Hooray, November is here. That means the end of the rainy season so dryer days are here except for the typhoons that might come our way. It also means Thanksgiving and turkey time. One must also think about things they are grateful for and I have a lot this year. But, rather than go into all the details of what I am thankful for and get all sentimental, let me delve into something more light hearted. This month I will be thankful for the new Shooterz bar that opened last month at the end of Fields Ave. Why I am thankful will be covered late in this column but for now, I thank Ian for helping me get this picture that I think looks a lot better than a turkey on a plate. Note that the two ladies pictured, no doubt, could eat a hell of a lot of turkey dinners and not gain one ounce. If you want to take these two ladies out to dinner, buy your ticket, get away from the land of fat women and book your room at some hotel in Angeles City and enjoy all the goodies awaiting you. This includes nice warm weather, nice swimming pools and lots of ladies in bikinis and of course, lots of ladies waiting for you at Shooterz.
I definitely was not happy to learn that Major Lorenzo, the Commander of Station Four was reassigned on short notice to the PNP Headquarters at Station 174. This is a shame for Lorenzo worked tirelessly to rid Station Four of it corrupt personnel and to set a standard of honesty and integrity at that location. No other Commander has been able to do that so successfully. In the past, many of the Commanders of Station Four had full knowledge of the nefarious activities taking place at this notorious police station and did nothing to put a stop to it. Major Lorenzo had to fight pressure from the immediate past City Director who kept asking him why was he not getting his "contributions" and also pressure from a certain City Official who wanted him to "cooperate" in continuing past activities that targeted foreigners and the local bars. His reward for being honest and in raising the standards of Station Four was to have him replaced by the new City Director within one week of his taking command. Now, many of the foreigners who are knowledgeable of the past activities of Station Four personnel are wondering if once again, foreigners and Clubs will be targeted for extortion activities. The set-ups of foreigners never stopped but at least the police personnel involved, during Lorenzo's command, did not come from Station Four.
I am happy to report that the weather has improved the last few days. No rain, a bit cooler, sunshine and just a great time to be here. We areentering magic time for the weather, a time of the year I look forward to. Hoping to see you around town and at my stable, I have a drink waiting for you.
THE MAIL BAG
Harry, my name is Keith Beaton (Huggy) and I am a retired Air Force member living in sunny Las Vegas. I was told about your site and WOW!!! It is truly a very informative site that gives people updated information on what is happening in Angeles City and the Philippines. I look forward to reading your column each and every month. It brings back many fond memories of days gone past. I was stationed at Clark from 1980-1983 and 1986-1991. I worked at the 374TH APS ATOC (building next to the old MAC passenger terminal.) These were the best times of my Air Force career. I do miss it so. Life was so simple then. Sort of wish we could go back to that era but times must move forward and reading your site keeps all of us who aren’t there in the loop. I hope on your next visit to Sin City we can meet. I feel like I know you. I’m sure our path’s have crossed at one time or other. I use to hang out at the Crow’s Nest and Rolling Stone. I also owned part of a bar on perimeter road called Key Largo. I know those old haunts are long gone now but it’s nice to know that some people like yourself still remember and write about them. It’s an era we will never forget. (Huggy, for sure old farts like me and many others will never forget the "old days" in Angeles City. It was a time that will never be repeated. I hope you get to visit here again so we can meet, if not, then hopefully I can meet you the next time I visit Las Vegas, hopefully, next year
Hi Harry, My name is Bill and I am a former patron of your stable having stayed there one night in 2007. We met briefly and I enjoyed the chat and atmosphere of your bar. I regularly read your column and enjoy keeping up on the Angeles City night life news. Since 2006, I have visited the Phils every year and I enjoy the break from Pattaya, Thailand. I like the night life in both places but the one thing that stands out is the friendliness of most bar owner/managers in Angeles City. When I stroll into a bar in Angeles, more often than not the manager will introduce himself, welcome me and treat me to a complimentary San Miguel Light my poison of choice. I have spent maybe a total of six months in the Philippines andreceived countless complimentary drinks from friendly bar owners; however, after six YEARS in Thailand I have received only two -yes two- welcoming drinks...This email isn't about me "scoring" free drinks and I'm not worried about paying for my evenings out but I am very impressed with the professionalism of the majority of the Angles City bar owners. Interacting with customers is good business and a way to build a loyal customer base. Heck, forget the drink and just say hello-sadly that doesn't seem to happen in Thailand. Just one guys obserrvation. Billy Baht - PS-I am from the US but the friendliest bar managers seem to be Australians. (This is what I have always said. It is not just the lovely, friendly ladies here that attract the customers but our friendly bar owners and managers as well. Only two welcoming drinks in seven years in Thailand speaks for itself. We try harder here. The next time you are here stop by my stable for your welcoming SML - I'll be glad to greet you.
Good Afternoon to you Harry, I have been reading your writings about the PI for sometime now and it does bring back some good memories. I was stationed at Clark AFB from 1957-1959 with the Army Security Agency. Could a 19 year old from the states have any better place to spend the years from 19-21 than in the PI being introduced to all types of fun and games. I really do not recognize anything you write about except the girls. All of the real estate has changed since I was there. The girls have not changed tho, except they are the granddaughters and maybe the great granddaughters of the girls I knew back then. I am now 71 but my memories are still vivid. I would love to send you some hot sauce from the great state of Texas but I need to have your receiving address to do this. Please send it to me and I will try to get you some there by Christmas. Have a great day and a better tomorrow. sincerely, Cecil Tipton (A lot has changed since 1959 Cecil but I suspect that a lot of those granddaughters could, indeed, be found. It would be great if you could visit here and see how much has changed. I suspect you would have some good stories to pass on over a couple of beers.)
Hi Harry, You may remember me as one of the infamous VFW Darts Team, (who never did beat you....but had great fun trying!) Been back in England 9 years now, and still miss the darts, pool........ and trips to the local library and museum. I had the LASIK treatment you mentioned, at the American Eye Centre in Manila about 10 years ago, and my vision is still near perfect...recommended! (Maybe my darts would have been better, had I had it done sooner!!) Love your column. Read it every month, along with so many other expats in this neck of the woods. You don't realize the mass following you have. Great to keep in touch with the goings on in A/C. Was a bit worried when you went head-to-head with BB Nepo, (who, to me, always seemed a reasonable sort of guy). Glad it's all solved amicably. Keep up the good work Harry, and say hi to all the reprobates, in particular Lowell J, Bob Zaher, (I still have the darts award he gave me), Cliff W, Jim S, Bruce McT, all the folks in SVM, and anyone still alive who remembers us! John/Lyn Ord (The folks you mentioned are still around and in good health but no VFW dart team anymore. Your picture looks good.)
Harry, On your article of la pasha, it seems that you and I are of the one mind. This is a great club. I spend a great deal of time there. During the last couple of days I received a couple of photos from a waitress named Joy who works there. We are good friends. I have seen a lot of clubs in Angeles over the years as I have been going there since 1981. I don't think that there is too much that I have missed over the years. There are some really nice clubs being built there now. Cheers, David. (Thanks David, I love it when someone agrees with me)
Hope this finds you well... saw you on my last visit and we talked about the Sept. letter in your newsletter received from a Mr. Jim Harris, who seemed pretty pissed off towards Angeles. Thought I'd express a few thoughts about what he had to say. First of all... who gives a shit about Angeles replacing Manila as the national airport? You can get to Angeles cheaply enough using the 'Ville's" pick up service anyway... and anyone crying about the price should take a taxi here in the states! Secondly... brownouts in Angeles aren't bad... not like when I was stationed there! Usually they only last 10-15 minutes and it's not a big deal. Thirdly.... pick pockets, beggars, swindlers, vendors, freaks, queers and so on... seriously... has this asshole ever walked around downtown Manila? Last time I did it only took me a couple of hot minutes to realize that the problems of Angeles don't hold a candle to Manila and.... Manila is retarded expensive comparatively as well!!!! Christ.... trikes and cabs in Manila are insane! Whores??? I guess this prick has a pretty poor understanding of the Phils in general and a worse view of the "Working Girls" as well. But he's probably engaging in the services of these girls himself so in my view doesn't have much room to be throwing stones or degrading these girls to begin with. Considering the average annual income in the Phils is only about $185 a YEAR and he was sure to be taking advantage of their financial difficulties while visiting himself I feel like he's pure asshole talking crap like that. And the crap about vets that apply for disability benefits being questionable.... my first guess would be that he has no military service himself whatsoever! Yeah... there's a few out there that I've met trying to work the system but the vast majority I know are legitimately disabled due to their military service and deserve what they receive! 20 years in the military is a hard way to go... piss poor health care while on active duty and most supervisors more interested in keeping you performing your duties than they were in keeping you in good health. Marines and Army humping through the bush for 12 hours with 100 pound packs, Air Force members working the flight line for 16+ hours straight days on end especially during wartime, Navy and Coast Guard sailors deployed and working sometimes 20 hours a day on steel decks and ladders in hard soled shoes for the years they have to live onboard ships. You age 40 years in a 20 year career (as you know) and wind up with an old man's body when you're only 40, and this asshole thinks that we're all a bunch of sick-bay commando's? If Harris thinks Manila is that much better then he's welcome to it, but from my visits to Manila I would disagree. As far as Angeles drying up and blowing away.... I wouldn't sell out just yet. Yah... it's true that there are issues in Angeles but it's the bar owners that are their own worst enemies more than anything else. Every time I go to Fields with their Manila prices (once per visit) or read your column (all the time) I see disaster looming on the horizon.... BUT.... with the increase in Koreans, Japanese and Malaysian tourists I'm sure it'll keep afloat for some time to come. Me... I'll keep on dropping by the Blue Boar and hanging on Perimeter and leave Fields to the people who like to throw their money away! Hope to be seeing you again soon! Kurt G.
Greetings Harry - I enjoyed your October comments. I've been in the States for a year, had two eye operations, knee repaired, like an old used care you want to keep running for a few more years. While away I followed your column, passed it along to some old friends while expressing the opinion that you get it right about life in the P.I. and Angeles City. I never got a chance to enjoy Angeles, running 24 hour, 7 day routine working/managing my joint (Dryden's). Hope to be able to get acquainted with Angeles this time around. I hope to meet you again, I met you shortly before selling the "Joint". It was a real pleasure for me to meet the guy who gets it right, always with great perspective/insight/humor. With best regards, Tomas Dryden. (Tom Dryden was the owner, for many years of Dryden's Restaurant in Barrio Barretto, Olongapo. It was a restaurant known for quality food and large portions at affordable prices. I had the opportunity to eat at his place and meet Tom shortly before he sold out to Dave Fisher (Mo) last year. Mo has continued the traditions set by Tom and the restaurant remains popular. Tom, I look forward to meeting you once again and am glad that the necessary repairs to your body have been made that will keep you active for quite some time and allow you to make the long trip back to see us here. I think you will enjoy taking the time to know Angeles City)
Hello Mr. Horse - Well I’ve got to say a big thanks for your Sept issue newsletter in which you posted about the Cebu Pacific Airline along with 4 email addresses,,, well they have owed me 2 refunds going back to one of them in April 2008 and the other Sept 2008,, yes ridicules I know they were terrible,, 100's of wasted calls and non returned emails UNTIL I wrote to the addresses you gave.. the very next day I got a reply from the Consumer Welfare Division at the Bureau of Trade , they replied with another Cebu air email address which I then forwarded in my complaint and anger.. Would you believe it (as I could not) I got an email confirming my 2 refunds the very next day! I checked with BDO my mastercard provider and yes it was so. I know for a fact had you not posted those addresses I would not have been able to contact the powers that be and I certainly would not have got my refunds (which were CP fault they double booked me twice) So a big thank you and next time i see you trotting around town i shall buy you a drink at nearest stable. Cheers, Alex (Alex, I cannot take complete credit for the information I provided you. The information was sent in to me by a reader of this column and I was pleased to be able to pass it on. I am glad it helped you to get your refund. Folks, this is why your messages to me are so important. The information provided by you often help many others.)
Harry, do me a favor and pass this to your groups/friends. This not only applies to U.S. Military Retirees, but everyone.
Several months ago I had to re-register my car. I went down to Olangapo and had the insurance agent close to the LTO take care of everything like she did the previous years. We paid all the fees and the full amount for one year insurance premium. She was going to give this to the insurance company and we received the paperwork and receipt from her but not the O/R official receipt. She gave us the story that she ran out and issued a handwritten receipt. After about a month we received a letter from the insurance company that our policy would be canceled for non-payment. We called her and she said not to worry about it because it was a mistake. We believed her. Several days ago a friend of ours went with us to get my scooter registered. When he saw where we went to he later told us that he had problems with this agent himself. It seems what she is doing is taking the money from her customer and the paying off the company with monthly installments. Only problem she didn't get around to paying for my insurance. I called the company and discovered that it was canceled for non payment and I have been driving without coverage (comprehensive) . I went ballistic and listened to all her b/s and only when I threatened to sue her for estafa and call the police did she deliver the rest of the money to the company and The company's agent assured me that we were reinstated. If she is doing this I'll bet a lot of those operators by the LTOS around the country are doing the same thing. Don't believe any of these people and deal with an insurance company directly. I learned the hard way. Thanks, Ron Chesley, Barrio Barretto.(This is the first I have heard of such actions. Maybe the same thing is happening here in Angeles City but so far I have not have any reports of such deception. Never-the-less, the warning is well taken)
Hello Harry, WOW what a month it has been. Could hardly believe it until October issue was online and there i was. Thanks mate , im flattered! I eceived a call at work which was forwarded to me from our office. Someone i had worked with many years ago and who is a regular visitor to Angeles City saw me when the October issue went on line and contacted me, now i would have NEVER expected that, Just a small corretion, the truck i drive is 20.5 tonnes with both trailers, the payload is 36 tonnes when fully loaded so all up the gross is 57.25 tonnes, (just a littly by local standards). Ill try in next couple of months to get some shots of the road trains that my friends work on. Once again thanks and see you in Phils ASAP!!
Colin McKenzie (Thanks Colin. This is one of the reasons I like to feature a Tourist of the Month. So often the picture is seen by old friends that have lost touch with each other and of course the fun of people seeing themselves in print)
Harry, What is it like living there, and how much money does a person really need a mo. to live over there. Thank you for your time. Oh yes I like your newsletter I read it ever mo. (Charles, Living in Angeles City is a unique experience. Some hate it, some love it. Some adjust to living in a foreign country, some do not. It is up to each person's personality, income and desire. If you have two thousand dollars a month coming in you can live here comfortably. Anything higher than that is even better. I have met people living on $700 to $1,000 a month and are able to get by. For me, that would not do. Right now, it is becoming more expensive because the dollar has dropped in value here. The dollar rate has dropped to P46.50 to the dollar from P48.60 a month ago. That is another thing you have to live with, the constant changing of the dollar rate to the peso. It also depends on your health and if you are single or not. It depends if you can adjust to the many instances of corruption you will be exposed to. It is a different life here Charles, but it can also be a happy, comfortable, fulfilling life. It all depends on how you play the game)
I am one of the regular readers of your column, and look forward to it and find it very interesting. Being an ex smoker and very conscious of secondhand smoke, said to be more dangerous than smoking, I wonder would you please be able tell me, and all the other non smoker visitors to AC names of bars with exhaust fans to clear the air. Keep up the good work, I will come and visit you on my next visit. Kind Regards. Joseph Clarke. Sydney Australia. (Joe, Hey Mate, that is a near impossible task. Most bars have exhaust fans but some don't work as well as others. I will put your request in my column and ask for input and send you any answers I might receive. - So Club managers, patrons, help me out here. In no way am I going to check every bar in town for exhaust fans but I would like to help Joe out. Which bars have some really good exhaust fans that gets rid of that second hand smoke? My Email address can be found by putting your curser on the picture of the horse at the end of this column. HTH)
I received this message from some pissed off wife who did not provide a name other than "GL Girl" in her E-mail address. She was complaining about the Lhani, the 4'11" cute lady working at the Orchid Inn who I featured a few months ago.- "This girl almost ruined my marriage by having an online affair with my husband. I don't think you should post Email address's where married men have easy access to them. She is not the nice sweet girl you think she is. She sent my husband an E-mail wishing him death - not good! Thanks for listening. (Dear GL Girl, I think your complaint would be with your husband. Maybe your marriage is not as solid as you thought if your hubby engaged in an on-line affair. I will continue to provide Email addresses for the ladies I feature. Start thinking about being nicer to your husband if you decide you want to keep him. If you decide to get rid of him then buy him a round trip ticket to the Philippines so he can enjoy life once again. Harry the Horse)
Hi Harry, I've been an avid reader of your column for some time now. I am a pilot for United Parcel Service and fly some of our intra-Asia service and frequently find myself in CRK and MNL.. I'd like to clarify a few points in your October 2009 edition with reference to the COLA for seniors..
1) When you write that the SSA trustees "say no increase is required because of the losses in gross national product and other cute things" this is not exactly correct. By law the SSA trustees authorize any COLA based on a pre-set formula established by Congress in 1975 when the COLA amendment was introduced to the Social Security Act. The current SSA trustees do NOT have any discretionary authority to use alternate measurements or to authorize any payments not approved under the COLA formula.
2) As the current SSA law reads, it only allows for the adjustments using the Consumer Price Index, as measured and calculated buy the Department of Commerce and reported out thru the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers or CPI-W. The Act further specifies that the "measurement" be taken using the 3rd quarter CPI-W numbers and compared period-to-period, year over year. The point is that the process is clearly defined under the Act and not subject to any "gross domestic product" measurement or similar.
3) In the interest of reporting a balanced article, wouldn't it also be appropriate to note that the Act prohibits the "lowering" of benefits should the CPI-W in fact show a negative rate of growth (as is the current Q3 2008 vs Q3 2009 measurement) as such SSA benefit recipients can really never "loose" benefits- (note: this is expressed in fixed constant dollars), they can only gain benefits with the current COLA laws.
4) Lastly, to present a fair analysis of COLA amendments, it is true that this Q3 2008 versus Q3 2009 would be the FIRST period since COLA legislation was enacted that there will be a ZERO gain- in fact it's actually a negative gain.. However, it should also be noted that the immediately preceding period, that is the Q3 2007 versus Q3 2008 period saw a gain of 5.8%- the highest percentage gain in benefits since 1981 or 28 years.
This is not to say that the measurement that by law, the SSA uses should be different-- to better reflect the fact that a disproportionate percentage of the typical SSA recipients funds are expended on medical care-- one of the fastest growing cost categories. Wouldn't it be a more accurate statement to say that the formula used to calculate COLA's needs to be changed? Many, but not all, SSA recipients will also see no increase in their basic Part B premiums due to the “hold-harmless” provision of federal law, which effectively says that Part B premiums in any year cannot rise higher than that year’s COLA. It is fair to note however, that this "protection" does NOT apply to ALL SSA recipients, but does apply to *most*. It can also be argued that a one-time supplemental payment may be appropriate given the fact that Medicare Part D, or drug coverage, is expected to see increases this year..
In the interest of fair disclosure, I am currently eligible for SSA payments, but I have voluntarily elected to postpone my benefit payments. My issue with your article is in essence that it's not a fair representation to infer that the current Congress, Senate or the President is to "blame" for the no-COLA situation. This is an unfortunate, and perhaps unforeseen result of a formula that was enacted back in 1975 to address what the then-federal law makers thought was the proper way to estimate and increase SSA payments. While I'm not defending what the current Federal set of federal law makers or the President are or are not doing with regards to the matter, but it is in many respects the results of legislation passed long ago.
I'd ask is it "fair" to now alter the formula for today's recipients and if so how should it be "paid" for? And if a one-time payment is going to be made, is this to say that in any future period the COLA formula comes out to be zero there will also be "one-time" payments made? How is it fair to be artificially enhancing payments now- in 2008, and not in 1986 and 1983 when the COLA was 1.3%? I'd argue that we as a nation need to take a long hard look at exactly how we calculate COLA and what's considered and in what percentages. Thanks Harry for what you do- keep up the excellent column! Hope to see you one day in AC! Yours, M A Hisashi, UPS Airlines- Pacific Region (OK M.A. - That is a fair amount of explanation regarding COLA and Social Security. I understand fully how those payments are worked out and all I know for sure, is that as things stand right now, there will be no cost of living increases for two years. There is nothing we can do about it either except suck it all up and see what happens next. There may or may not be changes to the formula in the future but for now your input was appreciated but guess it is time to drop the subject until the next round of bad news. Hell, by the time they figure out what to do with the health care issue, Pakistan, Iraq, stimulus package, housing, etc., we will all be old enough to where the only formula we will have to worry about is the amount of oxygen needed in the tanks to keep us alive.
Tony Sorrentino, from New York sent me the following: No, Michele Obama does not get paid to serve as the First Lady and she doesn't perform any official duties. But this hasn't deterred her from hiring an unprecedented number of staffers to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary. How things have changed! If you're one of the tens of millions of Americans facing certain destitution, earning less than subsistence wages stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart or serving up McDonald cheeseburgers, prepare to scream and then come to realize that the benefit package for these servants of Ms. Michelle are the same as members of the national security and defense departments and the bill for these assorted lackeys is paid by John Q. Public. There has NEVER been anyone in the White House at any time who has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady's social life. One wonders why she needs so much help, at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President's own pocket. (Recently I have been accused of never researching statements sent to me and that I should use Snopes.com once in a while. I do that quite often but once in a while I am a bit remiss. On this one, I did check it out and Snopes indicated that this is a mixture of false and true information. The sender did include the names of the staffers and the salaries received that totaled $1,591,200 which is a considerable amount. That part of the report is true but the part of no other first lady having so many staffers is not true. Laura Bush had between 24-26 staffers, Lady Bird Johnson - 30, Betty Ford - 30 and Jackie Kennedy - 40. I personally feel, that in this period of desperate times when money is a bit tight and Obama talks about "belt tightening" that maybe Michelle can do with a few less people looking after her. It does seem a bit excessive but I found the information to be interesting, just another one of those little tidbits we never hear too much about)
Harry the horse, I have a website that concerns visa scams at thewww.USEmbassymanilavisainfo.com , I thought you may be interested. I began this website when my wife of 7 years was rejected for a tourist visa. We have 2 school age children, who became US citizens a few years ago, and she was rejected because the bureaucrat felt she might not return. No one who is qualified to become a legal resident and therefore be eligible for social security is going to be a illegal alien. (I do not know why, over the years, there have been so many negative reports regarding the personnel in the American Services Dept of the US Embassy. I wonder what the percentage is in regards to complaints versus compliments. The problem could be that the folks who are treated well and are satisfied with the service provided never forward their praises. Folks who are unhappy with a service are angry enough to complain but those satisfied folks are a bit stingy with compliments. The job itself is a difficult one requiring patience, understanding and an interviewing skill that can uncover aberrations in what is being said. Diplomacy and fairness are required as well as a bit of common sense. Personally, I would not want the job)
Hi Harry - As you might remember I broke one of the bones in my arm last year. On a recommendation I went to doctor Duque at the Garcia Hospital to fix it. He put an old fashioned heavy cast on it. Cost: a bit over 24000 pesos, amnesties not included. This year my 15 year old daughter broke the same bone in her arm. I took her to Angeles Medical Centre where she got one of them modern light weight casts. Cost 3500 pesos. And I was with her all the time. So that difference in price got me slightly upset. When I talked to my "house doctor" about that he said that Dr Duque is known even amongst his colleagues for overcharging.
I thought some of your readers might need the help of an orthopedic doctor. All I can recommend is: Stay away from the doctor who treated me. Greetings! Wolf (Folks, the name of Dr. Duque is familiar to me. The price of P24,000 is very excessive for the treatment given. I would recommend orthopedic doctors like Dr. Quintos, located at the Clark Medical Center on Friendship and Dr. Trablante located on Santo Enterio Street). It is best to shop around and make a list of reliable doctors before you need one.
Harry, Heard this from one of our guests that was sitting at Kokomo's the other morning. The baby hugger (BH) was begging from this guy and indicating that she had a plastic limb that she was holding the baby with, all the time she was lifting his wallet with her real arm concealed under the Fake arm. They never cease to amaze me with the level of deception they will stoop to to get your wallet. Chuck (Boy, this was a new one. Chuck's referral to a BH is one of those female beggars that sits with a baby in her arms and asks for money. The customer at Kokomo's observed this incident that took place directly opposite Kokomo's in the morning. I do not know if the victim realized what was happening as no other details were given to me)
Harry, I just bought my 1st ticket online with Cebu Pacific from Clarke to Bangkok. What is all the fuss about? It was so straightforward using an HSBC credit card issued from the Makati branch that I felt I had to stick up for them as all I have ever read about this airline is bad news..Have they improved their system just as I decided to buy I wonder? I haven't taken the flight yet but expect that to normal as well as a couple of friends did the round trip with no hassles last month. George (formerly from Barretto but just a visitor these days). (It gives me great pleasure to pass on good words about Cebu Pacific. The fuss, George, is that in the past many customers have had some pretty bad experiences with this airline. You hit it on the head, maybe, after all this time, they have improved their services to customers. Happily, I have not received any negative reports about Cebu Pacific for a whole month. The Clark - Bangkok route seems to be working well)
The new condo units being built by Gerard, the owner of the ABC Hotel, are selling out quickly, and by word of mouth, without any formal advertising. The Units are sold with title and are located at the end of Fields Ave, next to the McDonalds Restaurant. It is a very convenient location starting at the beginning of the entertainment zone and also fronting McArthur Highway. For complete details refer towww.fieldsplazacondos.com.
At the beginning of last month I had the pleasure of playing darts at the Marble Inn, a location I had not visited in a couple of years. I had passed many times and observed extensive renovation in progress but never got around to seeing how it looked after the work was completed. Boy, was I surprised. What a fantastic improvement. It has to be one of the best layouts for a small hotel in Angeles City. I remember visiting this establishment many years ago when the present owner first took over. Over the years he has worked hard to add rooms and improve the building in order to provide a first class atmosphere for his hotel guests. Somehow, he was able to add an underground parking area for vehicles and the kitchen, lobby, bar, eating and sporting area (billiards and darts) are absolutely fantastic. Additionally, the owner proudly showed me the very expensive satellite television programming system he has installed that allows guests to access an extremely large array of TV channels. This has to be the most elaborate system in this town. It is definitely unique. His room rates are not expensive and he is located along the same street as the Swagman Hotel. Also, his kitchen staff puts out some mighty fine food at affordable prices. All in all, you definitely want to check out the Marble Inn. Eh, one thing more, don't tell him Harry the Horse sent you - he does not like me!
Gee Whiz, poor old Obama could not smooth talk the Olympic committee in Denmark. Could it be that the entire International Community is racist or was it, somehow, Bush's fault?
I am guilty of being a fan of the Holiday Inn and thoroughly enjoy the food at the Mequeni Restaurant and Deli. Regretfully, since being on a self imposed weight loss regiment I must resist the temptation to indulge in their buffet less often than I used to. But that does not mean you have to do the same. The price you pay is not unreasonable for the quality and quantity of food available to consume. For a bit over $20 you have one hell of a great selection. But, anyway, I am passing on the contact information for MABEL L. ROMAN, Associate Director of Sales & Marketing and communications at the Holiday Inn Clark for your convenience. It was sent to me with her message that "one and all are welcome to enjoy Holiday Inn Clark’s newly renovated rooms, suites and villas. Enjoy the finest cuisine at the new Mequeni Restaurant & Deli. Celebrate your event at the new ballroom & meeting halls". Her contact numbers are: Tel. (63)(2) 845.1888 (63)(45) 599.8000 Fax: (63)(2) 843.1363 (63)(45) 599.2174 Cell phone number: 0917 5155931www.holiday-inn.com/clark. For special events or further information contact Mabel, she would enjoy hearing from you.
The Sun-Star newspaper, 9 Oct reported that an American national , Michael Scott Given, was accused of violence against women, children. He was arrested in Barangay San Nicolas, Poblacion in Concepcion, Tarlac by by Police from Regional Office 3 (PRO3) by virtuue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court in Angeles City. Given is 50 years old and the paper described that they got their man only after "an intensive manhunt". There were no other details provided as to exactly Given was alleged to have done to some unnamed lady and possibly her children. It does not take much for an American or any other foreigner to be accused of something minor based on a complaint by some pissed off spouse or girlfriend. Concepcion is about a 45 minute drive from Angeles City. Hopefully Michael will be able to reach an amiable settlement with the complainant.
I was hoping to have just a happy report this month and hoped that I would not hear of any new set-ups of foreigners. But, alas, it was not to be. This time it involved police from an area near Angeles University (AUF). This time the foreigner met a girl in Kokomo's restaurant, took her barhopping, had a lot to drink, takes her to his apartment and she goes on the computer. No one was undressed. Police arrived and accused him of being with an underage girl. Yes, the familiar story as told so many times before. In this case the foreigner paid $2,500 initially and then was taken to his bank and withdrew another $6,900 for a total of $9,400. He bought his release and remains afraid to point out the police or officially tell anyone of his experience. My source for this information has informed me that this lady has worked out this scam before, again, opeating out of Kokomos.
U.S.Veterans can now call the VA OPC @ 02-556-8387, which is a recorded message type service. Appointments can be verified and even canceled; medication can also be requested, however the prescription number and medication name given. Some new numbers to contact OPC have been given the DAV which are 02-556-9027 or 02-556-7028, but it seem it has been an hit and miss if the numbers work or not. Once the OPC operator answers and asks for the 4 digit number, enter Ext-4000. This is the OPC Call Center and is suppose to have three operators to answer calls, give the Call Center OP. your full name, last four of your SSn and your contact tel. Nr. The Call Center Service can answer most of your inquiries as each operator has excess to your medical on the computer; they can also send a message to your doctor, PRA and even to the pharmacy. Just be patient in calling or come to the DAV as we have methods we use sometimes to get through. These numbers are long distance to Manila of course, if you feel the call make takes some time, ask the person you are talking to to call you back on your home land line or cell. This is also a good system to use when calling the VARO service center @ 02-528-2500; normally they will call you right back. (Information extracted from the DAV Nov meeting minutes)
The Rotary Club of Clark Centennial (RCCC) has moved their weekly Tuesday meeting place to the Hotel La Casa/Blue Boar Inn. The meeting takes place at noon time each Tuesday. Regretfully, our meetings at the "C" Italian were abruptly cancelled by the management and we were sad to leave this fine establishment. No doubt our presence there was not profitable for the restaurant and we appreciated the patience shown to our small club during our tenure there. We were disappointed that during our last meeting Chris did not have the time to bid us farewell as our meeting was cut short due to a waitress telling us we had to leave immediately to make room for some group coming in to eat. We thank Chris for the fine Rotary meals he provided, we will miss him but we realize, "business is business". Jimmy D, at the Blue Boar Inn agreed to allow the return of the Club to his establishment even though his food does not match the quality of that offered at "C" Italian but his prices are much less and the additional business will help pay his electric bill. The RCCC is hoping to attract more individuals who would like to join Rotary and help us with our main project, the Bahay Bata Street Children's Center. Anyone interested, please stop by the Blue Boar Inn any Tuesday at noon, you would be most welcome.
Greetings from the USAF RAO, Angeles City… The Army Times published an article on APO-FPO mail privileges to end for some US military retirees. At this point, a final decision has not been made; however, based on the entire article, I do not believe it will apply to us. It looks like this will apply at locations where the consulate and Embassies are directly issuing mail. We have our own FPO account (96517) and the Embassy has 96515, therefore, they are not involved in issuing retiree mail directly. Note the comments that the largest number of retirees to be affected were in Panama (900), we have a much larger population of retirees between Olongapo, Manila and here in Angeles City and we were not referred to. If there are nay changes, I will keep you updated. Please help stop the rumors that were generated by incomplete information. In any event, we have an alternative system in place for mail if we should ever lose our FPO privileges. The Army Times article that Jim Boyd referred to has caused a great deal of concern amongst retirees here in the Philippines. As Jim pointed out, we have a hell of a lot more retirees depending on the FPO here then in Panama. The article has caused great concern amongst all of us that are fortunate to have the PRIVILEGE of this US mail service. I remember when we did were not have the privilege, many years ago and how difficult it was to get our mail. At that time we could only use a Moreno Valley, Calif. address owned by one Mr. Gill at his mail service on McArthur Avenue. It helped immensely but expensive in that it was so easy to go overweight and experience extra charges. Using the local Filipino mail system is a big worry because it is not nearly as trustworthy as the US System. I will not reprint the article here but for those who have not read it and would like a copy, Email me and I will send reply with a copy of it to you or stop by the RAO or the VFW as I am sure they have it.
Lately there have been many unhappy subscribers to the internet service provided by Dennis Uy's COMCLARK company. So much so that I sent Dennis the following Email on 24 Oct:
Dennis, How are you today? Look, lately I have been receiving many complaints about your internet service and the story that you have cut your broadband by half. I had one Jim Lary stop by to complain after he had telephone conversations with you. He explained to you that he is paying for 3mb service but the highest he gets is 1.7mb and most of the time only 1 mb or below which in his words "sucks". He told me that you said, and I quote "It's a business decision" and that you figure if "you lose a percentage of customers, especially at the high rate, you could make it up by increases from the lower rate subscribers". Many people are saying that they feel you are saying "get the money and screw the customer".
Now, I do not know if you care about this or not and most realize that you have enjoyed a monopoly on your services for some time now but recently Globe line and PLDT are coming into the playing field. I have always supported you and COMCLARK because of the ability to be able to talk to people when I encounter a problem and due to my technical ignorance I seldom complain. I also know that you have invested a great deal of money in upgrading your system for both cable TV and the internet. It is true that my internet service is extremely slow at times, more so lately, but I live with it. My only requirement is that my internet is up and running even though I feel that you are overloading some of the nodes with more subscribers than some can handle.
Anyway, the two complaints I am sending you will be in my column next month and I would like to include your response to explain exactly what is going on with your service. I find it hard to believe that you do not give a damn and the hell with your customers but, regretfully, that is the general perception at this time from many of your subscribers.
Another complaint from Jim Lary is your charges for service calls. He wonders about the Cable Modem charges. Specifically, P500.00 for a defective modem (out of warranty). Most people are not even aware of a warranty stipulation and feel the modems belong to you and if they become defective they should be replaced by you with no charge. It is believed that the modems you use are not new in the first place and are not state of the art. He is not questioning any of the other charges. (I guess that is more of a question than a complaint)
This one is a complaint - HARRY; I HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT COMCLARK EFFECTIVE JANUARY WILL CUT THE MBS PER SECOND RATE DLS SERVICE BY 2/3s, BUT NO CHANGE IN PRICES; FOR ALL CUSTOMERS. NOW I PAID 24,000P FOR A YEARS SERVICE IN SEPTEMBER FOR THE 2,000 MBS PLAN. NOW FOR THE SAME PRICE I GET: 666 MBS! DOES A SIGNED CONTRACT MEAN ANYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY ANY MORE? IF YOU OR YOUR WEALTH OF CONTACTS COULD CHECK THIS OUT, WE WOULD ALL APPRECIATE IT. (90% OF THE GARFIELDS MOB WOULD BE AFFECTED TOO, AND GOD KNOWS HOW MAY HUNDREDS OF OTHER EX-PATS WOULD BE AFFECTED AS WELL. REGARDS, GUNNAR. ----- (Dennis, I really would like a response from you so I can present your side of this issue. This Email will appear in my Nov column (www.harrythehorse.com). (I forwarded these complaints to Dennis via Email, no response. I sent a text message to him as well, again, no response. I guess Dennis figures he does not have to respond personally, he is above that. So, folks, try your luck at the service department at SM Mall where you will probably get a recorded message delivered by a human robot - to tell the truth I was surprised because in the past Dennis has always been responsive to queries. Maybe lately, he has been getting too many questions on these subjects)
Hey Harry just wanted to see if you could toss this in your next article, I used Jerlam Engineering Works and Service to do about 40000P worth of work to my house in Metroclark Executive villas they did a outstanding job and did it in a very short time no long BS time delay, He gives you a cost estimate of parts and labor and sticks to it. I have given his info out on a few forums and had nothing but thanks in my PM box. The guy is a good church going dude and one of the few honest contractors I have ran accross so just seeing if you could give him a brief mention in your November or December issue. Here is a PM I got just today on Piatnight from catraveler2003.
Hey! That Renaldo worked out great! Thanks for the post on him! The post on the forum is as follows: Just had some work done by Jerlam Engineering Works and Service (aka ronaldo dejesus) and impressed! He came over to check out what I wanted done and gave me a quote. Kitchen counter redone, new sink and taps. All the receptacles replaced and the 110 removed so that all are 220. Two hooks for locking up bike and a generator. Install two ceiling fans, all in all P20,000. And a further surprise is that his quote included ALL parts and labor! Not usual for PI quotes! And not one of his workers asked if I had a saw, hammer or tile cutter! These guys actually have their own tools! They did all the work within 3 days and even did some touch up painting. Final result is very good! Contact [email protected] (I am more than happy to include any positive recommendations for individuals and companies that will provide great honest services to the community at large. Thank you Bilal) - Contact info is: Jerlam Engineering Works and Service, CP: 02975308161, 09214800110, 09278079805, Landline c/0 Ricardo Lalu, 331-3676. Address: 27-28 Saint Catherine Compound, Tabun, AC
Zest Air had its inaugural flight to Hong Kong on 24 Oct 09. This is the start of its full commercial operation via the Clark-Hong route at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), Clark. Zest Air was previously known as Asian Spirit and it is now flying the Hong Kong route using the Air Bus 320 with a 166 seating capacity. Zest Air also has flights to Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Incheon in Soutyh Korea, Fukuoaka and Okinawa in Japan. Interested passengers are advised to log on towww.zestair.com.ph for bookings and any information on other special promos.
Russia_Honor_USA-911.pps. This is the title of an attachment that was sent to me recently that was a slide presentation of a 911 Memorial presented to us by the Russians. It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey and I wonder why I had never heard of it before. It was created by a Russian artist who came up with the idea as he walked the streets of Russia after the 911 attack and saw the grief on the faces of Russian citizens. It is called, simply, "The Teardrop" and I must admit to shedding a couple of teardrops when I read the inscriptions on the stones set in the walkway. I do not know how you can access this but am sure if you search through Google you will find the information. It is truly magnificent and very, very emotional. The message presented is not just for Americans but for people throughout the world. Thank you Guido Z for forwarding it to me. I wish I knew how to save it but have never figured out how to save attachments that I have to download. If I ever get to visit New York again, this is one memorial I would like to see first hand.
This picture more than adequately explains why Bill Clinton chases after younger women, even fat flaky ones like Monica. Can you imagine that this lady still harbors thoughts of being the President of the United States? Obama might be going in twenty different wrong directions, fighting Fox news, screwing the troops in Afghanistan, trying to brain wash young children, sucking up little "Acorns" like crazy, and so on but at least he looks good and so far has eyes only for Michelle. There could be a reason for that though. Michelle looks like the type of woman that would cut his balls off if he ever dared to behave like old Bill. Now, Sarah Palin might lack a bit of International Political knowledge but she sure did look good on the cover of Vogue - eat your heart out Hillary!
Beware of this lady/boy! Become very familiar with this picture and be advised that this billy boy operates along the Clarkview area during the evening hours. She is very brazen and will walk into bars and try to pick pocket foreigners. Her method is to flirt, reach out and grab a man by his crotch and then reach with the other hand to grab a wallet. She has been seen operating in the area of the Hang-out - Thi-Hi, VFW, Blue Boar Inn and along Perimeter Road. She is a very professional thief and hard to get rid of once she latches on to you. She followed one inebriated customer into my stable one night around 10 PM after he walked from the Thi-Hi. He was approached by her, it was dark and he told her he would buy her a drink. Needless to say, when he got to my stable and my staff pointed out to him what it was that followed him, he refused to buy her a drink. It took ten minutes to get the damn thing out of the bar without causing a big fuss.
A few months ago I wrote about my trip to Guam and I wanted to include the contact number of a Filipino Taxi Driver who I considered a trustworthy and a great help to us. Of course taking a taxi in Guam is an expensive experience but if you must use this mode of travel I recommend Ray who is from Binaoan, Pangasinan. His cell number is 868-1946. We really got to like this guy and he was honest and reliable. What took me so long to include this you might ask? Because I misplaced the note Priscilla gave me and only found it today (Sunday) when I finally cleaned up the top of my desk. Even then I nearly threw it away until I realized what it was.
NEW GENERAL MANAGER AT THE LEWIS GRAND HOTEL - James Bush might be new at the Lewis Grand but he has built up his managerial skills over the years while working for the Blue Nile Group and then the La Pasha Group. I have known him for some time now and was always impressed with his energy, innovative ideas and ability to interact easily with the local staff and foreigners, especially when he was at the La Pasha. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was hired in the General Manager position at the Lewis Grand Hotel as usually, a manager of a Club in town is usually holding down his final job either because of age, being retired already or just looking for a job to keep from being bored. This is not the case with James. He has used his experience to jump into a job that will provide him with a wealth of additional experience and could lead to one hell of a future. Regardless of what he does, working as a GM at a prestigious Hotel will fit in nicely on any future job applications he might be filling out. Meantime, owner Lewis, has given his full support to James and has told him, "you have the ship, you have the ideas, energy and opportunity, make it all work and I will be happy". Lewis is very busy with many other projects at this time and is depending on James to run the Hotel in such a way that he will be able to concentrate on his other projects. The Lewis Grand, right now is nearly 100% booked through the Christmas season as it is one of the nicer hotels in town. The location is convenient to Fields Ave, shopping and the Clubs along Perimeter Road. It boasts a very large beautiful swimming pool surrounded by some very nice landscaping. I am sure that the team of Lewis/Bush will be a success.
There was a customer in my stable who used to work with Anne Arundel County Detention Facility in Maryland who wanted to greet "Big Dog" and Kenny. Naturally these two guys are working their asses off guarding a bunch of bad guys who are locked up and can only engage in a bit of butt banging. What Big Dog and Kenny need is a bit of fun and relaxation here in Angeles City and for a couple of weeks forget about the ass wipes they have to guard. It was passed on that Warden "Koko" can be, at times, a royal pain in the butt. I have met a few penitentiary guards from different States and believe me it sounds like one hell of a difficult, pressure job. A few have suffered some physical damage in the line of duty that often leads to early retirement. So, Big Dog, Kenny, come on over and visit my stable and get your first drink on the house.
One night, while talking to with Lewis Grand Hotel GM James I brought up the subject of the US Dollar and my fears that in the near future it could lose value on the world market. I am not an economist so I could be wrong but it is something that could happen if China, India and Russia start to break away from their dependence on the dollar and if Europe follows suit. Of course this, no doubt, is a debatable subject that could be discussed intelligently by those folks who are much smarter than me and are well versed in world politics and economics. So, the discussion was just about what could happen but it turned interesting when James reached into his wallet and brought out monetary bill printed by the Zimbabwe government. Would you believe that this bill was worth 100,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwe dollars or whatever they call it. That is one trillion folks and the worth here in the PI is about two pesos. (The Zimbabwean dollarwas the official currency of Zimbabwe between 1980 and 12 April 2009. The Zimbabwean dollar was subdivided into 100 cents. It was normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It was also one of the lowest-valued currencies in the world due to massive inflation and three redenominations. It was suspended indefinitely on 12 April 2009. Today, other currencies are exclusively used for transactions in Zimbabwe instead.) After reading about the Zimbabwean dollar I now feel a little better about the US dollar, but, well, ????????.
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214's online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov/ (Just passing on a bit of information for US military veterans)
SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—A low-cost airline which has established its base of operations here has announced the start of its $10-million project to fly chartered planes to various tourist destinations in the country and abroad. Pacific Pearl Airways (PPA), a private airline established in 2006, said it will begin flying out of the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) in December this year. Airline president Kristoffer Jimenez, who signed the firm’s business contract with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) last week, said PPA will initially field two advanced Boeing 737-200 jets for international flights and some turboprop aircraft for local flights. Jimenez said local destinations will initially be to popular tourism spots like Boracay, Bohol, Cebu and Davao. But as PPA begins to establish its presence in the local airline industry, the company will expand its local flight destinations. According to the airline official, the Subic Bay Free Port has a “very strategic location.” “A lot of tourists come here, foreigners and locals alike. It is also a booming place in terms of businesses,” Jimenez added, ticking off the advantages of locating in Subic. To attract its potential market, Jimenez said PPA “will be offering competitive rates without sacrificing quality service costs,” an advantage he said was made possible by tax incentives and other perks offered by the SBMA. He added that his company also intends to “eliminate stop-over hassles” with direct flights, thereby significantly cutting travel lag time. This would allow Pacific Pearl passengers to gain more savings and more quality holidays, said Jimenez. Meanwhile, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said during the contract-signing ceremonies that PPA’s $10-million investment pledge is “proof of Subic Bay’s economic resiliency.” “What we have witnessed now proves that there’s still life after FedEx,” said Arreza, adding that the SBMA has been trying to attract more locators to the SBIA. FedEx, the US courier giant that used SBIA as its Asia-Pacific hub since 1998, transferred its hub operations to China in February, bowing to realities of the expanding Chinese market. Arreza, however, pointed out that because of its international airport, “Subic can host just about any kind of air-transport requirements.” Arreza cited that the SBIA’s cargo-sorting capability has its edge over other airports in the country today. Written by Henry Empeño - Business Mirror
This is a new event for locals and tourists to check out. The Greater Clark Visitors Bureau (GCVB) is inviting one and all to attend the 1st Annual Clark Freeport Horse Festival at the El Kabayo on 28-29 Nov. Come in your favorite horseback attire. Let your dreams come true. Many different events will be held during these two days that will be family oriented so one and all can attend. For those looking for something interesting to do on a weekend head on out to the El Kabayo located in the Clark Freeport Zone and become a cowboy or cowgirl for two days.
Even without a special event the El Kabayo is a great family oriented place to visit. The outdoor atmosphere plus the thrill of getting up on a horse is a great thrill for the kids. My son has enjoyed the experience and I enjoy watching. Yep, with my age, bad knees and bad back I am content to watch from the sidelines. Afterwards, the restaurant is a nice place to sit back and exchange cowboy stories. With the weather cooling off at this time of the year it is a great place to get out and enjoy the sunshine, nature and friendly horses.
Offerings from the Lewis Grand Hotel - 15 Nov - Enjoy the Pacquio fight in the Hotel's ballroom. Avail of a great breakfast buffet for only P350 starting at 0900 hrs. There is no ticket price, if you do not want to enjoy the buffet then you are welcome to order off the menu or even just enjoy some coffee or drinks at regular prices. There will be a table set aside for those who read the "Harry the Horse Newsletter" and each person will receive one local drink for free. I suspect that may bring in one or two extra folks. Once James told me this I realized that I would have to get up early to be there. Usually I watch the fight at home in the comfort of my bedroom without having to get up and dress. Next - 26 Nov - Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner for only P499. A great turkey meal will be served with all the trimmings and I have been told it will be one of the better offerings in town. Starting the 2nd week of Nov one can enjoy a seafood and steak dinner every Thursday. This is a good deal at only P499. You get to choose a combination of three different seafood selections and three different steak selections to put together your meal of one seafood item and one steak item. This also included soup, salad, etc.
DOG HOUSE - Every Saturday, 6-8 PM - P550 - 7 Nov - La Bamba, 14 Nov - Stampede, 21 Nov - Golden Nile, 28 Nov - Rhapsody
WOW Wednesdays - 4 Nov - Rhapsody, 11 Nov - golden Nile, 18 Nov - La Bamba, 25 Nov - Cambodia
G'day young Harry, I'm writing this to ask if you could include a bloke in your next TAPS. A friend of ours passed away today in Angeles (3 Oct), Kevin Eastwood, he had been living in Angeles for 10 years or so now and I'm sure some of your readers would remember him (he's a big pommy bloke, Englishman that is). Only 55 years old, he managed to earn enough dollars when he worked here in Port Hedland West Australia to allow him to retire to AC to live the high life - a couple of years ago he got a wake up call (diabetes) that told him the high life he was living was doing him harm and he managed to slow down. Apparently overnight he started coughing blood and before they could get him to a doctor he hemorrhaged badly and it filled his lungs, he passed away shortly afterwards (approximately 3am Philippines time). Kevin is survived by his long term girlfriend and two very young children. Thanks Harry. (Kevin resided in the Villa Sol subdivision and used to start his mornings at Margarita Station and then work his way down Fields Ave but then he realized he had to slow down but he might have waited a bit too long to do so. He was not well known in town) - just a quick update on Kevin Eastwood - his funeral is this Friday at 11AM in Angeles (9 Oct 09), I imagine there would only be the one cemetery for non military types. Turned out it was a perforated ulcer that bled out and did for him - this could be a good message to your readers (especially those that live in the Philippines) that if they get sick to seek medical help as soon as possible.
Jesse Foster, 75 years old, member of the VFW and American Legion passed away from a heart attack last month. Jesse was a great supporter of the American Legion, Post 10 and the VFW. He will be missed. The following comments were sent to me by Joe Walker and they sum up the work Jesse did his dedication to helping fellow veterans and their families: Harry : My friend E mailed me that Jessie Foster passed on. When I lived there he was the Post # 10 Legion Commander . A veteran and retired Civil Service. Nice guy . Not overly friendly. But, devoted to his job as Post # 10 Commander. He helped many Pinoy survivors often left behind when American Vets died in the PI. Doing the grinding paper work , rounding up documents, etc. Many vets were retired military he said. Often very sad circumstances after passing. One quite common. Often, they would leave small kids behind and not be married to the Philippina mother or would still have a wife in the states. The kids would have a claim to US citizenship once paternity is ascertained and can legally go to the US . But, that sadly does nothing for the Philippina girl friend/ mother. Very irresponsible.
A MOMENT IN IRAQ John Gebhardt's wife, Mindy, said that this little girl's entire family was executed. The insurgents intended to execute the little girl also, and shot her in the head ... but they failed to kill her. She was cared for in John's hospital and is healing up, but continues to cry and moan. The nurses said John is the only one who seems to calm her down, so John has spent the last four nights holding her while they both slept in that chair. The girl is coming along with her healing. He is a real Star of the war , and represents what America is trying to do. This, my friends, is worth sharing.. Go for it!! You'll never see things like this in the news. Please keep this going. Nothing will happen if you don't, but the American public needs to see pictures like this and needs to realize that what we're doing over there is making a difference. Even if it is just one little girl at a time. James Gates, U. S. Navy (John Gebhardt is in Iraq. It does not matter what position one takes on our involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan, all must respect and admire what our soldiers are going through and accomplishing. It is not all about shooting, killing and dying but also about love, kindness, sorrow, pity and reaching out from one's heart to help a fellow human being. Evil men came into this little girl's life but now she has been touched by love and kindness from a fellow American in uniform who has laid aside his weapon to comfort her. Maybe no one will thank John Geghardt but for now, one little girl will grow up remembering her "hero". All Americans should thank John and the thousands of other soldiers just like him but regretfully, there will be many who will not, thankfully, they are in the minority. For now, John, I thank you and I am sure the majority of the readers of this column will thank you as well. I hope you and all the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will be able to eat tons of turkey dinners on Thanksgiving day. I for one, will take the time to drink a toast to all of you on that day. I hope, eventually, all of you will be able to come home safely. Happy Thanksgiving John!) - Thank you Richard Rehm, Las Vegas, for forwarding the picture and story to me.
A GREAT NEW HOTEL OPENS ITS DOORS
The Orchid Inn lads have done it again. First the Orchid Inn, then the Wild Orchid Resort and now the wonderful Wild Orchid Lagoon Resorts opens it doors for business on Monday, 9 November. I was called by Dave Crowe take come on over and take a few pictures right after I had already submitted my column for publication. No problem, I rushed right over and then submitted the pictures and info to my webmaster guru later in the evening. This new hotel is fantastic and unique. It is separated from the Wild Orchid but still shares the same grounds. The two Hotels are run as two separate businesses but are tied by an umbilical cord to each other. A separate building, separate swimming pool, separate staff but hotel guests of both hotels get to share usage of pools, the restaurant/bar and all the great services provided by the Wild Orchid. It is fantastic!
As you can see by the photographs the grounds and pool are a joy to look at and I hope to jump in that pool in the near future. The ground floor rooms have direct access to the pool. One only has to open the glass doors, take a few steps down the steps and jump in the pool. It is so convenient that I am sure some folks and ladies might forget to get in their bathing trunks/suits before jumping in.
The rooms are first class and I liked that they have connecting doors to adjoining rooms. This will be good for families with kids and friends who want to have easy access to each others rooms without having to go out in the hallway.
The bathrooms are large and the showers can easily accommodate two or more bodies at the same time. An interesting feature is the two way mirror in the bathroom that allows one to watch what is going on in the room while showering or whatever but the room side of the mirror is reflective. This great feature will mean that one can keep an eye on guests who might otherwise be tempted to check out one’s wallet or pants while he is occupied in the bathroom.
As you can tell I am impressed and it is too early to give any more details as final pricing for rooms and other details were not available at the time I was there. All bookings will go through the Wild Orchid reservation desk so there are no changes in that department. This new Resort will be open just in time for the holiday season so get your reservations in now.
NEW STATION FOUR COMMANDER
Police Chief Inspector (Major) Rogelio C. Javier has taken over as Station Commander 4 replacing Major Ronaldo Lorenzo. His immediate past assignments were as Station 1 Commander and then Station 2 Commander. I was fortunate to be able to meet with the Major one evening while he was still on duty and found that he is determined to maintain the honesty and integrity of the personnel assigned to Station Four. His strong statement in relation to foreigners was “No set-ups during my time!” Like any new Commander Major Javier will be establishing his own operating procedures and it will be interesting to see how well this Commander will be able to fulfill the duties to this very sensitive position. He will encounter a great deal of interaction with Expats and tourists, more so than at his previous assignments and his ability to balance his responsibilities to both the local community and those tourists will be a challenge, I feel, the Major will be able to handle quite easily. At least I hope so.
A DAY OF RAIN IN MANILA
The month of November heralds the end of the rainy season in the Philippines but we are not free and clear of heavy rains yet. Regretfully, November is still susceptible to typhoons and I have lived through a few bad ones at this time of the year. It is not until December that one can completely relax and not worry about experience the hardships brought on by typhoons experienced last September. Flooding is comes to the Philippines every year, some worse than others but it is generally the same old story. Nothing will change, ever, but the people are resilient, thank goodness, because the Government will talk the talk but do little else. These pictures are three of the ten sent to me by Jerry J and they are good ones. These pictures were taken at a time when Indonesia suffered a massive earthquake and American and West Samoa suffered through a life taking tsunami. Mother nature shows no mercy world wide yet life goes on and on occasions like this any problems I have seem so insignificant and isn't life, in general, pretty damn good? Happy Thanksgiving folks.
CHECK THIS CONDO OUT
I am always on the look-out for something to write about that I think could benefit some readers of this column. I know that many folks are thinking of retiring in this area or would like to invest in a house or condo to live in. Some of you are still young enough in which you would like to plan for the future and also want to live in a location where the action is. Well, of course, Angeles City and Fields Ave fits that bill. This is not a paid ad, believe me, I just happen to trust and respect the man who is putting up the Fields Plaza Condos located at the end of Fields Ave and McArthur, right next to McDonalds. It is a prime location and the price per unit is affordable. One attraction is ownership of the unit and that is a sweet investment. I am not going into a bunch of details as my objective is just to make you aware of its availability. Construction is ongoing at a fast pace and you can access the website www.Fieldsplazacondos.com for all the details you need. This is a project by Gerard, the owner of the ABC Hotel, a fine businessman you can trust and an all around good guy. As Angeles grows more and more investment opportunities become available, this is one I think you should look into.
TOURISTS OF THE MONTH
This month I feature three men who have been friends for years and have worked together at a unique location named the Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands (1400 miles East of Guam). It is described as a beautiful and isolated Island. The US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) accounts for the main population of around 2,000 support personnel and their families working with the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site. To tell you the truth I have never ever, for one minute, thought about Kwajalein Atoll so I found it fascinating to meet Conrad Nakasone, Mike Dolan and Jimmy Asato who work there and have provided me with a bit of a geography lesson. They are all unattached men, a bit senior but still younger than me who welcome the opportunity to get off the "Island" for a few weeks and enjoy life in Angeles City. Conrad has a daughter that works at the Phoenix Hotel and he reads this column every week. He has also corresponded with me in the past and has made contributions to my Christmas charity project in the past. He and the other men with him were particularly touched by the story of Dang, the mother of four children who I featured last Christmas, whose husband had died and she was left with four children living in a building with no electricity and not enough money to apply for a connection. Priscilla and I vowed to provide that electricity in time and we succeeded in doing so. Additionally, we were able to do much more by combining our funds with those of Conrad's and a few other people who donated some money. Earlier this year we were able to pay for the school registrations for the four kids, provide them with school supplies and also make improvements to the building they were living in. For the first time they found themselves with a roof that did not leak during rainy days. During this visit Jimmy Asato reached in his pocket and added to our fund for Dang. Aside from that it was such a pleasure and privilege to meet these men who live and work in a beautiful location but lacking in entertainment. Only recently was an AAFES BX opened and well, everything is centered on the Army facility. No wonder then, that the opportunity to visit the Philippines is something to look forward to. Three great guys, Conrad, Jimmy and Mike stopped by my stable for a few drinks and conversation and they managed to entertain me and introduce me to historical Atoll that I never would have thought of. I hope they return and spend a longer time with me and I am glad that all three of them are nearly as old as me.
My friend Jerry Leech, reporting from Las Vegas, informs me that a JolliBee restaurant has opened in Las Vegas, somewhere on Sahara Ave. The Philippine community will be happy to see that but personally, I would rather see Chow King. The burgers, if they are made the same way as here, suck! The rest of the food is OK but Chow King is much better. The other day when I was talking about Chow King to some local friends here I was told that Chow King was too expensive compared to JolliBee and I never noticed that. I thought they were in the same price range. Jerry also passed on that the "CityCenter" is opening in December. Need some info on that place and maybe a couple of pictures. I spotted Joe Green at the new Marquee Mall here the one day I visited. It is located next to the City Hall and there are many stores that have not opened yet and quite a few spaces not spoken for yet. I will tell you one thing, the traffic around 5 PM is absolute HELL! It was so bad that the Mrs and I tried to get out of the parking area for one hour and never made it. We turned around, went back and went to a movie. At 9 PM we had no problem exiting the place. What a bitch it was, I was pissed. The Mall itself is very nice, more streamlined than the SM Mall but I kind of like the cluster of SM better. Because of the traffic problem, I will stay with SM Clark for now. You would think they would have more than one egress point from the Marquee Mall, one that would allow you easy access to the expressway. Oh well, will see if it improves once all the construction has been completed. By the way, Jerry got back to me on a question I had - his response: "There is a Chow King also. It is in a place called Sea Food City. Totally Filipino!! City Center is an 8 billion dollar project on the strip. MGM Grand has something to do with it. Thousands of rooms, should be interesting to see if they can fill them."
THE COPPER CHIMNEY
This is a new restaurant on 1st Street featuring Indian, Arabic and Filipino cuisine. It has only been open for about a month and the owner, is a medical student at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF). His name is Nilesh D'Souza. It is located at the Clark Star Hotel on 1st Street, near the Juliana Lounge. Right now the place is a bit bare for decor as Nilesh is operating on a low budget. Additionally, he was swindled by a Filipino that he put in charge of the operation. This guy, who he trusted, decided that he needed the money given to him for operational costs more than the business did. As a result, Nilesh is doing his best to continue as is and hopes that his authentic food will bring in the customers who will enjoy the food and overlook the lack of pictures, music, and other amenities. As time passes, improvements will be made but meanwhile a very extensive menu is offered and for those who love Indian food I believe the Copper Chimney is worth a try. Being old, I would prefer some cushions on the hard wooden chairs but that is a minor suggestion.
I had no idea what most of the items on the menu were so I had to ask a few questions when ordering. Featured were chicken, fish, shrimp, mutton and egg dishes. I selected a chicken boneless Rogan Josh, spicy (P260) and two Chapate Bread (P15 each). The plain rice was extra at P20 and one ice tea cost me P45. It was a tasty meal for 355 pesos and I really did enjoy the bread. I was disappointed that they did not offer Vindaloo but I was told that one American ordered it, even after being told that it was very spicy, ate it and was angry that it was too hot. He could not finish it. For that reason they took it off the menu. My thought on that was the guy was warned, he ordered it anyway and too damn bad it was too hot for him so put it back on the menu. Most folks who are familiar with Indian food know that the Vindaloo is really quite spicy and know what to expect when they order it.
I liked what I ordered but had no idea what most of the items offered were. I am hoping that those of you who are better judges of this type of food will please check out this restaurant and let me know some of your opinions.
I WOULD IF I COULD
Her name is Kelly and she can be found at the Jolly Frog, located on Friendship, only a few meters from the Friendship Bridge. This is a very popular bar and believe me, Kelly is only one of many ladies there who are very expert at entertaining customers. It is a joy to be greeted by so many friendly ladies with big smiles and talents that can only make one so glad that time permitted a visit to this part of the world. She is 26 years old, from Samar, and is a high school graduate. She has one brother and that is it. I was surprised to meet a lady from Samar who came from such a small family, only two kids. Her mother and father must be very proud of themselves. Her father is retired . Kelly does have one 8 month old boy so part of her bio is very similar to so many others. What is unusual is when I asked her what her ambition in life was and she replied "I want to go to college and study to be an engineer". Shit, that surprised the hell out of me. Of all the ladies I have interview over the years this is the first employee of a bar that said that to me. But, getting back to a normal response, she added that she likes singing and would not mind having the opportunity to be a singer. She did not hesitate to tell that she is, indeed, a good singer. I have not had the time to confirm that statement. One important item is that she insisted that age does not matter to her when it comes to dating or someone choosing to court her. This is a very attractive young lady and she has a nice figure as well, I just could not display the full length picture for you. For those of you who are interested in meeting Kelly stop by the Jolly Frog or Email her at:[email protected].
MAD DOGS GATHER AT "BIG HITS"
It was a massive gathering of big, medium and small guys from all over Asia who had one common interest - MOTORCYCLES! They came from the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing and they could not have picked a better venue to hold a crowd of over 100 men who came to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Mad Dogs Motorcycle Club. It was truly international in nature and the display of so many motorcycles in front of the Big Hits left no doubt for anyone passing as to who were in attendance on this special day. It was a party atmosphere in that plenty of beer was on hand, hot dogs, hamburgers and sliced ham but the hamburgers ran out fairly quickly. Despite the very large numbers in attendance and the festive atmosphere there was time for official business as well. There was one hell of a long closed door meeting (hours) conducted in a special room that adds to the attraction of Big Hits being a perfect venue for parties and meetings. I guess it was similar to a "summit meeting" from the leaders of the various clubs represented at the event. What was impressive was that even with such a large amount of people on hand that there were not negative incidents at all. Everyone had fun and the comradeship shown was fantastic as old friends met each other again and new friendships were started. There were two initiations of new members and believe me, that is one ceremony that is a bit hard to take. In addition to having to have the customary tattoos affixed to their arms they must consume a foul concoction that if used on prisoners or war would be considered against the Geneva convention. Nevertheless, the two new members passed through with flying colors and they were embraced by one and all. This gathering started at 2 PM and went on until late at night as members left and returned throughout the day and night. It was a pleasure to meet Chito from the Manila Club and Tom, the International President from Pattaya, Thailand. The Angeles City Chapter of Mad Dogs originated in 1996 and now has member Brian Hammer as the Vice President of the International Mad Dogs. The largest contingent on hand were the members from Singapore. I was able to take a couple of pictures of new inductee "Spenser", "please, no last name" who had to sit around with a dog collar on holding a dog dish filled with some questionable liquid. He held up quite well and is an example of the sense of humor enjoyed by most of the Mad Dogs.
As I sat and looked at those in attendance I kind of thought that we could gather up all these guys with their motorcycles, equipment them with appropriate armament and ship them off to Afghanistan where I am sure they could kick some Taliban ass and be damn happy to do so. These guys look after each other and they are not all fun and games. The members are made up of grown men, many of whom are professional businessmen, and owners of various businesses. They contribute to the community and contribute generously to various charitable causes. I admit to being a "Mad Dog Groupie" and kind of wish I was young enough and strong enough to jump on a Harley and hit the road with these guys but for now, I will just content myself with being unofficially associated with a hell of a bunch of good guys who work and party hard. By the way, check out "big Hits" located on Perimeter Road for a great place to enjoy some drinks and also to host any party plans you might have.
THE SHOOTERZ CLUB
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the newly opened Shooterz Club located at the end of Fields Ave in the new complex of bars. My visit was early enough where it was not too crowded and owner Ian was on hand. He took the time to help show me around, tell me about the place and assist in getting the ladies to cooperate for some photo shots. This club is open from 4 PM to 0300 hrs with two shifts of dancers. A note of interest is that the prices are being kept at a very reasonable level - beer at P50, local drinks P85 and ladies drinks P150. There is only one price for ladies drinks and that is P150 so you don't have to worry about special prices for "large" drinks like some other Clubs that have two or three pricing categories for ladies drinks. This is a fun Club so look for the table top dancing with ladies showing off their T-backs at 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 midnight. Cultural dancers presenting some high impact steps are featured and guess what, their ladies drinks are the same price. Presently, 135 dancers are employed and if you can't find one to your liking then you need glasses. Want to relax and get away from the music then check out the upstairs manager's suite. This will cost you P700 for three hours. The room has cable TV, Wifi, 3 ton A/c and a queen size bed with an orthopedic mattress. Sounds like a nice place to take a nap or to enjoy some quiet, private moments with your favorite lady or even an excellent location to have short business meetings.
Ian is known for having the "Body Shop" and now, in addition to Shooterz has also taken over the Roadies Bar on Perimeter Road. He went in and changed the costumes of the dancers, got rid of the flowers, chandeliers and other distracting decorations. The Roadies was always a popular bar but had slipped a bit recently. Now, with Ian's touches, it has regained its popularity. Getting back to Shooterz, check out the Tequila shot girls who will serve you imported shots for only P100 and of course, you can get plenty of choices in ordering some of your favorite "shooters". If you are interested in having a lady accompany you to dinner or barhopping then her early release is set at a very reasonable P1,300.
NEW SELECTIONS AT 1230 PIZZA
There is a big 20% discount being offered at the 1230 Pizza at the end of Fields Ave. In addition to customers being able to save a bit of money there are also a couple of new dishes being offered as well. Sadly, the young lady in the middle picture is not on the menu. Her name is Maryanne and she is employed at Shooterz Club, at least I think she still is. You see, she was standing outside the Club the afternoon I saw her working as one of the three door girls. I was in 1230 Pizza listening to the owner, Charlie Kemplin tell me all about his new exciting promos and I wanted to take a few pictures. I spotted Maryanne and called to her to come on over. To my surprise she complied and I took the opportunity to get her to pose for us. She was so friendly and really looked pretty damn good. Charlie gave her a cup of his new macaroni salad to take back across the street. She was so innocently happy and we watched her eating it and sharing it with her co-worker. Suddenly, the boss Ian, came rushing out, grabbed the macaroni out of her hand and he was obviously a bit upset with her. He led her back into the Club, never to be seen again. Needless to say, when I went into Shooterz to take pictures about 30 minutes later I did not ask about Maryanne nor did I want Ian to know who talked her into leaving her post. I guess I better get back to 1230 and leave Maryanne for, reluctantly, another time. By golly though, she does look delicious. Anyway, 1230 Pizza is now offering spaghetti Bolognaise, coleslaw and macaroni salad all of which taste pretty good. The management is working hard to offer quality pizzas and with the 20% discount eating at this pizza outlet is a pretty good deal. I wonder, if I called for take-out if they could get Maryanne to deliver it. Oh-oh, there I go again, sorry Charlie, hope you understand my distraction.
HOTDOGS AT THE WALK-A-BOUT
Bill, the main man at the Walk-a-Bout Hotel on Fields Ave, for some reason, decided to put a hot dog stand in the front of his hotel. It just so happens that I like a good hot dog once in a while as long as I can get my mustard, relish and onions with it. Those ingredients were on hand the night I checked out the stand and I went for the P80 large dog instead of the P40 peso size. The standard did not quite come up to Nathan's Hot Dogs but since I can't get to Coney Island this will have to do. I have checked it out a few times already but had to slow down because I am on a diet. I found that a good time to eat is around 4 or 5 PM when a lot of the ladies are on their way to work. Later at night is good too when you don't want to go for a full meal. You are probably wondering why the hell I am writing about a hot dog stand for? That is a good question and I don't have a good answer for you. I figured if Bill went to the trouble to build it and put it out front then the least I could do is give it a mention and take a couple of pictures. So, if you look close you might see me putting down a hot dog or maybe a 1230 pizza but then you might have a better chance of seeing me at shooterz looking for Maryanne. Damn, there I go again!
NEW THAI RESTAURANT OPENS
Located on Perimeter Road, 480 Don Juico Ave, Clarkview, in the premises vacated by Zapata's restaurant is the Thai Baht Thai Baht restaurant and bar. It is owned by Darren, an Englishman and Pat, from Pacharawan, Chiang Mai, Thailand. What is different about this Thai Restaurant is that in addition to Thai food they are offering American and International food selections as well. Add in a nice bar as well and you have a very nice place to go. The opening is scheduled for 1 Nov so I will have to wait to do a food tasting but am looking forward to the opportunity to do so. When I go to a Thai restaurant I am only interested in the Thai selections so I will leave the other offerings up to other folks. No doubt I will be able to get some feedback from customers on that. I think it is great to have another restaurant added to the many that are already up and running as there can never be too many. I remember that not too many years ago it was difficult to find decent dining out establishments but that is not the case now. Welcome Darren and Pat, I wish you much success.
By the way, Zapata's should be open by now as well. I did not have a definite opening date for their new location but the sign out front said, simply, "Opening Soon".
THE FAT BOYS
As promised last month, I am including a few more pictures of the return of the Fat Boys and once again many thanks go out to these lads for their fund raising efforts. Both the Bahay Bata Street Children's Center Foundation and an orphanage sponsored by RSL members were beneficiaries this year. One item of clarification though, there was one RSL member who objected to the Children's Center being included because, according to him, that Foundation was "rich". This is a misconception. This Foundation supports street children by providing them with full time shelter, medical treatment, and schooling through high school and when possible college. The budget to maintain operational support for this facility is in the neighborhood of P250,000 a month. Only through fund raising and support of some benefactors is it possible to continue the operation of this Center. Foundation members are happy to receive any donations that will help to keep the Center open but at the same time, it is recognized that there are many other institutions that depend on donations and they are grateful for any donations given to them, be it money, toys, sports equipment, school supplies, or even volunteers that will donate their time to the Center. Literally speaking, this Foundation is not "rich" but they have taken on a monumental project that is expensive to maintain. We are grateful to the Fat Boys in their endeavors to help as many different organizations as they can when they visit us once a year and we wish each and every person who participated this year to know how grateful we are for their endeavors on behalf of those in need. So, on to a few more pictures of a great event.
HOME MADE POTATO CHIPS AT THE LEWIS GRAND HOTEL
You may notice that this is the third time I have mentioned the Lewis Grand Hotel. No, I have not been put on the payroll, it is because of the new GM James. You see, James does all he can to get publicity for any organization he works for. He did it at La Pasha and is bugging me to death in his new GM position at the Hotel. He does what I ask all Club and Hotel owners/managers to do. Get in touch with me to let me announce happenings, promotions, special events, whatever. It is free publicity for them. Regretfully very few do so. The ABC Hotel does it but too often they wait until it is nearly too late to make my deadline. I spent nearly two hours with James and he had so many items he wanted to announce. Even when I finished the interview he wanted to add more and I had to say enough was enough. I could not get away from him until I promised to see him again for the next two months. My readers want to know what is happening in town, what specials are being offered, what special events can they plan their trips around. I do not have the time to visit every Club and Hotel in town begging for information that will benefit businesses when I print it. It is FREE folks, just send me an Email, call me, whatever, James does both. Anyway, this strange picture I took shows a heaping plateful of home made potato chips served up with a nice Bar-B-Q dip that I was unable to finish. I was also given a sampling of the various cheeses offered up, my favorite of 7 selections being the Cheswick Monterey Jack. James informed me that the price of drinks will be reduced starting in November and that many more special events are in the planning stages. Meanwhile, he wanted folks to know that there is a pool table available for free play and would like one and all to check out the huge, beautiful swimming pool. Additionally, this is one of the better establishments in town for birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, etc. There is ample parking, great food prepared by three full time chefs and the location of the hotel is ideal especially for those folks who shy away from going to Fields Avenue. OK, that is enough, I am worn out. This guy James is a bundle of energy and would you believe he is fluent in Swiss, German, English, Tagalog, French and Italian languages. He can also dabble with Spanish, Latin and Greek but the last two is a bit more difficult for him as he has not had to use Latin and Greek all that often. Hopefully many of you will join me at the Pacquio fight on 15 Nov, bring your bathing suits so you can check out the pool after the fight.
Guess it is time for me to trot on out of here. I could not resist changing my closing photo for this month. Someone sent me this and I loved it. It is supposed to be a "gif" format and be in motion but not sure if it will work or not. Another Halloween has passed and once again at ghost time my stable monsters were able to hand out over 300 packages of candy to the neighborhood rugrats as we tried to scare the heck out of them. Halloween is a fun time for me and I get to bring out my monster masks and my family and staff join in for the fun. I already have my bookings for Santa duty in Dec at two Malls as I begin my fund raising efforts for my private charity work. I will provide the dates in Dec so those interested can bring their kids by for a photo op with Santa. I still have another month and a half to get my legs in shape.
I would like to take this time to reach out to Remy DeJesus, the long time manager at the Swagman Resort Hotel in AC who underwent an operation last month to remove a breast due to cancer. Remy is a wonderful personality and is well liked by one and all. She went through the operation with one hell of a sense of humor that depicts her strength under pressure. Remy has been a friend to me and many others for many years and I hope that her recovery is quick and that chemo/radiation is not necessary. The Swagman is not the same without you Remy so get back to work soonest.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all and thank you dear readers of this column for sticking with me for one more year. I appreciate all visitors and comments both positive and negative but remember one thing - always be kind to horses!