This month of June I would like to dedicate this column to a wonderful gentleman who peacefully passed away on 6 May at the young age of 65. Steve was an icon in this town. He worked for Dave Fisher at Kokomo's for many years and I think Dave knew him better than anyone else here. For that reason I invited Dave to write a few words about Steve and you will see his remarks further down in this column. Oh my goodness, this man will be missed by so many, he was a friend, a mentor, and adviser to so many. He never uttered a negative word against anyone, he had a dry sense of humor and he emanated an aura of wisdom that earned him the respect of all who knew him.
First and Last Name: Larry N.
Hi Harry, got to tell ya what i saw today. I left my apt in clarkview today 28 apr. I witness 2 boys walking north towards friendship. I saw the one boy throw himself in front of a foreigner riding a motor. A Filipino "concerned" citizen was following behind and suddenly called on his cell phone. Within minutes the boys in blue showed up. I left after that...(I wonder if the dirt bags are bringing back a very old scam? Regretfully Larry did not stick around long enough to see how this drama ended.)
Dear Harry, After reading about the unconscionable behaviour of Bureau of Immigration staff at C.I.A. in your May newsletter, I imagine you’ve failed to grasp the point behind their conduct. Far from harassing young, nubile Filipinas who wish to travel abroad for a romantic holiday with their foreign boyfriend or fiancee, bureau officials are in fact doing them a favour.
The Bureau of Immigration, at the behest of the government, are discouraging Filipinas from traveling overseas because they have no wish to expose them to well governed countries with a functioning, polite bureaucracy. Can impressionable young ladies from the Philippines be expected to cope with such policies as environmentally friendly cities, paved roads, functioning and well maintained public transport systems, honest taxi drivers, an absence of malice and rudeness in public servants, competence in government and a lack of corruption? I think not. I think these young women would be shocked by the efficiency with which other countries operate.
Imagine what could happen when these intrepid tourists returned home. They may agitate for efficient government in the Philippines. The likelihood that the local population may in any way be dissatisfied with the lazy, incompetent, venal, mendacious plutocrats who dominate this country’s political life and seek to replace them with well meaning, honest individuals with principles is something the elite cannot accept. I’m assuming this country does have a handful or two of principled, honest citizens but I wouldn’t risk money on such an assumption.
On the other hand I suppose it’s just possible that the Immigration desks at C.I.A. are manned by bureaucratic thugs anxious to make life as difficult and as unpleasant as possible for passengers, irrespective of nationality. J.T. Archer.
(Hey J.T., my goodness, it all makes sense to me now but not all the BI agents are that bad but it only takes a few to poison the water)
Comments and Remarks: Regarding the DMIA off-loading problems - Some of the airlines (Tiger particularly) routinely overbook flights. It appears they use Immigration to help them out. A friend was recently off-loaded. Tiger was requesting her boarding pass back hours before Immigration made their final determination. Thus airline gets two fares for one seat and doesn't have to compensate for over-booking. Mike Kravitz.
(a different twist on a very sensitive subject)
First and Last Name: Hans Kristian Espersen
Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry, This is Hans, think asshole member 84 or so ;O) Been reading your May news letter. Like to comment on the CIA bull... I know Cpt. Robert and misses for 11 years. Heard about her raw deal from Magnus who spoke to her before, and after she was supposed to leave. Needless to say as excited she was going to Thailand as devastated was she coming home not admitted on the plane in Clark. THANKS for bringing that up!!! Spoke to Henrik/ Marble Inn, he recently experienced a party of 16 (Guess 8 men with companions), where 7 of the girls were not allowed on the plane. Same deal, quick trip to Malaysia and back. Apparently one of the girls was not permitted because she LOOKED too young. The girl was 22 years, but really short for her age.. haha I think I was kind of lucky, received an email from the Danish consulate that this bull was coming last year at this time. I did not want to chance it, so my asawa went for the seminar in Manila, even though we have made several trips out of the country in the past. If I did not happen to be on the mailing list for the consulate, I would not have known about the issue before they started to refuse the girls to leave. In my case it could easily have been a loss of 3000 usd, for return tickets to Denmark, 1500 if I would have decided to bail on her.. hehe Keep up the good work! Best Regards Hans (one of the Scandahooligans in town) (Hans, guess the Danish consulate is better in informing their citizens then the American and Australian Embassies. It remains confusing but there are on-going discussions that hopefully will help in avoiding ill feelings generated between Immigration officials and travelers at the DMIA.)
Dear Harry The Horse, I am an American who has been a visitor to the Philippines since 1998. I have always enjoyed your column, commentaries, and opinions. Thanks.
On the recent topic of Pinays being "offloaded" at CRK and MNL airports when traveling to ASEAN countries for tourism purposes with, or to meet their western boyfriends, it prompted me to do some further checking into this as I am planning to take my pinay girlfriend to Hong Kong this coming August to see Disneyland, shopping and to enjoy the city. Also to see how we are able to get along on unfamiliar turf, before making any serious plans together.
I wrote the CFO - Commission on Filipinos Overseas <[email protected]>;
via Filipino Cupid
Copy of: This is an enquiry e-mail via http://www.cfo.gov.ph/
I am an American Citizen in USA who would like to take my Filipino friend with me on holiday to Hong Kong for approximately (2) two weeks.
The purpose of our trip is shopping, visit Disneyland, sightseeing, and general tourism.
We are friends only and are not engaged to be married or have a fiancee' or support relationship. She is employed and has no plans to leave Philippines permanently or emigrate abroad.
She will have a return air ticket, valid passport (4 years valid remaining), and meet all entry requirements of Thailand.
Does she need to take one of your seminars before leaving the country, and if so specifically which one. I am an American, we are going to Hong Kong.
Thank you, Hymie Tucker - And 2 weeks later I received a reply:
Dear Mr. Tucker:
We wish to inform you that under Department of Foreign Affairs’ Department Order Nos. 15-89, 28-94 and 11-97, Filipinos leaving the country as spouses and other partners of foreign nationals or naturalized citizens of their host country are required to attend the Commission on Filipinos Overseas’ (CFO) Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP).
The CFO GCP is being administered by our service provider, which is the St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation – Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW). Attendance to the GCP is on a first come first serve basis; there is no need for reservation.
The counseling session, usually lasts for two hours. However, there may be other documents that the counselor may require (letters, pictures together, annulment or divorce papers, if applicable) to clarify issues and concerns raised during the sessions. A Guidance and Counseling Certificate (GCC) will be issued after successfully completing the requirements of the GCP.
Please be advised as well that your girlfriend does not need a CFO registration sticker/stamp for your holiday trip to Hong Kong, the Bureau of Immigration will only check the GCC as proof that she has complied with the government’s policy.
We have attached a copy of the requirements and procedures of the CFO SMEF-COW GCP for your reference. We hope you find this information useful.
Very truly yours, Thea May Rabe (Sgd.) Counselor
Approved: Ivy D. Miravalles (Sgd.), OIC, Migrant Integration and Education Division
I then called the CFO SMEF-COW (St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation - Center for Overseas Workers.) and asked the same questions, specifically of my "girlfriend" would need to take a counseling seminar in order to leave the country as a tourist. Also since they are country specific, would she avail the seminar for the USA or the South Korean and other Asian-Pacific countries. I am an American, we are going to Hong Kong, she is Filipino.
Their answer was NO and that my girl will only need a valid passport and return air tickets to travel outside the Philippines. I asked for clarification on the "and other partners of foreign nationals or naturalized citizens of their host country" to which she explained that "partners" means "same sex" relationships.
She said that there are no seminars for tourists, only for fiancé’s and spouses.
So what is the current advice on this situation? Does she take their Guidance and Counseling seminar to receive the certificate of completion or not? She will not have a visa as a tourist, as Hong Kong is a visa on arrival country, so I understand not needing the CFO "sticker" in her passport. Since their seminars are designed for those emigrating outside of the PI to live permanently with a fiancé/spouse, and this being an unusual circumstance as I will be accompanying her to Hong Kong and back to Manila.
What sort of documents should she be ready to show at the seminar? Further, Why would I be involved at all, since she had a valid passport and return ticket? Should I bring my recent tax returns and bank statements? Seems that it’s none of their business. I would like to hear your response to this, you may post it if you like in your column and edit as necessary.
Sincerely, Hyman Tucker (Hyman, the responses you received kind of make things a bit more confusing. I do not have answers for you yet but there are some Filipino officials and concerned business related Filipinos that are aware of this problem and we just have to wait to see if more specific guidance is provided)
First and Last Name: Chris Simpson
Comments and Remarks: My wife (married in the Philippines) required the 2 hour course in Manila to leave with me and our daughters, we were told that it didn't matter where we went or for how long. It seems the way they are looking at it now is that if you are leaving in circumstances where you may end up working elsewhere, they will require this. The day my wife got her appointment, the printing machine broke down, there were 16 women there told to come back on Monday or Tuesday to collect. Several had spouses waiting with tickets booked that friday night. (The confusion continues. Was this her first trip out of the country since marrying you?)
First and Last Name: Charles England
Comments and Remarks: Hi Harry REF. PHEODFILE WITH EXTREMLY HIGH RISK OF AIDS! Have you ever seen a notice in any bar in Angeles with faces of undesirables Harry? Having stayed in Angeles for over 20 years and owned hotels and other business here, I like to think I have a good balanced view of the upside and the downside of The Entertainment Industry on Field’s Avenue and Perimeter Road. The majority of mamasangs are professional, do a difficult job and have the interests of their girls under their wing at heart. However, a small number are just ruthless, selfish and have zero care for the girls. There is a hard core, like myself, who know these mamasangs and the high profile assholes who constantly frequent the bars. The worst, by a long way, are the paedophiles, as I am sure you will agree Harry. Yes, they are known to the police, mamasangs and many of the girls. But still the paedophiles get their victims as they are very resourceful and determined and because some mamasangs simply don’t give dam. There is one particular case I find the most abhorrent, by a long way, which prompts me to write to you. The guy in question has been living close to the entertainment area for about 15 years and is over 70 years old, I would think. He is already a celebrity in Angeles having been featured as being a paedophile by the British national papers, has appeared on BBC World TV while in Angeles City Jail after being arrested for crimes involving underage girls about 10 years ago. He openly brags to mere acquaintances, that he has had 1,500 different girls in the last 15 years and, waits for it, “has never used a condom”. STAGGERING! He says that he always tells the mamasangs that he has been steralized so the innocent girls, mostly underage, are led to believe that they will be safe. They don’t know any better and off they go. The worst scenario is that he is a woman hater and knows he has AIDS and is purposely infecting kids. You will no doubt know this particular paedophiles as he has featured on your web page about 8 years ago and has been pursued by the Roman Catholic Church (PREDA) in The Philippines for about 9 years to get the Philippine justice system to bring him to count. He has somehow got away with overwhelming evidence against him including over a hundred video cassettes tapes, confiscated by the police, all featuring him having sex with girls, mostly underage, some as young as 12 years old! From my reading of your web site for many years, it’s clear you have “know how” and influence in such important things like this and you are not frightened to publicise such “pond life” that sickens even the most hardened criminal minds Thanks in advance Harry. Charles
(Charles, I remember the name of the person you are referring to and I also remember the well publicized incident that caused his arrest. I will not mention his name as he claimed his innocence and was able to get the charges dropped and a number of years have passed without further incident. It is true that pedophiles live among us here in AC and some come as tourists. I wish that each and every one of them could be outed, arrested and put in jail. It is regrettable that some Mamasans cater to these dirt bags and should be fired but they have to be caught and prosecuted first, along with the customer. These people are clever, they build up a network of contacts willing to provide young girls for a price. Unless someone gives a tip to the police and he is caught in the action he can operate here, with impunity for many years. If any pedophile is caught by the police here and prosecuted, for sure I will publish the details and the offender's name but one must be aware that there have been circumstances where an innocent person has been set up by individuals or law enforcement officials. Fortunately, this has not happened in quite some time.)
Harry, True . The military has no money . Much of it has been stolen . In the article last year about the PI Chief of staff stealing millions , it was pointed out that the troops have no boots , no food ( their family has to feed them , ) , no ammunition , no gasoline etc, etc. None of the Generals were prosecuted in what the Manila Paper called a " monstrous theft " . Meeting last weekend in Manilawith US military and government officials pointed out the PI military has no money for spare parts , no functioning logistics system , no trained techs or mechanics to work on sophisticated F 16 , even if we gave them to them . No money to operate the older ships we may give them . Ammunition, fuel etc, What about trained pilots for the F 16 they may get . And , as you know being retired AF , logistics supporting Jet Fighters is very expensive . Who is going to pay ? Oh. The M16 rifles the Muslim Guerrillas have in Mindinao all come from the Philippine Army . Which the Marines leave behind when they train there . Common knowledge by our intelligence . So, I ask you and everybody , " why waste time with these fuckers ? " . It appears to me that if this war does get " hot " , the USwill have to fight it . Will Japan and Korea get involved ? Joe W.
(This was in response to an observation I sent to Joe, who is married to a Filipina, living in the States who keeps up with the Philippines through the US Filipino channel. The subject was our concern of how the Philippine military would handle a shooting war with China. My comment was: The PI military has never had enough money to be effective. The AF pilots cannot train properly because no budget for gas. Their military is a joke. Without the US assistance they would lose a war within months. Hope it never happens as the people here do not deserve such a result. I also wonder how far the US is prepared to go in defending the Philippines? I hope we never have to find out)
First and Last Name: mo deveney
Comments and Remarks: i notice that fewer and fewer tourists are visiting angeles ...the bars are deserted and there are fewer girls .....yes times are hard ..but its surely going to get harder when the robbing bar owners in fields keep on putting up the cost of bar fines ....obviously they do not understand the concept of customer service ..there is none ..the girls are pizzzzed off, the customers have pizzed off ...soon the golden goose will no longer lay any more eggs ...time to stand up mr horse ..what are your thoughts.
(Mo, I just heard today that the LA Pasha Club raised their local drinks to P110, this at a time when business is so slow. I very seldom buy a drink on Fields Ave and believe me, very few ladies drinks. For sure the EWR prices have become unreasonable but so far the tourists are still forking over the money. I must admit that I am not in a position to criticize pricing in the bars. Those owners with multi-clubs must have one hell of a big overhead and they establish their pricing to allow for costs and to make a profit. They should know what they are doing. I suspect that the tourists are not caring about the prices but those of us living here on fixed incomes feel the pinch to our budgets with each price increase. Remember, Club owners on Fields Ave do not care about Expat business, they depend on tourists. It is a different game there. I have lived in Las Vegas which is a tourist town. I did not gamble nor did I spend a great deal of time on the Strip, my budget would not allow it. I sought out neighborhood casinos and bars where I could afford the entertainment. So, the same with Fields Ave, let them charge what they want, they are the owners who take the risks. Why complain? Just let your feet take you elsewhere. I happen to like La Pasha, but instead of buying two or three drinks, I will only buy one, nurse the hell out of it and enjoy the atmosphere for an hour and then leave unless some of the ladies looked so good that I buy another drink and stay longer. But, I know I can afford only so much and keep to my budget. Now, if I was a tourist with only two weeks to stay here, believe me, my attitude would be different as well as my budget. One other thing to consider, those rental prices on Fields Ave are astronomical and getting higher every year. OH well, I know pricing will always be a subject of debate but the answer is survival and those Clubs that continue to get the business will survive, those that do not, of course, will not. Hopefully, Fields Ave will not go away, but for sure, over time the face of Fields Ave will change and owners will be required to adapt or fade away) UPDATE: Jorg, the owner of La Pasha called to inform me that his prices were not raised and remain at P95 and will stay that way until the cost of goods increases to a point where he has no choice. Thanks for calling Jorg, that is why I like the La Pasha group.
Harry, Talked to my son a few days ago . He will be visiting tomorrow . He made E8 two years ago . Nice . Served in Iraq for 18 months as a platoon Sergeant in a very hostile area . He was serving as a First Sergeant at Ft.Hood in a field unit. Good potential for E9 . But, then he told me he retired 6 months ago. 20 years, 3 months . I was sort of shocked . He said " Dad, I am not going to Afghanistan. I am not pushing my luck." He said many of his friends feel the same way . They have had enough war. Many are burned out . Marine Corps infantry , also. So he retired on 20 . He is using his GI bill now for school. But , he is getting 90% VA disability, also. I am greatful to God he survived and he is out . Anyway, maybe he and I can go to Fields ave and open a bar. Joe W. (Joe, instead of opening a bar on Fields Ave he would be better off in Afghanistan)
Harry I have noticed that many trikes now have the front passenger window either fully or partially obscured so the passenger cannot see what is going on up ahead and in the case of an impending accident at least try and prepare him/herself. Like several of my friends I now refuse to ride in one of these trikes. Ron G. (Maybe you are better off not seeing what is going on up ahead. Some trike drivers are frustrated Kamikaze drivers who scare the shit out of passengers. So, they cover the front window, dispense muscle relaxing pills and hope to avoid heart attacks. Even if you see what is coming you are so squeezed into the trike that rapid egress movement is impossible. Just relax, say 10 hail Mary's and hope you had a nice sexual experience prior to boarding the trike. At least then you can die with a smile on your face. Oh wait, I forgot. If you only get injured be advised that the accident will be your fault and as you lay in the street, your wallet, watch, rings, loose change and gold chain on your neck will be removed never to be seen again. Better make that 20 hail Mary's)
Harry, I am sitting here in your bar for my last few hours in paradise reflecting on my experience here.
THE GOOD NEWS:
Always, the staff at the La Casa are over the top in service, quality, and friendliness. The Blue Boar Inn/La Casa is home base on my visits here, I say that because everyone makes me feel at home. I also have to mention the lovely girls employed at your bar, I love them, and each and every one is special in her own way.
People sometimes mistake my carefree attitude as not paying attention, but I do. I have never been shorted one peso in your place and I have never "lost" anything at your place, in fact Monique scolds me for leaving the keys in the scooter and leaving belongings laying around.
Thi-Hi is still a great place to drink and be entertained by exciting, pretty, and helpful girls. Prices are reasonable even with the dollar exchange rate so low. Just as you do, I love Thi-Hi and I love the girls there.
I can still rent a scooter to get around for less then P300 a day, it keeps me away from the trikes, jeepneys and taxis. I don't even know who else rents other then NICE BIKE because the manager and staff there have given me no reason to ever look anywhere else.
There is a point on the road, somewhere around THE BRASS KNOB where you can go to most any bar and have a great time at reasonable prices, even if some attempt the "double" P300 drink.
I had no problems with "raids" or police "checkpoints". There were some soldiers who had a checkpoint but they simply checked my ID and let me go (as the Filipino drove by).
THE BAD NEWS:
You have mentioned before the big bars on Fields and the simply outrages costs to sit and have a drink or two. P95 at Dollhouse and P125 at Carousel, that's $2 or $3 a drink. If that was all there was here I would have no need to return. I can pay $3 a beer at any bar in the states.
For the first time I was shorted my change on a bill and it was at the Dollhouse. The actual cost and the shortage were so different in numbers I can only assume the waitress was correct when she said "cashier make mistake". (Dave, they do that a lot there)
Still plenty of beggers. I understand how difficult things are here and I sympathize with everyone who squeaks out a living here day after day. I continue to give candy to the kids that beg and watch the disappointed look on the parents face when they see the child has not gotten cash for them.
Business is booming and things are being built all around you, I am afraid this will cause the prices at the beloved Blue Bore Inn to increase. We will see.
The PPD (Post Philippines Depression) has hit me already as I wait for my departure to the DMIA in three more hours. Thank you so much for inviting me into what is your home, I don't play darts or pool, and we don't get a chance to talk much but lets face it, I did not come here to see Harry The Horse, as kind as he may be. Dave "Candyman" Williams. (Dave is from Kansas City. He works full time with the National Guard and absolutely loves Angeles City. He is a most welcome guest at my Stable and his kind words are appreciated).
First and Last Name: Nico
Comments and Remarks: interesting about airport woes. i am a fairly long time resident (6 years) and i normally cruise right through customs. this time the lady asked me 'why i visit so much' and 'you have family here?' i replied 'i love the country' - after 4 or 5 awkward min of questioning she asked where i stayed - i replied 'at my house' (i own a house here) and that was the WRONG THING TO SAY! she surely wanted to deny me entry, but i was one of the first 10 people through a very full flight - she told me she would let me through 'this one time only' but 'you can't travel here on a tourist visa if you are living here - next time we will not let you in' was pretty shocked, i've been doing the back to back visa for last 6 years with no issues. i'm 38 yo, white normal looking guy. is it illegal to the point of being refused entry if you live in the PI? (i have my ACR card and everything). thanks! Nico. (Good question Nico. This is the first time I have run into that problem. I would have answered the same way you did. I have to see if I can get an explanation on this one)
This is me about the house I was purchasing and so far I am out $53,000(USD) I paid toward a total of $84,000. I have recently contacted a lawyer in Angeles City. It started in January 2010 when I was here preparing to bring my girlfriend at that time to the USA. Walking through SM as always. several of the housing projects were handing out flyers. Just wanting to see what the houses looked like for future reference we looked at several places. I did as much research as possible on each one and always talked to people already living in each area. I was not interested in buying until I actually moved here but my wife kept insisting so it would be finished by the time we got here. Against my better judgement I did not listen. After much research and talking with people I selected Montenegro Estate on Fil-Am Friendship Hwy, Angeles City. It was owned by Krisworld Development Corporation which started building houses doing several joint adventures in Australia with other developers .In April 2007 they decided to build in the Philippines with the Montenegro Estates. Before getting into the housing development business they had started as Perfect Australian Wardrobes in 1984. My research showed the company was sound. I was intoducted to the man in charge and the developer of the estate by the name of Kris Krstic (Australian) and a Filipina I thought was his wife (later found out just his gf). My wife put down the 50,000 pesos (January 22, 2010 - have receipt) required to reserve the lot location. On February 10, 2010, I paid 1,182,134.20 pesos (have receipt) so construction could start. Kept in communication with Kris by several emails. He always replied. In March my wife and I came to visit to see how the house was going. Kris met with us and showed us how things were going. He took me around and introduced me to all the people living in the community at that time to include a few visits to his house. He took me to several stores and even worked discount deals in reference to purchasing aircons, furniture, appliances, etc. He was helpful in every way. I paid an additional $25,000 dollars in April 2010 with receipt. The monies were sent through my credit union through Bank of America to BDO SM Clark to Krisworld Development Corporation with a code number and swift code. Everything seemed to be going good until maybe September when I stopped receiving answers to my emails. I then received an email from a Mr. Estelito Soriano from Krisworld on December 28, 2010, that Kris was no longer with Krisworld since October 2010 (later found out he took off with the monies of the Angels City development) and that the corporation would no longer honor monies paid to Kris (the monies were sent to the corporation and not Kris). They said they liquidated the corporation and formed a new one. I later met with Mr. Soriano in March 2011 and he said since I paid so much that he would try to help me. Of course this did not happen. I am now deciding if the attorney here in the Philippines can help me recover some of the money or if it is a waste of time. The attorney feels I can win something in court but he is not sure how long this could take (as you know the court system here). I Just want to tell others to be careful, no matter how good the company is and where it is from. Robert (Bob) Russell USA
(Bob, I am not a lawyer but it sounds like the present new Corporation is not being helpful at all by not taking any responsibility for the illegal actions taken by Kris while representing the original Corporation. I cannot advise you on what to do but your warning to others is a good one. There are people out there, and they are not all Filipinos, waiting to take advantage of a foreigner. They are known as con-men. Angeles City has a few of them. For sure, I would be a bit apprehensive about dealing with anyone connected with Montenegro Estate or as you wrote, any other subdivision. One lesson for all is that one should be here in-country from the beginning to the end in any transaction dealing with purchasing real estate. In that way you can do more research and discover foul play much quicker if it takes place.)
This is a true story. I am still sort of laughing. Curtis had a room reservation at my stable but had to cancel for health reasons. After I acknowledged the cancellation he sent me this explanation:
"Red enamel spray-paint. I bought her two cans of the stuff and showed her how to use it (she never used spray-paint before)- she wanted to paint a couple of metal chairs we have. I "thought" she would do it in the garage with ventilation - instead she painted the things in our small second bedroom and filled her lungs and nasal passages with over-spray! P28k later - she is doing well at home, where I am trying to figure out how the hell I am going to get the over-spray off of every single thing in that bedroom...:-( You know you are married to a Filipina when:....:-)
I need to save my peso's again for awhile - I had to dip into my emergency healthcare/travel savings in the states for part of this - maybe first week of July - I'll let you know. Take care – Curtis" (Curtis, my sympathies and honestly, every time I read this I try not to laugh).
Last month I had a few regular readers of this column point out three mistakes I made. Man, I felt like I was getting a one, two, three punch out to the head. I remember two of them but forgot the third. The cancer story from John Hopkins was not true. It did not come from John Hopkins, in fact, the hospital is John Hopkin not Hopkins. But, I still stand by the recommendations listed there, just the source was wrong. The second one was about the Boeing 1,000 passenger jet. Not true. I keep trying to remind myself to check snopes and other sources on some of the stories sent to me and still screw up. But, my readers are quickly there to point out the errors to me and believe it or not, I appreciate the input. I hope that this month I have not made any errors. I know there was a third one but damn, can't find it again.
Charlie's - previously know as "the Screaming Eagle" has undergone a $100,000 refurbishment under the supervision of new owners, one English (Andrew) and one Aussie. Andy told me it would be open by 25 May. They will be open for breakfast at 0830. What surprised me is that he told me there would be 5 chefs on duty and now I have to try and figure out my notes which I planned to get more details in a second interview but never saw Andy again. Let me see, so something about Comis chefs, whatever that is, 2 Sous chefs, whatever that is, one chef named William that was with Margarita Station and 8 years with Holiday Inn, a consultant executive chef from from Yats Wine Club 2 times a week or something like that. Now, some time this month I will get on over to Charlies and get all my information straightened out and take some pictures. Hours are from 10 to midnight except for the bar upstairs which will be open until 0100 hrs. Andy, if I have screwed up this write-up please forgive me. I just wanted to let everyone know that by now you should be up and running and that your place will be a winner. I look forward to seeing the upstairs area where you told me you plan to have some live music, maybe some darts, and well, a fun place. My goodness, with all the chefs on board, I expect some very interesting menu items. OK, enough for now, I will be dropping by for updates very soon. (My goodness, is this the worse write-up I ever did? Maybe I should have just said, "Charlie's is open, check it out as the advance word to me is that it will be a great place to eat and play. Details later". Shit, I like that better, please disregard everything I wrote before that. Update: Stopped by on 31 May, Upstairs far open for business. Still working on the downstairs, Grand Opening on 4 Jun, 7 PM.
Subject: Re: Hello Brendan.....
Brendan's reply to Jack: I'm glad to hear your experience was a pleasant one, Jack.
Brendan Gill, HM Consul, British Embassy Manila | tel: 00632 858 2222 | ftn: 8411 2222 | fax: 00632 858 2342 | e-mail: [email protected]
LA PASHA -
I received a call from Jorg, the owner of La Pasha and he informed me that the prices at his clubs remain at P95 for local drinks. I printed a report from a reader of this column who commented that the prices at La Pasha had been raised. Jorg wants everyone to know that this is not true.
I am more than happy to report this as Jorg runs a great group of Clubs and is one of the good guys in town. By the way, I did not know that six months ago he added a new baby to his family. It's a bit late Jorg, but congrats!
A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines. United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a flight. Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar. During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for youtube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded: "Good luck with that one, pal."
So he posted a retaliatory video on youtube. The video has since received over 6 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was: "Good luck with that one, pal."
Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has led to a sharp increase in orders. Here's the video, and it's GREAT! A Must Watch; http://www.youtube.com/watch_
(I really liked the video. It is great to see someone get back at some of these “screw the customer” airline companies. Well done Dave!) Update: It was reported that Spirit finally did refund the money to the Vet but only after so much bad publicity, and done grudgingly. By the way this is what I mean by how Spirit and other airlines squeeze their customers to death:
The "S" in Spirit means: "S"uck you dry!! Check out Spiritless Airlines' baggage policy for carry-on luggage, a fee between $20.00 and $35.00. (There's also a fee for check-in luggage). The dumb and dumbers running this airlines will also publish an airfare about $10.00 lower than competing airlines - just to "suck" you in...oops, there's that word again. Spiritless Airlines - Sucking you Dry, so we can Fly"
After hating to drive to the Angeles University Foundation Hospital (AUF) because of lack of parking for so many years I was overjoyed to find that they finally built a parking garage behind the hospital. OK, I know this is not the biggest news to report but damn, if you knew what it was like before you would really appreciate it. The Angeles family built on every square inch of land around that area disregarding parking requirements. So, better late than never. Now, if I get sick and end up in AUF, which I hope never happens again, drive on down and see me. I might even pay the parking fee, oh yes, nothing is free at AUF.
I missed a golden opportunity! This little story has a bit of drama, comedy and a lesson that when opportunity knocks, go for it right away and a bit of the early bird catches the worm. It all started when the infamous Wesley Prentice sent out an Email in which he asked that it be circulated to all hotels in Angeles and Subic. It contained a list 12 different items available for sale at hard to believe low prices. Man, it had a 450 KVA generator, Air-Cons, mini-refs, bed boxes and mattresses, tables, jacuzzis, kitchen equipment, computers, telephone hand sets and a washing machine, dryer. The message was sent out on 4 May and the instructions said "The following items are for sale, please contactd Mr. Ross Addy, Dreamland Resort, before Monday, May 7th 2012, cell number 09493282511.
The prices were so reasonable that I wanted to grab 20 or 30 thousand pesos and drive to Subic the next morning, with the Mrs of course. I wanted around 3 of those mini-refs and a couple of air-cons. But, Sat came, slept late, never got motivated but kept thinking I was making a mistake by not going. Early that evening I went to the Hang-out and that is when I learned all those lessons. Two lads were there relating the story of their shopping trip to the Dreamland Resort. They waited until the afternoon to get there but they were prepared with trucks and cash. They loaded up beds, mattresses, air-cons, mini-refs (would you believe they still had stock in them), washing machine and dryer. While they were there, other folks had come earlier, loaded up and left the compound. Just as Dave and Chris were about to leave, after paying and receipt in hand there suddenly appeared a Chinese character who was all excited and upset. He immediately padlocked the gate and went to our, now, puzzled buyers, demanding they unload their truck and that they could not leave the compound until the police arrived. Now we had a Mexican standoff, or should I say, Chinese Standoff. This guy was so upset that our friends thought he would pull out a Ninja sword and start whacking them. They told him that he could not hold them there. They were legal, paid cash, had a receipt. Needless that did not work. They finally had to unload the truck, get their money back and continue arguing. This guy refused to open the gate until the police arrived. Dave and Chris accused him of hostage taking and insisted on leaving the compound. Finally the China man reluctantly opened the gate and two very disappointed ex-pats returned to Angeles with empty trucks. What really hurt is that if they had arrived their one or two hours earlier, they would have been home with what has to be the bargain of the year for shopping. The mystery is, what the hell was going on? Where was Wes Prentice? Who was this Chinese character? If Dave and Chris had been "early birds" they would have met with success. The drama was the one man hostage taker. The comedy was his antics and Dave and Chris unloading the trucks. And the biggest lesson was my opportunity missed by not getting off my ass to get there in the early AM as I had planned. I wonder if someone can tell me what the deal was with this Dreamland Resort fiasco.
I wrote to Mo, the very knowledgeable, long time Club owner in Angeles City and now Barrio Barretto to ask if he could shed some light on this latest Wes Prentice action. His reply follows:
Like his schemes here (Vegas and the non-existent Dreamland Resort project on Clark) and Arizona and finally Dreamland in Subic, Wes sells, in essence, promises of huge returns. As an incentive, stockholders get to use the hotel for a number of nights based upon their holdings. They also received discounts on food and beverages.
When he finally bails, the share holders are usually left holding the bag (empty bag). In the Arizona case, the shareholders 'loaned' the corporation considerable amounts of money at something like 6% interest. When it was sold, Wes used part of the proceeds to repay the loans (no interest) and the remainder to develop the Dreamland project. One shareholder held out for the interest, and Wes basically told him to pack salt, and take him to court promising 'I will tie it up for years, and you won't get anything'. The sale of the Arizona International Hotel, Inc. included a clause that the corporation was free and clear of any debt. When the new owner asked Wes for restitution, Wes gave him the same response. The new owner's a stand-up guy, and paid the shareholder and took Wes to court.
Wes enticed a top manager to invest in the bar and restaurant. They had a contract that stated that should Wes wish to terminate the relationship, he'd pay the guy something like $60,000. The relationship ended, and Wes, as always, reneged on that deal as well. That was about 2 years ago.
I don't know exactly what happened, but Wes returned to Australia. Supposedly, there was a clause in the lease that precluded foreclosure based upon nonpayment of rent, and the arrears rumors are between P2M and P6M. It's probably someplace in-between.
Wes got scared and headed back to Australia. I'm not sure how long ago it was, but he turned the management over to locals who promptly ran it like locals. The restaurant started serving local quality food, the rooms were left to deteriorate and business slowly, but surely, suffered. The only thing it had going was a magnificent pool area and dirt cheap rooms.
When I heard about the sale, I contacted someone in the know about the possibility of taking over the operation. He came back with a strong warning not to touch it. Bankruptcy is imminent (probably this week), and the owner of the land is going to tie the place up for awhile. The employees had not been paid for a prolonged period and were allowed to remove hotel property as payment in kind.
Harry, there are probably some holes in this and probably some errors, but the gist of the story is correct. All-in-all another scam perpetrated by a consummate scam artist. To elaborate a bit further, 4 or 5 years ago, Wes ran an ad in Blue Book advertising 50% share and total control of the planned commercial plaza for something like $600K. A friend of mine in the States saw the ad and asked Wes for more details. Wes provided business plans, drawings, permits, etc. Everything was in perfect order. My friend emailed Wes and told him he'd like him to make the presentation to me. Wes came up. We talked for a couple of hours. Everything was perfect - too perfect. When I started asking about the 'total control' aspect, it became clear that it was nothing of the sort. There were all sorts of restrictions and permissions needed including a significant percentage of the rents charged for any commercial undertakings. I relayed this to Wes and my friend. The negotiations stopped. Wes sent him an unbelievably rude email calling him a "stupid fucker" for 'taking the advice of a simple bar owner'. Needless to say, Wes and I have not gotten along well since then.
I'll do a little more digging, but my guess is the Chinese person is the landlord, and it's also my understanding that it's illegal to sell assets when there's financial disputes. It was mentioned by someone in the know that "It is 100% sure Wes will never return to the Philippines"
Easter in the Philippines: That is not a picture of a dead man, it is just another one of the many flagellants that can be seen walking the streets beating their backs bloody just before Easter Sunday. In this case they came in front of a chapel in a local barangay, San Nicholas, AC and lay flat on the ground as penance while others continue to beat and lightly kick them. Others carry heavy crosses and meanwhile one has to put up with the 24 hour, very annoying, singing of the story of Jesus, called the Passion. This singing or chanting starts on Holy Monday until Good Friday. I find it to be extremely annoying because they have to use loud speakers without any consideration to people who have to get up for work or want a good nights sleep. Before it used to be done only in chapels but now they set up temporary booths in various parts of the neighborhoods making it more difficult to get away from the sound. But, it is once a year, for one week and one learns to live with it. Easter is taken very seriously here but even some priests do not support the carrying of the heavy crosses and beating bare backs into a bloody mess since far too many of those participating will return to their sinful ways the day after Easter. The rituals are to be respected, along with the participants, and when I witness the bloody backs, watch the long walks with heavy crosses and see those who on Easter Sunday tie themselves to crosses or even some who allow their hands to be nailed, I am more than satisfied to be an on-looker and just say a few Hail Mary's for my penance, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. No doubt, if there is a heaven, I suspect the Filipinos will be well in front of any line that I might be on waiting for entry into that gate. Next year I will recite more Hail Mary's, eh, OK, without air-conditioning.
Mark Dizon Update: I was able to attend his hearing last month at courtroom 58, now located at the newly renovated Dept of Justice Building in the City Hall compound. Once again I was not all that impressed with the Prosecutors presentations and even the judge made instructions that there was too much duplication in presenting witnesses to confirm what has been presented by previous witnesses. He instructed them to get on to new ground and to speed up the process so the case does not drag on indefinitely. Dizon was in court and his appearance was the same. It looks like he gained a bit of weight and still seemed not to be bothered by events. He was able to chat with some court officials and even have a joke or two. I look forward to his next appearance in June and hope that the prosecutors heed the advice of the judge.
Three weeks after I wrote the above update on Dizon I was pleased to see an update published by Punto newspaper with reporting and picture by Ding Cervantes. I know Ding and am glad to see this article as theirs is the only newspaper that has written any update on this alleged murderer. I must agree, that justice here is very, very slow but at least it is not dead. I like the no nonsense judge.
2 years after serial murders, jailed suspect waits for verdict - By Ding Cervantes May 24, 2012, Source: Punto
ANGELES CITY– Almost two years now since the serial murders of nine persons here, suspect Mark Dizon has remained in jail still in wait for any verdict in the several criminal cases filed against him before the salas of three regional trial courts (RTC) in this city. Sources from RTC Branch 58, who asked not to be named as they had no permission from Judge Philip Iturralde, said that government prosecutors still had to present 10 more witnesses against Dizon in the case of victims retired US Air Force MSgt. Albert Mitchell, 70, and his wife Janet and their househelps Isabel Fajardo, Marissa Prado and Yulberto Catli who died from gunshot wounds in their home in Hensonville Court Subdivision in Barangay Malabanias on July 22, 2010.
Dizon in the Mitchell case is accused of the “intent to kill willfully, treacherously, feloniously and with evident pre-meditation” five of his victims.
The RTC sources noted, however, that several prosecution witnesses have already been presented, including Czarina Mitchell, the surviving daughter of the Mitchell couple, who had at one time been the girlfriend of the suspect. Czarina was in the US when her parents were killed.
Dizon, who was 28 when he allegedly committed the crimes, faces five counts of murder, one count of carjacking and three counts of robbery in the Mitchell case.
RTC personnel said Dizon is also facing similar charges in other RTC branches in connection with the murders of South African national Geoffrey Allan Bennun, 60, and his live-in partner, Abegail Helina, 20, whose decomposing bodies were found inside their house at Oasis Hotel and Villas in Clarkville Compound in Barangay Anunas here on July 12 in the same year.
He is also facing charges before another RTC branch in regard to the killing of Briton James Bolton Porter, 51, and his live-in partner, Melissa Madarang, 22, in their house at 4-11A Nicolas street in Sta. Maria Subdivision in Barangay Balibago a few days later on July 16.
The RTC sources said Dizon is being represented by lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office. Several attempts to interview his lawyers failed, as they were always out on official missions.
Dizon, who had worked as computer technician for his victims, had denied all the charges against him.
The David Balmer murder: Not much progress here. The suspects are out of country and there has been no further progress on obtaining an order of extradition for the suspects. This does not mean that nothing is being done it is just that It is a slow process and with David's family being out of country it makes it more difficult. Eventually it will happen, least wise we hope so. No one should forget this horrible murder of such a wonderful couple who were very much in love.
I attended a meeting last month at the City Hall Conference room in which Dennis Pamintuan, Alex Cauguiran and Jesus Eres. Also in attendance were PEACE representatives led by Balibago Barangay Captain Tony Mamac. Alex Caugriran is the Chief of Staff for the Mayor. During this meeting Alex stated that "if it was up to him, all the bars on Fields Ave would be closed within one year". He was dead serious as he spoke quite emotionally about it. But, he did add that he was not the Mayor so this would not happen. He did add that the policy on bars that are closed as a result of illegal practices, i.e., Coyote Ugly, would not be allowed to reopen as a bar, even with a new name or new management. They could open as a restaurant, hotel or some other type business, but not a bar. No doubt there are other government officials out there that must feel the same way as Alex. It will be interesting to see how this train of thought plays out over the next five to ten years.
On 22 May, another meeting was called for by Jesus Eres, the Executive Director of the newly formed Angeles City Entertainment Promotion office (ACEPO). This is an office formed by the Mayor with the mission of working towards reforming the image of the entertainment industry along Fields Ave, Don Juico Avenue and Friendship Ave through the implementation of programs aimed at maintaining and sustaining peace, security, cleanliness and orderliness within these areas. The ACEPO office will be located in a building alongside the Station Four Police Station and manned 24/7. An overview of specific plans was presented by Alex Cauguiran by a slide presentation. Artists renditions were shown of the future look of Fields Ave and the Korean area at Friendship. He announced that the Philippine government has allocated funds for the widening of the Friendship road to four lanes, all the way to San Fernando. There are plans to make Fields Ave a true walking street in which from 4 PM to 4 AM no public or private transport will be allowed (how many times have we heard this before?). There are plans to build a Sun Dial at the park with an underground museum and a skateboard park. Additionally, the traffic circle will be transformed into a fountain and enlarged to improve the traffic flow. On cleanliness, street sweepers will be employed and a regular schedule of cleaning will be established. Solid Waste Management will be enforced whereby garbage will be separated for pick-up. This will be a cooperative effort between the Government and the stakeholders. On Fields, after 11 PM minors, 17 and below, will not be allowed. There are more details but the overall objective is to make Angeles City a world class entertainment district where tourists and regular citizens can visit and feel safe at all times. Alex admits that this is not an easy task, but his motto is "dream big and think big". The question is, will it be a dream come true?
Sometimes trying to be helpful can back fire on you. It was midnight, location, near Norma's Money Changer on Teodoro Street. Some Filipinos beating up on a girl, a foreigner goes to help her, the Filipinos turn on him and beat him up and leave him laying in the street. He ends up with a broken collar bone. Was he right to help or was he being foolish? Good intentions, bad result. My advice, next time turn around and go home a different way or just call the police and stay out of it.
This one is a switch. In front of La Pasha one late night. Two foreigners fighting each other in front of the bar. A Filipino tried to break it up, the foreigners turned on him and starting hitting him. Bad move, Tricycle drivers and vendors in the area got involved, result, two foreigners down for the count. I hope the two idiots were not fighting over a girl!
Over the years I have read a few books written by Ex-pats about Angeles City or various wars they have participated in. Some are good, others were not worth reading after one chapter. But, recently Scott Grant, who reads this column and sends me well written opinions and suggestions, mailed me three books that he authored and are available on Amazon.com. He asked that I read them in order as they are all connected to one main character. I did not start reading them right away as I had a couple of paperback books to finish first. But, once I started the first one, "East of Egypt" I was hooked. That meant every time I took one of my long extended dumps and before sleeping at night I read the book. Man, it was great, full of action, twists and turns and informative details. Even Angeles City was mentioned. It was good enough that I even started reading it during TV commercials, then biggest compliment of all, it took me away from my computer and this column. For me, it "movie" material. Now, I am on the second book, "Year of the Rat" and hate to put it down. But then, I know that the third book, "The Lebensborn Experiment" is waiting for me. My fictional hero for a long time has been "Jack Reacher" but now "David Anderson" is up there with Jack. As I mentioned, I do get to communicate with Scott and he told me he, along with his family will be returning to the Philippines on 28 Aug and for the first time I will meet a book author and be able to get him to autograph the three books for me. By the way, he has two more books in the planning stage already, so get on board now before you have too many books to catch up on. This is part of the message he wrote to me recently.
"I appreciate that you like my work well enough to publish a thread on your blog about me. I think ex-pats are the perfect audience as I am an ex-pat myself. If you mention my books in your blog/newsletter please tell the guys that if they are interested they can go to Amazon.com/books and type in the book title and Scott Grant and they will be taken to the book straight away."
"I forgot to mention I have a blog at http://actionthrillers.net would you ad that link in your column?"
Would you believe that another Ex-pat living and working here in Angeles City, upon returning from a trip to Hong Kong found out that he was blacklisted by Immigration and was not allowed to leave the terminal. They told him that he would have to wait for a return flight to Hong Kong the next morning. Fortunately, this person knew enough influential people that he was able to exit the terminal late that night and the next day went to Manila to meet with Immigration officials there. Why was he blacklisted? He made the mistake of, three weeks earlier, questioning Immigration officials as to why they refused to allow his girlfriend to travel with him to Hong Kong. Apparently, they hate to be questioned and interpret anyone doing so as being rude and deserving of being blacklisted. Naturally, they do not tell the traveler this, one only finds out if he tries to extend his visa or on returning to the PI after a trip out of the country.
I attended a meeting last month called by the Regional III Dept of Tourism Director, Ronnie Tiotuico in which members of the Travel Agent Agencies, Hotel organization (HARP) and private individuals were invited to meet with Attorney Carlos Capulong, Head Immigration Officer at the DMIA to discuss the policies at the DMIA regarding the treatment of Filipinas trying to leave the country on Tourist Visas and denied boarding based on the fact that they were traveling with foreigners or going to meet a companion for a vacation. Would you believe that one lady was denied boarding because the Immigration official told her that "I can tell by your face that you are a prostitute". This lady was a 26 year old secretary employed in Manila. Anyway, at the very last minute Attorney Capulong cancelled his appearance due to other commitments but did send his representative, DMIA Immigration Supervisor Samer Balindong. Mr. Balindong was kind enough to patiently listen to complaints, at times not presented as politely as they could have been and provided explanations as best he could. From what I gathered I can only recommend that, especially foreigners, do not question Immigration policies at the airport. At all times, be respectful, keep a smile on your face and be humble. Sometimes that is hard to do but Filipinos are extremely sensitive especially those in authority. When questioning an agent, try to make sure he or she does not get the impression that you are being rude or arrogant. These agents deal with a lot of people during their duty day and you have no idea who might have pissed them off before you. Agent Balindong indicated that it was not a good idea to question the agents on policy decisions. He also indicated that he supports his agents 100% and will not second guess them on decisions made or how actions are taken. He recognizes the difficult task they have and supports his team. So, do not raise your voice, do not curse, try to remain respectful, even if the person you are dealing with is not doing so. Remember one thing, these agents might tolerate a lot from a fellow Filipino, but a lot less so with a foreigner. A bit of Nationalism comes into play here. I have lived here thirty years and sometimes I forget my own advice but am quickly reminded of it by Filipino friends. I will leave Immigration issues to those officials who can work the problem at the levels where solutions can be found and implemented. Eventually, things will be sorted out, proper uniform procedures will be developed and all we can do at the ground level is to continue to provide examples of airport problems encountered and then we can forward them to those folks who are working at higher levels. Does that make any sense? Bottom line - Don't mess with the Immigration agents at the airports. Hell, you better not do that even when entering the US. They don't get mad, they get even!
From Jimmy Waldon: An outstanding website for US Vets. Maybe you can get it out to folks. http://www.theveteransvoice.
Super darters visit the Blue Boar Inn (My Stable) from Korea to enjoy a bit of Fields Ave but also a lot of darts. In fact during the two weeks they were here each afternoon saw them throwing the arrows for a couple of hours of practice. Greg Relihan is stationed at Camp Humphries in Pyeongtaek, Korea and Frank Rabuck, is stationed at Osan, Korea. They play a lot of league darts in Korea so they are at the top of their games. The third player in the picture, in the background is John Marszal, an outstanding dart player from Australia who used to live in Angeles City but has moved to Barrio Barretto where he dominates dart play there, when J T is not in town.
Last month I wrote about the Gasthouse and promised that Mrs. Horse and I would return to check out the specialty, baby-back ribs. We kept our promise and Priscilla absolutely loved the ribs. It was better than expected and there was so much, delicious tender meat on the bones that Priscilla could not finish them, even after sharing some with our son and me. I had the Goulash and that was a good meal as well.
Douglas (Dougie) Frost, owner of Hang-out. I wrote about his accident and hospital treatments last month. I am sad to say that this poor guy has been through hell since then. He has been in and out of the hospital numerous times and had operations on his arm and hip and then had to go back in to clear up infections and repeat operations to correct some mistakes by doctors. Every time I stop by the Hang-out to look for him I am told by Mac, "oh, we just took him back to hospital this morning". I sure hope that this month of June will see his bones finally healing properly and no repeat admissions to the hospital. It was a miracle that he survived the car accident but man, complete recovery is slow coming. Regretfully, some of his sufferings were caused by doctor errors.
Angeles Sports & Country Club, Zeppelin St Hensonville
FOR RENT AVAILABLE JUNE 1 2012
On the most secure & best location in Angeles City
1 only, 2 bed luxury fully furnished apartment. Overlooking the International Lawn Bowling Greens. To include free use and Membership of all Club facilities including a 25 metre pool with a swim up covered bar and an adjoining kiddies swimming pool both with food service,and a large sunbathing area.
A challenging Par 3 Golf Course and Driving Range, Lawn bowling Greens, Petanque Courts, a kiddies play area, a restaurant, plus 2 additional Family friendly Bars.
Close to all the facilities and services Angeles offers yet remains an Oasis, a real hidden gem. A one off.
For further details tel: +63 922 839 5660 Ainie English / Tagalag. OWNERS LIVE ON SITE Tel +63 999 652 6214 John English.
15 June, 1PM - The Wild Orchid 2nd Annual Miss Pinatubo 2012 Bikini Contest & Pool Party. Proceeds will go to the Duyan ni Maria Orphanage. Folks, this is a fun event and the judging is done by audience participation in the form of bead voting. I watched this last year and the voting was interesting. One lady had a boyfriend with plenty of pesos to spend and he bought one hell of a lot of those beads to put on his favorite lady. Fortunately she was not bad looking. She did win!
4 June - Grand Opening of "Charlie's On the Bend" 7 PM.
7, 8 9 June - American Legion Convention. A dinner will be held at the "White House" on 9 Jun, 6 PM. Contact Joe Carsley for details at 889-5767 or 0908-697-4680.
15 Jun - New Infinity Bar grand opening - Well fella’s a few changes in store.
Firstly, we will be taking possession of the old Dirty Duck location sometime next week. After some clean-up, a little fresh paint and some minor tweaks here and there, we will reopen as Infinity Bar, except this time located in the HEART of Fields Ave! Our targeted opening date is June 15th. The current Infinity Bar will remain open until June 12th. We plan to host ANOTHER grand opening party (just another reason to call a party!) on the weekend of the 15th. Our prices will remain the same throughout the summer. (HH 60p local / 125p Ld’s – 75p local / 140p LD’s). Johno
26 June, the one and only duo of Howard McKay and Doggie will be returning for another exciting standing room only appearance at the La Casa Pension/Blue Boar Inn. Free admittance to a fun filled night of song and comedy provided by two talented lads. Additionally, surprised appearances by some of the customers is a special treat.
A VERY SPECIAL COUPLE
From 1958 to 1962 I was stationed in England, in fact, Denham Studios first then moved to South Ruislip when when the Air Force decided to give up Denham. My wife and I lived on top of a garage in Hillingdon. I ran with the Hayes and Harlingdon Athletic club and also did a lot of road riding. Needless to say I have a lot of pleasant memories of that time especially of my first wife, Lilian Finch, from Iver Heath. So, when my fellow dart player, Frazer Gas told me that his parents were here for a visit I bugged him to death to please bring them to my "stable" so I can chat with them. Finally, on the afternoon prior to their night time departure he complied with my request. His dad, Alan is 79 years of age and wife Eleanor is 85. Both are still very much in love and Eleanor still has the good looks that attracted Alan at a dance hall many years ago. Naturally, they are both retired but they told me about their adventures of hiking in many different countries when they were younger. I was flabbergasted to learn that, alone, the hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up, taking around 16 hours to do so. A guide had told them they could not do that, especially on their own. They proved him wrong. Amazing! It is seldom that I get to talk to visitors from England that are old enough to remember the old radio and TV shows from the time I was there. Can you believe that Frazer did not know who Harry Secombe was! He did not know about the Goon show either, and horror of horrors, did not know about the "Pearlies".
Naturally, I served tea to this distinguished couple and wished we had more time together. I do not know what they thought of this old "Horse" from New York but I hope I was a good host for our short visit. Oh, Alan is quite proud of his garden in Chesterfield Derabyshire and promised to send me some pictures. Frazer, their son, is working here in Angeles City with the "Kandi Realty" company promoting and selling some very stylish/affordable apartments in town. I guess I am going on a bit too much here but can't help myself, I shall forever remember meeting Alan and Eleanor and helping me to return to a time of wonderful, wonderful memories. By the way, they never heard of "Harry the Horse".
REALM OF MAGIC BILLIARD HALL
Do you remember the short lived "CourtYard, the brainchild of Mr. Delfin Lee whose dream was short circuited when he ran into legal problems with his various housing projects? I certainly do as I interviewed Mr. Lee and also did a couple of photo shoots there. I liked the place, it was a good idea, until the band started playing at night and you could not hear yourself talk or enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries there. Many stall owners were unhappy from the first day of operation because of harsh management rules, so, with time, the inevitable happened, it closed down. I was a bit sad because it should have worked but not to worry, along came the brothers from Saver's Mall with the big bucks and the management experience. The building has been transformed and it is great to see the new Fortune Hong Kong restaurant on the ground floor but I was surprised when I took the escalator to the second floor and saw this great looking Billiard Hall with with a Bingo room as well. I certainly did not expect to see the great Efren Reyes, the pool player who is the pride of the Philippines. Oh, I have seen him before, even had him autograph my pool stick one time, which I lost at the old Powder Keg a year later. But to see him so unexpectedly was a special treat. He was playing some foreigner in some sort of challenge match. Needless to say, Ped, the manager of the Fortune Hong Kong Restaurant along with my ugly kisser disturbed Efren long enough to get a picture. Stop by and check out this place, it is a lot more impressive than the pool halls I was not allowed to hang out in when I was a kid.
TOURISTS OF THE MONTH
This month I have to do a bit of catch up, hence two pictures featuring four great guys. The first picture with me in the middle has me in the company of Bob Bouroughs with the Navy Seebees. He is working with the Veterans's Museum in Redding CA and is a Senior Chief, Naval Reserve. His partner is Mike Coffey, Retired Air Force, working with the California Dept of Veterans Affairs at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery. He is married to a Filipina. I do believe I should stay out of the pictures, I appear to be shrinking.
The second picture features two lads who are working in Singapore, Buddy Shelton(w/beer) from Texas and Art Warren, Tucson Arizona, both are retired Air Force veterans. Both These two guys had a lot of stories about their experiences with living in Singapore and staying out of trouble. It appears that life is better well regulated in Singapore and that it is a very strict country in enforcing its laws and regulations. We had a bit of a hot sauce story here. Buddy was carrying a bottle of Singapore hot sauce to me but when he got out of the tricycle he left it behind and now some Filipino tricycle driver is enjoying some decent hot sauce on his rice.
NEW NAMES SAME ACTION
Previously known as Club Rio and Nifty's we now have a much cleaner exterior look to these two very popular clubs and a new name, the Exenum Night Bar Club. I don't know why they put the word "night" in there as they are opened in the afternoon as well as night. They did a nice job on the frontage and the newly paved road (Thanks to John and Dave of the Boomerang Hotel) really helps with the image. In the front, next to Garfields but still connected to the Exenum (same owner) is the "Banana Peel Knight Bar". What is it with this play on words "Knight and Night"? For us old timers who have been happy customers of the old names we are glad to know that some things just do not change, thank goodness.
I WOULD IF I COULD
It was a magic moment for me at the "Miss Magic Club" one afternoon last month. I was engaged in conversation with owner Leah and her special man, Loren (From Canada) when at the end of our serious talk I relaxed and looked up at the dancers on stage. Suddenly I got the bright idea, why not take the time to look for my "I would if I could" lady while I was sitting there. My eye immediately fell on a tall lady in the line-up that from a distance, appeared to be a good choice. I must admit that my eyes are not all that great at long distance viewing but never-the-less, I asked the boss if she could talk to her to see if she was willing to be
photographed. The answer was yes, and when she arrived at my table I was pleased to know that my eyes had not let me down. Her name is Maryann, 19 years old, from Talisay City, Cebu. This is her first job and has been dancing for six months. She only has a sixth grade education but has an excellent knowledge of English and can carry on a conversation in such a way that you do not want to leave her. There is something special about this young lady. She is an only child and this is very unusual, in fact, in all the years I have been writing this column this is the first time I interviewed a lady who did not have any brothers or sisters. I told her this and she explained that her parents separated not too long after her birth. She was raised by her grandmother. I asked her what she wanted in her future and right away she said she wanted to find her mother and connect with her. She was very serious about this. We talked about other things important to her but her desire to find a mother stayed with me and I can only hope that someday, her wish will come true. Maybe that special guy will come along to help Maryann in her search and also will provide her with a decent life. If you want to communicate with Maryann Email her at: [email protected]
THE MELBOURNE DOGHOUSE BOYS
Fourteen Doghouse members from Melbourne made their annual trip to Angeles City last month and stopped in to say hello to the "Horse". Their membership has increased since last year but not all were available for the picture. I was particularly happy to greet cancer survivor Barry Salisbury who did not make it last year because of his cancer treatments. Two members, John Wallace and Peter Summers were making their first trip to AC. This has to be one of the most fun clubs to be a member of and I certainly recommend that more lads from Melbourne look into joining up. These guys never grow old and certainly have fun together. Naturally I was only one of many of the Clubs that are on their barhopping list. After my place I know they were heading to Honey-Ko's and Thi-Hi. I wanted to join them but had too much office work to accomplish. The truth be known, I just can't keep up with these "youngsters". A few of them had stopped off in Cambodia before coming here and they had some high praise for their stay in Phnom Penh. They stayed in the NagaWorld Hotel and Casino for $60 a day, including breakfast. They reported that there is a lot to see there and when they visited the jail and the killing Fields it was an emotional experience.
AN IRISH WAKE FOR STEVE
Words of remembrance from Dave Fisher:
Early in the morning of May 6th, Angeles City lost a good guy. Steven James (Steve) Healey succumbed to a massive heart attack while sleeping. It Is only befitting that, he died peacefully next to his beloved wife Claire. He leaves Claire, his daughter Stephanie and son Joseph.
Steve came to the Philippines shortly after Mt.Pinatubo. He settled in Barrio Barretto which, at that time, was getting ready for the departure of the U.S. Navy. He started a small Jet Ski rental and a very cool bar by the name of Hooters (yep, the same name and logo as the chain). After Mayor Dick Gordon left office and his wife assumed the Mayoralty, she decided to close all the bars in Olongapo and Barrio Barretto. There was a brief struggle, but, of course, her wishes prevailed. That act coupled with the withdrawal of Forces, spelled doom for the majority of bars in town. Steve’s was one of them. He had a strong and varied background from his time in the Coast Guard in construction and management and was quickly hired by several different firms looking for Western management and skills. This coupled with his professional work ethic made him a valuable asset to all of his employers.
In 1998, we were in an expansion mode. We had our 2nd bar, Lollipop. It was located where Swiss Chalet now operates. Our GM, Dennis ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, also a long time Barrio Barretto resident, mentioned he had a friend who had bar management experience and might want some part time work. Steve came over and we chatted for a while and thus began our 14+ year relationship. Steve filled in for Kel Gallagher a couple of days a week and continued in that role for several months. Kel went on to other things, and we invited Steve to take over. He accepted, and, as many will remember, turned Lollipop into one of the best bars in town. He faced all sorts of challenges – including a far less than perfect location. He brought a style and verve to the bar that all A.C. veterans will remember.
As we grew, it became clear that we needed someone to handle the overall management of the bar operations. Steve was, of course, the perfect candidate. He was liked, and more importantly, respected by the entire staff from the houseboys to the mamasans to the foreign managers. He was fair, balanced and honest. He treated them with respect and dignity. He had that rare quality of being able to listen to their issues and problems and was able to say ‘no’ without hurting feelings. He took the time to make sure they understood what he expected. He helped them achieve their goals, offered guidance and wise council when they had problems.
Steve was working part time at Morrison Aircraft handling the shipping department. As that company grew, the demands on Steve’s time forced him to make the decision to transfer full time. He was with Hank for a few years, but never really left us. He was always ready and willing to lend a hand, listen to problems and offer helpful solutions. His first love, though, was the bar business. He was a social person, and, of course, enjoyed the lifestyle bars can offer. After a hiatus of a couple of years rejoined us. By that time, Dennis Kelly (another Barretto transplant and current GM of the Paradise Complex) had taken our reins, and he and Steve continued running the operation until we sold in 2008.
Steve stayed with the MacGroup for a couple of years. When he left, he worked his magic at several places including Body Shop and eventually, the construction of Valhalla. Steve was never far away. As we developed the need for additional foreign support inSubic, we asked him to join us. Steve was with us for a year – commuting a couple of times a week back to his family in AC. During the year he worked closely with JoJo Keene handling the operations side of the business. We had just purchased the DrydenBuilding, and Steve oversaw the complete reconstruction of our kitchen and the renovation of our open air restaurant into what’s now Lips. He and Joe worked closely together managing the bars as well. Lots of hours and lots of fun. They were a perfect team.
On a personal note; Steve (and Joe) brought a balance into my life. He was one of those rare individuals who was not afraid to tell the boss ‘you’re wrong, and here’s why’. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but both did it well. After his stint with us, Steve returned to Angeles City where, for the past 2 and a half years, he was running the all night shift at the Wild Orchid. Like his experiences with us, he was well liked and respected by his colleagues at the hotel.
In what might be the most telling thing about Steve, in all of the years we’ve known each other and of all the people who knew him as a colleague, competitor and friend, I have never heard one ill word spoken about him. As a further testament to the high esteem he earned, his Irish Wake was a Who’s – Who of the Angeles City community. The speeches were short, but from the heart. I received an email that I’d like to share:
I am at a loss for words. Steve indeed was not only a good man but a good person and friend.
Makes me feel even more how lucky I was to have mine while I was awake and know what was happening so I could get to the hospital in time.
I hope Claire and the little one will be ok. Please give her my condolences.
I still remember when I 1st opened Roadhouse in AC and Steve and his former partner would come from Subic to have a drink or 3 with me. I’m sure everyone will miss him.
Personally, I will miss one of the closest friends I’ve ever had. I’m sure Steve’s in Harley Heaven looking down at us and, with that wry smile, joining us in spirit if not the flesh.
Some things you learn from these events; First is how poorly equipped the spouses are to handle the affairs and arrangements. By-in-large, there’s a huge age difference. Many times, they come from the provinces where a death is handled much differently than in the metropolitan areas. Then there are things like government pensions, insurance benefits, figuring out what to do with a house that would be well beyond their means, the family abroad, dealing with the embassy and, many times, banks. In Claire’s case, their many friends stepped up to the plate and handled all of the above. Many thanks to Hank, Smitty, Mitch (Dennis) and Don for all they did. Lastly, these photo collages came from pictures as far back as 2000. Many were sent by our good friend Steve-O inTexas.
I already mentioned that there was a well attended Irish Wake for Steve at the Lollipop Club on Fields Ave. Let me finish off this dedication with a few pictures of the attendees.
NOISE REDUCTION - NEVER HAPPEN!
It was reported by Reynaldo G. Navales, Sun-Star Staff Reporter in the 10 May issue that "Councilor Edu Pamintuan filed an ordinance that would penalize mortorists using vehicles generating excessive noise that is a result of modifying their respective vehicles. The ordinance shall be known as the "Anti-Muffler Modification Ordinance" which prohibits all vehicles using, noise, modified mufflers from traveling through primary, secondary and barangay roads within the city." I applaud Councilor Edu but I would be surprised if his ordinance is ever approved. If by chance it is approved I would be willing to bet a dinner for two for Edu at a restaurant of his choice within Angeles City that the ordinance will never be enforced. In fact it will only give the police another excuse to fill their pockets with more "consideration" money. Why hasn't an ordinance like this been passed before?
I have been here thirty years and the tricycle drivers are the worse offenders of the muffler game. These drivers ignore every regulation in the book. Most do not have insurance, driver's licenses or quiet bikes. Additionally they do not even come close to following the fare guidelines dictated by the Government. I have always said that the City Government could make a ton of money just by enforcing legitimate laws and regulations. For some reason tricycle drivers are allowed to run wild, they are untouchable, even when they cause accidents much less the excessive noise they cause. My dear Councilor, it would be my pleasure to lose my bet if I could enjoy a day or night without my ear drums nearly bursting from the sound of tricycles or even some overly loud motorcycles. Noisy cars, hell, I hardly hear them but, yes, get them too. By the way, can you do something about the illegal Karaoke establishments that operate without permits and keep whole neighborhoods awake with their lousy loud music all night long. Man, Edu, you could be an Angeles City Hero if you accomplish your "no-noise" pipe dream.
Phillies P10 Weigh Out Lunch Buffet
Phillies Sports Grill & Bar has one of the most affordable, reasonable lunch buffets going on now. Its a full hot buffet and cold salad bar. Items range from: Sweat n Sour Fish, Pork Curry, Roast Chicken, Baked ZIti, BBQ Spare Ribs, Hot Fresh Vegetables, Potatoes, Rice, Fresh Roast Pork, Pizza, Garlic Bread and changes from time to time. You can take as much or as little as you want and you you pay by the weight. P10 for every 30 Grams of food. You can have a full plate of food and eat your hearts out for less than P200. Hot Fresh Food, and great fresh salad bar also. The new Weigh and Pay Lunch Buffet is everyday from 11am to 2pm. You certainly wont be disappointed. Check out the happy faces on the two customers who are satisfied fans of this special luncheon offering. Of course being served by a couple of good looking Phillies waitresses makes the meal even more enjoyable.
The Galaxy is one of the newest hotels on Fields Ave and is Korean owned. I kind of like the place, it is strategically located and the outdoor eating area allows a great place to eat, drink and enjoy the passing parade of people. The location of the pool is kind of unusual. Those on the first floor, or ground floor I guess, I always get mixed up on that only have to exit their room and jump into the pool. The security man showing me around kept telling me there was a fourth floor but I could not see it. I thought my eyes were going bad. But, then he pointed out that they are located only on the front of the building facing the street. Ah Hah, a trip to the eye clinic was not necessary. Oh, speaking of eyes, I was very impressed with the Rose, the desk clerk, receptionist, whatever the title is. She had a great smile, slim body, good looking and fun to talk to. I think guys should check into the Galaxy just to meet her. She is 27, single, and does have a little girl, four years old. She is an Angeles City native, a college graduate, Email address: [email protected] Now, back to the hotel info, see how easy I get distracted by a pretty face. They offer 4 types of rooms ranging in price from P2,980 to P2,040 but these are the promo rates and I do not know how long those rates will be available. You can visit the website at www.galaxyhotel-ph.com or Email them at galaxyhotel.com.ph.
GOODBYE GORDON GRUBB
What a great smile Gordon has as he spent his last afternoon at the Thi-Hi saying goodbye to his many friends here in Angeles City. Gordon is a long time member of the local American Legion here but he told me that after 8 years in land locked AC he is heading out to Palawan where he has a house only one Kilometer from the beach. He is packing up his wife Lila and six year old daughter where together they will start a new adventure in life. Fortunately for Gordon, under construction near him is an SM Mall and Robinson's so at least he will be able to do some decent shopping and stay out of the heat. To stay busy he plans to start up a new American Legion post in Palawan which, no doubt, he will become the Commander of. That should really keep him busy. Thi-Hi owner Josie and her staff organized a fine little send off for Gordon who is retired from the US Army and was also a Teamster Representative in civilian life. Good luck Gordon, stay out of the sun, those skin cancers can be hell.
RUGBY + PERIMETER BAR = PLEASURE
I would venture to guess that all the sports bars in the entertainment area were packed with Australians cheering on their favorite team in the first of three State of Origin Rugby matches. My Aussie friend Graham told me that he was going to watch the action at the Perimeter Bar. I hadn't been in there in quite a while so figured it would be a good time to snap a few pictures. When I entered the place it was packed, not a vacant seat in the place. The match was between Queensland and New South Wales and it appeared that there were an equal amount of fans for each team. I have never seen a bar this size with so many TV screens. They were in the front, sides, back, around the bar, my goodness, no matter you sat or in my case, stood, you had a good view of the action. Despite the heat out the air-conditioning inside was up to the task of keep the standing room only crowd quite comfortable. The service was great and you better believe, the beer was cold. Serving warm beer to an Aussie is a kiss of death to any Publican. The owner, Ted has to be complimented on a job well done and what a great Club he has created. I did not know that he also has the Drill Shack and the two bars are connected by a common interior door. It was a pleasure to see one of my old waitresses, Rose, gainfully employed by Ted. For sure, I will return for another visit but hopefully when I can find a seat to sit my old ass down. By the way, QLD won 18 to 10 over NSW. I was neutral!
This is getting to be a real quandary now in deciding where to go for pizza in this town. Years ago there was only one or two places to go, now suddenly there are many. The latest entry is the New York Supreme Pizza located on MacArthur Hi-Way. I had heard about this place and had it on my hot list to visit. After a enjoying a movie at the SM Mall one evening I told the Mrs I would treat her to a pizza and take care of some pictures and writing at the same time. She enjoys checking out new places as much as I do so NY Pizza it was. We were not disappointed, It was darn good and for people who like a lot of cheese on their pizza, they would not be disappointed at this eatery. They had two sizes, 14" and 18" with various toppings. The prices were P405 to P595 (14") and P595 to P795 (18"). We were only two so went for the 14" all meat pizza. Priscilla ate one slice and I went overboard with three slices which allowed four slices for take-out. They offered other items from the Pizza such as Pizza Rolls, Pasta, Salads and Rice meals priced quite reasonably. I enjoyed the clean, open ambiance of the place and, of course, the pictures of New York. It was fairly crowded when we arrived and the customer base was mostly Filipino with the main item of choice appearing to be the Pizzas. I would certainly recommend this place for pizza lovers as they do come close to capturing the New York taste which is good enough for Angeles City. I am still kind of leaning towards the NY pizza offered at the S & R Store in San Fernando, taste wise but I would be happy with either one, San Fernando is a bit too far to go for pizza unless shopping there.
AN OUTSTANDING ITALIAN RESTAURANT
I never use the word "Best" when writing about restaurants or food. It is my belief that everyone has their own opinions in taste and what they expect in a meal, whether it be fast food or a five star restaurant. I am not into gourmet food because the prices are ridiculously high and the portions are too small and some of the items they serve taste a bit off but food snobs will still say "oh, how delicious" just to be with the "in crowd". OK, I have no class and not enough money to go that route but I can still appreciate a good restaurant. Man, that is a long lead in to writing about the "Piccolo Padre" Italian restaurant. You see, I nearly broke my own rule about "best" when I was introduced to this restaurant last month. First all, the place only has seating for 24 diners and every seat was occupied on this particular Sunday night. Everybody I talked to was raving about the food, how great it was. I was not there to eat, only have a cup of coffee with some friends that called me to join them. Regretfully, I got the call just as I was finishing eating Pizza at the NY Pizza. I was Full! Never-the-less my friends allowed me samples of what they were eating and I must say that this is truly an outstanding place to eat. I have had people writing to me asking where they can get good Italian food. Naturally, I always recommended "C" Italian Restaurant but now, I have no reservations in recommending Piccolo Padre as well. The Piccolo has the advantage of being run by a giant of a Chef, 6'4' Danilo (without his chef's hat) and his wife Aida who is a bit shorter. They are great together and she runs a tight ship while Danilo Giampaolo, from Milano is sweating away in the kitchen. What a wonderful couple they are and Aida is wonderful about stopping by your table to chat and make customers feel very comfortable. Please folks, check out this restaurant and let me know what you think. It is open from 5:30 to 11 PM and on the weekends you better call for a reservation. It is located at 566 Don Rico Ave quite near the abandoned Galleon building. If you go after dark look closely for the entry way is kind of dark and easy to miss. It is located between Grandview Tower and Cottage Kitchen so that should help you a bit. The phone number is 875-6050 with mobile numbers 0917 500 4750, 0919 887 2195. Aida wanted me to mention that every second Saturday they offer a set menu for P950 and BYOB. Now that sounds like something to look forward to.
HOLIDAY INN AND PRIORITY PRIVILEGE
I know that I have mentioned this before, probably once a year, but since I think it is a pretty good deal, I will share it with you again. My wife and I have been enjoying the Priority Privilege Club at the Holiday Inn for many years now and we think it is a super privilege if one is ready to actually use the benefits. The cost is P6,500, good for one year and you received a membership card and a package that includes many benefits. We particularly like the complimentary dining benefits at the Holiday Inn which includes 50% off the total food bill for a member and one guest, 33% off for a member and two guests, 20% off for a member and nine guests (we never did that). We use the card mostly for dining at the Mequeni and the roof top Rodizio. But the discounts are not just for food, in fact there are two pages of discounts listed such as accommodation benefits, dining certificates, free usage of the Holiday Inn pool for member and three guests and there are a few free meals included as well. There is much more but you will have to talk to Suzette at the Holiday Inn Services Dept, tel: 599-8000 local 1608 who can brief you on details and pricing. If you can, tell her that Harry the Horse referred you to her or whoever else you might talk to in that office. Of course, if I get enough folks to join I might get a free meal and you know that this old Horse likes to eat, especially for free!
PAN DE PARIS
My goodness, it seems as if I am on a restaurant kick this month. Can't help it as there seems to be a new restaurant opening every month. I am just doing a bit of catch up here. The location of this little eatery really surprised me. It is located on Teodoro Street, just down from Norma's money changer. The Pan De Paris is owned by Chef Antonius Van Esch hailing from the Netherlands. Can you imagine, a top notch chef running a place in this location, quite unusual for Angeles City. Antonius was working as the Chef at the Belgian Cafe, a 5 star Intercontinental Hotel in Doha, Qatar. Why leave a great job to come here to AC? The explanation was that he was tired of working 14 hours a day, no free time and the heat was unbearable. He heard about AC so came here and with friend Dean Magat opened his restaurant and now is thoroughly enjoying himself and his new found time for a social life. The food is good and affordable and his low P35 price for beer has made this restaurant a favorite watering hole for members of the Hash House Harriers. Being on a sort of diet I did not order the food I normally would, instead I opted for a cucumber salad and French onion soup which I found to be quite delicious. Vina ordered a sandwich which I considered a bit small for my taste but sufficient for her. A full menu was available with the usual selections but each prepared with a bit of Antonius originality. We will certainly return for a return meal.
By the way, I noticed a sign right next door of another new Pizza place. It was not open and I heard that it opens only from six to nine PM. I have not had the time to check it out yet, will wait until next month.
TIME FOR AN IMAGE CHANGE?
Fields Ave scene at night.
Since the beginning of the current Mayor's term I have met with representatives of his administration and suggested that the excess number of ladies outside of the bars along Fields Ave be reduced to one decently dressed lady stationed at the door. There was a brief period of time when this was ordered but immediately the bigger bars claimed they needed more than one because their bars were so large. Despite the size of the bar, they still had only one door to man so that did not make sense to me. Anyway, OK, a few more were allowed. This lasted three weeks, then as usual, the Club owners did what they wanted and the numbers went back to 15 or 20 in some establishments and customers walking the street were subjected to ladies grabbing their arms and trying to talk them into entering their club. They were not at the doors, but on the sidewalks and into the street. Naturally, many guys would not object to this, and normally not me either. But, this painted a picture to the media and to local Filipinos of Fields Ave being a "red light district" and a place where one could not walk down the street to a restaurant or other business with one's wife or children without being embarrassed or offended. The TV show "Imbestigador" and International media outlets loved to show the ladies on the street which fueled the sustained the image of Angeles City as "Sin City". No one here, including me, wanted the Clubs closed down but what to do at no expense to clean up a bit? Get the girls inside was an easy start. What goes on inside the Clubs stays inside and other non-club businesses could flourish. That was my idea, rightfully or wrongfully. I did not want people like Alex Cauguiran to want to close the Clubs down because of an exaggerated image and misconception of the locals. At a recent meeting with Mayor's representative Jess Aires, I brought up my idea again and was verbally abused by one Doll House Filipino representative who absolutely resented the idea of a reduction of the 20 or more girls outside of the Doll house. I was not allowed to explain my reasoning and that this was only a suggestion as that person then started a more heated discussion with Barangay Captain Tony Mamac. Immediately afterwards Jess closed the meeting after Tony walked out in anger. Anyway, the reason the first try at limiting the girls on the street did not work was because of lack of enforcement of the rule. Without that, naturally the bars will do whatever they can get away with. Now, I have heard, but not confirmed that the Mayor has once again directed that the Clubs limit their outside girls to three. That is a step in the right direction but much more can be done, for example, getting rid of the underage kids working the street, the beggars, the non-mobile vendors, and those hustling illegal drugs. We must keep the Clubs up and running for many more years. There is nothing wrong with having an Adult entertainment area but one without a "in your face" attitude. Let Imbestigador get their pictures some place else.
Another month has ended, one in which I was able to treat the Mrs to a nice Mother's Day meal at the ABC's Vari Asia restaurant along with some in-laws. It was a fine evening even if I did not get the table I reserved the day before. Now we are into June and Father's day is coming up so I have to wait and see what Mrs. Horse has in store for me. We are now officially into the rainy season with daily afternoon rains as we had in May but now the rains should be more consistent and more lengthy in nature. Time for hats and umbrellas but that should not slow you down in seeking out the pleasures offered up by Fields Ave and beyond. Be advised though, that more thunder storms will be coming up which leads, automatically, to an increase in brown-outs so look for those hotels offering up some decent generator service. That's it for this month, horses do not mind getting a bit wet but we do hope you will continue to be kind to all horses.
POLITICAL RANTINGS - SKIP THIS PART
If this doesn't frost your Wheaties, call 911 immediately!
Watch the newscast video and stay calm!