Angeles City News

August 2005

Margarita Station 

I was in the USA for a few months so this is the first newsletter in quite a while.  Hopefully we will be able to send this out in email form through a new system developed by the webmaster.

One of biggest changes occurring in Angeles bars is under way in the Blue Nile Group.  The introduction of slot machines will begin with an area behind Chicken & Ribs (adjacent & accessible  from Blue Nile Club).  Shortly after that location is up and running you can expect to see slot machines in most, if not all, of the groups clubs. And that's not the only changes in the Asian Fields Group. They have
connected Blue Nile Nero's with a big tunnel.  And plans are under way to connect Nero's to Cambodia Club.   The group is also getting ready to build a  3-4 story club where TOP HAT was located.  This new club will tentatively be called GOLDEN NILE.   
RISING PRICES:  The second COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) in less than a year went into effect in Central Luzon on the 16th of July.  This equates to about a 20% increase in salaries for the businesses like Margarita Station that actually pay the minimums or higher.   Additionally, electricity has gone up significantly in the last year. Our July 2005 electric bill was 51% higher than our bill for the same period last year.  Very few things have stayed the same, but other significant price increases occurred in the last 2-3 months for all the essentials of life: beer, rum, sodas, ice, and other important things like bottled gas.  I decided to take a look back in my records and found the following increases from 1996 to the present:  shrimp up 71%, Squid up 52%, pork & chicken up 50%, and beef up 48%.  The good news for tourists is that these increases are in Pisos.  In 1996 the dollar bought a lot less Pisos, so although almost everything has increased in price, the net effect isn't that bad when you figure out how many more Pisos you get for each US Dollar.
CHEAP FLIGHTS TO CLARK: There are still "no frills" airlines flying into Clark from Singapore, Malaysia, & Hong Kong, but the prices have escalated almost to match the regular airline tickets to those destinations.  One expat reportedly was recently quoted $165 for a one way flight to Singapore (a long way from the $39 a few months ago).
SPEAK EASY: Located where Silk Stockings and Shafto Lane were in the past.  A fraction of the size of the two former clubs. It appears that some of the space that was used before in Silk Stocking has now been incorporated into Bananitas.   Clean and shiny inside.  A very different looking club with an "L" shape. Time will tell if this one will survive.  But, it is already better than Silk Stocking!

I didn't believe the rumors that "Beeline" had an interest in this club, but then I saw his photo in the CR!

The DUKE OF YORK: Has opened in one of the CDC stalls very close to where the stalls split from fronting Fields Ave and are on the new road behind Lancelot, Champagne, etc.  This brings up an interesting question - - since this bar is located on CDC property is it exempt from inspections from the city of Angeles?
The ALASKA CLUB finally opened a few months behind schedule.  It is located where the BYRD CAGE & BAHAMA MAMMAS was before.  Here are a few photos of Alaska Club from last week.

PRIVATE DANCER is now BOYS NIGHT OUT.  The club has the same owners - management.  The booths that were there in the Illusions/Private Dancer days have been replaced with round tables.  This makes the club seem a little bigger, but I think I preferred the booths.
LAS VEGAS has been sold to the Korean owners of Agayasa.   It is currently closed and renovations are expected.  A sign on the door says all the staff from Las Vegas is in Bunny Ranch.
P1010001.jpg (92570 bytes) The JUNGLE closed last week and will be renovated and open as the CLASSROOM under the same owner.  The staff of the Jungle is currently in the KITTEN CLUB. All these extra dancers gives the KITTEN CLUB a great lineup. The interior of the KITTEN CLUB has been given a new look too!  Definitely worth a drink stop!! kitten.jpg (104204 bytes)
Lingerie Dance Contests    Every  -- Thursday & Saturday at the KITTEN CLUB -- Wednesday & Friday night at the FLAMINGO CLUB -- Monday & Saturday at the VIPER CLUB.  Extended Happy Hour, Free BBQ at the end of the contest, Raffle draws, No cover charge.
RHAPSODY closed for 11 nights for renovations. They got rid of some of the red curtains and built a new dance stage closer to the door.  It now looks much more like a bar and a lot less like a karaoke. rhapsody003.jpg (101294 bytes)
1010015.jpg (64730 bytes) Got a bad case of CRS (Can't Remember Shit)?  Then stop into the DMZ and see Tick.  He isn't pushing tequila shots or Buy 1 - take 1. No, he will give you a GINKGO  BILOBA. Take it from me, it must work because I remember that treat. :-)   More seriously, this is another club that is often overlooked by most tourists. Some walk on by, others stick their head in for a peak and move on down the road. He has a friendly staff and reasonable prices. Stop in and have a drink or two. You may be pleasantly surprised in what you find.  
LIMITED EDITION now has an upstairs bar with two pool tables and a dance floor between the bar and the pool tables.  It is a big open room with several large windows looking out at Perimeter Road & Clark.  They also have 3-4 computers which were busy with the female staff surfing the internet when I visited.  With P40 local drinks this will be a popular hangout for pool players.  It has hotel rooms on the same level (above the old LIMITED EDITION which is currently closed for renovations).
LA PASHA is reported by many to be one of the best clubs on the strip right now.  I do like the layout and the music, but I suffered a little "sticker shock" when I got hit for P70 for a local drink right after they opened the doors at 7PM.
BANANITAS has expanded by about 25-30%.  For some reason I seldom see many people in this club, but IMO this is a great club with a big staff.  I always have fun when I stop in here for a drink.
PINK LADY THEATRE SHOW CLUB: This club has been mentioned is several local forums.  It is located in the Oasis compound is not really a bar that many foreign tourists will want to visit.  It is orientated toward Filipinos in the model of Juliana Music Lounge (reportedly the same owners). 
The POWDER KEG has finally closed it's doors. I have many fond memories of the Powder Keg's live band in the early 80's.  But in the post USAF days it was a quiet shell of the old days.  Word is the employees pushed for minimum wage, 13th month bonus (which is required by law for all employees - despite what was reported in another newsletter), and other benefits required by The Labor Code of the Philippines.  The small volume of business at the Powder Keg just couldn't support the required minimums imposed by law, so they closed the business.
P1010010.jpg (88344 bytes) In one of my last newsletters I reported about the removal of the shacks on Real Street. Well just when you think the city is making progress, the little guys show they are not gone yet. They are not as well constructed as before, but almost all the shacks are back!
The August issue of GQ (Gentleman's Quarterly) Magazine had a ten page article that was mostly about the bars of Fields Avenue.  It was a pretty negative article and it has already been mentioned in the Inquirer newspaper in Manila under the headline: "Sense and Sensibility: The Laughingstock of Asia."  Sadly, this article in GQ is likely to have some negative impacts on Fields Avenue if more of the national newspapers follow up on the article and the Inquirer's story about the article.
Recently the ROADHOUSE held an annual charity night to raise funds for the local children's center.  In one night they raised a record P 1,000,000! (approx $18,000+) This center is strongly supported by the Clark Centennial Rotary Club and extensively by the owner of the Roadhouse Club (http://www.roadhouseclub.com/rh/default.htm).   For more on the center go to:  http://www.angelesstreetkids.org/
A little over a year ago the long talked about project of constructing a drainage system for Fields Avenue was finally completed.  Then this year the CDC removed all the squatter stalls and built nice standardized stalls from the railroad tracks all the way to Mc Arthur highway.  When they finished building the stalls they cemented the parking area between the stalls and Fields Avenue.  Am I the only one that noticed that the CDC cemented over ALL the drainage grates on the north side of Fields Avenue??  To make matters worse almost all the grates on the south side of Fields Avenue are 90% blocked with packed dirt and rocks.  

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2005 Monopoly T-shirts are available now!  As is typical of Angeles City, one club has already changed it's name, one has been sold and is being renovated (may reopen with the same name), and two others are rumored to be changing their names any day! 

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9-Five-0 Condotel is the latest Fields Ave hotel facilities. Located on the 3rd & 4th floors above JJ's Market next to Margarita Station.  But, don't worry about climbing stairs here, they have an elevator!   They have 7 different types of rooms from large rooms with a dining area overlooking Fields Ave to basic (but nice) rooms.  As soon as we get the rates they will be posted in out hotel section.  

The first row of photos below are all from the same large room. Plans call for a restaurant on the 5th floor (see last 3 photos).

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Construction of the SHOE MART MALL inside of Clark Special Economic Zone is well under way.  This huge shopping complex will be located immediately inside the old main gate on the right hand side of the highway.   sm01.jpg (78243 bytes) sm02.jpg (88516 bytes)
shane.jpg (57709 bytes) It is all to often that I have to pass the news of the death of another Angeles City EXPAT.  Sadly this week we lost Shane Ricky at the young age of 47.  Reportedly he had been ill for over a year and he finally succumbed to his illness.  I have seen three different reports on what his illness was, but whatever it was, many of us will miss his gentle manner and coy smile.  RIP Shane!

A few more photos of Fields Ave and Perimeter road from the roof of JJ's Grocery / 9 Five 0 Condotel.

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