring back the customer base that Kenny Mac had built up.  Most tourists will spend their time in Angeles without ever getting past the Checkpoint but if possible a trip to the Friendship area to check out this establishment would be worth the time taken.  The Cold Drop is an outdoor patio bar surrounded by a garden effect that makes one forget that the Friendship Highway is only a few meters away.  They feature a large contingent of friendly, very friendly, good looking waitresses that are willing to cater to your every need.  They are open at 0900 and close whenever there are no more customers.  A restaurant is available serving a full menu that features Indian curries prepared by “Curry Steve”.  I was able to sample the chicken vindaloo offering and enjoyed it but I admit to not being a good judge of curries, I only want it spicy, tasty and enough to fill me up; I will leave expert judgments to others.  The restaurant offers a variety of pizzas in two sizes and I very much enjoyed the large 14″ pizza prepared for me.  I happen to enjoy a thin crust pizza and this is another area where opinions differ dramatically so all I will say is that maybe it is time for Mo to hold a new “Best Pizza” contest with very neutral judges since there are two new players in the Pizza business.  OK, back to business!  I strongly recommend that you get Manager Dave or John himself to take you on a tour of the establishment he is putting together, it is very impressive.  Go beyond the patio garden and check out the rooms for the girls that live on the premises, the “special room” where one can relax after too many drinks for the reasonable price of only P800 that features a bathroom with shower, TV, bed, towels, soap in fact, so comfortable and clean that one would not want to leave.  Additionally, 8 self contained suites are under construction that can be rented for P20,000 a month or avail of the daily and weekly rates.  The size of the suites range from 33 sq meters to 55 sq meters and John has been taken reservations so if you are interested, hurry on over before they are all spoken for.

A BX BIRTHDAY PARTY

When Priscilla and I were visiting Las Vegas we were happy to gather with old friends at the Nellis AFB, BX Food Court to attend the birthday celebration for Carmen Barnes, lovely wife of Charlie Barnes.  This was a first for me, to attend a very small, intimate party at the BX but it was very touching.  Those few in attendance were close, long time friends and it was a special, touching event.  The group picture depicts a crew of aging veterans that frequently meet at the Food Court for coffee in the morning and I always try to make at least one meeting with them when I get to Vegas each year.  When I sent an email to Charlie asking how old his wife was he responded as follows:

“Some people think I may be a little old for my 39 year old wife. But not really.. When we got married we were the same age… well..same numbers anyhow 52 and 25.  When she was 27, she was half my age.  I am 66, she was born in 66.  She is 39, I was born in 39.  It has been the best 14 years of my life.”  Well done Charlie, what more can a man ask for!  May you enjoy many more years of marital bliss.

I WOULD IF I COULD

Have you been looking for a decent lady that you would be proud to court and marry – well, look no further, here she is. When I took this picture of Decy, she had worked at the Swagman as a waitress for only two months and already she had four offers of courtship from two Aussies, one Korean and one Japanese so that gives you an idea of her charm.  She is from Angeles City and lives with her grand parents while her Mom works in Manila and gets home only one day a week. I got so carried away talking to this young lady that I forgot to ask her age but she is level headed and told me that she is not ready to have a boyfriend, she has other plans for her life first.  But, as you know, the heart can play tricks on the mind, so who knows, one determined lad might change her mind.  It would take a lot of work and if she agreed to see you, no doubt, you would have to go through the proper courtship procedures but somehow, I think it would be worth the effort.  Do me a favor though, whoever succeeds in winning the heart of this lady, let this old Horse know, I want to be at the wedding.

ONE YEAR ALREADY

It is hard to believe but the ACTA Tourist Police celebrated their one year anniversary at Hidden Vale Resort on 23 Oct.  PS/Supt Segubre was on hand to offer congratulations and to pass on to the lads/ladies that he was proud of the fine work that they have been doing.  The Tourist Police (TP) number over 60 personnel now and they are all volunteers except for 7 paid positions.  As with any new program, there have been some ups and downs but as time passed the community began to accept these men in black and call on them for assistance.  Initially, the patrol area for the TP was Fields Ave only but it has now been expanded to include MacArthur Highway to Friendship and they have developed a close working relationship with the PNP.  Theft incidents have been reduced, the card hustlers have moved off of Fields, and with the additional show of uniformed personnel as well as bomb sniffing dogs the entertainment area has become much more secure from major incidents than before.  Hopefully, eventually, the visiting forces for exercises will be allowed to venture off base due to the safety factor.

BATTER UP

The spots field adjacent to the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center has been completed and is ready for soccer, rugby, base ball and other sporting events.  During my recent visit to the States I purchased three baseballs for the  use of the kids but of course, more sporting equipment is required, i.e., baseball gloves, bats, soccer balls, etc., so any donations along these lines would be appreciated.

ALIENS? -  I have no idea who these lads are, can anyone identify them.  The names given when forwarded to me were, L-R – “Nok”, “Toes” “Panda” and “Wozza”.  I do not know what the occasion was for these remarkable pictures to be taken so if anyone can come up with the real story I would appreciate it.  The pictures were just too strange not to be shared with my readers.  I think that “Toes” should be called “Camel Toes” and “Wozza” must be a Kiwi.

TOURIST OF THE MONTH

The distinguished looking gentlemen holding a set of steel tip darts is Richard, and he comes to us all the way from Las Vegas Nevada.  Richard spends every weekend playing steel tip blind draw doubles at either the CD Lounge or the Rum Runner on East Desert Inn Road just past Pecos McLeod.  He is ex-military and had not been back in the Philippines (Angeles City) for 14 years so he was thrilled to be able to see some old friends that were still in town and to witness the many changes since he was last here.  He did remember Dave White from the Shamrock who has been the owner of the “Hang-out” for many years.  On this trip Dave did not remember him but then you have to talk to Davey before 4 PM for him to remember anything and Richard waited until 7 PM, way too late.  After kicking my butt at darts Richard told me he was going to join a soft tip league when he returned to Vegas because that is where the money is now but he won’t give up steel tip.  Steel tip, to me, is the pure game of darts Richard but I can understand your desire to jump in to soft tips as you are a fine, talented player and I am sure you will be in the money.  Say hello to Stacy Bromberg and Grumpy for me.

 

TOWN HOUSE FOR SALE

This beautiful, quality constructed Town House located at 562 5th St, Balibago is up for sale.  They were newly built in June this year and have not been occupied.  The owner would rather sell than rent but due to being busy have not taken the time to market the units.  The location is convenient, only about a four minute drive from Clark’s main gate which will be a convenience once the SM Mall opens up.  Each unit has two bedrooms, a maids room and four bathrooms.  I liked the toilet and sink design on the first floor in an alcove separating the casual area from the kitchen.  A sink was situated in an alcove and to the left one went down two steps to a closed in toilet.  A clever, efficient use of space.  The sink counter tops were made with natural granite stone which is not cheap to install.  These town houses were made with much care to detail, and quality, even to the attractive built in emergency lights (three of them).  Each unit is wired for 110/220, and is telephone/cable ready.  Each unit is priced at three million pesos each but if someone wants to buy all three then the price can be negotiated.  They are easy to find, just turn down the street next to Jocson College, go to the end and turn left, they are midway down on the right hand side of the street.  Personally, I think these are ideal units to rent out but the owner wants to sell, so, at the right price this property is definitely worth a look-see.  For further information call 45-887-3165 or 0917 342-9460.

THE NEW BRIGHT LOOK OF THE SWAGMAN – I was pleasantly surprised to walk into the Swagman dining/pool area and see the new look.  It really brightened up the place and made it look so clean and appealing.  The flooring, tiles, color scheme and the new look pool has really made a difference in appearance.  It is good to know that Bill and Remy are not just sitting around dreaming of changes but are actively pursuing new ideas to bring in new and old customers.  I was particularly impressed with the suites next to the pool.  Our Swagman model, Daisy, is sitting on the beautiful Jacuzzi in a room that is large and comfortable and hard to reserve because it is booked most of the time.  The room goes for P2,500 a night but that is without 21 year old Daisy, who was born and raised right here in Angeles City.

I t is time, again, for me to hitch up the ole calesa and trot on out of here.  It has been a tiring day and a learning one.  For the first time I have inserted the pictures without assistance but, I am not all that brave.  I am now waiting for my computer guru Chuck to arrive and see how many mistakes I have made.  Then I must deal with zipping the file and sending it off to the Duck.  Yep, I am at least one day later than I wanted to be.  I just got a call from Mark Smith (Sat, 1900 hrs, 29 Oct) telling me that the Friendship bridge is open to two way traffic but the funny part is that there are people standing in the middle of the traffic flow trying to collect money.  I suspect this two way traffic is temporary because the approaches are not properly finished yet.  So, why start the two way traffic? Because it is that time of the year when City officials, using infinite wisdom, allow MacArthur Ave to be closed down to allow for the Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan Festival.  This is a money maker for the City Government but it is one big inconvenience to motorists who must suffer congestion, confusion, and detours for two days so teenagers can party.  It must be a lot of fun for many people and it brings in money for the City coffers, but, darn it, this Horse is just too old check it out.  Hey, we have received three out of the 8 FOREX boxes sent door to door so far.  With my poor memory it is like a surprise every time we open one because I forgot what we packed.  Priscilla was smart enough to make a list, I just don’t want to look at it.  That’s it folks, remember, be kind to Horses.


 
-

October 2005

Posted by admin on January 13, 2011 in 2005 Monthly Newsletters

October 2005

Since I will be flying Northwest Airlines on my return to Angeles City mid-October I just could not help but think of the old, old, witches passing as flight attendants on that airline.  Now, way back in Nov 03 I posted a  of a typical NWA flight attendant that I have been told is still currently flying.  Since I don’t really know this lady I can only presume that she might be a kind, gentle grandmother, or maybe even a great-grandmother but that kindness was not evident as she waddled along the small aisles of the NWA economy class cabin.  I am sure the business and first class passengers would never have to get a glimpse of this lady.  Fortunately, Priscilla the Horse is flying with me so I am assured of a decent looking passenger sitting next to me, nevertheless, I am prepared.  I have packed extra sleeping pills and a sleeping mask in preparation for the senior citizen parade.  My timing is not good since the mechanics strike is still on and I have visions of an engine falling off just as we take off from Manila.  OK, enough of Northwest Airlines, how about Angeles City?  Despite the attempts of the various Law Enforcement  to extort as much money as they can from a variety of investors here I remain optimistic about the future.  My goodness, please let me live a few more years so I can see the completion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac toll road; I never thought I would live long enough to see construction start but by golly, I did!  It is so wonderful to see a plan that was developed five years ago finally see the light of day.  The construction of the Shoemart Mall (SM) on Clark is progressing and should be open for business around the early part of 2006.  Gas continue to increase just about every month here.  The latest jump in prices came about 10 Sep and now a liter of fuel is up to 35 pesos with diesel being a bit less.  When I return from the States I will look into purchasing a motor scooter to use for the many  mileage trips that I take on a daily basis.  I am looking forward to picking up my new handmade Halloween mask that I ordered and will use to terrify the kids on 31 Oct.  We create a haunted house each year at the  and have a lot of fun entertaining the youngsters in the neighborhood and giving out a bunch of candy.  Who said that Halloween is only for the kids?  Now, you all have a great spooky month of October and try to visit Angeles City while the peso rate to the dollar remains very favorable.

SEAIR

TIDBITS

Looking for Indian food?  I recommend you check out Molly Malone’s located in the Blue Nile Executive Hotel.  I had the opportunity to enjoy their Panoras w/meat sauce, Shami Kabab Meat and a nice spicy  Chicken Vindaloo.  There are plenty of choices besides the ones I mentioned and I think it is an offering that  are missing out on as one usually thinks only of Molly’s buffet and not the Indian food.

Swagman Hotel AngelesThe owners of the Doll House fell victim, again, to problems with the NBI and other officials as the owner was “invited” to visit their facilities and this time, a couple of the Mamasans were detained as well.  Not satisfied with the Doll House, the cops decided to invite the Dirty Duck folks to the party as well.  There is a  outlook on all this harassment as now the Mayor is becoming quite upset and also, Presidential Advisor, Secretary Renato Diaz is arranging to meet for lunch with the heads of the NBI, CIDG and BID to discuss the questionable methods being used by representatives of these agencies.

It appears that the mass exit of locators and investors at Clark may be avoided after all.  The President of the Philippines has certified as urgent the proposed joint resolution upholding the tax and duty-free privileges of investors and locators here now pending in Congress.  There are 400 investors and locators in the Clark economic zone and it was feared that those  incentives granted to them would be wiped out by recent court rulings but now they can breathe a big sigh of relief.  Imagine the ramifications to the local economy if these investors were to pull out.  There are 36,000 workers in Clark, their families, and several thousands more who are indirectly drawing income from corollary businesses in transportation, food and beverages, trade, and tourism among other services.  At this point the passing of the joint resolution is not a done deal but the CDC President and CEO Antonio Ng said investors in the 4,400-hectare Clark economic zone will still enjoy the tax and duty free privileges as the SC’s decision to scrap the said perks is not final and executory.  The bottom line on all this is that over the years the CDC has enticed investors to Clark with promises of tax breaks and incentives and now the Supreme Court rules against the Government.  Another example of how tenuous any agreement with the Philippine government can be, if you want another example, ask the investors of the NAIA Terminal 3 how happy they are.

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

Many, many years ago there were two fun loving single guys from New Castle, Australia who led carefree lives and made it to Angeles City every year with three other mates.  But, alas, as often happens, they met the girls of their dreams and married, and, well, one of them still manages to visit once a year and the other one, had to wait 10 years for a return to Angeles City.  Mark Jacques and Craig Malone now travel with a lot of extra baggage, courtesy of Mark with his Mrs. and two youngsters and Craig (Molly) Malone with a wife and two youngsters as well.  I met these lads when Priscilla and I took over the Hotel La Casa and they were just about our first customers.  There were five of them who I called the “New Castle Mob” and boy could they have a good time.  Back then their favorite drinking pub was the Rhum Runner and there are not many punters around now who remember that fine establishment.  One of these years the Mrs. and I will hitch up the ole Calesa, load it on a plane and visit Australia, particularly New Castle so Mark, Craig, Neal, Lenny and others can show us around the town we have heard so much about.  I can’t really tell which bar was their favorite on this trip as they seemed to try and hit every bar in town and never had time to settle down with any particular one.  I have met a few other lads from New Castle and I have come to realize that it is a pretty big place.  I thought it was a small town where everyone knew everybody but I have been corrected.  Thanks to the New Castle Mob I am convinced that it is a friendly place where the folks work hard and play hard as well.  I’m sure Mark will be back next year but I sure hope that Molly does not wait another 10 years for a return visit as I’m getting a bit old and in 10 years I might not be as nimble as I am now.

SUBIC-CLARK-TARLAC EXPRESSWAY

As I mentioned in my introduction the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway construction is underway and it is really exciting to watch the men at work and realize that in a couple of years traveling to Subic and Tarlac will be so much easier and faster. But, there is always something about the Philippines that gives you pause when such a large undertaking is taking place.  In this particular case, I drove to the Mabalacat gate on Clark to get a couple of pictures and see how they were going to build this “Underpass” that was prominently noted on a big sign.  I got out, in the rain, to observe this engineering feat and as I looked into the deep excavation I noticed that there were a number of large concrete pillars in place.  I was confused, so I asked one of the engineers how the “underpass” would be built and he looked at me like I was crazy.  He began to tell me about the height of a bridge, or something.  I was confused and I told him that the sign indicated the construction of a underpass.  He told me, “oh yes, that is a mistake, it should read“overpass”.  Naturally, weeks later this mistake has not been corrected and it makes me wonder about the reliability of this project which will cost millions of dollars to build but they can’t even get a simple sign right.

SANTIAGO NEEDS MORE FACTS

Solon wants foreigners engaged in cyber porn ops blacklisted
First posted 12:59pm (Mla time) Sept 07, 2005
By Erwin Lemuel Oliva
INQ7.net

www.Beelinetravel.Com


CATANDUANES Representative Joseph Santiago has recently urged Philippine authorities to blacklist at least six foreign nationals linked to the illicit cyber porn operations in the country.
These foreign nationals include American nationals (I have omitted the names out of courtesy to those involved). The six were all implicated in the illegal activities of five separate cybersex dens that previously operated in Angeles City, Santiago said.  The nationalities of the others were not immediately known. “We presume that these foreigners, who eluded arrest when their dens were stormed by the police, have since fled the country,” said Santiago, adding that the Bureau of Immigration should declare these aliens undesirable persons and permanently ban them from re-entering the country. He said the police should apprehend them if they are still in the country. Apart from the six foreigners, eight other foreign nationals suspected of involvement in cyber porn operations have either been nabbed or killed by local police in the last 10 months.  The other suspects were American nationals (names omitted). Dutch nationals and brothers Willem Cornelis Van Engelenburg and Hendrikus Erik Van Engelenburg were killed in a raid on their cyber porn den in New Manila, Quezon City in May, said Santiago.  The police have already raided over a dozen cybersex dens in Baguio City; San Fernando, La Union; Manila; Las Piñas City; Quezon City; and Davao City in recent months.  Angeles City, San Fernando, Las Piñas and Davao have also been tagged cybersex hotspots by the National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Orchid Inn Resort Angeles City PhilippinesOK, the reason I left out the names of the individuals listed in the Inquirer article is because some of them are involved in legal investigations against the police involved.  In one particular case even the FBI, working together with Homeland Security officials at the American Embassy are investigating charges of kidnapping and ransom against some CIDG officials in relation to wrongful procedures used against one American falsely accused of running a Cybersex Studio.  This Representative, Joseph Santiago, should use his energies to investigate the millions of pesos being extorted by certain law enforcement officials.  Additionally, why isn’t he naming the Filipino operators of studios that have been raided and then let off the hook after paying large sums of money?  There are many players in this so called cybersex industry and they are not all foreigners but the industry is driven by the smell of easy tax free money and those Philippine agencies tasked with shutting down these dens are driven by the same smell of money.  Every closure of a den is followed by gleeful officials running to the bank with their new found wealth.  The cybersex industry, in this country, occupies a gray area, legally, but those so called clever people that want to go for the quick buck should think twice, especially if a foreigner is involved; it just isn’t worth it!

1230 Pizza - Take home a tasty treat! 1230 Pizza, Checkpoint, Balibago 892-7654 & 331-4444

ROADHOUSE FUND RAISER

 

How would you like to win these two?  All you have to do is buy a bunch of raffle tickets in November when they start to go on sale in preparation for the Roadhouse December Fund Raiser for the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center.  Imagine wrapping your legs around these beauties, feeling the power, the vibrations and the get up and go that will leave you wanting more and more.  One of them has more stroking power than the other but both will be fun to ride and at the end of the trip you will feel a giant, satisfying climax.  Yes folks, some folks really get off on riding a motorcycle and to a lesser extent a motor scooter but those two bikes pictured here are yours for the taking, if you buy that winning raffle ticket.  Remember, December, at the Roadhouse, bring money for the great items to be auctioned off and enjoy the great food and drinks, all for the low price of P1,000.  ALL monies collected go to the Children’s Center, a very worthy cause.

POT BELLIED PIGS RFC

One of the most exciting events of the year that did not feature sexy bodies in bikinis was the Fat Boys 10′s II event held at Challenger Field last August.  I did not want to waste the good pictures I had on file so am going to share them with you this month.  Some of the larger lads shown can be models for the Pot Bellied Pigs but I did manage to include a picture of a few of the cheer leaders just to soften the images.

 

One picture shows that the ambulance on standby was put to good use and the very young footballer shown represents what many of the Fat Boys looked like when they were young lads and had not discovered beer yet.  The event this year was well organized and the attendance at the game showed a marked increase over last year which attests to the growing popularity of this event.  It was a great fund raiser but sadly, the Bahay Bata Street Children’s team suffered their first defeat in three years of competition.  Thanks fellas, many folks will be looking forward to your return next year.

A RELAXING AFTERNOON

With each passing month the popularity of the Wild Orchid Resort on A. Santos Street increases dramatically.  Their occupancyfluctuates between 85-90% and this is during the slow season.  What this old horse enjoys is to stop in for a bit of a feed, sit in the bar area on a Sunday afternoon and then enjoy the mellow sounds of the in-house combo.  The swimming pool is a pleasure to look at but so far I have not ventured into the water because animals are not allowed but don’t worry, it is more fun sitting around watching some of the fine looking female guests cavorting in the pool.

TOURING CLARK

 

Many visitors to Angeles City never get beyond Fields Ave and they are often heard to comment that there is nothing to do here except go barhopping.  Well, this ole Horse will have to disagree as there are a few things to see here that will not cost you anything and will not take up much of your time.  For one, you could visit some of the old sections of Angeles City, even stop in to the City Library, visit the Pandan Market which is a great photo opportunity.  But best of all, spend a day at Clark and look into its history.  There is the parade ground where you can see some historical markers, there is the Centennial House, and best of all, the Clark Museum.  I have never tired of walking through the Museum and it makes me relive the past and also brings back memories of when I first arrived here in 1977.

After that tour, drive over to where the old riding stables used to be and the present picnic area.  Just beyond that you will see the signs for the firing range, turn left onto that road that takes you around the back of the old Ammo dump and you will see the tunnel that was used by the Kamikaze pilots for protection.  I never knew that was there until recently.  So, take a break from the beer and women and check out Clark, you might find it interesting and a welcome change in your daily routine.

THE GREAT RAID

 

If you have had a chance to see this movie about the rescue of the most American POWs ever imprisoned you will have a chance to visit the actual site at the Cabanatuan Memorial located only 60 miles from Angeles City. This is the only memorial in the Philippines officially maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The memorial was erected by the survivors of the Bataan Death March and the prisoner of war camp at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines during World War II. It is a pleasant drive through the heart of Luzon which is known as the “Rice bowl of the Philippines”. Go out the North gate of Clark and proceed to Concepcion, La Paz, then turn right (eastbound) until you reach Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija. Then turn left onto the Maharlika Highway and proceed north forabout 10 KM until you reach a very busy intersection called the NE intersection near the north end of Cabanatuan City. There is a restaurant and Bakery named NE on the right side and a Manson Drug Store on the othercorner. Turn right and proceed 8 KM and you are there. Mr. Teofilon Ongalon maintains the memorial in excellent condition and will be happy to give you the nickel tour. If you get a little hungry or thirsty along the way stop by the 4 Sisters Restaurant just after the Tarlac/Nueva Ecija boundary and say hi to Beth and her cousin Anne. They don’t have cell phones or an email address but they do have nice smiles.

OUT WITH THE OLD – IN WITH THE NEW

The Koreans have taken over the Las Vegas Club but on the last night before the takeover I popped in and joined the four other customers there to wave goodbye to the present stock of dancers that no doubt, the next day, would find their way to the Bunny Ranch.  I guess I will have to wait until I return from the States to find out if the Korean owners have finally learned how to manage a Club in Angeles City without alienating the staff or the non-Korean customers that enter the place.  Thank goodness William is hanging on to the Bunny Ranch as it was always a fun place to visit and it should be twice as good now.

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YABBA-YABBA DOO IT CLASSROOM II

Now, who in the world could resist young ladies in school uniforms dancing on stage, especially when you know that they are of legal age and you don’t have to worry about getting in trouble.  Our man Ray has done it again, put his experience and talents together to create a nice little Club that is pleasing to the eye.  There are so many clubs on Fields that it is difficult to come up with some original ideas that will attract customers.  The “Classroom” theme is not new, it has been used before at a club by the same name on Santos Street and the school girl outfits were and are being used at Nifty’s as well.  Hey, don’t knock it, whatever works and remember, there is always a little school boy in all of us but way back when I was in High School the gals did not dress like this, if they did I sure would have enjoyed school a lot more.  Now I can go to the Classroom II, buy a few drinks and let my imagination run wild.  Thee was only one problem that I noticed and that the uniforms could not replace personality.  The dancers appeared less than energetic and displayed a complete lack of interest in appealing to the customers.  I am sure that this attitude will be corrected right away.  Now, can we look forward to a bar named “The Emergency Room” with the ladies in short nurses uniforms, wearing those white stockings with garter belts?  In that way I can be educated at the Classroom and then get my heart worked on in the Emergency Room, my goodness, it is time to put my fantasies in neutral and go for a cup of coffee at Margarita Station.

I WOULD IF I COULD

I found this charming lady at the Rhapsody when I stopped in to visit Mamasan Cel.  Her name is Amie and she is 21 years old.  She does not have any children or a boyfriend.  Hailing from Bicol she has been working at Rhapsody for one year and I expressed my surprise that she did not have a boyfriend yet; she told me she was waiting for the Horse.  I knew she was fabricating!

INTERESTING FACES

In addition to finding Amie I ended up spotting a charming, slightly shy lady dancing on stage at La Bamba but I did not get her name or any details.  Despite the fact that she had a bit too much of that white stuff on her face she had a few of the customers mesmerized, and I just had to take her picture.  She just had a certain charm about her that I think any customer would do well to meet her and spring for a few ladies drinks.  Now, what about the lady in black from the Viper Club?  Is that a teasing pose or is there a bit of a promise of the good times she could provide?  Again, no name or details, I just took the picture and you guys will have to do the on-site research.

It is 0100 hrs, 14 Sep and in two hours Priscilla and I must head to Manila to catch our 0800 flight to the States.  It would be so nice to one day be able to fly out of Clark instead of having to make that long journey to Manila.  From what I have been told that might only be a couple of years away.  As usual I won’t be getting any sleep until I get on the airplane out of Narita and after popping a sleeping pill I should be snoring in no time.  Eh, this time though I have to stay awake a bit longer to make sure that Priscilla is OK and that we converse a bit, maybe I can slip a sleeping pill into her cup of coffee.  OK folks, I am out of her, remember, be nice to horses.

 

THE HORSE HITS VEGAS:

The Northwest flight from Manila to Narita was uneventful, five hours of watching Priscilla closely to assure that she did not get too nervous on her first big time flight. We did run into a small glitch as the plane was departing Japan. One of the indicator lights malfunctioned and we had to sit on the plane for over an hour as the maintenance folks tried to find the problem. One had to remember that the Northwest mechanics were on strike so this was not an incident that instilled confidence in the rest of the flight. Not to worry, I guess they got one of the senior citizen flight attendants to fix the problem with a hairpin or something. I must be kinder this time, yes the flight attendants were old, but these were aging with a bit of class, and they were nice. So, with the aid of my cane wheel chairs Priscilla and I finally made it all the way to Las Vega. The flight from Narita to Los Angeles took over 9 hours but it seemed like only two or three with the aid of my sleeping pills. Priscilla mentioned that if there was an emergency should she wake me up. I told her not to do so, why wake me up to tell me we were going to die.EZ Philippines Travel AtlasSo, here we are in Vegas, the weather is fantastic and Priscilla and I spent the first two weeks shopping, shopping, and more shopping. So far we have mailed off two Forex door to door boxes and we are still stocking up on more horse feed. At this time I will not go into too much detail except to make a couple of observations: one, yes folks, there are a hell of a lot of chubby folks here in Las Vegas; two, there are a hell of a lot of Latinos; three, there are a hell of a lot of those Latinos that can’t speak decent English; four, now if an English speaking person wants a job in McDonalds you have to learn Spanish, that is a company policy; five, I predict that in three or four years, if I return to Vegas I will see signs in fast food restaurants reading “welcome, we speak English here!” Enough for now, it was great to stop in to the CD lounge and the Rhum Runner Lounges on East Desert Inn road where steel tip darts is still alive and well. It was fun to watch the blind draw doubles tournaments on Friday and Saturday nights. The good news is that Priscilla is enjoying herself but she has no desire to stay in the US and is looking forward to returning to Angeles City. Believe me, that is one subject we are in complete agreement on. Got to get to bed, need more sleep so we can shop till we drop.


 
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September 2005

Posted by admin on January 13, 2011 in 2005 Monthly Newsletters

September 2005

August was a very busy month and a lot has been happening in town.  Webmaster Duck is out of the country for an extended visit to different parts of the globe and John Bee is the man that has to get this column out on time now.  I have touched on a few items here, i.e., the Christmas in August fund raiser at the Road House for the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center, the Alaska Club, etc., but to get a more in-depth review of what is going on then I  you check out John Bee’s  and great  on the Go2Phil membership site.  I do the best I can but I can’t match the  taken by John’s photographer.  I have included a lot of pictures this time, maybe more than I should have but I just can’t bring myself to delete too many.  There have been a few items that I have omitted this month that I can put into the Oct column since I will be in the States.  Priscilla and I are flying out on 14 Sep, heading for Las Vegas and I have promised Mrs. Horse that I will give her at least $50 to gamble with, of course that includes food, entertainment and gift buying.  I am very generous like that!  September is a month with unpredictable weather as far as rain is concerned so umbrellas are still required.  It is considered the off season so take advantage of the ladies being a bit more anxious to see you.  The political situation is still anyone’s guess and the cost of living is still going up but that is world wide so you might as well pop over here where you get more for your buck.  Maybe the Mrs. and I will run into some of you in Las Vegas, you can’t miss us, look for two old horses trotting around the Casinos looking for the buffets.  Cheers!

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TIDBITS

Do you want to be a poster boy for the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDU) or the Bureau of Immigration (BID)? It is easy to do if you are a foreigner that has decided to  in the Cybersex business here in the Philippines, especially in Angeles City.  According to the 24 Aug 05 issue of the Philippine Star a total of 10 computer shops and residences have been raided in Angeles City since the government stepped up its campaign against cyber pornography.  A number of these raids have been against local Filipino owners but a large number have netted some foreigners as well.  The papers love to splash big headlines about these raids and the great efforts of the CIDU along with bashing the foreigners caught in these raids but that is the end of the reporting.  It is too bad that there are no industrious investigative reporters with the balls to follow up on the stories to uncover some of the questionable tactics being used in these cases.  For example, could it be that some of the foreigners involved have had their legal rights abused?  Have innocent people been victimized?  Sometimes an innocent person is falsely accused or suffers a “set-up” and regardless of protestations of innocence, in order to maintain one’s freedom, the cost, financially, can be quite high.  The best thing to do, if you are a foreigner is to leave the Cybersex business alone because the heat is on, very much so.  You will find that you cannot trust the people you employ for too many have a tendency to turn against the owners of these sites.  Last month one foreigner suffered a raid by the CIDU because of his alleged Chat Studio business and during the course of the interaction with the Law Enforcement officials it was found that he had a visa that had been expired for two years. The foreigner insists he is innocent and will obtain a lawyer to fight the charges and questionable methods used in detaining him.  Why do so many foreigners and local Filipinos take the chance on operating these Cybersex studios, whether it be in Manila, Angeles City, or Cebu?  The answer would be – MONEY!  It is a lucrative business and the rewards warrant the risk.  If caught how much could a “stay out of jail card cost – I have heard that anywhere from P150,000 to P3,000,000.  A few years ago, there was no risk as many site owners did not think they were doing something against the law but that has changed.  So, should one consider  in the Philippines, absolutely, just make sure you stay out of the Cybersex business.  I cannot give many details here but a  Angeles City expat who was detained by the CIDU last month and put under extreme pressure despite being completely innocent of the ownership of any Cybersex studio was able to assistance from the American Embassy once they were made aware of the false charges.  This individual was picked up on a mission order/warrant but never officially arrested whereby he would be eligible for bail.  Technically he could be considered as being kidnapped and held for ransom.  The actions leading up to his detention and the subsequent results could make an interesting HBO original movie.  The American subject was allowed to leave the country, end of story?  Maybe not!  There are still questions that the American Embassy, particularly, the Home Land Security Section would like to have answered.  This investigation will be ongoing and this Horse has a deep felt appreciation for the aggressive actions taken on behalf of this particular American for the end result could be a safer environment for foreign businessmen in Angeles City.

From an article in the July 05 issue of Filipinas Mag.

Filipinos with cars older than 1999 models will no longer be allowed to register with the Land Transportation Office starting 2006. This restriction is due to the Montreal Protocol, whose mandate is to ban the use or CFCs in the next 5 to 10 years. Old model cars still use CFCs in their air conditioning systems. Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials say the Philippines received a World Bank grant of $30 million in 1994 to implement the Montreal Protocol compliance schedule. If the country fails to abide by this international protocol it will be penalized with a fine of $10.48 for every kilogram of CFCs not phased out on schedule. (This is one LTO policy that I find hard to believe for if  implemented – 75% of the drivers in this country would be reduced to walking or riding a bicycle).

I have to thank Mike, who lives in the Villa Sol Subdivision for passing on the following information:

Hey Harry,You mentioned in this month’s report about a scam on Ohio Street in Villa Sol.  I’m a part time resident on New York St., Villa Sol and had a couple of young guys come to my gate in July with a dubious story of wanting to come into the house to do a safety inspection on the kitchen cooking gas bottles.  No uniforms no company I.D.s…yeah right!!  For us, being fairly suspicious anyway, they don’t gain entry, but be sure your asawa or girlfriend know who might be out there trying to gain access to your home.Following is an extract from the Tourist Police (TP) blotter relating to an incident in which a temporary resident of A. Santos Street decided to throw a billiard ball through the door at the Wild Orchid Resort.  The details reflect the quick action of the Tourist Police in apprehending this low life and also might indicate that some of the folks who occupy some of the establishments on A. Santos might not be all that happy about their imminent removal from the area.

Orchid Inn Resort Angeles City Philippines“A concerned citizen whose name was not identified called the TPD Hotline regarding trouble in progress in front of Blue Parrot along A. Santos, Balibago, Angeles City, BASE dispatched Mobile 1 headed by Capt. Nestor Añano, Capt. Elmer Sison, K-9 Operative Johnny De Leon and Marvin Basco to verify the said report. Upon arrival of members of Tourist Police on the said location, involved parties scampered to different locations but with the quick reaction on foot of Tourist Police they collared one alleged suspect at A. Santos corner Surla Street, Balibago, Angeles City who was identified as Retchell Frando Y Asuncion, 28 years of age, married and temporary resident of A. Santos, Balibago, Angeles City; Subject was believed to be responsible for throwing a billiard ball that resulted to the breakage of glass wall of Wild Orchid Resort. Said glass door was amounting to 60,000 pesos (Philippine Currency). Suspect was turned over to COMPAC 42 (local police) for proper disposition.

Some locals love to report negatives about the TP without voicing their questions to the proper people and getting an explanation.  Recently, one expat was relating that some girls he was talking to on Real St. were mentioning that the Tourist Police were aggressively checking the ladies walking the street without Club ID cards and he considered this harassment.  Well, my goodness, this would be the same guy that would no doubt ask for help if he decided to take one of these free lancers to a hotel and then get caught with an underage girl.  There have been incidents where some expats and tourists have been set up in this manner.  Personally, I am glad that there are people about that will take the time to check these wandering ladies out.  Now, if there are specific complaints about excessive behavior of the TP, get the name and badge number of the individuals involved and report it to the TP office.  It WILL be investigated.


I think the information submitted by Capt De Wildt (Retired) abouta reunion will interest a few folks even if it won’t happen until two years from now – wow, that is really advance notice.

SEAIR

Plans are in progress to hold a Reunion of USAF Hospital Clark personnel who were assigned to the Hospital Squadron during the Viet Nam years, from 1964 through Operation Homecoming 1973 when our POWs were released by the North Vietnamese. USAF Hospital Clark was their first Freedom Stop, and their first opportunity for Western medical care except for the medical attention they received aboard the 141 Starlifters from the Med Evac crews who accompanied them to freedom.  This is the first reunion for this unique group of individuals.

The Reunion will be held in Dallas, Texas at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center Complex from 25-28 October, 2007. It will take us at least a year to locate enough devoted former Hospital personnel to make the Reunion feasible, thus the distant date.  If you are interested in being a part of this endeavor, please e-mail either Donna at DMATICS@Aol.com, Bonnie at Bonniec@Flash.net, or Cris and Cathy atCSheets@access995.com.

If you know of anyone who may be interested in this information please let us know so we may make every effort to contact them, or forward this data to them on our behalf.

Thank you very much!
.
Captain Donna L. de Wildt, USAF Retired
BSN/FN; MPA/NSA; IBC
President & Protocol Officer
Diplomatics, Inc. “Protocole de Chancellerie”
107 Market Street, Suite One
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Principal Subject Matter Expert on Protocol
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
875 North Randolph Street, Suite 325, Room 3-079
Arlington, Virginia 22201 (603.433.1163 /603.512.9324)

This was forwarded to me by a reader of the AC message board: Some Filipinos are brave…..

2 days ago (aug.17) I went to an Bar to have a couple of drinks and meeting friends, while sitting with the Papasan and some friends the Papasan from the Winchester Club (Dave) came into the bar and reported to us that 2 NBI guys are in the Winchester Club and checking everything, The Papasan from the bar that we were in had a good connection to the police, so he made a few phone calls and it was found out that there was no NBI operation ongoing. The local police went to the Winchester Club right after the phone calls, but the individuals had left. The Papasan from the Winchester Club described the 2 guys as:  1 tall and fat, the other one skinny and average size, they had NBI ID’s, carried radiophones and wire sidearms. To all who have a business here in AC, if those guys come into your establishment, “ask for a MISSION ORDER”, if they can not present this, DON’T let them inside, call the police. Just to you let you know guy’s !!  (It is always best to ask for ID’s when individuals like this enter a club or business.  If in doubt call the Tourist Police at 625-9999).

THE FUTURE OF A. SANTOS STREET

Many readers of this column have been predicting that the image of Santos Street (Blow Road) will change now that the Orchid Inn folks have built a new fancy hotel and have plans to change the image of this famous street.  As you can see by this photo the “Chimp Brothers” have already staked out a new location.  Regardless of future changes enterprising folks, like the Chimps, will find suitable locations to practice the ancient art of oral stimulation.  Any similarity to any tourists living or dead is purely coincidental and take heart folks, as you can see, Santos St. will never quite die off.

The American Legion Post 123 sent me the following information which should be helpful to American military retirees living in the Philippines.  The service we had before with CyberCare and Health Visions is still a distant memory but Rosie at CyberCare has told me that they are beginning to get some paperwork through.

“Website for Tricare Pacific  http://tpaoweb.oki.med.navy.mil/ About halfway down page on left side click on Tricare in the Philippines.  Here you can get information about tricare in the PI how to file claims and the forms.  Also gives a listing of providers in the Philippines. We also have a link to this site on the post website on our links page.

I HAVE HEARD SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT TAKING MEDICATION BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT AND ARE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THEY CAN’T FILE A CLAIM FOR IT BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE PHILIPPINES. THIS IS FALSE YOU CAN FILE A CLAIM AND GET SOME OF YOUR MONEY BACK. YOU WILL END UP PAYING A $9 CO-PAY FOR A 30 DAY SUPPLY (FOR A COUPLE OF MEDICATIONS ITS $22) THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE ON THE ABOVE WEB SITE.”Swagman Hotel AngelesApologies folks, last month I wrote that the 13 month bonus pay was not required by law and I have been corrected by a few readers of this column and I did check the labor code.  Just goes to say that you should never believe everything a horse says.  My sexy filly, Priscilla, made me trot 10 extra laps for that error!

Speaking of errors, for some reason when I think of the short lived “Last Drop Club” that was on Friendship Highway the word “error” appears to be appropriate.  While trotting along I used to hear words like “error in judgment, error in partner selection, error in finances, error in plans, etc.”  Well, I guess John D. has solved all those errors and found new partners financially able to settle all outstanding debts and has brought life back to the little niche of property that is not controlled by the Koreans.  This time the name is “Cold Drop” Bar and Grill with the same outside look but the bar inside will feature a stage with dancers (of course, what else is new) and the normal group of entertainers.  When I visited renovations were ongoing but one could tell that it would be an improvement over the first attempt.  Sure hope that this time the “Cold Drop” will be around for an extended period of time or else the next name change might be “Dead Drop”.

A horse has difficulty using a computer as it is difficult to bash those keys with big ole hooves so whenever I meet someone who can provide me with some expertise I like to pass on their name to others.  In this case, my stable gets boring without some music playing but I can’t figure out how to do all those downloads.  Coming to my rescue was Martin Kurzyniec (don’t ask me to pronounce that one) AKA as Mark or “Tripod” who I discovered has the expertise, knowledge and patience to create MP3 discs on request for a reasonable price.  He has made up some nice dance tunes for some of the bars in town and has made two up for me.  Now Priscilla has asked me to get him to make up some horsy love tunes for her so we can have a few romps in the stable.  Oh, yeah, Mark’s cell phone number is09185072040, or email him atmkurzyniec2001@yahoo.com.


EZ Philippines Travel AtlasThe Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center needs the assistance of English speaking expats that can spare a little
bit of time each Monday from 1315 hours to 1500 hrs to speak conversational English with the kids that are housed at the Center.  The teachers at the Center’s school instruct in English only and to further assist the children a time has been set aside each Monday so that the boys can practice their skills and interact with some folks from the local area.  You will not be required to teach, no lesson plans are required, only some time just talking to the youngsters.  Does not matter if you are Australian, English or a Yank (but this horse speaks New York and they are nervous about me) as long as you enjoy yourself.  This will not take any money out of your pocket, just time, in fact if enough people volunteer a schedule can be arranged and you may only have to come once a month or every other month.  Please call the Center to volunteer, ask to speak to the secretary “Baby” (45-599-6484 or – 09154310516).

Recently I was talking to a civilian contractor that works at an Army Base in Korea called Camp Humphries and from what he was saying, this has to be one of the most politically correct camps in Korea.  It seems that the Commander, one Col Talatenio (Sp.?) has dictated that only E-7′s and above can drive, must be at least 21 to drink, being caught with a prostitute is an offense subject to article 15 (the Col has said  “prostitution is associated with human trafficking – a major criminal offense), and in one instance, a bar off Camp was caught serving a 20 year old a drink and the Col put 12 bars off limits without any consultation with the bar owners.  This resulted in anti-Tolatinio (Sp?) signs being posted downtown. The reason given for this narrow minded attitude is that the bosses are scared to death of doing anything to offend the Koreans.  Now, you poor lads that are working your asses off in a less than desirable assignment in Korea, there is hope for you.  Save up your leave time and get your butts over to Angeles City, Philippines where you can enjoy life like a soldier should.  Try to forget the Col and the General and just chill out.  It sounds like there are a lot of unhappy soldiers at Camp Humphries but fellas, all the folks in Angeles City sympathize with you and wish you well, we appreciate you even if your Commander does not.

My horse’s big ears have picked up a rumor around the stable that Derek and Clay, the industrious lads from the Doll House have acquired the property in which the Thai restaurant, Krueng Thai and Angels is situated.  The Angels present lessee has a four year lease and naturally the Hawaiian Duo would like to buy it out so they can take over Angels right away. No doubt the purchase price of these freehold properties cost fair amount of change but give credit to a couple of smart operators that feel confident in the future of Fields Ave and have the cash to invest.  By the way, some folks have asked this horse what that gaudy Doll House bus is used for as well as the larger one that is being painted in a lot near Saver’s Mall.  Well, I’m not sure but maybe it is used to pick up all those guys coming in from Hawaii for a bit of entertainment here in Angeles City.  What better way to be picked up then by a party bus loaded with some friendly hostesses and a bit of refreshment.  It sure eases the frustration of being stuck in the traffic in Manila.  Then, I could be wrong, maybe it is used to haul in more money for the lads to use as they try to buy up all of fields Ave.

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I did take a couple of pictures of the Friendship Bridge to show how nice it is to see two way traffic again with no traffic backed up.  Of course, they had to use the new bridge as well as the temporary one to accomplish this but, hey, whatever worked.  It did not last very long as now they have closed the approach to the temporary bridge and the one way traffic system is back.  Naturally, the traffic being backed up is back and motorists are kind of upset about it.  Whose fault is it?  Well, it may be my fault!  You see, when I was taking pictures there were still some ladies from the barrio there trying to collect donations from the motorists as they passed over.  I kind of teased them and said, “hey, how do you expect to collect money, your services are no longer needed”, she smiled.  No doubt I planted a bug in their ears, causing them to gather all the other “collectors” and they formed an instant collectors union, developed a plan to sabotage the approaches to the temporary bridge and now are back to work collecting money again.  Isn’t it wonderful to be able to sit in a long line and burn up that over 30 peso a liter petrol that continues to go up in price every two weeks!  Don’t worry, you can always hire a calesa to get around so my fellow horses and I can earn some extra money.

Lately there has been a lot of comments on the message boards and newsletters about the coming of slot machines to Fields Ave. This horse has had detailed information on these plans for a few months now and have avoided writing anything about it.  Why?  Because, despite current construction and renovations to accommodate the slots, the necessary final approvals from PAGCOR and even the selection of the company required to provide the machines has not been finalized.  It is an ongoing project and some folks are putting the cart before the horse.  Once everything is finalized (if ever) then I will feel confident in providing details.  Personally, I feel, if approved, it will be good for Fields Ave as it will add new life to the street with more entertainment, more eateries, more women and more tourists.  Oh yes, there will be many punters that will argue against it and many that will approve, and for sure it will be a hot item of discussion.  Meanwhile folks, regardless of whether there are slots or not, the plans for the Club that will replace the razed Top Hat are out of this world.  It will be one beautiful building, inside and out.  How bad can that be?

It is one of those bars that have had a few name changes.  How about Shafto Lane, Silk Stockings and now the Speak Easy. When it was Silk Stockings and owned by some off center brothers it was not a place that was kind to horses or many other people as well.  But now, after some rather extensive remodeling, a change of owners, it has become a more intimate, comfortable location to visit, sip a drink or two and enjoy the ladies dancing behind the extensive L shaped bar.  There is only one problem, the line-up of dancers on a scale of one to 10 has to tip the pleasure meter at around a shaky 3.  It has not been open for long so there is room for improvement in that department but some of the waitresses are worth a second glance.  To be honest, there is no special reason to visit the Speak Easy and there is no reason not to do so.  It is an average Club situated on Fields Ave that will never draw a big following but should do enough of a business to stay afloat.  The long narrow hallway entrance still exists but it is brightly decorated and not as intimidating as before.  This is a Club that can use a few gimmicks used by establishments such as the Gentlemen’s Club and Nifty’s Club to excite the senses and get a lot of word of mouth publicity.  They have to do something to get the folks out of Treasure Island.

There have been a lot of rumors floating around that Mo will be selling out and moving to Subic or Thailand.  Recently I talked to Mo and he told me that the rumors are not true but has confirmed that he has had offers from some of the money people floating around Angeles City.  Remember, Mo is a businessman and if a decent profit can be made he is always open to offers. There are certain elements in Angeles City that can make life difficult for Club owners that appear to be successful that they would consider moving to a different location.

Another rather sad message sent to my stable from a reader that did not listen to sound advice given to him by many different people – hence a lesson learned the hard way.  This was sent to me so others could learn and realize that all those ladies in Angeles City that claim love for older men are all that genuine. OK, before everyone jumps on me I do know that for every failure there are at least two or three success stories.”you know before I came to the Philippines I read everything I could get on the internet,  the info said:

  1. don’t fall in love with the bar girls
  2. if you fall in love don’t support them
  3. if you fall in love and support them, don’t bring them to your country

You’ve heard the expression “young and dumb and full of cum”

well that’s not me (except for the middle bit; I’m not young).

  • I fell in love (easy for some 50+ year old guy to do if the girl is 21and has a nice personality and laughs at your jokes, even if she doesn’t understand) (if she does this before consuming at least five ladies drinks, it is the first sign of trouble)
  • I supported her 8000 pesos per month, then she moved out of her in-laws home and it became 12000 per month plus incidentals, dentist, cable, tuition, trips etc. (Tuition for what – elementary school?)
  • I was in love so for me it was natural for me to want to bring her back to Australia to be with me. (I can understand that, better than loneliness and masturbation)

So here she is sitting in her unit with cable TV, DVD, stereo all the mod cons., allowance-she don’t have to work in the bar and I’m in Australia working, planning and saving for our future together. (In between TV commercials her tricycle boyfriend was helping her write love letters to you and asking for more dental work)

However, the fly in the ointment

Her sister is married to a rich Americano, (those damn rich yanks again) and her sister misses her so she offers J (not her real name) an opportunity. So J is thinking this Aussie just wants to hump her every chance he can (well I’m only human but I like her and want to be with her). (So now you went from loving her to “liking” her)

Her sister offers her a deal that sounds attractive: a trip to Singapore and experience as a bartender, for a bargirl this is a big promotion, plus she will be remunerated and be with her own kind who will support her (her sister)

Harry, baby you’ve heard it all before, what should I do? (Dump the bitch, buy a month’s supply of Viagra, come back to Angeles City and bury yourself in beer and sex)

Here is her Dear John letter to me form j:

Hi, I was thinking this for the fast few day, and It is hard for me to decide but I need to. And I decided to quit this relationship early, because I don’t want to marry a guy that always counting, and specially not trusting me and I can feel that. And I don’t have nothing to explain, And your thinking so bad on me, I will move on my life and go back to my sister. So I guess this is a last good bye.  I hope you can find somebody else that will love you.” (She did you a favor, obviously whatever she was spending the tuition money on did not help her English or spelling.  Now go back to the advice quoted at the beginning of your message, follow it and just be grateful that you did not marry this cunt that thinks you are cheap and not trustful.  Pity the guy that she suckers into marrying her because she won’t stay with her sister for too long.  Or maybe, after she learns how to be a bartender, you can reconcile with her, bring her back to Angeles City, open a bar and lose more money.

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

Coming to Angeles City from Melbourne, Australia are four fun loving, energetic lads by the names of Stevo, Sam, Gus and Jim.  Their home base while visiting was the Premier Hotel and the did not have a favorite bar, instead they said “They loved all the bars”.  They are pictured here enjoying the friendliness of a few of the ladies at the Blue Boar Inn.  Actually, that is about it as the Blue Boar Inn only has four entertainers on board and number four is so thin that you can’t see her in the photo.  The Blue Boar Inn is part of the Hotel La Casa located near the VFW in Clarkview Subdivision where air-conditioned rooms are only P650 a day right now, but that could change if the damn cost of goods keeps going up along with the gas prices.  The cost of local drinks remains at P35 but that won’t last too much longer as the profit margin gets smaller and smaller with each passing month.  Anyway, the “Fantastic Four” from Melbourne did that City proud as they roamed all the streets of the Entertainment Area and brought joy to the many ladies working here.  They told me that they visit Angeles City twice a year and that the journey keeps them young and, of course, very eager for each return visit.  See you next time fellas!

I WOULD IF I COULD

It is a pleasure to introduce a decent hard working lady that works as a waitress in the Viper Club.  Her name is Lalyn, 29 years old and has one young boy of 10 years to take care of.  She lives in Manila and as a child she was raised in the squatter community that calls the big Manila cemetery their home.  She has started out selling flowers in Manila, then worked as a caddy on a golf course and finally ended up in Angeles City.  Through her efforts her Mother and rest of the family were able to get a small house in Manila to live in and she continues to go home every other weekend to see her Mom and her son.  During the week, in addition to working at the Viper she is attending beautician school at her own expense.  She has a wonderful personality and would be a great lady for any guy to latch on to for a permanent relationship.  LaLyn’s Email address is dalyn_rosel@hotmail.com.  (Use the underscore dalyn_rosel)

TAPS

Once again I have to report the passing of a gentleman I knew but not as well as his many friends in this town.  Shane Ricky, 47 years old, suffering from cancer, passed away at the Philippine International Hospital last month.  Over the years Shane performed manager duties at many different Clubs in town, his last venture at the Viper Club.  I used to run into Shane quite often when he was playing pool or when I would pop into a Club he was working at.  Once again, at PIH, the lack of blood for a transfusion contributed to a patients demise but this is common in most hospitals in Angeles City.  There is often serious problems in being able to obtain required blood in a timely manner and there is not a good system in putting out the call for donors. I am not blaming PIH for anything, just the system that exists here in the Philippines.  Blood Bank?  Forget it, and delivery of needed blood must be by carabao, it is so slow.

LAS VEGAS CLUB

Adding to the continuing changes on Fields Ave we now have a changing of the guard for the Las Vegas Club.  Will has sold out to the Korean who owns the Agasya Club and extensive renovations are taking place.  I was told that the Korean owner has big bucks and considers these clubs a hobby.  This is kind of obvious if we consider that the Agasya has never Ibeen all that popular and has been opened and closed a couple of times.  Can we expect anything better from the soon to be opened renovated Las Vegas Club (new name unknown at this time)?  That is a question that can be answered only after it has been operating for a couple of months.  Now, this Korean has done us a favor as all the dancers from the Las Vegas Club can now be found at the Bunny Ranch and that means a good time for one and all.  Will McCullum and his Mrs. are a lot friendlier than the Korean click that runs the Agasya.

 

MONGOLIAN BAR-B-Q

Priscilla the Horse and I used to love to head for the roof top of the Holiday Inn for their great Mongolian Bar-B-Q offerings to include a great salad bar and then their great dessert.  Alas, the new management dropped the Mongolian and we were at a loss as to where to find a replacement feeding ground.  Fortunately, while pulling our calesas around town we overheard some passengers talking about the Mongolian at the Clarkton.  We were so excited to hear the news that we kicked the passengers out and immediately galloped over to the Clarkton.  Fortunately, it was a Thursdaynight and that is when they serve this delectable treat.  We stepped over Steve and John Reville to get to the salad offerings, then the soup and then the Mongolian offerings.  We were in horse heaven.  It was delicious and the price was reasonable.  We filled out spacious stomachs, paid, trotted back to our calesas, picked up the passengers who were still lying in the street where we left them, deposited them at their destination then went to our home stable where we fell asleep dreaming of another visit to the Clarkton.  Boy, horses really love Mongolian Bar-b-q and especially when it is affordable and delicious.  Thanks Clarkton, and sorry about any “deposits” we might have left on the way out, eh, you see, we kind of overate, and well, horses, you know — OK, OK, we’ll be more careful next time.

 

POT BELLIED PIGS POSTER BOY

I told Mike (Piggy), that I would definitely include his picture in this months column.  This picture was taken during the weigh in procedures at Sub-Delicious the night prior to the rugby competition at Challenger Field.  The popular manager of the Phoenix Hotel stood out in the crowd as he hit the scale at 139 kilos.  At the next Road House fund raiser for the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center (in December) Piggy has promised to pose in his, now famous, G-string and then put it up for auction.  Could this be the beginning of a new career for Piggy – modeling underwear on the Fashion TV channel??

THAT’S BETTER

It was not my intention to be cruel and just let the readers hang in with just the image of Mike in his G-string so to offset this horror I decided to include the pictures of 20 year old Claire who I am sure you will appreciate.  This lady is very interesting, personable and sexy.  She works at Bar Hoppin, only 20 years old, from Bacalod and I think her email address is rodrezucs@yahoo.com, not sure if I read her writing correctly.  I don’t usually take a rear shot but if you study the picture closely you will see why I thought you would enjoy the view.

BAR HOPPIN

On the night I went in to the Bar Hoppin Club the Hash House Harriers were there as a stop on their Wednesday night bar run and the place was really jumping with activity, laughter and all the girls having great fun.  Owners Don and Dave were on hand and Don was doing a great job in directing the dancers and keeping everyone happy.  For you guys that want to meet a charming lady who is not an entertainer or dancer drop in to this Club and say hello to the cashier and disc jockey Josephine.  She is a joy to talk to and only 22 years old.  Most guys would miss this charmer as she is hidden behind a high desk where she works the books and the computer music.  I met a happy George Clook, 47 years old, from Gloutershire, England.  He was being well looked after by Bar Hoppin charmer, Salbe.  The story was that he came to AC last Christmas, got the bug, has returned again and now wants to retire here in three more years.  Anyway, Don and Dave, thanks for a fine evening and, for sure, I will return for another visit.

ALASKA CLUB

I finally made it to the Alaska Club and I certainly picked the right night.  The owner was a birthday celebrant and the place was packed with party goers.  Naturally, the dancers and some special ladies from Nifty’s made sure that the birthday boy was properly cared for and teased to death. I love it when I can add a few pictures to my special private file because as you know, only G or R rated movies make it to this column.  Much has been written about the Alaska Club in other newsletters and on the message board so I won’t go into any further details here.  Generally speaking, I think they did a hell of a job on the renovation and it is a great addition to the Fields Ave area.  Quite often, the owner and the managers are the ones that set the tone for a Club and in this instance, they are right on.  The State of Alaska might have months of very cold weather but not so the Alaska Club for they have enough ladies on hand to keep you quite warm, under any conditions.

 

CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST

Once again this great fund raising event for the Street Children’s Center was a huge success.  A total of P932,000  was raised, just missing the objective of one million pesos.  It was so close to the magic figure that some folks decided that they were going to do something to hit that one million mark.  So, our good friends at www.pokhercards.com, andwww.asianescapades.com joined together, dug deep in their pockets and came up with an additional P30,000 to bring the total over one million.  This is an example of the generosity shown by so many supporters of the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center.  The mission of this Center is to not only provide a home for the street children of Angeles City but to provide them an education from elementary school, to high school and if so desired, college.  The operating costs of this Center runs to P250,000 a month and its survival is dependent on the

individual donations received and the great fund raisers that the folks like Mark Smith, Trance, Roadslut, Hank Morrison, Jonathan Smith, Seair, Beeline Travel, Neil Meacher Go2Phil and Larry Johnson organize and contribute to.  Believe me, there are many more names that should be listed but they are content to just know that they have been a part of an event that will continue to help some lost children that now, have a future to look forward to.  By the way, plans are already underway for the Christmas in Christmas Fund Raiser at the Road House with the same key personnel taking up the cudgels again.  So, I will close this now with and give advance thanks to those already working for the Dec event, folks like Trance, Roadslut, Cookey, Iceman, 351ute, Pieman, Stirpot and many more.  For those readers that are not familiar with the AC2 Message Board, those are nick names used by members using the board.

THE SHINBI

This restaurant is a bit different.  It is Korean owned (as is nearly everything else on Friendship) but they offer a varied menu.  For Japanese food they employ a Korean chef and a Filipino chef for the Chinese food.  A lovely Filipina hostess by the name of Jesse gave me a guided tour.  The specialty of the house is the Shabu-Shabu and they offer an all you can eat treat for P495.  You can build your shabu-shabu using a choice of 50 different kinds of meat and seafood, putting it all in a boiling pot of water, vegetables, spices, etc. sitting in the middle of the table.  The interior of the restaurant is beautiful, equal to high end eateries in Manila.  They also offer a Japanese sushi bar and the operating hours are 1000 to 2230 hrs seven days a week.  The upstairs dining area features round tables with the revolving centers in a large open room with carpeting.  They also offer five VIP rooms for that can seat 5 to 6 persons.  I have not eaten there yet and I am not an expert on Shabu-Shabu so I will have to wait and go with someone who is more knowledgeable than me in that department.  Meanwhile, if any of the readers of this column get a chance to dine there, feel free to send me your comments.

AT THE LAST MINUTE

I did not intend to gather any more information or pictures but Dave Baker stopped by and told me about the reopening of Limited Edition and I told him I would try and stop by.  The owner, Bill is a good guy and I hated to turn him down.  Now, I took a few pictures but most of them and a more in-depth review will wait until my Oct column but there were a couple of pictures I had to put in, one in particular, because I don’t think the lady will still be working a month from now.  Above left we have the “hooters” girl but on the right is very sweet 18 year old Kristina, from Leyte who is an absolute doll.  She was a dancer and I bet she looked good in a bikini, but now they made her a door girl.  She has no boyfriend and up to three weeks ago (eh, it is 29 Aug now) she was completely innocent.  She has five brothers and three sisters, her mother works but her father is deceased.  She had to drop out of High School after only one year and somehow, she has an innocence about her and a very shy, quiet demeanor.  I am willing to bet that this lady will no longer be working by the time I get back from the States in mid-October.  OK, no more details about Limited Edition right now, will add more in October.  Generally, this is one hell of a great place and the sports bar on the second floor is fantastic.  They have two first class “nap rooms” on the second floor and soon six additional rooms will be available for rent.  In the spirit of cooperation the T-Times, Limited Edition and Filthy Duck (Another new bar opening next to the Limited Edition, owned by an Australian father and two sons team) will provide a jeepney shuttle traveling to Macarthur Highway along Fields Ave and back to Fields West from noon to late at night on a regular basis.  The slogan for the Jeepney will be “come here and be driven to our limits”.  If you want to know more about Limited Edition check out www.limitededition.com.ph.

Just as I was rushing out of Limited Edition to hurry back to finish this column Trond, from Norway and Bong cornered me to ask me to give a plug about their King Oscars II Sports Bar located along Don Bonafacio Rd., heading towards City Hall (Mountain View).  The sports bar is located on the second floor of a four story building.  Now, I just don’t have time to search for the specific address but will present more details in October.  They feature six pool tables and it is set up for the serious players though they do plan to hold clinics.  By the way, Bong is the manager and also sells hand made pool cues of excellent quality.  Again, I am rushed for a deadline, so Trond and Bong, I will visit you sometime in early Sep to get more details.  Now, I am really behind time and my computer guru Chuck is standing behind me telling me to get my ass in gear so he can zip this file and send it to John Bee for their magic.  I am definitely out of here, remember, be kind to horses.


 
-

August 2005

Posted by admin on January 13, 2011 in 2005 Monthly Newsletters

August 2005

 

Time goes so fast, here it is August already and for some reason I am excited.  It could be because of some of the changes that the Webmaster Tom has made in my email address and the new settings for accessing Harry the Horse.  It might also be because Chuck and Tom have worked on my being using able to put the pictures in thumbnail format where folks can click on the picture and get an enlargement.  I thank the people who sent me emails giving suggestions on how to do that.  It could even be because the peso rate is good for me but probably most of all it is because Priscilla and I are healthy and looking forward to our trip to Vegas.  I am trying to gather material that I can hold for the October column since my dates of departure in Sep and return in Oct are both in the middle of the month which will make it difficult to keep up with everything.  Oh well, the main thing is that I got through July with no problems and hope my luck continues this month.  Still hoping for more monsoon rains so we can get through the next dry season without our wells running dry.  One thing for sure though, we will never run out of booze but if they come up with more taxes the prices will continue to go up.  One unknown at this time is whether we will have a change of Presidents, whether there will be a coup d’etat, but it is a good time to fly in and be a part of history.  See you in the neighborhood.

TIDBITS

Harry,

I was interested in the info in your july newsletter regarding licensing of satellite dishes, so I did a bit of browsing around the net for further info. You or the people involved may be interested in looking at the document athttp://www.ntc.gov.ph/laws/mc-10-7-93-print.pdfCheers, Bill Mitchell, Boracay Island

(Thanks Billy, since I wrote my column the Swagman Hotel has been added to the list.  The law is pretty clear, it is just another one of those things that many folks don’t think of or overlook)

Received an Email from Paul Turner who is renting one of the great, well situated apartments above the Lancelot Club.  I always wanted to see what those apartments look like, maybe Paul will take me on a tour one day.  One of the reasons he dropped a line was to ask me to tell anyone interested that apartment B, next to his is available for rent and he is hoping that there will be some takers as he misses having a neighbor.  This has to be a fantastic opportunity for any active bachelor, imagine having a pad in such a great location, right in the middle of the Fields Ave action.  Paul, if I was single and had the money to spare you would have me as a neighbor in a heart beat.  Paul also passed on that Richard (the popular chef of Indian cuisine) and his wife are still cooking up great curries  – from home now and he orders up food by text; eh, the delivery time only takes up to 2 hours from Manila!  His number is 0919-595-5700.

 

This is a very early advance notice for an event that is scheduled for Dec 2 and 3.  I wrote about last years event and how great it was so once again the City will be sponsoring the annual Sisig Festival.  Last year they tried to get the event in the Guinness Book of records but failed to attract any of the officials.  Maybe they will do better this year.

The Jungle Bar on Fields Ave has been closed for renovations. It is scheduled to reopen in late August under the name of Classroom 2 and I bet that will be a very interesting theme.  Any time I want to go out at night I can tell Priscilla that I am attending classes to broaden my education.  The Kitten Club has been renovated and now the Jungle club is having a makeover and I must compliment the owner for not being satisfied with the status quo but is willing to spend the money to bring a new image to his clubs.

It makes me sad to report the closing of the Powder Keg as it has been a landmark in this town for many, many years.  It was not a tourist spot because of its location but all one had to do was visit the place one time and you were hooked.  It had a small town atmosphere, nothing fancy, friendly, good food, very affordable prices.  It had a place in the back for horseshoes, and old fashioned slot machine that worked, jokes posted on the wall in the men’s room, very popular owner and managers, and a pool team with members that were always friendly.  Why did it close?  There were a couple of reasons, one of which was that business had dropped off a bit and increased prices of electricity and stock was taking a toll.  Another was that the lease on the building was running out but the main reason, or I should say the last straw, was when the female staff went to the labor board to complain about their wages; they wanted minimum pay scale, 13 month bonus, and other benefits.  Now, I know that many readers will jump up and say that this is not an unreasonable request, but then for a small neighborhood, it was a demand that was impossible to accommodate.  Some of the employees had been on board long enough to know the financial situation and the efforts made by management to just keep the Powder Keg open and their desire to keep everyone employed.  Last year there was not enough money to pay the 13 month bonus (not required by law) so the owner and the two managers used their personal money to sweeten their Christmas.

 

The girls made goodtips and were treated well, there were no complaints and no notice that they planned to go to the labor board.  The only thing management could do was to close the bar and now all the employees are jobless.  The pool team has transferred to the Hole in the Wall and the Powder Keg menu has been transferred as well as the cook.  The Powder Keg will be missed, for the next few months folks here will tell their stories about the place and their memories but a piece of the “Keg” will survive at the Hole in the Wall and the familiar faces are still around and, well, life goes on.  By the way, it did not take long for the landlord to tear down the building, only about a week and I was told that some shops will go up in that location.  Rest in peace Powder Keg.

 

 

I just had to include the below comments from an active duty Marine as I was very pleased that I could reach out to this man and any other active duty folks that are doing so much in the battle against terrorism.  It is not easy being a marine Dave and I can understand your desire to return to Angeles City and get to explore Fields Ave and I will be proud to shake your hand if you make it to this old Horse’s stable.  By the way, I did take the time to explain how I got my nickname.

“Harry,

My name is Dave and I’m a Marine stationed in North Carolina. I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy reading your columns on line. I was in the Philippines once in 03 for Balikatan but we were not allowed off of Clark. Needless to say the Cab drivers did a good job of bringing Angeles City to us. It was like ordering pizza. My dream is to someday take leave and experience Angeles City without all the restrictions that come with going with the military. Until then I will continue to read your column. One question, how did you get your nickname? Thanks.”

 

The saga of the Friendship Bridge continues. The rainy season is here and the approaches are a mess and the traffic jam is worse than ever.  So, when is the new span going to be finished?  I guess it depends on what you call finished!  To me, it is when it is opened to two way traffic and no further construction is necessary plus that damn temporary bridge is removed.  Regretfully, according to a reliable source, this is not going to happen anytime in the near future because the governmental organization, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) still does not have the money from the GMA (President) fund.  I have been told that only 25 million pesos of the 47 million allocated will be released.  Now, originally, two years ago, this project was budgeted for P124 million but after all this time, the cost has risen to P160 million.  This was a joint effort between the Angeles City Government (20 million), BCDA (50 million) CDC (7 million) and finally the 47 million from the DPWH.  Hello gang, everyone paid their shares EXCEPT the DPWH.  They alone have been responsible for this shameful delay.  Recently, Governor Lapid demanded that action be taken to complete this very important infrastructure project but obviously, his instructions have fallen on deaf ears or maybe the President is too busy trying to keep her position as head of the country to be bothered.  But, wait, what about the 25 million that is now available from the DPWH?  Guess what, the amount, from what I have been told is enough to open only a one way system on the new bridge which will allow the old temporary bridge to be removed.  Oh happy days, we can expect to continue to put up with the horrible one way system that we have been using for two years, for God only knows how much longer.  Maybe we can find one of those Jueteng Lords to come up with the remaining P22 million which seems more likely than hoping that the present Government will come up with the remaining funds.  By the way it will be another three or four months before the bridge is open to traffic.  My contact told me that when he talked to the contractor he referred to the temporary bridge as being “suicidal” and that he was trying to finish the replacement bridge as soon as possible.  For sure, I will never use the temporary bridge when it is raining!  One humorous note is the sign you see as you enter the bridge from the Angeles Side that reads “No overtaking”, only in the Philippines would a sign like that be appropriate under such conditions.

 

The Philippine International Hospital (PIH) is still struggling to stay afloat and there remains only minimal support for US Military retirees using the TRICARE healthcare benefits.  Again, I stress that any US Military Retirees with health problems think twice before deciding to retire in this area.  Health care is available but you better have the money to pay for it.  I compliment the PIH employees for their dedication and optimism as they informed me that their salaries were one to two months late which made it difficult for them to pay their bills and eat properly.  An example of belt tightening is that the Physical Therapy department has dropped from 22 employees to only 12 so the workload for each employee has increased dramatically.  Despite the strain the smiles, friendliness and helpfulness towards each patient is still evident and I sincerely hope that better days are ahead for PIH, it would be a great loss to this community if it had to close its doors.

I received an email from Margaret Davis, mother of Steven, who was murdered in Manila a few years ago telling me that the TV documentary detailing Steven’s life and death and their fight to get justice for him is to be screened nationwide on ITV (UK) on 5 Sep 05.  Margaret has promised to forward a copy of the documentary to me after the screening and I am looking forward to that.  Margaret is happy to let everyone know that Steve’s two children are doing quite well under her care and by the pictures she has sent to me I can see that they are two beautiful kids that are enjoying a fabulous, safe, secure life.

Warning, there is a new procedure being used by thieves to gain access to residences to rob them and it is a bit scary.  I have confirmed that an expat resident of Ohio Street in Villa Sol answered a knock on his gate by two Filipinos who indicated that they were delivering a package addressed to his house.  When this victim looked at the package he told them that they had the wrong address and turned around to return to the house.  Suddenly, he felt a pistol pressed at the side of his head and these two pieces of shit marched him into the house and proceeded to remove articles from the premises.  His wife was present as well and needless to say, was terrified.  It is fortunate that violence was not used but the threat was there and the incident was reported to the police.  Since that time I have learned that this method was attempted against another expat but they were unsuccessful in gaining access to the premises.  Please take due care when someone approaches your residence with a package to deliver, especially if you are not expecting one.

Oz the Pom reports that Lewie Lewis is working in Somerset, England doing surface dressing on the roads.  He plans to be back in Angeles City by the end of this year.  Maybe the Mayor will hire Lewie to dress up the roads around after all that experience, he will probably be better off than trying his hand at running a bar again.  We need you Lewie!

 

Last month I headed for Manila to enjoy a days outing and of course we drove along that nice new super expressway that cost many millions to rehabilitate and for which all motorists are paying dearly in increased tolls.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that a long section of the road heading to Manila was under repair with only one lane usable; this after only a few months of use!  I guess the Lopes family were not any better at construction than all the other companies that tend to do less than quality work.  I admit that generally speaking, the drive to Manila on the expressway has improved immensely, but it is kind of annoying to see repair work going on after such a short time of use.

Those Orchid Inn lads are at it again, onward and upward. They have started work on the building opposite their new Hotel that used to belong to Johnny’s Supermarket owners.  It has been gutted and I am told that additional rooms will be built and there will be a bridge walkway connecting the two buildings just like the old Orchid Inn and the Annex has now.  Additionally plans have been prepared for the tear down of the old bars on one side of A. Santos Street with new clubs to replace the old and also some townhouses to be built as well.  Opposite the Wild Orchid Resort the three clubs that were supposed to be closed down by end of December have been given a new lease on life.  It appears that the owner of the Honky Tonk bar, soon to be renamed, will be allowed to expand his interest and will do a bit of upgrading.  Bit by bit, things are changing on “blow Row” and believe me, there is much more to come.  It won’t be just the Orchid Inn lads that will be making some exciting changes and additions.  Stay tuned for news!

What is happening with that large property on Perimeter Road located next to the Iglesia Ng Cristo church?  This is the property that was cited in a newspaper report for an attempt to reduce their capital gains tax obligation which everyone does here, but these guys got carried away and were caught.  Anyway, I have heard that it was supposed to be a new hotel going up on the site but rumor has it that the folks that put up the money for a down payment have flown the coop.  Remember folks, I said RUMOR, so I will have to do some digging to get the facts.

 

That grand old man (I say that because he is one of the few people I know older than me) Clive Pollington celebrated his birthday last month and I was able to join with his many friends at Roy’s Pub and Restaurant for a bit of refreshment.  I won’t say how old Clive is because I forgot but 70 sort of rings a bell.  Damn, at 67 my memory is already slipping.  Anyway, it was a fun get together and the drinks, food  and jokes were plentiful.

REMINDER – Don’t forget Mark Smith’s “Christmas in August” fundraiser for the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center on the evening of 6 August.  It is not too late to donate to the cause as Rick from Rick’s Cafe asked me pass on the information that he is taking in donations as well.  He wrote that paypal charges him 2.5% as a service fee but then he donates that portion so that the kids get the entire donation.  For more information write to Rick at daddyrick@digitelone.com.  Rick is working on two projects right now and I believe one is already finished and that is the screening in of the Nipa Hut to keep the flying critters out at night.  The second project will be the addition of a Subway style sandwich bar beginning this month and that will certainly catch the interest of this hungry horse.  Rick has been operating quietly on Fields Ave for quite a few years now and he runs an interesting establishment.  It is a great place to get away from all the noise of the bars and enjoy some tasty food and watch some great movies.  Rick is an innovator and you never know what new ideas he is going to offer at Rick’s Cafe.  Check out his website at www.rickcafe.com and better still, check out the place the next time you are in town.

Bad feelings at the DM Apartments in Santa Maria. They had an Australian customer who is living in Bangkok that booked a room in the new wing for two nights and paid by debit card.  His name was Francis Rigby and he had stayed at the DM a year earlier and loved it.  This time though he came at a time when we have been suffering frequent brown-outs (no electric power, a common event here) and suffered through heat, no hot water and in fact, no water at all.  What upset him more was that his bed was not all that clean and smelled bad.  I guess the bed was the last straw so he decided to move to a different hotel and cancel his last day.  Frank expected a full refund for his last day but this was not forthcoming which is understandable since most hotels do not give full refunds but reputable ones will usually give a percentage of the money back. One thing led to another, Frank became angry with management and management lost patience with Frank.  Frank went to the Tourist Police for assistance and they tried to help but it was kind of out of their area of responsibility.  It was the owner’s policy not to give refunds even though in this case, possibly, a compromise could have been arranged.  The lesson here folks is one, don’t blame the hotel for the brown-outs as not all have generators and check the refund policies of a hotel before booking.  Frank will never go back to the DM because of the bed (Management said he should have reported it at 0330 hrs when he went to bed and they would have replaced it – eh, bad answer) and the lack of what Frank felt, of a helpful attitude.  Frank transferred to the Wild Orchid Resort, a hotel with a generator and of course, nice clean, smell good beds.  Gee, maybe I can get Paul Willis to send Frank a personalized invitation to stay at the Villa Modesto for his next trip.

WORDS FROM NORMAN

 

There is an interesting site on the internet called the AC2 message board run by a lad with the fake name of “mindlinker” and every so often I peruse the site to review comments from various individuals who all use original nick names in an attempt to hide their identity.  Quite often some very good information  is posted but there is a lot of rubbish as well.  Boy, it can get down right evil as some lads go after each other in what is called “flaming”, and some, like “Nogas” are just plain confusing to the average reader as most of his posts originate from some sort of “twilight zone”.  To my surprise when checking it out last month I came across a long post from “Norman”,  a well known contributor to the board and one of the few not afraid to use his real name.  What surprised me was that Norman was able to get something on the board that was well received by 99% of the readership and suffered only one “flame”.  Normally, “Norman bashing” on the board is a popular pastime for the many subscribers to the AC2 Message Board.  But, in this case, I was impressed, so much so that I had to insert his comments below.  Why?  Because, ole Norman did a good job of explaining what a Club owner must overcome to own an establishment in this town and it may be the only post he submits this year in which he had so many nice comments from the readership.     Norman wrote:

“So, getting that “crucial info” out of the way, let me proceed to give you my merely biased-opinion (due to living in AC, that is) regarding why we should give these guys who invest/build/buy a gogo bar in AC, who some appear to hate so much, a break.

Here goes..

What are our “worries” as a punter/customer in AC? Well..we worry about being erroneously charged on a bar-bill, we worry about being charged for two LDs for a single bottle of SMB, we worry about a girl waitress presenting a Premium LD of their own-accord without your pre-approval, we worry about runners, refunds, early-leavers, ST-scams, tip-demands, getting BJs, getting a GFE, etc.

Or, there are several/few/many punters/customers who worry about none of that, all they care about is getting laid once or twice a day by a girl half or a third of their age. (Isn’t that wonderful!)

That’s a lot for a punter to concern himself with, hence we have the ultimate option and freedom to let our feet do the talking and only frequent those bars and BF the girls where/which we discover the least problems. This is where a punter’s “experience” is to his ultimate advantage.

Putting that into perspective, it is completely possible/probable for a punter to visit and enjoy himself in AC without any “problems” whatsoever, where your worst “mistake” could only cost you an additional $3, or $21 USD.

Now, where are all us punters having all this fun, entertainment, excitement, and sometimes “worry”? In AC, on a street with a hundred of so gogo bars, all opened/bought/invested-in by a group of blokes/goons/barowners from various countries and varying backgrounds. (Now Norman, did you have to use the term “goons” – I only know one club owner in town who is trying to live up to that title)

No, they might not be the nicest blokes to have a sleep-over with. No, they might not have the highest-IQ (shit Norman, did you uncover my highschool transcripts?). Yes, they might actually have no clue whatsoever about running a bar of any kind, much less a gogobar. Yes, they might even be considered “scumbags” by some. (if you want real “scumbags”, you should meet some of the blokes who own bars in Nana, Soi Cowboy, and Pattaya ) but the fact remains..these guys are the reason, however negative, that these bars exit in the first place, which is the sole reason we choose to visit this dusty dirty little shithole (now with $60 to $85 USD hotel-rooms, and bars renovated to look like a Vegas-strip) (I agree with the reason for being here but it upsets me when someone calls AC a “little shithole”!  Dirty?  Sure, but not that bad.  Dusty?  yep, I’ll give you that but, please Norman, a “shithole” it is not!

We enjoy at their utter expense, and their constant worrying. What “expense”?

Try bar-rental-rates that often start at $1000 USD per month.

Try an electric-bill that rears from $1000 to $3000 per month, depending on the size and layout of the bar.

Try paying salaries of approximately 4000/month x 40 dancers/waitresses/staff= $3000 USD per month, and that’s for a VERY small bar with extremely limited staff. Imagine a larger bar, with a 100 dancers/staff.running around $7000 USD per month in salaries alone. $5000 to $12000 USD per month is a hell of a lot of drink/LD/BFs a bar has to peddle for a profit of $1.00 per drink to $8.00 per BF. That must be two dozen BFs and a hundred or so drinks each and every night, on average.just to break even.

Of course, these numbers are very general and not nearly exact, but its only to give you a perspective to consider before you think that the bars are “raking in the money.”

Ahh yes, consider the licensing fees, the hygiene-fees, and all the other “unofficial fees” that have to be paid by the bars, often making the operating-fees pale by comparison.

All fees/costs/expenses aside.forget the finances..we punters have our “worries”. What “worries” could the bar-owners have?

Where do we start?…….

Imagine being a foreigner, opening a red-light district in a country that views foreigners as “targets” as opposed to “investors”.

Imagine having a red-light-district business in a fake-catholic country, which might/is/somewhat views your business as a “grey-area-illegal” industry.

Imagine having employees/management that occupies every second of their day viewing you as the “rich-foreigner” and dreaming of ways to rob from you more each and every single day, which they already do in countless ways.

Imagine dealing with mamasans who try to run your business to maximize their own profits/theft while ending up driving your bar-business into the ground with their tactics. (Norman, I learned recently that you are on the Mamasan’s  “hit list” now)

Imagine having a staff with the maturity-level of kindergarten kids, who cannot/refuse to be taught simple logic. It’s like beating one’s head into the wall. (ah yes, but many are more logical than NOGAS and we still love him)

Imagine having staff who hate you when you catch them stealing and feel you are wrong for taking disciplinary action. Imagine receiving threats from your staff/ex-staff/family of staff/family of ex-staff.all this in a country that is not yours, and they actually feel is theirs. (they are misguided little puppies but it IS their country and those damn pups can BITE, but point well taken)

Imagine having “officials” from various “agencies” in AC and in the PI never-ceasing to have you up in their target-range. Where pissing off the wrong-person, even unintentionally, could easily dump you in a heap of trouble and cost you a substantial amount of money.

Finally, imagine having 50++ or so employees/staff just looking for an excuse, even the remotest one, to relieve you of your money, business, and if the complaint is serious enough, even your life.

Frankly, if you handed me any amount of money, I wouldn’t remotely get involved as a bar-owner or even manager/papasan, much less “investor” in any bar in AC. The headaches, worries, hassles are simply too great – compared to the current dismal customer-numbers and minimal profit-margins as a result. (Does that mean I can’t sell you the Blue Boar Inn?)

Please don’t misunderstand me, our Filipino hosts are/can be wonderful people, but to work with them, much less employ them here in the PI, much less in a red-light-district like AC takes a sheer lunacy….perhaps call it courage or fondness of self-abuse.

Those are the blokes who are bar-owners in AC. We may not like them but they are the ultimate reason we are here in AC, and here on AC2, posting stuff about AC. Yes, without the bars, we could still easily find girls in AC or the PI, but not with so few “strings attached” as is the benefit the bars give us. (Now Norman, there are many likable bar-owners in town, there are just not that many who understand you like I do – I lied, I don’t understand you either – smile)

HOW NICE IT IS

Beeline John complains to me that I am taking the easy way out when I insert information submitted by readers of my column or when I copy from the AC Message Board.  I am guilty as charged but I feel that when I come across information deserving of being shared with others than I will not hesitate to reprint it here.  Hence, the below comments were placed on the AC Message Board last month and it is something, I feel, should be read by anyone that travels in and out of this country through the Manila International Terminal.  It is so easy for folks to pass on negative comments about their experiences in this country but when I read something like this, I am reminded of why I, ultimately, like living here; hope you agree with me.

“On my return trip home to California we arrived at the Manila international terminal about 3 hours ahead of time as we wanted to try to get some preferred seats on Asiana airlines. The line out front was fairly short and as we entered the main terminal they sent us to our respective security check point where they x-ray your bags prior to entering the main terminal. The way my bags were stacked was with my two check-in bags on the bottom and my carry-on bag on top. I sent my carry-on bag through first and then proceeded on loading my two checked bags and my jacket and travel pouch. When I went through the check point and I saw two carts over to the side of the scanner available so I hurried over to get one for me and one for my buddy.

Then I proceeded to load my two checked bags onto the cart and grabbed my jacket and travel pouch and off to the ticket window with my buddy. The ticket window was close and we proceeded to the weighing of our bags. Then my buddy said ‘Wally, where is your carry-on bag?’. shit, I must have left it at the scanner so I hurried back over there and asked if a carry-on bag had been set aside. They looked around and so nothing had been turned in. They told me to go to the Information Booth and report the bag missing.

So off to the Information Booth (IB) we went and reported the missing bag. The gentleman behind the booth radioed for a supervisor to come to the booth where I told them I was missing my carry-on bag and I described it to him. He said he would notify the airport police to come down and in the meantime for me to walk around and see if I could spot the bag on someone else’s cart as they might have picked it up by accident (I thought, yea like hell it was by accident I thought to myself).

I took a trip around the terminal ( luckily everything is in one big room there) but to no avail. I figured my bag was toast. I went back to the IB and a airport police corporal was there who took down my information regarding when I entered the scanner, description of my bag and the contents (I did not mention my AC pics. lol). The supervisor and corporal also took a turn around the terminal to see if they could spot a bag matching my description but to no avail.

They then said they wanted us to go upstairs to the security room and view the videos of the scanner area so off we went. It was kind of a funny feeling, here were two tourists walking through the terminal (one white and one black) accompanied by two police officers and two security agents. I bet everyone thought we were terrorists or something.

We went into a room that had a very elaborate security center with a ton of video screens. They set us down in front of one and started their video of the scanner we used. I told them I thought we went through the scanner around 10 am but when we finally saw ourselves it was 10:19am.

I was the first to go through the scanner and they saw me put three bags on the belt (I really think they wanted to be sure I came in with three bags and did not mistakenly leave one in the taxi because they were counting the bags out loud (by now our group upstairs had grown to about 8 people.

Then lo and behold the mystery unfolded. Actually before I was able to go through the scanner area myself my carry-on bag came out of the machine and a porter on the other side loaded my carry-on bag onto a cart that belonged to an asian lady. Right in front of me was another tourist who stood out like a sore thumb by the way he was dressed, he had on ¾ length pants and a tank top. The group watching with me said the man was talking to the woman and that they were together, I just thought the man was checking out the woman but it did not matter. We watched the direction they left but unfortunately the cameras could not pick them up after that. But the group said it looked like they were going in the direction of the China airline check-in.

So downstairs we went to the China airlines area and the supervisor and corporal were interviewing some baggage agents and I could tell by their hand actions they were describing the tourist with the funny pants. They then came back to me and said they wanted to check us in and get us to the customs area. They hand walked us all the way through and actually went to the front of each line we came to. It was hard way to be treated like VIP personal. lol.

We got to the final customs area and the corporal was walking to one side of the lines and I thought he was going to escort us on to the other side when all of a sudden he stopped and pointed to a bag. I looked at it and said yes, it was a bag just like that. Then I looked up and there was the funny pants man. It WAS my bag. I checked inside and showed the corporal and supervisor my Wally World cap that I had described and everyone let out a cheer. Funny pants man almost shit as he claimed he did not know the bag was not part of their group. They were actually a small tour group and had about 8 carry-on bags sitting there. I guess when they started to get on the plane they would have discovered it (maybe???). So I told him to relax as we saw the porter cause the mix-up on the security screen.

Hell, I don’t know who was happier me or the group that was escorting me around. They were all high-fiving each other. I started to reach for my money to give the guys a reward but they said no, it was just part of their job and they were happy to help.

These gentlemen were very courteous and patient during the whole process which took about 45 minutes in all. I just hope that if this happened in my country that we would do the same fine work.

If you ever need assistance at the International airport in Manila I would recommend that you ask for LITO V. DELA ROSA (Terminal Operations Assistant) and CPL BING L.JIMINEZ (Team Leader).

I definitely will be sending a letter of accommodation to the airport thanking these gentlemen.”

TOURIST POLICE

Despite some ill-informed negative comments from a few tourists and expats living in AC, the ACTA Tourist Police under the leadership of Richard Agnew and Dir Rey Lacquian are having some very positive results in reducing the crime rate in the tourist zone. Last month quick action by the Tourist Police enabled them to catch a cell phone snatcher who victimized a young lady in the vicinity of Johnny’s Supermarket and turn him over to the PNP; A Filipina tourist from Perth Australia left a plastic bag containing jewelry worth P162,000 pesos in a Tricycle that she used upon leaving the Midnight Rodeo at 0230 hrs and reported the loss to the Tourist Police.  The Tourist Police were able to trace the owner of the Tricycle and assisted in the recovery of the jewelry.  This action was made possible through the assistance of other tricycle drivers, the president of the Balibago Tricycle Association and the honesty of the tricycle driver.  Additionally, the Tourist Police remain active in ridding Fields Ave and outlying areas of the hustlers that prey on unsuspecting tourists.  Granted, because of a lack of personnel they cannot cover all areas, especially during daylight hours but this situation will be improved as 50 volunteers will attend a three day training session this month which will double the present force.  The Tourist Police and the PNP continue to work together with the active encouragement of Major Detran, Capt Aspe and Capt DeGuzman.  Station four Commander Maj Detran has started a flag raising ceremony on the first Monday of each month at Station 4 in which the PNP and the Tourist Police attend to listen to a guest speaker and also to receive certificates of commendation for those individuals that excelled in their duties the previous month.  The business community is starting to take notice of the Tourist Police and recognize the need of this volunteer organization, so much so that PAGCOR, through the Angeles City Casino provided the funds needed for the August training camp.  TP Director Rey Lacquian spends countless volunteer hours supervising the Tourist Police and also has set up a system to make sure that honesty amongst it members is a primary objective.  Last month one of the full time Tourist Police members was dismissed for accepting money from the hustlers that we are trying to get rid of.  Rey had set up a system that can monitor the actions of the Tourist Police on duty and when a “bad apple” is discovered, after quiet investigation and finally confrontation, dismissal is swift and final.  This program is still new folks, and as with anything new, there will be a few glitches, but I assure you that to date there has been overwhelming support from the community and any complaints are taken very seriously.  So far, the compliments have outpaced the complaints and it can only get better.

FIXING THOSE EYES

A couple of months ago I had an enquiry about where to go for laser eye treatment in Angeles City.  I recommended an eye clinic located at Robinson’s Mall, San Fernando.  The individual I sent the information to followed up on my suggestion and now wants to share the information with anyone who might be looking for similar treatment.  I hope that the following information will be helpful.

Hi Mr. Horse,

Following your advice, I wrote to the International Eye Center (IEC) and I am now in negotiation regarding treatment, thank you.

However, yesterday, I received an email from Dr. Noel Lacsamana and it would seem that they have now re-instated their former email address, and the phone numbers below differ slightly from those you have on their business card.

The details and some other information that may be of interest to other HTH readers is as follows:

INTERNATIONAL EYE CENTER 2ND LEVEL ROBINSONS STARMILLS

SAN FERNANDO,  PAMPANGA

PHILIPPINES.

TEL. NO. 045 8752009 (+ Country code 63 first and drop the first 0 if calling from outside the Philippines) CEL NO.  09164942724

EMAIL. internationaleyecenter@yahoo.com

Kindly Contact:

Dr. Noel Lacsamana  Eye specialistor

Dr. Angel Orense  Lasik coordinator

Email: myangel_cute@yahoo.com

The International Eye Center is a complete diagnostic and therapeutic ambulatory eye facility at 2nd Level Robinson’s Starmills, San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines.  You can now go to the Center for the diagnosis and treatment of all eye problems such as Errors of Refraction, Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Corneal transplant, to name a few.

At our Center we use the Bausch & Lomb Technolas 217 Excimer Laser equipped with Zyoptix Wavefront which is pioneer in Laser Vision Correction for it is the only Customized Eye Laser Surgery.  The Laser is use for the correction of nearsighted ( myopia), farsighted ( hyperopia ),  with or without astigmatism.

Before treatment you must undergo a screening test. If you are wearing soft contact lenses, you have to remove them at least 3 days before a screening test.  If you are wearing hard contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses, you have to remove them at least 2 to 4 weeks before the screening test.  The screening test usually takes 2 to 3 hours.

It is best if you have someone to accompany you because the drops we will use to dilate your eyes will cause blurring of vision and glare.  After the screening the Surgeon will discuss what procedure would best fit you and if you are truly eligible for the procedure.

Excimer laser correction can be done by LASIK Zyotix ( Laser assisted in situ keratomileusis). Which has early refractive stability, enhanced quality post operative vision, speed visual recovery compared to other procedure, minimal post operative discomfort, significant improvement over standard LASIK.

It can also be done by LASEK Zyoptix ( Laser assisted superficial epithelial keratectomy), if the thickness of the cornea is not enough for LASIK treatment.

Excimer laser correction is an out patient procedure, the patient will stay in the operating room for approximately 7 to 15 minutes per eye.

We are open seven days a week from 10 AM to 8 PM.

Presently the cost of the procedure ranges from 45,000 pesos to 85,000 pesos for both eyes.

USD 830.00   to  USD1,570.00*
AUD 1125.00 to AUD 2,125.00*

These rates are inclusive of the facility fee for the Excimer Laser, the surgeon’s professional fee, initial course of post laser eye medications and all subsequent follow-ups related to the refractive procedure.

You can pay in cash or by credit card. (Please note that prices could change based on the prevailing price of the peso)

MO’S POOL PARTY

 

N0. 72 was the Horse’s Favorite.

Sorry Rick, I just have to mention Mo’s Pool Party but I won’t go into any great details because it was basically the same as all the others and as usual, it was a huge success.  Lets face it, this is one event that many, many people look forward to, especially on a very hot day and Mo puts on a great show.  It is well organized and there are women, women, women and more women parading around in very sexy bathing suits with tops that look good when wet.  There were 73 contestants in all and the judges, who paid a hefty sum for the privilege spent many hours closely examining the qualities of each lady.  It was a “hard” job but they withstood the heat of the sun, the knocking over of their drinks, lack of time to eat properly and the occasional lady with bad breath to come up with the following results:  1st place – Myra from Treasure Island (P5,000), 2nd place – Jennifer from Geckos (P4,000), 3rd place Mylene from Treasure Island (P3,000), 4th place – Marisol from Lollipop (P2,000) and 5th place went to Liezel from Voodoo (P1,000).  Additionally, each winner received a gift certificate equal to the cash award.  The nice thing about these contestants is knowing that each of the 73 ladies are available at the various clubs they work at and you can survey the attractions and decide which ones to pursue after it is all over and they go to work.  Now, wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this at the Miss USA contest, the Miss World contest, etc., but then no doubt they would all have attitude problems.  Imagine, 73 lovely ladies, oh dear, oh dear, how sweet it is and Mo is laughing all the way to the bank!  It was hard to concentrate but I did manage a few pictures but you can see a much better report and pictures if you join the Go2Phil site, John Bee did an excellent report and his pictures were great.  (By the way, number 72, 5′ Rosana, from Samar, representing the Las Vegas Club was my favorite).

 

HELPDave Donney is trying to prove that working in Iraq is dangerous for your health.  I am still experimenting with the pictures and when you enlarge this one it will be blurry because I had reduced it and then enlarged it and, well, I just need a bit more practice!

 

 

 

 

 

THE UGLY AND THE BEAUTIFUL

I took these pictures in the Hole in the Wall when I went to catch the tail end of their bar-b-q day and I was supposed to add the pictures in the Jul column.  I will let you decide which of the folks featured represent the ugly and which ones are in the beauty column.  I won’t say because those motorcycle lads are bigger than me and I still want to enjoy the good hospitality and food at the Hole in the wall, especially since they have added the menu from the Powder Keg.

MAGIC MOMENTS

Des is probably wondering when the hell I was going to mention my thoughts on his Club after my visit there.  Well, better late than never, I loved the place. It had plenty of ladies some great, some not so great but that is OK, you can’t have 100 beauties, even the Blue Nile has a couple of very average ladies as well.  But, at the Magic Moment you have a management that is friendly and attentive (Des and Dennis), a nice mix of expat and tourist customers, a good pool table and nice seating and best of all, local drinks are only P45.  The location is very convenient especially if you are driving as parking is no problem.  The size is good as well, not small and not too big.  I guess what I am trying to say is that you will not be disappointed if you make it a point to visit this Club, I certainly wasn’t.

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

 

Give a hearty greeting to Mick and Tony from Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Australia who I found at the Orchid Inn bar one fine afternoon.  They were enjoying themselves and I think their favorite past time was teasing the hell out of Shanno.  When I asked them which bar in town they considered their favorite they could only say that it was too hard to decide.  They liked them all!  I love talking to Australians, not only because they know how to have a good time but because they live in some strange towns.  Who ever heard of “Moonee Ponds”?  Is it on the map?  Only kidding folks, I am sure we must have lots of visitors from that town, it is just that Mick and Tony are the first one’s I have met.  I might be wrong though, maybe Mick and Tony are the first and only visitors from there.  Oh well, at least I now know that such a place does exist.

AMERICAN LEGION POST 123

I finally had time to go to a general membership meeting at the American Legion Post 123 last month and it certainly was interesting.  Over the years this Post has suffered controversy and experience a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  Presently they have a membership of 148 regular members and 134 life members which isn’t all that bad.  Like all Veterans Associations meetings there was a lot of protocol to deal with that required a lot of standing and sitting in the beginning, saluting, hats off and on and all that stuff.  The one tradition that touched me was what they call “Post Everlasting” where they recognize members that passed away since the last general meeting.  The surviving families are invited to attend, words are spoken, a recording of taps is played to include a rifle salute and a special receptacle is placed where the names of the deceased are set aflame and allowed to burn during the playing of the taps.  For some reason taps always brings a few tears to my eyes and this was no exception, it really was a very touching event.  As the meeting progressed we finally got to the latest controversy that involved the leadership of the Post and a few key personnel.  The main question was the status of the Post location and whether they would have to move and honor a lease contract signed by a member in what he thought was good faith.  He thought wrongly and so ensued a hot debate that covered that subject and the final decisions as to the succession of leadership.  Anyway, after a lot of hot air had warmed up the room I believe that the new Commander is Ray Jones, the first Vice is Ski, 2nd Vice is Jerry Bristle and the Finance Officer is Walt Howard.  The General Manager is Shawn McNeil and kitchen manage is Jerry Bristle.  I think they have Joe Carsley washing the pots and pans.  The bottom line for now is that the Post does not have to move out of the premises as the owner has not found a buyer for the property yet so they are safe to stay for the rest of 2005.  When the building is finally sold they will be given a six month notice.  It was brought out that it would be prudent to continue with their search for a new Post home instead of sitting and waiting for a notice to move.  They will never find the good deal they have enjoyed for many years in that they occupied the present site rent free and still found themselves in financial difficulties.  The new team is determined to bring life to the Post and start earning enough money to cover any future transition, to include having to pay rents.  Let there be peace in the Post guys and good luck!

I WOULD IF I COULD

 

While visiting with the Winchester Club Manager Paul, hailing from Manchester, England I decided to take the time to find my “I would if I Could” lady and decided on 26 year old Summer, hailing from Bicol.  She is very available, is the only girl of the family but grew up with four brothers.  She likes singing (wow, surprise), cooking and dancing.  Her email address is stuburn22@yahoo.comNow, after I took a picture of Summer I saw Rubilyn pass and decided to throw in another picture to sweeten the pot.  rubilyn is 20 years old and I did not seek out any other information, I just wanted her picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WILD ORCHID RESORT

By now you have heard of the Wild Orchid Inn Resort, no doubt seen pictures of it and know the prices they are charging for the rooms.  Last month the owners hosted two events, one a dry run opening with persons attending by invitation only, the second event was the grand opening a few weeks later in which Mayor Lazatin was scheduled to perform ribbon cutting honors.  Regretfully, the Mayor was called away to a special meeting in Manila where many Mayors from various provinces were called to a meeting with President Arroyo.  Fortunately the Mayor’s attractive daughter, Janet Lazatin was kind enough to grace the event and added a bit of grace, charm and class to the ribbon cutting.  The blessing ritual was

performed by Msgrs Sonny Fahed and Abelando Basilio from Immaculate Conception Parish, Balibago, AC.  Both events were well attended and absolutely fantastic with everyone in attendance being very impressed with the food, swimming pool area, lobby, rooms, well, just everything.  It is a very, very nice hotel and already they are nearly at full occupancy.  Some comments have been made at the prices being charged in that they appear to be expensive at 59, 69 and 79 dollars but what many fail to realize is that the many of the tourists coming to Angeles City now are more than willing to pay a higher price for quality rooms.  Anyway, I won’t get into all that, instead I will just provide present a few pictures of the hotel and the people that attended opening festivities.

YATS COFFEE SHOP

 

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to describe the newly opened Yats Coffee Shop and I hate it when I have to struggle for words.  It is not because of a lack of interest or anything negative, just the opposite, I really love the place, it is just that there are so many new innovations that I fear my words will not be adequate.  Now, one negative for tourists and some expats is that the location is awkward to get to.  It is located inside the PhilExcel Compound on Clark (CSEZ) just off the main road (Roxas).  Why is this place different?  It is sort of an upscale fast food dining treat in that various sandwiches and dishes are already prepared by the Yats Wine Club chef (George), wrapped and placed in a see through refrigerator.  A customer only has to select from the daily menu and the item will be heated by microwave or even grilled in the back.  It is quick, inexpensive and convenient without losing any of the tasteful quality.

 

Since it is a coffeeshop they are offering a full range of coffee choices to include all that yuppie Latte stuff that I never drink but is popular.  One can order a coffee, grab a table, relax and read or watch TV.  Since the Yats folks are running the shop you better believe that wine is available.  In fact, they have a nice private room that sits 6 to 8 people with the wine racks on taking up two of the walls.  It is ideal for a small meeting where privacy is desired.  Every Friday an afternoon buffet is offered for P280.  The day I was there the menu consisted of oven roasted chicken, mahi mahi fillet, stew of mix vegetable ala provencale, steam rice and lemon citrus meringue.  You can even shop for wine to go while dining or drinking your coffee.  Simplicity is the name for this shop and it requires a minimal staff of only two to three people.  It is open from 0800 to 2100 hrs and I sure think it is worth a try.  I plan to spend time there to enjoy a sandwich, read a book and just relax and maybe even check out the buffet on Fridays.  I may even take Priscilla with me as it far less expensive than taking her to the Wine Club and far classier than where I usually take her – McDonalds!

GOOGLE EARTH

 

Here is something different and useful.  My computer Guru Chuck found this site, http://earth.google.com/ and the following file Angeles.kmz and you can explore locations in Angeles City or if you want to follow your route from Manila Airport to AC, it is mapped out on this program.

 

 

I am out of here not before reminding folks that the Knights of the Brown Ring will meet on 6 Aug, with the Honey Ko ladies in attendance and I have been informed that Jasmine will join us as well.  My Email address is easier to remember now as all you have to know is @harrythehorse.com and you can put anything you want before the @, i.e., badboy@harrythehorse.com, orlacasa@harrythehorse.com.  Additionally you can access the column by going to www.harrythehorse.com.  This is new but the link will still appear on the go2phil.com site.  I enjoy your emails and hope that you will all be coming here in August as the peso rate is still favorable to the dollar, the weather is a little cooler (when it rains or is cloudy) and there are always changes on Fields Ave.  Remember though, be kind to horses.

 

 
-

January 2006

Posted by admin on January 12, 2011 in 2006 Monthly Newsletters

January 2006

Here we are , heading into a new year and wondering what 2006 has in store for us.  For those of you living in a cold winter climate be advised that I am still swimming at the Hidden Vale swimming pool and enjoying the new sauna as well.  I keep trying to lose weight.  Will this be the year I get my knee replacement surgery?  Priscilla keeps asking me that and I just keep putting it off.  Will this be the year that I build our  at the Hotel La Casa?  Boy, you better believe that Priscilla definitely keeps asking me that.  My reply?  I am giving that a lot of deep thought.  Will this be the year that I meet more readers of this column when they visit Angeles City?  I sure hope so!  Will this be the last year that  Arroyo stays in office?  Better I leave that one unanswered.  Will it be a good year?  I will answer that question in Jan 07.

TIDBITS

It was a moderately busy night atSaver’s Mall when suddenly, the drama began.  At least 20 Army personnel, with rifles, went rushing into the mall, heading for the  floor.  My goodness, were they after terrorists, thieves, kidnappers, murderers, carjackers?  Customers running for cover, people wondering when the shooting would start, stop the presses, some NPA thugs must be cornered.  Do not fear, it was none of that, instead, the riflemen were able to secure the area as they confiscated the pirated DVD’s that were on sale there.  None of the “dangerous” vendors pulled out their hidden weapons to fight off this attack, led by a civilian character from the Optical Media Board (OMB).  This operation was amazing, what careful planning had to take place, the young Army guys displayed their fitness as they made great leaps and bounds as they scampered up to the second floor.  My goodness, what sort of response did they expect?  They did not need rifles, in fact they could have done just as well if they were armed with water pistols.  But, I guess the OMB guy must be flushed with excitement at the success of his operation.  A source tells me that they managed to cart off about 50% of the stock of each vendor but, thankfully, business was back to normal the next day.  I say, thank goodness, because I am one of those evil people that shops for the DVD’s at Saver’s as I will not buy the crap copies that are sold on the streets of Fields Ave and downtown Angeles City.  Yes, I am guilty of sustaining these lawbreakers and feel a twinge every time I sit down to enjoy a movie I missed at the Cinema, but like smoking, it is one hard habit to break.  If only the OMB guy will tell me when the next raid is scheduled so I can record the action, throw in a few hysterical  that are knocked over, depict one good looking vendor being raped and then showing the OMB guy selling off all the confiscated movies from his Mercedes car in front of the house where he stashes his mistress, then goes home to his wife and children for Christmas dinner.  Then I could sell this fictionalized movie to a Filipino film studio, and wait for the money to roll in.  Oh shucks, the money would not be too much because everyone would be on the second floor of Saver’s buying the pirated copies before it even got to the theaters.  Then I would have to call the OMB guy to raid the place again – shit, what a vicious cycle this has become.  Hell, let me turn on the TV and  HBO!

There have been many occasions where I have received emails from readers asking about small  they can rent for a month or two or even long term.  They want kitchen facilities instead of just renting a hotel room.  Recently, a complex named the Patio “V” Apartell was completed and the “V” in the name helps to designate its location next to the VFW in the Clarkton Subdivision, on Perimeter Road.  It is a studio apartment complex with 52 fully furnished rooms 17 of which are “wheelchair” friendly set to U.S. standards.  Not only are they located next to the VFW where you can get a good meal but they are only one short street away from the Blue Boar Inn (Hotel La Casa) where they can enjoy a full menu (breakfast, lunch, dinner), pool table, darts and a few ladies prepared to take care of all your needs.  They have in house a washer and dryer, generator and their own deep well.  For the old folks they also  doctor certified care givers for under $10 a day.  Want more?  How about a swimming pool and outside patio BBQ as well as an exercise area with bicycle, stepmaster, and other equipment. OK, now you are ready to know how much this will cost – well pretty reasonable;  how about $20 per night, monthly at $15 per night and if you pay a year in advance, you can get the place for $10 a night, and that is a very good deal.  For more information contact them by phone/fax/Email or visit their website.  Phone: (63-45) 322-4272 or 892-0890; cell phone: 09176101466 or 09196354473; Fax: (63-45) 322-1771; Email: patioinn@datelnet.net and finally, the web page at www.patioinnhotels.com.  OK guys, this is NOT a paid advertisement!  BUT – I did make a deal with Craig and Bill for the occasional use of their swimming pool – being half Jewish, I had to get something out of this effort!  Seriously though, the place is kind of impressive and very convenient location wise.  But if you stay there, remember to visit this horse at the Blue Boar Inn, I need the business.

It was a pleasure to meet Derek Barclay at the Hang Out last month.  I stopped by for a few drinks and I was leaving for home he came up and introduced himself.  He divides his time between Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines but is on his way back to Vietnam for a two year stay after the holidays.  He reads this column and passes it around to some of his mates in Vietnam and it helps him keep in touch on what is going on in this part of the world.  I was surprised when he told me his wife enjoys the reading as well, maybe some day his Mrs can meet Priscilla and tell her all about Vietnam, a country I would like to take the time to visit one of these years.  Hope you had a good New Years Derek and that we will meet again when you are back in town.

Mo, at Mo’s Place (Kokomo’s) had a good idea!  Get a ATM machine installed so it would attract customers and at the same time be a convenience for ATM machine users.  It was a popular decision and was averaging withdrawals of about P200,000 a week of which the bank got 2% but Mo did not receive any percentage and his benefit was increased patronage to his location.  But, it became a big headache in that there were so many problems with it running out of cash, being off-line or just out of order.  Additionally, many users of the ATM, who were not customers, would abuse the door girls at Voodoo anytime they encountered a problem.  Appeals to the bank went no where and Mo’s request to move the machine inside were ignored so the decision was made to get the bank to go and remove it.  Now, a good idea has gone sour because of non-cooperation from the bank and ATM users must now go elsewhere to obtain cash.  Mo has not given up, he is negotiating with another bank to see if they can install a machine but the problem is that they demand a very high deposit of money first and only give an interest rate of 2-3% which hardly makes it worth it.  Lets give Mo credit for trying and also his desire, despite the headaches, to try and get another one installed.  Lets face it, it was extremely useful in that location and maybe there will be another one installed if Mo can get the right cooperation from the bank managers (anyone taking bets on how successful that will be?).

A few months ago the Philippine Bureau of Immigration sent out a notice that the requirement for all registered aliens to obtain the ACR-I card would be extended to 31 Dec 05 but, absolutely, no further extensions would be granted.  Bear in mind that this was the second extension with the excuse that various groups representing registered aliens have requested these extensions in view of their inability to comply with the deadline considering their vast membership.  On 5 Dec, the Bureau of Immigration sent out a new Memorandum Order extending the deadline to 15 Apr 06, supposedly for the same reason.  This is a bunch of bull, the real reason is that they do not have their act together in that the equipment, technology, and training is not on hand to put this ridiculous, unnecessary I-Card system into effect.  A few people have told me that they heard that this whole I-Card business was the idea of the American FBI and homeland security which may or may not be true but would not surprise me if it was.  The general perception amongst the registered aliens living here is that it is all just one big scam to bleed more money from permanent alien residents living here.  They want $50 dollars a year for the card in addition to the annual registration fee.  When I visited the States last year the I-card was useless in entering or exiting the Philippines.  If this program was instituted by the American government then I hope the next time Homeland Security will keep their ideas to themselves or at least provide the money, time and training to the Immigration Department for them to do the job properly.  It would be a great surprise to one and all to see this program implemented by 15 Apr.  By the time the program is operational, all those who broke their asses to get the card before the first cutoff date will see the card has expired and must apply for a new one without the first one being used.  The original paper ACR card I obtained in 1985 did not have an expiration, then the PI government had us replace them but good for only ten years.; now in their infinite wisdom, the new I-card is to be current for only one year.  Why the hell can’t it be good for 5 years or longer? Good question?  Don’t expect an answer anytime too soon.

The Roadhouse Christmas fund raiser brought in P600,000 for the Bahay Bata Children’s Center, another good effort by Mark Smith and company.  It is not easy to squeeze out that much cash from supporters a few days after Christmas.

I always enjoy passing on a message from lads that have spent time in Angeles City and still miss the place.  There might be a few folks in town that remember the “Wild Child”.

Good Evening from Korea,

I just wanted to take the time to say thanks for keeping the information flowing from Angeles City.  Since leaving in 2003 your monthly articles keep me going on the cold nights here.  Great to hear the bars are still going strong but I sure miss being involved in the business ( not sure if you remember me but they called me the Wild Child back when I was working for Mo at King of Diamonds, Horst at Brown Sugar and running Insomnia for Heiko and Roger)  and reading the articles monthly helps.  Hope all is well there in Angeles and hope to some day make it back to the one place I feel most at home.  Thanks and keep Harry the horse going.

MA2 Andrew Turner AKA TXWLDCHLD, COMFLECT Chinhae, ROK, US Navy

When I wrote up the Insomnia Club and the rooms behind it I went on a visual only as I have never stayed there. A reader of this column read what I had to say and took the time to write about his stay there. I know that Dennis, the manager, does all he can to make sure that the rooms are clean and the customers well looked after.  I know only full well the helplessness of a situation where one of those damn karaoke Joints are right next door.  Or, in the case of the Royal Amsterdam Hotel, right in the back.  Regretfully, the City Government allows these karaoke joints and even the many open air restaurants to operate their loud music with no restrictions.  The owners could care less if they disturb a neighborhood with loud music in the early morning hours.  Why should they, they operate with impunity from any civil codes.

“Harry, Thanks for your reply. I have just finished reading your June edition and thought I might comment on your visit to Insomnia Bar and more particularly the rooms behind it, now known as L’ Tinio’s Inn, where I stayed from mid Oct. to mid Nov. this year. The rooms are quite spacious with cooking facilities, air con, ceiling fan (noisy), cable TV and internet connection.  You made note in your column that surprisingly, you could not hear the music from Insomnia in the rooms. Quite so. However, there is a karaoke joint down the back behind Lanie’s Outdoor Tourist Hangout, which is next door and it is really noisy and goes on until about 5am. All rooms at L’ Tinio’s face the karaoke and the noise factor ensured that I had plenty of grog on board before going to bed.  The jacuzzi room, as you mentioned, is certainly impressive but I can foresee a problem. The water supply to L’ Tinio’s is from a well on the premises and to my mind, the well is not deep enough. Hence the water stinks. With the jacuzzi full of  water, I reckon the room would be less than pleasant. I will write again when I see something I believe is worth commenting on and I will let you know as soon as my arrangements are settled, when I am coming to AC.  Regards Phil”

THE COMMENTS BELOW WERE POSTED TO THE AC MESSAGE BOARD:

“Guys I have been to AC many times and aware of most scams and dangers..Last week I was staying at Hana hotel..and with Honeyko (not bar girl? walking from Petron gas station to town, just on dusk…I hear the footsteps, too late ….he grabs HK’s mobile throws a 360 and bolts back up the street…Gutsy guy as I am 6ft4 and very fit…so i turn and chase the little fucker , cursing him as i go….gonna tear him apart …just about got him…exit stage left, into the bush, i followed for a few meters then realizing it was dark and this was his jungle…I pulled the pin and skulked back onto the street. Gotta give him points for guts..Reported it to the Tourist Police…what a pack of tossers..all they did was ring me every hour or so to talk to my gf and ask her out….”yea we will get the phone…no problems…yea we know who he is , we will get him and oh yea would u like dinner…” Why do these guys just skunk around the bars …why dont they actually hang out in areas where stuff goes down….pack of posing wankers are far as I’m concerned..
Talking to a few guys back at the hotel, each one had had a bad experience in this area, from robbery at knife point to bashed and robbed ..so be warned…I WAS aware of it but thought I was bullet proof…The area is that section between the Church and the America Hotel….Have a great Xmas everyone”

This caught my attention because of the alleged actions by the ACTA Tourist Police (TP).  I immediately sent a private message to the complainant and he was kind enough to provide me with the date and time of the incident, as well as the cell phone number that was used to contact his girlfriend.  I called the number provided and sure enough it was a Tourist Policeman that answered the phone.  The matter was investigated directly after my call to a supervisor.  The Tourist Police are dedicated volunteers and any abuse of their position will be taken seriously.  The objective of the Tourist Police is to provide a safe environment for tourists and residents visiting the tourist area and to be available for assistance when needed.  The investigation revealed that an error in procedure predicated this misunderstanding.  The incident was traced and the incident of the snatching was entered into the TP log on the evening of 8 Dec.  I was told that the girl involved was given the number of the TP hotline to call for follow up but she insisted on having another number and the Tourist Policeman made the mistake of giving his own cell phone number.  During the various phone conversations it is suggested that the foreigner misinterpreted conversations with the girl involved and became jealous.  During the investigation the girl, who is employed as a waitress was willing to clear the Tourist Policeman of any wrong doing.  The bottom line is that procedures in dealing with complainants has been improved.  It has been emphasized to all TP personnel to NOT give out personal phone numbers to a man or woman.  The hotline number is the only contact number that will be issued to anyone desiring follow up information.  The supervisors of the Tourist Police want transparency in all their actions and any complaints are welcome as they help to point out discrepancies in procedures and corrective actions can be taken.  Thanks to a report on the AC message board from a concerned foreigner, an error in procedure was discovered and corrected. (After I sent this off to the webmaster for downloading I received a private message on the board which reads as follows: Jimmy i just got an email from my HK and she insists I have misunderstood the situation and that the Tourist Police was not being in appropriate with her and that I was just misreading things….so rather then cause someone a problem when i m not 100% sure of facts …as it was in taglog…I will pull my head in and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. She says he was doing his job… Sorry if i have caused trouble for anyone for flying off at the handle.  Thanks -Fortunately I was able to send a modification to my submission and able to clarify the situation.  I really appreciate the PM that was sent clearing the TP of any wrong doing.

When enjoying one’s single life in Angeles City one must know when it is time to get rid of a live in girlfriend.  An individual that this horse has known for a few years decided to let a young lady move in with him and over the next two years his life was hell as this lady made his life miserable.  A few close friends advised him to get let her go as every time he had a few drinks he would relate the latest evils done to him by this lady.  By the way, she was quite young when he first took her in so a bit of immaturity was involved.  He admitted that he should put her out but his main reason for keeping her was that she gave such good head, the best he ever had.  Additionally, he was a bit afraid of her as well.  So, on Tuesday, 29 Nov 05, he finally saw the light and realized it was time to part company with this girl.  You will understand why he did so after such a long time when you read the short message he sent me:

“I’ve been sick for 2 weeks now, with the green cough & spending most of my time in bed.  I finally got rid of my GF, things were getting way out of hand.  She was banging my next door neighbors brother & cousin & who knows how many others, then they caught her giving a BJ in front of my gate one night to a 16 year old”.

See folks, you just have to know when it is time to kick that lady out of the house!

THIS NEXT MESSAGE MADE ME A BIT WARY:

“Just a warning to my friends that live in AC.  My good mate was gunwhipped this morning outside his gate in Villasol.  They forced him into the house at gunpoint and stole over P100,000.  Please be careful.”

As fate would have it, when attending the Dec 28 Roadhouse fundraiser for the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center the victim of this incident approached me and gave me the details of this incident.  He was returning home via Tricycle at 0430 hours, paid the Trike driver, opened the gate to his house, when two individuals came up behind him and placed a gun to his head and asked for his money.  He told them he did not have any and that earned him a bash to the head that knocked him down where they continued to ask for money and hit him again.  He told them that he did not have money but would let them in the house where he had some money and would give it to them.  They allowed him to enter the house, then pushed him and knocked him down again but fortunately he landed close to where he had a bag with money in it.  They still had the gun to his head and kept pushing it and asking for money.  He gave them whatever was in the bag and it amounted to P100,000 and with that they ran out the door and up the street.  During this incident his only concern was to stay conscious and not to do anything that would cause them to fire their weapon.  He did call the police after the incident but did not know which station responded but he now has a very low opinion of these lads in uniform as all they did was sit around and ask him if he had insurance.  They did not do anything to make him think that they were concerned or would investigate.  The victim does own some properties that would make him appear to be financially successful and it could be assumed that these two lads that accosted him were lying in wait for him to get home.  I do not think that two people would just happen to be standing around at 4:30 in the morning, with guns, to randomly seek out a target.  We have noticed that crime has been reduced in the Tourist Area but outside that perimeter a noticeable increase in criminal activities has been noted.  Be alert folks, the Christmas and New Years season is not a time to drop your guard.  The scum bag, low life criminals are alive and well.(For what it’s worth – on 29 Dec I visited Compac 44 at the Clark Friendship Gate to ascertain what action was being taken in regards to this incident.  PO2 Manuel Venasquez and SPO 3 George Paragas were very cooperative in answering my feeble questions.  They indicated that follow-up actions were being taken in trying to obtain leads but it was difficult because the victim could not provide any descriptions of the perps.  They are increasing their patrols of the area but at this time there are no leads.  PO2 Venasquez was the first officer on the scene as he had been called at home to respond because he had left his number with the Villa Sol Security guard.  Now, the residents pay P1,000 a month for security but the guard post is located in an area where the security guard could not see the victims residence located just around the corner from where the post is.  Of course, he patrols the area but at that time did not see anything.  I was not able to interview the night shift officers who responded to ask why the victim would feel they were not concerned.  It appears that they are making some efforts to investigate within their capabilities.  You know how that goes – I would suggest that the victim and residents of Villa Sol continue to push for follow-up actions and speak with the Station Commander, PSINS DeGuzman as well as reviewing how effective the security service they are paying for really is).

On 10th I received an email from Garreth Loxton, the son of David Loxton Y Charles, a 63 year old expat who was murdered on New York Street, Villasol, one year ago (6 Nov 04).  The son wrote that at this time of the year he was thinking of his father, felt a bit sad and was wondering what had happened to the people who killed his father.  I was surprised that David’s wife was not in touch with Garreth.  Anyway, I was able to ask the assistance of City Police Director PS/Supt Segubre in providing an update for Garreth and by late November I was provided an update and copies of all reports regarding this incident.  There were three suspects, Robert Goyha, Philip Molina and Manny Lavenia.  Robert and Philip were apprehended after the incident and charged in court docketed under Criminal Case No. 04-848 at Regional Trial Court Branch 61, and presently detained at Angeles City District Jail.  The third suspect Manny is still at large and now subject of a manhunt by the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO).  I did not have a chance to interview the wife, living at 185 Ohio Stl, Villasol Subdv. as I only wanted to get an update from the police.  Garreth, if you would like me to mail you the pertinent documents forwarded to me by the police, send me your mailing address at harrythehorse@harrythehorse.com .  I hope, that in some small way, I have helped you get through your anguish at this time of the year.

TAPS

I was saddened to receive an email from Greg Carroll informing me about the passing of John Martin.  The text follows:

“John Martin ex Greenlands died 2pm Manila time today Dec 24. This was confirmed by his daughter Michelle in an e-mail sent to Bob Lemon. Michelle didn’t pass on any further details re this news.”

John used to keep in touch with me for a few years but that communication stopped about a year ago. Financially and health wise John never got over the trauma of being jailed over a drug bust at his house that was a set up by the police, as proven in court.  He beat the charges but it ruined him, he was never the same afterwards.  The last I heard he was in Compostela, Cebu, living with his new family.   John was living a very budgeted existence in Cebu and I heard that his health was not all that great.  There are many folks here in Angeles City that knew John Martin and joined Greenlands at the very beginning.  John had great plans for the place but was never able to get the financing necessary to accomplish his dreams.  So, another individual, Greg M. arrived on the scene with lots of money and lots of dreams as well.  Not all that much was accomplished over the years, for one reason or another but now, at last, there are some positive improvements taking place at Hidden Vale.  But, Greg is in Australia undergoing medical treatment for a cancer problem and his beloved Hidden Vale is being managed by a new dynamic management team who are doing their best to transform the dreams of two men into a reality.  Naturally, the one stumbling block is financing but that is being aggressively pursued.  No doubt John Martin, in whatever location he finds himself now, will either be looking up or down on his favorite project and some distant year in the future, when Greg joins him I am sure they will have some interesting things to chat about.  I wonder, in the hereafter, do they have courts??

Another old friend to many lads here in Angeles City was John Mcloud who passed away on the morning of 21 Dec 05.  John had lived in the Philippines for many, many years and used to work in Manila.  I met him through Marine Steve, Tim and a few others when he became involved in the pool leagues.  He was 78 years old and had been ill since Sep and it is suspected that he died of a heart attack.  I will always remember John and the old Mercedes that he kept on the road for many years pass its prime but, like John, the old motor just kind of gave up.  It’s hard to say goodbye to old friends and sometimes adding a name to this “TAPS” list kind of hurts, but, “Goodbye John, it was a pleasure to know you, by the way, Lolit (the Mouse) will always remember you as will all your mates here”.

2006 AUSTRALIA DAY FIESTA

The Australia Day Fiesta will once again be held in Balibago from January  25 th to January 29 th . As a prelude the Angeles City Businessmen’s Club (ACBC) will be hosting their monthly luncheon at the Fiesta Garden Hotel on Friday January 20 th . The Fiesta itself kicks off on Wednesday January 25 th with the Miss Australia/Philippines Beauty Pageant being held for the first time at the Wild Orchid Resort. Tickets may be obtained from the Resort. On Friday the 27 th the World famous “Bell ring” will be held for the first time at Lollipops. All proceeds from the Bell ring go to local charities and the ringers name will be placed on a plaque for the lifetime of that bar. For the Sports enthusiasts there are pool competitions at “Mo’s Place” and a number of high standard dart matches at the famous Hotel La Casa (Blue Boar Inn).  Sunday sees the Grand Finale. The famous Angeles City “Curry Cook-Off”. This is held outside Mo’s Place. The Street Fiesta starts at lunch time and proceeds into the night. There is a live band and fun things for the kids as well as copious amounts of food and beverages. For more info contact Wild Orchid Resort, Roys Pub or Fiesta Garden Hotel.

TOURIST OF THE MONTH

A reader of this column that hails from Allentown, Pa., USA had the opportunity to return to Angeles after a three year absence.  Geoge Resetar works for the school district middle school in Allentown (Bethlehem) as an all around handy man.  His previous visits here were in 93 and 98 and after he retires in five more years, hopes to be able to spend more time here.  Even in Allentown, in order to hold a non-teaching job with the school district George was forced to learn Spanish in order to keep his job.  Needless to say, any hesitancy to learn this second language or to voice any complaint about it would, in this politically correct school district, lead to any employee losing his/her job.  I’m not even sure that one can even utter the words “Merry Christmas” in this school anymore.  Alas, George is a “VFW”, a victim of a Filipino Wife who after a few years in the States decided to move on to other endeavors.  Never-the-less, George remains upbeat, happy and content with his life and while here he found that Bananita’s Club on Fields Ave suited him just fine.  The good part about working in a Latino dominated environment in his school is that after five years it will not be difficult to learn Tagalog if he decides to spend more time here.  But, he will find that the locals here enjoy speaking English, unlike where he works now.  At least here, Tagalog is the national language, too bad that the US has not learned their lesson and officially adopted English as their national language, maybe then the spirit of the so called “melting pot” could have been continued.  Good luck George, see you in a year or two

THE RICHTHOFEN GARDEN GRILL AND RESTAURANT

If you ever get a chance to check out this eatery please do so.  After the great Sisig Festival held in Angeles City on
early last month Priscilla and I were wondering where to eat.  As we were driving home we remembered that after the 2004 Sisig Festival we stopped and ate at the Richthofen Restaurant in Hensonville and figured, “why not, lets start a tradition”.  Naturally we had Sisig and remembered that it was a very nice place to eat.  This year though, the attraction was not the food but the wild and funny lady named Myrna Marmol who happened to be a very original entertainer with a great voice.  This lady just came up to us with a big smile and just started talking and she is a character, with a wild style of dress and very funny.  Within five minutes we were all buddies.  Now, I want to tell you older guys who are looking for a companion, Myrna is waiting for you.  She is a very active 49 years old with three grown children and is looking for that guy who will love her and treat her with respect.  I would suspect that any man courting this Myrna would have his hands full, this lady is fun, fun and more fun but believe me, she is unique.  I told her I would put her picture in this column and anyone interested can call her at 09104156405.  Now, if you want to send her and email, just send it to me and I will pass it to her as she did not have her own email address.  Even if you are not looking for romance, you have to check her out at the Richthofen any Wed, Fri or Saturday night as she will entertain your pants off.  Myrna said she “needs somebody to like me” and who knows, maybe one of you readers of this column could fill the bill.  If so, let me know, it would make a great story and picture.

TWO FOR ONE

Take the time to drop by the Limited Edition Club on Perimeter Road to check out the dynamic 18 year old twins from San Nicolas, Gua Gua, Pampanga.  From left to right are Maryjane and Maryanne and at the time I took this picture (27 Dec, 1330 hrs), both of them were cherry girls.  I cannot offer any guarantees of their continued innocence beyond that day.  They have been working at this location for one month and have one brother and three more sisters.  They like listening to the radio, watching TV, singing (of course) and dancing.  They told me that in the short month they have been working that they have many suiters but no one has gotten to first base yet.  If you want to join the group you can call Maryjane at 09204990983 and Maryanne, 09212262214.  Maryjane must be more popular because she has a second phone number at 09287505277.  Something tells me that these ladies should open a bank account as Christmas will probably come every day for them.  These are not my “I would if I could” girls for this month, they are too young for me and way too innocent.

THE SHORTEST DAY OF THE YEAR

Hashers use any excuse to run and drink beer so how about a mob from KL Malaysia coming over to Angeles City to celebrate, on Dec 19, the shortest day of the year with the AC Hashers.  I don’t know who drank the most bear but the AC mob is famous for their ability to down gallons of it so I suspect that the KL folks would have had to go some to out do them.  I promised Jacko, who turned 60 years of age on 30 Dec that I would put in a few pictures of the special occasion.  The KL Hashers not only celebrate the shortest day but also the longest day and they travel to different countries every year to spread their message.  I wonder if on the longest day, that is cause to run longer and take more time drinking?

LAWN BOWLS

In late November and early December the Hidden Vale Sports Club hosted the SouthEast Asian Games (SEAG) Lawn Bowls Event, the only SEAG event held in Angeles City.  The management of Hidden Vale went all out to prepare the venue and provide a wonderful, festive, well organized opening day ceremony that despite a rain delay, was magnificent.  Planning for this event took months and much of the hard work and planning fell on the shoulders of Charmaine Pineda with her team of busy bees.  After the ceremony, blessed with the presence of Mayor Lazatin and Secretary Rene Diaz, dinner was served in a beautiful setting around the swimming pool.  Everything was nearly perfect, the only blemish occurred when the host Hidden Vale home team, at the urging of Ronalyn Greenlees, walked out of the dinner in a huff and ate elsewhere.  Ronalyn had her reasons but the gesture was an insult to the visiting teams and also to the Hidden Vale organizers of the event.  Fortunately, the next day the sun was shining and the Hidden Vale team did extremely well, as they did on each succeeding day.  On the last day I was witness to one of the most dramatic sporting moments I have ever personally been present for.  The Hidden Vale team played their hearts out to try and win a gold medal and they had the opportunity to win four.  But they had garnered three silvers and one bronze and there was only one chance left to win a gold, the last event, men’s singles with young Ronald Lising representing the PI against a top Malaysian player.  Everybody was on pins and needles as it came down to the very last ball of the last round with the score tied and Ronald, with nerves of steel, rolled that ball in for the final point that gave him the gold for himself and the Philippines.  I swear that the cheers and shouting could be heard in adjoining neighborhoods and the entire Philippine team could hold their heads high for a job well done.  It was a magnificent effort.

THE 2005 SISIG FESTIVAL

There were so many different events taking place in December that no tourist or expat should have been bored.  For the second year I attended the Angeles City Sisig Festival, this time dubbed, “176 Ways of Cooking Sisig” and believe me, there were 176 different dishes presented for judging.  This is a two day event that is fun, fun, fun.  It was so interesting to see both professionals and amateurs preparing their versions of Sisig and I was able to sneak in quite a bit of tasting while I was roaming around taking pictures.  This is a project of the Angeles City Mayor, organized by the talented Irish Calaguas who somehow manages to maintain her health despite her busy schedule and pressures of the job.  The event was hugely successful and I was able to see the Mayor maintaining a positive, happy face, as he was sampling the many exotic dishes presented to him.  I suspect that his stomach was begging for relief by the time he left the venue.  When Dec 06 comes around, be sure to check out the Sisig Festival, it is one great event.

AC BUSINESSMEN’S LUNCH

My thanks go out to the President of the AC Businessmen’s Club (ACBC), Pat Lynch and his supporting officers for the great work they did last year in attracting new members and organizing the many enjoyable luncheon meetings at various venues.  This Horse is most appreciative of the donation for my Christmas Charity project approved by the board and  members during the luncheon held at the Winchester Club. Most of the Expat businessmen in town belong to this Club and it is a great opportunity to be able to get together to meet each other and to pass on pertinent information as needed.  The luncheons are usually entertaining as attendees can take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people and take a few hours out of their busy schedules to relax.  Starting a new business in town?  By all means, sign up with the ACBC and take advantage of the wealth of information, based on experience, available to you.

FINE DINING AT VFW

In business, especially the food business, one must be willing to take chances by trying something new once in a while.  The VFW Canteen manager, Mike Harrington, decided to try a new idea to attract that group of diners who enjoy gourmet dining but live in a town that does not have that many venues offering the menu items that would fall into the category of “fine dining”.  Mike realized that the idea may or may not work but he was willing to give it a try and last month he presented a menu of various dishes to invited guests in order to gauge their reactions.  Now, bear in mind that most people would never associate fine dining with the VFW as most expect a good meal at a reasonable cost.  Now, on Fridays and Saturdays a special upscale menu is offered in the “Essary Room” from 6 to 10 PM where Mike will be offering great dishes of the world. For the meals offered the prices are reasonable compared to other restaurants offering gourmet selections.  Remember, this dining offering is on a trial basis and its continuance or expansion is dependent on acceptance by the dining public.  I believe Mike plans to give it a 45 day trial and hopefully, it will be a success; if not, don’t worry, he will come up with another idea to attract that discerning diner.  Mike, just in case it doesn’t work could you keep that chocolate-strawberry cake and the chocolate fondue on the menu?

I WOULD IF I COULD

No matter what happens with the fine dining adventure at the VFW, I sure do hope that Mike keeps the beautiful, personable, classy hostess Jarlyn that he hired just for the Essary Room on the staff.  This lady has to be special and would be a great catch for any single man looking for that “special lady”.  She is from Leyte but raised in Manila and  finished 3 years of college working towards a teaching degree before running out of money.  She was happy to land this job at the VFW so that she could save enough money to finish her college.  Jarlyn has experienced sadness early in her 21 years in that her mother died of a heart attack when she was 5 years old and her father was a victim of a hit and run accident when she was 13.  This lady is tall, personable, attractive, intelligent and absolutely perfect for the Essary Room.  Good choice Mike!

BE MERRY AT CHERRYS

First it was Jerry at Cherrys, then Les and Charlie at Cherrys and now we have John Cody leading the way at Cherrys Bar and he has vowed to work hard to bring back the fun atmosphere that popularized this Club in the beginning.  Old snaggle tooth Jerry of Jerry’s Cafe fame just ran out of steam and welcomed the opportunity to sell out to two individuals that had absolutely no experience in running a bar in Angeles City and they found out that it was a big difference between being a customer and actually running a Club.  Anyway, they only lasted a month and was only too happy to sell, cut their losses and run.  Enter John Cody, a much more down to earth guy that realized it was going to take a bit of work to get things moving and that it would take a bit of time.  Then what happens, he becomes a victim of a robbery.  A few of the local cockroaches backed up a van to the door of Cherry’s Club at 0100 hrs one morning, break in and clean out the place, taking a fair amount of cash, equipment and top shelf liquor (no local shit for these lads).  Mind you, right next door at Stampede is an armed guard and one of the ladies working at Cherrys happened to pass the place on the way home and noticed the van but took no notice.  So, bad luck right off the bat for John but there is no giving up with this lad.  Instead, he regrouped and is now looking at ways to increase business by keeping his prices at affordable rates, i.e., P45 for local drinks, ladies drinks only P85 and that other popular item remaining at P1,000.  He plans to add a pool table and bring in some new good looking dancers that will keep things jumping during his 1300 – 2300 operating hours.  Being a smart man from Benidgo, Victoria, Australia he also decided to advertise in this column again because he knew the old Horse needed money for feed.  I already mentioned that Cherrys is located next to Stampede on Perimeter Road so dedicated bar hoppers have a good one two combination without having to walk more than a couple of steps.  Like any new Club owner I run into I hope for their success, especially when trying to compete with the Clubs on Fields Ave because it ain’t easy getting the tourists past the Checkpoint.  Bit by bit though, more tourists are beginning to realize why the local expats frequent the bars along Fields Ave – more fun at a lesser price and more often than not, you can communicate with the owners, not just the Mamasans.  So, drop by Cherry’s Club and chat with John, buy a few drinks and like Mac (a tourist from Calif.), pictured here with a group of ladies surrounding him, enjoy yourself.  At Cherry’s the customer is King!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Usually at this time of the year I try to go around and get a few pictures from the bars depicting the ladies in a group and wishing everyone a happy New Year.  Well, I just did not have the time to get around this year but did manage to hit the Stampede (Jimbo will be providing the entertainment for the 7 Jan Knights of the Brown Ring – AH Club) and T-Times.  I wanted to catch a few ladies on Fields Ave as well but that will have to wait.  By the way, I have been told that T-Times should get their electricity turned turned back on around the first or second week of January.  The generator they have been using has kept them afloat but I know the owner will be glad to give it a rest.

T-Times Ladies

COOKING WITH CHEF CHRIS

I could not resist that title, after all Chef Chris is a TV personality on Channel 3 as he demonstrates various secrets of the trade in cooking and preparing gourmet meals.  I can dig the show but but how can a horse who is content with a Burger King meal write about gourmet food.  The answer is – not very damn well.  Never-the-less, I do have to say that I attended the pre-Christmas gourmet buffet offering at the “C” Italian Restaurant on 15 Dec.  This is where Chris works when he is not on TV and gives his following a chance to taste the results of his efforts.  This was a special evening where reservations were required and the cost was P990+ per person which is approximately $20, a bargain for what was served, including wine.  So, what was served – Hah, you think I remember or even know how to pronounce all those fancy names and for sure I would not remember how to spell the names.  Who needs details anyway, the main thing is that all the various dishes were delicious, even better than a Burger King Whopper and with a special musical group from Manila (The Leggiero Strings) which really added a touch of class to the whole evening.  I even put on 4 pairs of long pants for the evening as Priscilla would not let me wear shorts.  The bottom line is that the evening was a huge success and Chris deserves a round of applause for the excellent cuisine he put out.  You know, one does not have to wait for these special events to dine at “C” just pick any night except Monday (closed) and order up the treats on the menu.  You might see me there, teaching Chris how to prepare a gourmet hamburger, hell, who the heck wants to drive all the way to SM for a Burger King all the time.

FANTASTIC WINDOW WASHER

I was visiting Karel Heinen at his beautiful house in Hensonville Plaza last month when I noticed two attractive ladies washing the large glass wall leading to the interior of the house.  I was impressed, so of course I had to tell Karel that I wanted to take their pictures.  As I started to set up my camera one of them ran away into the house but 21 year old Tessie could not get off the ladder fast enough.  She would not cooperate and refused to turn around but with my pleas and encouragement from Karel, his mother and father, she reluctantly sort of faced the camera.  Of course she is both shy and single but you may disagree with me, but I think she is a very pretty young lady with a bit of a sense of humor.  I don’t know if she kept her eyes closed because of her shyness or because the photographer was ugly, guess she never saw a horse taking pictures before.  Eat your heart out guys, you probably will never be able to meet Tessie but isn’t she just plain nice to look at?

VACATION HOUSE FOR RENT

OK, after I got over the sight of Tessie, it was time to get down to business.  Karel told me of the house he purchased on the street just behind his property that he was planning to rent out to tourists coming to Angeles City and would even entertain offers for purchase.  The purchase price is substantial but would have to be discussed with the owner.  But, imagine, this house will be furnished to include TV’s, stereo system, etc. It offers a master bedroom and two guest rooms, a kitchen, living room and a fantastic pool.  The cost would be $300 a day which might sound expensive but not if three people share the expenses.  It would be a great vacation retreat where you can swim, prepare your own meals and live, for a week or two in a beautiful villa located in an exclusive subdivision.  The only problem might be transportation but when I mentioned this to Karel he indicated that a car and driver could be provided at extra cost.  Folks, this is a deal to take advantage of before someone buys the house and the opportunity is lost.  Imagine three guys with three or more beautiful ladies enjoying this house, sleeping, cooking and swimming in a romantic setting.  Oh yes, the wall is high enough to provide privacy when swimming. For enquiries send an Email to jenny@phildutch.com .

ONA HOSPITAL

Since the opening of the ONA City Government Hospital this Horse has donned his Santa Claus outfit and delivered food packages, toys, candy and money to each low income patient on Christmas Eve.  This is a private effort on the part of Priscilla and myself but made possible with donations from many friends each year that want to contribute to this effort.  Now, each year I have told myself, that it is nice that the City Government has a hospital that is accessible to the poor but after only a few years, it was becoming shabby, run down and lacking in medical equipment.  It was no place that this horse wanted to be hospitalized but this Dec 24th, when Santa and team drove up outside I was surprised to see remarkable changes.  The entrance to the emergency room had been moved, when we got inside we were greeted by a newly painted room and evidence of renovations were evident.  The staff and doctors were busy but everything seemed more professional and organized.  As we proceeded to the wards we stopped to greet the staff in the laboratory – wow, what a difference.  It had been completely renovated, windows removed, air-conditioning installed, spotless and new laboratory machines on hand.  I was in shock!  As we delivered our packages to the patients more and more improvements were evident and I was told that this is a major project that will continue for quite a few more months until the entire hospital experiences a major facelift.  My goodness, how is this possible?  There is a stateside company named Knightsbridge who has been donating thousands of dollars worth of medical supplies to this hospital through the Rotary Club of Clark Centennial and rather than just receiving the equipment and turning it over to the hospital, this Rotary decided to do more and created a Rotary project to not only monitor the delivery and use of this equipment but to undertake the renovation.  Angeles City Mayor Lazatin has added funds along with Rotary funds and asked that the organizer of organizers, Mark Smith be the project manager.  Mark, along with the new ONA Director, Dr. Canlas are putting in many hours every day to make this transformation a reality.  Believe me, within a few short months if I catch some horse disease that requires me to spend some time in a hospital, I do believe I will choose ONA.  It is not only the renovations that make me want to do this, but the addition of the state of the art medical equipment donated by Knightsbridge.  There are also plans to add new private rooms to equal rooms offered at the various private hospitals in town.  Of course, nothing comes cheap and, of course, the money provided by the City and the Rotary is not enough to do everything so Mark Smith will be holding a fund raiser at the Roadhouse sometime in February to try and raise P600,000 for equipment needed in the pediatric ward.  It won’t be long before ONA Hospital will be a facility that the City and Mayor Lazatin can be proud of.

I am late this month.  I am just finishing this column on the night of 30 Dec and will be forwarding it to Tom Deasy in the States for him to download to the site.  I hope he is not celebrating the New Year too much.  I am happy to report that Vergie and his son have joined him in the States.  That was, indeed, a nice Christmas present.  I miss his company here for Priscilla and I do not have anyone to go to the movies with anymore.  I certainly thank all of you that have taken the time for one whole year to read my words and I really enjoy your Emails.  You folks keep me going and I appreciate it, very much.  I look forward to 2006 as I treasure each year that I manage to not only stay alive but to stay healthy and to be able to make new friends.  Priscilla, myself and our 7 year old rug-rat wish everyone a very happy New Year.  Oh yeah, remember to be kind to horses, especially the old ones.

 
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November 2006

Posted by admin on January 12, 2011 in 2006 Monthly Newsletters

November 2006

I swear that it was only a few months ago that we had turkey for Thanksgiving  but I know it is just that time seems to go faster with each year that I grow older.  Or, maybe it is just that I am so busy that I lose track of time.  I know I have a lot to be grateful for, being healthy, sort of, having our new completed and enjoying the extra room I now live in, having a lot of friends (won’t mention the enemies) and well, just being alive.  I am glad that I still have the time and energy to write this column and that you  have the patience to wade through all the words I write.  I know that some complain that my column is too long and each month I keep telling my friend Chuck that it will be short but somehow, it still ends up being a bit long.  One thing I can do is keep this intro short, so, lets get to it.

TIDBITS

I am starting out this month with a  rather long message from James Crossley, ownerof the new Flightline Clinic that explains in detail his dream of providing a state of the art health clinic that will meet all the requirements of the TriCare system for US military retirees as well as opening its doors to all in need of their services.  I wish him well in his endeavors and I, for one, will be very pleased to be able to, once again, avail of the services of Dr. Quintos, my  bone man.

“Harry,

I just wanted to announce the opening of the Flightline / Lifeline Clinic at #57 Don Juico St in the  Cybercare location on the 23rd of October. We are an outpatient clinic which will care for the needs of not only the US Military Retirees and their families under the TRICARE system but all of the Expats and Filipinos who wish to be cared for in a US standardized clinic. We have gone the extra mile to bring honest health care to our community. In years past the US Military Retiree has been treated as a golden goose by the health care providers in the Philippines. The members have had to stand by while their distinction as being TRICARE eligible patients was used by dishonest health care providers to charge large amounts of money to the US Government in their name for services rendered. Even though the patient never had to pay for any of their health care under this system, their dignity and integrity were stolen every time an overpriced or fraudulent claim was made in their name. Recently the US Government has had enough and they stopped paying these health care providers. That was okay but the problem was they did nothing to back up the system to insure the military retiree had a legitimate clinic/hospital to visit. They did not care. As far as TRICARE was concerned it was up to the patient to pay their way and then personally  submit a claim to TRICARE . A difficult and burdensome requirement. As a military retiree and combat veteran (US Army, Vietnam 1972) I took an oath to protect and defend. I have seen that my fellow comrades in arms have had such a difficult time these past three years in putting up with TRICARE Overseas (Wisconsin Physician Services ( WPS )) and the local health care providers I knew I had to try to do something. Not having any background in health care administration I spent these past years trying to understand what was really needed to insure our health care could, once again, be retained. Speaking directly to WPS ,  TRICARE  PACIFIC and reading the TRICARE regulations over an extended length of time I came to understand what is needed to run a clinic under their rules. Now is the time to get our health care back.

So, with this in mind I decided to rebuild the clinic and operate it as a completely updated facility. I spent months on the various medical administration websites to discover the most up to date computerized system available which clinics in the US are using. So I now present to you the most current and cutting edge US standardized medical administration available. So what does this do for the patient? It provides our patients with a computerized electronic medical record that can be downloaded on to a disc or sent to any Doctor or Hospital in the world. It provides the ability to upload any previous medical record to be included in the current medical record. It allows the ability for the our Doctors to follow US standardized medical documentation requirements so that there are no information gaps and it is  in a format that US Doctors use. This format will also insure that any medical  that a  might have will enable them to receive reimbursement much quicker if the patient is not covered by TRICARE such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, PhilHealth or their home country’s medical insurance plan. In addition we have implemented the US required system for the privacy of patient records. Just as the “Privacy Act” many years ago was there to protect our  information the US Medical System has finally required similar requirements for medical records. This will require the filling out of several additional forms but will insure absolutely no one has access to your medical records but the designated individuals. There will be no more “paper records” in our clinic and there will be no databases of individuals’ information that can be “hacked” into. Your personal data is safe with us. Besides this very necessary upgrade to the local health care system we of course are an appointment based clinic. How many hours have you had to sit in an un air conditioned room with 30 other contagious individuals waiting to see a Doctor? At Lifeline Medicenter we have a standard US appointment system that guarantees your rapid access to our Doctors. In addition we accept walk-ins and we have a 24/7 Doctor on call. There is nothing worse than to become ill on Sunday morning and have no other recourse than to go to the Hospital. We will offer ambulance service through one of our hospitals and we will be there to insure you are taken care of.

Currently we are a full service out-patient clinic designed around your needs. Services which at present we do not have such as full hospital and pharmacy will be developed and hopefully will be included at a later date. We have four specialist Doctors on staff and in a very short period of time we will have all the major specialists represented. We have x-ray facilities, laboratory and dental. Soon we will include Re-hab and Ophthalmology. We want to give you the service which you deserve. You fought for the freedom of the US and many other democratic societies. It is time you have the facility that cares for you, that understands your sacrifice and devotion to the oath we took many years ago to protect and defend.
This is what we are not: There are no “membership fees”, no sign up sponsors, no kick backs, no under the table, no greed and no BS. We are straight up and honest. We will always give you a copy of the bill we submit to TRICARE and the Doctor’s findings if you want it. You can always check your EOB and insure the amount is the same. If it is not, email me at u2crossley@aol.com and I will make it right. We are here for the next 30 years or more God willing.

With all the good news there has to be some bad news. For many years TRICARE patients have never had to pay their 25% co-share payment. The health care providers were making so much money from their “golden geese” that who cares about 25% when you are making 2000% from the US Government? Well it is a requirement BY LAW that every TRICARE patient pay their 25% co-share payment. So it will be that way at Lifeline Medicenter. Now that we have started a new fiscal year each patient must pay the first $150 per individual or $300 per family for medical care they receive before TRICARE will start paying 75% of their health care until such time the patient has paid a total of $3000 at which time TRICARE will then pay 100% of the patient’s medical care. This all means that for your first $150 or $300 you will have to pay cash up front for your care. After that you only pay 25%. The cost of medical care through Lifeline Medicenter is much less than currently being charged by health care providers in this area but is more expensive than the local Doctors. But not by much. We are following strict TRICARE Overseas and TRICARE Pacific guidelines to insure we will be your provider for many years to come. You are not locked into any one clinic, hospital or doctor. You may choose any one you wish to see. Any provider that tells you differently is wrong. We hope that you will come by Lifeline Medicenter and take a look. We are here for you. Not only do we accept TRICARE patients but we are open for everybody.

You military retirees are my brothers. We are here for the long haul. We all served with honor and dignity. When called to duty we went. We survived. Our heroes were the ones that didn’t come back. We remember our years of selfless dedication to duty with pride and honor. We appreciate the family members we left at home during our TDYs and combat tours as they sacrificed too. When we open our closet and look at that old uniform still hanging there after many years with the many awards and decorations that is a good feeling. We were there. We made a difference. Any one that tells you differently is a liar. It is time to come together. I have taken the first step for you. I want us to be a strong community again. I am tired of getting kicked around by dishonest health care providers and everybody else that has made a buck off of us because we choose to live in the Philippines. We will do it right.  Thanks and Keep’em Flying, James Crossley”

OK, one more update from Jim and that is it – here goes -

Dear Harry,

After w rangling with SEC and DTI our official name for the clinic is Lifeline Medical Center. In addition our prospective patie nts should know that we are a non-profit organization under the parent non-profit corporation of Environmental Protection of Asia  Foundation. Our website address is epafi .org and we have spent years in the Philippines protecting the land and sea and now it is time to protect the human element therefore Lifeline Medical Center will also be involved in medical missions throughout the Philippines. We are here to serve. We hope to see you all soon. James Crossley

After receiving this the following press release I figured this was a good piece to follow the Lifeline Medical Center info from Jim Crossley.  Ole Tom Lutz and company got away with a lot of shit while they operated here.  I remember all the times I asked Capt Jack McDonald to explain the billing system at PIH and why costs seemed to be excessively high.  He always told me that he had no idea of what the costs were because the billings were centralized at the Subic offices.  It surprised me that someone holding the position of hospital administrator had no idea what was being charged for what.  When I brought up questions of alleged Health Visions irregularities he would get very defensive and pissed off at me.  Jack was a nice guy, I enjoyed talking to him and I took his words of ignorance with a grain of salt.  Towards the end of his tenure here though I found that his patience was wearing thin.  Somehow, now, I suspect that Jack is sitting somewhere, very happy that he got  out of town when he did.  In his senior years I doubt that he needs any aggravation over questions that might be raised over the PIH operation and Health Visions and anyway, according to Jack, he knows nothing.  Sure – OK, fine!

PRESS RELEASE

Office of the United States Attorney
Western District of Wisconsin
(608) 264-5158
TTY (608) 264-5006
www.usdoj.gov/ usao/wiw

For Immediate Release

Madison, Wisconsin – Erik C. Peterson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced the unsealing of a seventy-five count indictment yesterday charging Thomas Arthur Lutz, DOB 04/24/1967, of Olongapo City, Republic of the Philippines, and the Health Visions Corporation, a Philippine corporation, with defrauding the federal TRICARE program.

The indictment had been previously returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Madison on July 13, 2005, and was unsealed in conjunction with the appearance of Lutz in Guam, after his arrest in the Republic of the Philippines. TRICARE, formerly known as CHAMPUS, is the Department of Defense’s worldwide health care program for active duty and retired uniformed services members and their families. According to the indictment, between October 1, 1998 and August, 2004, Lutz and the Health Visions Corporation devised a scheme to defraud the federal TRICARE program.
Specifically, as part of the scheme, Lutz on behalf of the Health Visions Corporation entered into a kickback agreement with a medical provider in the Philippines in which the provider, at the request of Lutz, paid 50% of the amount of the bills for medical services rendered to TRICARE patients referred by Health Visions back to the corporation.

In addition, Health Visions and Lutz inflated the bills of other providers by one hundred percent or more before submitting the bills for payment by the United States Government. The defendants also created a sham insurance program to circumvent TRICARE’s requirement that beneficiaries pay a deductible and cost share, and they also submitted fictitious and fraudulent TRICARE claims falsely claiming that beneficiaries had been hospitalized and had been rendered services when, in fact, they had not. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of more than $900,000 owed to the government.

Lutz and Health Visions Corporation are specifically charged with 32 counts of mail fraud, 41 counts of filing a false claim, one count of conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States, and the forfeiture count. If Lutz is convicted, each violation of the mail fraud statute carries a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy and false claim counts each carry a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  The Health Visions Corporation, if convicted, is subject to a fine on each count of conviction of $500,000, or, in the alternative, potentially two times the amount of gain to the defendant or two times the loss to the government.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service.  The charges were brought in the Western District of Wisconsin because Wisconsin Physicians Service, the fiscal intermediary which processed and paid these alleged fraudulent claims, is located in Madison, Wisconsin which is in the Western District of Wisconsin. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter M. Jarosz and Daniel J. Graber. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The following is a happy letter from an AC visitor – “I have just spent this August back in the Philippines with my honey , 4 days in AC then down to Peuto Gallera , couldn’t believe the price difference from February last year to this year , EWR P2000 , last year p800 after 10pm , ladies drinks p250 , beer p90 , one bar had about 60 girls ,2 mama sans and only 3 customers , and i was hassled for drinks and bar fine the moment I entered the club, needless to say I moved on quickly.  The next bar had the same pricing but no pressure to buy ladies drinks, stayed for a couple hours,  and in that two hours I was the only customer. I’m sure if drinks and EWR was less more customers would appear. I left and went down to Boracay Island, loved it there and very affordable, company starting at p2000 but all were happy with p1000, nice beach’s great shopping, live bands on the beach nightly, highly recommend the visit there.

So how about this for a variety of travel in one day , Outrigger to beach , Trike to airport , Plane to Cebu , Taxi from airport to wharf , Super cat to next stop , Mini van then finally my honeys brother met us on his motor bike , 3 on the bike 2 backpacks and shoulder bag , just over an hour later arrived at honeys village , we started out at 6am and arrived at the village 11pm . A few days in the village then back to AC to complete our holiday

Looking back on our holiday the highlight for me was your temporary closing party , the costumes the girls had on were truly spectacular, and they seemed to be really enjoying themselves , which of course made the guys enjoy themselves even more , and what you served up for desert , I think every guy had his fill , I never realized cream could taste so good , the only disappointment for me was my honey couldn’t stay and enjoy herself , she would have loved to join in the fun and games , oh well next time maybe. Spent most of my time at Vipers, as you all know if the girls are friendly and fun and the manager treats like a friend not a customer, you enjoy your holiday even more , So thanks to the girls , especially Velma and the manager Henrick.  I will be back in 3 or 4 months time to see a little more and of course spend a little time in AC and hope to catch up with you, keep up the great newsletters, I think a lot of us look forward to the news each month – Regards Marty”

Phil Spear <pjspear1@yahoo.com> wrote:

My wife was just mugged at gun point right in front of Savers Mall in the parking lot directly in front of the building itself… As soon as she unlocked the door to get out a man pushed a gun into her chest while she was still behind the wheel. He demanded her purse which she gave up and off he went… She made a report to the police and to Savers Security, for all the good it will do… She let her guard down thinking that the presence of all the security immediately in front of the store would make her safe.  Truthfully, this city is getting more and more out of control… It may be approaching unlivable, unless the mayor and his boys can get a handle on it. What makes it worse, is no one learns of these incidents.  We cannot forget that AC is a VERY dangerous place, and gets more so everyday… Tell your wives and better halves to have nothing in their purses that they cannot afford to lose… Carrying cell phones, valuable ID, credit cards and lots of cash is just plain boneheaded…. I suggest all women carry a “show purse” with a little money, fake IDs, etc, that they can hand over to muggers to get the mugging safely over with… This place is dangerous and we have to adjust our lives with this in mind…  phil (There is some good advice from Phil here regarding what to carry or not carry in a pocketbook.  It is also applicable to residents and tourists as well, do not carry more money on your person than you actually need for your daily outings.  Is AC becoming unlivable or too dangerous?  Not in the least, it is just wise to remember that crime is present in any large city and Angeles City is no exception.  It is true that most people never hear of some of the criminal incidents that take place but thanks to Phil giving us a heads up we at least know of one and due care will be taken when parking at Johnny’s or for that matter, any shopping area that might be a fishing ground for thieves.  Once again it is the Christmas season and the low life bastards that prey on innocent people are active and more daring than usual).

—–Original Message—–
From: Maligayaman
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 11:58 AM
To: harrythehorseatharrythehorse.com
Subject: HOTEL RIP OFF

Harry,

I recently read about a hotel there (American hotel?) where armed gunmen walked in and basically robbed the hotel and 15 people in it?..What can you tell me about Red Tulip hotel? is it safe?  I went and looked at the rooms there back in September, big, new furnishings, LAN…..very nice bed….not bad for 1400 a night. But since it is off the beaten path, I am concerned for my safety since apparently they can walk into America Hotel and rob 15 people at gun point and get away with it?  What is that Mayor doing to protect tourists?  Seems like the tourist police is NOT the answer.

Thanks, John

Greetings John,

I think you do not have a good idea of the functions of the Tourist Auxiliary Police (TAP). If you think it is possible for a group of unarmed men, volunteers, whose main mission is to look after tourists in the entertainment zone can stop an armed robbery, then you need a reality check.

The America Hotel is not located in the fields Ave area, but further up Perimeter Road. Naturally, the robbery was planned by professionals and the staff plus tourists involved were not able to use their cell phones to alert the TAP. They could not do so until the robbery was over and then a call to the TAP was made and they responded with the local police.

It is fortunate that they were not notified until the robbery as the perps were heavily armed and for sure there would have been a hostage situation or possibly a gunfight in which civilians might have been killed. I checked with the police and found that this incident is still under investigation – gosh, why is that not a surprise.  Remind me in a couple of years and I will try to see if they are still investigating.

I have no idea where the Red Tulip Hotel is located. I have probably seen it and the name did not register with me. There is no reason why it should not be safe. You looked at it, you like it, you like the price so go for it.

I guess you will have to ask the Mayor himself what he is doing to protect tourists. I would say that he has done as much as any Mayor of any city to include the US. My goodness, you never have crime where you live? If so, do you run to the Mayor and ask what he is doing for you?

Lets see, so far this year he has changed the personnel of Station 4 (Fields Ave) three times to get rid of the crooked PNP and now we have a pretty honest and responsive team there. The TAP continues to do an excellent job of assisting tourists and assuring that Fields Ave is as safe as can be expected. Who the hell can predict the unexpected? The Mayor, just this last week closed the entertainment area to all vehicles and has made the entire area a walking zone only. Eventually, this will probably be shrunk to just Fields Ave itself.

Basically, if you behave sensibly while visiting here you will not have many problems. Just don’t worry so much, it will turn your hair gray. The women are still plentiful and very friendly and you have a higher percentage risk of being ripped off by some lady you take home when you are drunk than being in a hotel that might be robbed by 15 armed men. At the Red Tulip, maybe two would be sufficient. (Just kidding)! Have a good day.

I guess the annual Chile Cook Off will be here soon.  My goodness, a year sure does go quickly.  Anyway, I’m passing on this message from the Ocean Deep lads and hope that they achieve their goals.  Imagine, 12 hours underwater, hell, I spend 15 minutes in a bathtub and I wrinkle up like a prune.

“Harry,  Maybe you could put in a plug for us up here for our charity marathon during the chili cook off. Nov 25.

Comrades, Friends, and Business Associates;

Beginning at 0100 hours (Yep that’s early man) in the Bali Hai swimming pool (hope it is not cold!) on Nov. 18 th , (The Chili Cook-off day) Divers from Ocean Deep will attempt to break their previous record of 10 hours underwater on SCUBA and $945 for Charity. This year’s goals are 12 hours underwater and $1000 for Charity . All money collected and spent will be reported through the Community Projects Chairman of VFW Post 9892.

Anyone wishing to pledge per hour , donate any amount or throw it in the Bali Hai Pool to help us please JUST DO IT !  WE NEED YOUR HELP !! $400 has been collected/pledged to date!  Girls will be on site during the Chili Cook-Off to collect any amount you wish to contribute!!  A 10 minute break every 2 to 2.5 hours for tank changes and body fluid intake is allowed and outlet is most desired. Major sponsors so far are, Ocean Deep, Bali Hai, Southern Palms, Max Wilson, Paul Keef, Pete Brozowski, and Erik Sampson.  Staying underwater for 12 hours gives you a better perspective on what our POWs felt every day! Some of them for years. Tim Aukshun, 0921-268-7722   or pldt  072-8884440 Ocean Deep

Past Post 9892 and Past District VII Commander

Post 9892 Adjutant and Trustee One

“Ocean Deep, where divers meet” www.oceandeep.biz

I was talking to my old friend “Tick”, owner of the DMZ and he asked me to mention that he is looking for a partner to share ownership of his two small bars that are located in the Hensonville area (DMZ Anne).  As promised I am mentioning it and that is about all I can do for I did not have my pen and notebook to take any notes.  My suggestion, call Tick at 09182341414, tell him that Harry the Horse told you to call and “lets make a deal”. While we’re on a roll here, I received a reminder from Tick to let you know that the DMZ on Fields Ave is up for lease.  He is offering a 10 year contract for $150,000 key money.  Check it out.

Harry the Horse advisory – if you order Chile at Mo’s place, do not order the large bowl, stick with the small bowl.  The large one is only for those that can consume the enormous portion served in one sitting.  I gave up, I had to get a doggie bag for the half a bowl I could not finish.

Guess what, the Clark acting NBI Director Reyes has been transferred out to another Province and has been replaced by Director Attorney Rustico Vigilia.  Are further transfers of certain agents at that office imminent?  At the very least, maybe some of those that are a bit “slap happy” could be moved.

Guys, you have to stop by the Hole in the Wall for a bit of a feed and to check out some of the best looking waitresses in town.  They really have some cuties there and they are fun to talk to.  Now there might be a couple with attitude problems but in general, well, find out for yourself.  My problem is that I don’t get there all that often, usually when my pool team plays there.  My original idea in mentioning this Club was that I thoroughly enjoyed a great Friday lunch of breaded shrimp and it was so good that I did not pay attention to the price when I paid my bill.  Priscilla asked me how much the meal was and I had no idea because my bill included the drinks that I always buy for my players.  I was totally distracted by the four ladies that happened to be sitting at my table when the league game was over.  Now, I have forgotten their names but there was one that was particularly charming with her friendly smile and beautiful long hair and another lady that was tall, good figure, nice smile and still looked fantastic despite having four children to support.  Is there anyone reading this that likes children enough to court a good looking single Mom with four rug rats in tow.  Hey, instant tax deductions, go for it!  OK, enough already, by now you know I just had a very pleasant afternoon, despite my team getting their ass kicked by the home team.  It was so bad that my team allowed me to play in the last doubles match and I got a ball in on the break.  Of course I then proceeded to drop the bridge on my next shot and moved the ball I was shooting at, but they let me slide on that, after a bit of teasing, sank it and then thoroughly screwed up my next shot.  But, we did win that last game but I think it was because they were laughing so hard at this old horse trying to play.

Last month I reported the opening of the Raffles Hotel on Clark. A few days later I passed and noticed that the name had changed to the “Oxford” Hotel.  Seems that the original “Raffles” Hotel owners took offense that their name was being duplicated elsewhere.  That was the quickest name change I ever saw. No problem, the telephone numbers are the same.

Why in the world would the owner of “The Big Easy” want to change the name of his Club to the “Big Sleazy”?  Maybe he wants to make it to the top 10 NBI list of places they would like to raid.  A few days after I wrote this item I happened to be at Station 4 PNP station when I saw Steve, one of the partners of the Big Easy and found out why the name change came about.  It is one of those all to common problems that crops up when there are two or more partners running a Club.  In this case, Steve and one of his partners are at odds with each other.  I won’t bother with too many details but it is a bit of a mess.  Steve alleged that his partner was trying to steal the Club from under him and they were going through a process of one closing the Club, the other opening it again and then closed again.  There are two leases being debated and it is at the Barangay level for some very heated discussions.  I figure there might be a third name change, how about the “Big Stinky”.

I was informed that a new NBI Director has been appointed.  His name is Attorney Rustico Vigilia so let us hope that there will be a few positive changes within the offices of the Clark NBI.  Well, we can dream, can’t we?

Quite often in this town, for many of the men there is a strong woman behind him that in times of difficulties they charge on with amazing strength and determination.  Case in point in Lota, the wife of Neville Holland of Nifty’s and Club Rio fame.  As many know Neville has had a few questionable legal problems recently that has caused him to give wife Lota the responsibilities of running their business interests on a day to day basis.  Despite extreme pressures she has managed to not only keep the Jolly Frog running on Friendship Highway but has also overseen the opening of two additional clubs on either side of the Jolly Frog.  I am talking about the Grand Prix Sports Bar and also the small intimate “Luscious” Club.  The Sports bar features only one small TV at one end of the bar so no doubt sports might be the theme of the club but, possibly, not the sports you would watch on TV.  It opens at 10 AM to midnight and local drinks at a reasonable P50 and ladies drinks at P100, food is also available.  I kind of liked the layout of the “Luscious” bar as it had a kind of coziness about it that with the addition of a few sexy waitresses could make one feel downright comfortable.  I was surprised to see that I could visit all three clubs without going outside but it did involve a bit of a maze to get through.  Take out orders are at a reasonable P1,000 and there are a couple of rooms available for quiet conversations away from the loud music for only P700.  Getting these Clubs open and also keeping Nifty’s and Club Rio going at the same time has not been easy for this lady and she has had to borrow money to stay afloat but is paying off the loans out of the daily income.  She is determined to keep the businesses up and running during this time that Neville cannot assist and I had the distinct impression that she will do OK.

Many locals were surprised at the sudden closure of the popular Limited Edition Club and the question was why?  Well, I have heard that it was the easiest way to straighten out some administrative and employee problems and also a desire to bring new life to the place.  The good news is that all objectives have been met and that on 17 Nov it will reopen under the name of “Fire and Ice”.  It appears that owners lately are digging deep into the barrel to dig out unique names.  Does this mean that some to the ladies will be hot and others as cold as ice?  One thing is for sure, this Horse with bad knees will once again, have to fight those stairs and hope that I will be greeted by some lovelies that can put some heat in my knees.  OK already, I am getting old and at times my knees are more important than other items of my anatomy.  Note the opening date – 17 Nov.

Dave White of Hang-Out fame is no longer with us. Wait, don’t worry, he did not die he just left the country.  Some folks were finally able to get his broken down bow legged ass on a plane to New Zealand where no doubt he probably drank up all the booze and terrified his fellow passengers.  I wonder if New Zealand knows what they are in for with this repatriation of one of their native sons?  Amy, of course, did not accompany Dave and she now has the complete freedom to pursue more of her special interests.  The Hang-Out remains a popular watering hole ably run now by big John and Mac the Gentleman.  By the way, those hundreds of Hang-out free drink cards that are floating around, well, trash them, they are no longer recognized.  I kept a few as a souvenir.  I heard a rumor that the “All Blacks” will adopt Davey as a team mascot and will lead them in that routine they use before each game – keep your eyes on the TV the next time they play!

MOPERY – While sitting at Mo’s place someone asked what this word meant because he had read somewhere that it was a legal term.  By golly, after researching it on the Wikipedia we found that it is a vague and obscure legal term, used in certain jurisdictions to mean “walking down the street with no clear destination or purpose”.  In 1970, in Columbus, Ohio, Mopery was used by police to harass counterculture “hippies” who were regarded as unsavory.  It has also been identified as an old English misdemeanor of exposing oneself in front of a blind man on a public highway.  Of course, now, this old Horse is concerned because when the local police and the NBI run out of charges to extort money from foreigners they might dig out this old vague law.  Imagine how many lads tend to walk down Fields Ave after a few drinks with no clear destination in mind and no purpose other than to search out a good looking lady.  Take warning though, if you stop to take a piss, make sure there are no blind folks nearby!

TAPS

1. I am very sad to report the passing of Hans , the manager of Angels.  I have known Hans for a number of years and always enjoyed his company.  He had many different jobs during his stay in Angeles City and I took this picture of him last May, shortly after he started what was to be his last job in “Fun City”.  His passing was a shock to one and all especially since it was so sudden and unexpected.  Every time I write up one of these notices I stop for a minute or two, look out the window, and thank God that I have been granted another day to be with my mates and family.  Guess it is time to head out for another beer at Honey Ko’s and raise a glass to the memory of Hans – “cheers Mate”.

2.  He was known on the message board as “Vegas Gary” and his many friends in town were surprised to learn of his death on the morning of 23 Oct.  Gary Wiley, over the last few years had a few medical problems and he was struggling with a bad liver.  The doctors told him that if he did not quit drinking that he would not make it to old age.  This time when he fell ill and his girlfriend, Ann, tried to get him to go to a doctor he refused to go.  When she asked for an ambulance, upon its arrival Gary refused to go.  Maybe he just didn’t feel like fighting it anymore.  Gary was only in his forties and should have stayed with us a lot longer than he did but a liver can take only so much abuse before it calls it quits.  Sadly, like so many expats that come to this town with big dreams, when sickness or death occurs, a fund raiser is necessary to meet expenses.  Guys, plan ahead, build up that bank account while you can and don’t leave a wife or girlfriend not knowing where her next meal is coming from.  Gary, I’ll raise a glass of liquid in your memory but this time I think I will settle for a glass of V8 Juice.

I WOULD IF I COULD

Absolutely, without a doubt, you better believe, in this case, I definitely would.  But, being true to Priscilla the Horse all I can do is point you in the right direction with no hands on experience at all.  As temptation rears its ugly face in front of me those of you lucky enough to get to Mo’s Kokonutz Sports Bar can take the time to look up Liezel, 21 years old who sports a 38B bra size, and does not have a boyfriend.  I guess I should start asking how many “friends” a week visit her but who cares.  If she was to get serious over someone she prefers those in the 40 to 42 age zone and he must have a good job as well as having an understanding and caring personality.  In other words, someone with lots of bucks who will cater to her every needs.  She likes playing billiards, singing and dancing.  She hails from Leyte and is a High School graduate and believe me, this lady is not shy.  She told me that John Bee from Go2Phil has taken many photographs of her and his photos are usually more revealing than mine so this is a reason to join that membership site.  Oh, her Email address is sweetygirl20020@yahoo.com and I suspect that this address will be getting a bit busy or should I say “busier”!

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

There were two brothers from Grechen, Switzerland who energetically agreed with me on my choice of Liezel for this month’s girl of the month.  Kurt has been here three times already but this was the first time for Bruno and he has not stopped smiling since hitting AC.  They are staying at the Hana Hotel and kind of like the idea of Fields Ave being closed to traffic.  They indicated that it was nice not to have to worry about being hit by a car, having their wallets snatched and can also sit outside on the street.  To be honest though, they felt that it would be better if they waited until 6 PM to close the streets.  I forgot to get their last names because I was just as distracted as they were.  I think it was Bruno that was teasing one girl and she yelled out, “Don’t touch my pussy” so naturally, every time I see her I call her “don’t touch my pussy” unless, of course, I run into her at Johnny’s or the SM Mall.

MERCEDES HOSPITAL

When a horse gets old it becomes harder and harder to stay out of hospitals as new aches, pains and various health problems increase.  This year it seems that both my feet have decided to swell up on me and stay that way and I figured it was time to find out why.  When I asked a doctor about it in the States he told me to wear support stockings all the time.  I bought a pair and, well, I don’t like them.  First, they are a pain in the ass to put on and I need help to do so.  Secondly, I like to wear shorts in this climate and they are embarrassing to wear.  Naturally, I chose not to wear them and of course, my legs tend to tire quickly, my feet stay swollen and who the hell knows what will come next.  So, along with my bad eyesight, arthritic knees and back and also my Hiatal Hernia (stomach pushes into one’s chest) my feet decide to mess with me.  Now, what does all this have to do with Mercedes Hospital?  As I have reported before, the American military retirees had lost their Tri-care medical insurance for a while after the problems with Health Visions and Cybercare and a few other facilities but during this year various medical facilities have initiated plans approved by Tri-care but I was never able to decide which one to go to.  Hospitals such as Dee Hwa Liong, Mercedes, St. Catherines and Mt. Carmel have come on line offering Tri-care services.  I could not decide which one to use but as fate would have it, I did go to a doctor I knew and he recommended Mercedes Hospital for the doctors and tests I needed.

When the Mrs and I entered the Hospital I thought I was back in CyberCare as the two receptionists on duty were the two charming ladies that used to greet everybody at CyberCare.  As I looked around the waiting area I even saw many of the patients that used to be seen at CyberCare, it was like old home week.  It was when I was finally ushered in to see the primary care doctor to discuss my swollen feet that I began to feel like the visiting golden goose bringing the gift of a TriCare patient.  You see, as I gave my history of all my other ailments that I mentioned in the preceding paragraph he started to rattle off all the tests that I should have to bring my medical review up to date.  I ended up being admitted for an overnight stay to undergo a endoscope procedure to check out my problem with the Hiatal Hernia.  I agreed to that because, really, it was something I had

been putting off anyway.  Of course I had to have a heart test and all those blood tests and X-rays as well.  Everybody was smiling and very polite. The service was excellent.  The overnight stay was necessary so that they could administer all that stuff you have to drink to clear out your stomach plus the pills.  I did not mind too much because I wanted to see how efficient the hospital was and check out the rooms.  I wrote up a list of suggestions for improvements which were:  1)  Seal the wall between the rooms where the wall meets the window.  There is a space between the two rooms that allows you to hear everything being said in the adjacent room.  2)  Place the TV up on the wall with the cable box exposed as well.  They had it on a small table in front of the bed and the cable box was hidden from view of any patient lying in the bed.  Kind of makes it difficult to change channels if you can’t see the cable box.  3)  Make sure the toilets are functional.  After the stuff I drank started to take effect and I tried to flush the toilet I found that it did not have any water in the tank.  So here I was, bad back, bad knee, filling up the bucket and dumping the water in the bowl to flush it.  Fortunately the maintenance people fixed that right away.  If they hadn’t I sure would have been in deep shit!  4)  My goodness, it is a hospital, put some hand rails on the wall in front of the toilet and in the shower so old men like me will not slip and fall. 5)  The water pressure could have been better.  6)  I would feel more secure if the duty nurses stayed awake at night.  I went out to the hallway at 0300 to ask a question and no one was at the nurses station.  I checked the room next to the station that had around 5 beds and there were three warm bodies snoring away in blissful sleep.  I figured that they could have taken turns and left one individual at the desk.

Now, all in all it was not all that bad.  The Hospital was taken over by a new owner and I could see many improvements from when it was known as Pamana.  There is still room for more improvements but I am sure that renovations are ongoing and that within a year there will be many improvements.  In any case, I had the procedure the next morning and all went well and even a bone doctor came to visit me and discussed my knees.  He wanted to admit me overnight for some injections to my right knee that I had read about in some medical notices.  It was too late for my right knee but he figured it would help to replace needed liquid in my right knee.  The only problem with this is that the procedure has to be repeated every six months of so to be effective.  I decided to wait a bit longer.  There was only one problem now, I had all these tests, X-rays, heart check-up, hernia test but did not get anything done about my feet.  That was a separate test that had to be done at a diagnostic clinic later in the week.  Had that done and now, two weeks later am still waiting to see the doctor who can tell me about that test.  OK, long story, but the main thing is that Mercedes Hospital is OK, it needs a bit of work but the medical care appears to be professional and competent.  I was not asked for any money up front and Jim Boyd assured me that they are complying with TriCare procedures and they are not as expensive as AUF.  I would not hesitate to return there for further medical treatment.

FIELDS AVE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC

One afternoon in late September the Mayor called a meeting of a few key personnel and informed them that he had been directed by “Higher Authority” to close Fields Ave and some of the connecting streets to all motorized vehicles.  At four PM City Director PSSupt Segubre, Station four Commander Major Magune and key Angeles Clarkfield Tourist Association (ACTA) members met at the Tourist Police office on Fields Ave to develop a short notice action plan.  Within two hours barriers had been placed at key locations and all traffic was barred from entering a portion of the entertainment area.  In the 25 years that this horse has been plying the streets of Fields Ave this is the first time for me to experience such a closure.  As of 26 November the closure is still in effect though a few streets have been opened to traffic.  There are many questions from the local business owners who are adversely affected by the closure as to why was the closure necessary and how long will it be in effect.  Prior to the closure approval for a one way traffic scheme had been approved by the Balibago City Council along with certain “no parking areas” and was to be implemented by the end of September.  Internationally approved signs had been made at a budget of P86,000 which was contributed by three local expats who realized that the ACTA did not have enough funds to finance the project.  With the closure, this one way system is now on hold.  Some of the concerns of the locals is that there is not enough parking lots available outside of the zone, their income has dropped anywhere from 30 to 50 percent, and hotel guests have great difficulty in checking into hotels as they have to walk long distances with their luggage in tow.  Many are unhappy with the no notice closure and also the lack of information explaining what threat may be out there, if any.

This horse has spoken to many of the tourists that frequent Fields Ave and they like the idea of the “walking street” and not having to worry about tricycles and cars running them down as they walk from bar to bar.  Some feel that it would be better to close the streets at 6 or 7 PM rather than 24 hours a day.  After three weeks the patience of some businessmen, i.e., Mo at Mo’s place is running out as much of his business at his restaurant depended on locals that drive their scooters and motorcycles up to his entrance and park.  One thing to know is that there has always been a plan to eventually create a walking street within a portion of Fields Ave starting from around 6 PM to maybe 5 AM but no action was taken because the problem of parking and getting guests to their hotels had not been resolved.  Instead, it was felt that the one way system was a more viable solution to the traffic congestion and was worth a try.  Possibly with this closure that has been directed by “higher authority” some valuable lessons can be learned and can be put to good use in the future.  Meanwhile, please realize that this closure is not ACTA initiated and that the Tourist Auxiliary Police (TAP) are only supplementing the PNP and RMG teams because of their shortage of personnel.

After I wrote this the ACTA organized a “Town Hall” meeting on Thursday, 26 Oct that took place in front of Mo’s Place, corner of A. Santos Street and Fields Ave.  It was attended by local businessmen, and various organizations such as the Tricycle drivers, the vendors group, and the LACEM.  The meeting was scheduled for 2 PM  and was to be attended by Col Segubre, City Director, Mayor Lazatin and Secretary Diaz.  To no one’s surprise, by 2:30 there was no Mayor and no Secretary Diaz but ACTA President Rey Pineda and ACTA legal counsel Marlon Llauder were able to stand in as we all waited for our special guests.  Regretfully, it took until after 3 PM before we could welcome the guests that the people were waiting to hear from and to ask questions of them.  By that time, at least 25% of the audience had left but despite this a dialogue followed between those in attendance and the Mayor and later with Sec Diaz.  The question that many have asked me is did this meeting accomplish anything?  I would say yes and no!  It would have been better if the Mayor had been able to spare more time but then he was in an important meeting with CDC personnel and could not break away and Sect Diaz was waiting for the Mayor to arrive since the main purpose of the meeting was for the Mayor to interact with the people that were affected by the closure of Fields Ave to vehicles.  But, the fact that he did show up and fielded questions showed people that he was concerned and wanted to reach out to explain what caused him to take the actions necessary to comply with security concerns.  When he left after 30 minutes Sect Diaz was able to answer pertinent questions as well.  The

disappointment, to me, was that the many foreign businessmen who had been voicing complaints and asking questions since the beginning of the closure did not bother to ask their questions or to voice their complaints.  They were silent and many were not able to wait for the arrival of the Mayor because of business appointments.  Only one, Dave Fisher, was able to very diplomatically, voice a few concerns and receive answers to his queries.  One positive outcome was that it was decided to form a committee headed up by Dave to include Attorney Llauder, Jimmy D, Cel Paran and a few others to meet and prepare a point paper outlining recommendations for consideration by the Mayor that could alleviate the present difficulties being encountered by the local businessmen and residents.

It was made clear to the people that it was not the TAP responsible for the closures and that they were only supplementing the PNP who are ultimately responsible for manning the various barriers that have been set up.  The Mayor emphasized that the present restrictions would continue and that there were to be no exceptions

made for those who were trying to use various excuses to drive past the barriers.  This is the first time that such a “town hall” style meeting was attempted in this venue and it was not perfect but it was not a failure.  At the very least it gave a lot of people something to talk about, both pro and con and hopefully, the newly formed committee will be able to come up with acceptable suggestions that may help the situation.  We can’t promise anything but we can sure as hell give it one damn good effort.

DEAD MAN’S CURVE?

ok, the title might be a bit of a dramatic exaggeration but when using the Friendship Bridge use due care when entering or exiting at the Northbound end because of the 30 degree curve in the road.  It is wonderful to have the bridge completed and it is so great to drive on it.  But, there has already been one head on collision there and a careless driver, or one that has had one too many drinks can turn this slight curve into a nightmare scenario.  So slow down at the curve, use due care and stay safe, the life you save may be your own.

YATS WELCOMES LEVY LAUS

This Horse always welcomes any opportunity to visit the Yats International Wine Club.  Why is that?  Because it is such a damn nice place, high class, a bit expensive and usually frequented by customers belonging to an economic structure that I am not used to being around.  It is like in many years past when a peasant gets to visit the Kings palace and is humbled by the visit.  Now, a horse from New York has no class at all but humble, no way.  So I welcomed the very nice invitation I received from the dynamic man in charge, Philip Golding, that allowed me to venture into a cocktail reception for the newly installed president and chief executive officer of Clark Development Corporation, Levy P. Laus.  Of course, I had camera in hand (ok already, my invitation said “reporter” so it was a working visit) and was able to mingle with the crowd that had gathered.  I tried to find someone that did not mind talking to a New York Horse with a camera and after desperately searching I gratefully latched on to Pat Lynch.  We chatted for an hour and as usual Pat filled me with many bits of information that was always preceded with the words “off the record” but will let me know when I can “break the story”.  I was also able to say hello to Tony Biggs, GM of Fontana, Michael Wilson, GM of Holiday Inn, Philip Golding and dynamic chef, Jorge.  That was it, everyone else ignored me, must have been the horse smell.

To be honest, it was a first class event indicative of the professionalism always displayed by the Yats management and staff.  When the time came to introduce Mr. Laus, attention was focused on the words of Mr. Denny Wang who made this reception possible.  Mr. Wang is the guiding light behind the Yats International Wine Club and the Clearwater Country Club and what a fine, distinguished gentleman he is.  Naturally, the highlights of the event were meeting Mr. Laus (eh, everyone except me and the other reporter) and hearing his words as he described his plans for the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ).  It was great, I believed everything he said, I wanted to jump up in front, shake his hand, and tell him I volunteer to be on his team, sign me up now.  But, I maintained my cool and just took some pictures because, after all, he never mentioned anything about horseback riding.  After the speeches, I drank another glass of champagne, grabbed some more of the superb snacks and made an uneventful exit knowing that no one there would notice my absence.  I have framed my invitation and can’t wait for another excuse to visit Yats, but Philip, do not serve champagne again, I nearly developed a taste for it and that is way out of my class.  Anyone for a rum and coke?

BROWN SUGAR

I always like it when I can give a deserving Club a bit of a plug.  That is why I always ask my Tourist of the Month where they are staying and which is their favorite Club in town.  This time I had to meet a friend of mine at the Brown Sugar and after entering I realized that it had been a long time since my last visit.  Immediately though, I remembered that I enjoyed my last visit and that I was sitting there enjoying myself again.  At the rear of the Club, where the bar is, I noticed a bunch of lads all wearing the same shirts and having a good time.  In fact, one of them was acting as the DJ and singing a few songs as well.  Investigation revealed that they were enjoying a stag night for a lad about to lose his freedom the next day.  Now, you have to understand that I had no reason to take a picture of these guys other than they all had the same shirts on and I happened to be at the Brown Sugar with my camera.  Also, I figured, what the hell, it is the end of Sep, I finished my Oct column, this is meat for my Nov issue.  But, the other problem is that I took the picture so long ago that I forgot why the hell I took the picture in the first place.  I do remember that one of them insisted that I mention that some guy named Andrew Sponagle is some hockey player from Canada.  Hell, I’m not even sure I spelled his name right and how many people know this name?  I never watch hockey because I can never keep up with

the damn puck that they knock all over the place.  On top of all this I had a hell of a time getting them to get together for a picture because the groom was on the stage dancing with the ladies and did not want to come down.  Could I blame him??  His question, who the hell is this Harry the Horse and why should I stop dancing seemed apropos for the moment.  Anyway I got the pictures and they were a mixed lot coming from Manila, Hong Kong, Thailand, England and Canada.  No doubt I will never see them again but I will drop by the Brown Sugar again and let Jay, the manager know that I at least did remember his name.  Well, I lie, the only reason I remember is because I did manage to write it down in my notes.

GIVE ME FIVE!

I was busy upstairs working on my computer, trying to get this column done.  Then I was told that five people were waiting to talk to me in the outside bar.  Wow, FIVE customers at the Blue Boar Inn at one time.  I jumped up hobbled down the stairs and gleefully greeted five good natured lads from Melbourne, Australia.  They introduced themselves as Sam, Jim, Bill, Rob and Russell and for a while, they made me forget about my computer.  I forgot what Hotel they are staying at  (wait, I remember now, the Premier) but I did remember to ask them which bar was their favorite hangout and in one voice they shouted “Dr. Holm’s Bar!”  This was a coincidence since only a few days earlier I had paid my first visit to that location and will be writing about it in this month’s column.  I also found out that Bill, the bald lad on the far right is a dancer in training.  I was shown pictures of him performing in a bikini and bra on stage at a local club and even obtained a P100 tip.  Bill wanted to let you know he can be hired for special events.  I wonder how he would fit in at Honey Ko’s?  Thanks guys, hope you stop by for another visit.

THE ANGELES BEACH CLUB HOTEL (ABC)

It will be beautiful, exciting and different.  What can be more unique than to offer two special suites, one for $300 a night and the other for $500.  I would never be able to afford such luxury but all I ask is that I get to visit that $500 dollar room and take some pictures.  I was told that if no one rents it then Gerard will keep it for himself.  You better believe that it will be luxurious with some neat gadgets thrown in.  I was surprised to be told that the ABC will be open for business on 17 Nov.  The price of rooms are $99 for the standard and $120 for a standard suite with a Jacuzzi bath and also a separate shower enclosure.  All prices are inclusive of breakfast as well.  The “beach” area will be fantastic and the rock formations at the end of the pool with its waterfall effect will no doubt become a Kodak moment for many visitors and tourists whether they stay there or not.  There will be a very nice restaurant available and also a coffee shop but an unusual feature will be the availability of fresh fish, a wine chiller under the stairs, and cold cuts displayed in a glass case.  The Dutch cook is from Holland and manager Andre is on hand to keep everything running smoothly.  Upstairs will feature a spa and restaurant/bar where one can avail of a body and foot massage.  Above that will be a gym and sun terrace.  At poolside thee will be guest lockers, showers and bathrooms.  For further details you can accesswww.angelesbeachclubhotel.com .  This Hotel is the latest addition to the exciting growth of night clubs and hotels along Don Juico Ave (Perimeter Road) and it brings a touch of class that for many years has been the step child of Fields Ave.  This growth will continue as I see that the Field next to the Mormon church is now undergoing clearing and preparation for a construction project. Within five years the area from Checkpoint to Friendship will be on an equal footing with Fields Ave as a tourist destination.  Another thing you can bank on, Gerard is not finished yet, this man still has more surprises up his sleeve as he plans projects 10 years in advance.  He will quietly buy up some key properties and patiently wait for the right time to develop something that is bigger and better than his last creation.  The man is a genius and Angeles City is lucky to have him on board along with his nephew, Karel Heinan who is also an astute businessman.  After the ABC Hotel can you imagine what the planned hotel for the end of Fields Ave and MacArthur will look like?

WHAT’S NEXT?

Another change of scenery on A. Santos St. as the Orchid Inn boys shuttered three bars that have a bit of history on the street.  Right now there are no definite plans for what to do with these buildings but there will be a bit of an expense to renovate them.  From what I hear the investors are not ready undertake any big project for at least another year or so.  But, maybe renovations will be made to create one large Club but it would be hard to find someone that would want to go in there for only one year, without a lease. At one time, Honky Tonk owner, Ken Edwards had the desire to work a deal to use these properties and expand his Club.  I do not know if this is still on the drawing board but I think his two ex-neighbors would not be happy campers to see him there and Ken might be a bit apprehensive.  But, this is all speculation and the only definite fact is that three more watering holes with those intimate conversation rooms have been dramatically reduced.  Thank goodness there are a few hold-outs that have not sold their properties to the big guys and a bit of the old character of this street still survives.

HEEEEEEEEEEES BACK

Harro the Great is back!  Ok already, he never left but I could not resist the opening once I thought of it.  Actually, for the 121st time since arriving in Angeles City Harro is has moved to another bar to lend his unique talents.  Once again, it is a brand new bar of which Harro wants EVERYONE to know that he is strictly the manager and operator of.  I guess this means that he did not put any of his own money into the venture but plans to make tons of pesos for the owner, Neil who, last year, was named the captain of the Balmain Team of the century.  God, will someone tell me if this makes him famous or not because I have no idea what all that means.  No doubt Harro will take the time to explain all that in detail.  Anyway, the “Lost in Asia Ago-go Club is up and running on Don Juico Ave at the location that used to house the Blue K bar.  This means that there is plenty of parking space and also, as I mentioned already, is another bar that has decided that more and more tourists and locals are heading up the Perimeter Road looking for that less expensive and quite often, more exciting entertainment.  Now, Harro is the man of a million ideas and when you enter one of his establishments be prepared to receive his special brand of VIP attention.  He can spin stories non-stop and can fill you in on the history of the entertainment area.  He is a master of promotions, one of which is that any Go2Phil member

will, once identified, receive a 25% discount card good for ALL goods AND “services” – but the card will expire on 31 December 06 so you have two months to enjoy that benefit.  After 31 Dec anyone who spends P2,000 in the bar will get a 20% discount and this will be automatic for Go2Phil members.  Local drinks are only P55, ladies drinks P110 and those take-out goodies only P1,100.  Next month I will display a picture of the mirror that displays the names of those who rang the bell and I am proud to say that Harry the Horse is the first name on the list.  There is a bit of a story behind that as I did actually ring the bell at the previous bar that Harro had on Perimeter Road.  I arrived early for his opening and was the only customer there and of course, not that many ladies up and dancing.  I told Harro that I had never rang the bell at any bar in AC but would do so if I would be the first name on the bell ringer list and if he promised to keep the bar open for at least one whole year.  Regretfully, the bar closed well short of that one year and I was so disappointed to see my one shot of history disappear.  So, Harro, being a kind hearted old sod, out of sentimentality informed me that Harry the Horse would return as the first name of the Lost in Asia Bell Ringer list.  I was so touched that it nearly brought tears to my eyes so everyone, get your asses over to see Harro, spend lots of money and try to keep this exciting new Club open for more than a year.

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

The name of the bar is “Dr. Holm’s Bar” and the man holding that name is usually on hand to chat with his customers.  I finally had the time to stop by and see what the place was like and I must say that it is a pleasant mid-size establishment that affords a great view of the street, has lots of available parking, a long bar, plenty of seating and not too loud music.  The owner told me that the name came from Norway and he liked the uniqueness of it.  I think it works along with the reasonable prices for drink and food.  Operating hours are from 1000 – 0200 hours, happy hour prices at P40 and normal price of local drinks P50.  EWR at P1,000 and a short menu is available for P800.  Breakfast and lunch menu awaits you but for evening time snacks are served.  At random times finger foods are served at the bar and the man in charge used to be the owner of the Gentlemen’s Club.  Have you guessed by now that I forgot his name and it ain’t Dr. Holms but screw it, I will just call him “Doc” until I get back there and find out his proper name.

LOOKING FOR JUSTICE

Remember the three Mamasans and the head waitress from Angel Witch who were picked up and arrested by the NBI under very questionable circumstances in Sept?  Well, they are still being held in the stinking, dirty, overcrowded City Jail without bail.  Hopefully, by the time this column is out on the internet they will have been released but damn, what a long, process it has been.  The Angeles Clarkfield Tourist Association (ACTA) lawyer, Marlon Llauder has been working every day for the last month to gain their release.  There is no longer a case against them as the three ladies that were forced by NBI agents to sign false statements have recanted those affadavits.  The problem is that initially, the judge who committed the ladies to jail went on vacation and we had to wait 15 days for her return.  Then, finally, upon her return a court hearing was held and then a second one was scheduled two days later in which the responsible NBI agents were ordered to appear.  On that day, at least 70 members of LACEM, led by Cel Paran showed up at the Court House to show support for the Mamasans and to protest the actions of the NBI.  Surprise, surprise, the NBI agents failed to show up for the hearing.  Maybe they did not want to face 70 angry ladies that they could not slap around.  In any case, Attorney Llauder has submitted the necessary paperwork for dismissal of charges to the court but then a bunch of special holidays came up and further delays have been encountered.  Due process of law is nice but the system is so very slow and frustrating and these ladies have been forced to live in horrid conditions for nearly two months now.  As much as possible the victims have been looked after and much thanks goes out to Mo, from Mo’s place who has made sure that they continue to receive their full pay and allowances, as well as food, mattresses, blankets and other sundry items during their incarceration.  Cel and the LACEM ladies are angry and there are far more than the 70 ladies that showed up at the courthouse who are looking for justice for some of their own.  It has taken a long time, but maybe this time the justice they seek will have been served thanks to Attorney Llauder and others that have been working behind the scenes to get these women released.

This has been one hell of a busy month for me.  The closure of Fields Ave to traffic has kept me jumping around trying to work with the PNP and the Mayor.  Now, the Mayor has asked me to organize a street party on Fields Ave to be held in November.  The first thing I did was call on Mo for assistance and he is going all out to organize a fun event.  I could not accomplish this task without his help.  The Mayor knows that this is a difficult time but he wants the folks to feel comfortable with Fields Ave and to be able to enjoy one festive evening.
The renovations to the Blue Boar Inn are nearly complete and the pool team will be able to have their home games back by mid-November.  There is a covered deck area above the bar that will have four dart boards available for play but it is open on the sides so it is not an air-conditioned play area.  The pool table has been recovered, new rubber rails installed, and leveled as much as possible.  It will never be good enough for Tony Powell but should be better than before the renovation.
The next Knights of the Brown Ring (AH) Club will be held on 6 Jan to kick off the New Year.  It should be a fun event with the return of the Stampede ladies.
The renovations of the Hotel La Casa have been completed and we have grown from six to eight rooms but our price remains at a very reasonable P700 a night with monthly rates available.
Well, me and my swollen feet are out of here.  It won’t be too long before I have to do my appearances as Santa again and raise funds/goodies for my annual visit to two hospitals on Christmas Eve and also have our Christmas party at the farm for around 100 indigent children and their families.  My goodness, I am getting tired just thinking about it.  Hey, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, time for all turkeys to go into hiding.  Good thing they don’t eat horses – Remember, be kind to horses.

 
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February 2007

Posted by admin on January 12, 2011 in 2007 Monthly Newsletters

February 2007

The  depicted here is NOT Priscilla the Horse though I must say Mrs Horse is so perfect that she should have that halo over her head.  Yep, Valentines Day is coming up again so check out your lady and figure out some treats to give her.

In my January column I intended to say “Thanks” to some great people that supported my annual Christmas Charity project but I missed my own deadline.  So, this month I must acknowledge the following personnel:  Damien (Honey Ko’s), Cliff Wilsey (VFW), Karel Heinen (PhilDutch Trading Corp.), Dave Marr (Philippine-Sundt), Tony Powers (VFW), David McLare, Chris Walsh, Tom Britt, Marine Steve, Larry and Amy Snyder, Dennis (HTH reader), Mark Smith and  of the Clark Centennial Rotary,  of the Angeles City Hash House Harriers, Nick Sicat (Food  Program), and the customers of the Blue Boar Inn that threw some coins and paper into my collection jar.  Thanks to the wonderful support I received Mrs. Horse and I were able to reach out to moreindigents and our Christmas Eve hospital visit brought smiles to some sick people.

It still bothers me as I recall reaching out to one wife whose husband was lying sick from a stroke and also one son of a father who was tending to his father who also had a stroke.  There are times when a patient or a helper sheds tears when Santa visits and those instances stay with me and as my family and relatives gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve last year, the image of those stroke victims stayed with me.  I could only hope that by the time the New Year came that they would be better but my own good health was appreciated much more than had I not visited those hospitals.  My eight year old son was with me and as we greeted some very sick children I could only hope that he would appreciate this Christmas as much as I.

Life is precious and so are the  we are married to who put up with our moods, drinking, bad times and good times as well as our barhopping adventures so to those ladies I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day to include, of course, Priscilla the Horse.

Rick's Cafe Valentine Gifts

That’s right folks, it is that time of the year again.  I am sure there are a few lads out there thinking of your favorite gal over here in the Philippines and you are wondering how to send her something special without a lot of fuss.  Well, Rick to the rescue.  He has been providing this service for years so just on his banner ad and follow his instructions.  Your lady will be so surprised and grateful that you will be overwhelmed with her affection when you return to this town of fun and games.

TIDBITS

The monthly Knights of the Brown Ring (AH Club) will not take place in Feb.  The management of the Blue Boar Inn, because of the Classroom II debacle have decided to put future meetings on hold.  The climate just ain’t right folks, I’m sure you understand. By the way, it is strongly suspected that an expat in town who used to have a Club just off Fields Ave facilitated the entry of the CIDG agents into the Classroom II.  If true, that is very sad.

More often lately you will see more PNP checkpoints on Perimeter Road and other locations. I overheard one foreigner referring to the police as “assholes” because they were stopping two wheel motorized vehicles.  In actuality, these were policemen from Station 4 just off of Fields Ave and they were manning the checkpoints for the protection of all citizens including foreigners.  The reason they were in front of Bretto’s is because there have been four snatchings in that area of late and each of the incidents had foreigners as victims.  One American asked that a checkpoint be established there to try and put a stop to the robberies.  These are PNP, not traffic policemen or LTO personnel.  In fact, they are putting themselves in danger because of the stupid COMELEC law that requires ALL policemen to apply for an exemption to the gun ban during the four month period leading up to the May elections.  Imagine, the police have no guns but no doubt some of the thieves they are trying to catch do.  So, respect these guys and bear with them, they are just trying to do their job.

DART TOURNAMENT – The Hotel La Casa/Blue Boar Inn will host its first monthly Open Dart Tournament on Saturday, 24 Feb, with registration from 6-7 PM, competition to begin at 7:30 PM.  The format will be blind draw doubles, 501 and cricket to 12, double elimination.  Entry fee is P500, P400 back out in prize money for the top three placers.  The first local drink is on the house.  First team out will get a free hamburger each.  There will be small trophies for the first and second place teams.  This is an excellent venue for darts as four dart boards are available for play.  With the blind draw format everyone has the chance to be competitive.  Two class A players will not be allowed to play together in order to even the playing field.  Lets bring darts back to Angeles City, all dart players are welcome, men, women, expats, locals, tourists, etc.  Grab those arrows and let the games begin!

Mr. Paul Willis, is it true that Villa Modesto has been sold?  Just curious because someone told me it had been.  Update:  I was able to see Paul on Fields Ave and enquired about this rumor and he emphatically informed me that it was not true.

The infamous Tony “Gambino” has been seen around the Fields Ave bar scene, allegedly trying to keep a “low profile”.  He is really succeeding as I have received Emails from six different people reporting “Tony” sightings.  I hear he will be here for only one week before he disappears again so anyone wanting to have a conversation with Tony better hurry.  Since I wrote this two weeks ago you might be too late by now.

Mo, will you be having a farewell blast after you sell Mo’s Place, your bars and head out for the Barrio?

Dear Harry, (A bit of good news from my roving lawn bowls reporter who I do not pay.  Those lawn bowls ladies are dynamic and you can see them practicing at the Angeles City Sports and Country Club when not traveling.)
Thought you might want to know that those Philippine Lady Bowlers are at it again……this time in Christchurch, New Zealand! No medals this time but a valiant effort and they’ve qualified for next year’s world championships at the same venue. Not bad considering that Philippines has about 20 lady bowlers and New Zealand have upwards of 20,000! Regards, Hugh McDaid

I would like to greet the active duty lads and civilian contractors who are stationed at Ganci AB in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan, a place I have never heard of until recently. This base was named after a fireman that died in the 9/11 tragedy and it is right outside of a small village named Manasab which has the International Airport there that the USAF shares hence the natives refer to Ganci AB as Manas AB.  I have been told that the US was paying two million dollars a year to lease the base but recently, it was approved to increase the rental lease to 200 million dollars a year.  It seems that the local guy in charge demanded that increase in rental or the US could leave the country.  Boy, how many walls could we build or how many border guards could we hire to protect our US borders for that kind of money.  The base is referred to as the “Gateway to Enduring Freedom” and is the R&R base for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and it also has an aircraft refueling mission.  The local women there are a mixed Chinese and Russian which makes for an interesting experience.  By the way, this is one of those places where some US Companies, like Sprint, make a killing on lucrative contracts that pay big bucks.

I guess that one of the lessons learned quickly by the ABC Hotel was that it is not a good idea to charge P4,000 for a New Years Eve event.  There are a lot of new things happening in Angeles City but generally speaking many folks are not ready to spend P4,000 just for dinner and a few fireworks.  There are just too many alternatives at more reasonable prices.  I am sure that there was no intention to “rip off” any customers and no doubt management thought it was a good idea.  The fact that the event had to be cancelled can be marked up to “a lesson learned” and time to head back to the drawing board.  Any new establishment goes through some growing pains and yes, some can be more painful than others. There have been stories floating around that the ABC Hotel is not doing well and that there is a downsizing going on, some conflicts, etc.  Not so says Gerard!  Adjustments yes, especially in the restaurant where there were too many employees and the operation had to be streamlined.  Gerard is a very experienced businessman and when asked about the $99 cost of rooms he told me, “you know, we attract a clientele that do not worry about this price and we also, because of the quality of our establishment, cater to companies like FEDEX that contract rooms and we can offer them an attractive discount”.  “Our occupancy increases with each passing month and I have no doubt that this Hotel will be successful”.  You know, based on Gerard’s past record I believe every word he says.

Gentlemen, I keep hearing a lot of bitching about the higher prices being charged for rooms at some of the new hotels.  Admittedly, there are punters willing to pay the asking price but remember, if you shop around, there is a price for anyone’s budget, i.e., you can still get a nice room with all amenities except a swimming pool at the Hotel La Casa for only P800 a day and a few pesos less for weekly and monthly stays and there are other hotels/guest houses around that same neighborhood of pricing.  I will try to feature a couple if I can get my ass moving out of my very comfortable new apartment.  Laziness is overtaking my ambitions.  Never fear lads, a few bowls of oats and I will be energized.

Here is one of those unique Angeles City scenarios. Boyfriend #1 is sending some 21 year old honey Ko to school.  Honey Ko goes to live with boyfriend #2 (both boyfriends are foreigners) but stays in touch with boyfriend #1.  Then #1 seeks advice as to what to do to help honey Ko who now claims she is being held against her will by boyfriend #2 in his house and is being abused. Gee, what advice to give?  I don’t know what the police told him to do but I would have said “drop the bitch and start all over with another one!”  I can’t figure out some Expats when it comes to the girls here.  It is a land of plenty yet a guy wants to stand by one lady he is sending to school and then goes to live with another guy who allegedly is abusing her and then wants help from the first sucker.  Just another story in fun city. (someone sent me the following saying and I was wondering where to use it and I think this is as good a time as any:  “good judgment is the result of experience – Experience is the result of bad judgment”)

Last month I had to visit a dermatologist to have a few bumps removed that I was worried might be skin cancer but it checked out OK.  This doctor was recommended to me by an American that was visiting here and was treated by him.  He is professional and very inexpensive and since I was happy with his services I decided to pass on his name and address in case anyone coming here needed his services.  Dr. Sarmiento Pharmacy and Skin Clinic, 466 Rizal St, Angeles City.  Tel. 322-1507 with office hours 0900-1700 on Tuesdays and 0900-1900 hrs every Sat and Sun.  He also has a practice in Manila.  I found his procedure to be painless and quick and he does have a lot of patients to treat.  The clinic is located all the way downtown past the main area with the traffic circle and is right across the street from the fire station just before you go over a small bridge.

The ever dynamic Blue Nile Group under the leadership of Richard Agnew has expanded into La Union.  They have taken over the La Union Southern Palms Resort and renamed it the Blue Nile Beach Resort.  You better believe that it will not take long before this Hotel will become one of the hottest places in La Union to stay at.  They have already transformed the old Stilletto’s old boring bar into a far more interesting Blue Nile Beach Club.  For more information about the Beach Resort, visit the Blue Nile Executive Hotel Reception, 151 Fields Ave, Balibago, AC, Philippines or call 63-45-892-0120 or 63-45-332-1821 to 22.

The recent monetary donation to the Bahay Bata Street children’s Center by Bill Mitchell was appreciated and this horse was more than happy to deliver it.  Stop by the Blue Boar Inn some time Bill, it will be interesting to summarize the circumstances that led to your generosity.

Good to hear from Bob Graham who enjoys reading this column and misses Angeles City.  Regretfully, his wife does not miss it so I guessshe won’t let him come here anytime too soon.  Bob is the second one to remember the Cheyene Social Club but I thought it was renamed the “Stop and Shop” which holds many fond memories for me.

“Hi Harry,
Robert Graham here, former manager of Clarkton House Hotel – 1984-1990. We used to run bar hopping tours for new arrival tourists from Australia.
The Cheyene Social Club was located on the corner of Malabanias Road and Leticia St., not far from the PIH. It was always on our tour itinerary as they would always put on a “show” at a moments’ notice, day or night. We also called it the Cheyene Laundry, during the day they seemed to hang all the laundry outside. It was the first time I had seen the sign ” Costumers only park here”. By the way does anybody know what happened to Bill Powel, formally of the Southern Star?”  (I don’t know what happened to Bill after he recently sold the Southern Star.  It has new filipino owners now)

This was an interesting article that one of my Rotary members sent me.  I do believe that this Spanish writer hit the nail right on the head.  Too bad that we don’t have writers like this in our US left wing liberal press.

Spanish newspaper article on Judaism (In English)

” ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ
By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez(*)

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz.
We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

The Wet Seals Club has been sold to a group of four Expats who have not revealed their future plans for the place yet.  I wish them luck and if four partners can work together and agree on everything for more than a year I will be very surprised.

Below is an Email sent to me early last month that points out that the pick pockets are still operating without any fear in SM Clark.  I related before how I was able to catch one and have her arrested after going after my wallet but it appears that the person in charge of security at SM needs to take his job a bit more seriously.  You need plain clothes operatives walking the Mall not a bunch of ill trained security guards in uniform.

“Yesterday two foreigners within an hours time were pick pocketed at the entrance and exit door going out near the French Bakery and Pizza Hut.
The scam runs like this. You are walking towards the exit and a group will be walking behind you and another group will be in front of you who will stop at the door for some bullshit reason and jam up the door. They hit your pockets by bumping your legs on your side and the person behind the one who bumps you grabs your wallet and then re enters the mall. This is being done by a syndicate operating inside SM Clark by, you guessed it, YOUNG GIRLS who are well dressed walking with babies; its a group of them and they crowd you all of a sudden.

An American was hit hard and a Singaporean was hit hard at the same spot same day and SM Security did nothing to prevent it. While the Amercian was making a complaint in the security office instead of beefing up security and issuing an alert the same group did it again at the same spot same way within the hour.  Negligence on the part of SM or inside job on the part of security? ITs all caught on closed circuit video. The girls are on video who did and it shows how the scam works. I saw the video with the victim. SM Clark does nothing. The crime figures are sky-high at SM Clark. Security is very lax, and syndicates using females with kids and groups are operating there. Literally hold on to your wallet or cash when walking in groups or out the door with people bumping into you”

It was a nice normal Son’s of Bacchus (SOB) get together on Thursday night, 11 Jan 07 at the Classroom IIwhen suddenly the place was raided by elements of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).  They entered the Club with lock and loaded M-16′s and cleared out all of the customers who then gathered on the sidewalk outside to view the drama as it unfolded.  What led to this incident that took place in a Club holding a closed door private party event?  The Son’s of Bacchus is a weekly event that has been ongoing for a couple of years now and was a promotional idea by a group of Club owners joining together to provide, once a week, a bit of entertainment and food for a couple of hours in a private atmosphere.  The intent, of course was to attract customers to a different member Club every week thereby bringing in some extra income and at the same time bringing some customers together for a fun filled fellowship.  The SOB has gained in popularity over time and this weekly private party, closed to the general public, features beautiful dancers and meals catered by various food outlets in town.  What transpired on the 11th was that a CIDG operative (I have been told that there was more than one) was able to gain admittance to the party by purchasing tickets at the door to gain entry as regular customers (This was a mistake on the part of management to allow such entry).  Later, when some dancers performed in a manner that was a bit risqué one of the agents jumped on the stage and accosted the ladies while another went to open the locked entry door at which time the CIDG entered and cleared out the place.  They also gathered up at least 50 of the ladies that were performing that night to include employees and the Mamasans.  Regretfully, popular MC and all around nice guy, British National Bobby Gibson was also detained and taken to Camp Crame with the ladies.  According to a CIDG policewoman I spoke to they identified five dancers that they wanted to investigate on suspicion of being underage based, solely, on the fact that they looked young.  At Camp Crame they would have a dentist check them out.  The rest of the ladies would be checked for proper paperwork, ID and licenses, and if all was proper would be released the next day.  The next day I received word that the ladies would be released but Bobby was being held because the CIDG was insisting that he was a manager of the Classroom which, of course, is not true.  In this latest incident the CIDG did have proper documentation (mission order) and had coordinated the operation with the proper local police but not at Station four.  At this time the Angeles Clarkfield Tourist Association (ACTA) could not intercede as due process of law had been followed other than to monitor the proceedings to assure that no extortion attempts were entertained.  The question on the lips of many is “why was that operative sent in” and who was the person that pointed the CIDG to Classroom II on this particular night?  Naturally, these two questions will never be answered and life will return to normal on Fields Ave but that little gray cloud of apprehension will linger over Fields Ave for quite some time and many will wonder when or where the CIDG will strike again.

A follow-up revealed that the group of ladies had been separated into two groups with the dancers being returned to Angeles City to the DSWD and the employees, (waitresses, waiters, etc) and regretfully, Bobby were taken for arraignment on charges of anti-trafficking and were held over at Camp Crame for the weekend.  Exactly one week later the employees and Bobby were released from detention at 1030 PM Friday, 19 Jan.  You better believe this was not a “get out of jail free” pass.  All the ladies held at the Haven Rehabilitation Center for Women were eventually released after going through a lot of questionable procedures and just plain bullshit where even ladies 20 years old and above had to bring their Mommies in to vouch for them before being released.  This caused a lot of problems and expense as these Mom’s came from as far away as Samar.  How ridiculous!

There was not much ACTA could do to help the folks at were held at Camp Crame.  Ray Kelly was able to recommend a good lawyer and he stayed on the case for the whole week.  ACTA did ask the President of LACEM, Cel Paran, to investigate the complaints made by the ladies held at the Haven Rehabilitation Center, get statements from the ladies outlining their treatment there and submit a request to the Mayor for investigation through ACTA.  Regretfully, none of the girls involved would submit any complaints verbally or in writing so no investigation could be conducted.  If no one is willing to stand up and make a complaint then ACTA’s hands are tied.

Seair

TOURIST OF THE MONTH

Now here is a guy that can live up to his name.  Meet Jim Jolly who maintains a jolly disposition every time he visits Angeles City.  Jolly has been visiting every year since Jan 2000 and stays for three months at a time.  On this trip he stayed at the DM Residente Extension and was very happy with the his choice of residence.  Jim hails from Redford, Michigan which I know is a bit chilly at this time of the year.  He is still holding down a job but has interest in darts, tennis, pool bicycle riding to include those big Harley Davidson monsters.  It was a pleasure to talk to Jim because I enjoy hearing about Michigan.  When I was a kid for New York City my folks used to take me to Pinckney Michigan every summer to visit relatives who had a farm.  I remember a 15 year old City kid falling off a horse, watching my Uncle and cousins slaughter cows for their meat packing business.  It was the Abney farm and I kind of liked a girl I met in Howell, a small town close to Pinckney.  Those are all ancient memories but ones I will never forget.  So every time I meet someone from Michigan I always ask if they are familiar with those two towns.  They sure are a long way from Angeles City, Philippines and Jim’s three months should be up in March.

LOST IN ASIA

Now I kind of like to plug some of the bars that have taken the chance to locate way up on Friendship Road (Don Juico).  Lost in Asia is in a location that is pretty well removed from a lot of the action that is to be found on Perimeter Road as well as Fields Ave.  Harro (the great one) is always willing to take a bit of a gamble and he does have a bit of a “fall down and get up again” history but with his experience and ideas he should be able to keep this club in the black.  So, if you find yourself being lost on Fields Ave, grab a jeepney and make it up to “Lost In Asia” happiness and fun at a reasonable price can be found.

YATS WINE CLUB

I have no idea why Yat’s Denny and Phillip keep inviting me to their various functions, especially the wine tasting events like the one they had in December.  No doubt they realize that I love the place as for me it is like a kid looking in the display window of a candy store with not enough money to buy anything.  The Wine Club reeks of class, comfort, good wine and great food but you know me, a good meal is a Nathan’s Hot Dog at the SM Mall.  But, would you believe that this night of wine tasting only cost P500 and it is planned to have one every other month with the alternate month taking place in Manila.  This means, if my calculations are correct that the next Yats Wine Tasting event should be held this month.


The P500 allows you five glasses of a wide selection of superb wines.  You better believe I could not describe the wines to you, hell, I was walking around with a glass of coke in my hand trying to hide it behind my camera.  The wines had names such as Sangiovese grape, Riesling, Tannat, Tem pranillo, Sauvignon Blanc, Touriga Nacional, Semillon and Vidal Blanc and when I ran into Denny, with coke in hand, and asked him about some of the wines he got rid of me quickly by asking one of the lovely hostesses to lead me to a board in which the names and their histories were listed.  Everyone on hand looked very knowledgeable to me and they were really into getting those five glasses of wine and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

There is another affordable treat offered by Yats and that is their new “Dinner Over the Wall” P550 dinner treat using their outside garden every Tues and Wednesday.  This is something that you really want to check out so take the time to reserve either a Tues or Wed nite for an outing with your favorite lady or with a group of friends.  This is a a deal to take advantage of but hurry up before they decide to raise the price.  This a good excuse for tourists to take a break from the entertainment area and check out Clark.  Too many people say there are limited choices when visiting Angeles City but on the base you have so many dining choices that you could take two weeks dining at a different location every night.  If you decide to do so, make sure Yats Wine Club is on your list.

ROADHOUSE DEC FUND RAISER

Thank goodness for Mark Smith’s two fund raisers during the year which raise money for the operation of the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center.  Through the efforts of Mark and the many people that attend these events who put forth so much effort and monetary donations the budget of the Center is maintained.  There are so many other organizations that also contribute during the year to keep this project afloat who should be recognized but most do not want publicity, they just believe in the efforts to give so many little ones a chance for their future.  The Christmas fund raiser drew less of a crowd than normal and I did not expect too much money to be raised but by golly, over P700,000 was taken in and that was fantastic.  Normally I would take a bunch of pictures but on this occasion I only took two.  The reason was that my shoulder was still messed up, my feet hurt, my knee hurt and I wanted to stay home.  But, no way was I going to be a no show and when I walked in that great guy Jonathon was sitting in his favorite spot with a reserved sign and four ladies already in his company.  He saw me and invited me take a seat and it was so comfortable that I did not want to move.  Additionally, two or three more ladies sat down as well because Jonathon is a generous host and has so much fun and the girls do to.  Hell, I wasn’t going to move with so much beauty next to me. So, I took a snap shot of the beauties with their host  and one of Dennis Mitchell.  I know why I took the pictures of the ladies but I’ll be darn if I know why I took one of Dennis.  Well, actually I was going to take many pictures of those in attendance but I ended up with only Dennis.  What the hell, he is one of the good guys in town and in all the years I have known him I never took his picture nor has he appeared in this column.  So, Dennis, welcome and thanks for coming out to support a very worthwhile project.

I would also like to take this opportunity to inform the readership that Mayor Lazatin has mounted a campaign to work with the various organizations in town to remove the underage children from Fields Ave.  Once a week there will be an operation to round up the children and overnight put the girls in the DSWD and the boys in the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center.  In the morning the parents can come to retrieve them but repeat offenders will find that the City is prepared to press criminal charges against the parents.  This puts an additional workload on the Center but if it helps these kids from being abused and keeps them safe then it is worth it.

TAPS

Some people might wonder why I post my “Taps” section in this column.  I guess it is because I take life so seriously, I treasure every moment of life because it can be so fleeting.  Also, the people that are known here in this town and some that are not known are not celebrities, politicians, millionaires or persons of interest to the media.  I am talking about the expats that live here and even those tourists that might just be passing through.  Each and every one of them are important to me because they have brought their individual personalities to this area, they have spent money here, they have invested, they have raised families, they have dated our ladies, they have contributed to our community.  They are important, they are special!  Maybe not enough to be mentioned in Time magazine but important enough to receive a few words in this column.  Many have friends out of country who would not know of their passing until they read it here.  The mournful sound of the bugle as it plays taps can always bring tears to anyone’s eyes but as the last notes play, or the last prayer is said I like to think that those he left behind realize, through my words, that their loved one was a VIP in our Expat community and will be remembered.

1.  Ken Brown, last December, a past member of the Rotary Club of Clark Centennial whose health had been slipping for a couple of months died in hospital from various health complications.  This came as a bit of a shock for many of us that knew Ken did not realize he was ill as, in my case, I had not seen him at all for a few months.  Ken was a personable, hard working man who enjoyed selling his various fragrances to people and always had a smile on his face.

2.  A tourist staying at the Perimeter Hotel on Fields Ave, Kenneth Thomas Robertson, 62, from Plumpton, Sydney, Australia.  Cause of death was cardiac arrest.  An empty pack of Viagra was found in his room.  I mention this only to warn people that there have been reports that the vendors selling Viagra on the streets of the entertainment area are not always selling the legitimate stuff.  An employee of the Insomnia Club reported the early morning death.  There is never a right age to pass away but at 62, Kenneth deserved a few more years but I am sure he was enjoying his holiday right up to the moment that damn heart gave out on him.

3.  In the evening of 31 Dec a long time AC businessman who wanted to stretch his life a little longer so he could greet 2007, lost his fight with the grim reaper and left us.  Bill Lyons, the owner of the Patio and the Patio V was a long time resident of AC who was well liked and respected.  He fought a very, very long battle with cancer and survived a lot longer than doctors had originally predicted.  At the end, he was helpless and did not want to see any visitors and in fact, was not able to recognize friends anymore.  Many of us knew that his time with us was limited but, never-the-less, his passing brought a bit of sadness on New Years day to all those that knew this fine gentleman.  There is never a good time to die but sometimes, I suspect, that when one is reduced to 24 hours of pain, discomfort, helplessness and totally dependent on another that maybe, just maybe, that last breath might be a blessing.  Bill left people behind that loved him dearly but he will be remembered as a man that lived life fully and was a class act. He was laid to rest at the Clark Cemetery.

4.  Sadly, another widely respected and popular man, Robert (Bob) Byrne passed away on 3 Jan from a heart attack at home.  He was a business partner with Roy at the Brass Knob and had only lived in this area for two years.  The news of his death traveled like wild fire and during a pool match that day at the Fire and Ice Club the two pool teams raised their glasses in a toast to the man that will be missed by many.  He was 65 years old and still in the prime of his life with many dreams of the future.  He owned 5 Butcher shops in New Town, Australia. loved greyhound racing to the point that he owned some. He liked to fish too. His son Robert and his wife Lynda and his daughter Chris were at the wake in Brass Knob.

5.  Many of the friends of Glenn Hartell (Australian) were saddened to learn of his demise in Australia on 9 Jan.  Glenn was a retired Custom’s Officer and came to Angeles City around 14 years ago where he married a beautiful young lady named Irene and had a daughter named Claire.  Regretfully, he and Irene separated a number of years ago and Glenn remained in town and was a popular figure who stayed busy by playing on various pool teams and enjoying his spare time by frequenting a few Clubs on a regular basis.  Late last year it was noticed that his health appeared to be failing and a friend of his got him to return to Australia in December to seek proper health care.  While in Australia he suffered a stroke and was found dead on the floor of his residence.  An autopsy revealed that Glenn had cancer of the stomach and the brain as well.  A very sad ending for a lad that never reached his 60th birthday.  Another long time member of our Expat community has left us and he will be remembered but it appears that lately, our ranks are diminishing a bit too quickly.  I wonder if it is something in the water?

6.  On 7 Jan during a meeting of the Josephville I Home Owners Association, Clarkview Subdivision, David Skamarak, who was sitting at the head table, laid his head down on the table and to the shock of all in attendance, suffered a heart attack.  Clive Pollington, who was in attendance performed CPR but his attempts were futile.  This popular gentleman will be missed and no doubt, if there is some kind of home owner’s association up above, he will be volunteering to help out.

AN INTERESTING CHARACTER

I am not a morning person as it takes a bit of work and time to develop my normal cheerful self before noon.  But one morning a cheerful fellow who calls himself “Ferrari Doug” and his girlfriend, Rose Marie stopped by my stable and his cheerfulness was infectious.  This guy could talk, he had stories that had me laughing, he was full of life and good humor and even held my son’s interest.  His real name is Douglas C. Daniels and he is into rare coins, currency, insurance, estate appraisals, Ferrari collectibles and “weird stuff”.  On his card he writes “unlimited cash available $$$$” and he owns three Ferrari’s in the States which causes him to be well known by the California Hiway Patrol in riverbank, Calif., near Modesto.  He also has one SUV and four motorcycles and dresses in shirts and pants with multiple Ferrari logos affixed.  Would you believe that he speaks, fluently, 8 languages and will demonstrate upon request.  He visits the Philippines every two or three months searching out old coins.  He has been in the coin business for 53 years and will retire in two or three more years.  Rosemarie is from Mindanao and is nearly speechless next to Doug.  Doug enjoys the action at the Nasty Duck and the Gentlemen’s Club.  If you ever see Ferrari Boug around town, stop and talk to him, believe me, you will not be bored.

CLARK HOSTEL

Normally when one thinks of a Hostel the image of backpackers on very limited budgets comes to mind.  Also, the image of a Hostel itself is not very appealing as well but this is not the case with the Clark Hostel.  It is a very clean, appealing, upscale Hostel, with not just one main building but two other separate buildings as well with a wide range of room rates.  It is located on 2041 Ninoy Aquino Ave, corner M.A. Roxas Highway, Clark Special Economic Zone, Clarkfield, Pampanga.  For inquiries and reservations call (045) 599-7600/599-7601, FAX – 599-7462.  Their rooms which have TV and air-condition range from P1950 ++ to P2,250 ++ which includes breakfast for two.  Now, for the backpackers and other budget minded folks they have the dorm rooms which are located in annex B and they run from P200 ++ per bed/person (4 beds sharing) with linen (P125 w/o linen) to standard queen P800 ++ and P650 ++ (no linen, no TV, no AC).  Would you believe they even have one suite for P4,400 inclusive with a sitting area and twin beds.  Internet access at the main building costs P70 an hour.  Their check in time is 1400 hrs and check out is 1200 hrs.  The premises, buildings and rooms are spotless and as you can see, a price range suitable to one and all.  I was really surprised and by the way, the two receptionists, Shei and Joan are both single.

DOWN FOR THE LONG COUNT

They have been together for 15 years, working hard, taking care of each other and their family, running the business and building for the future.  Clive (Roy’s Pub and Restaurant) held on to his freedom and nights out with the boys for quite some time but on 18 Jan, at the Fortune Hong Kong Restaurant Angeles City Vice Mayor Zalamea pronounced the magic words “I now pronounce you man and wife” and with that the wine started to flow.  The very next day was the Angeles City Businessmen’s Club meeting at the Fiesta Garden Hotel and everyone noticed that Mr. Clive Pollington was absent and many wondered if wife Joyce had changed the rules already.  Only kidding Clive, may you and Joyce enjoy many more years of happiness together.  I will say that this is the first time I have seen your entire family together and you have one hell of a good looking set of kids there.  You are truly blessed!

THE FORTUNE HONG KONG RESTAURANT

In this column I have mentioned the Fortune Hong Kong Restaurant in passing many times.  The locals that live here all the time all know that this is one of the better Chinese restaurants in town.  I do not like to use the word “best” in writing about food because everyone has different tastes so I will stick to the word “excellent” when describing the cuisine at this restaurant.  Over the years, under the capable leadership of general manager Ped and chef Sammy this restaurant has become so popular that they enjoy a good crowd every night and their service is beyond reproach.  They are sought out to cater parties because of the quality of their food and service.  So, in this month of February I wish the management and staff of this wonderful restaurant a very happy Chinese New Year.

I WOULD IF I COULD

It has been a long time since I stopped in for a drink at Garfields, located on Perimeter Road but a couple of months ago I received an Email from Mark, the manager, telling me that I could find my “I would If I Could” lady there.  In fact, he felt that I could find more than one and suggested I make a visit right away.  Well, as usual, I became busy and forgetful and just plain forgot his suggestion.  One afternoon last month I decided on the spur of the moment to stop in at Garfields for a cup of coffee and just happened to have my camera with me but still did not remember that Email.  While sipping my coffee and chatting with my mate Andy I noticed the waitress serving me and Andy.  How could I miss her as she leaned over with a pair of 36B balloons rubbing my arm and when I moved my eyes away from the obvious I noticed that her figure wasn’t bad and when I finally got to the face, well, that wasn’t bad either.  Lorna Dizon, 22 years old, from Angeles City has a one year old girl to raise, has 3 brothers and one sister.  Now, the good news is that she told me that “age does not matter” when it comes to finding a good man, and of course I believed her.  I sort of think she might not worry about the age too much but possibly, the income of a potential beau might come under consideration.  For those of you interested in Lorna, her Email address is lorna_cute@yahoo.com or maybe that was a dash instead of a dot.  Hell, I forget!  Anyway, she works at Garfields and you know what, I saw at least 5 months worth of I would if I could ladies besides Lorna.  Guess I will be stopping in for another coffee real soon.  How bout joining me.

THE SUN MOON HOTEL

The Koreans have just about taken over the Friendship area but now are spreading out their investments in other locations around town.  The Sun Moon Hotel, Korean owned of course, has opened a 13 room attractive hotel just around the corner from Bambino’s Italian Restaurant.  When I checked it out it was fully booked because with their present 30% discount you can get a very nice room for as low as P800.  Their normal rates are P1200 for a single, P1600 for a Queen and P1800 a night for a King.  The hotel is within walking distance of Fields Ave  and a five minute drive to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).  Their rooms are clean and spacious, fully air-conditioned, hot and cold water, internet and Wifi ready, in-house restaurant and 24 hours room service.  The address is:  San Angelo St. cor. 22nd Stl, Josefa Subd. Malabanas, AC.  Tel is 63-45-625-6504/05, Email:  info@sunmoonhotel.com or liza@sunmoonhotel.com.

THE TIGER HOTEL

OK, here we go again, another Korean owned hotel and another very nice clean attractive establishment inside and outside.  This one has four floors and I don’t know how they got away without putting in an elevator but for the benefit of my readers I struggled up to each floor.  This one is located on Narciso street just down from the main jeepney terminal on Fields Ave.  They offer 34 rooms but no food is available but I did smell some foul smelling Kimchee cooking from one of the rooms as I passed so I guess there are some innovative Koreans that manage to cook in their rooms.  They have a free internet service in the lobby, no monthly rates and no swimming pool.  The rates are very reasonable at P950 for standard, P1,000 deluxe, P1200 Superior and P1300 forsuperior.  The Superior has a larger TV, microwave over and a hot and cold water dispenser.  This Hotel was fully booked as well.  The address is 126 Narciso St., Josefa Subd., Malabanias, AC.  Tel number is 63-45-892-3333/5555, Fax is 892-2252 and you can check them out on www.tigerhotel.co.nr.  All rooms have a refrigerator and prices include the 12% VAT.

AN ORIGINAL AT THE MALL

For a long time I have been telling Priscilla the Horse that our Clark SM Mall did not have anything different to eat, they duplicated what is at the Mall in San Fernando and other Malls around the Philippines.  But now, at last, to my great delight along comes the Pollo Rico Restaurant at the Clark SM Mall.  It has only been open for a little over a month and already it is the talk of the town.  They have burgers, chicken, pasta and various curries which are all filling, tasty and inexpensive.  They have various specials which are great deals and can you imagine a P99 buffet every Wednesday from 1100 hrs to 1400 hrs.  They are also offering a fine dining experience once a week and the offerings will change every week.  The place has a unique design that sets it apart from the other eateries in the Mall and they even have an upstairs dining area which has a Japanese style seating arrangement.  Mrs Horse and I ate a meal in which soft drinks are included for a cost of only P237.  I had the curry, spring roll and a coke and the Mrs had chicken and spaghetti.  There were many other offerings and for sure I will return to check them all out over time but one thing I can guarantee, I will be checking out that P99 buffet.  If you stop in say hello to the manager, Art who worked for four years on a luxury liner but is more than happy to have his feet back on terra firma. NOTE: This horse checked out the Wednesday buffet and it more than met my simple criteria which is “did it fill me up, was it good and was it at a reasonable cost”.  All three categories were met and I stuffed myself, mostly on the curry and rice.  If time permits I will be there next Wednesday as well!

THE HOLE WAS PLUGGED

Late last month I went to get a few parting pictures of the “Hole in the Wall”, say goodbye to the waitresses, especially Michelle, and get one last steak.  To my dismay, I got there just in time to see Disco Dave locking the place up, I was too late, the hole in the wall was “plugged” for good.  I really liked that place, the interior design, the food and the waitresses.  I enjoyed watching those motorcycle characters sitting around their special table telling their stories of days gone by and those adventures still to be looked forward to. No more will we see those special Bar-B-Que days when old Garth would hold court with fantastic food offerings.  I wanted to break the lock off the door and force another day, a week or a month but it was not to be, I could only gaze sadly and take one last picture and add the Hole in the Wall to that old Angeles City memory bank of great places that are now history.  The American Steel lads are still around but no matter what new place they might open, it just won’t be the same.  Hey guys, thanks for the memories.

The Pit Bull Internet Cafe is located at the corner of A. Santos and Surla Streets. The owner wanted to introduce folks to his location and figured a little bit of publicity would not hurt.  He was thinking about running a monthly ad as well but, despite my love of money, I suggested that we stick with just this one announcement.  Despite the hundreds of Internet Cafes around he lucked out in that he found a location that is not inundated with competition, but he does not offer anything different from other similar businesses except convenience to those in the immediate area.  I did like the personal attention of the staff and the friendliness and there is also a small Sari Sari store at one end of the building so grabbing a cool drink is a convenience.  In the immediate plans is a bigger air-conditioning unit which will be a big help in attracting more customers and like a pit bull, once bitten he won’t let you go, so check out this friendly neighborhood Internet Cafe.  Tell them Harry the Horse sent you.  It won’t get you anything but at least they will know you read about them in this column.

MISS AUSTRALIA DAY

Once again the Orchid Inn boys did a bang up job is providing a wonderful venue for the Miss Australia Day beauty contest.  The event was well attended and Peter O’Donnell did his usual masterful job as MC.  I was particularly impressed with the musical group “Live Band” which I felt was much better than past bands that performed at this event.  There were two categories, the bathing suit and gown presentations and it was certainly to watch as those lovely ladies with very adequate bodies displayed some lovely bathing suits.  As usual, the gowns were fantastic and MC Peter was pleased to see that they were more colorful than last year.  I must say that it was much easier to select the top two winners this year than at last years event.  It is not that the ladies this year were not attractive, it is just that last year there were more in the FANTASTIC range.  I am pleased to say that as soon as the ladies come out in their bathing suits I was able to immediately make my choices of the top two and sure enough, I was correct.  Once again Mr. Phil Terrell helped to organize the judges and providedthree beautiful sets of jewelry to be offered up at auction.  The auctioneer was able to bring in a record P70,000 which the RSL will add to its charity fund.  Once again we were blessed with the attendance of Miss Anne Curtis, Philippine Actress who very patiently posed for many, many pictures with the assembled guests.  Oh yes, it was Miss SheilaCaparas, sponsored by the Orchid Group who ran away with top honors.  I must commend Clive Pollington for the dedication he displayed in guarding the contestants dressing room  – no one could drag him away from his post.  It was a wonderfulevening and I could not think of a better venue for this event so lets hope we can return there again next year.

ROUND AND ROUND SHE GOES

It was the soft opening of the new Carousel Club and the place was packed, which of course is not unusual for an opening night.  I normally shy away from opening nights and prefer to visit a few nights later to get a feel for the normal flow of business.  The original date for the soft opening was delayed a week because, as usual, the electric company took its own sweet time in hooking up the juice.  I was looking forward to seeing the stage rotate and watch a lady ride the one horse on display.  But, on this night, that stage just decided to stand still.  No doubt this will be rectified by the time the official grand opening gets underway this month.  That is the reason for soft openings, to uncover the glitches and get the problems fixed.  The stage has its own uniqueness but everything else is routine Fields Ave, another Club has opened its doors and in time will find it own niche of customers.  The prices are in line with the rest of the establishments on Fields and the ladies, well the ladies are also the same.  A few lovelies will stand out, many are average and a few are on hand just to fill the numbers.  There were a number of dancers that came over from the La Pasha and that is to be expected since both clubs have the same owner.  The Carousel will also be following another established trend on Fields Ave in that they will be offering rooms above the Club, a good business decision.  It is good to see new Clubs opening for that is far better than seeing closures due to a drop in business.  Maybe one year we will meet a saturation point but for now, let the good times roll!

Are you wondering what will be replacing the Winchester Club and the Hole in the Wall?  Well, this is a picture of the proposed 10 story (maybe 12) Lexus Hotel that will rise on the site previously occupied by those two establishments.  These will feature vacation apartments and could be an income earning investment for investors.  An attractive feature is that this complex will be located in the heart of the entertainment district.

The owners are constructing, at the back of the Central Hotel, a model unit of one of the apartments being offered. This is the first time I have seen this in Angeles City and it is a good idea.

I will be offering more details on this project as it gets off the drawing boards.

Richard Rehm, a friend from Las Vegas, NV sent me the following joke -A Mexican drinks his beer and suddenly throws his glass in the air, pulls out his pistol and shoots the glass to pieces. He says, “In Mexico our glasses are so cheap we don’t need to drink from the same glass twice.”

An Iraqi, obviously impressed by this, drinks his beer, throws his glass into the air, pulls out his AK-47 and shoots the glass
to pieces. He says, “In Iraq we have so much sand to make glasses that we don’t need to drink out of the same glass twice either.”

The Texas girl, cool as a cucumber, picks up her beer and drinks it, throws her glass into the air, pulls out her gun and shoots the Mexican and the Iraqi, and catches her glass. She says, “In America we have so many illegal Mexicans and Arabs that we don’t have to drink with the same ones twice. God Bless America!
Hee, Hee, you’ve got to love those folks in Texas.  Hey Richard, hope you sent it to that left wing liberal Senator Harry Reid as well.  What better way for me to get the hell out of here but, remember, be nice to horses, don’t shoot, I’m LEGAL!

 
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March 2007

Posted by admin on January 12, 2011 in 2007 Monthly Newsletters

March 2007


The cool weather did not last too long.  The last few days of February saw the temperatures rising and you know that starting this month we will see tank top wearing weather.   to the left is the facade of the new Stotsenberg Hotel on Clark.  It is a very beautiful hotel and the Casino area is absolutely fantastic with a scheduled opening for 8 March if all goes well.  The Hotel itself opened it doors to the in early February and bookings were being taken as fast as the staff could answer the phones.  The pool area is a place of beauty and has to be seen to be appreciated.  The 11th annual balloon festival was the big event in February and that was pretty well attended.  So far, in March I have not been informed of any great events taking place but not to worry, every day is a party day in Angeles City.  I am beginning to see little tidbits in the local papers about a slippage in the construction timetable for the Subic – Clark -Tarlac construction.  Now, wouldn’t everybody be shocked if the completion date was delayed.  Why, that never happens in the Philippines.  We are not far away from the May elections and that is circus time in the Philippines.  This is when movie actors, rebels, criminals, newscasters, jueteng lords and a few honest, experienced politicians all run for various political offices and get elected.  Meanwhile the Peso is getting stronger against the dollar and is hovering around the P48 to the dollar mark.  That is a big drop from the good days of P56 to the dollar and it makes construction a hell of a lot more expensive.  Thank goodness we have finished the renovations to the Hotel La Casa.  Well, come on over and enjoy the hot weather, clear blue skies, various beaches and those good old air-conditioned Clubs with all those ladies waiting for you.

TIDBITS

My lovely Priscilla the Horse was full of oats this morning as she dropped off a large envelope mailed to me by Lew Stokes from Sunnybank Hills, QLD, Australia.  To my surprise it was a birthday card commemorating my 69th year and included some up to date maps of Australia and even one covering New Zealand.  Wow, a birthday card from the land down under, my goodness Lew, many thanks.  I think I will be using those maps to pinpoint where all the many  from Australia that read my column come from.  By the way, I only have a party every five years so next year on 23 Feb 08 (Saturday) I will be having my monster blast so hope many of my readers will be in town and will drop by for a drink.  I use to have a party every 10 years but when I hit 60 I became less optimistic, so after 70 I may go for every three years and if I manage to make 80 then there will be a party every year.  Hee, Hee, if I reach 90, every damn day will be a party!

Finally someone has the guts to speak out the truth about Hillary Clinton. David Geffen spoke out that Hillary and Bill as well, are able to lie with great ease.  This from a  rich guy that was a close  of the Clinton’s when they were in office and even had many stays at the White House.  The reason I agree with this guy is that I have read a book that went into detail her ability to lie and other not too nice negative behavior she displayed as first lady.  If people are smart enough, read enough and take a close look at her, then in no way would they want her in the White House as President.  She was bad enough as the first lady!

Good news to pass on. For those that knew Ted Pilgrim, owner of Emotions, the news out of Marachador, Queensland, Aus, is that he is out of hospital after a stay of a few months.  When Ted left the Philippines he was quite ill and doctors in Australia told he that if he had not gotten proper medical care in time he would have died within 48 hours or shortly thereafter.  He is at home but still not 100% as he remains a bit weak and is on oxygen.  But, better to be at home than a funeral parlor.  Good luck to you Ted, keep on fighting!

Be careful when buying street vendor Viagra/Cialis. Some of it doesn’t work and now there are rumors of police sting  on the street going on. Apparently (fake?) police not raking in enough dough on underage scams so they are now shaking down visitors for drug copies! To avoid this scam do not carry copy drugs around and use cel to make delivery arrangements in less public areas with your favorite vendor. I don’t think vendors are in on the scam but who knows? (This was posted on a local message board by another one of those “I know everything” posters.  In actual fact City Director Col Cunanan  a campaign a couple of months to go after vendors who were selling Viagra, etc. on Field Ave.  Why?  Because of two reasons, one it is illegal to sell any prescription drugs on the street and second, there have been many reports of fake Viagra and Cialis being sold.  Naturally, anyone seen purchasing these illegal drugs from a vendor on the street would also be performing an illegal act.  You might not like it but it is the law.  To avoid being a suspect STOP BUYING THE COPY DRUGS FROM THE STREET VENDORS OR BE PRETTY DAMN CAREFUL WHEN YOU DO)

I was wondering how long it would take for the Roselle/Guy (Pacific Breeze/Central Park) and Ron Wakely (Orchid Inn/Wild Orchid) feud to erupt again.  It has been relatively peaceful for a few years but now with the close proximity of the Pacific Breeze, especially the annex, to the Rovimar Buildings (the new Wild Orchid Condos) problems with setbacks and easements have brought these two groups together in not a very happy atmosphere.  This time, though, it has brought to light the questionable procedures of the City building office and the work of their engineers.  I admire both Roselle and Ron and their problems are between themselves and no one should be taking sides.  Both parties offer great hotels and are smart business people but the questions being asked and debated affects all the investors who are currently planning future construction projects in Angeles City, particularly along the entertainment belt.   Be absolutely sure that your contractors pay utmost attention to all details concerning easements, setbacks, and all other criteria needed for occupancy and business permits.  The other problem that is related to this mess is that this year many businesses have suffered delays in obtaining their new business permits because of encroachment.  It is required by the zoning ordinance that the easements of buildings must be 3.6 meters from the curb of the sidewalk.  What is driving people nuts is that there is no consistency in implementing this requirement on existing buildings.  Some businesses are being penalized while others, within sight, have the same violations but nothing is said to them.  Mayor Lazatin has promised to start an “honest to goodness” investigation into the various alleged shenanigans of the City Building Office.  I wonder though how in-depth this investigation might be since most politicians will be distracted by the upcoming May elections.  The outcome of the Pacific Breeze/Orchid Inn Group controversy does not hold any importance to anyone other than the primary owners involved.  What is important is that all businesses, old and new, are treated EQUALLY and FAIRLY by those in the business of issuing building permits and that the 3.6 meter easement requirement is not directed ONLY to those businesses located in the entertainment area.

Last month two tourists from England were involved in an incident in which one of them had his pants pulled down from behind by some girl outside of Subdelicious.  Soon thereafter the PNP Police Aides (Tourist Police) arrived and took them to the PNP Tourist Assistance Center.  They were not, as some punters reported, taken directly to Station 4.  While at the Assistance Center various personnel tried to talk to them, including the Director of the Police Aides, Rey Lacquian, to calm them down.  Regretfully, these lads had consumed a few drinks and were arrogant, argumentative and down right rude to the folks that were trying to help so the incident could be resolved without sending them to Station 4.  Naturally this was not the story that was bandied about on Fields Ave.  Anyway, because of being uncooperative they were sent to Station 4 and allegedly, were held for five hours and had to pay P7,500 each to be released.  Regretfully, there were a couple of procedures that the PNP Police Aides failed to do.  When such a situation occurs they have been instructed to contact a member of the Angeles Clarkfield Tourist Association (ACTA) board of Trustees so that he could report to the Center to assist and try to convince the foreigners to calm down and cooperate so the matter could be resolved without further complications.  This was not done!  Secondly, if a foreigner is sent to Station 4 a member of the PNP Police Aide should remain to witness whatever final action takes place.  This was not done. It is the objective of ACTA, if possible, to settle simple incidents involving foreigners without involving the PNP at Station 4.  In this case, the two foreigners were out of line in their behavior AFTER being detained by cursing the Police Aides and telling them they had no authority, and go ahead and put us in jail.  If a trustee was called and attended, even with that attitude one final attempt would have been made to resolve the situation without sending them to station 4.  Folks, the PNP Police Aides do have the necessary authority to detain personnel and there is a PNP Major assigned to the Assistance Center to back up that authority and take further action if necessary.  It is a lot easier to deal with people if they cooperate and not let excessive drinking cloud their ability to control themselves or their ability to use common sense.  ACTA personnel will always try to assist in defusing a situation involving foreigners but success is not guaranteed.  It depends on many factors but for sure, help will be offered and I can vouch for that since I have been called late at night, or even rousted out of bed to assist and believe me, at times it takes a lot of patience to deal with some folks but it is worth it if the end result is positive.  By the way, the details of this incident and the alleged payment of P15,.000 has been forward to the City Director and to the Commander of Station four.  (on 26 Feb I spoke with Col Mangune in his office and he informed me to tell one and all that he is not a short, fat, ugly boss!  Additionally, he showed me a large supply of Viagra and Cialis that he had confiscated from Fields Ave vendors and was keeping for evidence that his office was complying with the City Director’s instructions to stop the illegal sale of these items.  He also informed me that on 28 Feb he will have three of his station four investigators transferred away from station 4 because of evidence that these men were involved with extortion actions against foreigners.  The incident with the two British lads was not entered into the police blotter for that night in question.  The Col will investigate to try and find out exactly what happened.  There is a concerted effort by ACTA, Station 4 Commander and the City Director to improve the reputation of Station 4 and we are making progress but overnight success is not possible.)

It was a pleasure to meet Ernest Becher, a long time reader of this column who has lived in Subic, Barrio Baretto for 14 years.  Ernest hails, originally from Zurich, Switzerland and returns there once in a while.  Ernest just wanted to check out my stable and greet Mrs Horse and I.

What a big surprise I had on my birthday when a big bearded, happy go lucky lad from Korea popped in to see me and shake my hand for mentioning his place in my column a while back.  This was the famous “Mojo”, owner of Mojo’s American Bar in Tongduchon, Korea and he is the head of the 20 strong American Steel Motorcycle club (ASMC) in that area.  His presence along with two local members of the ASMC highlighted a quiet evening at the bar.  If you want to know more about “Mojo’s check out his website atwww.mojosbar.com.

My goodness, I had a report of another pick pocket incident at the Clark SM Mall recently.  This time it took place in the SM HyperMart and the gentleman was crowded about by a pregnant woman and a few other females while in one of the aisles.  Initially he was annoyed at being shuffled about but it took him a couple of minutes to realize something was amiss and he checked for his wallet.  Yep, the wallet was gone along with P10,000 and the ladies were not to be found.  So, he reported the incident to a guard on duty and he just smiled and did nothing else.  The guard service at SM, as far as protecting customers, sucks with a capital “S”.

Just in case there is a big shot from Fox News that might read this column could you do something about getting rid of plastic face Greta Van Susteren.  All she does is repeat everything that was already covered by O’Reily and Hannity and Combs.  Transfer her to NBC or back to CNN or put her show on at 0300 hours so only people with insomnia could watch her.  Her show sucks and she asks some of the stupidest questions of her guests and bleeds a story to death.  Also, please, I volunteer to take a shovel and bury that damn Nicole Smith myself!  Maybe I am the father of her kid, I remember I had a wet dream about Nicole and her big boobs one night and maybe somehow, that sperm was carried by wind all the way to the Bahamas and got into her when she was spreading her legs for that Bahamian Immigration official.  Enough is enough on this Anna bimbo who was smart enough to get some rich old guy to marry her so in his last months of life he could suck on her tits or something.  Hell, he went out with a smile on his face.  I don’t blame him, after all there are a lot of old guys coming here to the Philippines to do the same thing, only difference is they sure ain’t rich but they are just as happy.

The following information was forwarded to me by D.R. Butler.  I had no idea that I had to be worried about peanut butter but thank goodness, after checking my stock, that the Mrs. buys good old Skippy brand.

Thank you for your inquiry to CDC-INFO. In response to your request for information about the recent outbreak of Salmonella, we are pleased to provide you with the following information and referral. At this time Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter have been implicated in this outbreak. If you are concerned that you may have suffered from a Salmonella infection due to eating one of these types of peanut butter, please follow the recommendations below:
Check the product code listed on the lid of the peanut butter jar. If the product code begins with 2111, please do not eat any more of the peanut butter. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recommends that all potentially contaminated peanut butter be discarded. If anyone in your family has a severe illness with bloody diarrhea or fever or currently has symptoms lasting more than three days, they should consult a healthcare provider. Ask your healthcare provider to test a stool sample. If the sample is positive for Salmonella, the healthcare provider will then report the case to the State Health Department which will report it to the CDC. If the illness is/was not severe OR has passed, just throw away the jar. A stool sample is unlikely to detect evidence of past infection.

Lewie Louis and Richard are building up their customer base every Friday night as they offer their “Pearl of India” authentic Indian cuisine at the Simple Asia Restaurant.  It is located on Friendship Highway just past the Cold Drop starting at 5 PM until late.  I was told that they will open any day for parties with 15 or more diners.  They do outside catering and take out frozen dinners are available.  For info telephone 0917 459 6248.  The prices are reasonable and personally, I think the curries offered are delicious.  I have an English friend, Ian, who is constantly looking for a good Indian Restaurant and he has classified Richard’s offerings as good but not top drawer.  But then Ian is English, and you know how fussy the English are.  Now, for Aussies and New Yorkers like me, who only look for a good feed, believe me, a Friday night trip to the Pearl of India will not be a wasted trip.  Oh, did I mention it is buffet style?  You can go back for seconds, thirds, etc.

Speaking of Simple Asia, I took Mrs Horse there for our Valentine’s meal and it was terrific.  We were impressed with the romantic garden setting, so much so that if we were both 35 years younger it might have inspired us to some late night activities.  The band there was terrific but at the price they charged to perform they should have been.  Our service was terrific and the food was delicious, with the cost being P600 plus for the evening.  But, alas, what went well for us did not go well for some of the other diners.  It seems that more diners showed up then anticipated and, regretfully, they ran out of the featured menu items.  This did not go over well, and they were offered the regular Simple Asia menu items.  Again, later on those items were no longer available either.  Of course, poor Vicky, the owner, was beside herself and a bit embarrassed.  Some of the guests were not too tolerant of the situation and were a bit upset.  But, the problem is that Vicky is still a bit new to the restaurant business and she is learning by her mistakes.  I do believe that next year I will return to Simple Asia on 14 Feb because I am sure she will be better prepared and I sincerely believe that the garden setting was and is the most perfect place for such an event.  But, just in case, maybe I will bring a few items to eat with me, one must be prepared for emergencies.

This month we skipped the Knights of the Brown Ring (AH Club) meeting again but we will start up again on Saturday, 7 Apr 07 and will continue each first Saturday of the month until further notice.  Same place, same time.

Definitely try the Scandinavian buffet at the Niagara on A. Santos Street every Sunday, 6 PM.  This is definitely one original buffet and something everyone in town should get over to try.  It will only cost you P300 for a memorable feast.  Get there before the “Horse”, I eat a lot!

My prediction for the American Idol this season. No male singer will make the final two. The men sucked on the first night and the females kicked ass.  As usual I agree with 98% of the evaluations given by Simon, my gosh, maybe I could stand in for him one night during the season.  Please, write in to American Idol and tell them to make “the horse” a guest judge, all expenses paid of course.  I need a trip to the States again!

This website was passed on to me by my good friend Joe Nelson and it is something that not only every American should read but any population throughout the world where radical Islamism is sprouting its ugly head.  I agree with every word presented here and I am afraid that America will never wake up in time since so many people in the States are just too blind to see what is happening around them.  Even now we have to watch on TV that American traitor Jane Fonda sprout her nonsense again and watch and listen to an evil Hillary Clinton spinning her web of lies as she tries to jump from one platform to another trying to convince people that she is not a die hard left wing liberal, which she really is.  She will say and do anything to get a vote.  People are so worked up over the Iraq war and hate Bush so much that they do not bother to look at what is happening within America itself.  Our liberal leaders only want to get Hispanic votes and appease the Muslim fanatics that are plotting against America yet live in American cities where they try to force their culture on various communities.  It is ridiculous that any Senator be allowed to take his oath of office on any book other than the bible.  It is ridiculous that any group of taxi drivers be allowed to keep operating when they refuse to take passengers that are carrying gift bottles of wine.  Will America wake up in time, I doubt it. Will France, Germany and Spain wake up in time, hell, it is already too late for them and England is dozing as well.  There is one country that has woken up and that is Australia, a country of men and women with guts but even there liberalism is seeping in.  Iraq is serious, very serious but it will pale compared to the future violence that will take place in America when fanatical Muslims finally activate their plans to eradicate our democracy and freedom of religion.  The World Trade Center destruction was just an appetizer.  Wake up America!  http://patriotfiles.org/civilizationcalls.htm

One Oliver Tiam wrote me a while back and informed me that “if any of my readers should need an IT expertise, be it a website or stuff like that, please refer them to him at email redver74@yahoo.com or phone 639174780877″.

Word of advice.  Even though you elect to leave your visa with the Swagman Travel office next to margarita Station for their renewal service, or any other travel agency, the ultimate responsibility for that renewal rests with you.  Recently I was called to intercede on behalf of a tourist that had left his visa with this travel agency for them to notify him in time to renew the visa.  They do this every three months for him but on this occasion they were not able to contact him to go to the office to pay.  It seems they only review the visas on file once a week, on Sundays and when they called this individual, he claims that he did not receive a call or a text message.  This resulted in a late visa renewal and a penalty being charged.  He felt that he should not pay the penalty.  the swagman agency would not return his passport until all charges were paid.  After consultations and calls to supervisors, the Swagman agency was kind enough to drop the penalty charge as long as he paid what was due.  The lesson learned is that the owner of the passport should keep track of renewal dates as well, just in case something like this happens.

The Horse has to renew his ICR card.  Mine has an expiration date. The fee to do this earlier this year was P3,500, now it will cost me P5,500 for the International Travel Agency to do it for me.  The fee went up on 1 Feb.  Danny, at the Agency will do it, and that fee is only P500 but the guy in Manila who processes it charges P2,000 for him to do his job.  Naturally, I will pay for this renewal, I have no choice but I have heard different stories as to whether this renew is good for five years or yearly.  As usual the Philippine Government is not quite sure what the hell to do.  But, one thing is for sure, if they can figure out a way to get a peso out of a foreigner they will surely do so.  The breakdown of the fees now are P2,500 for the card, express fee P500, MISC liaison officer service fee P2,000 and Angeles Travel Svc fee P500.  You have the option of doing all the paperwork by yourself but it will take two trips to Manila and still have to pay extra to get anything done.

The ABC had a manager, Roger, who was in for a while but is now out.  The new guy in as manager is now Ray Souvala of “One Stop” fame.  Ray has been bouncing around Angeles City for many years and has enjoyed an array of different jobs and endeavors.  He has a wealth of experience in the food and beverage field along with extensive management experience.  I would suspect that he has taken on a bit of a challenge at the ABC Hotel and we all hope he is on board a bit longer than his predecessor.

How bout this one – and it appears to be true.  Personally I feel that these prisoners should stand on their heads to take a dump for all I care.  Why are we kissing these Muslim’s asses?

UK Prison Toilets Now Shari’a-Compliant Toilets in one London prison are getting a face-lift – or rather, a change in direction - to accommodate Muslim inmates who can’t use them while facing Mecca, a British newspaper reported. Government officials acknowledged using tax dollars for the changes to the facilities, but maintained that moving the toilets was part of an on-going refurbishment, according to an article in The Sun. Islamic code prohibits Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the direction of prayer when they use the bathroom. Muslim prisoners complained of having to sit sideways on toilets so as to not break code. Faith leaders in the government pressured officials to approve turning the toilets 90 degrees at HMP Brixton in London.

TAPS

AUSTRALIAN MURDERED IN DAU LAST NIGHT – Posted by Harry on the AC2 board.(This is damn sad.  Be advised that this asshole will get away with murder if no one takes the time to press charges against him.  That is the legal system here, so my advice, Harry, is to keep a close eye on what happens and Dave’s relative or someone else better be prepared to spend some money if you want this guy to go to trial. By the way, it turns out that the asswipe was a security guard and was part of the force assigned to Westfields School.  All too often these local, poorly trained, uneducated Security Guards employed by various security companies are involved with homicides, robberies, and other law breaking activities.  Makes you wonder how safe you really are. When I arrived home from manila tonight at about 11 pm, I was informed by the landlord that my friend who just lived across the street here, was violently murdered tonight about 8.30 pm by a crazed Ex-boyfriend of the lady that had been living with Dave for many years.. I am sad to say DAVE HUTTON got stabbed to death by a crazed ex-boyfriend of his long time companion… The only details provided at this time was that the guy scaled the security fence and pounded on DAVE”S door, when Dave then opened the door, the attacker immediately delivered the fatal stab wounds. Dave’s girl was injured in this attack also. however is currently recovering.. Remember guys.. This was not a wild mongering guy. Any of you that have ever met him , will know that he really was a quiet decent caring guy that sent his girl through nursing school and took good care of her….As of this time, i just met with the barangay people, and they assured me the attacker has been arrested and will be taken to San Fernando for arraignment in the morning. and from there will be detained in Muntilupa. awaiting trail. .. SAD THAT SOMEONE HAD TO TAKE THE LIFE OF SUCH A NICE GUY.. DAVE. WE WILL MISS YOU.. FOR ANYONE OUT THERE THAT KNEW DAVE HUTTON, I WILL POST ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE,DAVE was a regular afternoon guy usually Frequenting Moons bar or Helsinger, Purly Gates, in Diamond Subdivision.

ARTICLE FROM HIS LOCAL NEWSPAPER, WHERE HE CAME FROM IN QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

THE YEPPOON community is in shock after learning of the stabbing death of former resident Dave “Doughy” Hutton. The former policeman, 62, was rushed to the Angeles University Medical Centre in the Phillipines on Saturday night with stab wounds to the chest and face. He was pronounced dead on arrival. Speaking with the Morning Bulletin yesterday from the Phillipines, longtime best friend and former Capricorn Coast resident Rick Iveragh said, Dave had been living in the Phillipines for 18 months with his partner Merly Fernandez and her three kids. “Losing Dave has left me with a huge hole in my life, every morning we would SMS each other so we knew that each of us were alive and well,” he said. “Over here we are on our own and you need good mates like Dave.” “We went fishing together, we went everywhere together. “Dave came here to retire.” A report from the Sun Star Pampanga newspaper in the Phillipines reported the 26-year-old suspect, a former live-in partner of Hutton’s wife, Merly Fernandez, was arrested immediately after the incident. The report said Hutton and Fernandez were having dinner at 8:30 p.m. Saturday when Canuel barged into the couple’s apartment. It said the suspect destroyed the front door of the house and assaulted the victim using a bladed weapon. Mr Iveragh will today drive to the Australian Embassy in the Phillipines with Dave’s post mortem report. Mr Hutton will be cremated Thursday morning in the Phillipines and then a wake will be held at the Moons Bar where he drank with his friends. “I’ll be flying home on March 5 with Dave’s ashes so his family can bury him.” The Phillipines man said. Yeppoon resident Tammy Cranny, a cousin and great friend of Mr Hutton, said it was a great shock when she heard the news. “Dave lived life to the fullest, he was someone you thought would last forever. “If Dave gave you his word, that meant you could take it to the bank. The man who killed Dave took a very special person,” Ms Cranny said yesterday. Mr Hutton’s family was well known for their bakery that opened before the World War II in Normanby Street, Yeppoon. “He will be missed by a lot of people from the Coast,” Ms Cranny said. “He was larger than life.”

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

From left to right lets greet Roy, Lee and Brian (Mooka) from Mandurah except for Lee who is from Perth, Australia.  These old warriors met many years ago in Vietnam where they all served at the same location and have stayed mates for all these years.  Roy and Mooka are married but Lee is a widower and has a bit more freedom than his mates.  They were visiting only for one week and were staying at the Fiesta Garden Hotel.  They are friends of Doug Errington, past president of the Angeles City RSL.  They were enjoying themselves at the Jan meeting of the AC Businessmen’s Association luncheon at the Fiesta Garden.  Mooka got his nickname as he served in the English Army for two years before signing up with the Australian lads so the called him a “member of the King’s Army – Mooka) and that NIC has stuck with him all these years.

Lee is checking out Angeles City for possible permanent residency and so far it is looking pretty good to him.  By the way, they just put in a railway line from Perth to Mandurah so I guess that brings a bit more civilization to Mandurah.  These are three great lads and I hope to meet them again.

FORTY DAYS AFTER

One of the nicer traditions I have experienced in the Philippines is the 40 day observance of those who have passed away.  On a beautiful sunny morning last month the wife and family of Bill Lyons gathered at the Clark Cemetery to bid Bill a final farewell.  It was a small group but the size did not matter as it was mainly a time for a son and a wife to remember the man who was a big part of their lives for so long.  After the ceremony the group gathered at the VFW for some food and social time and forty days after Bill was laid to rest I like to think he joined us, in spirit, for that gathering at the cemetery and maybe even for a bite to eat.  Hey, don’t laugh, you never know!

 

NO MORE “BUSSING”

The first time I met David R. Butler (D.R) he was visiting the Philippines he was already a traveler here since Aug 2003.  Never-the-less he was still a tourist so I featured him as my Tourist of the Month of May 06.  He was getting ready to go back to Richmond, Virginia to drive a bus again for a while, despite already being retired.  At that time he was seriously thinking of settling in the Philippines, Angeles City, of course.  I had not heard from him for a while until one morning I ran into him at the American Legion.  To my surprise he proudly told me that he had found a great woman, Marissa, and. lo and behold he married her.  Now, why the hell a good looking 31 year old lady would want to marry D.R. is a mystery to me.  Could it be that he has a special charm that knocked her off her feet?  Was it temporary insanity on her part?  Or could it be that this charming lady found all the goodness in D.R. and figured she better not let him go?  I think that is the real answer.  All those bus driver friends of his back in the States, “eat your hearts out”, you should be so lucky.  D.R. and Marissa, congrats and may you have many happy years together.

BRING ON THE HOT SAUCE

Pictured to the right is that dapper guy from New Zealand, Ivon, who arrived at my little guest house with a surprise.  He brought me six bottles of different hot sauces to add to my hot sauce collection.  It has been a while since I was able to add new items to my collection because I did not go to the States last year.  I believe that I could safely add that I have the biggest collection of hot sauces in Angeles City.  I have a couple that I love using for those folks that come by and tell me that you cannot make my Chile hot enough to bother me.  Please, please, come by and make my day!  The big bottle displayed is not a hot sauce but a bottle of wine affixed with a rather unique label.  Thanks for remembering me Ivon and naturally his favorite place to stay while in Angeles City is the Hotel La Casa.  There ain’t that many places in town where you can get a decent room for only P800 a month and believe me, you can have a bit of fun in our restaurant/bar as well.  OK already, I have to plug my own joint don’t I!

LOVE THAT KANGAROO

Many thanks go out to Mark and Annette Curtis from Gosford, Australia who stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and also present a very nice stuffed Kangaroo to Priscilla the Horse who, along with our son Jason, loves stuffed toys.  Well, to tell the truth I kind of like them too.  Annette used to man the reception desk at the Fiesta Garden many years ago until she was nicked away by Mark, one of those “love at first sight” experiences that has lasted and produced a handsome son, Ron, 19 years old, which gives you an idea how successful this match-up is.  Annette is from Pampanga as is Mrs Horse so they enjoyed chatting away in their own dialect.

COME DANCE WITH ME

The lovely Cathelene B. Ganas is bringing ballroom dancing classes to the Hensonville area.  She will be providing lessons for the young and old at the CG Dance Studio, White House Hotel, 4180 Zeppellen St., Hensonville, Malabanias Rd. Angeles City.  This is just around the corner from the Divine Shephard Hospital (Old PIH).  The minimum cost is P200 every 2 hours Mon thru Fri, private tuition is the same rate.  There is free dancing every Saturday night from 6 to 10 PM.  For more information or reservations call Cathelene at 0910-603-7692.  Cathy is married to Sydney, a retired animator who used to draw all those cartoons you see on TV and the movies. Now, I wonder, if I enrolled Mrs. Horse for some courses if after a while she would develop the same waist size as Cathelene?  I better be quiet she may want to send me.

QUOTE OF THE DAY – “I REALLY LOVE THIS TOILET

I think his name is Simon and I caught him in action at “Roadies” when he forgot to close the door to the toilet.  Now it was not my intent to hang around toilets but it was located just where I was trying to take a picture of my “I Would If I Could” girl for this month.  I had not been at Roadies since it opened but I heard that it was packed every evening, especially for the Happy Hour.  It was very crowded and one cal tell how crowded it is when the air-conditioning does not quite cool the place off enough.  It was wall to wall people and there were many local lads present that I recognized.  One famous celebrity on hand was J.C. of Margarita Station fame who looked comfortable and happy as he occupied one of the prime back seats.  My objective was to visit both Roadies and Lost In Asia Clubs to find my special lady for March.  These two clubs are next to each other and I like the owners, with the “Great Harro” being a special character that I enjoy talking to.  As I said earlier, Roadies was packed with the lades gobbling up the two for one happy hour beer.  That might change a bit as I was told effective 1 Mar the happy hour will feature local drinks at P40 with non-happy hour prices going up from P55 to P60.  Why?  simple answer Greg and company were losing money on the happy hour.  Changes were necessary, sounds like good management to me.
Next door at Lost in Asia it was quite a bit quieter and less crowded so I was able to spend some quality time with Harro and his Mrs who I actually was able to get a smile from.
At Roadies I had to add a second lady because the first one was good looking but had a real shitty attitude problem.  That was 20 year old Jackie.  But, Lindy, 24 years old was sweet and bursting with personality.  I think Jackie might be in love with the T-Bird Roadies bartender/bouncer.  But hell, life ain’t always easy!

JACKIE AND LINDY – ROADIES CLUB

On the far left is the good looking Jackie with the attitude.  She is a doll and has a great smile as well as a few more pleasing features.  From Bulacan, this 20 year old likes dancing.  She has a 2 year old girl but then after talking to her T-Bird friend did not want to answer any more questions.  Oh well, can’t win them all.  Take Jackie one night at a time.

Now Lindy was a different story.  After I told Greg about the difficulty with Jackie he confirmed to me that she all too often develops one hell of an attitude problem.  So then he led me to Lindy who was more than happy to present a good image for the Club and her boss.  I did not have enough time left to talk to her for any length of time but if I was to recommend a lady worth spending a few pesos on ladies drinks on it would be this sweet young 24 year old lady.  Lindy has class!  She is from Mindanao and has a 6 month old boy.  She is a high school graduate and loves playing badminton.  She enjoys conversing with mature men and those of you who are forty plus are in her acceptable age bracket though she kind of laughed when I mentioned 69.  I think that age might be out of her range for anything serious but I might be wrong.
So, there you go, two choices, take your pick.  I might have just caught Jackie on a bad day but I think every day is a good day for Lindy.

LOST IN ASIA

Normally when I am featuring a girl or girls from a Club I do not include others in the pictures but I will make an exception because I kind of had fun doing this one.  First, Harro wanted me to take a picture of me ringing the bell since my name is the first one on his bell ringer mirror.  I posed but I looked so damn bad I did not include it.  But, I still looked like bad in the picture to the left but not as bad as the other one.  Now, that is the one and only place in town you will see my name because I am a cheap sod.  The middle picture is Harro’s choice for my column and she is a cutie.  She is 21 year old Jenny from Olongapo.  I think she was an excellent choice.  To the right is Ronalie, 18 years old, from Cebu.  She has worked for Harro the last 3 months.  She likes to dance, of course, and would like a husband between 25 and 30.  Well then, who the hell is that lady next to Ronalie?  She is none other than Grace “I can handle Harro” Harro.  Yep, the big man’s wife for 8 years and at a young 29 years old has produced three children, with Harro’s help of course.  We have Crystal, 7 years old, William the great, 5 years old and finally, Hanna at 5 months.  My goodness, Harro should be donating to a sperm bank!

MONTHLY DART TOURNAMENT

On the night of 24 Feb 07 the Hotel La Casa hosted it’s first monthly open  steel tip dart tournament.  It was a small turn out, only eight players but we managed to have our blind draw doubles match anyway.  The tournament is open to all dart players with an entry fee of P500 with P100 going to the house and the rest in payout. The first local drink is on the house and local drink prices are reduced to P30 for the players. Four dart boards are available for play in a well lit area. Trophies are presented to first and second place finishers. This is one of the best venues in Northern Luzon for local dart tournaments.  We hope that future events will attract more players with the only requirement to be 16 and above. The next tournament will be on Saturday, 31 Mar, at 7 PM.  The venue is also available for any group wanting to hold their own tournament or for practice.

DO YOU HAVE A CRAB PROBLEM?

The only problem Chef Chris of “C” Italian Restaurant had was having enough crabs on hand to satisfy the demand for his fresh Maine Lobsters that he offered on a test run early last month. They were ordered through a company in Manila that has them flown in and as you can see by the picture, delivered to Chris alive and ready to bite your fingers off.  The price of P4,500 featured a 700 gram lobster with all the trimmings and even though the demand was there for this test run the price does not allow for this to be, at this time, a regular offering.  When the Deli is opened in early May then a tank will be installed in which the live lobsters can be kept on hand.  Until then Chris informed me that if a group of people would like to have this special lobster offering then at least a week’s notice in advance is necessary.  Those that would like to order live lobsters to cook for themselves then Chris can order for you and the cost would be P2,500 a kilo.
Chef Chris continues to build on his reputation as an innovative master chef who constantly looks for ways to bring originality to his menu.  Not content to just stand by his standard menu which could win awards he reaches out for those little extras that keeps his fans asking “what’s next Chris?”

NEW AT THE ORANGE LION

I stopped by the Orange Lion one Friday night last month when I heard that they were going to have a live combo playing some relaxing music there in the evening.  This of course, is something new for them and I thought it was something worth mentioning.  I remember when this Hotel first opened and I was impressed with its relaxing lobby and recreation area, as well as the outside seating which allowed a great opportunity to watch the various interesting denizens of the day and night pass by.  At that time, the menu was limited and offered only snacks and various sandwiches.  You can imagine how pleased I was to see a very busy menu presented to me and the variety of selections was quite impressive.  After a couple of years in operation they still maintain their one price of $50 a night for any of their rooms, all of which are quite comfortable.  But, getting back to the live music, on this first night the group was more than one hour late and their excuse was that had to finish another gig first.  Of course, in true Filipino style they did not notify the management nor offered much of an apology.  Fortunately, once they set up and started to earn their fee, the music was quite good.  The name given to this entourage is “The Second Try” and I considered that a very appropriate name as I can imagine that they have experienced many “second trys” in their short careers.  The groups performing will be switched every two weeks in order to reach different musical tastes.  All in all though, well done Pascal and Jack for bringing something different to your hotel that will be appreciated by those guests staying at your hotel and those locals who just enjoy the pleasant opportunity to relax, eat and chat in your dining area.

There is no story here.  This sign just caught my eye as I was heading towards Hensonville and I just had to stop and take a picture.  I did wonder what could have happened to cause this place to be not just closed, but completely closed.  It is obvious that not much thought went into the sign, seems like some employees got pissed off and just quit!

LOLLIPOP – LOLLIPOP, LOLLIPOP

Need I say more – the sign says it all.  The prices have been rolled back on Tuesdays and the place is jammed with folks that dig the roll-back.  Of course, as you can see by the expressions and body language of the dancers that they could care less.  Hell, after a few drinks they all start to look better anyway and at reduced prices you get there faster.  Good idea? You betcha!

Whew, I am exhausted.  My aches and pains are telling me to get my ass to bed.  Before you quit reading please check out the info about the Manila Street Guide that I left for last because of the ordering form.  I don’t know how the hell Charlie Kemplin and his staff put out these maps and guides but I am impressed.  Shucks, I just can’t get my brain to think of anything else to say so look, I’m outta here!  Be kind to horses, don’t shoot the old ones.

 

 
-

August 2007

Posted by admin on January 12, 2011 in 2007 Monthly Newsletters

August 2007

Pictured above is the newly opened Friendship Gate which will ease traffic and provide convenience for motorists entering the Freeport. The opening of the gate was necessary to allow further construction of a portion of the Subic-Clark Expressway which is pictured here as well. I figured this is a good way to open my August column because the view from the tool road is fantastic. I really got a great feeling being able to stand in the middle of road knowing that I would never be able to do so once it is opened to traffic. This construction is so new and exciting to watch its progress as it is history in the making. Hell, 10 years from now it will so routine to travel this route to Tarlac and Subic that folks will forget how it was like before the road was built. There are so many things happening now that waking up every morning is an experience. Of course, just being able to wake up and get out of bed is an event for me but to add the pleasure of seeing so many things happening in Angeles City makes it difficult to keep up with everything. Now, for sure, not everything is positive, there are a few negatives but hell, the goodness outweighs the badness. Does that make any sense? One event I am looking forward to is when Chef Chris at the “C” Italian Restaurant introduces his oven baked pizzas. Yep, he has built a genuine brick oven just like they use in Italy and he is excited as hell over this. When he told me about the forthcoming offering I innocently commented that no doubt his pizzas would then be nearly as good as New York pizzas. Believe me folks when I tell you that this comment was not well received. His home made smoker is ready to go as well so you can look forward to some mouth watering meats being added to the menu as well. Check out the great food at the Royal Amsterdam Hotel’s Emericos Cafe & Restaurant and savor the delights offered up by Rico, who also has the popular Rico Pollo outlet at the SM Clark Mall. Following the trend of contracting out hotel restaurants the ABC Hotel followed suit by bringing in the famous Batis Azul to the delight of many diners. Sadly, we will be losing the Bourbon St. Restaurant as it is being converted into a night club by its owner. See, changes, changes and more changes so who knows what will be happening in August. Maybe there will be slot machines operating on Fields Ave, maybe there will be a walking street, maybe the sidewalks will be accessible to pedestrians, maybe there will be a typhoon, whatever! As they say in those ultimate fighting matches – “are you ready?” ”Lets get it on!”

TIDBITS

 

I would suggest that visitors be extra careful in avoiding those evil card hustlers that like to prey on tourists and even some not forewarned expats as well. The reason I say this is that one of the PNP Police Aides (Tourist Police) was approached by one known hustler and told that they would return to Fields Ave and that they were not afraid of the PNP Police Aides because “their police protectors were back”. Whether this guy was just blowing smoke or not has not been determined but it is best to be prepared then to just ignore this threat.

The new Mayor would like, eventually, turn a portion of Fields Ave into a walking street. With this in mind there was a bit of a dry run last month whereby the CDC extension road reverted to two way traffic and Fields Ave from the hours of 8 PM to 5 AM was closed to traffic. This only lasted a couple of nights and we are waiting to see the results of the test. We are hoping that action will be taken to clean up the CDC extension road as when night falls the stalls along this road continue to put their tables and chairs in the street. Additionally the area remains a magnet for drugs, underage girls, T-birds (Lesbians) and violence and definitely not a place for tourists.

There was a bit of drama one night as an Arab National was involved in an incident in which he sideswiped a couple of PNP Police Aides and also ran over an Aides motorcycle that was placed at the Fields Ave-McArthur Ave intersection in his haste to evade apprehension. When caught in Hensonville this Mr. Yahia resisted arrest and punched two Police Aides before being handcuffed. He continued to be arrogant, profane, threatened to cut off the heads of the police and spit on the various law enforcement officers. This guy should have been put in the Station 4 cell and charges brought against him but because he was able to have a “friend” intercede he was allowed to go with the promise to pay damages the next day. Needless to say, to date this individual has not made any attempt at restitution. A report of this incident to the Immigration authorities by the PNP Police Aides is under consideration. I was able to visit Station 4 and discuss this situation with the Commander and Deputy Commander and I was informed that charges are being filed against this individual since he did not keep his promise to pay for damages.

 

Last month a concerned expat resident of Santa Maria 1 Subdivision (Near Norma’s Money Changer) came to my stable to report an incident involving a retired Army expat that has been living in Angeles City for quite some time and can always be seen riding his bicycle throughout the town. It seems, according to eye witnesses that personnel from the local police station arrived at this individuals house with a young lady who was underage and went into the suspects house so the girl could identify him as an alleged pedophile. He was taken to the police station between the hours of 7 to 8 PM 17 Jul) and returned home by 10:30 PM with no charges filed. The concerned resident indicated that allegedly his continued freedom cost between 8 to 10,000 pesos. What he and other neighbors were concerned about is that a possible pedophile is still allowed to roam around and prey on young ladies. This Horse has no mercy on pedophiles and would like to see them all in jail and deported and I hate to think that the police would allow such an individual to buy his freedom but a person is innocent until proven guilty (not always the case in the Philippines) and maybe this expat was set up by the girl with the cooperation of the police. This is a scenario that is all too common and was a big issue a year ago when Real Street was the setting for such scams and many expats were victims. That is when I wrote to stick to the entertainment offered by the legitimate clubs and not pick up ladies on Real or A. Santos Street (free lancers). I am sure that this guy with the initials E.E., if he is a pedophile, will screw up again and I will tell him, if he reads this column, that your neighbors are watching you very closely. Follow-up - During my visit to Station 4 I queried the actions taken regarding this alleged pedophile. I was informed that this was the third time this individual ran afoul of the law and sought assistance. In this matter the charges were dropped by the mother of the girl after Mr. E.E. paid her $2,000, yes folks, two thousand US dollars. I was assured by the police that this would be the last time they allowed a settlement for this individual since they are now aware of the concern of his neighbors. Normally, three strikes and one is out of the game so Mr. bicycle riding E.E. has used up his quota of strikes and his luck is about to run out as well.

My big horse ears have picked up vibes that maybe the Divine Shephard Hospital will be accredited by the Manila VA Clinic. This would be very positive news to the many US military retirees living in the area who would welcome the convenience of being able to use the facilities of this hospital.

The newly formed Angeles City Dart League just completed its first very short season. Starting with only four teams consisting of the Orange Lion, Blue Boar Inn, Palito’s and Moon’s bar the Blue Boar took first place honors with the Orange Lion second. The second season begins on 2 August with the addition of two more teams, 24 Hour Massage and Streakeys. It is a beginning to bring darts back to the Angeles City entertainment zone which has seen pool dominate all the clubs for many years.

 

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at the Clark Freeport Zone is rapidly becoming the airport we all want as more and more airlines are increasing flights and new airlines deciding to come on board. Early last month I read that Asiana Airlines (Korean owned) will begin daytime flights where before they only arrived at Clark late at night. This is good news as it will allow connections to its destinations in the United States and Europe. Hopefully this will mean one does not have to wait 10 hours for a connecting flight to the States after leaving Clark. Hong Kong Airlines is also increasing its current once a day flights to twice daily by September. Cebu Pacific, in Sept will fly to five regional cities out of Clark. Very good news is that in October, Thai Airlines will start flying from Bangkok to Clark. That is something we all have been looking forward to since it was a royal pain to have to go to Manila to catch a flight to Bangkok. Hopefully this is just the beginning. I hope to see more International Airlines landing at Clark that will offer transportation to the States, Australia and Europe. I would not be unhappy to never again have to set foot in the terminal at Manila, it would be such a relief to be able to avoid all that traffic on the way home.

 

A few months ago I wrote about retiring in the Philippines and that the Philippine Retirement Authority is working hard to implement programs to make it easy and attractive for foreigners to retire in this country. The retirement industry is also a flagship project of the President of the Philippines so you better believe it is time to jump on board. This Horse has lived here for 26 years altogether, four years of which was active AF duty and 22 years in retirement and despite some of the inconveniences that lead to a bit of frustration, I have no intent of ever living in the US again. It is not because I have lost my love for my country it is because I am older and my income will not let me live as comfortably in the States as I do here. For sure, I would rather grow old in a country where I am more respected the older I become instead of becoming part of the senior citizen “throw-a-way society that exists in the US. The weather is ideal year round because I have never been one of those “I miss the seasons” people and also, my family will never consider me a burden if I grow old and disabled. Naturally, the Philippines is not everyone’s cup of tea but for those retired folks that might be interested and might think of moving to the Angeles City area I would recommend your getting in touch with Alex W. Stevenson who is an accredited marketer for the Philippine Retirement Authority. He can provide you with all the information and assistance you need to make that big decision to move. His address is 44-7 Final Drive, Carmenville Subd., Angeles City, Philippines 2009. His Email address is aws@digitelone.com, tel. 63-45-888-5081 or mobile 63-918-613-6267. For more information about this government program visit the gov’t. website at www.pra.gov.ph. I know Alex personally, a Scotsman who speaks English you can understand, is absolutely honest, a bit tight with a dollar and will work his butt off to take care of you. Please call him as I plan to make him buy me a drink for every call he receives. How will I know? Because, as I said, he is tight, but honest!

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Argee J. Gomez, Marketing & Communications Manager for SM Supermalls, assigned to Clark and I was telling him how pleased I was with the new food outlets like Nathan’s Hotdogs and Philly Cheese Steak and hoped for still more new outlets. He informed me that there were plans to add a steak house called “Steak 101″ and “Bacolod Chicken Inasal”. I am not familiar with with these eateries so will be looking forward to checking them out.

 

Once again the Rotary Club of Clark Centennial has moved to a different location for their weekly meetings. After spending a few years at the Four Seasons Restaurant on Clark AB, then a year at the Cottage Kitchen they are now back at Clark’s Freeport Zone. This time the venue is at the very nice Stotsenberg Hotel and the first luncheon/meeting took place on Tuesday, 3 July. This Club meets every Tuesday at noon and they welcome visitors that would like to consider joining their Rotary and participating intheir major project, the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center.

Victor Torres is the newly elected President with a strong objective to increase membership during this new Rotary year. Our meetings are exciting and holds everyone’s attention from beginning to end – just ask immediate past president Jim Sebree, owner of Cottage Kitchen Restaurant, pictured here in deep thought as current President Victor gives a speech ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

 

No, I am not adding this picture because he is handsome, dynamic or anything like that. I am introducing “Bong” who I met at a number of Clubs that he was making chairs for as well as many other designing duties. He has worked with the Ugly Coyote, Klub Class, Roadies and many others. He is good at what he does so I figured I would provide his name and contact numbers for anyone that would need his services. I was impressed with the bar stools he made for Klub Class and I know he is getting ready to assist with the big transition of Ray’s Bourbon Street Restaurant to a night club. I figure if he can work with Kelly more than once he must be good and thick skinned as well. His cell phone numbers are: 09275039144 or 09065239027.

Many are aware of the new four story hotel that is under construction on Perimeter Road next to the church but I was surprised to see the ground clearing operation going on next to the construction site for the new hotel. I heard that this is to be another hotel, this one being funded by a Korean group and will have 100 plus rooms. Why all the new hotels? Believe it or not the Department of Tourism has indicated that this area needs many more rooms to accommodate the future growth of this area and investors are jumping on board to meet this need.

Some bad news! The CEO of the Angeles Electric Company has sent out a message indicating that we can expect frequent rolling 2-4 hour brown-outs in the days to come because of NPC and the water level being low and a few other problems. This will be a royal pain in the ass and will remind me of what it was like in the 70′s when we suffered daily brown-outs of 7 to 8 hours duration. No doubt it will benefit those in the business of selling generators. One of my fears each year is the possibility of a drought during the rainy season and its consequences. Hello, wake up, here we are only a few months into the wet season and we are suffering from a lower than normal rainfall that is leading us into a season of daily brown-outs. For three years now I have spoken against the planned golf course additions at the Clark Freeport Zone because of the possibility of a drought during the rainy season. I even mentioned this at a meeting attended by the current CDC President Levy Laus and my fears of a drastic reduction to the Angeles City water table level was met with a “do not worry” answer in that there was more than enough water access within the Freeport to sustain 7 golf courses. Could this answer be coming from a man that is only concerned with profits coming from Japanese and Korean golfers without any consideration to the environment? Golf courses use huge amounts of water and I think additional construction of additional golf courses requires further environmental studies. Remember, Horses need water and I am one Horse that does not want my well to run dry. I wonder how many Angeles City residents really care at this time. Two hour brown-outs are just the beginning, if we don’t get a hell of a lot more rain before the dry season we are in deep poo-poo.

 

The dynamic VFW Membership Chairman, Cliff Wilsey, informed me that the annual membership fee, for those that are eligible will go for the low price of $20 from 1 Jul to 30 Sep. This is an early bird offer and your membership would be good through 31 Dec 08. During this period you will be able to go to 6 membership nights and eat for free and that deal, if you attended each membership night would be worth around 70 to 80 dollars. What a deal for only $20! Get over to the VFW, see Cliff, and sign up, you will be glad you did.

Yats Wine Club – for now has started featuring every 2nd week food from different countries/nationalities. So far they have had Greek and Spanish nights but I have not been informed of future plans. If you are visiting Angeles City just ask your hotel staff to contact the Yats Wine Club on Clark to get the latest schedule. I was informed by Brian, the manager of the Royal Amsterdam Hotel that he attended the Spanish night offerings and was very pleased with the offerings. Chef Philip created a delicious Paella with wine for P650 each and at least 30 people were on hand for a delightful feast.

At no surprise to anyone it looks like retirement was short lived for Mo. He’s taken over the management of Lollipop, Ziggy’s and Treasure Island and they’ve taken on a new life. In taking over, he moved his long time Voodoo mamasan over to TI along with his long time GM, Pete and brought Brendan back to Lollipop. I’m sure the new owner is a very happy guy. The question is; how long will Mo want to run the bars? The answer to this would probably be until he can’t breathe anymore because if not these bars, he will end up with some other bar.

Speaking of Mo, Voodoo seems to be the bar dejour. Rumor is that Kokomo’s may go back to 24/7 and Voodoo will keep the same hours. Long time GM, Steve, has rejoined Dave. He’s in charge of facilities and operations and has been a tornado. Steve was formerly Dave’s GM when he had AC Bars with 11 places scattered throughout Fields Ave and Real St. He’s an amicable and fun guy and a very welcome addition at Kokomo’s.

AUGUST HAPPENINGS

I would like to see more clubs, hotels and restaurants sending me their info on scheduled events. Just Email me at jimmy.harrythehorseatgmail.com.

RSL ANGELES CITY EVENTS SCHEDULE

 

7th August 1400hrs Magic Moments Social Tuesday
7th August 1600hrs SUBIC BAY RSL meeting at The Lagoon, Baloy Beach
13th August 1130 hrs Mo’s Place ,Committee meeting
14th August 1400hrs Ponderosa Social Tuesday PLUS Bar HOP Starts Garfields, 1600hrs
18th August 1045 Clark Cemetery Vietnam Veteran’s Day
18th August 1145 Ponderosa Vietnam Veteran’s Day
20th August 1130hrs Roy’s Bar ,Committee Meeting
21st August 1430hrs Ponderosa General Meeting
27th August 1039hrs Fiesta Gardens ,AUSTRALIA DAY Fiesta committee.
28th August 1400hrs Ponderosa Social Tuesday PLUS Bar HOP Mirrors 1600hrs

Kokomo’s will be holding a monthly pool event. The tentative title is poolside with the girls and will feature the Voodoo girls. They are still deciding which other bars to invite, but it looks like Lollipop, Treasure Island and Wet Spot are likely. The next 2 events will be August 4th and September 2nd. Admission is P850 for guys and P400 for girls (if you want to bring your own) and the event goes from 12 noon till 4 PM. The price includes all you can drink and eat.

MEDGAR EXECUTIVE APARTELLE OPENS FOR BUSINESS

 

Just above this picture is the ad for the Medgar Executive Apartelle and by clicking on the Ad itself you will be able to access their website that will give you all the information you need to get an idea of what the place is like and how much the rooms are, etc. If that is the case then why am I writing additional information? It is not because the owner, Ed, has placed an ad here, and it is not because he and his family are friends of mine. It also is not because my friend Chuck and his wife Helen are in the picture and it is not because new Mayor Blue Boy Nepomuceno is in the picture and was on hand for the ribbon cutting (the guy in the middle) even though I did enjoy meeting and having a short chat with him. It is because pictures are not enough to get the whole story of the high quality of work that has gone into this Apartelle. Ed is one of those guys that is precise and a stickler for perfection in all that he does and he spared no expense in making this establishment an example of high quality work from the smallest detail to the largest. The furniture in each room is comparable to big name hotels, maybe even better. The mattresses on the beds are quality, the curtains, the tiles, the light fixtures, everywhere you look, one is impressed. The location is convenient to the checkpoint, about a five minute walk. The staff are well trained and all, even the cleaning staff, had to take extensive written tests and interviews to get the job. Ed is a fanatical Ohio State football fan so there is even a Woody’s Lounge on the second floor. I often asked him why he was spending so much on this project and he always answered that “I want the best for my tenants, I want them to stay and I want them to come back” so he went the extra mile to meet that objective. So, don’t be fooled by the word “apartelle” and think that the low rental prices translate into less than the best, instead, take the time to visit this new medium size hotel and see for yourself. If you agree with me, fine, if not, drop Ed an Email and tell him why because he is already looking at a new project and your input will be taken quite seriously.

 

TAPS

The American Legion Post 123 sadly announced that Maria Allegado passed away on Monday, 2 Jul 07. Maria was a waitress with the Post’s Canteen for ten years. She was also the Secretary of the American Legion Auxillary Unit 123. She passed away just after the birth of a son and was just 38 years old. She is survived by her 7 children. Anyone that knew Maria knew that they would always be greeted with a smile and a kind word. Maria will be missed by the many members of Post 123 that knew her during her 10 years of dedicated service.

GRAND LAUNCH OF HOTEL STOTSENBERG

On 2 Jul 07 the Board of Directors of the Hotel Stotsenberg had their grand launching (Inauguration) of the world-class Hotel and CasaBlanca Casino located inside the Clark Freeport. This old horse received an invitation so I put on a decent pair of long pants, nice short sleeved shirt, and comfortable shoes which Priscilla the Horse made me change because “comfort” did not relate to “looking nice”. Anyway I trotted on out to this rather up-scale hotel with one hell of a nice looking, modern Casino and found myself surrounded by many of the Angeles City aristocracy who fortunately did not know who I was (I wonder if they noticed my “nice” shoes?) The event was to start at 2:30 PM and I arrived at 3:15 but was still very early and I was sorry I did not bring my book along to read. The guest of honor was President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who you better believe did not even come close to getting there at 2:30 but managed to helicopter in at 4:30 PM to the delight of the many anticipating her arrival. After the ribbon cutting and a tour of the Hotel she was escorted to the VIP dining room at 5:15 surrounded by many representatives of the media. I managed to get a good picture of her as she started to pass me. I wanted to shake her hand but could not do that and take the picture at the same time. It would have been my second time to do so as the first time is when she visited the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center and it was a special moment for me because I had never in my life been close enough to a President of any country to shake their hand.

When I first entered the Casino area the staff were lined up waiting for the President’s arrival and all I wanted to do was find a seat in the dining room so I could be near the food line when it opened and I needed to sit down because my bloody knees hurt. I wanted to take a picture of the staff, especially the ladies for there were a lot of beauties lined up but I was not allowed to do so. Now, pay attention guys, there are some very pretty ladies working in that CasaBlanca Casino and here is your chance to meet some educated, single beauties. OK, it might cost you a few pesos at the tables and who knows, you might win but this is a good location to find that special lady, eh, there is also a possibility that you might lose all around as well. You might win, you might lose, but hell, that is what you are there for, to take a gamble. By the way, it was my pleasure to have my picture taken with the newly elected Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, first time I got to shake a Governor’s hand! It’s funny, afterwards they never seem to remember me. I am thinking about getting one of those gadgets that buzz when you shake a hand, maybe that would make a lasting impression on those folks. I can just see the bodyguards beating the crap out of me before I am arrested and then deported, but, of course, they would remember me around cocktails for a year or so as they related the story about the crazy American. I think I would be better off remaining anonymous and just enjoying those free meals I get once in a while. You know, politics aside, that GMA is kind of cute for a President, if Hillary looked half as good she might win the next US election. So, I mixed with the big wigs, ate some good chow, enjoyed visiting that very nice Hotel again and then put my tail between my legs and got the hell back to my stable and a return to reality, but for sure, it was a very nice afternoon adventure.

A RETURN OF THE WELSH SINGERS

 

They were here last year at the Wild Orchid Inn and on 1 July the Hongkong Welsh Male Voice Choir returned to Angeles City and provided their beautiful voices to a fine evening at the Sydney Hotel. The night before they gave a very long performance at the Santa Maria Church but despite some of them getting in at 0500 hrs their voices were still strong by their evening performances. These guys are good and they travel extensively giving free performances and on this trip they were raising funds for the Bahay Bata Street Children’s Center. I did announce ahead of time that they would be at the Sydney Hotel so if you missed them, please, next year around this time they should be back and you will have the opportunity to attend. It was fortunate that this year it did not rain and even if it had, they were under

cover so could still continue. The entrance fee was only P300 and I took Mrs Horse along with baby Horse who told me he would be bored. I was surprised the next night when this 8 year old told me that he was not bored and enjoyed the singing. To get that comment out of little Horse means that the Welsh Singers outdid themselves this year. Well done lads!  Many thanks to Dr. John, RC Clark Centennial member who devoted a lot of time organizing this event.

PHILIPPINE RETIREMENT VISA REQUIREMENTS

The following information came from a letter submitted to a friend of mine who wrote to the Dept. of Immigration, Philippines asking for information about the requirements required for a retirement visa. The Philippine Gov’t. is actively promoting their retirement visa program for foreigners wanting to retire here. I thought this might be helpful for those of you that considering retiring in to this country.

Dear Sir/Madam:

Thank you for your interest in the Retirement Program of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). PRA is a government-owned and controlled corporation that accepts, evaluates, and processes all applications for the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRVisa). The SRRV is a special non-immigrant visa with multiple-entry privileges, open to foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens who are at least 35 years old. Qualified SRRV principal applicants under the PRA Program are required to remit to any of our accredited banks, namely, Allied Bank, Bank of Commerce, Bank of China, Export Bank, Equitable PCI Bank, East West Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, Malayan Bank, Maybank, PS Bank, RCBC, RCBC Savings Bank, Robinsons Savings Bank, Security Bank, Tong-Yang Savings Bank, and Union Bank, the deposit/investments below:

1. US$20,000.00 for those 50 years old and above;

2. US$50,000.00 for those 35 to 49 years old; and

3. US$1,500.00 for former Filipino citizens

Pursuant to Board Resolution No. 150 , series of 2006 otherwise known as the Modified Special Reduced Deposit scheme, the required deposit was further lowered to US$10,000, provided that the applicant is at least 50 years old, and he/she is able to comply with all the other requirements and fees and show proof of his/her monthly pension remitted to the Philippines through the PRA accredited bank, as follows:

a.) US$1,000 for couples; or

b.) US$ 800 for single

Under this option, the following additional requirements are to be submitted:

1) A Certification of Retirement Benefits issued by the concerned government and/or private entity from the retiree pensioner’s country of origin translated into English (if applicable) and duly authenticated by either:

a.) The Philippine Embassy/Consular Office of the country where the applicant is residing then confirmed by the Authentication of the Department of Foreign Affairs; or

b.) The applicant’s Embassy/Consular Office in the Philippines if the applicant is in the Philippines then confirmed/authenticated by the Authentication of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Certification must clearly state the pensioner’s identity, date of effectivity of the payment of pension and amount of monthly pension; and

2.) A remittance advice from the concerned entity or bank institution abroad confirming that the remittance of the monthly pension directly to the account of the retiree will be effected as scheduled. The advice in details, as follows:

Account Name, Account Number of the retiree and name and address of the Bank in the Philippines where the pension is to be remitted

A retiree-applicant may be joined without additional deposit, by his spouse and a legitimate or legally adopted child, who is unmarried and below 21 years of age ( except for the with pension scheme – dependent children may not be included ).

Additional qualified children may also be allowed to join the principal retiree-applicant with an additional deposit of US$15,000.00 per child. The US$15,000.00 additional deposit is subject to the same terms and conditions as the principal’s deposit but the same is waived for former Filipino citizens.

The aforesaid Dollar Time Deposit, in the name of the retiree and tagged as PRA Account, may, after thirty days (30) days from the date of issuance of the SRR Visa, be withdrawn with prior written clearance from PRA (partially or in full) strictly for investment/s allowed under the PRA program such as:

a. Purchase, acquisition and ownership of a condominium unit;

b. Long-term lease of house and lot, condominium or townhouse which should not be for a period shorter than 20 years;

c. Purchase, acquisition and ownership of golf or country club share/s; or

d. Investment in shares of stocks of corporations duly traded in the Philippine Stock Exchange

If the retiree does not want to invest in any of the above investment areas, he/she may retain the Dollar Time Deposit in the bank. It shall continue to earn interest in US Dollars and the same is withdrawable, either in US Dollars or in Philippine Peso, upon maturity of the deposit.

While foreigners are under our Constitution not allowed to own land in the Philippines, except through hereditary succession or through corporations which were organized primarily to purchase and/or acquire real estate properties subject to equity restrictions, prescribed by law, they are, under existing laws, allowed to lease a parcel of land for 50 years, renewable once for another 25 years.

Moreover, SRRVisa holders under our program ,are, under our existing laws, permitted to engage in an employment subject to compliance with the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Should you need further clarifications, please contact us at telephone numbers (632) 848-1412 to 16 or fax number (632) 848-7106. You can also visit our website at www.pra.gov.ph or e-mail us at inquiry@pra.gov.ph. Again, thank you and welcome to the Retirement Program of the Philippine Government. Very truly yours, E RLINA P. LOZADA, Department Manager – Marketing

I WOULD IF I COULD

 

There are so many events in one’s life that is inspirational! Many are inspired by work, many by going to church, many by reading a book, even many more by Viagra and Cialis. For the many visitors to Angeles City inspiration comes from the many very good looking women that one can meet in the many clubs in town. Of course, that inspiration could cause an investment in Viagra and Cialis but one must not overlook the pure, simple joy of barhopping. I know there are many critics out there who are frequent visitors to Angeles City and like to judge various Clubs by the number of beauties on stage or serving as waitresses. Admittedly, there are a lot more McDonald Hamburger Tubbies on stage then in years past, and many that are borderline ugly but they are outnumbered by the sheer beauty, cuteness, charm, friendliness and pure inspirational desire than anything you will see in the U.S., Australia, Siberia, etc. Now, you know I hate the task of getting out and searching for my monthly “I would if I could lady” because I would rather be with Priscilla the Horse but duty calls and I owe it to the readers of this column to search out these “pearls of the orient”. Sometimes it is easy sometimes difficult but when I spotted 18 year old Mariel in Honey-Ko’s I told owner Des, “I have to take this lady’s picture – I am inspired”. Des called her over and believe me that is not a phony smile from Mariel, she was continuously smiling, friendly, bubbling with personality and well, damn cute. She is a High School graduate, from Samar and has a half brother. For a permanent relationship Mariel indicated that in the age bracket she would go no higher than 45 years old but, of course, you know, that could always be negotiable. For those temporary liaisons, well, age is not a problem! That is why, for many seeking “inspiration” Angeles City beckons and Honey-Ko’s is a good spot to begin your search.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD SHORT

It was Richard Short’s 42nd Birthday and he organized a bash at his Klub Class. This was to be a fun day for Richard and when he awoke in the morning, instead of sunshine he was greeted with heavy rains. This put a bit of a damper on events because one of those squealing fat pigs was due to be roasted that day. Somehow, the evil deed was accomplished and then Richard found that he had to carve up the critter himself and had no idea what to do. He got by that problem and knew that the rest of the day would be smooth sailing. No bloody way mate – it was not to be. Around 6 PM, still pissing down rain, he takes off with the Mrs and kid to pick up the mother-in-law at the Dau bus station. While fighting the heavy traffic on McArthur Ave he suffers a blow-out and has to stop in the middle of traffic.

Now he has to get the tire changed so while organizing that, what do our friendly coppers decide to do? They pull up behind him and try to give him a ticket for obstructing traffic! This is it – the last straw, Richard’s blood pressure rose to 200 plus, face gets red, he sputters, he argues, he is near a heart attack and might miss his own party. The bent cops take off and leave him be but it is suspected the only reason the did so was that they were getting wet standing in the rain. After all that the rest of the evening went well but he was a bit later arriving at the party then he intended. I was there waiting for him after taking 10 minutes to get up the stairs and being early found a great seat at the counter. I always enjoy Klub Class and was pleased to see the informal dancers in mini-skirts this time and I was absolutely mesmerized by one of the dancers who I later found out was 19 year old May, from Manila, who had been working at the Klub for only one month. This lady radiated energy and personality and I wanted her picture but I already had my “I would if I Could Lady” and I did not want to wait until Sept to feature her. So, I got Richard to pose for his birthday photo along with his wife Liza and insisted that one of the dancers be included, which, of course, was May. OK, the good looking lady to the right of Richard is his wife and to the left is May and both ladies are darn good looking but May is available. The food was good and Richard did a good job carving up the pig, the music was lively, plenty of Richard’s friends were on hand for the festivities and with my full stomach plus visions of May I slowly made it down the steps and called Mrs. Horse to pick me up. It turned out, in the end, to be a very happy birthday for Richard.

A. SANTOS STREET SAFER

 

Those expats living here and tourists that have become regulars are no doubt familiar with A. Santos Street the one that Real St. runs into, just where Kokomos is located and also runs past the Wild Orchid Inn. If you have been down this street then you no doubt are familiar with the WOW bar, one of the last run down little hole in the wall places featuring, in the day time a few ladies that are willing to participate in very short conversations. Now, you won’t find any raving beauties here and most people pass it up but it did not pose any danger whatsoever unless you happened to pass there at night time, say after 9 PM. At that bewitching hour the place was taken over by Billy Boys (Bakalas) and it was difficult to walk past the place without someone

grabbing at you or even trying to pick the pockets of the unaware. In the last few months the presence of these “ladies” became very aggressive and they became stars of more and more police reports and they were even becoming more evident on Fields Ave to such an extent that bar owners were complaining about them. Well, I took this photo at the WOW bar at 10 PM one night last month and the ladies you see out front are actually ladies. The Billy Boys have been chased away by the police from Station 4 and the area is now, completely safe to traverse. When Mrs Horse dropped me off to take a picture there were around 8 ladies on board but only three volunteered to pose for this picture. Folks, this is history for it is the first time in many, many years that A. Santos St. has been Billy Boy free and should now be a crime free zone. I have to give our law enforcement folks at station 4 a high five for this accomplishment. One question lingers, like what took so damn long to accomplish a job that should have been a priority years ago?

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

 

This month we have two well fed lads hailing from Los Angeles, Calif., Ken and Dave. They are both teachers in Orange County and I can imagine what a difficult job they have in dealing with the students there. Regretfully I forgot to ask them what grade they were teaching. They were staying at the Clarkton Hotel for two weeks and both of them are divorced. Dave was here for his first trip and Ken, the slightly liberal bearded one was on his second trip. You better believe they were enjoying themselves and did what all divorced men should do, check out Angeles City before they even think of dating any American women. They stopped into my stable the day after arriving in country so did not have time to indicate any favorite bar but they planned to check out as many as they could before their two week holiday was up. Both have a lot of teaching years in front of them before retiring but you better believe that the Philippines is on their list of places to retire at. They did not make it back to my stable after their first visit so I am sure they found plenty of time to check out many Clubs on Perimeter Road and Fields Ave. I just hope that Dave did not fall in love during his first trip and follows Ken’s example of just testing the waters. Imagine how hard it is going to be for these two lads to concentrate on lesson plans after spending two weeks here. The Blue Boar Inn ladies anxiously await their return.

RETURN OF THE MUSIC MAN


That jolly Music Man Howard McKay made a return visit to the Anchorage Inn last July 14th and this time I made sure to sit through the entire evening of song and jokes. I noticed that there was a larger attendance than the last time and most said that they appreciated the opportunity to enjoy something a bit different on Fields Ave. It was not only Howard that entertained but we were treated to duets and solos by the incomparable “Doggie” Dave. Now Dave had some original unique songs to present but at one time Howard had to turn off the microphone as old Davy forgot that there were children in attendance and a few ladies as well. It was a fine evening of song, merriment, plenty of cold beer and some good food as well. The Anchorage Inn is located just off Fields Ave on Real Street, opposite the basketball court. It is easy to find as you can usually see a bunch of rowdy Hash House Harriers sitting outside reliving some of their exciting runs of past months and years.

THE FIELD OF DREAMS

OPENING CEREMONIES AT SM CLARK

History was made in Angeles City as, for the first time, the prestigious 33rd Pony Baseball Asia Bronco Division Championship was held at the Maria Wright Field Park, Angeles Bahay Bata Center, Bgy Cuayan, Angeles City. Participating teams were Hongkong, Japan, Taiwan and Team Philippines, Manila and Central Luzon. This was a joint project of Rotary Clubs of Clark Centennial, Pasay Silangan and Mabalacat spearheaded by Boy Tingzon. This tournament is a venue to choose the Asian Representative to the 11-12 year old Division at the PONY World Series held annually in Monterey, California on August 4-10, 2007. This event is only the 4th PONY tournament hosted by the Philippines since its introduction in 1974. The Maria Wright Field Park was built, completely by the efforts of the RC Clark Centennial and particularly Rotary member Bill Wright who promised to build a first class multi-purpose sports field. It has indeed turned out to be a “field of dreams” and many came to see this Pony Baseball competition and included in the Philippines team were two resident children of the Bahay Bata Center. One must understand that our children at the Center came from the streets of Angeles City and up to a couple of years ago had no idea what a base ball game was all about. Then, Rotarian George Watson volunteered to be the coach for baseball and Rotarian Lionel Clayton volunteered to be the coach for rugby. Since that auspicious beginning our street kids have won awards in rugby and now achieving great things in baseball. George has worked so hard, devoted so many hours with very little outside help. The field is first class and has caught the attention of little league officials who now use it as a venue for intra-barangay competitions with officials like boy Tingzon lending his advice and support. It was so exciting to watch these 11to 12 year old kids play baseball with such skills that they should have televised the games.

Special thanks go out to the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the Clark Investors & Locators Associaiton (CILA) as partners in this event. The SM Clark management team extended their helping hand to the community by sponsoring the event launching on 21 Jul and the awards ceremony and farewell party on 25 July at their activity center where a very fine meal for all participants was served up by the Batis Azul Resort. . We also enjoyed the participation of Angeles University Foundation, Holy Angel University, JF Kuzma School and Westfields school. At the end of three days the Chinese-Taipai team took the championship by defeating Japan 9-0.

GENTLEMEN’S CLUB – THE NEW LOOK

There is only one reason that I do not get to the Gentlemen’s Club as much as I would like to, The Stairs! I must admit that the last time I was there, my goodness, well over a year I guess, it was not all that exciting a place to go to. It had some dark corners where one could sit and grope your lady of choice and there was a dancer that could do some painful looking splits but that was about it. Then two lads took the place over, Shane, an Aussie and Tony, an English lad and not long afterwards I began to hear some positive comments about the place. Two months ago Shane contacted me and asked that I make a visit and see what they had done to the place. Well, I mentioned that the stairs were a bit of an obstacle for me and Shane volunteered to carry me up. Even with that it took me a long time to make it there. So, on 25 July, as I was heading back to my stable I remembered my promise to Shane and stopped just before I passed the place. I called Shane to see if he was there and told him that I would be up in two minutes. Now, no one was there to carry me up so I slowly eased my way up, sweating, puffing and nearly slipped when the rail on the right side of the wall ran out before the top and I was not looking. I saw some sweet lady at the top of the stairs looking a bit concerned and she started to come down to help me. I thought about faking a collapse so maybe she would give me a little mouth to mouth but no, I continued to the top and rested a minute of so before entering the Club. When I entered I was surprised to see a pool table just to the right where at one time the bar stood. Then Shane saw me and gave me a bit of a tour while he explained the make-over. I was pleasantly surprised, what a great big difference and everyone was so friendly. This was in the middle of a hot weekday afternoon and the place was crowded and the room was pleasantly cool as they have installed insulation in the ceiling and six air-conditioners (five 3 tonners, and one 2 tonner) for one great comfort zone. The seating was comfortable and the dancers and waitresses were absolutely friendly with great personalities. I got a kick out of seeing Ria, a 26 year old midget dancer. She really stood out not only with her shortness but her balloon buttocks and she had a great personality. When I called her over and told her to turn around so I could get a picture of her ample rear end she not only turned around but bent over and dropped her dancing costume to reveal a hefty rear end attired in a T-back. She caught me by surprise and we all laughed and I had her repeat the performance as I was laughing too hard to take the picture. Now, I have a great shot but not sure if I should include it here, it is not X-rated at all, just R but you can get an idea from the top center picture. So, even if you are not into midgets, buy Ria a ladies drink because she is one hell of a good sport.

Have you been in various Clubs when some customers toss coins on the floor and all the girls scramble to the area and get on their knees to pick up the coins and everyone has a good laugh. Well, at the Gentlemen’s Club they do this with a different twist that I thought was pretty clever. You can purchase a tray of ping-pong balls for P300 and toss them to the dance floor and the ladies go for the balls and each one is worth P6. They then go to the cashier to turn them in and a record is kept next to their names and they will collect the money at the end of their shifts. Shane explained that it is more fun and less demeaning then grabbing coins off the floor. He gave me a demonstration and I had to agree with him and I might even steal the idea for my bar.

The bar was moved to the rear of the club, a new stage was put in and new flooring, and I must say that space utilization was maximized. The music is strictly rock and roll and 27 dancers jump to the beat and even throw in some choreographed routines. There are 17 cute waitresses and I saw a lot of happy customers passing out ladies drinks to some cuties as they sat and chatted with them. There is still a very nice room available for those more private conversations away from the sound of the music. Outside dinner dates only cost P1,000 and indoor snacks go for the same price. In fact, by the end of August a kitchen will be installed that will offer bar foods. Local drinks run at a very reasonable P50 with imported drinks at P130 and up. The doors open at 1500 hrs and close at 2400. Now I want to go back to the Gentlemen’s Club just to enjoy myself but who is going to carry me up the stairs?

NEW AT THE VFW

 

A Filipino Food and Beverage has been hired at the VFW and this is a departure from past practice of hiring Expats to fill this position. He is 50 year old Federico Bernardo who brings to the job years of experience. His past positions have been with the Oasis, Mimosa, Greenville Resort Dau, Spensers and now the VFW. He hails from Conception, Tarlac and is most definitely single as he has not met that special lady yet and no doubt never will. I was impressed with his work ethics and energy. I was surprised, when I entered the VFW to see him conversing with the diners, checking their orders, checking food presentation and even clearing away some plates when the waitresses were busy. He brings discipline to the job, has the kitchen staff tasked with an extensive clean up task, improving service and a number one priority is to control expenses which he says right now are too high and he will take steps to bring them down to a more realistic level. I mentioned that he may have to adjust to a few old time personalities in the Club but he indicated that he could deal with that quite easily. So far I have heard quite a few positive comments regarding Federico in the short time that he has been with the Club so maybe we can expect to see him around for quite some time.

 

That’s it folks, time for me to hook up my calesa and hit the road. There have been some folks asking about the Knights of the Brown Ring (AH Club) as to when it would start up again. Sadly, it may lie dormant for for quite some time as Mrs Horse is not keen on seeing it reactivated. I am thinking though that I might be able to come up with reunion get together a couple of times of year. Even I am a bit hesitant until we see what approach the new City and law enforcement officials will be taking as they settle into their new jobs. We will just let the folks that host the Dog House and SOB parties test the waters and set the standards for the rest of the town. I am happy to have been able to complete this month’s column this morning without the electricity going off but I’m not sure about the rest of the day. I’ve instructed Mrs Horse to fill up our water containers so we have spare water on hand for showers and the toilet. Horses stink if they don’t get showered once or twice a day. Meanwhile I will get my sweet smelling ass out of here and remember, be kind to horses.

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