Here it is, year 2002 and I sure am happy that I have lived another year and next month will be hitting my 64th birthday. I will not be having a big party for that one, but when I hit the big 65, that will be a time to celebrate. I used to have a big blast every 10 years but once I hit 60 I thought it might be better to change that to every 5 years, just in case. You better believe that I hope each and every one of you reading this column had a great holiday season, have gotten over all hangovers, did not run up excessive credit bills, and are in the best of health.
Last month I wrote, "Where the hell is Moab Utah" and thanks to E-mails from Robert Parker (Southern New Mexico), Paul Dickinson (Denver, CO), Mike Meyer and Quito’s I now know where it is and now have a desire to visit that location. Quito’s wrote "Moab is in the south of Utah to the Arizona border. It is best known for its location near the Canyon lands. Edward Abbey's book "Desert Solitaire" mentions Moab frequently. In short, Moab is a small town in a majestic region of the USA. Parker wrote "Moab, Utah is located in Southwestern Utah, about half way between Green River, Utah and Moab, Utah. Originally just a Mormon community but became larger because of the Uranium deposits required back during the Cold War".
Dickinson wrote "Moab is a former uranium mining town in eastern Utah. Currently it is the mountain bike capital of the world (the "slick Rock" trail is the toughest). It is also very near Canyon lands and Arches National Park. Actually it is as different from AC as one can get". I must also acknowledge David K (Southern Calif.) and Gunnar Dorum (Norway) whose E-mails arrived a bit later. How's that for great responses and all of you can head to Moab, Utah to recover from a very active, exhilarating, tiring visit to Angeles City because it sounds kind of quiet and peaceful there. Me, I'll stick to the action here in Angeles City, where the young, old and very old visitors can enjoy life to the fullest.
First the Cleopatra, then G-Spot and now the Kitten Club offers a shower show and they had a giant wet T-Shirt contest in December that was a huge success. These in-door sports are catching the fancy of customers and what is great, is that multiple bars are sending representatives to participate in various contests so there is a spirit of cooperation in town. In a desire to attract more tourists to this area some bars are coming up with some innovative ideas like the showers, chocolate wrestling, dance contests and of course, the out door wet t-shirt contests.
In fact Go2Phil.com, in cooperation with the Bonanza held their first wet t-shirt contest in December. Tourism to Angeles City has dropped off a bit compared to years but this reflects the economy worldwide, are just not traveling as much as the money tightening up. This means that, if possible, put some money together and get over here in Jan-Feb as the weather is great and all bar owners are trying twice as hard to please the customers. This means more entertainment, extended happy hours and maybe some breaks on hotel rooms (it doesn't hurt to ask).
DOWN IN THE JUNGLE
It was a good idea to jump on a vine and swing on over to the Jungle Bar last 8th as management was celebrating its 2nd Anniversary with dancers from various bars competing to see who was the best of the best. I'm happy to report that the popular Shane, previously with Cuddles Bar is now managing at the Jungle and the dedicated pool players from Cuddles are there most nights to accept challenges on the table. I noticed that while all eyes were fixed on the ladies doing their thing on stage the pool players never played attention at all; their eyes remained on the pool game at hand. I mentioned this later in the evening and wondered how they could remain so oblivious to the ladies on stage. The mystery was solved when they introduced me to their wives and girlfriends sitting next to them. It was a fun evening and the ladies worked hard to entice customers to buy a garland of flowers to put around their necks. Each garland cost P100 and the dancer with the most flowers decided the winners.
KEEPING UP WITH CLEOPATRA
Please forgive me if I appear to be writing a lot about the Cleopatra bar but that is where management is busting their butts to come up with some innovative nights in which customers can enjoy themselves and get their money's worth of voyeuristic and hands-on pleasure. On 7 Dec they put on a beach party that was well attended and on 19 Dec they put on a party, restricted to 40 invitees at P2,000 each. This was to include food, open bar and some rather interesting entertainment. There have been some grumblings heard around town in that some of those that paid felt that it could have been handled a bit better in keeping the affair a bit more private and also assuring that the ladies who entertained received a bit more money for their efforts.
There were three ladies provided by Honey Ko's that were the stars of the show and in the future, it is hoped that a bit more remuneration is provided to them. For P2,000 though, the customers got their money's worth. The buffet was fantastic as the picture below will attest and the open bar, even for top shelf drinks and free ladies drinks was worth a lot more that the asking price. Management did make a few errors and in fact they lost money on this venture. Rob explained that originally this was supposed to be strictly a private affair but the people that reserved the room backed out of the original agreement only a few days prior to the scheduled date and changes had to be made.
Ladies drinks should not be free and local drinks only for the open bar but it is an idea that can be worked again with a few improvements. I would like to print some more pictures I took but believe me, you had to be there to enjoy the sights, and I just can't show you here.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
Last month I reported that the G-Spot's Chocolate Wrestling event was a huge success and I kind of hoped that they would put it on quarterly so as to keep interest high. They decided to have a repeat last month and it did not measure up at all, either in performance of attendance. For some reason they decided to dilute the chocolate and it was like milk rather than the thicker stuff they had the first time. The good news is that Rick did get a bit messed up this time and no one was sitting around the bar, in fact, if the walls could have been pushed back further it would have been necessary. So, G-Spot, good idea but better get back to the original design.
The Phoenix Hotel, since its opening, has consistently enjoyed near 100% occupancy but for some time suffered a bit of a problem with their water. The Phoenix management is happy to report that this bit of annoyance has been corrected. To quote the General Manager, Michael (Pig) Evans "For some time we have had a problem with our water supply and the sulfur smell, especially when using the hot water. This has now been fixed as we have installed three new holding tanks and have connected to the main city supply, giving us a clean treated water supply 24 hours a day. We look forward to seeing you in the coming year."
RUMOR HAS IT
William (the owner of Las Vegas Bar) has leased the empty lot next to Jungle Bar and is planning a new go-go bar with an attached 50 + room hotel. This rumor is confirmed as I was able to talk to Bill and he indicated that the hotel would be three stories with a restaurant and bar. A long-term lease for the land has been obtained and right now they are looking for investors for the $500,000 hotel. Serious investors should contact Bill. Another rumor heard is that the Jungle bar was going to lose its lease this year. Not true, in fact management has obtained a new lease for 6 years and Kelly (Elvis) is negotiating to be an investor in the hotel that will occupy the space between Jungle Bar and the Kitten Club. Both of these bars will benefit from this hotel project.
NEW MENU ITEMS AT KOKOMOS
The chef has found a ton of new recipes and is offering something different each week. In January they'll have Pot Stickers (have no idea what those are), the Harley Roadhog Sandwich, Gourmet Potato Skins and either Tequila Lime Chicken or Boston Cheddar Crab Cake. How bout designer pizzas? Think about the Voodoo (very spicy), Cajun BBQ Chicken, Thai Spicy Chicken and Lollipop (Pizza dough with sugar and jam - Editors note: Harry the Horse will skip this one). The Thai Spicy Chicken sounds good so I may give that one a try.
WETTING DOWN THE LADIES
When I first came to this town way back in 1977 I remember how many of us looked forward to the Swagman's annual wet T-shirt contest. Back then this was an event that was only held once a year and it was quite a production put on by the Swagman. Now, no longer does one have to wait a year to see these drip dry ladies parading around in gear that promotes wet dreams, as it has become a monthly display with more establishments involved.
Now, the ACBars Group is putting on two wet T-shirt contests in January, their annual New Year's event on 5 Jan and a special event on 19 Jan. (This is right on the heels of the same type contest held at the Bonanza last 29 Dec through the auspices of Go2Phil.com). The one on the 19th is being sponsored by a group of regular Angeles City visitors who have initiated "Bar Aide Dalawa (Filipino word for 2). This is a group of around 30 guys who love Angeles City (don't we all?). This is their second planned event. They're arriving late in the evening on the 18th and will stay until the 26th. During that time they have several events planned including the Wet T-Shirt contest at Kokomo's, a "bachelor" party at one of Mo's places, and two or three massive bar hops. They know how to party, but they also know how to support local organizations. They are planning a day at the Angeles City Street Children's Center to help with many of the tasks that need to be done.
BTW, if you'd like to contribute, you can make on-line donations at www.kokomoz.com/orders1.htm. If you'd like to find out more about this most worthwhile project, visit their website at www.angelesstreetkids.org.
NEW HASH HEADQUARTERS
Now that the Birds of Paradise has passed into history a meeting was held in December to determine the location of the new Angeles City Hash House Harriers Headquarters. The decision was already pretty well pre-determined before the meeting so starting in January Hashers will call the Anchorage Hotel, on Real St. their new home. Many felt that the Margarita Station location would be more suitable but since John is not a hasher, this was passed up in favor of the Anchorage since the person in charge there is a devoted Hasher. Hashing is a bit of fun, so anyone desiring to join this group of well dressed, sober relics of Angeles City are more than welcome. For further information contact the Anchorage Hotel.
In my Nov column I reported the death of a good friend - Ken Slide. I have been informed that his son Gerald and the one and only "Vegas Dave Hamilton" will be carrying on where Ken left off for OMNI. Their new office is in the "Mix Mart" just to the left of Dominos Pizza (Checkpoint). For those of you needing quality insurance for your home, apartment, business (bars included), cars and most importantly, medical, stop by and see Gerald or Vegas Dave and help them keep alive a well respected company in this community since 1979.
AUSTRALIA DAY FIESTA
I have already reported information about the Annual Australia Day Fiesta coming up this month but you know how insistent these Aussies can be, they want more! Since so many of them are a lot bigger than me, in all directions, I will, without any pressure whatsoever, print the following:
Saturday, 26 Jan - Miss Hot & Spicy Curry: Pick a winner from the alluring femme fatales as they pose, pout, parade and sizzle in various ensembles to win the first ever "Miss Hot & Spicy Curry" crown. Held at the Orchid Inn from 6:00 PM.
Toga Night - Experience the delightful decadence of Ancient Rome and be pampered, as Nero never was by the gorgeous girls at Nero's Forum. Nero’s Forum to the first 100 “emperors” supplies toga after 9:00 PM.
Monday, 28 Jan - Fun day Monday: Relax by the pool and be captivated as a bevy of beauties strut their stuff in the fashion parade, followed by group dancing. After the parade and the dancing, create sensual designs on soft silky flesh in the body-painting contest. It's more than just another Monday...at the Tropicana Hotel from 12 noon.
Tuesday, 29 Jan - Doghouse Dingo Night: Two hours of over indulgence in this once-a-year Dingo Night. There's all the usual Doghouse fun and games...but tonight there'll be more of it at Bonanza Hotel from 5 PM to 7 PM.
POOL ACTION AT THE BLUE K
I finally had the opportunity to get to the Blue-K to watch one of their exciting, big pay-off 8 ball pool tournaments that attracts the best ex-pat pool players in town. There was a large crowd on hand and they all stayed to see the exciting final match between Vegas Dave Hamilton and Darrell Nordquist. It could not get any better for drama as it was a race to five and it went to four games each before Dave was able to pounce on a mistake by Darrell and pull out a win for the championship that was worth P10,000. Darrell was happy to pocket P5,000 but was not excited to pass his crown to Dave. Danny Eston was more than happy to walk away with 3rd place money of P2,000.
The caliber of play was impressive and there will be bigger and more exciting tournaments in the future. In fact there will be four, very special and different tournaments a year featuring quality players. The first one will be held this month and it will be played over three weeks. The first week and the finals will be at the Blue-K with the second week at Club Fantastic. It will be limited to 6 players who must be very good and can afford the P10,000 entry fee. Prize money will total P100,000. For playing dates and additional details contact Harrow or Louie Lewis at the Blue-K. This will be one finals match I do not want to miss.
OFF TRACK BETTING
A newly opened off track betting establishment is located on the third floor of the building housing Domino's Pizza, Checkpoint (Clark Airport City Terminal) and it certainly is a comfortable, large, well appointed room. When I went there it was empty of patrons but the waitress told me that the action would start at 4:45 PM until 10 PM. That is Wednesday through Friday and on Sat/Sun it is active from 1:45 - 9 PM. Only Filipino horse racing is covered and the menu offered caters to the Filipino taste.
The room is open from 12 noon to 2 AM so if you go there during their slow times it is a great place to relax in comfort, watch TV, read a book, and have a drink, especially if you are waiting to see the dentist located on the same floor. The Swagman folks who have gained a great deal of experience from their popular Saturday horse racing coverage and betting action run it.
"My Dentist" is not actually my dentist but I may switch in the near future. That is the name of the Dentist's office located on the same floor, as "Off Track Betting" and I like the location and the fact that this dentist has own X-Ray machine on the premises. The problem is trying to figure out when this dentist is available as treatment is by appointment only. His hours are 0900 - 1200 hours and from 1400 - 1800 hours and advance appointments are necessary as he has a practice on base from 1200 - 1500 hours M-W-F and on Thursdays he is at a hospital.
Prices at "My Dentist" are a bit more expensive than many other Dentists are charging but at this time, I cannot comment on the quality of care offered. I hate going to the dentist but for the sake of my readers I will try and get an appointment and give a more accurate evaluation sometime in the future. Yes, this horse is a coward, especially when it comes to sitting in that darn Dentist's chair but at least I can consume a few drinks before and after my visit at the "Off Track Betting" room (See all the sacrifices I make for you guys). For appointments you can call 892-7553 or 322-2890.
ORIENTAL THAI RESTAURANT
After spending five years in Thailand (1967-1972) I developed a great love for Thai cuisine and over the years my appetite for this food has not diminished. Despite my love for the Philippines my opinion is that Filipino food is not in the same ballpark as Thai food. Lately my stomach growls with pleasure as I notice that there appears to be an increase in the availability of locations in Angeles City where one can enjoy the flavors of Thai food. The newest eatery, Oriental Thai Restaurant, is located in Sta. Maria 1, Balibago, near DM Residente. Still confused? How about going one block past Norma's Money Changer Store, turn right, then at the end of the street, take a left and you can't miss it.
The manager, Cheline Lugtu made the wise decision of hiring Ms. Pi as Chef. She is a native of Thailand and puts out the real McCoy. I had two dishes and the portions were plentiful as well as absolutely delicious. It was enjoyable to use the few Thai words I remember in conversation with Pi and this is a very friendly little restaurant. Every Friday, for P250 they feature a 7 dish Thai buffet and for sure I will make a point of giving it a try one of these Fridays and will report submit an opinion next month. They open at 10 AM and close at midnight. For reservations call 892-3609 or 323-6177 - 78.
DO NOT LET THIS MAN DRIVE
Reports have reached me that if you want to go on a trip with Pat Lynch, be prepared for inconveniences that can only be overcome by consuming large quantities of good old San Miguel. His vehicle is prone to mishaps, mechanical failures and worse of all, lack of direction. The most recent misadventure took place last week as Pat and Paul McCleary were heading to Zambales for a camping trip. Rodney Haggerty and company traveled by boat and the plan was to meet up with Pat and Paul and the trip by car should only have taken 3 hours but Pat, who is also a pilot, took off in the wrong direction. They found the right way only because Rodney happened to call them and was able to tell Pat to take the next sharp left and head back in the right direction. If not for this phone call Pat might have driven to Imelda Marcos land.
After many additional hours of travel they arrived safely and Paul proceeded to put up the tent, without Pat's assistance of course for now it was beer time. After a very tired Paul completed this task Pat looked at it and commented "Paul, the bleeding thing is crooked". Paul's reply is unprintable but Rodney Rude would be proud of him. So, the bottom line is, when offered a choice of transportation with Pat and his car or Rodney and his boat - take the boat mate!
At last John Martin's brush with a corrupt Angeles City Police force has ended with his acquittal in court. Judge Omar Viola, a judge that impressed me with his deliberations in another case involving an ex-pat handed down his acquittal finding on 21 Dec. At last John was able to taste freedom in time for Christmas but not to enjoy one minute in this town. In visits to John and from phone calls John informed me that his life had been threatened and was advised that for his safety, if released, he should do a disappearing act.
Directly after the decision John was taken to the Clark Airport, put in the VIP lounge and then boarded a plane taking him out of Angeles and will reside in an undisclosed location. Only because John paid police officials P250,000 was his wife spared the humiliation of being incarcerated. John was asked to pay P2.5 million for his charges to be dropped but he refused to do so. In my last conversation with John he indicated that it would have been cheaper to pay the 2.5 million then to go through the expense, humiliation, and medical problems that in the end, cost more than the original asking price. Can you imagine that even Angeles University Foundation Hospital, where he was confined for treatment instructed him not to take walks in the hallway of the hospital? A booklet, titled "You Be the Judge", written by an Australian that covers John's horrendous experience from day one to the end will be available in the near future.
This is a "must read" for every ex-pat living here and anyone coming here with the intention of investing in a business. John has a very good idea who was behind his "set-up" and he related that he is 98% sure of who financed the operation. I am not sure we have seen the end of this story.
(Return back here in a couple days. The whole John Martin story will be available here.)
Printed below are the final options offered by Greg McDougal to present members of Greenland’s Sports Resort. Once SEC approval is obtained memberships will be up for sale. Greg informed me that I must print this word for word as written. I have done so. Some members that have read this already or have heard of it have asked me what I think. I am a charter member of this alleged illegal club established by John Martin and I paid P20,000 in good faith, but, being a 21 year resident of Angeles City, I knew down deep that I was gambling in the hopes that John's dream would become a reality.
Now, Greg is selling a much more expensive dream, which for him, is more of a nightmare and if he had it to do over, has said, "I would not even be in this City". The options are there, and Greg feels old members can either choose an option or "piss off". He promised, as reported before by me, that there would be an option for everyone and I think that he has kept that promise. Option one allows present members to continue for five years without paying anything other than monthly dues (which will be P1,500 a month), the last option is to cash in your memberships for P10,000. The other two options will cost you either P140,000 or P90,000 and yes, that is a bit heavy for a club that is still under construction but those are the options on the table, take it or leave it.
I told Greg that I would have felt better if he had taken into consideration the amounts already paid by members and deducted it from the cost of new memberships; in my case that would be P90,000 less P20,000 for a total of P70,000. In that way I would have felt that he was a bit more sympathetic to those of us that stuck with Greenland’s for so many years and not take his anger for John out on us. His response was that it was discussed but that John Martin had screwed up the memberships by issuing so many different options that it was a paperwork nightmare and he scrubbed that idea. For me, I still want to remain a member of this Club if I can find a way to afford the P90,000. I am not a golfer or a lawn bowler and my only interest is in the swimming pool and the proposed gym with Sauna and Jacuzzi. Also, the membership will cover the entire family so maybe I will gamble again.
Additionally, Greg has indicated that after two years the value of memberships will increase dramatically. So, if I gamble, pay P90,000 now and wait two years I can make a profit if I decide to sell, right now I will lose either P10,000 or P20,000 pesos. Will Greg even be around two years from now, who knows? But, if there is SEC approval, this time, whoever would take over in the future would have recognize the rights of the members, something that did not happen this time. So, how do I feel about the options? It really doesn't matter, Greg does not care as he feels that he has offered the best deals and we can take it or leave it. I do not intend to leave it - for some reason I love that club, even though it has lost a lot of its friendly, casual atmosphere. Read on folks, study the options and decide which one suits you, for sure, not everyone will be happy.
NOTICE TO MEMBERS - Official release from the management at the Greenland’s
HAPPY NEW YEAR
I knew that I would be busy this month with my appearing as Santa Claus at different events in order to raise donations for my annual Christmas Eve visit to two hospitals so I got the idea to take pictures of the girls and manager of as many bars I could. The first night I took 14 pictures and was exhausted but the idea was well received. After that night I found the time and energy to take only one more. Next year I will start at the opposite end of town. The message from each manager was to wish all of you a Happy New Year and they are looking forward to seeing you in 2002. Priscilla and I enjoy seeing those of you who take the time to look up this old horse and we really appreciated the many good comments we have received during the year. Remember though, this is a new year so continue to be kind to horses.