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Cuba Libre is here

Posted by admin on July 9, 2012 in Breaking News

Over the last year the International (Formerly Shano’s) has been going down hill.  The quality of the food went down, the employees were unhappy, and the customers stayed away.  Then the Poker room was closed down.  But, now, there is life after death.  The Lewis Group is coming to the rescue.  The below description was sent to me and it sounds like a very interesting, and dare I say an exciting Sports Bar will bring back a bit of life to A. Santos Street.

Cuba Libre Rum and Sports Bar in Angeles City is recreating the vibrant heydays of 1950s Havana and its love of sports and dancing.
The Lewis Grand Hotel team has created an enticing menu that features fresh produce with a Cuban Latin edge as well as mainstays in comfort food dishes.

Our amazing team of mixologists has also researched Cuban Cocktail Menus from the last 50 years to develop our cocktail List that features true classic Cuban cocktails with our favorite liqueur…. Rum!

We will feature authentic Latin Jazz bands playing live with Latin dancing to accompany the festive atmosphere in the evenings!

Get a ready… Opening August 2012!

Located at the old International Bar and Grill on A. Santos Street. Adjacent to the world famous Fields Ave. Angeles City, Philippines!
For More Info please add our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CubaLibreAC

From what I remember of Cuba and the 50′s, there were great sexy floor shows, gambling and the Mafia.  I wonder if we will get a taste of that as well.  There are enough “shady Expats” in town that could fill the “gangster” slots without having to import any from Vegas and Chicago.  Back then the Cuban government and the police got rich on hand outs from the gangsters.  Damn, that sounds familiar.  But, I think the Cuba Libre Sports Bar will be content to just provide the food, liquor, bands and plain old fun.  It is something to look forward to in August.

 
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ABC HOTEL POOL PARTY

Posted by admin on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

 

HI GUYS, I SURE HOPE YOU WILL BE AT THE ABC POOL PARTY ON SUNDAY, 8 AUG, STARTING AT 1130 HOURS.  YOU WILL  SEE A LIVE BAND, PLENTY OF FOOD AND DRINK AND IF YOU ARE LUCKY, YOU MIGHT SEE ME.

I WILL BE LOOKING FOR YOU, THAT SPECIAL KIND OF GUY.  IT MIGHT BE YOUR LUCKY DAY!!

 

 

 
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ANOTHER FOREIGNER MURDERED

Posted by admin on July 3, 2012 in Breaking News

I will just post this link and you can read the details.

 

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/42715/bayan-condemns-killing-of-dutch-ngo-worker-in-angeles-city

I can only say good luck in the investigation and do not expect much cooperation from the local police.  Why isn’t some organization investigating the murder of the owner of the Butterfly Bar.  The police have done nothing and the murderers are still at large.  Unless money is paid , do not expect much from the Police when a foreigner is murdered here.

Sure, the finally caught and arrested Mark Dizon but they had a lot of help in doing so and the publicity was so strong that they HAD to do their job.  What is happening now, Mark is gaining weight in jail as his court hearings go on, and on, and on.

 

 

 

 
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July 2012

Posted by admin on June 30, 2012 in 2012 Monthly Newsletters

Hey Folks, July already.  Back in the US hamburgers, hotdogs, fireworks, parties, and baseball.  Back here in Angeles City, well, some Clubs will probably have a few special events but the one to look forward to will be the big pool party at the ABC Hotel, not exactly on the 4th but Sunday, 8 Jul.  One guarantee is that they will have a band and the music will be loud, very loud but I think that during their breaks Gerard should book Howard McKay and Doggie Dave (DD) for a great switch in sound. The party goers could use a bit of Aussie music mixed in with some American sounds and folk music.  The problem is I am not sure that Doggie Dave could make it up the stairs to the stage, but not to worry, an elevator is available.  A lot of folks might not know this musically talented duo but they have been playing in Angeles City for many years now and they have a devoted following.  They play every two months at my stable and it is nearly standing room only.  On 27 Jun the house was packed for one of their best fun appearances, they had the fans dancing in their seats, laughing, chatting, including one lady who was glued to her Ipad for the whole evening, taking pictures and demonstrating to others her love of the evening.  I wonder if she sleeps with that Ipad.  Now I don’t want Mrs Horse to have one if that is what it does to people.  Actually I wanted to join her as those darn things fascinate me but I know I would never be able to learn how to use it with all those applications and stuff.  Hell, I have not figured out my cell phone yet.  Anyway, back to Howard and DD.  There is no entry fee for his appearance and believe me, it is an enjoyable night.  His next appearance will be in Aug on a Tuesday evening, date to be announced.  Normally I would place the audience pictures further down but what the hell, let me put them here, might as well change my routine.  Forgive me for making you look at the big guy Garth twice but he was sitting in a location that made it unavoidable.  I think he had a two cigar night.  Oh, those folks with yellow pieces of paper were raffle winners. Yeah, as cheap as I am I took some money out of my pocket to provide a few prizes.  I am looking for some raffle prizes for the August show, preferably from restaurants and other businesses.  Good chance to promote your business.          

FEEDBAG

I am planning to fly out of Clark to Bangkok with my gf in August. She lives in Bohol, works for the ferry company there, and has a bachelor degree in hotel management. She’s 23. I already bought the tickets to go there, since it’s cheaper to buy in advance. I just hope they don’t stop her from going on a well deserved vacation with me to do some sightseeing and shopping over there in Thailand. What’s going on about the immigration issue? Bret B.

 (Bret, I can nearly guarantee that the folks at Clark will not allow her to board the plane.  They will claim “profiling”, “human trafficking” , “Immigration directives”, and just plain personal opinion.  Whatever the reason, I recommend you go the seminar route in Manila and get the CFO stamp even though the whole process is a complete waste of time and expense.  But, at least you will not lose the cost of your girlfriends ticket)
Well I have until August, so we’ll go a day early to Manila so she can attend the seminar in Manila and getting a CFO stamp.  If that doesn’t work, we’ll just have to tour northern Luzon instead.  Bret.  (My goodness, if that does not work, please let me know).

Harry Perhaps u can help me, i am trying to contact my friend kim barnaby, u might even know him we go way back. several years ago i met up in puerto galera but his contact numbers must have changed.  Maybe u can pass on his new ones or give him mine.  Much appreciated. best regards Brian Fenton (Kim Barnaby, if you happen to read this please drop me a line and I will provide the Email address for Brian)  First and Last Name: Graham L. Comments and Remarks: Dear harry, I was a bit confused as to articles in June 2012 report? In one short paragraph you warned that foreigners should not get involved with domestic disputes…2 Filipino guys hitting a girl and the foreigner trying to help, you stated that foreigners should turn and walk away… good advice to me. The second article concerned two foreigners fighting in front of La Pasha; you turned a 360 in this article and went as far as to call the foreigners idiots for turning on a Filipino who tried to break it up? Another story from my side: Two friends of mine…one who is not anymore were also fighting in front of La Pasha and another friend of mine plus his long time girlfriend, my wife and myself tried to stop it… during the rucus my friend was kicked twice whilst knocked out, face down on the ground and a third attempt to stomp on the nape of his neck by the other foreigner was thwarted by my wife, during this many Filipino’s jumped in and taking free shots at us whilst grabbing for cell phones rings and wallets… Etc Etc, My friend face down in the gutter was repeatedly

 

kicked again by Filipino guys… his finger almost dislocated as his gold ring was ripped off. I know of an earlier incident at the same spot that night as the Police informed us, plus door girls at the club… The M.O. of said Filipino group jumping in to fights is to confuse and rob during the ruckus and run off like little rodents into the back streets (This tactic confirmed to us by the Police), the Filipino’s were not trying to help at all… Hope this clears up any misunderstandings about Filipino’s good intentions.  (Graham, you have a good point here.  I would guess that the best advice I could give, is, please guys, do not fight each other in public.  No one is the winner, especially if it is over a woman.  Graham, I compliment you and your wife for your attempts to help a friend.  Fortunately the “gang” did not turn on you as well.  To be honest, I do not know exactly what I would do in a similar situation.  At my age and small stature I guess I would not be very effective)

First and Last Name: louie.  Comments and Remarks: read your article about Easter and you should know that Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. Some how you got it wrong on your article.
(oops, good catch.  It has been corrected.  If it is still wrong, blame Priscilla)

hello Harry,  glad to hear you’er doing good. read your newsletter about immigration blacklisting someone they piss off. it made me think about my last immigration visit in april when i went to get stamped out. i got impatient and if i remember correctly he made some disparaging comments. if i do get blacklisted can i try to bribe the officer when i reenter next week?  Jim Q.  (Jim, cross your fingers and hope he forgot all about you.  I hear that a few of the Clark Immigration personnel were transferred so lets hope the new crop is a bit more understanding).

Comments and Remarks: As for your “Noise Reduction” article in June, it will just be selectively enforced (as the helmet law) against foreigners of course. Overall, this cesspool is becoming overly unbearable between Immigration, selective “law” enforcement, and the increasing set-up of foreigners. Can it be much longer until we are just stopped in the street and told we are drug dealers and held for “bail”? It is at the point that if I see foreigners dealing with these idiots (in a permanent way) I didn’t see a thing….and I am not alone in feeling this way. Dave (Dave, I hate to tell you this but there have been cases of foreigners set up for having drugs, even on the street.  Not so much now, but it can still happen again) After I sent Dave my reply, he followed up with what I consider a bit of disturbing news.  Does this mean that the Barangay officials have now joined forces with the police in setting up foreigners?  Tony Mamac, what say you? 

- Dave’s second message: Harry, It Just happened to a friend of mine this week…..lives here, not a tourist. Back on real street, a girl asks for a light and gives him a cigarette in return. Lights it, finds it is marijuana and tosses it immediately. BUT… right after many baranguay are all around him and haul him to station 4. Gets out after 12 hours and 30,000 Pesos. I have been coming here for 15 years..lived here for 2 now. Not sure how much more of this I will put up with. Many of my friends are saying the same. We have all been around the world and know how the game is played…and like it for the most part. Nice just buying your way out of (and into) things when the need arises. We understand the extra “costs” of being a foreigner and living in a place like this. Just getting to be too much.

 (I did a bit of research on the cigarette incident you mentioned above.  It did not involve any police at Station four.  In fact, it was the barangay police who were involved.  Yes, he did get a cigarette from a lady, but it was a “Billy Boy”.  He was also in the company of two other Expats and as he was walking he lit the cigarette and was smoking it.  The smell of marijuana was obvious and his friends told him to toss it.  But, barangay police had arrived and he was taken to the Balibago Barangay Hall.  Barangay Captain Tony Mamac was called and he responded to the Hall where the situation was explained to him.  He then directed that the “Victim” be transported to the City Police compound and turned over to the PDEA.  After that Capt Mamac was not aware of what the final outcome was.  Whatever the situation the lesson learned here is that one should not accept a cigarette from any lady (real or not) in the Fields Ave area.  I do not know for sure if this was a set up or not or just carelessness by a foreigner that might have had one or two drinks too many.  Be careful out there folks, I have been told that the drug problem in the Fields Ave area is serious and that investigations are active.  Be alert, be careful, be safe!) 

Hi Harry, here is a copy of a letter sent to the Commissioner of Immigration from a girl I have sponsored for the past 3 yrs.  It regards a most upsetting personal experience for her when she had to deal with the Clark Immigration agents as she attempted to travel abroad. It just seems ridiculous that they are not able to sort genuine travelers from illegal workers etc. At this moment there has been no response to her letters.  John H. Ana Rose S. Mangaser, 80 Geronimo Street, Barrio Barretto, Olongapo 2200, Philippines    Phone 09328493834  TO:  Commissioner of Immigration Mr. Ricardo A. David Jr. 2nd Floor Bureau of Immigration Magallanes Drive, Intramuros  Manila April 23rd  2012   Dear Sir, Earlier this month I graduated from Lyceum of Subic Bay College, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City. This was possible because I was sponsored by a Mr. John Hills from Australia.  Because I’m doing well at school my sponsor decided to take me to Hong Kong for a five day visit before I become part of the work force in the Philippines.  As this was my first trip to an international destination my sponsor made the effort to ensure all documentation was in place.  He was told by an immigration officer at the Clark international airport  prior to the trip that there should be no problem but to bring information to show I was a graduated college student, a letter from parents  to verify the sponsorship and their approval of the trip.  I did this plus references from my college registrar and an attorney who knew both myself and my sponsor. Thus, the return tickets and accommodation were booked for the trip on April 15 to April 20. On getting to Clark airport I was set aside by immigration. Unfortunately it was not a very nice experience. I was happy to answer any questions of relevance for the trip. But the interviewing officers seemed more interested I was not employed and therefore could not afford to travel and the age difference to my sponsor.  Even though I was traveling with my sponsor who was paying for all expenses.  After a two hour interrogation the supervisor on that night of April 15 refused me to travel. The reasons given were    1. I was not related to the sponsor. 2. I was not employed. 3. I was too young to travel. Yes, I am not related to my sponsor but I did show  letters to show he had been sponsoring me for the past three years. How can I have employment when attending full time college????.  To say I am too young is ridiculous. I am 24.  I have not lived with my parents for several years and have been employed as a  Technical Support for CD-R King Multimedia  provider (PINIC INTERNATIONAL) prior to returning to college to further my career. All these points were pointed out  and verified to the immigration officers but they appeared to take no notice. As you could imagine I was devastated by their refusal. I was not impressed by the attitude of these immigration officers especially when they could see I was upset and refused to let me see my sponsor who had already passed through immigration and was in the departure lounge.  Now I have been told by another immigration officer I need notarized  affidavits from my sponsor and from my parents. This makes me more confused, when I was traveling with my sponsor immigration were not interested in talking to him at my interview.  Also, I was under the impression that 18 was the legal age to be classed as an adult.  Surely wanting parents permission to travel at 24 is not needed. I have been a Social Security System contributor since 2007 and I am a  Registered voter and Tax payer with a TIN 249-772-356-000 when previously employed.  To me it appears Immigration policy for holidaying to international destinations is confused and poorly defined and not explained prior to traveling.  I do not wish to turn up to the airport for another trip and be refused again. I am happy to produce any documentation required to comply with immigration policy, but it is unacceptable to be asked at the moment of departure for documents you are not aware you need to travel. I would sincerely ask you for your assistance to provide the list of documents I require to travel in the future so that I am not subjected to this type of interrogation at departure in the future.   Thank you for your assistance, Respectfully Yours, Ana Rose S. Mangaser Copies To:  Supervisor of Immigration  DMIA  Clark Freeport Zone Ma. Milagros H. Magsaysay  House of Representative (John, I have heard that some agents at the DMIA have been transferred and that there is a new female supervisor assigned.  I did not see the article but was told by a friend that she wrote an article in some newspaper that the people at Clark will be more considerate in the handling of females traveling out of the country.  I am trying to get more details.  Right now, there remains a bit of confusion.  I can understand the anger and frustration of Ana.  It would be nice if the people she wrote to would at least send a reply but don’t hold your breath waiting)

Harry, Thanks for the reply, thats sounds promising.  It is just not acceptable to turn up ready to fly and be prevented for ridiculous reasons not laid down in the regulations.  I would appreciate any thing you may hear that changes this situation.

Comments and Remarks: Harry, I Just wanted to make a comment about the Charlie Apartelle Hotel in Angeles. With their new Manager, Cherry, being there, the customer service is simply fantastic. I had a few chanllenges while checking in, however Cherry and her staff provided instant solutions.  Joe Mortimer

Comments and Remarks: Hello Harry the horse,  Just a forewarning to anyone who wants to buy FORBIDDEN CITY.  DON’T …why? It has LABOR  complaints filed against it. The building itself is not worth the price they are asking. Investigate deeper if you please. The BUYER might find its more trouble than it’s worth. Bad reputation, the building has too many “malfunctions”, not worth the asking price. If it were such a hot ITEM then why is it FOR SALE…AGAIN Just a friendly advice.

(I am sure that whoever negotiates to buy the Forbidden City will use due diligence.  Any price can be negotiated and the location is prime.  But, any warning from a knowledgeable person, I am sure will be taken into consideration.  By the way, I passed the subject Club recently and there is a lot of renovation going on at the outside area.  It appears that they are trying to attract more Filipinos to the place).  

First and Last Name: Paul/Texas Joe comments and Remarks:  Harry – I’m getting around to reading some of your blogs and am enjoying them, as usual. In reference to the May article about Cancer and cures… I implore you to read the  following: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/kimmel_cancer_center/news_events/featured/cancer_update_email_it_is_a_hoax.html. Please don’t forego conventional medical treatment if you have cancer, in favor of some woo woo theories. It’s not wise either, to subscribe to the conspiracy theories about the medical profession being in cahoots with the drug companies. If anyone has a miracle cure for cancer, I assure you that they would make more money by curing people and being at the forefront of medical science than they could by prescribing drugs. Every doctor I know would be on board with any treatment that really works. I have had close friends that stopped conventional treatment in favor of eating lemons or peach pits, or whom have gone to Mexico for chelation therapy or enemas or other wacky stuff, and they all died. (Joe, a few people wrote to me and advised me of the hoax in that article.  I agree with you in certain areas but I have to add that I am becoming more interested in certain areas of alternate medicines especially in areas such as preventive procedures and the use of medicines through the use of herbs.  I would never give up using doctors, for sure, to do so would be nuts, but to close my mind to alternate therapies would be foolish as well.  I have read articles that indicate that more and more doctors are working together with alternate practitioners to find methods that benefit the patient.  By the way eating a lemon does have benefits but drinking water with some lemon juice is a lot better for you than drinking a coke.  (Smile).  Of course, eating a delicious meal at Subic’s (SBMA) “Texas Joes”  restaurant won’t hurt me at all (No charge for that free plug Paul). 

First and Last Name: Frank Evans Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry WELL DONE Harry!!! For having the balls to bring up the topic of paedophiles! Not nice to read but let’s not bury our heads in sand and pretend all guys who visit bars in Angeles are not perverts. Yes, you sure stirred up a lot of conversation with me and my friends in Angeles about this low life paedophile which was mentioned in your last month’s newsletter! We all know of him and he is quite visible to this day with his liking for kids and are sick to the teeth of scum like him who are only safe after castration! The international press and TV love it all about paedophiles in Angeles (true) and trafficking of girls into forced prostitution here (not true). What do our folks back home think of us living with THEM? Like you I remember all that shit about this guy being arrested and over a 100 homemade videos being confiscated by the police showing him having sex with kids as young as 12. It was all over the internet and in local and international papers. I remember him from The America Hotel over 10 years ago entertaining street kids, DSWD kids and kids from the bars. Many I would think between 12 and 14 years old, before he was kicked out of the hotel for just that! Let’s face it, I think most of the paedophiles residing in Angeles are well known to the likes of people like me who are still here from Clark Airbase days who still frequent the bar areas. How many have been brought to justice? I think none!

He got off the charges, still plays around with kids and the authorities don’t stop it. It’s the same old story about paying for injustice that we all know and some greedy mamasangs selling their soles. I hope you use my words on your site Harry so such guys of his type living here or wanting to come here for sex with kids read it and are aware that, (as you and others living here know), in this country, some individual policemen, vigilante organisations, groups of headstrong people and individuals (filapinos and foreigners alike) sometimes get so angry with the system that cannot, and will not, put these foreigner paedophiles behind bars or deport them, they themselves dish out the justice! There are rarely any half measures as well balanced people might often wish for. Why so many people in Angeles get murdered by a passing gunman on the back of a motorbike or another way? We don’t know all the reasons in all cases but the fact that the justice system in the Philippines is as good as a bar with no alcohol is one definite reason! Frank Evans – Angeles City.  (I think we all know where you are coming from on this subject Frank) 

Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry REF. I KNEW THIS PEADOPHILE GUY MENTIONED IN YOUR JUNE NEWSLETTER.  My name is David and now living back home in Boston after a few years living in the Philippines, about 6 -8 years ago and am a constant reader of your newsletters each month. I knew this paedophile guy mentioned in your June news letter. He was my neighbour in Seashore Resort, Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Mindoro for over a year. He was rearrested in Sabang by the Angeles Police, 2 local police forces, NBI, filmed by channel 7, for crimes against children, after jumping bail in Angeles, all prompted by PREDA a Roman Catholic charity organisation in the Philippines who have been trying to put this scum behind bars for over 10 years. I can tell you for sure that he got away with it! The police were preoccupied with the Channel 7 cameras to promote their arrest of a man on the run but did not even search his room, where they would have found almost 100 tapes of him having sex with girls. Many girls filmed seemed to be well underage (as my wife and the staff of the resort observed through viewings of the films) shot through a hidden camera in his room. He somehow returned to Mindoro in 3 days time accompanied by two girls, looking clearly underage, on his arm as he proudly walked off the boat from Batangas, which staggered all. THE NERVE AND ARROGANCE! I am pleased to say that his TV fame and the high profile arrest made him a NO NO for all girls in Sabang. He reluctantly returned to Angeles where he was not so conspicuous, and I presume to this day, “it’s business as usual”. Like with many others who knew him in Sabang, be boasted that he did not ever use condoms with, at the time of counting, was over 1000 Filipino girls in his trophy cabinet. How many girls he has infected, with what infection, make staggering assumptions??? Yes I confirm what Mr England says about this matter of “no condoms” in your last newsletter. The paedophile’s name is B. E.  Please remove it from this offering if you wish Harry (For obvious reasons Dave I have only used his initials). THE BIG POINT IS! I would have thought that the authorities would have caught up with this freak of nature by now. I can do nothing from the USA except to just make my comment to you Harry that the system there in the Philippines is not deterring foreigner paedophiles from filming sex sciences with kids, traumatising kids and infecting kids. They are not protected from paedophiles in even the most high profile people such as this guy. David,  Boston USA (David, you have joined a few others that have written to tell me that they know this person and to confirm his bad character.  I suspect that eventually he will slip up again and find himself back in jail)

First and Last Name: hank martin
Comments and 

Remarks: You asked for comments about your June write up about a pedophile in Angeles: “REF. PHEODFILE WITH EXTREMLY HIGH RISK OF AIDS!” You got it from me!  I’m happy to name and shame the cretin, hoping that people will recognize him as a pedophile and hope the bar owners will take note. His name is Barry E. who is an elderly Englishman who has been kicked out of countless hotels in Angeles, over more than 15 years, for bringing kids into his hotel room.  Just Google “Barry E. / pedophiles / Angeles City” or visit the owners of hotels in Angeles and it is all there to see that we have quite an “internationally famous pedophile” with us. Let’s not kid anyone that this guy is running under the radar or is reformed. He is HIGH PROFILE to this day, and as all pedophiles are, will never change his addiction for wanting sex with kids! None of them ever reform as we all know Harry. I am not a believer in people taking the law into their own hands even with such freaks but I know many people in Angeles capable of that when roused! The only way to get rid of this reptile from the town we love is to have him physically damaged or to remove his supply of kids. Just a few nights on Field’s Avenue buying drinks for the youngest looking girls in bars would unearth a number of 15 or 16 year olds naively admitting their age (as they do), while the bars hold fake ID on them. So to a determined and experienced operator like E., who trawls the bars most nights, it would be easy over a period of time, to run up a stable of kids even younger than 15 from bars on Fields Ave. Underage bar girls is a hot topic like never before in the history of bars in Angeles. These pedophiles (let alone an “internationally famous pedophile” like Barry E), just compound the problem for the customers like me (wanting it to stay alive) and the entertainment industry with its dependant industries. It’s relatively hard for publicity to influence the halt to the street girls offering sex for money in Angeles but I am sure that the bar owners have the power to easily stop these mamasans recruiting kids and then knowingly supply them to pedophiles. Are the bar owners turning a blind eye to it, unaware of it, or promoting it? What’s your take on it Harry? Hank Martin. Harry If you find my words too strong please delete as you think fit, while still keeping the main messages. (Hank, I certainly did get a lot of feedback on this guy.  I deleted the full name for my own protection.  I can say this about the bars, they do aggressively do all they can to refuse employment to underage girls.  I can vouch for this, but sadly, some do slip through the crack.  I do blame the Mamasans, ask Ken Graham, who became a victim because of Mommie Rose.  Even the majority of Mamasans do a good job and resent those few that violate the law.  I did not realize that this Barry guy is still so active in town.  I had forgotten all about him.  Thanks for your input.)

Harry, I read your article about S and R with interest. First of all, I want to preface this by informing you (and your readers) that I have been shopping at S and R (in Manila) since they first opened as Price Smart. I also wanted to let you know that the General Manager of the entire operation (something like 7 stores nationwide) is a personal friend of mine, and I brought the blog to his attention. Here is his response (Dave Fisher, Club owner, Barrio Barretto): “Hello Dave..   Sorry for delay, but things have been really busy, and I also had to follow up on the compliant from John Casey, that was sent to the Blog (Harrythehorse).  I actually read a lot of Harry’s Blogs….. very informative. If you could please let Harry (I assume that is his name) know, I have checked on this matter with the Whse management staff and of course, they don’t seem to recall anything like this.  I’m sure the information from the customer is accurate and the Whse has a lapse of memory.  This certainly is not the way that S&R does business.  Our members should never have to worry about pricing.

We have many systems in place to insure that this does not happen.  However, in this case, it would appear that not everyone did there required job.  The Members Treat Sale was a huge sale with many, many items marked down.  However, this was not an excuse to overlook signage or not audit the pricing at the registers. I will follow up with each of the managers in Pampanga and make sure they understand the severity of their actions when it comes to correct pricing and signage.  They will also be reminded that the customer is always right.  We have a zero tolerance policy on this and it should not happen.  If it does happen, I will take action immediately.  We value all our members and want to exceed their expectations when shopping at our S&R Whse’s. Thanks to Harry The Horse, John Casey and yourself, for bringing this matter to my attention. Thank you. Regards,” (Dave, you omitted the name of the manager.  Why?  How can I say hello to him when I go to S & R?  Anyway, I appreciated his response and of course love the fact that he reads my column.  The Mrs and I just bought a Maytag heavy duty washing machine there on 18 Jun, on sale, of course.  Can’t go in that store without buying more than I planned for)

Harry, I spent 10 years in the PI while in the Air Force…Clark from 68-69 and 75-80 and Subic Bay 80-84 (yes, there were a few Air Force folks, 4 actually, that were stationed at Subic Bay).  After left, I came back a few times on temporary duty when I was stationed in Japan.  I know I would not recognize Angeles or Olongapo these days.  My last visit was the week they closed Clark after Pinatubo.  I have often wondered what happened to some of the folks who owned places in Angeles.  I don’t know how long you have been around, but I’d be very interested in knowing what happened to Bill (last name I cannot remember) and Lee who owned Chick’s Snack Bar along perimeter road.  Chicks had “the coldest beer in town” – it would freeze when you poured it into a mug.  The “bar” was basically one end of Bill’s living room…he could often be seen sitting in his recliner, watching TV or reading the paper while you sat at the small bar drinking cold Magoo.  He was pretty old back then so I’d be surprised if he was still alive.  The other character I often wonder about is a red headed Canadian named John Francis who owned The Silver Dollar on MacArthur and a second small bar (name I cannot recall) on Fields Ave.  John was a true piece of work who would go a month without drinking, then go on a 3 day bender where you could sometimes see him behind the bar at one of his establishments, naked except for a cowboy hat and red bandana.  I was also a member of American Legion Post 10 where they had cheap beer and great food.  Many friends of mine retired to stay in the PI but I don’t know how many made it past Pinatubo.  Mark Conner
(Mark, there are still a bunch of old timers around from the pre and post Pinatubo times.  The people you mentioned are no longer around nor are the bars they owned.  Post 10 American Legion is still functioning.  In fact, they just renovated it a few months ago.  I have not been in there to check out the new look yet.  

You would still be able to recognize a few landmarks in AC and more so in Subic, especially Barrio Baretto.  Many bars are still there but most have new names.  You should try to get back here for a visit and relive a few old memories.)
Harry, an Immigration story for you, one good one and 2 bad ones. First the good.  Met my wife in AC 3+ years ago when  she was 18, love at first site for me, took a little longer for her as she was 18 and I 65, getting her passport from the passport office was a disaster, come back tomorrow she was told for 2 solid weeks, I had been cautioned by some friends that she would have a difficult time getting through immigration as a single 18 year old without letter from me and some financial statement and even then it might be difficult so I opted to fly out and accompany her back to Thailand.  (yep, no surprise there with a 47 year age difference) When we went through immigration at Clark  she was in one line I was in the other. When they asked what she was going to do in Thailand she said “live with my boyfriend” and pointed to me in the next isle. The officer asked her why a young attractive girl like her wanted to go live with a old man like him? She looked him straight in the eye and said “because I love him”. Got immediate approval. That was the good one.
(now this is one guy who will die with a smile on his face, “love at first sight”, ain’t it wonderful!) A year or so later we were married and she made a solo trip back to visit relatives when she went to airport to catch plane home they would not let her through immigration without round trip ticket. Mind you she had a spousal visa with a re-entry permit but still denied, she did not have enough money nor credit card to purchase a return ticket and missed her flight out. Last week her 18 y/o sister who now lives with us was returning from a trip back to PI and was refused permission to board as she did not have a letter from her school verifying her education visa (also had a re-entry permit in her passport) she missed her plane. Went to Manila the next day with the letter I got from the school,  never asked for it in Manila. My wife is still there as she went same time but had some business to take care of, fortunately we did not have a round trip ticket this time and she is afraid to fly out of Clark so she is returning through Manila. The immigration officers in Clark are on a power trip for no reason and will end up hurting the tourist business and the airlines that have increased the number of flights into Clark. I think they are afraid that it will get so busy that they will have to work harder than the snail’s pace they are used to.  Thanks for letting me vent my frustrations and keep up the good work that you do for all of us coming to AC.  Hawaii Bob.  (Bob, I believe that with new personnel assigned to the Clark Immigration, travel for your wife and others might be a little less frustrating.  Stay happy my friend, and may you enjoy many more happy years with the love of your life)

First and Last Name: William Roach Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry, Took my Filipina Sweetheart to Pattaya Thailand on the 18 June from Clark and had no problems. Went thru immigration in record time. Wanted to see Round Trip ticket. After check in and paying departure tax, including terminal fee, immigration took less than five minutes including stand in line. No problems. Girl is coming back in 20 days to AC. Thanks for all your help with my phone call to you. Sincerely William Roach.  (Bill, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.  It is so good to read some good news about the DMIA Immigration folks and glad I was able to help you a bit)

Harry, Having been going to Angeles about 60 days a year since 2001. I have learned how to dodge the girls. It takes a lot of practice since I have been known to frequent the streets of the grabbing girls in Tijuana.  A easy idea to enforce. The girls are not allowed to be in the street. They have to stay on there own property.  That will take care of the ten girls who hang out in the street in front of Atlantis.  I love to walk between the girls and there building. They don’t realize it and I just ignore them.  Mike Meyer, Worm, San Diego  (Mike, at least in Tijuana you do not have a bunch of organizations and politicians wanting to close down the bars.  Here, image is important)

First and Last Name: LAURENCE S Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry. Thanks for the great ongoing AC news and information. On the trike boys front, many still agree on a price before ride, then on arrival, say that you are their first fare, and have no change -common practice-call their bluff.  On a bright front, however, last month, an honest trice boy, who had dropped me off at Robinsons , chased me through the Mall to return my cell phone, which I had dropped in his trike.  I was so shocked at his act of honesty, I neglected to give him a reward. My apologies  (Oh boy, now that will be the last cell phone he returns).  Last week I watched the U.S Doctor Drew show on cable, and he related that there was a new strain of V.D. which is resistant to Anti Biotics, in America. I was telling some mates here about this, over a beer and one guy told us a long time local had told him several Europeans had been sent home by local Doctors to be treated for the V.D strain, as local Doctors were unable to treat the new disease. So guys, maybe keep a cap on it for a while. Take care out there Laurence S.

Comments and Remarks: Hello Harry the Horse, I have been reading your posts now for around a year or so.  Mr. horse i hope you will post this to your monthly news letter.  I was in the navy and stationed at Cubi Point NAS from june 1960 to Dec 1962 And being aboard three ships also spent a lot of time in subic bay.  I met and married my wife in Olongapo (best thing i ever did in my life when i married this lovely little filipina ) We have now been married 50 years.  My last visit to olongapo with all my family but my oldest daughter was 2006. The last time i was there while still in the navy was late 1963 and i never went back untill march 2004.(about a 42 year span) When i finally returned it still looked pretty much like it did when i left in 63 except olongapo has got a hell of a lot bigger.  Some fancy buildings here and there (no bars anymore) and a burger joint here and there.  What my main point is going to be is how “filthy” this country still is, (in fact it is even worse than before ).? If one was to do anything constructive in this country to try and build some respect for the country and it’s people would be to take some steeps to clean that “shit hole up”. (start with the school kids and go from there ) I get so tired of going to web sites and reading about how hard it is because these peopl are so “poor”…….”BULLSHIT” “Being poor” does not give anyone the right to be filthy and throw garbage and crap down all over the place and pollute all their rivers, thats just plain bullshit and laziness.  I grew up poor as a kid and in a family of 8, and we were always  told by our mother that being poor is no excuse for being dirty. I’m very fond of the Philippines and like the Filipino people….But I can’t go there and pretend i don’t see all the filth like a horse with blinders on. Go to any fancy place in Manila (or anywhere else i have been in the P.I ) and drive 10 miles in any direction and tell me what you see.?? I would be ashamed to have the world look at my country if i was a Filipino. I have a lot of Family members in Olongapo and other areas throughout the island of Luzon….I’m sure this won’t set well with them if they read it…..But my god people, get some pride. Larry K.  (I agree Larry, it sure can do with a bit more cleaning up.  After living here for so long I get like the natives and am so used to the situation that I don’t notice it that much anymore. There have been many clean-up campaigns where volunteers arrive and spend a day or two picking up garbage and trying to beautify a location.  But, two days after they leave, the place is filthy again.  So, why bother?  Too many people just do not care, especially those in squatter areas.  It is not just the Philippines but the same situation exists in many countries.  It cost a lot to keep a city clean and lack of City Government funds does not help.  In Las Vegas I was fascinated by the fancy garbage trucks picking up garbage from the houses.  In the old days it took three people to man the truck, now, only one is needed, the driver.  The damn thing is so automated that he hardly has to get out of the truck.  I guess I will take a few pictures of a typical garbage truck here, and how two to three people are on top of a pile of garbage and how much it stinks.  They do the best they can.  “Pride” is abundant here but it would help if enough funds were available to supplement that pride.)

TIDBITS

An English Expat dropped by to see me and brought me a copy of a Bureau of Immigration, Manila Memorandum Order No. ADI-U3-013, 9 Jun 2003.  This Order, signed by then Commissioner Andrea Domingo states: Whereas the freedom to travel of every Filipino is enshrined in our Constitution as an inalienable right: Whereas, various requests from other government agencies that impose restrictions and requirements that infringe on the right of Filipinos to travel and unreasonably discrininate by reason of station in life, gender, religion and age are hereby removed to avoid bureaucratic red tape, and to prevent a breeding ground and opportunity for corruption; and Whereas, the vaciilating requests for the Bureau by the other government agencies to be strict and then to relax and then to be strict again on immigration departure formalities have created a vicious cycle that opens the Bureau and it’s officials vulnerable to unverified complaints and reports that are hearsay and tender them liable to court suits and unnecessary litigation; Wherefore based on the foregoing premises and effective immediately, all concerned Bureau of Immigration personnel are hereby instructed to allow the departure of Filipinos who have valid passports, valid visas where required and round trip tickets when necessary without requiring other documents to be submitted except those that may be required by existing laws such as Authority to Travel issued by the Department of Social and Welfare Development to unaccompanied Filipino minors. OK, the Expat wondered why it is different now and that this 2003 order is being ignored by Immigration officials.  My reply was that way back in 2003 we never heard too much about Human Trafficking and Hillary Clinton had not arrived on the scene yet to threaten the Philippines with withdrawal of American money.  Also, over the years it appears that many ladies are leaving the Philippines, heading to Bangkok and then on to other locations for jobs that end up with them being used for sexual services.  So, in a nutshell, things have changed and Immigration policy changed. The problem is that there was no public announcements about the policy change and of course, there was no standard procedure established at the Airports thereby leading to what this 2003 Immigration order was trying to resolve in the first place as stated above in bold face.  Confusing, sure, but the problem is being addressed and with time, more common standardized procedures may come about —- eh, maybe.

SUBIC NEWS – From Ron and Elsa:   The Ayala Mall on base is open (kinda), with about 70% of the businesses, restaurants, etc still not open.  They claim “most” will be open by the end of this month.  We personally think that SM Clark is still the place to go without travelling too far. The traffic lights at the Kalaklan Gate/Hiway is still an area you have to be real careful with when driving around there. It has been and will continue to be an ongoing hazardous area, so watch your “p’s and q’s” as there have been several accidents there.  It still seems to us the best value for a meal at SBMA is Texas Joe’s. For pizza, S&R near Pure Gold is pretty darn good.  In the barrio area, Sittin’ Bull bar and restaurant always has quality meals and more than enough to satisfy your hunger. “The Garage”, a small air con bar inside Sittin’ Bull is a good place to go for an ice cold drink and the friendly staff makes it worth your while to return on a frequent basis.  Another new bar in barrio is Route 69 Sports Bar and Grill. Nice little place with good music, good food, cold drinks, a dart board, aircon and also has a friendly staff to serve you. I go there just about every day and I play on their dart team.  Another good watering hole in Barrio is Dynamite Dick’s, and their infamous “Dynamite Burger” will definitely satisfy your appetite. Driving in Olongapo is like going through a slalom course with all the road construction going on.  If you are coming from Manila or Angeles, go thru SBMA and out the Kalaklan Gate (like i said, be careful there at the intersection) and go to Barrio. Avoid down town Olongapo if you can.  There are now darts in the barrio/baloy beach area seven days a week.  There is a Wednesday and Friday League play, and all other days are a money tournament. P100 entry is usually the norm.  There are also 8 ball money tournaments during the week for those interested. For info on pool and darts, search for Cool Subic Darts or Cool Subic Pool online. There are several hotels in the barrio/baloy beach area too, at reasonable prices.  If you want to stay at SBMA, there are some nice hotels there too, but they are more expensive.  Elsa and I, like a lot of other folks, are going to be busy now since the kids are going back to school. Our kids go to school on SBMA, so we have to take them and pick them up everyday. That’s about it from Subic.  We plan to go to Angeles next month after Elsa and the kids get back from vacation in Samar late this month for a week, so we will stop by Harry’s Watering Hole for a meal and some cold drinks.

Someone sent me this article from “MSN Now” and it really has me kind of confused: Before you let that chiropractor crack your neck, consider the latest warning published in the British Medical Journal. A new study suggests that manipulating your neck with those quick jerks that feel so good may lead to serious complications. The study’s author calls cervical spine manipulation “unnecessary and inadvisable,” saying it can lead to an array of nightmarish issues, including stroke and tearing of the lining of the vertebral artery, which carries blood to the brain. Other experts insist the technique can be excellent therapy and that studies like this do nothing but instill fear in patients who are already suffering enough. (there, you see what I mean.  First I am convinced that no one should be messing with my neck and then it goes on to “other experts” who say it is OK to crack your neck.  Shit, which experts do I rely on?  I think that at my age with all my old bones in rapid deterioration I better side with the British Medical Journal.  Someone might crack my neck and my damn head would fly right off my shoulders.  For the rest of you, make your own decisions!)

While shopping at the Marquis Mall in Angeles City, I happened upon an expat who stopped me to relate a tale of woe, one he thought would be worthwhile passing on to others.  It is not an unusual tale for this town but its uniqueness is in the length of time involved.  Let me call the man Mr. Smith for convenience.  Mr. Smith was married to a Filipina for 21 years, living happily for most of those years. He bought a lovely house for her, had four handsome children, saved money and was extremely happy husband and proud parent.  Of course the house and many other assets were in the wife’s name.  This is normal, most of us Expats, married and unmarried have done the same even though we realize that this could be a risk.  Mr. Smith thought that since the title to the house had listed her name and stipulated “married to husband Mr. Smith, etc.” that he was pretty well covered.  Additionally, after so many years of marriage, he remained happy and secure.  Guess what?  Everything went to hell very quickly.  His wife got addicted to gambling, got in debt, sold the mortgage to the house, borrowed money which she could not pay back, got involved with a Filipino, left Mr. Smith and now he is dealing with the courts to try and get the house back and salvage whatever he can as well as dealing with a broken heart.  One thing he did not realize is that the “married to” clause on a title does not mean anything unless your spouse dies and the Expat survives her.  Mr. Smith blames the lawyers for not notifying him when his wife sold the mortgage.  Believe me, she can sell anything in her name without the Expat knowing anything.

She can even withdraw nearly all the money in a Joint bank account without a spouse knowing anything until it is too late.  Mr. Smith blames himself, and called himself “stupid” but I told him not to do that.  He was just “taken” by a wife that went bad.  What is unusual or unique, is that it took so long to happen.  I am sure that there were warning signs that in hindsight, Mr. Smith can think of, but being secure in his marriage, so he thought, he was trusting until the shit hit the fan.  Fortunately, Mr. Smith is still young enough to recover, he is healthy and still has the love of his children.  His wife is responsible for her own debts and she is no longer part of the household but somehow, through the courts he hopes to regain ownership of the house.  It is a sad story that serves as a warning to all who marry and live here.  Be prepared for the worse case scenario.  More than likely, a Mr. Smith incident will never happen, but if it does, remember, the Horse has warned you.  What about me? You guessed it – yep, Mrs. Horse is the keeper of the house who I try to make sure stays very happy, never gambles, never drinks and hopefully, never gets too pissed off at me.  Marriage is always a gamble and there are more winners than losers.  So far I am still in the winner’s circle as so many others are.  But if one has to lose, it is so much easier to recover here than back in the USA, Canada, Australia and other countries.

PACQUIAO –   I guess I have to comment on the Pacquiao/Bradley fight. OK, Pacman lost, many thought he won.  Was he the same champion of old, no, but he was never hurt, not knocked down and still strong at the end of 12.  Normally, under those conditions, the nod will go to the champ.  It did not!  Now, there is to be an investigation and that is good.  But, to be honest, I think there should have been an investigation into the judging of the Pacquiao/Marquez fight in which it was so obvious to everyone who watched it, that Pacquiao lost!  So, is there a smell hanging over boxing, you better believe it!  OK, let the big guys investigate, get better judges, find out who did the fixing if any and then let the rematch come on where Arum and company make big bucks.  The lesson to be learned here is that Pacquiao never should have given up women and booze too quickly and held off on the born again stuff.  It did not help him at all!  Maybe he should just concentrate on being a “bought again Congressman” instead.  It would be nice to see him win the rematch though.  Update:  Ah, the WBO investigating board came out and said that based on review Pacquiao won the fight but of course they cannot reverse the decision.  The Pac-Man has been vindicated and he remains a hero, somehow, it remains a hollow victory.

Now we wait to see what is next, should be interesting.

Lewis Grand Hotel - It’ s rainy season… and instead of raising our prices, like some of the other joints in town, we are actually giving you a hefty discount on our nice and “plush” Double Occupancy Suite rooms (see also: http://lewisgrand.com/rooms/double-occupancy-suite/). Stay for a low US$ 70 in a nice, big and well decorated room, with either a king and a queen sized bed, or a huge hollywood sized bed. The room has WIFI, wired Internet, Flatscreen TV, DVD, 2 ton Aircon, Bathtub, two Lavatories, full Generator backup (no brownout), free local Transportation (upon availability), big Garden, nice Swimmingpool, Jacuzzi, 24 hour Fitness Center, free Billiard, Massage service, etc, etc… Try it out… we have smoker and non-smoker rooms available. For more information, or for bookings, please contact our Reservations Department at: Reservations@LewisGrand.com. Our lovely Ladies will be happy to take good care of you ! We are looking forward to Welcome you here at the LEWIS GRAND ! (James, a one time freebie mention for you because I know you work so hard – adding the pictures would have cost you)

I am providing an Email address of a lady that works in a Club that I frequent who I think would be a person some guys would enjoy communicating with.  She does have a very young child and yes, has worked for a number of years in this Club.  She is still under thirty, attractive and a nice personality.  She is a friend, not intimately, just a nice person to chat with.  I would like to help her meet a decent expat and, who knows, even have a relationship leading to marriage.  Well, one never knows.  Anyway, she does not want her picture shown but her Email address is: gina_4love2005@yahoo.com.

Alien I-Cards will soon be delivered to foreigners Posted  by Vito Barcelo & filed under Metro.

FOREIGNERS applying for visas at the Bureau of Immigration no longer have to go to the agency’s offices to claim their alien certificate of registration-identity card (ACR-I-Card) as these will soon be delivered to their doorsteps. Under the revised rules on the processing and issuance of the ACR-I-Card issued recently by Commissioner Ricardo David Jr., all I-Cards printed and released for distribution shall be endorsed to a courier that shall deliver the cards to the visa applicants within 24 hours. David said the new procedure will be operational as soon as the BI has identified, selected and engaged the services of a reliable, reputable and cost-effective courier provider. He disclosed that a supplemental memorandum will be issued to formalize the operation of the courier delivery system for the ACR-I-Card. The guidelines state that the cards shall be delivered to the residential address of stated by the applicant in his or her application form. (Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/June/16)
Rumor control # 3457:  Doll House Group is going bankrupt.  HTH research:  This rumor is classified as “Horse Shit”.  I queried someone in the know, his answer was “

I talk to Derek, the owner of Doll House, often. No chance he’s going bust. He is planning a 500 room hotel, he already owns the land. His bars are racking in the cash. Sounds like another stupid rumour.”

Rumor control # 3458:  Ken Graham died in jail.  HTH research:  Horse Shit again. He was taken to the hospital for medical treatment.  He is still kicking.

Rumor control # 3459: Bones, from the Ponderosa Hotel, now living in Australia, died.  HTH research:  Yep, you guessed it – HORSE SHIT AGAIN.  Bones underwent a minor operation and remains alive and well.  Good news for one and all.

Rumor control # 3460:  Lewis, owner of the Lewis Grand Hotel is taking over the contract for the restaurant in the International Club.  From what I have heard, this appears to be true.

Spike and Pat from Maui, sorry I missed you.  Thanks for the goodies.  Hope to see you on your next trip.

The Phillies Sports Grill now has live feed Australian Horse Racing every Wednesday and Saturday at 0900 hrs.  Right now there are a few glitches in the system but it is being worked on.  Hopefully all will be well by the time this column goes to print.

Hang-Out Owner Doug Frost – Medical Update.  My goodness, this man has gone though hell since his car accident.  Finally, again, he has been released from hospital and is home but remains bedridden.  He cannot get up, he cannot walk, he can barely sit up in bed.  He has spent over 3 million pesos for some incompetent hospital care and finally some excellent care in St. Lukes.  Let me try to give a bit of history here if I can remember it all.  First, car accident, of course Filipino concerned citizens helps Doug, but then takes wallet, watch, rings, etc.  Then, Maj Tan takes him to ONA hospital, big mistake.  As quickly as possible he was transferred to AUF, for sure another mistake.  Since he had no insurance, they needed money up front.  While there, the doctors misdiagnosed his injuries.  They missed a broken hip completely.  The operation performed on his arm had to be redone after he transferred to Sacred heart.  He was in and out of Sacred Heart three times.  Arm fixed, hip fixed, then it was found his Achilles tendon in his right ankle was damaged and that needed an operation.  That developed into a hospital infection and also, last but not least he developed a severe bleeding duodenal ulcer which required surgery.  These last two symptons were taken care of when finally, he was transferred to St. Lukes Hospital where finally, he received the final medical care he needed so badly.  Now, the question is, will he be able to recover.  I suspect he has a long road to go but he is a tough old bird and has enough ladies looking after him as well as Mac.  I have heard that he is a bit cranky now with the frustration of being in bed so long and undergoing a bit of pain for so long.  I hope to be able to visit him soon.

The Vortex bar has been taken over by new tenant, George (Paradise Garden).  I stopped by on 25 Jun and there was some minor renovations taking place.  The VORTEX sign out front was removed so no doubt there will be a new name.  The good news is the two lads who had some legal beefs with Gary Stone were taken care of and all concerned were in mutual agreement.  Bill, owner of the Walk-a-bout was very helpful and fair in assisting with the settlement.  I do not know what name will be used or when the club will be reopened but with George in charge, I am sure it will be a well run establishment that will become quite popular.  By the way, Gary Stone remains “missing in action”.

This is interesting:  http://www.midnightrock.eu/angeles_happenings/ken_grahamcoyote_ugly_update_june_2012/

The Clark Cemetery, finally, through the efforts of the VFW and Mr. Dennis Wright is coming under the spotlight of some senators and Congress.  Many readers of this column have no idea that this cemetery exist its historical significance.  I have been remiss in that over the years I have not written much about this cemetery and the struggle to gain official US recognition of it.  Since the Americans left the base in 1991, VFW volunteers have maintained the cemetery and managed new burials.   The Commander of the VFW here, John Gilbert has provided some information that will allow you to get a good idea of how important this cemetery is. The Clark Veterans Cemetery, located on the former Clark Air Base, has over 8600 remains dating from 1900, with a capacity of 12,000. We perform 30 – 40 Burial per year, and host 6 – 8 major Ceremonies. Our database is reasonably accurate and we have a plot map available for those interested in research. The majority of American graves in the Philippines are in our Cemetery and in the American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Manila, (17,000 WWII). Other Cemeteries were consolidated with these two, or are predominantly local Filipino Cemeteries. Our website www.vfwpost2485.com has information on the Clark Veterans Cemetery as well as information on local accommodations. The Clark Veterans Cemetery Restoration Association website, www.cvcra.org has additional Cemetery reference material and a searchable database.  I hope you will take the time to look at both sites.  John Gilbert, Commander, VFW Post 2485, Chairman, Clark Veterans Cemetery

HOUSE FOR RENT 

Brian Nolansun has a house for rent.   It is located at B69-A Marlim Extension, Pulung Maragul, AngelesCity.  Details:  House & Lot 150 sqm, House area 100sqm, Fully furnished, Located in the rural setting behind the LivingStone International School, minutes from Fields Avenue & 5 minutes from Marquee Mall.  Features: 2 Bathrooms, 1 with Hot Water. 2 Bedrooms, 1 Romp room, Lounge, Dinning room & standard kitchen.  Sat TV, 46in LED TV, DVD, 100W IPOD Speakers.  Main Bedroom w/ air-con.  Lounge & Dinning area w/  3 hp air-con  unit. Anything can be arranged, Maids, Airport Pick up/drop off, 24hr Trike, Vehicles, Tours etc.  House is available for Monthly rental.  You can contact his wife for further information at Email maridel_fernandes@yahoo.com.ph or Brian at  briannolan86@hotmail.com.

The Sandusky jokes have started – no surprise there:   HAVE YOU HEARD THAT . . . 1. Penn State is the only University where you can major in minors!

2. You may hate Jerry Sandusky, but at least he drove slowly through school zones.

3. His  defensive football philosophy at Penn State was to “always cover the Tight End.”

4. He had to stop going to church. The priests kept fighting over who got to hear his confession.

A joke sent to me from Ron Nethercutt:   I was in a pub last Saturday night. Had a few…. and noticed two very large women at the bar. They both had strong accents so I asked… “Hey, are you two ladies from Scotland?” One of them chirped… “It’s WALES, you friggin’ idiot!” So, I immediately apologized and said… “I’m sorry. Are you two whales from Scotland?” That’s all I remember.

Goodbye England?  Maybe, eventually – Check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h2XBZz88VE&feature=player_embedded

Golf Cart graveyard - For quite some time now I have heard many complaints about the Mimosa Country Club and particularly the unhappiness with the treatment given to many of the long time expat members.  It appears that many of the complaints are not being addressed by management but then that appears to be “par for the course” (pardon the pun).  The latest complaint I hear about is the shortage of Golf Carts and many members wondering why the many non-operational carts are not being repaired.  Instead, they sit in what can only be referred to as the Mimosa Golf Cart Graveyard, rusting away.  Can it be that this Golf Course is so mismanaged that there is no money available for repairs?  If so, then that is a sorry state of affairs, especially knowing that Mr. Levy Laus when he was in charge of CDC provided 40 brand new golf carts to Mimosa.  Add this to many other complaints and one may wonder how this golf club maintains its membership?  Many have said by catering to the Korean members, and even those Korean non-members to the detriment of other Nationalities.  Even if these complaints are not valid, one thing is for sure, pictures do not lie, and surely, a better golf cart maintenance program is called for.

An interesting story here.  English citizen David Colvan contacted me a few months ago to relate to me his difficulties with his pension.  The British Government stopped his State Pension payments despite the fact that he had informed the Government that he would be abroad for an extended period of time and provided an Email address in which he could be contacted.  He specifically requested that his payments not be stopped.  Needless to say, without his pension payments living here became a bit difficult.  Over time he sent 6 different Emails to the Government and 6 letters and finally a phone call to the pension officials from his daughter in England. What he is quite proud of is that after many months he finally received a letter from the Parliamentary Business Unit in Norcross, Blackpool acknowledging the error and stating that “we accept that the service you received fell below that which you were entitled to expect from us”.  The letter went on to say “We have therefore authorised a payment of 175 pounds into your bank account comprising 100 pounds for inconvenience, 50 pounds for distress and 25 pounds for embarrassment”.  Colin passed on the information as he stated “Harry, it’s not often you get an admission of shortcomings, and an ‘apology’ from a British Government Ministry and a compensatory award!”

I relate this story because I compliment Colin on his perseverance, patience and stubbornness and let this be an example to others who might have legitimate problems with their Governments, especially regarding pensions.  If you are right, FIGHT for your rights and do not let the bureaucracy defeat you.  All too often it is some low level Government clerk that has started all the trouble to begin with.  Well done Colin!!

The Philippine elections are not until 2013 but the local election scene is already quite interesting.  Many were surprised when Congressman Lazatin announced that he was going to run for Angeles City Mayor.  The question is will EdPam run for re-election or will he seek a Congressional seat?  Lazatin will be a formidable candidate as he was a much respected Mayor and then Congressman.  The Lazatin family has a long political history in Angeles City.  If EdPam decides that he wants to continue as Mayor no doubt, it will be the most exciting AC election in years.  It would be very difficult to predict a winner. After thinking about it for a long time, Barangay Captain Tony Mamac announced that he would run for Vice Mayor, the third person to declare for that position.  Incumbent Vice Mayor Vicky Vega and Councilor Max Sangil have also declared they will run for that position.  As you know, anything can happen from now until the actual election.  Candidates now, can change their minds as crunch time comes along and decisions have to be made.  I have my favorites but all I can do is sit on the side lines and root for him or her.  If Congressman Lazatin does run for Mayor I wonder if he would spend more time in Angeles City.  If he does, that would mean that Irish Calaguas (IC), Lazatin’s senior adviser for political affairs would be here as well and it would be good to see more of her.  She is one dynamic lady.  She is the originator of the famous Angeles City Sisig Festival which I miss.  But I see that the Angeles City Tourism office events calendar as it scheduled for 8 Dec and that is something I will be looking forward to.  I love that Sisig!

LOOKING FOR A BUSINESS PARTNER - ”Erwin Altenburger” <balitodarkwinoldcastle@yahoo.com>, (AKA Palito) sent me a text to ask if I would announce that he is looking for a partner in Palito’s Club on McArthur Ave just across the street from Johnny’s Supermarket.  The investing partner could gain up to a 45% interest with the possibility to take over all within 3 to 4 years.  His cell phone number is:  0927 941 3088.  This could be a decent investment opportunity as improvements and new ideas could come about over a period of time.  It is a two story Club with pool table and darts upstairs.

The Aloha Bar and Infinity bar are new clubs on Fields Ave which contribute to the continuing new sights on Fields Ave.  But both Clubs represent examples where government officials say one thing but then we find out it ain’t quite that way.  Balibago Barangay Captain, Tony Mamac had a Barangay ordinance passed that restricted the number of personnel assigned as doormen, really door ladies, along the stretch of Fields Avenue.  The purpose, of course, was to reduce the red light image of Fields Ave.  Though it passed in the Barangay but City Councilor Attorney Willie Rivera declared the ordinance illegal, a decision that has angered Mamac.  Meanwhile, the excess number of ladies out on the streets remains and the Aloha Bar is a perfect example of excess ladies and over-zealousness on the part of the ladies.  Their aggressive behavior is more apparent at night, when like bats, darkness brings out their “attack” urges.  Prior to darkness, as you can see in picture one the 8 ladies are just warming up.  The number will increase late at night and their attire will be more daring.  I can understand the owners motive, since his monthly rent g is P200,000, add on labor, electric, water, permit and licensing fees and the need to drag customers in off the street is quite evident.  No doubt there is one Korean that now loves Willie Rivera.  I believe that Councilor Rivera needs to take a few walks along Fields around 10 PM and maybe he would then decide to work with Capt Mamac to come up with a City resolution that would help to make Fields Ave a bit more presentable.
The second picture is that of the Infinity Club.  It is a nice looking frontage with a great viewing area for girl watching. The previous Club occupying this building was the Dirty Duck which was closed by the City after a raid by the police that resulted in the so called “rescue” of underage girls.  It stayed closed for a long time.  I am happy to see a new owner and a new name but I am curious.  I mentioned before that the right hand of the Mayor in the person of Alex Caugarian stated quite forcefully at a meeting that any Club on Fields Ave closed down as a result of a raid would not be allowed to reopen as a bar, instead it must be a restaurant, hotel or other non-entertainment business.  I guess that was all talk and maybe he meant that sometime in the future this would be a City policy that needed City Council approval.  In any case, great news for the owner of the Infinity who managed to open his Club before anybody took Alex C’s words seriously.

Welcome back Jim Sebree, owner of the very popular Cottage Kitchen and also a valued member and past President of the Rotary Club of Clark Centennial (RCCC).  Jim has been slowed down by some very serious medical problems and not able to attend Rotary meetings as well as being confined to his home.  He has regained enough of his strength to make a surprise visit to a Rotary Club meeting in which he was warmly greeted.  Jim’s condition might require him to go to the States for more extensive medical treatment but for now, all Club members were so happy to have him with us once again.  We all pray for the continued improvement of his health.

JULY HAPPENINGS

ABC hotel’s annual POOL PARTY extravaganza. July 8.  Mark it on your calendar. This year will be especially spectacular…Start time: 1130 hrs until 1700.  Folks, believe me, for sure you do not want to miss this event.

FAREWELL BARRY HAYNES

A special gathering of close friends to Barry Haynes got together at my stable on the evening of 11 Jun to wish him a safe trip back to England.  Barry was to leave the next day to undergo medical treatment in England and all are wishing him a speedy recovery and early return to the Philippines. Barry worked with the owners of  a new Hotel, under Great Western Management that will be opening soon as a sales agent.  I met him when he first got here as a replacement for Simon, who also had to return to England to help care for his sick father.  Simon was on my dart team so naturally, when I met Barry, my first question was “do you play darts”.  Regretfully, his answer was “no” but despite my disappointment I found this young man to be extremely likable and an instant friendship was established.  Everyone who met him appreciated his energy and bubbling personality and he was highly respected by his employers.  His illness is a bit serious but even on the eve prior to his departure he never quit smiling even though bearing up to a bit of constant pain.  He joked, laughed and had a few drinks as well and the love and respect for the man from those in attendance was overwhelming.  It was a fine evening, one that Barry will remember and it is hoped that the memory of that evening along with remembering the very special lady he had to leave behind will help him be strong enough to overcome his illness and return quickly.  For sure Barry, plans for your return party are already underway so good luck.  Update: Sadly, I was informed that Barry will not be returning to us.  The doctors in England did not treat him as they found his cancer had progressed too far and sent him home to spend his last days with his parents.  I regret that coldly typed words can not adequately reflect the sadness and tears brought about by this news.  Until his last breath, many will be praying for a miracle.  2nd Update:  I was told he is receiving experimental drug treatments now so we have to wait to see if there are any positive results.

ANOTHER GOLF COURSE AT CLARK

Previously I wrote about the new Condo Unit built on Clark by the Korean owned Donggwang Clark Corporation located near the Parkson Duty Free Store which is a magnificent edifice and is nearing completion.  Now, this same company is developing an area at what was called the “True North” development site which has been stalled for many years.  The new name for this site and the description provided reads as follows: “CLARK ODE COUNTY” was designed to complement DONGGWANG’S premier development inside Clark, a state of the art golf clubhouse in a 304 hectare estate project that will change the Philippine tourism horizon and redefine its leisure business. Called the CLARK SUNVALLEY COUNTRY CLUB, the project will include a 36-HOLE golf course and driving range, a clubhouse, a water park (3 to 5 times bigger than Fontana), spa, gymnasium, eco park, business center, international school (BRENT), medical clinic and drug store, five star hotel, casino, a 500-unit villa and a shopping arcade.  DONGGWANG CLARK CORPORATION expects to launch the 1st 18-HOLES by 4th Quarter of 2012 and project completion by 2016. The area for development is located along the road leading to the old Officer’s housing and the Virgil Grissom Elementary School.  There has been a little controversy over the development as Auxilliary Bishop Virgillo Pablo David, Renato “Abong” Tayag (Alliance for the Development of Central Luzon President) and Chairman Sonny Dobles were not happy with the denuding of a mountain range which is part of this development.  But, at the entrance of the site, a sign is posted in which the DENR gave approval for the extensive tree cutting.  I guess money talks.  I certainly hope that for every tree cut 30 tree saplings had to be purchased by the Korean owners for replanting.  Why am I hoping this?  Because when my wife was building our apartment complex we had two very DEAD trees in the front of our lot.  In fact, before we had a chance to cut them down, one limb fell off by itself and damaged our neighbors gate which we had to pay for repairs.  While having the trees cut down our neighbor who is an avid environmentalist called the DENR and reported the cutting.

They responded immediately and did not care if the trees were dead or not.  We had to purchase the seedlings.  OK, fine, I just hope that the rules also apply to rich corporations as well.  My other concern here is the building of yet another golf course within the Freeport. A few years ago I attended a couple of meetings in which the possibility of the extensive use of water within the Clark Freeport, especially for Golf Courses could cause the shortage ground water in this area that could have a negative effect on water levels available to Angeles City, especially during a drought.  Naturally, regardless of warnings by experts in this area the CDC folks at that time brushed off any concerns and assured attendees that there was nothing to worry about.  I can only hope that they are right.  It is a thought for the future.  Oh, one more thing, notice the bare hills there.  Guess what, during heavy rains there are mud slides which spread to the area they are trying to build the golf course.  Duh, what did they expect.

TOURIST OF THE MONTH 

It was a great honor to meet up with 1st Sgt Elving Peralta who is stationed in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Black Hawks.  I was absolutely thrilled to receive a airborne shirt and a C/2-82 AVN (Vipers) unit patch.  I already wore the shirt and the patch will find a place on my wall in the bar.  It was very interesting talking to Elving, a veteran of 26 years. He will rotate to Fort Bragg in Sept and plans to put in his retirement papers after 28 years of service.  He was taking a much needed break here and the Wild Orchid was his hotel of choice.  He said that his vacation was going a bit too fast as he fit in a five day visit to Boracay.  His favorite watering hole while in AC was “Lost in Asia” where he enjoyed his conversations with “Duke”.  Naturally I consider First Sgt Peralta a very special Tourist of the Month.

BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE (BYOB)

  If you have a desire to enjoy fine dining and enjoy your favorite wine then by all means make a reservation at the Piccolo Padre for their every second Saturday of the month BYOB event.  You get to bring your wine at no cost and enjoy a special set gourmet menu for the reasonable cost of P950 inclusive of Vat.  It is also a great chance to meet other people and make new friends as everyone sits at one long common table.  This was a unique experience for me as the menu presented items I had never heard of or tasted before.  The menu read as follows:  Minestrone Alla Milanese (Fresh vegetables and Pancetta), Scallops Salad (Fresh greens and baked scallops with balsamic vinaiggrette), Risotto Nero (Cuttlefish braised in Ink, onions, garlic, white wine and tomato), Pollo Alberghiera (Chicken breast with shiitake mushrooms, onions , blue cheese and cream sauce) and finally, Kahlua Panna Cotta.  Each item was served one at a time and I did ok with the Minestrone but when the scallops salad was served to me I thought there was something hard there and went to cut with my knife.  That is when I discovered the salad was served in two large white shells and I only needed my fork.  Fortunately, no noticed my screw up.  Then this black mass was served.  It was the Risotto Nero.  I took one look and thought, what the hell is this food, covered in black ink or what? (Picture 4) With trepidation I slowly gave it a taste.  Damn, it was good and it did not taste like fish at all.  I can’t describe the taste, all I can say is I did not leave one scrap on my plate.  It was followed by the chicken and that was delicious as well (picture 5).  Finally, the dessert!  It was sort of like a custard but it wasn’t, it had a strawberry and some raspberry sauce over it.  It was good and I was hoping there would be some folks there that would not eat theirs and I could get seconds and thirds on that but no luck.  Oh, the wine.  I am not a wine drinker so did not take a bottle but the guy I was sitting next to took mercy on me and gave me some of his as well as the wine his girl friend (Beautiful lady) did not want, thanks Jack).  Oh yeah, the bread was fantastic as well and it went well with a dip of virgin olive oil mixed with fresh rosemary and balsamic vinegar (Chef Dan grows his own herbs).  It was a great evening and I was sure introduced to a style of dining that I had never experienced before.  This is not something one would partake of on a regular basis and many would feel it is a bit expensive but believe me, for what you get it is not.  I would suspect that to eat this meal in the US one would pay a hundred bucks each, depending on the restaurant.  If you want to impress your wife or girlfriend, make a reservation for this month.  The menu changes each month.  Cell phone numbers:  0917 500 4750, 0919 887 2195. I had the added good luck to have Englishman Colin Buckley sitting opposite me who was able to guide me through the dinner.  I guess you could call Colin “Mr. Oyster Man” since he owns the “Oyster Republic” business in which he has been the premier oyster supplier/producer of oysters in this country for 12 years (pictured above with Aida, wife of Chef Dan).  The good news is that Colin will be opening a seafood restaurant along MacArhur Ave in the near future featuring fresh, live Boston Lobsters and of course, oysters.  I will be able to provide more details in the near future but for now, Colin assured me that this would be a very special restaurant and the prices will be quite affordable.  By the way, Chef Gov, previously with the Yats Wine Club will be heading up the kitchen.  Sounds exciting to me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSIE

It was a fun day and evening at the Thi-Hi as the girls and customers celebrated the birthday of the personable, hard working boss, Josie.  I nearly forgot about it but thankfully I received a text reminding me of the event and I hastened right over. Needless to say everyone had a good time and the snacks served up by Josie were delicious.  Josie told me her age but all I will say is that she remains a lot younger than me and no doubt, better looking. What saddened me is that a week later I had to miss the 13th Anniversary of the bar and that is something I hate to do.  I don’t know how time passes so quickly.  Maybe next year I will have a small celebration for the 25th year of continuous operation of the Blue Boar Inn, previously known as the “Alleyway Bar”.  I usually leave anniversary celebrations to the bigger bars.  It is hard to believe that the years have passed so quickly since we took over the La Casa in 1988. Congrats Josie on your birthday and the anniversary.  I certainly hope that there will be many more years to enjoy the Thi-Hi and I am sure your many loyal customers share my sentiments.

AMERICAN STEEL’S 10TH YEAR

          Let me combine two stories into one here.  First is the 10th Anniversary of the American Steel Motorcycle Club, Angeles City Chapter.  I did not arrive at the celebration site until quite a few of the celebrants had already left.  I thought it was going to be an all day event with everyone there at the same time.  Instead, they trickled in and trickled out throughout the day.  At least I got the big guy, Garth in the picture.  Garth waited until he was a member for 10 years before he got his “American Steel Tattoo” the night before the big event.  Even the soon to be married “Vegas Dave” was in attendance.  I just missed “Fast Eddie”.  MaryAnne arrived a bit late and I missed getting her in the picture.  My goodness, I forgot to ask if she got her tattoo!  Needless to say, great Club, great guys and gals. Now, let me give honorable mention to the venue for this event.  The newly opened O’beavers Smoke House.  It is located along the Fil-Am highway a bit pass the WestFields school on the right hand side of the road if you are traveling from North to South (Through Korea Town) from Perimeter Road.  The venue is owned by “OB” and his Korean partner”Beaver” who also has a BBQ restaurant in Korea and is a member of the Korean chapter of American Steel.  He and OB have been friends for 15 years.  OB originally hails from Florida, is retired from the US Air Force and spent 25 years in Korea.  He used to make monthly trips here to AC but bought a house here in Villa Sol 3 years ago.  He has been married for 10 years and has a 13 year old daughter.  Beaver still spends a lot of his time in Korea but together he and OB make one hell of a team.  The Smoke House has a hell of a large dining area and a large bar is in a separate room.  OB has one hell of a large collection of old time videos which are fun to watch in the bar.  Right now they are open from 12 to 9 PM but in a month or two they will be open for breakfast.  OB showed me the smoker that he built himself and where some great tasting meats are cooked to perfection.  He makes his own sausage, ham, corned beef, pastrami and Sauerkraut.  Eventually he wants to open a deli on site but for now is content to build up the restaurant.  For special events you can call 0928-407-8521. My congrats to the American Steel members and also to OB and Beaver on the opening of a very unique “smoke House”.

JULY’S VERY SPECIAL LADY

Gentlemen, you know that I do not find my “special lady” every month so I consider myself lucky to have met Rozal Shayne S. Ambrocio at the Grandview Tower.  She is employed at the Information Desk and it was my pleasure to have her escort me to the Accounting Office on the second floor where I had to go to collect my fee for their ad in this column.  She is only 19 years old and is a graduate of a two year degree for a course in computer science.  She is from the local area Magalang, Pampanga, and has only one brother.  She stands 5′ 6″, has a great figure and a fantastic personality.  She is the mother of a three year old boy but at this time, no attachments to any man.  I would envy the man who could successfully court this young lady and hold on to her.  It might take a bit of an effort but would be well worth the effort.  She likes traveling, reading, playing badminton and going to the local gym.  She considers the ideal man to be between 30 to 50 years old.  If you would like to correspond with Rozal, Email her at:  sheiztolenz@yahoo.com.

SM CLARK IS EXPANDING 

I had heard about the planned expansion of the SM Clark a couple of weeks ago and meant to run over to get some pictures of the area before it was closed off, sort of for historical purposes, but procrastinated, as usual.  Finally on 23 Jun I had Priscilla drop me off outside of the hyper Market and with cane in hand walked all the way around to the back area.  Man, I did not know it was such a long walk.  So, I get there to take some pictures just as they are putting up their wall to hide the view.  I was happy with my timing until one rent a guard comes up and tells me no pictures.  I ignored him, he mumbles and leaves.  A second rent a guard comes up on a bicycle to tell me no pictures, I told him no matter what, I am taking a picture.  My legs and back were killing me from the walk, I could have used a wheel chair and I was faced with walking all the way back to where I started.  No damn way was I giving up on my pictures.  What the hell was so top secret?  He rode off on his bike no doubt mumbling curse words against this ugly, demented American.  Got the pictures then made the very long walk back to the Hyper Market and then all the way to the Food Court, up the escalator then over to the Administrative Office to see if I could get an interview with someone in marketing.  Success!  A fine gentleman named Paolo from Marketing took mercy on this old man and allowed me a few minutes of his time. I was informed that the food court will be expanded along the style in Singapore.  I have never seen any food court in Singapore so have no idea what he meant but suspect it will look a lot better than the current one which is not all that nice.  The new Annex will feature a Bowling Center and an I-Max Theater.  At long last, 10 pin bowling will return to Angeles City.  There will be additional space for more tenants.  I asked Paolo if they could get Burger King and Subway on board in which he said “I wish” but that was out of his area of expertise.  When can we expect all this construction to be finished and we can all enjoy this new Annex?  Not until the 4th quarter of 2013 (Oct -Dec)!  I think, after checking my life expectancy chart, that I can just about wait that long, but that does not take into consideration any delays.  It was mentioned that this expansion is costing big bucks but my reply was that Mr. Sy was just named the top billionaire in the Philippines so this will be chump change for him.

Speaking of tons of money, I can’t understand why the outside escalator leading up to the pedestrian overpass cannot remain operational.  Paolo did not have a good answer for me, he sort of said maybe they should just do away with it.  To me that is a defeatist answer.  Why doesn’t SM hold the company that installed it accountable? Get a few pesos from Mr. Sy and get it fixed so it works longer than a week.  The perception is that SM Clark does not care about the common folks that have to walk. Paolo told me that the new SM San Fernando will open for business on 20 Jul, I had no idea that a new SM was being built in the center of San Fernando, near the public market. I think it would be nice if a “Prestige Lounge” could be added to the annex like the one that is located in the San Fernando SM Pampanga Mall.  This is a terrific place to rest from shopping, especially for men who would like to read and have a cup of coffee while their ladies do the shopping.  It is a fantastic idea but one has to spend enough to earn enough points to qualify for the Prestige card.  My wife has one and I was able to enjoy the super comfort of this lounge while she did a bit of shopping.  Super good idea, please add it to the SM Clark Mall as well.

HOLIDAY INN

The Mrs and I enjoy eating out at the Holiday Inn.  Their two restaurants offer up some great food but it can play havoc with one’s attempt to maintain or lose weight.  There is an extra bonus one can enjoy.  The bakery goodies offered up for sale at half price each night at 7 PM always makes me want to be there early enough to get ticket number 1 so I have first choice.  Another reason I enjoy that counter is that there is always present the two very attractive single ladies known as Iree and Nikko, both 19 years old.  On the left is Nikko, a high school graduate with Email niksell@ymail.com.  Her co-worker Iree recently graduated from college majoring in HRM.  Her Email is gerolaireet@yahoo.com.  I hope I got those addresses right, Iree wrote hers so small that I had to get my magnifying glass to read it.  There you have it, Holiday Inn offers great dining, beautiful bakery goods and very charming employees, what more can you ask for.  Darn, now Priscilla knows why I spend so much time at the bakery counter.

RASOI FOR INDIAN FOOD

          Welcome back Richard Nayyer and your wonderful Indian cuisine.  Many of the old timers here remember you when you served up the hot stuff at the “Blue K”.  When Asti restaurant moved to a new location I was sad to see one of my favorite restaurants move to a different location but when I discovered that you had taken over that location I was very pleased.  After taking the family there to sample your menu items I was even happier.  Your food was as good as I remembered so whenever I get the craving for your delicious chicken vindaloo I will return.  Ah dear people, there is another reason to visit the Rasoi, the prices are very reasonable and that is a big plus with me.  Richard also runs the kitchen at the Heckle & Jeckle Sports Bar on Polanis Street, Makati, Manila. The Rasoi is located at 4180 Zeppelin Street, Hensonville.  For reservations call 0916 644 2063 or 0928 625 5973, delivery is available with a mminimum order of P300 plus 10% service charge.  Indian food lovers, check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

NEW DELI ON FRIENDSHIP

Fantastic, a new business opens on Friendship that is not Korean owned. It is the newly opened H&W Delicatessen owned by German National Ingo, who used at one time was the manager of the Clarkton Hotel.  Ingo has returned to his true vocation, engineering and is employed abroad but his wife, who calls Angeles City her home will be running the Delicatessen.  They make a good team and Ingo is excited about opening this store which he promises will deal only in quality meat selections, cheese and other offerings.  It is a good looking store in a good location and I think that its location will be quite convenient for shoppers and will fill a needed niche in the Delicatessen market.

I WOULD IF I COULD

Oh boy, this 35 year old lady more than qualifies for my choice this month.  She is personable, mature, petite, and cuddly.  Kind of like a kitten when they finally let you pet them.  It is fun to talk to her and yes, she is the single mother of a 12 year old daughter.  She is kind of good looking but could do with a bit less make-up.  As you can see, she is sexy.  Now, I have no idea what it would be like to be around this lady 24/7 but I suspect it would be fun to find out.  If you are interested, her name is Maria Crisanta, high school graduate from Olongapo.  She comes from a family of 6 brothers and two sisters.  She likes singing and, of course, would like to have a good husband.  Her age preference in a man, between 40 and 60 but I bet she would go older.  She works in my favorite bar and you know which one that is.  You can contact her at zircg32@yahoo.com.

FAREWELL FIESTA GARDEN

The longer one lives here in Angeles City, the more often some events happen that kind of make you sad.  Sometimes it could happen from something as simple as the closing of a bar or hotel.  Such is the case when I went to take some final pictures of the Fiesta Garden Hotel.  That hotel has a lot of history over the years and thousands of foreigners, especially Australians will hold on to many memories of the good times they enjoyed there over the years.  Harley, the present “gate keeper” held on for 14 years until, now, the place fell victim to its location.  Business dropped off so much due to the rise of so many newer and bigger hotels in the entertainment area that tourists just did not want the inconvenience of being located so far from the action, especially when so many were offering cut rate prices.  I remember the many Saturdays that many gathered there on Saturdays for the horse racing and many other events.  The bar was always filled and lively.  I attended Harley’s wedding there 14 years ago to Agnes who passed away from cancer three years ago.  Harley did his best and those 14 years hold many memories for him.  I know there are a hell of a lot of people around that can relate some great “Fiesta Garden” stories.  Maybe some of you will send me a story or two that I can pass on.  But for now, the last drink was served on 29 Jun 2012, down and out but never forgotten.

MORE SUBIC NEWS

It has been a long time since I was able to participate in the Barrio Barretto Wednesday dart league in Subic.  We missed the Wednesday trip and the bar hopping afterwards. The opportunity to participate came about when Paul Southgate, the Captain for the Johan’s dart team invited me to bring my wife’s nephew to the Barrio to play with his team.  It is not something we could do on a regular basis but it was great to be able to see some old friends and familiar faces again.  Matt, who is a decent player welcomed the opportunity to play with someone as good as J. T. one of the best players in the league.  He lost his game against J. T. but learned a few lessons from him.  Fortunately, Paul’s team was able to win the match.  It was a fun afternoon and all I had to do was watch and drink coffee plus talk a lot. Right across the street from Johan’s is the Lagoon resort and I was happy that I had enough time to pop over for a visit and say hello to Billy (dart organizer), manager, Ben Wiseman and owners Cliff (the pipe) and wife Elsa.  The Lagoon has 19 rooms ranging in price from P899 to P2005 a day.  For me, the attraction of the Lagoon is access to dart boards, decent food and of course a very large bar area. I also ran into a reader of this column named Ernie and his partner Anna.  Ernie is from the Gold Coast, Australia and he was staying at the “Get-A-Way which was quite a bit further down the road from Johan’s.  I wanted to visit this place and take a picture because the original place burned down a few years ago and now has been rebuilt and operational again.  I believe the owner’s name is “Bill”, last name unknown.  The next time I get to visit the Barrio I hope to get to the Get-A-Way to meet Bill and get a few pictures.

SLOWLY BUT SURELY

          My goodness, this building, the Penthouse (Previously Lexus) is finally finishing up its top floor.  It was announced that the exterior would be completed by May, but, as usual, time tables mean nothing here.  I just viewed a Youtube clip that showed a 30 story hotel in China being built to completion in 30 days.  Maybe Lewis should have gotten Chinese labor over here as this 16 story building has taken much, much longer.  The good news is that is getting there and it impressive when one stands close to the building and looks up.  The first picture was taken three or four months ago and the second one just a few days ago.  Maybe now owner, Lewis, can raise his glass again in relief that progress has been made.  The third picture was taken at a presentation for investors and unit owners over a year ago.  I do not have the latest completion date for this project but it still has a way to go and when completed it will be a very beautiful building.  The roof top will have a large pool and I wonder what it will be like swimming in the pool during an earthquake?  When I bent my neck back that is the first thing I thought of.  Oh how nice it would be to own a unit on the top floors.  What a magnificent view it would be, but man, I think I would purchase a parachute, just in case.

ICE BAR

That is an unusual name for a bar, it sure does catch the eye when passing. It is the newest bar to open along Perimeter Road, it used to be the home of “Foxy’s”.  I was able to visit the bar recently in the hopes of meeting the Australian owner, Mario.  Regretfully he was not in at the time I visited but to my great surprise and pleasure, greeting me was manager Wee George!  Just knowing the popular, personable Wee George was on board was enough to convince me that I would be making many return visits to this bar.  Additionally, I found the place to be well set up, the staff was friendly, Mommie Tess was a pleasure to talk to and I was fascinated by the presence of 24 year old, good looking Mamasan Christine.  They have the usual pool table set off in a corner location that is convenient and does not take away from the entertainment area.  It has only been open for three weeks and already draws in a good many customers and of course, the presence of Wee George will see his many devoted fans adding to the customer base.  It is open from 2 to 11 PM.  Local drinks are P65, ladies drinks P130 but be careful for they also have those darn double ladies drinks costing P250.  Make sure you clarify your order.  I am hoping the next time I visit, I will get to meet Mario, but I think I have to get there a bit later than 1500 hrs.  My overall impression, very favorable, for sure add the “Ice Bar” to your barhopping list.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY “FAST EDDY”

Eddie (Fast Eddy) Kusturin, a truck driver from Portland, Oregon celebrated his 52nd birthday at my stable on 29 Jun, just in time to be included in this Jul issue of HTH.  The first picture shows Eddie in the company of his extended family here in the Philippines.  He spent the day feeding a whole lot of folks and enjoy some good company.  Then a couple of weeks later, birthday time and what a day it was.  He used my Stainless steel grill that I was able to obtain from the patio of the AF Special Ops Wing at Clark in 1991 before the AF left for good.  It was heavy as hell to move but it serves as a memory of the good old days.  He grilled up a whole bunch of chicken he bought locally and even more great US steaks that he purchased at Doug Slade’s Home Base store in Villa Sol.  These steaks were absolutely fantastic, well worth the price he paid.  Added to the menu were baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, meat balls, a fruit salad desert and rolls.  Man, it was a feast.  He was joined by many friends who came and went from two PM to finally after 7 PM.  Eddie is a hard working truck driver who deserves the break he gets when he gets over here to the Philippines.  He is a gentle giant who loves life and his family here and no doubt plans to spend many more birthdays in the Philippines.  I already look forward to the next one.  Happy birthday Eddie.

CENTRAL CAFE

A wonderful outdoor coffee shop has opened at the front of the Grand Central Hotel on Fields Ave.  It is simply named the “Central Cafe” offering coffee, expresso, tea, deserts and panini (little sandwiches).  The menu offering of the various drinks offered is quite extensive and some of the beverages are unique to Fields Ave.  Imagine sitting down in the comfortable chairs in the afternoon sipping on an expresso or a drink named mocha (Frappe) which is new to me but am sure known be many of a younger generation.  I sampled a mocha with a chocolate flavor.  It was an expresso with Frappe mix, chocolate, ice and whip cream.  It was absolutely delicious and also comes in mint or orange flavor as well.  I enjoyed watching Ella and Stephanie preparing the ingredients and completing the process with the expresso machine which was served with big friend smiles.  It is planned to have a “coffee Club” where one can purchase a large coffee mug with the Central Cafe logo affixed and then having your name added to the cup.  The cup will stay at the Central Cafe for your use and you will entitled to some discounts and avail of some promotional offerings only for coffee Club members.  By the time you read this it will only have been open for three days and as time goes by more tables and chairs will be added as well as extending the overhead awning.  This a very nice addition to the Fields Ave scene. The Hotel kitchen is under renovation as well and it will be contracted out to a popular Filipino actor, Marvin Agustin who is also a chef.  Marvin is the owner of 45 restaurants in the Philippines, all with different names.  He will be opening a restaurant, not yet named, featuring New York style steaks, burgers and pizza and I predict that it will quickly become a very popular eatery.  I do not have a time frame for the opening but it should happen well before the end of this year.

Since it is the night of 29 Jun I better close up shop for this month and get this off to the technical folks for publication.  It has been a busy day and month for me but as promised I am trying to get out to Fields Ave a bit more.  People are telling me that there is not much to write about because business is so slow now.  It is true that the arrival of tourists has slowed down, more so than last year and sales of many business are off  20 to 30% from last year at this time and it is not good news but with a little belt tightening is necessary but construction has not slowed down and new bars and other businesses are still appearing on the scene.  I am happy because I did not have to report any killings, robberies, police raids or deaths this month.  I am looking forward to the ABC pool party and am sure I will see a lot of familiar faces there.  I say that every year don’t I, OK already, I lack originality but it is a good event.  Hope it does not rain, I get lazy when that happens, that is why I missed the Wild Orchid Inn’s annual beauty contest by the pool last month.  Damn old age is slowing me down.  Speaking of slowing down, it is 11 PM and my fingers are telling me to stop right here, now!  So, good night and remember, be kind to horses.

NO RANTINGS THIS MONTH, INSTEAD I AM PASSING ON AN ARTICLE ABOUT ANGELES CITY THAT I CONSIDER WORTH READING

*THE CAMALIG DENIZEN The Official E-Newsletter for the Friends and Patrons of HISTORIC CAMALIG RESTAURANT (The Home of Armando’s Pizza: “Ang Pambansang Pizza”).  Thanks to Resty Odon for this article in Asian Traveler Magazine, where he wrote:  ”For a nice twist to the old-new divide, you also check out Camalig restaurant, which serves a Pampango pizza, with native sausages and salted egg slices as main toppings. You call the novel delicacy Pampanga fusion.”

Reclaiming Angeles and Clark

   Words By: Resty Odon    Images By: Nicky Sering

Even if your view of the world is not in the least left-leaning, you are still bound to see Angeles City and Clark through the prism of soul-searching–especially since these two destinations in Pampanga province are in a stage of recovery from havoc, both natural and man-made. After the sudden crippling of the local economy due to the historic scrapping of the American military bases and the wide destruction brought on by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, you cannot help but zoom in on the tell-tale signs of recovery and rehabilitation everywhere. What you find here is, happily, one big banner story of reclaiming not just the good things that were lost but more so the things that should have been. Rejuvenated by soul-searching The telling signs are readily evident in how the locals have made an effort to choose hope and joy in the face of the seemingly insurmountable. You hear, for instance, the story of how Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan roused his grieving people from the doldrums in 1991 by organizing a street-dancing festival called Tigtigan Terakan keng Dalan (Music and Dancing in the Street), their version of Oktoberfest, barely four months after the volcanic eruption. Seemingly irrational at first, the gesture strikes you as a Viktor Frankl moment of truth: “I have a choice in my reaction to life’s circumstances.” You find it equally refreshing to see Angelenos now being reasonably proud of their heritage. You don’t hear here the contumacious sneer, the unseemly putdowns, of one’s own, only eager recommendations. Watch how tour guide Kim Tinio of Kuliat Foundation’s Museo ning Angeles animatedly turns back the hands of time to trace the evolution of Angeles from Barrio Kuliat, originally named after a parasitic vine proliferating then but now a rarity. His zeal is infectious and typical. Over lunch served upstairs at this former municipal hall, you are enthused to find how eager the other museum staff lay out all the requisite goodies from what is dubbed to be the Philippines’ culinary capital (see sidebar): The conversations heavily spiked with Malay-sounding, vowel-filled Kapampangan, the town’s First Lady, no less, plays host, explaining the entrées and suggesting how to mix and match dishes. You slowly discover where the genius lies in Pampango cuisine: it lies in the crafty pairing of homespun flavors and textures. She points to where the original Aling Lucing sisig is made (at one streetcorner beside the railroad crossing), then goes on to say that there are three major variants of the dish, but not one contains egg. You thank your hosts with a surreptitious burp, hoping the dismal sound is masked by folk singer Andy Alvis singing “Atin Cu Pung Singsing” in the background, reminiscent of another fine musician, the fine jazz singer Mon David, who’s also a Pampango. A requisite tour of two famous mansions, the 1820s Bale Matua or Founder’s House (also called Henson House or Pantaleon de Miranda House) and the 1890s Pamintuan Mansion, leaves you catching your breath at the contrasting sights of country-style décor (folksy wood carvings) and Old World elegance (stamped ceiling and ornate calado or filigreed woodwork). You listen to the tale told about the Pamintuan doña who once upon a time shouted “Ing paksi! Ing paksi!” to one and all from on top her stately palace–her way of flaunting to her neighbors that her dinner for the night was vinegar-stewed milkfish sourced all the way from Dagupan, a rare luxury then. The dazzling all-white interior ofHolyRosaryChurchin the center of the old section of town stuns you with its gigantic silver sunburst altar centerpiece, which was reportedly made from melted silver coins donated by someone who had won the lottery jackpot during the times of the polo y servicio (forced labor) under the Spanish. The American face of Clark, which in 1902 was called Fort Stotsenburg, is equally assured of indelibility with the preservation of the historic Stotsenburg Gate, the sparklingly neat Clark Cemetery (plus a K-9 cemetery), the invaluable Clark Museum of wartime artifacts, and the parade grounds of all-American spaciousness made even more interesting by a marker memorializing the exact site where President Manuel Roxas died in 1948. In the museum, the picture of an American soldier in the brink of tears during the turnover rites would have pleased postcolonial theorist Frantz Fanon, who frowned on all forms of colonization as being psychopathic. You also meet around here a finely-built fellow named Gabby La’O, who runs the Western town-looking El Kabayo Stables horseback-riding club in full cowboy regalia. The Philippine tricolor, notably, now waves proudly out front, in place of the former colonizer’s. Facing reality head-on You hardly ever see the denial of the deluded in this town. They know the American servicemen are gone, many of their properties and savings gone. They have found acceptance and like to move on. Local historian Marco Nepomuceno is the first one to admit how the town’s earliest and most prominent families acquired, distributed, and fought over their wealth through the generations. History book author Ed Sibug is beginning the task of writing down other similar stories into another book, certainly with the same accepting eye. Angeles, however, still has a shrugging-shoulder attitude when it comes toFields Avenue, the “adultDisneyland” strip notorious for its raucous Mardi Gras scene. The good news? It is substantially ridden of its former criminal elements, thanks to Police Chief Louie Tan guarding the junction at the end of the district’s no-car zone. The shows in the most frequented establishments, such as Golden Nile and Club Atlantis, are still no family fare, about two notches above what you see on bawdy lunchtime TV. But you are surprised how the crowd here has gone international–no more American monopoly–and they seem more interested in the food fare than the quickie sex, for what are they all doing in the open-air cafés drinking all night as buddies? Speaking of food, you are delighted to learn that the first shawarma shack in thePhilippinescan be found still standing somewhere near. Embracing the new together with the old The old is being embraced, but not at the expense of the new. The Holy Angel University’s Center for Kapampangan Studies, for example, is equipped with modern museum display devices. You type your name in one computer and amuse your narcissistic self at seeing the Pampango baybayin script version of it. The guide here shows, among other things, how the world-famous Pampanga lantern is manually operated: through sheer ingenuity, using just grandma hairclips and masking tape! Later, you enter a theater to watch videos highlighting Pampanga’s unique history and culture. You end up amazed at the impact these people in Central Luzon had on an entire nation–all the whole bunch of them: saints and scoundrels, rebels and romantics. Factoids like this come flying off the handle: leftist leaders Luis Taruc and Bernabe Buscayno had Pampango roots, as had the first Filipino priest, soldier, doctor, and so on. Another little new development: Patis Tesoro’s “Ninay” dolls (the famed fashion designer traces her roots in Angeles) makes a special appearance in the museums, but there’s no mistaking it as, in fact, another modern resource that you don’t want to miss, cleverly cleaved with the old. You meet a young party boy here, make him a quick friend, and next thing you know, you are driven around town for other best-kept secrets. You head off to Abe Tayag’s Island Grill for a night cap, where you sample such novel delicacies as dulong (baby anchovies) paté in olive oil and basil, and the deep-fried tanigue (Spanish mackerel) caviar called puga. Among the crowd, your new friend points out, is the owner of the famous fashion store in Manila, Folded and Hung, a true-blue Angeleno. You check out the night club scene at Hacienda–hulky Terence Lagman and crew’s party place–which pulsates with the same vibrancy as Manila’s Embassy or Republiq, the glamorous younglings filling it up to the rafters in the dead of the night. You weave yourself into the thick weekend throng, there to hobnob with the perfumed future of Pampanga. A lot of guests are from Manila, including the night’s DJ, Elmer Dado, and his band, Gruppo Tribale, with their intoxicating samba beats. The hotels are on an expansion spree, even as they try to exude warmth in huggable sizes. ABC Hotel, for example, combines the refinement of the Old World and the warmth of Asian hospitality. The others, like The Fields Plaza Suites, designed for honeymooning couples, goes modern all the way. Checking in, you feel like an Arab prince, with your appetite for royal treatment satisfied. Other facelifts abound. You take Friendship Highway one moment then find yourself the next on an entire strip called Korea town. Farther, you are dazzled by the palazzo architecture of Ruperto Cruz’s Royal Garden Golf and Country Club, a one of a kind manicured property. You realize gourmet places are everywhere too. You dig into your porterhouse steak at the Royal Amsterdam’s Black Angus Steakhouse, lick your fingers feasting on the jolly Jim Sebree’s most authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine in Cottage Kitchen, and sample the French-inspired dishes at Gerard Heinen’s ABC Hotel—whose chef trained under Le Soufflé’s Billy King—and have yet another hearty lunch at Jim Dale’s Blue Boar Inn at La Casa Hotel. You next find the Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar in Mimosa golf course just because you heard it has the most extensive wine list in the country (5,000 mostly French labels). Here at Yats, you converse with a frequent guest, Irishman Richard Agnew, who recounts how he ended up in Angeles. You hear a dozen other similar tales from other nationalities around the city, frequently involving a local lass who has held the foreigner’s heart captive, and frequently resulting in the blooming of a conjugal enterprise. You see this as a form of reverse colonization. For a nice twist to the old-new divide, you also check out Camalig restaurant, which serves a Pampango pizza, with native sausage and salted egg slices as main toppings. You call the novel delicacy Pampanga fusion. Angeles and Clark are now quite child-friendly that you forget adult entertainment altogether. You take your kids to Fontana Water Parkfor summer fun or to a trek to Paradise Ranch and Zoocobia for a huffing-and-puffing environmental awareness exercise. You survey the other options available based on the season: a four-seater plane ride over Mt. Pinatubo, mountain-biking, hot air balloon, kite-flying, go-karting, paintball, airsoft… Even PX goods shopping here can also be an extreme sport. You head off to the many casinos later, reminded that Angeles is a sister city of Las Vegas. PAGCOR Casino’s façade interests you with its reliefs of Kapampangan mythical characters like King Sinukuan, Pampanga’s first inhabitant according to local lore. Finding blessing in abjection Finally, you see here the palpable proofs that loss and tragedy in cataclysmic proportions can be a blessing if we turn them into one. Lahar sand, for example, with its high sulfur content, is a quarry much preferred by construction people. It easily earns millions for the enterprising. An isolated hot spring recently emerged in Sitio Puning, accessed through Barangay Sapang Bato via a 4X4 ride, that is deemed therapeutic by Koreans who come and go in hordes, availing of their own traditional treatments such as hot sand, volcanic mud, and massage treatments. The 45-minute ride over a splashing Sacobia Riverbed gives you the thrill of your life, with magnificent vistas of breathtaking canyons, ravines, and gullies you will never forget. Amidst melodic bird chirps, you notice queer stone markers along the way, and learn that they are an Aeta indication of where to take refuge in case of sudden rain. Who knew the scars of a furious volcano could be this dramatically beautiful? There are just no words; you just have to be there. Jing Torno of Angeles City Tourism Office prefers to sum up his city this way: “Food! Fun! Angeles!” I would have added, “More!” This bustling destination, plus Clark, together have the gritty urbanism of Manila, the cosmopolitan air of Boracay, the American frontier feel of Baguio, and the rustic charm of an old provincial town, but they each have become uniquely themselves, with their own palette of many hidden charms and unexpected come-ons. Their story ends on the happy note of reclaiming one’s true self in the ever-shifting lahar of time, their cry for freedom from invading humans and invasive nature echoing resoundingly down Abacan River.

 
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A DANGEROUS GAME

Posted by admin on June 24, 2012 in Breaking News

This is an interesting article.  Form your own conclusions.  Good luck to any country who depends on the US for military assistance.  The US can afford to talk and negotiate but get into an active conflict with China, I think not!

Chinese Navy admiral targets Philippine ships

by Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 06/23/2012 10:15 PM | Updated as of 06/23/2012 10:15 PM MANILA, Philippines – Chinese troops should go after Philippine ships and fishermen who go near the disputed Scarborough shoal, a Chinese navy official said.

Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, director of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) Information Expert Committee, said this should be done to “Filipino vessels that hang around in the lagoon and don’t leave,” according to state-owned news agency China News Service (CNS).

Yin said Chinese naval troops should board and search Philippine government ships and private fishing vessels.

He said this is already being done by the Philippines on Chinese fishing ships.

Yin said the “Philippines has not yet returned 24 Chinese fishing boats it is holding,” referring to Chinese boats intercepted in Philippine territory in October last year.

Yin, who is described by the CNS as a military expert, said Chinese troops “must try to maintain restraint, not force, not hurt people,” when going after Philippine ships found in waters near or at Scarborough shoal.

He said Chinese government ships should conduct more regular patrols in the waters off Scarborough to esnure the safety of Chinese fishing boats.

Yin told Communist Party publication the People’s Daily on Thursday that China’s navy will not hesitate to use deadly force against its enemies.

“Our navy has the absolute ability and the absolute confidence to use arms to defend our country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and maritime rights. We’re just waiting for the order,” he said.

President Benigno Aquino said earlier in the week that the Philippines may redeploy ships to the shoal to counter the presence of foreign vessels.

Philippine ships were forced to pull out from the area last weekend due to bad weather.

“If there is a presence in our territorial waters, then we will redeploy. But if there is no other presence of other vessels that might impinge on our sovereignty, there is no need to deploy and they can go back to their normal routine of safeguarding — the Coast Guard for instance — our coastlines from… [the] wet season,” Aquino told reporters.

He said the decision to redeploy will be based on China’s moves to occupy the area.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Saturday that several Chinese ships have been seen again around Scarborough shoal.

Gazmin, in a text message to ANC, said the Chinese vessels were spotted by a Philippine Air Force plane that was deployed to conduct a reconnaissance mission over the disputed area.

He did not say how many Chinese ships are now at Scarborough.

Yin blasts Aquino, ‘US-Philippine plan’

Yin, during a discussion with Chinese netizens on the state-owned People’s Daily website, also claimed that Aquino’s plan to send ships anew to Scarborough shoal is part of a scheme between Manila and Washington to usher in US military troops’ return to Asia.

He said the US and the Philippines — which are bound by a mutual defense treaty — want to use Scarborough shoal as a flashpoint to break China’s friendship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Yin also accused Aquino of trying to “consolidate his regime” by pleasing military officials.

He said Aquino inherited his mother’s bad relationship with the Philippine military, which the country’s current president now wants to solve.

The Chinese military official also said Aquino’s tough stand on Scarborough “attacks domestic anti-American and pro-Arroyo forces in the Philippines.”

It is not known how much influence Yin wields in the PLA.

His statements mirror an earlier call by another hardliner, PLA Major General Luo Yuan, who wants China to launch “decisive action” at Scarborough Shoal to reinforce Beijing’s claim on the territory, which is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

While their comments do not represent official policy and the PLA is only serving on the beck and call of China’s Communist Party, officers like Yin and Luo have been given some leeway to strike a tougher tone in their comments, according to foreign analysts.

In 2010, Chinese President Hu Jintao admonished the military for letting officers speak on sensitive issues.

This, however, has not prevented Yin and Luo from airing their hardline views on state-owned media.

 
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ABC POOL PARTY JULY

Posted by admin on June 16, 2012 in Breaking News

For sure you will want to plan your trip around this date.  The Horse guarantees it is one of the best times you can have in July.

OOPS, JUST NOTICED THAT THE DATE IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS POSTER.  THE EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE ON 8 JULY.  

THANK YOU TODD FOR THE HEADS UP.

 

 
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STOCK UP NOW

Posted by admin on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

The price of booze and cigarettes is sure to go up in Jan 2013.  So start buying by the case now and stock up and for sure, barhopping will cost more starting next year.  Yes, folks, the Philippines will be jumping on the “sin tax” bull shit to make more money and to punish drinkers and smokers.  Read and weep!

Lawmaker confident of sin tax passage in Senate

By: Karen Boncocan
INQUIRER.net

5:02 pm | Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Cavite Representative Joseph Abaya. congress.gov.ph photo

MANILA ,Philippines— Following its passage in the House of Representatives, House Bill 5727 otherwise known as the controversial sin tax reform bill’s next stop will be at the Senate where the measure’s author Cavite Representative Joseph Abaya felt confident it would also breeze through the upper chamber.

“We are confident that it will follow the same fate in Senate, however, it will require vigilance from supportive senators, health advocates, media and the people to ensure that the bill doesn’t get watered down,” Abaya said.

The measure was passed by lawmakers on its third reading Wednesday which was the last day of the second regular session via a landslide vote of 210 in favor for it, 21 against it and five abstentions.

“This is a landmark legislation since we have put in a reformed tax structure for sin products which has remained virtually unchanged for the last 16 years,” said Abaya.

Majority leader Neptali Gonzales II meanwhile expressed worry on changes that may take place once the Senate handles the measure.

“Our gut feel is that changes in the bill might happen. It’s possible taxes for alcohol would go up and taxes for tobacco will go down. But it is difficult to second guess but we hope the differences will not be significant,” Gonzales said.

The measure seeks to solve the decline in government revenue from excise tax on alcohol and tobacco since 1997, as reported by the Department of Finance, by:

- leveling the playing field through encouraging fair competition among all stakeholders in the alcohol and tobacco industry;

-increasing revenue base of the government;

-addressing the rise in social costs of consumption of the said products; and

-making tax laws compliant with World Trade Organization-General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade requirement.

It also seeks to resolve the case filed by the United States of America and the European Union against the country for low excise rates on local distilled spirits. 

HB 5727 will simplify the basis of excise taxes on alcohol products, pegged on per proof liter for distilled spirits, per liter of volume capacity for wines and fermented liquor as well as the basis of excise tax on tobacco products: a) cigars – per cigar, b)cigarettes packed by hand – per pack, and 3) those packed by machine – per pack.

From January 1, 2013, excise tax rates based on net retail price (not including excise tax and value added tax) will be:

-for distilled spirits which priced at:
A) less than P90 – P20 per proof liter;
B) P90 to P150 – P80 per proof liter; and
C) more than P150 – P320 per proof liter;

-for wines:
A) sparkling wines, champagnes regardless of proof if the net retail price per bottle of 750 milliliter is:
- P500 or less – P250 and
- more than P500 – P700;

B) still wines and carbonated wines containing 14 percent of alcohol by volume or less, P30, and

C) still wines and carbonated wines with more than 14 percent but no more than 25 percent of alcohol, P60.

-for fermented liquor:
A) if the net retail price per liter is P50.60 or less, the tax will be P13.75 per liter; and
B) if the net retail price per liter is more than P50.60, the tax will be P18.80 per liter.

Fermented liquor brewed and sold at microbreweries or small establishments shall be subject to the rate of P28 per liter.

-on tobacco products P1.75 and P1.5;
-on cigars, P150 per cigar;
-on cigarettes packed by hand, P7.56 (by January 1, 2013), P12 (by January 1, 2014); and

-on cigarettes packed by machine by January 1, 2013:

A) if the net retail price is P11.50 and below per pack, the tax will be P12 per pack; and

B) if the net retail price is more than P11.50 per pack, the tax will be P28.30 per pack;

-on cigarettes packed by machine by January 1, 2014:

A) if the net retail price is P11.50 and below per pack, the tax will be P22 per pack; and

B) if the net retail is more than P11.50 per pack, the tax will be P30 per pack.

An eight percent increase every two years will be imposed on the excise tax rates from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2025 for distilled spirits, wines, fermented liquor, tobacco products, cigars and cigarettes through revenue regulations issued by the Secretary of Finance. It will also remove the price or brand classification freeze on alcohol and tobacco products.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue projected a P33 billion revenue increase following the passage of the law. This additional revenue is being eyed to fund basic social services including the universal health care program and alternatives for tobacco farmers.

Gonzales said that this projected tax revenue can still change once the Senate tackles the measure.

Abaya also said that they were conscious of the Northern bloc opposing the bill due to the plight of tobacco farmers and explained that they “do recognize they are the most affected sectors thus 15 percent of the incremental revenues will be plowed back to them.”

“It is then incumbent upon the Northern block public servants to properly utilize such funds to really protect and support the farmers since that is the intent of the law,” he said.

“Even without this bill, roughly P4 billion is given back to tobacco growing areas. With the passage of this bill we are looking at around P11 billion to P12 billion being plowed back,” Abaya explained.

But much more important was that the tax reform measure could “wean away the poor and the youth from the bad habits of smoking and drinking,” he said.

Gonzales agreed with this, saying that although the government was “sensitive with their (farmers) plight, more will benefit from the trade off” pertaining in particular to the universal health care.

 

 
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LA PASHA DRINK PRICES

Posted by admin on June 4, 2012 in Breaking News

Tonight, I received a call from Jorg, the owner of La Pasha and he informed me that the prices at his clubs remain at P95 for local drinks.  I printed a report from a reader of this column who commented that the prices at La Pasha had been raised.  Jorg wants everyone to know that this is not true.

I am more than happy to report this as Jorg runs a great group of Clubs and is one of the good guys in town.  By the way, I did not know that six months ago he added a new baby to his family.  It’s a bit late Jorg, but congrats!

 
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OBEAVERS OPENS

Posted by admin on June 1, 2012 in Breaking News

OBeavers Smoke House is having their grand opening Saturday, 2 Jun.  It is located along the FilAM highway just before you reach WestFields School.  There is a double event on Saturday, the Angeles Chapter of the American Steel Motorcycle Club is having their 10th Anniversary celebration starting at 2 PM and at the same time OB, a Florida native and his partner “Beaver” will celebrate the Grand Opening of the restaurant and Bar.

Folks, I stopped by today (Friday) to interview OB and Beaver and give the place a look over.  Man, it is fantastic.  I thought I was entering a place located in Texas, or Arizona, or even Las Vegas.  This old horse felt at home, in fact I thought they could tie me up to a hitching post along with some old time cowboys.  It is big, the food specializes in smoked meats and they have one hell of a great smoke house that will crank out some mighty tasty selections.

I will write more in my July column but did not want to wait that long to make this announcement.  You have to check out “OBeavers”, I predict a great success for this new restaurant for expats, tourists and Filipinos as well.  I hope they will be featuring some great country and western music.  There is plenty of room for parking.  Folks, get your ass on out there, you will love it.  By the way, the ribs are out of this world, fantastic!

OB declares “everyone welcome, you all come on over and have a good time.”

For sure this old horse will be there, hope to see you all now.

Forgot, operation hours 12 to 9 PM, seven days a week.

 
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June 2012

Posted by admin on May 31, 2012 in 2012 Monthly Newsletters

This month of June I would like to dedicate this column to a wonderful gentleman who peacefully passed away on 6 May at the young age of 65.  Steve was an icon in this town.  He worked for Dave Fisher at Kokomo’s for many years and I think Dave knew him better than anyone else here.  For that reason I invited Dave to write a few words about Steve and you will see his remarks further down in this column.  Oh my goodness, this man will be missed by so many, he was a friend, a mentor, and adviser to so many.  He never uttered a negative word against anyone, he had a dry sense of humor and he emanated an aura of wisdom that earned him the respect of all who knew him.

 

FEEDBAG

First and Last Name: Larry N.

Hi Harry, got to tell ya what i saw today. I left my apt in clarkview today 28 apr. I witness 2 boys walking north towards friendship. I saw the one boy throw himself in front of a foreigner riding a motor. A Filipino “concerned” citizen was following behind and suddenly called on his cell phone. Within minutes the boys in blue showed up. I left after that(I wonder if the dirt bags are bringing back a very old scam?  Regretfully Larry did not stick around long enough to see how this drama ended.)

Dear Harry, After reading about the unconscionable behaviour of Bureau of Immigration staff at C.I.A. in your May newsletter, I imagine you’ve failed to grasp the point behind their conduct. Far from harassing young, nubile Filipinas who wish to travel abroad for a romantic holiday with their foreign boyfriend or fiancee, bureau officials are in fact doing them a favour.

The Bureau of Immigration, at the behest of the government, are discouraging Filipinas from traveling overseas because they have no wish to expose them to well governed countries with a functioning, polite bureaucracy. Can impressionable young ladies from the Philippines be expected to cope with such policies as environmentally friendly cities, paved roads, functioning and well maintained public transport systems, honest taxi drivers, an absence of malice and rudeness in public servants, competence in government and a lack of corruption? I think not. I think these young women would be shocked by the efficiency with which other countries operate.

Imagine what could happen when these intrepid tourists returned home. They may agitate for efficient government in the Philippines. The likelihood that the local population may in any way be dissatisfied with the lazy, incompetent, venal, mendacious plutocrats who dominate this country’s political life and seek to replace them with well meaning, honest individuals with principles is something the elite cannot accept. I’m assuming this country does have a handful or two of principled, honest citizens but I wouldn’t risk money on such an assumption.

On the other hand I suppose it’s just possible that the Immigration desks at C.I.A. are manned by bureaucratic thugs anxious to make life as difficult and as unpleasant as possible for passengers, irrespective of nationality.  J.T. Archer.
(Hey J.T., my goodness, it all makes sense to me now but not all the BI agents are that bad but it only takes a few to poison the water)

Comments and Remarks: Regarding the DMIA off-loading problems – Some of the airlines (Tiger particularly) routinely overbook flights. It appears they use Immigration to help them out. A friend was recently off-loaded. Tiger was requesting her boarding pass back hours before Immigration made their final determination. Thus airline gets two fares for one seat and doesn’t have to compensate for over-booking. Mike Kravitz.
(a different twist on a very sensitive subject)

First and Last Name: Hans Kristian Espersen
Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry, This is Hans, think asshole member 84 or so ;O) Been reading your May news letter. Like to comment on the CIA bull… I know Cpt. Robert and misses for 11 years. Heard about her raw deal from Magnus who spoke to her before, and after she was supposed to leave. Needless to say as excited she was going to Thailand as devastated was she coming home not admitted on the plane in Clark. THANKS for bringing that up!!! Spoke to Henrik/ Marble Inn, he recently experienced a party of 16 (Guess 8 men with companions), where 7 of the girls were not allowed on the plane. Same deal, quick trip to Malaysia and back. Apparently one of the girls was not permitted because she LOOKED too young. The girl was 22 years, but really short for her age.. haha I think I was kind of lucky, received an email from the Danish consulate that this bull was coming last year at this time. I did not want to chance it, so my asawa went for the seminar in Manila, even though we have made several trips out of the country in the past. If I did not happen to be on the mailing list for the consulate, I would not have known about the issue before they started to refuse the girls to leave. In my case it could easily have been a loss of 3000 usd, for return tickets to Denmark, 1500 if I would have decided to bail on her.. hehe Keep up the good work! Best Regards Hans (one of the Scandahooligans in town)  (Hans, guess the Danish consulate is better in informing their citizens then the American and Australian Embassies.  It remains confusing but there are on-going discussions that hopefully will help in avoiding ill feelings generated between Immigration officials and travelers at the DMIA.)

Dear Harry The Horse,  I am an American who has been a visitor to the Philippines since 1998. I have always enjoyed your column, commentaries, and opinions. Thanks.

On the recent topic of Pinays being “offloaded” at CRK and MNL airports when traveling to ASEAN countries for tourism purposes with, or to meet their western boyfriends, it prompted me to do some further checking into this as I am planning to take my pinay girlfriend to Hong Kong this coming August to see Disneyland, shopping and to enjoy the city. Also to see how we are able to get along on unfamiliar turf, before making any serious plans together.

I wrote the CFO - Commission on Filipinos Overseas <info@cfo.gov.ph>;

Copy of:  This is an enquiry e-mail via http://www.cfo.gov.ph/

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am an American Citizen in USA who would like to take my Filipino friend with me on holiday to Hong Kong for approximately (2) two weeks.
The purpose of our trip is shopping, visit Disneyland, sightseeing, and general tourism.
We are friends only and are not engaged to be married or have a fiancee’ or support relationship. She is employed and has no plans to leave Philippines permanently or emigrate abroad.
She will have a return air ticket, valid passport (4 years valid remaining), and meet all entry requirements of Thailand.
Does she need to take one of your seminars before leaving the country, and if so specifically which one. I am an American, we are going to Hong Kong.

Thank you, Hymie Tucker – And 2 weeks later I received a reply:

Dear Mr. Tucker:

We wish to inform you that under Department of Foreign Affairs’ Department Order Nos. 15-89, 28-94 and 11-97, Filipinos leaving the country as spouses and other partners of foreign nationals or naturalized citizens of their host country are required to attend the Commission on Filipinos Overseas’ (CFO) Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP).

The CFO GCP is being administered by our service provider, which is the St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation – Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW). Attendance to the GCP is on a first come first serve basis; there is no need for reservation.

The counseling session, usually lasts for two hours.  However, there may be other documents that the counselor may require (letters, pictures together, annulment or divorce papers, if applicable) to clarify issues and concerns raised during the sessions.  A Guidance and Counseling Certificate (GCC) will be issued after successfully completing the requirements of the GCP.

Please be advised as well that your girlfriend does not need a CFO registration sticker/stamp for your holiday trip to Hong Kong, the Bureau of Immigration will only check the GCC as proof that she has complied with the government’s policy.

We have attached a copy of the requirements and procedures of the CFO SMEF-COW GCP for your reference.  We hope you find this information useful.

Very truly yours, Thea May Rabe (Sgd.) Counselor
Approved:  Ivy D. Miravalles (Sgd.), OIC, Migrant Integration and Education Division

I then called the CFO SMEF-COW (St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation – Center for Overseas Workers.) and asked the same questions, specifically of my “girlfriend” would need to take a counseling  seminar in order to leave the country as a tourist. Also since they are country specific, would she avail the seminar for the USA  or the South Korean and other Asian-Pacific countries. I am an American, we are going to Hong Kong, she is Filipino.

Their answer was NO and that my girl will only need a valid passport and return air tickets to travel outside the Philippines.  I asked for clarification on the “and other partners of foreign nationals or naturalized citizens of their host country” to which she explained that “partners” means “same sex” relationships.

She said that there are no seminars for tourists, only for fiancé’s and spouses.

So what is the current advice on this situation?  Does she take their Guidance and Counseling seminar to receive the certificate of completion or not? She will not have a visa as a tourist, as Hong Kong is a visa on arrival country, so I understand not needing the CFO “sticker” in her passport.  Since their seminars are designed for those emigrating outside of the PI to live permanently with a fiancé/spouse, and this being an unusual circumstance as I will be accompanying her to Hong Kong and back to Manila.

What sort of documents should she be ready to show at the seminar? Further, Why would I be involved at all, since she had a valid passport and return ticket? Should I bring my recent tax returns and bank statements?  Seems that it’s none of their business.  I would like to hear your response to this, you may post it if you like in your column and edit as necessary.
Sincerely, Hyman Tucker (Hyman, the responses you received kind of make things a bit more confusing.  I do not have answers for you yet but there are some Filipino officials and concerned business related Filipinos that are aware of this problem and we just have to wait to see if more specific guidance is provided)  

First and Last Name: Chris Simpson
Comments and Remarks: My wife (married in the Philippines) required the 2 hour course in Manila to leave with me and our daughters, we were told that it didn’t matter where we went or for how long. It seems the way they are looking at it now is that if you are leaving in circumstances where you may end up working elsewhere, they will require this. The day my wife got her appointment, the printing machine broke down, there were 16 women there told to come back on Monday or Tuesday to collect. Several had spouses waiting with tickets booked that friday night. (The confusion continues.  Was this her first trip out of the country since marrying you?)

First and Last Name: Charles England
Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry REF. PHEODFILE WITH EXTREMLY HIGH RISK OF AIDS! Have you ever seen a notice in any bar in Angeles with faces of undesirables Harry? Having stayed in Angeles for over 20 years and owned hotels and other business here, I like to think I have a good balanced view of the upside and the downside of The Entertainment Industry on Field’s Avenue and Perimeter Road. The majority of mamasangs are professional, do a difficult job and have the interests of their girls under their wing at heart. However, a small number are just ruthless, selfish and have zero care for the girls. There is a hard core, like myself, who know these mamasangs and the high profile assholes who constantly frequent the bars. The worst, by a long way, are the paedophiles, as I am sure you will agree Harry. Yes, they are known to the police, mamasangs and many of the girls. But still the paedophiles get their victims as they are very resourceful and determined and because some mamasangs simply don’t give dam. There is one particular case I find the most abhorrent, by a long way, which prompts me to write to you. The guy in question has been living close to the entertainment area for about 15 years and is over 70 years old, I would think. He is already a celebrity in Angeles having been featured as being a paedophile by the British national papers, has appeared on BBC World TV while in Angeles City Jail after being arrested for crimes involving underage girls about 10 years ago. He openly brags to mere acquaintances, that he has had 1,500 different girls in the last 15 years and, waits for it, “has never used a condom”. STAGGERING! He says that he always tells the mamasangs that he has been steralized so the innocent girls, mostly underage, are led to believe that they will be safe. They don’t know any better and off they go. The worst scenario is that he is a woman hater and knows he has AIDS and is purposely infecting kids. You will no doubt know this particular paedophiles as he has featured on your web page about 8 years ago and has been pursued by the Roman Catholic Church (PREDA) in The Philippines for about 9 years to get the Philippine justice system to bring him to count. He has somehow got away with overwhelming evidence against him including over a hundred video cassettes tapes, confiscated by the police, all featuring him having sex with girls, mostly underage, some as young as 12 years old! From my reading of your web site for many years, it’s clear you have “know how” and influence in such important things like this and you are not frightened to publicise such “pond life” that sickens even the most hardened criminal minds Thanks in advance Harry.  Charles
(Charles, I remember the name of the person you are referring to and I also remember the well publicized incident that caused his arrest. I will not mention his name as he claimed his innocence and was able to get the charges dropped and a number of years have passed without further incident.  It is true that pedophiles live among us here in AC and some come as tourists.  I wish that each and every one of them could be outed, arrested and put in jail.  It is regrettable that some Mamasans cater to these dirt bags and should be fired but they have to be caught and prosecuted first, along with the customer.  These people are clever, they build up a network of contacts willing to provide young girls for a price.  Unless someone gives a tip to the police and he is caught in the action he can operate here, with impunity for many years.  If any pedophile is caught by the police here and prosecuted, for sure I will publish the details and the offender’s name but one must be aware that there have been circumstances where an innocent person has been set up by individuals or law enforcement officials.  Fortunately, this has not happened in quite some time.)    

Harry, True .   The military has no money .   Much of it has been stolen .   In the article last year about the PI Chief of staff stealing  millions , it was pointed out that the troops have no boots ,     no food ( their family has to feed them ,  )   , no ammunition , no gasoline etc, etc.    None of the Generals were prosecuted in what the Manila Paper called a ” monstrous theft “   .   Meeting last weekend in Manilawith US military and government officials pointed out the PI military has no money for spare parts , no functioning logistics system , no trained techs or mechanics to work on sophisticated F 16 , even if we gave them to them .    No money to operate the older ships we may give them .   Ammunition, fuel etc,   What about trained pilots for the F 16 they may get .   And , as you know being retired AF , logistics supporting Jet Fighters is very expensive .   Who is going to pay ?    Oh.   The M16 rifles the Muslim Guerrillas have in Mindinao all come from the Philippine Army   .    Which the Marines leave behind when they train there .    Common knowledge by our intelligence .     So, I ask you and everybody , ” why waste time with these fuckers  ? “   .    It appears to me that if this war does get ” hot ” , the USwill have to fight it .     Will Japan and Korea get involved ?    Joe W.
(This was in response to an observation I sent to Joe, who is married to a Filipina, living in the States who keeps up with the Philippines through the US Filipino channel.  The subject was our concern of how the Philippine military would handle a shooting war with China.  My comment was: The PI military has never had enough money to be effective.  The AF pilots cannot train properly because no budget for gas.  Their military is a joke.  Without the US assistance they would lose a war within months.  Hope it never happens as the people here do not deserve such a result.  I also wonder how far the US is prepared to go in defending the Philippines?  I hope we never have to find out)    

First and Last Name: mo deveney
Comments and Remarks: i notice that fewer and fewer tourists are visiting angeles …the bars are deserted and there are fewer girls …..yes times are hard ..but its surely going to get harder when the robbing bar owners in fields keep on putting up the cost of bar fines ….obviously they do not understand the concept of customer service ..there is none ..the girls are pizzzzed off, the customers have pizzed off …soon the golden goose will no longer lay any more eggs …time to stand up mr horse ..what are your thoughts.
(Mo, I just heard today that the LA Pasha Club raised their local drinks to P110, this at a time when business is so slow.  I very seldom buy a drink on Fields Ave  and believe me, very few ladies drinks.  For sure the EWR prices have become unreasonable but so far the tourists are still forking over the money. I must admit that I am not in a position to criticize pricing in the bars.  Those owners with multi-clubs must have one hell of a big overhead and they establish their pricing to allow for costs and to make a profit.  They should know what they are doing.  I suspect that the tourists are not caring about the prices but those of us living here on fixed incomes feel the pinch to our budgets with each price increase.  Remember, Club owners on Fields Ave do not care about Expat business, they depend on tourists.  It is a different game there.  I have lived in Las Vegas which is a tourist town.  I did not gamble nor did I spend a great deal of time on the Strip, my budget would not allow it.  I sought out neighborhood casinos and bars where I could afford the entertainment.  So, the same with Fields Ave, let them charge what they want, they are the owners who take the risks.  Why complain?  Just let your feet take you elsewhere.  I happen to like La Pasha, but instead of buying two or three drinks, I will only buy one, nurse the hell out of it and enjoy the atmosphere for an hour and then leave unless some of the ladies looked so good that I buy another drink and stay longer.  But, I know I can afford only so much and keep to my budget.  Now, if I was a tourist with only two weeks to stay here, believe me, my attitude would be different as well as my budget. One other thing to consider, those rental prices on Fields Ave are astronomical and getting higher every year.  OH well, I know pricing will always be a subject of debate but the answer is survival and those Clubs that continue to get the business will survive, those that do not, of course, will not.  Hopefully, Fields Ave will not go away, but for sure, over time the face of Fields Ave will change and owners will be required to adapt or fade away)  UPDATE:  Jorg, the owner of La Pasha called to inform me that his prices were not raised and remain at P95 and will stay that way until the cost of goods increases to a point where he has no choice.  Thanks for calling Jorg, that is why I like the La Pasha group. 

Harry, Talked to my son a few days ago .   He will be visiting tomorrow .  He made E8 two years ago .   Nice .   Served in Iraq for 18 months as a platoon Sergeant  in a very hostile area .    He was serving as a First Sergeant at Ft.Hood  in a field unit. Good potential for E9 .   But, then he told me he retired 6 months ago. 20 years, 3 months .   I was sort of shocked .   He said ” Dad, I am not going to Afghanistan.    I am not pushing my luck.”   He said many of his friends feel the same way .   They have had enough war.   Many are burned out  .  Marine Corps infantry , also.   So he retired on 20 .  He is using his GI bill now for school.    But , he is getting 90%   VA disability, also.   I am greatful to God he survived and he is out .  Anyway, maybe he and I can go to Fields ave and open a bar. Joe W.  (Joe, instead of opening a bar on Fields Ave he would be better off in Afghanistan)  

Harry I have noticed that many trikes now have the front passenger window either fully or partially obscured so the passenger cannot see what is going on up ahead and in the case of an impending accident at least try and prepare him/herself. Like several of my friends I now refuse to ride in one of these trikes. Ron G.  (Maybe you are better off not seeing what is going on up ahead.  Some trike drivers are frustrated Kamikaze drivers who scare the shit out of passengers.  So, they cover the front window, dispense muscle relaxing pills and hope to avoid heart attacks.  Even if you see what is coming you are so squeezed into the trike that rapid egress movement is impossible.  Just relax, say 10 hail Mary’s and hope you had a nice sexual experience prior to boarding the trike.  At least then you can die with a smile on your face.  Oh wait, I forgot.  If you only get injured be advised that the accident will be your fault and as you lay in the street, your wallet, watch, rings, loose change and gold chain on your neck will be removed never to be seen again.  Better make that 20 hail Mary’s)    

Harry, I am sitting here in your bar for my last few hours in paradise reflecting on my experience here.

THE GOOD NEWS:

Always, the staff at the La Casa are over the top in service, quality, and friendliness. The Blue Boar Inn/La Casa is home base on my visits here, I say that because everyone makes me feel at home. I also have to mention the lovely girls employed at your bar, I love them, and each and every one is special in her own way.

People sometimes mistake my carefree attitude as not paying attention, but I do. I have never been shorted one peso in your place and I have never “lost” anything at your place, in fact Monique scolds me for leaving the keys in the scooter and leaving belongings laying around.

Thi-Hi is still a great place to drink and be entertained by exciting, pretty, and helpful girls. Prices are reasonable even with the dollar exchange rate so low. Just as you do, I love Thi-Hi and I love the girls there.

I can still rent a scooter to get around for less then P300 a day, it keeps me away from the trikes, jeepneys and taxis. I don’t even know who else rents other then NICE BIKE because the manager and staff there have given me no reason to ever look anywhere else.

There is a point on the road, somewhere around THE BRASS KNOB where you can go to most any bar and have a great time at reasonable prices, even if some attempt the “double” P300 drink.

I had no problems with “raids” or police “checkpoints”. There were some soldiers who had a checkpoint but they simply checked my ID and let me go (as the Filipino drove by).

THE BAD NEWS:

You have mentioned before the big bars on Fields and the simply outrages costs to sit and have a drink or two. P95 at Dollhouse and P125 at Carousel, that’s $2 or $3 a drink. If that was all there was here I would have no need to return. I can pay $3 a beer at any bar in the states.

For the first time I was shorted my change on a bill and it was at the Dollhouse. The actual cost and the shortage were so different in numbers I can only assume the waitress was correct when she said “cashier make mistake”. (Dave, they do that a lot there)

Still plenty of beggers. I understand how difficult things are here and I sympathize with everyone who squeaks out a living here day after day.  I continue to give candy to the kids that beg and watch the disappointed look on the parents face when they see the child has not gotten cash for them.

Business is booming and things are being built all around you, I am afraid this will cause the prices at the beloved Blue Bore Inn to increase. We will see.

The PPD (Post Philippines Depression) has hit me already as I wait for my departure to the DMIA in three more hours.  Thank you so much for inviting me into what is your home, I don’t play darts or pool, and we don’t get a chance to talk much but lets face it, I did not come here to see Harry The Horse, as kind as he may be.  Dave “Candyman” Williams. (Dave is from Kansas City.  He works full time with the National Guard and absolutely loves Angeles City.  He is a most welcome guest at my Stable and his kind words are appreciated).   

First and Last Name: Nico
Comments and Remarks: interesting about airport woes. i am a fairly long time resident (6 years) and i normally cruise right through customs. this time the lady asked me ‘why i visit so much’ and ‘you have family here?’ i replied ‘i love the country’ – after 4 or 5 awkward min of questioning she asked where i stayed – i replied ‘at my house’ (i own a house here) and that was the WRONG THING TO SAY! she surely wanted to deny me entry, but i was one of the first 10 people through a very full flight – she told me she would let me through ‘this one time only’ but ‘you can’t travel here on a tourist visa if you are living here – next time we will not let you in’ was pretty shocked, i’ve been doing the back to back visa for last 6 years with no issues. i’m 38 yo, white normal looking guy. is it illegal to the point of being refused entry if you live in the PI? (i have my ACR card and everything). thanks! Nico.  (Good question Nico.  This is the first time I have run into that problem.  I would have answered the same way you did.  I have to see if I can get an explanation on this one)

First and Last Name: Robert Russell

This is me about the house I was purchasing and so far I am out $53,000(USD) I paid toward a total of $84,000. I have recently contacted a lawyer in Angeles City. It started in January 2010 when I was here preparing to bring my girlfriend at that time to the USA. Walking through SM as always. several of the housing projects were handing out flyers.  Just wanting to see what the houses looked like for future reference we looked at several places. I did as much research as possible on each one and always talked to people already living in each area. I was not interested in buying until I actually moved here but my wife kept insisting so it would be finished by the time we got here. Against my better judgement I did not listen. After much research and talking with people I selected Montenegro Estate on Fil-Am Friendship Hwy, Angeles City. It was owned by Krisworld Development Corporation which started building houses doing several joint adventures in Australia with other developers  .In April 2007 they decided to build in the Philippines with the Montenegro Estates. Before getting into the housing development business they had started as Perfect Australian Wardrobes in 1984. My research showed the company was sound. I was intoducted to the man in charge and the developer of the estate by the name of Kris Krstic (Australian) and a Filipina I thought was his wife (later found out just his gf).  My wife put down the 50,000 pesos (January 22, 2010 – have receipt) required to reserve the lot location. On February 10, 2010, I paid 1,182,134.20 pesos (have receipt) so construction could start.  Kept in communication with Kris by several emails. He always replied. In March my wife and I came to visit to see how the house was going. Kris met with us and showed us how things were going.  He took me around and introduced me to all the people living in the community at that time to include a few visits to his house. He took me to several stores and even worked discount deals  in reference to purchasing aircons, furniture, appliances, etc.  He was helpful in every way.  I paid an additional $25,000 dollars in April 2010 with receipt. The monies were sent through my credit union through Bank of America to BDO SM Clark to Krisworld Development Corporation with a code number and swift code.  Everything seemed to be going good until maybe September when I stopped receiving answers to my emails. I then received an email from a Mr. Estelito Soriano from Krisworld on December 28, 2010, that Kris was no longer with Krisworld since October 2010 (later found out he took off with the monies of the Angels City development) and that the corporation would no longer honor monies paid to Kris (the monies were sent to the corporation and not Kris). They said they liquidated the corporation and formed a new one.  I later met with Mr. Soriano in March 2011 and he said since I paid so much that he would try to help me. Of course this did not happen.  I am now deciding if the attorney here in the Philippines can help me recover some of the money or if it is a waste of time. The attorney feels I can win something in court but he is not sure how long this could take (as you know the court system here).  I Just want to tell others to be careful, no matter how good the company is and where it is from.   Robert (Bob) Russell USA

(Bob, I am not a lawyer but it sounds like the present new Corporation is not being helpful at all by not taking any responsibility for the illegal actions taken by Kris while representing the original Corporation.  I cannot advise you on what to do but your warning to others is a good one.  There are people out there, and they are not all Filipinos, waiting to take advantage of a foreigner.  They are known as con-men.  Angeles City has a few of them.  For sure, I would be a bit apprehensive about dealing with anyone connected with Montenegro Estate or as you wrote, any other subdivision.  One lesson for all is that one should be here in-country from the beginning to the end in any transaction dealing with purchasing real estate.  In that way you can do more research and discover foul play much quicker if it takes place.)  

This is a true story. I am still sort of laughing.  Curtis had a room reservation at my stable but had to cancel for health reasons.  After I acknowledged the cancellation he sent me this explanation:

“Red enamel spray-paint.  I bought her two cans of the stuff and showed her how to use it (she never used spray-paint before)- she wanted to paint a couple of metal chairs we have.  I “thought” she would do it in the garage with ventilation – instead she painted the things in our small second bedroom and filled her lungs and nasal passages with over-spray! P28k later – she is doing well at home, where I am trying to figure out how the hell I am going to get the over-spray off of every single thing in that bedroom…:-(  You know you are married to a Filipina when:….:-)

I need to save my peso’s again for awhile – I had to dip into my emergency healthcare/travel savings in the states for part of this – maybe first week of July – I’ll let you know. Take care – Curtis”  (Curtis, my sympathies and honestly, every time I read this I try not to laugh).

Last month I had a few regular readers of this column point out three mistakes I made.  Man, I felt like I was getting a one, two, three punch out to the head.  I remember two of them but forgot the third.  The cancer story from John Hopkins was not true.  It did not come from John Hopkins, in fact, the hospital is John Hopkin not Hopkins.  But, I still stand by the recommendations listed there, just the source was wrong.  The second one was about the Boeing 1,000 passenger jet.  Not true.  I keep trying to remind myself to check snopes and other sources on some of the stories sent to me and still screw up.  But, my readers are quickly there to point out the errors to me and believe it or not, I appreciate the input.  I hope that this month I have not made any errors.  I know there was a third one but damn, can’t find it again.

Charlie’s –  previously know as “the Screaming Eagle” has undergone a $100,000 refurbishment under the supervision of new owners, one English (Andrew) and one Aussie.  Andy told me it would be open by 25 May.  They will be open for  breakfast at 0830.  What surprised me is that he told me there  would be 5 chefs on duty and now I have to try and figure out my notes which I planned to get more details in a second interview but never saw Andy again.  Let me see, so something about Comis chefs, whatever that is, 2 Sous chefs, whatever that is, one chef named William that was with Margarita Station and 8 years with Holiday Inn, a consultant executive chef from from Yats Wine Club 2 times a week or something like that.  Now, some time this month I will get on over to Charlies and get all my information straightened out and take some pictures.  Hours are from 10 to midnight except for the bar upstairs which will be open until 0100 hrs.  Andy, if I have screwed up this write-up please forgive me.  I just wanted to let everyone know that by now you should be up and running and that your place will be a winner.  I look forward to seeing the upstairs area where you told me you plan to have some live music, maybe some darts, and well, a fun place.  My goodness, with all the chefs on board, I expect some very interesting menu items.  OK, enough for now, I will be dropping by for updates very soon.  (My goodness, is this the worse write-up I ever did?  Maybe I should have just said, “Charlie’s is open, check it out as the advance word to me is that it will be a great place to eat and play.  Details later”.  Shit, I like that better, please disregard everything I wrote before that.  Update:  Stopped by on 31 May, Upstairs far open for business.  Still working on the downstairs, Grand Opening on 4 Jun, 7 PM.

From: Alma Clayton
Subject: Re: Hello Brendan…..
Hy Bredan:-)
I Had Reason To Visit The Embassy Today 14th 0f May To Submit The Papers For My Daughter Passport.The Past Few Years I’ve Never
Heard Any Good Reports From People Who Had  Cause To Visit There,Complaints 0f Locals With A Bit 0f Power Giving Expats A Hard Time ETC.Having To Fight My Way 0n The Bus At DAU Then My Wife And I Standing All The Way Whilst The EDSA Traffic Crawled At A Snails Pace.
Finally Arriving At Ayala At 8:40am.Found A Taxi Within 20 Seconds All Looking Good.Thankfully I Looked At Your Website And Saw The Map Showing The Embassy.At First I Thought The Driver Was Taking A Short Cut But After 15mins Realized All Was Not Well.I Showed Him Your Calling Card”0h I Thought You Said U’S EMBASSY”.Now My 9:30 Appoinment Looked Grim.Well We Arrived At 9″20 And Was Treated Very Well,The Guy At Reception The Lady security And Most 0f All The Lady  Who Dealt With My Interview A Pleasant Smile And Very Professional And Polite.I Recently Applied For My 13A Visa And It’s A Pity That The Staff There At Immigrati0n  Were Not All The Same Calibre As Your Young Lady.If This No Nonsence Attitude Is A Result 0f You Being The New Captain 0f This Ship.Then Well Done.I Shall Be Certainly Prasing You And Yours To Any Other Expats You Have Reason To Visit.
Regard’s, Jack Clayton:-)  (Jack Clayton is from England and is a true blue hasher)
Brendan’s reply to Jack:  I’m glad to hear your experience was a pleasant one, Jack.
Brendan Gill, HM Consul, British Embassy Manila | tel: 00632 858 2222 | ftn: 8411 2222 | fax: 
00632 858 2342 | e-mail: brendan.gill@fco.gov.uk 

TIDBITS

LA PASHA -

I received a call from Jorg, the owner of La Pasha and he informed me that the prices at his clubs remain at P95 for local drinks.  I printed a report from a reader of this column who commented that the prices at La Pasha had been raised.  Jorg wants everyone to know that this is not true.

I am more than happy to report this as Jorg runs a great group of Clubs and is one of the good guys in town.  By the way, I did not know that six months ago he added a new baby to his family.  It’s a bit late Jorg, but congrats!

 

A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines. United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a flight. Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar. During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for youtube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded: “Good luck with that one, pal.”
So he posted a retaliatory video on youtube. The video has since received over 6 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video.  Naturally his response was: “Good luck with that one, pal.”
Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has led to a sharp increase in orders. Here’s the video, and it’s GREAT!  A Must Watch;   http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5YGc4zOqozo
(I really liked the video.  It is great to see someone get back at some of these “screw the customer” airline companies.  Well done Dave!)  Update:  It was reported that Spirit finally did refund the money to the Vet but only after so much bad publicity, and done grudgingly.  By the way this is what I mean by how Spirit and other airlines squeeze their customers to death:

The “S” in Spirit means: “S”uck you dry!! Check out Spiritless Airlines’ baggage policy for carry-on luggage, a fee between $20.00 and $35.00. (There’s also a fee for check-in luggage). The dumb and dumbers running this airlines will also publish an airfare about $10.00 lower than competing airlines – just to “suck” you in…oops, there’s that word again. Spiritless Airlines - Sucking you Dry, so we can Fly”

After hating to drive to the Angeles University Foundation Hospital (AUF) because of lack of parking for so many years I was overjoyed to find that they finally built a parking garage behind the hospital.  OK, I know this is not the biggest news to report but damn, if you knew what it was like before you would really appreciate it.  The Angeles family built on every square inch of land around that area disregarding parking requirements.  So, better late than never.  Now, if I get sick and end up in AUF, which I hope never happens again, drive on down and see me.  I might even pay the parking fee, oh yes, nothing is free at AUF.

I missed a golden opportunity!  This little story has a bit of drama, comedy and a lesson that when opportunity knocks, go for it right away and a bit of the early bird catches the worm.  It all started when the infamous Wesley Prentice sent out an Email in which he asked that it be circulated to all hotels in Angeles and Subic.  It contained a list 12 different items available for sale at hard to believe low prices.  Man, it had a 450 KVA generator, Air-Cons, mini-refs, bed boxes and mattresses, tables, jacuzzis, kitchen equipment, computers, telephone hand sets and a washing machine, dryer.  The message was sent out on 4 May and the instructions said “The following items are for sale, please contactd Mr. Ross Addy, Dreamland Resort, before Monday, May 7th 2012, cell number 09493282511.

The prices were so reasonable that I wanted to grab 20 or 30 thousand pesos and drive to Subic the next morning, with the Mrs of course.  I wanted around 3 of those mini-refs and a couple of air-cons.  But, Sat came, slept late, never got motivated but kept thinking I was making a mistake by not going.  Early that evening I went to the Hang-out and that is when I learned all those lessons.  Two lads were there relating the story of their shopping trip to the Dreamland Resort.  They waited until the afternoon to get there but they were prepared with trucks and cash.  They loaded up beds, mattresses, air-cons, mini-refs (would you believe they still had stock in them), washing machine and dryer.  While they were there, other folks had come earlier, loaded up and left the compound.  Just as Dave and Chris were about to leave, after paying and receipt in hand there suddenly appeared a Chinese character who was all excited and upset.  He immediately padlocked the gate and went to our, now, puzzled buyers, demanding they unload their truck and that they could not leave the compound until the police arrived.  Now we had a Mexican standoff, or should I say, Chinese Standoff.  This guy was so upset that our friends thought he would pull out a Ninja sword and start whacking them.  They told him that he could not hold them there.  They were legal, paid cash, had a receipt.  Needless that did not work.  They finally had to unload the truck, get their money back and continue arguing.  This guy refused to open the gate until the police arrived.  Dave and Chris accused him of hostage taking and insisted on leaving the compound.  Finally the China man reluctantly opened the gate and two very disappointed ex-pats returned to Angeles with empty trucks.  What really hurt is that if they had arrived their one or two hours earlier, they would have been home with what has to be the bargain of the year for shopping.  The mystery is, what the hell was going on?  Where was Wes Prentice?  Who was this Chinese character?  If Dave and Chris had been “early birds” they would have met with success.  The drama was the one man hostage taker.  The comedy was his antics and Dave and Chris unloading the trucks.  And the biggest lesson was my opportunity missed by not getting off my ass to get there in the early AM as I had planned.  I wonder if someone can tell me what the deal was with this Dreamland Resort fiasco.

I wrote to Mo, the very knowledgeable, long time Club owner in Angeles City and now Barrio Barretto to ask if he could shed some light on this latest Wes Prentice action.  His reply follows:

Like his schemes here (Vegas and the non-existent Dreamland Resort project on Clark) and Arizona and finally Dreamland in Subic, Wes sells, in essence, promises of huge returns. As an incentive, stockholders get to use the hotel for a number of nights based upon their holdings. They also received discounts on food and beverages.

When he finally bails, the share holders are usually left holding the bag (empty bag). In the Arizona case, the shareholders ‘loaned’ the corporation considerable amounts of money at something like 6% interest. When it was sold, Wes used part of the proceeds to repay the loans (no interest) and the remainder to develop the Dreamland project. One shareholder held out for the interest, and Wes basically told him to pack salt, and take him to court promising ‘I will tie it up for years, and you won’t get anything’. The sale of the Arizona International Hotel, Inc. included a clause that the corporation was free and clear of any debt. When the new owner asked Wes for restitution, Wes gave him the same response. The new owner’s a stand-up guy, and paid the shareholder and took Wes to court.

Wes enticed a top manager to invest in the bar and restaurant. They had a contract that stated that should Wes wish to terminate the relationship, he’d pay the guy something like $60,000. The relationship ended, and Wes, as always, reneged on that deal as well. That was about 2 years ago.

I don’t know exactly what happened, but Wes returned to Australia. Supposedly, there was a clause in the lease that precluded foreclosure based upon nonpayment of rent, and the arrears rumors are between P2M and P6M. It’s probably someplace in-between.

Wes got scared and headed back to Australia. I’m not sure how long ago it was, but he turned the management over to locals who promptly ran it like locals. The restaurant started serving local quality food, the rooms were left to deteriorate and business slowly, but surely, suffered. The only thing it had going was a magnificent pool area and dirt cheap rooms.

When I heard about the sale, I contacted someone in the know about the possibility of taking over the operation. He came back with a strong warning not to touch it. Bankruptcy is imminent (probably this week), and the owner of the land is going to tie the place up for awhile. The employees had not been paid for a prolonged period and were allowed to remove hotel property as payment in kind.

Harry, there are probably some holes in this and probably some errors, but the gist of the story is correct. All-in-all another scam perpetrated by a consummate scam artist. To elaborate a bit further, 4 or 5 years ago, Wes ran an ad in Blue Book advertising 50% share and total control of the planned commercial plaza for something like $600K. A friend of mine in the States saw the ad and asked Wes for more details. Wes provided business plans, drawings, permits, etc. Everything was in perfect order. My friend emailed Wes and told him he’d like him to make the presentation to me. Wes came up. We talked for a couple of hours. Everything was perfect – too perfect. When I started asking about the ‘total control’ aspect, it became clear that it was nothing of the sort. There were all sorts of restrictions and permissions needed including a significant percentage of the rents charged for any commercial undertakings. I relayed this to Wes and my friend. The negotiations stopped. Wes sent him an unbelievably rude email calling him a “stupid fucker” for ‘taking the advice of a simple bar owner’. Needless to say, Wes and I have not gotten along well since then.

I’ll do a little more digging, but my guess is the Chinese person is the landlord, and it’s also my understanding that it’s illegal to sell assets when there’s financial disputes. It was mentioned by someone in the know that “It is 100% sure Wes will never return to the Philippines”
Easter in the Philippines:  That is not a picture of a dead man, it is just another one of the many flagellants that can be seen walking the streets beating their backs bloody just before Easter Sunday.  In this case they came in front of a chapel in a local barangay, San Nicholas, AC and lay flat on the ground as penance while others continue to beat and lightly kick them.  Others carry heavy crosses and meanwhile one has to put up with the 24 hour, very annoying, singing of the story of Jesus, called the Passion.  This singing or chanting starts on Holy Monday until Good Friday.  I find it to be extremely annoying because they have to use loud speakers without any consideration to people who have to get up for work or want a good nights sleep.  Before it used to be done only in chapels but now they set up temporary booths in various parts of the neighborhoods making it more difficult to get away from the sound.  But, it is once a year, for one week and one learns to live with it.  Easter is taken very seriously here but even some priests do not support the carrying of the heavy crosses and beating bare backs into a bloody mess since far too many of those participating will return to their sinful ways the day after Easter.  The rituals are to be respected, along with the participants, and when I witness the bloody backs, watch the long walks with heavy crosses and see those who on Easter Sunday tie themselves to crosses or even some who allow their hands to be nailed, I am more than satisfied to be an on-looker and just say a few Hail Mary’s for my penance, preferably in an air-conditioned environment.  No doubt, if there is a heaven, I suspect the Filipinos will be well in front of any line that I might be on waiting for entry into that gate.  Next year I will recite more Hail Mary’s, eh, OK, without air-conditioning.

Mark Dizon Update:  I was able to attend his hearing last month at courtroom 58, now located at the newly renovated Dept of Justice Building in the City Hall compound.  Once again I was not all that impressed with the Prosecutors presentations and even the judge made instructions that there was too much duplication in presenting witnesses to confirm what has been presented by previous witnesses.  He instructed them to get on to new ground and to speed up the process so the case does not drag on indefinitely.  Dizon was in court and his appearance was the same.  It looks like he gained a bit of weight and still seemed not to be bothered by events.  He was able to chat with some court officials and even have a joke or two.  I look forward to his next appearance in June and hope that the prosecutors heed the advice of the judge.

Three weeks after I wrote the above update on Dizon I was pleased to see an update published by Punto newspaper with reporting and picture by Ding Cervantes.  I know Ding and am glad to see this article as theirs is the only newspaper that has written any update on this alleged murderer.  I must agree, that justice here is very, very slow but at least it is not dead.  I like the no nonsense judge.

‘Slow justice’
2 years after serial murders, jailed suspect waits for verdict - 
By Ding Cervantes  May 24, 2012, Source: Punto

ANGELES CITY– Almost two years now since the serial murders of nine persons here, suspect Mark Dizon has remained in jail still in wait for any verdict in the several criminal cases filed against him before the salas of three regional trial courts (RTC) in this city.  Sources from RTC Branch 58, who asked not to be named as they had no permission from Judge Philip Iturralde, said that government prosecutors still had to present 10 more witnesses against Dizon in the case of victims retired US Air Force MSgt. Albert Mitchell, 70, and his wife Janet and their househelps Isabel Fajardo, Marissa Prado and Yulberto Catli who died from gunshot wounds in their home in Hensonville Court Subdivision in Barangay Malabanias on July 22, 2010.

Dizon in the Mitchell case is accused of the “intent to kill willfully, treacherously, feloniously and with evident pre-meditation” five of his victims.
The RTC sources noted, however, that several prosecution witnesses have already been presented, including Czarina Mitchell, the surviving daughter of the Mitchell couple, who had at one time been the girlfriend of the suspect. Czarina was in the US when her parents were killed.
Dizon, who was 28 when he allegedly committed the crimes, faces five counts of murder, one count of carjacking and three counts of robbery in the Mitchell case.
RTC personnel said Dizon is also facing similar charges in other RTC branches in connection with the murders of South African national Geoffrey Allan Bennun, 60, and his live-in partner, Abegail Helina, 20, whose decomposing bodies were found inside their house at Oasis Hotel and Villas in Clarkville Compound in Barangay Anunas here on July 12 in the same year.
He is also facing charges before another RTC branch in regard to the killing of Briton James Bolton Porter, 51, and his live-in partner, Melissa Madarang, 22, in their house at 4-11A Nicolas street in Sta. Maria Subdivision in Barangay Balibago a few days later on July 16.
The RTC sources said Dizon is being represented by lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office. Several attempts to interview his lawyers failed, as they were always out on official missions.
Dizon, who had worked as computer technician for his victims, had denied all the charges against him.

The David Balmer murder:  Not much progress here.  The suspects are out of country and there has been no further progress on obtaining an order of extradition for the suspects.  This does not mean that nothing is being done it is just that It is a slow process and with David’s family being out of country it makes it more difficult. Eventually it will happen, least wise we hope so.  No one should forget this horrible murder of such a wonderful couple who were very much in love.

I attended a meeting last month at the City Hall Conference room in which Dennis Pamintuan, Alex Cauguiran and Jesus Eres.  Also in attendance were PEACE representatives led by Balibago Barangay Captain Tony Mamac.  Alex Caugriran is the Chief of Staff for the Mayor.  During this meeting Alex stated that “if it was up to him, all the bars on Fields Ave would be closed within one year”.  He was dead serious as he spoke quite emotionally about it.  But, he did add that he was not the Mayor so this would not happen.  He did add that the policy on bars that are closed as a result of illegal practices, i.e., Coyote Ugly, would not be allowed to reopen as a bar, even with a new name or new management.  They could open as a restaurant, hotel or some other type business, but not a bar.  No doubt there are other government officials out there that must feel the same way as Alex.  It will be interesting to see how this train of thought plays out over the next five to ten years.

On 22 May, another meeting was called for by Jesus Eres, the Executive Director of the newly formed Angeles City Entertainment Promotion office (ACEPO).  This is an office formed by the Mayor with the mission of working towards reforming the image of the entertainment industry along Fields Ave, Don Juico Avenue and Friendship Ave through the implementation of programs aimed at maintaining and sustaining peace, security, cleanliness and orderliness within these areas.  The ACEPO office will be located in a building alongside the Station Four Police Station and manned 24/7.  An overview of specific plans was presented by Alex Cauguiran by a slide presentation.  Artists renditions were shown of the future look of Fields Ave and the Korean area at Friendship.  He announced that the Philippine government has allocated funds for the widening of the Friendship road to four lanes, all the way to San Fernando.  There are plans to make Fields Ave a true walking street in which from 4 PM to 4 AM no public or private transport will be allowed (how many times have we heard this before?).  There are plans to build a Sun Dial at the park with an underground museum and a skateboard park.  Additionally, the traffic circle will be transformed into a fountain and enlarged to improve the traffic flow.  On cleanliness, street sweepers will be employed and a regular schedule of cleaning will be established.  Solid Waste Management will be enforced whereby garbage will be separated for pick-up.  This will be a cooperative effort between the Government and the stakeholders.  On Fields, after 11 PM minors, 17 and below, will not be allowed.  There are more details but the overall objective is to make Angeles City a world class entertainment district where tourists and regular citizens can visit and feel safe at all times.  Alex admits that this is not an easy task, but his motto is “dream big and think big”.  The question is, will it be a dream come true?

Sometimes trying to be helpful can back fire on you.  It was midnight, location, near Norma’s Money Changer on Teodoro Street.  Some Filipinos beating up on a girl, a foreigner goes to help her, the Filipinos turn on him and beat him up and leave him laying in the street.  He ends up with a broken collar bone.  Was he right to help or was he being foolish?  Good intentions, bad result.  My advice, next time turn around and go home a different way or just call the police and stay out of it.

This one is a switch.  In front of La Pasha one late night.  Two foreigners fighting each other in front of the bar.  A Filipino tried to break it up, the foreigners turned on him and starting hitting him.  Bad move, Tricycle drivers and vendors in the area got involved, result, two foreigners down for the count.  I hope the two idiots were not fighting over a girl!

Over the years I have read a few books written by Ex-pats about Angeles City or various wars they have participated in.  Some are good, others were not worth reading after one chapter.  But, recently Scott Grant, who reads this column and sends me well written opinions and suggestions, mailed me three books that he authored and are available on Amazon.com.  He asked that I read them in order as they are all connected to one main character.  I did not start reading them right away as I had a couple of paperback books to finish first.  But, once I started the first one, “East of Egypt” I was hooked.  That meant every time I took one of my long extended dumps and before sleeping at night I read the book.  Man, it was great, full of action, twists and turns and informative details.  Even Angeles City was mentioned.  It was good enough that I even started reading it during TV commercials, then biggest compliment of all, it took me away from my computer and this column.  For me, it “movie” material.  Now, I am on the second book, “Year of the Rat” and hate to put it down.  But then, I know that the third book, “The Lebensborn Experiment” is waiting for me.  My fictional hero for a long time has been “Jack Reacher” but now “David Anderson”  is up there with Jack.  As I mentioned, I do get to communicate with Scott and he told me he, along with his family will be returning to the Philippines on 28 Aug and for the first time I will meet a book author and be able to get him to autograph the three books for me.  By the way, he has two more books in the planning stage already, so get on board now before you have too many books to catch up on.  This is part of the message he wrote to me recently.

“I appreciate that you like my work well enough to publish a thread on your blog about me. I think ex-pats are the perfect audience as I am an ex-pat myself. If you mention my books in your blog/newsletter please tell the guys that if they are interested they can go to Amazon.com/books and type in the book title and Scott Grant and they will be taken to the book straight away.”
“I forgot to mention I have a blog at http://actionthrillers.net would you ad that link in your column?”

Would you believe that another Ex-pat living and working here in Angeles City, upon returning from a trip to Hong Kong found out that he was blacklisted by Immigration and was not allowed to leave the terminal.  They told him that he would have to wait for a return flight to Hong Kong the next morning.  Fortunately, this person knew enough influential people that he was able to exit the terminal late that night and the next day went to Manila to meet with Immigration officials there.  Why was he blacklisted?  He made the mistake of, three weeks earlier, questioning Immigration officials as to why they refused to allow his girlfriend to travel with him to Hong Kong.  Apparently, they hate to be questioned and interpret anyone doing so as being rude and deserving of being blacklisted.  Naturally, they do not tell the traveler this, one only finds out if he tries to extend his visa or on returning to the PI after a trip out of the country.

I attended a meeting last month called by the Regional III Dept of Tourism Director, Ronnie Tiotuico in which members of the Travel Agent Agencies, Hotel organization (HARP) and private individuals were invited to meet with Attorney Carlos Capulong, Head Immigration Officer at the DMIA to discuss the policies at the DMIA regarding the treatment of Filipinas trying to leave the country on Tourist Visas and denied boarding based on the fact that they were traveling with foreigners or going to meet a companion for a vacation.  Would you believe that one lady was denied boarding because the Immigration official told her that “I can tell by your face that you are a prostitute”.  This lady was a 26 year old secretary employed in Manila.  Anyway, at the very last minute Attorney Capulong cancelled his appearance due to other commitments but did send his representative, DMIA Immigration Supervisor Samer Balindong.  Mr. Balindong was kind enough to patiently listen to complaints, at times not presented as politely as they could have been and provided explanations as best he could.  From what I gathered I can only recommend that, especially foreigners, do not question Immigration policies at the airport.  At all times, be respectful, keep a smile on your face and be humble.  Sometimes that is hard to do but Filipinos are extremely sensitive especially those in authority.  When questioning an agent, try to make sure he or she does not get the impression that you are being rude or arrogant.  These agents deal with a lot of people during their duty day and you have no idea who might have pissed them off before you.  Agent Balindong indicated that it was not a good idea to question the agents on policy decisions.  He also indicated that he supports his agents 100% and will not second guess them on decisions made or how actions are taken.  He recognizes the difficult task they have and supports his team.  So, do not raise your voice, do not curse, try to remain respectful, even if the person you are dealing with is not doing so.  Remember one thing, these agents might tolerate a lot from a fellow Filipino, but a lot less so with a foreigner.  A bit of Nationalism comes into play here.  I have lived here thirty years and sometimes I forget my own advice but am quickly reminded of it by Filipino friends.  I will leave Immigration issues to those officials who can work the problem at the levels where solutions can be found and implemented.  Eventually, things will be sorted out, proper uniform procedures will be developed and all we can do at the ground level is to continue to provide examples of airport problems encountered and then we can forward them to those folks who are working at higher levels.  Does that make any sense?  Bottom line – Don’t mess with the Immigration agents at the airports.  Hell, you better not do that even when entering the US.  They don’t get mad, they get even!

From Jimmy Waldon:  An outstanding website for US Vets.  Maybe you can get it out to folks. http://www.theveteransvoice.com/.

Super darters visit the Blue Boar Inn (My Stable) from Korea to enjoy a bit of Fields Ave but also a lot of darts.  In fact during the two weeks they were here each afternoon saw them throwing the arrows for a couple of hours of practice.  Greg Relihan is stationed at Camp Humphries in Pyeongtaek, Korea and Frank Rabuck, is stationed at Osan, Korea.  They play a lot of league darts in Korea so they are at the top of their games.  The third player in the picture, in the background is John Marszal, an outstanding dart player from Australia who used to live in Angeles City but has moved to Barrio Barretto where he dominates dart play there, when J T is not in town.

Last month I wrote about the Gasthouse and promised that Mrs. Horse and I would return to check out the specialty, baby-back ribs.  We kept our promise and Priscilla absolutely loved the ribs.  It was better than expected and there was so much, delicious tender meat on the bones that Priscilla could not finish them, even after sharing some with our son and me.  I had the Goulash and that was a good meal as well.

Douglas (Dougie) Frost, owner of Hang-out.  I wrote about his accident and hospital treatments last month.  I am sad to say that this poor guy has been through hell since then.  He has been in and out of the hospital numerous times and had operations on his arm and hip and then had to go back in to clear up infections and repeat operations to correct some mistakes by doctors.  Every time I stop by the Hang-out to look for him I am told by Mac, “oh, we just took him back to hospital this morning”.  I sure hope that this month of June will see his bones finally healing properly and no repeat admissions to the hospital.  It was a miracle that he survived the car accident but man, complete recovery is slow coming.  Regretfully, some of his sufferings were caused by doctor errors.

Angeles Sports & Country Club, Zeppelin St Hensonville

FOR RENT AVAILABLE JUNE 1 2012
On the most secure & best location in Angeles City
1 only, 2 bed luxury fully furnished apartment. Overlooking the International Lawn Bowling Greens. To include free use and Membership of all Club facilities including a 25 metre pool with a swim up covered bar and an adjoining kiddies swimming pool both with food service,and a large sunbathing area.
A challenging Par 3 Golf Course and Driving Range, Lawn bowling Greens, Petanque Courts, a kiddies play area, a restaurant, plus 2 additional Family friendly Bars.
Close to all the facilities and services Angeles offers yet remains an Oasis, a real hidden gem. A one off.
For further details tel:  +63 922 839 5660  Ainie  English / Tagalag. OWNERS LIVE ON SITE Tel  +63 999 652 6214  John   English.

 

JUNE EVENTS

15 June, 1PM – The Wild Orchid 2nd Annual Miss Pinatubo 2012 Bikini Contest & Pool Party.  Proceeds will go to the Duyan ni Maria Orphanage.  Folks, this is a fun event and the judging is done by audience participation in the form of bead voting.  I watched this last year and the voting was interesting.  One lady had a boyfriend with plenty of pesos to spend and he bought one hell of a lot of those beads to put on his favorite lady.  Fortunately she was not bad looking.  She did win!

4 June – Grand Opening of “Charlie’s On the Bend”  7 PM.

7, 8 9 June – American Legion Convention.  A dinner will be held at the “White House” on 9 Jun, 6 PM.  Contact Joe Carsley for details at 889-5767 or 0908-697-4680.

15 Jun – New Infinity Bar grand opening – Well fella’s a few changes in store.

Firstly, we will be taking possession of the old Dirty Duck location sometime next week. After some clean-up, a little fresh paint and some minor tweaks here and there, we will reopen as Infinity Bar, except this time located in the HEART of Fields Ave! Our targeted opening date is June 15th. The current Infinity Bar will remain open until June 12th. We plan to host ANOTHER grand opening party (just another reason to call a party!) on the weekend of the 15th.  Our prices will remain the same throughout the summer. (HH 60p local / 125p Ld’s – 75p local / 140p LD’s).  Johno

26 June, the one and only duo of Howard McKay and Doggie will be returning for another exciting standing room only appearance at the La Casa Pension/Blue Boar Inn.  Free admittance to a fun filled night of song and comedy provided by two talented lads.  Additionally, surprised appearances by some of the customers is a special treat.

A VERY SPECIAL COUPLE

From 1958 to 1962 I was stationed in England, in fact, Denham Studios first then moved to South Ruislip when when the Air Force decided to give up Denham.  My wife and I lived on top of a garage in Hillingdon.  I ran with the Hayes and Harlingdon Athletic club and also did a lot of road riding. Needless to say I have a lot of pleasant memories of that time especially of my first wife, Lilian Finch, from Iver Heath. So, when my fellow dart player, Frazer Gas      told me that his parents were here for a visit I bugged him to death to please bring them to my “stable” so I can chat with them.  Finally, on the afternoon prior to their night time departure he complied with my request.  His dad, Alan is 79 years of age and wife Eleanor is 85.  Both are still very much in love and Eleanor still has the good looks that attracted Alan at a dance hall many years ago.  Naturally, they are both retired but they told me about their adventures of hiking in many different countries when they were younger.  I was flabbergasted to learn that, alone, the hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up, taking around 16 hours to do so.  A guide had told them they could not do that, especially on their own.  They proved him wrong.  Amazing!  It is seldom that I get to talk to visitors from England that are old enough to remember the old radio and TV shows from the time I was there.  Can you believe that Frazer did not know who Harry Secombe was!  He did not know about the Goon show either, and horror of horrors, did not know about the “Pearlies”.

Naturally, I served tea to this distinguished couple and wished we had more time together.  I do not know what they thought of this old “Horse” from New York but I hope I was a good host for our short visit.  Oh, Alan is quite proud of his garden in Chesterfield Derabyshire and promised to send me some pictures.  Frazer, their son, is working here in Angeles City with the “Kandi Realty” company promoting and selling some very stylish/affordable apartments in town.  I guess I am going on a bit too much here but can’t help myself, I shall forever remember meeting Alan and Eleanor and helping me to return to a time of wonderful, wonderful memories.  By the way, they never heard of “Harry the Horse”.

REALM OF MAGIC BILLIARD HALL

Do you remember the short lived “CourtYard, the brainchild of Mr. Delfin Lee whose dream was short circuited when he ran into legal problems with his various housing projects?  I certainly do as I interviewed Mr. Lee and also did a couple of photo shoots there.  I liked the place, it was a good idea, until the band started playing at night and you could not hear yourself talk or enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries there.  Many stall owners were unhappy from the first day of operation because of harsh management rules, so, with time, the inevitable happened, it closed down.  I was a bit sad because it should have worked but not to worry, along came the brothers from Saver’s Mall with the big bucks and the management experience.  The building has been transformed and it is great to see the new Fortune Hong Kong restaurant on the ground floor but I was surprised when I took the escalator to the second floor and saw this great looking Billiard Hall with with a Bingo room as well.  I certainly did not expect to see the great Efren Reyes, the pool player who is the pride of the Philippines.  Oh, I have seen him before, even had him autograph my pool stick one time, which I lost at the old Powder Keg a year later.  But to see him so unexpectedly was a special treat.  He was playing some foreigner in some sort of challenge match.  Needless to say, Ped, the manager of the Fortune Hong Kong Restaurant along with my ugly kisser disturbed Efren long enough to get a picture. Stop by and check out this place, it is a lot more impressive than the pool halls I was not allowed to hang out in when I was a kid.

 

 

 

 

 

TOURISTS OF THE MONTH

 

This month I have to do a bit of catch up, hence two pictures featuring four great guys.  The first picture with me in the middle has me in the company of Bob Bouroughs with the Navy Seebees.  He is working with the Veterans’s Museum in Redding CA and is a Senior Chief, Naval Reserve.  His partner is Mike Coffey, Retired Air Force, working with the California Dept of Veterans Affairs at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery.  He is married to a Filipina.  I do believe I should stay out of the pictures, I appear to be shrinking.
The second picture features two lads who are working in Singapore, Buddy Shelton(w/beer) from Texas and Art Warren, Tucson Arizona, both are retired Air Force veterans.  Both These two guys had a lot of stories about their experiences with living in Singapore and staying out of trouble.  It appears that life is better well regulated in Singapore and that it is a very strict country in enforcing its laws and regulations. We had a bit of a hot sauce story here.  Buddy was carrying a bottle of Singapore hot sauce to me but when he got out of the tricycle he left it behind and now some Filipino tricycle driver is enjoying some decent hot sauce on his rice.

NEW NAMES SAME ACTION

Previously known as Club Rio and Nifty’s we now have a much cleaner exterior look to these two very popular clubs and a new name, the Exenum Night Bar Club.  I don’t know why they put the word “night” in there as they are opened in the afternoon as well as night.  They did a nice job on the frontage and the newly paved road (Thanks to John and Dave of the Boomerang Hotel) really helps with the image.  In the front, next to Garfields but still connected to the Exenum (same owner) is the “Banana Peel Knight Bar”.  What is it with this play on words “Knight and Night”?  For us old timers who have been happy customers of the old names we are glad to know that some things just do not change, thank goodness.

I WOULD IF  I COULD

It was a magic moment for me at the “Miss Magic Club” one afternoon last month.  I was engaged in conversation with owner Leah and her special man, Loren (From Canada) when at the end of our serious talk I relaxed and looked up at the dancers on stage.  Suddenly I got the bright idea, why not take the time to look for my “I would if I could” lady while I was sitting there.  My eye immediately fell on a tall lady in the line-up that from a distance, appeared to be a good choice.  I must admit that my eyes are not all that great at long distance viewing but never-the-less, I asked the boss if she could talk to her to see if she was willing to be

photographed.  The answer was yes, and when she arrived at my table I was pleased to know that my eyes had not let me down.  Her name is Maryann, 19 years old, from Talisay City, Cebu.  This is her first job and has been dancing for six months.  She only has a sixth grade education but has an excellent knowledge of English and can carry on a conversation in such a way that you do not want to leave her.  There is something special about this young lady.  She is an only child and this is very unusual, in fact, in all the years I have been writing this column this is the first time I interviewed a lady who did not have any brothers or sisters.  I told her this and she explained that her parents separated not too long after her birth.  She was raised by her grandmother.  I asked her what she wanted in her future and right away she said she wanted to find her mother and connect with her.  She was very serious about this.  We talked about other things important to her but her desire to find a mother stayed with me and I can only hope that someday, her wish will come true.  Maybe that special guy will come along to help Maryann in her search and also will provide her with a decent life.  If you want to communicate with Maryann Email her at:  maryann_malinao06@yahoo.com.

THE MELBOURNE DOGHOUSE BOYS 

Fourteen Doghouse members from Melbourne made their annual trip to Angeles City last month and stopped in to say hello to the “Horse”.  Their membership has increased since last year but not all were available for the picture.  I was particularly happy to greet cancer survivor Barry Salisbury who did not make it last year because of his cancer treatments.  Two members, John Wallace and Peter Summers were making their first trip to AC.  This has to be one of the most fun clubs to be a member of and I certainly recommend that more lads from Melbourne look into joining up.  These guys never grow old and certainly have fun together.  Naturally I was only one of many of the Clubs that are on their barhopping list.  After my place I know they were heading to Honey-Ko’s and Thi-Hi.  I wanted to join them but had too much office work to accomplish.  The truth be known, I just can’t keep up with these “youngsters”.  A few of them had stopped off in Cambodia before coming here and they had some high praise for their stay in Phnom Penh.  They stayed in the NagaWorld Hotel and Casino for $60 a day, including breakfast.  They reported that there is a lot to see there and when they visited the jail and the killing Fields it was an emotional experience.

AN IRISH WAKE FOR STEVE 

Words of remembrance from Dave Fisher:  

Early in the morning of May 6th, Angeles City lost a good guy. Steven James (Steve) Healey succumbed to a massive heart attack while sleeping. It Is only befitting that, he died peacefully next to his beloved wife Claire. He leaves Claire, his daughter Stephanie and son Joseph.

Steve came to the Philippines shortly after Mt.Pinatubo. He settled in Barrio Barretto which, at that time, was getting ready for the departure of the U.S. Navy. He started a small Jet Ski rental and a very cool bar by the name of Hooters (yep, the same name and logo as the chain). After Mayor Dick Gordon left office and his wife assumed the Mayoralty, she decided to close all the bars in Olongapo and Barrio Barretto. There was a brief struggle, but, of course, her wishes prevailed. That act coupled with the withdrawal of Forces, spelled doom for the majority of bars in town. Steve’s was one of them. He had a strong and varied background from his time in the Coast Guard in construction and management and was quickly hired by several different firms looking for Western management and skills. This coupled with his professional work ethic made him a valuable asset to all of his employers.

In 1998, we were in an expansion mode. We had our 2nd bar, Lollipop. It was located where Swiss Chalet now operates. Our GM, Dennis ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, also a long time Barrio Barretto resident, mentioned he had a friend who had bar management experience and might want some part time work. Steve came over and we chatted for a while and thus began our 14+ year relationship. Steve filled in for Kel Gallagher a couple of days a week and continued in that role for several months. Kel went on to other things, and we invited Steve to take over. He accepted, and, as many will remember, turned Lollipop into one of the best bars in town. He faced all sorts of challenges – including a far less than perfect location. He brought a style and verve to the bar that all A.C. veterans will remember.

As we grew, it became clear that we needed someone to handle the overall management of the bar operations. Steve was, of course, the perfect candidate. He was liked, and more importantly, respected by the entire staff from the houseboys to the mamasans to the foreign managers. He was fair, balanced and honest. He treated them with respect and dignity. He had that rare quality of being able to listen to their issues and problems and was able to say ‘no’ without hurting feelings. He took the time to make sure they understood what he expected. He helped them achieve their goals, offered guidance and wise council when they had problems.

Steve was working part time at Morrison Aircraft handling the shipping department. As that company grew, the demands on Steve’s time forced him to make the decision to transfer full time. He was with Hank for a few years, but never really left us. He was always ready and willing to lend a hand, listen to problems and offer helpful solutions. His first love, though, was the bar business. He was a social person, and, of course, enjoyed the lifestyle bars can offer. After a hiatus of a couple of years rejoined us. By that time, Dennis Kelly (another Barretto transplant and current GM of the Paradise Complex) had taken our reins, and he and Steve continued running the operation until we sold in 2008.

Steve stayed with the MacGroup for a couple of years. When he left, he worked his magic at several places including Body Shop and eventually, the construction of Valhalla. Steve was never far away. As we developed the need for additional foreign support inSubic, we asked him to join us. Steve was with us for a year – commuting a couple of times a week back to his family in AC. During the year he worked closely with JoJo Keene handling the operations side of the business. We had just purchased the DrydenBuilding, and Steve oversaw the complete reconstruction of our kitchen and the renovation of our open air restaurant into what’s now Lips. He and Joe worked closely together managing the bars as well. Lots of hours and lots of fun. They were a perfect team.

On a personal note; Steve (and Joe) brought a balance into my life. He was one of those rare individuals who was not afraid to tell the boss ‘you’re wrong, and here’s why’. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but both did it well. After his stint with us, Steve returned to Angeles City where, for the past 2 and a half years, he was running the all night shift at the Wild Orchid. Like his experiences with us, he was well liked and respected by his colleagues at the hotel.

In what might be the most telling thing about Steve, in all of the years we’ve known each other and of all the people who knew him as a colleague, competitor and friend, I have never heard one ill word spoken about him. As a further testament to the high esteem he earned, his Irish Wake was a Who’s – Who of the Angeles City community. The speeches were short, but from the heart. I received an email that I’d like to share:

I am at a loss for words. Steve indeed was not only a good man but a good person and friend.
Makes me feel even more how lucky I was to have mine while I was awake and know what was happening so I could get to the hospital in time.
I hope Claire and the little one will be ok. Please give her my condolences.
I still remember when I 1st opened Roadhouse in AC and Steve and his former partner would come from Subic to have a drink or 3 with me. I’m sure everyone will miss him.

Best regards,
Mark (Smith)

Personally, I will miss one of the closest friends I’ve ever had. I’m sure Steve’s in Harley Heaven looking down at us and, with that wry smile, joining us in spirit if not the flesh.

Some things you learn from these events; First is how poorly equipped the spouses are to handle the affairs and arrangements. By-in-large, there’s a huge age difference. Many times, they come from the provinces where a death is handled much differently than in the metropolitan areas. Then there are things like government pensions, insurance benefits, figuring out what to do with a house that would be well beyond their means, the family abroad, dealing with the embassy and, many times, banks. In Claire’s case, their many friends stepped up to the plate and handled all of the above. Many thanks to Hank, Smitty, Mitch (Dennis) and Don for all they did. Lastly, these photo collages came from pictures as far back as 2000. Many were sent by our good friend Steve-O inTexas.

I already mentioned that there was a well attended Irish Wake for Steve at the Lollipop Club on Fields Ave.  Let me finish off this dedication with a few pictures of the attendees.

NOISE REDUCTION – NEVER HAPPEN!

It was reported by Reynaldo G. Navales, Sun-Star Staff Reporter in the 10 May issue that “Councilor Edu Pamintuan filed an ordinance that would penalize mortorists using vehicles generating excessive noise  that is a result of modifying their respective vehicles.  The ordinance shall be known as the “Anti-Muffler Modification Ordinance” which prohibits all vehicles using, noise, modified mufflers from traveling through primary, secondary and barangay roads within the city.”  I applaud Councilor Edu but I would be surprised if his ordinance is ever approved.  If by chance it is approved I would be willing to bet a dinner for two for Edu at a restaurant of his choice within Angeles City that the ordinance will never be enforced.  In fact it will only give the police another excuse to fill their pockets with more “consideration” money.  Why hasn’t an ordinance like this been passed before?
I have been here thirty years and the tricycle drivers are the worse offenders of the muffler game.  These drivers ignore every regulation in the book.  Most do not have insurance, driver’s licenses or quiet bikes.  Additionally they do not even come close to following the fare guidelines dictated by the Government.  I have always said that the City Government could make a ton of money just by enforcing legitimate laws and regulations.  For some reason tricycle drivers are allowed to run wild, they are untouchable, even when they cause accidents much less the excessive noise they cause.  My dear Councilor, it would be my pleasure to lose my bet if I could enjoy a day or night without my ear drums nearly bursting from the sound of tricycles or even some overly loud motorcycles.  Noisy cars, hell, I hardly hear them but, yes, get them too.  By the way, can you do something about the illegal Karaoke establishments that operate without permits and keep whole neighborhoods awake with their lousy loud  music all night long.  Man, Edu, you could be an Angeles City Hero if you accomplish your “no-noise” pipe dream.

Phillies P10 Weigh Out Lunch Buffet

 

 

 

 

 

Phillies Sports Grill & Bar has one of the most affordable, reasonable lunch buffets going on now. Its a full hot buffet and cold salad bar. Items range from: Sweat n Sour Fish, Pork Curry, Roast Chicken, Baked ZIti, BBQ Spare Ribs, Hot Fresh Vegetables, Potatoes, Rice, Fresh Roast Pork, Pizza, Garlic Bread and changes from time to time. You can take as much or as little as you want and you you pay by the weight. P10 for every 30 Grams of food. You can have a full plate of food and eat your hearts out for less than P200. Hot Fresh Food, and great fresh salad bar also. The new Weigh and Pay Lunch Buffet is everyday from 11am to 2pm. You certainly wont be disappointed.  Check out the happy faces on the two customers who are satisfied fans of this special luncheon offering.  Of course being served by a couple of good looking Phillies waitresses makes the meal even more enjoyable.

GALAXY HOTEL

 

 

 

 

 

The Galaxy is one of the newest hotels on Fields Ave and is Korean owned.  I kind of like the place, it is strategically located and the outdoor eating area allows a great place to eat, drink and enjoy the passing parade of people.  The location of the pool is kind of unusual.  Those on the first floor, or ground floor I guess, I always get mixed up on that only have to exit their room and jump into the pool.  The security man showing me around kept telling me there was a fourth floor but I could not see it.  I thought my eyes were going bad.  But, then he pointed out that they are located only on the front of the building facing the street.  Ah Hah, a trip to the eye clinic was not necessary.  Oh, speaking of eyes, I was very impressed with the Rose, the desk clerk, receptionist, whatever the title is.  She had a great smile, slim body, good looking and fun to talk to.  I think guys should check into the Galaxy just to meet her.  She is 27, single, and does have a little girl, four years old.  She is an Angeles City native, a college graduate, Email address: rosewallyngonazles@ymail.com.  Now, back to the hotel info, see how easy I get distracted by a pretty face.  They offer 4 types of rooms ranging in price from P2,980 to P2,040 but these are the promo rates and I do not know how long those rates will be available.  You can visit the website at www.galaxyhotel-ph.com or Email them at galaxyhotel.com.ph.

GOODBYE GORDON GRUBB

 

 

 

 

 

What a great smile Gordon has as he spent his last afternoon at the Thi-Hi saying goodbye to his many friends here in Angeles City.  Gordon is a long time member of the local American Legion here but he told me that after 8 years in land locked AC he is heading out to Palawan where he has a house only one Kilometer from the beach.  He is packing up his wife Lila and six year old daughter where together they will start a new adventure in life.  Fortunately for Gordon, under construction near him is an SM Mall and Robinson’s so at least he will be able to do some decent shopping and stay out of the heat.  To stay busy he plans to start up a new American Legion post in Palawan which, no doubt, he will become the Commander of.  That should really keep him busy.  Thi-Hi owner Josie and her staff organized a fine little send off for Gordon who is retired from the US Army and was also a Teamster Representative in civilian life.  Good luck Gordon, stay out of the sun, those skin cancers can be hell.

RUGBY + PERIMETER BAR = PLEASURE

I would venture to guess that all the sports bars in the entertainment area were packed with Australians cheering on their favorite team in the first of three State of Origin Rugby matches.  My Aussie friend Graham told me that he was going to watch the action at the Perimeter Bar.  I hadn’t been in there in quite a while so figured it would be a good time to snap a few pictures.  When I entered the place it was packed, not a vacant seat in the place.  The match was between Queensland and New South Wales and it appeared that there were an equal amount of fans for each team. I have never seen a bar this size with so many TV screens.  They were in the front, sides, back, around the bar, my goodness, no matter you sat or in my case, stood, you had a good view of the action.  Despite the heat out the air-conditioning inside was up to the task of keep the standing room only crowd quite comfortable.  The service was great and you better believe, the beer was cold.  Serving warm beer to an Aussie is a kiss of death to any Publican.  The owner, Ted has to be complimented on a job well done and what a great Club he has created.  I did not know that he also has the Drill Shack and the two bars are connected by a common interior door.  It was a pleasure to see one of my old waitresses, Rose, gainfully employed by Ted.  For sure, I will return for another visit but hopefully when I can find a seat to sit my old ass down.  By the way, QLD won 18 to 10 over NSW.  I was neutral!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK SUPREME PIZZA

This is getting to be a real quandary now in deciding where to go for pizza in this town.  Years ago there was only one or two places to go, now suddenly there are many.  The latest entry is the New York Supreme Pizza located on MacArthur Hi-Way.  I had heard about this place and had it on my hot list to visit.  After a enjoying a movie at the SM Mall one evening I told the Mrs I would treat her to a pizza and take care of some pictures and writing at the same time.  She enjoys checking out new places as much as I do so NY Pizza it was.  We were not disappointed, It was darn good and for people who like a lot of cheese on their pizza, they would not be disappointed at this eatery.  They had two sizes, 14″ and 18″ with various toppings.  The prices were P405 to P595 (14″) and P595 to P795 (18″).  We were only two so went for the 14″ all meat pizza.  Priscilla ate one slice and I went overboard with three slices which allowed four slices for take-out.  They offered other items from the Pizza such as Pizza Rolls, Pasta, Salads and Rice meals priced quite reasonably.  I enjoyed the clean, open ambiance of the place and, of course, the pictures of New York.  It was fairly crowded when we arrived and the customer base was mostly Filipino with the main item of choice appearing to be the Pizzas.  I would certainly recommend this place for pizza lovers as they do come close to capturing the New York taste which is good enough for Angeles City.  I am still kind of leaning towards the NY pizza offered at the S & R Store in San Fernando, taste wise but I would be happy with either one, San Fernando is a bit too far to go for pizza unless shopping there.

 

 

 

 

 

AN OUTSTANDING ITALIAN RESTAURANT 

I never use the word “Best” when writing about restaurants or food.  It is my belief that everyone has their own opinions in taste and what they expect in a meal, whether it be fast food or a five star restaurant.  I am not into gourmet food because the prices are ridiculously high and the portions are too small and some of the items they serve taste a bit off but food snobs will still say “oh, how delicious” just to be with the “in crowd”.  OK, I have no class and not enough money to go that route but I can still appreciate a good restaurant.  Man, that is a long lead in to writing about the “Piccolo Padre” Italian restaurant.  You see, I nearly broke my own rule about “best” when I was introduced to this restaurant last month.  First all, the place only has seating for 24 diners and every seat was occupied on this particular Sunday night.  Everybody I talked to was raving about the food, how great it was.  I was not there to eat, only have a cup of coffee with some friends that called me to join them. Regretfully, I got the call just as I was finishing eating Pizza at the NY Pizza.  I was Full!  Never-the-less my friends allowed me samples of what they were eating and I must say that this is truly an outstanding place to eat.  I have had people writing to me asking where they can get good Italian food.  Naturally, I always recommended “C” Italian Restaurant but now, I have no reservations in recommending Piccolo Padre as well.  The Piccolo has the advantage of being run by a giant of a Chef, 6’4′ Danilo (without his chef’s hat) and his wife Aida who is a bit shorter.  They are great together and she runs a tight ship while Danilo Giampaolo, from Milano is sweating away in the kitchen.  What a wonderful couple they are and Aida is wonderful about stopping by your table to chat and make customers feel very comfortable.  Please folks, check out this restaurant and let me know what you think.  It is open from 5:30 to 11 PM and on the weekends you better call for a reservation.  It is located at 566 Don Rico Ave quite near the abandoned Galleon building.  If you go after dark look closely for the entry way is kind of dark and easy to miss.  It is located between Grandview Tower and Cottage Kitchen so that should help you a bit.  The phone number is 875-6050 with mobile numbers 0917 500 4750, 0919 887 2195.  Aida wanted me to mention that every second Saturday they offer a set menu for P950 and BYOB.  Now that sounds like something to look forward to.

HOLIDAY INN AND PRIORITY PRIVILEGE

I know that I have mentioned this before, probably once a year, but since I think it is a pretty good deal, I will share it with you again.  My wife and I have been enjoying the Priority Privilege Club at the Holiday Inn for many years now and we think it is a super privilege if one is ready to actually use the benefits.  The cost is P6,500, good for one year and you received a membership card and a package that includes many benefits.  We particularly like the complimentary dining benefits at the Holiday Inn which includes 50% off the total food bill for a member and one guest, 33% off for a member and two guests, 20% off for a member and nine guests (we never did that).  We use the card mostly for dining at the Mequeni and the roof top Rodizio.  But the discounts are not just for food, in fact there are two pages of discounts listed such as accommodation benefits, dining certificates, free usage of the Holiday Inn pool for member and three guests and there are a few free meals included as well.  There is much more but you will have to talk to Suzette at the Holiday Inn Services Dept, tel:  599-8000 local 1608 who can brief you on details and pricing.  If you can, tell her that Harry the Horse referred you to her or whoever else you might talk to in that office.  Of course, if I get enough folks to join I might get a free meal and you know that this old Horse likes to eat, especially for free!

 

 

 

 

 

PAN DE PARIS

 

 

 

 

 

My goodness, it seems as if I am on a restaurant kick this month.  Can’t help it as there seems to be a new restaurant opening every month.  I am just doing a bit of catch up here.  The location of this little eatery really surprised me. It is located on Teodoro Street, just down from Norma’s money changer.  The Pan De Paris is owned by Chef Antonius Van Esch hailing from the Netherlands.  Can you imagine, a top notch chef running a place in this location, quite unusual for Angeles City.  Antonius was working as the Chef at the Belgian Cafe, a 5 star Intercontinental Hotel in Doha, Qatar.  Why leave a great job to come here to AC?  The explanation was that he was tired of working 14 hours a day, no free time and the heat was unbearable.  He heard about AC so came here and with friend Dean Magat opened his restaurant and now is thoroughly enjoying himself and his new found time for a social life.  The food is good and affordable and his low P35 price for beer has made this restaurant a favorite watering hole for members of the Hash House Harriers.  Being on a sort of diet I did not order the food I normally would, instead I opted for a cucumber salad and French onion soup which I found to be quite delicious.  Vina ordered a sandwich which I considered a bit small for my taste but sufficient for her.  A full menu was available with the usual selections but each prepared with a bit of Antonius originality.  We will certainly return for a return meal.

By the way, I noticed a sign right next door of another new Pizza place.  It was not open and I heard that it opens only from six to nine PM.  I have not had the time to check it out yet, will wait until next month.

TIME FOR AN IMAGE CHANGE?

Fields Ave scene at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the beginning of the current Mayor’s term I have met with representatives of his administration and suggested that the excess number of ladies outside of the bars along Fields Ave be reduced to one decently dressed lady stationed at the door.  There was a brief period of time when this was ordered but immediately the bigger bars claimed they needed more than one because their bars were so large.  Despite the size of the bar, they still had only one door to man so that did not make sense to me.  Anyway, OK, a few more were allowed.  This lasted three weeks, then as usual, the Club owners did what they wanted and the numbers went back to 15 or 20 in some establishments and customers walking the street were subjected to ladies grabbing their arms and trying to talk them into entering their club. They were not at the doors, but on the sidewalks and into the street.  Naturally, many guys would not object to this, and normally not me either.  But, this painted a picture to the media and to local Filipinos of Fields Ave being a “red light district” and a place where one could not walk down the street to a restaurant or other business with one’s wife or children without being embarrassed or offended.  The TV show “Imbestigador” and International media outlets loved to show the ladies on the street which fueled the sustained the image of Angeles City as “Sin City”.  No one here, including me, wanted the Clubs closed down but what to do at no expense to clean up a bit?  Get the girls inside was an easy start.  What goes on inside the Clubs stays inside and other non-club businesses could flourish.  That was my idea, rightfully or wrongfully.  I did not want people like Alex Cauguiran to want to close the Clubs down because of an exaggerated image and misconception of the locals.  At a recent meeting with Mayor’s representative Jess Aires, I brought up my idea again and was verbally abused by one Doll House Filipino representative who absolutely resented the idea of a reduction of the 20 or more girls outside of the Doll house.  I was not allowed to explain my reasoning and that this was only a suggestion as that person then started a more heated discussion with Barangay Captain Tony Mamac.  Immediately afterwards Jess closed the meeting after Tony walked out in anger.  Anyway, the reason the first try at limiting the girls on the street did not work was because of lack of enforcement of the rule.  Without that, naturally the bars will do whatever they can get away with.  Now, I have heard, but not confirmed that the Mayor has once again directed that the Clubs limit their outside girls to three.  That is a step in the right direction but much more can be done, for example, getting rid of the underage kids working the street, the beggars, the non-mobile vendors, and those hustling illegal drugs.  We must keep the Clubs up and running for many more years.  There is nothing wrong with having an Adult entertainment area but one without a “in your face” attitude.  Let Imbestigador get their pictures some place else.

Another month has ended, one in which I was able to treat the Mrs to a nice Mother’s Day meal at the ABC’s Vari Asia restaurant along with some in-laws.  It was a fine evening even if I did not get the table I reserved the day before.  Now we are into June and Father’s day is coming up so I have to wait and see what Mrs. Horse has in store for me.  We are now officially into the rainy season with daily afternoon rains as we had in May but now the rains should be more consistent and more lengthy in nature.  Time for hats and umbrellas but that should not slow you down in seeking out the pleasures offered up by Fields Ave and beyond.  Be advised though, that more thunder storms will be coming up which leads, automatically, to an increase in brown-outs so look for those hotels offering up some decent generator service.  That’s it for this month, horses do not mind getting a bit wet but we do hope you will continue to be kind to all horses.

 

POLITICAL RANTINGS – SKIP THIS PART

If this doesn’t frost your Wheaties, call 911 immediately!

YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS, but it is true!!
Watch the newscast video and stay calm!

Muslim woman with Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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HOUSE FOR RENT

Posted by admin on May 30, 2012 in Breaking News

Angeles Sports & Country Club, Zeppelin St Hensonville

FOR RENT AVAILABLE JUNE 1 2012
On the most secure & best location in Angeles City
1 only, 2 bed luxury fully furnished apartment. Overlooking the International Lawn Bowling Greens. To include free use and Membership of all Club facilities including a 25 metre pool with a swim up covered bar and an adjoining kiddies swimming pool both with food service,and a large sunbathing area.
A challenging Par 3 Golf Course and Driving Range, Lawn bowling Greens, Petanque Courts, a kiddies play area, a restaurant, plus 2 additional Family friendly Bars.
Close to all the facilities and services Angeles offers yet remains an Oasis, a real hidden gem. A one off.
For further details tel:  +63 922 839 5660  Ainie  English / Tagalag. OWNERS LIVE ON SITE Tel  +63 999 652 6214  John   English.

 

(I am very familiar with this house and location.  In fact was able to watch it being built a few years ago.  It is well worth looking in to – Harry the Horse)

 
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GOLF TOURNMENT

Posted by admin on May 20, 2012 in Breaking News

Announcing a special Gold Tournament on 1 Jun.  I know AC has a lot of golfers hanging around so this might be a great one to sign up for.  It sounds like fun!

 

HI Harry,

The Lewis Grand Hotel and Charlie the Korean Marketing Manager are sponsoring a golf tournament at Mimosa on June 1st.
It’s 2500 pesos entrance and includes Mimosa green fees with lots of prizes and includes a big banquet dinner afterwards in the grand ballroom at Lewis Grand and a bar hop at Forbidden City then at Blue Nile, then High Society, not a bad deal for golfers.
For info contact Charlie Jo at Lewis Grand Hotel
or by email at: withyouany@hanmail.net
or by call or text at
or

 
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NEW SUNDAY MARKET

Posted by admin on May 16, 2012 in Breaking News

THE POSTER IS SELF EXPLANATORY.  SOMETHING NEW FROM THE LEWIS GRAND FOLKS THAT FOLKS IN TOWN MIGHT ENJOY VISITING AND DO A BIT OF SHOPPING.  I WILL BE CHECKING IT OUT AND TAKING A FEW PICTURES.

 

 
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BAD LUCK FOR JUST MY LUCK

Posted by admin on May 10, 2012 in Breaking News

Word reached me today that the “Just My Luck” bar, managed by Vidar has closed its doors for good.  Why?  The word is that for not paying the rent and other bills. Guess it was a victim of the recession or bad management.  That is anyone’s guess.  Sad day for the employees.

 

 
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STEVE HEALEY’S WAKE

Posted by admin on May 7, 2012 in Breaking News

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