|Unforeseen circumstances caused me to spend
several months in the USA. Therefore, this is the first newsletter
since October 2006. A few new clubs and hotels have opened and a
number of businesses have changed hands. Sadly an unusual number
of resident EXPATS and a few tourists have passed away during this last
Over the last few years Angeles City has seen many changes. The
dark seedy nightclubs were replaced with bigger clubs with lots of
quality tile floors, stainless steel poles, expensive sound systems,
large selections of imported liquor, and tons of air-conditioning.
As this was going on, the existing hotels increased their prices
annually (if not more often). Then came the Orchid Inn with the
first quality rooms in the heart of the entertainment district.
This was quickly followed by a number of small "boutique"
hotels. When the Wild Orchid opened a little over a year ago it
was immediately 95% booked and remains hard to get a reservation with
less than 30-45 days notice.
Now comes the Angeles Beach Club Hotel (ABC Hotel). Located
just a short distance from Margarita Station on Don Juico Ave (nicknamed
Perimeter Road), it is IMO a step above any other hotel in the area
(including the big hotels on Clark). The rooms are nothing short
of 5 star quality. Superb blackout curtains cover sound proofed
windows so there is absolutely no street noise. Additionally,
hallway carpeting and well sealed doors prevent noise from individuals
in the hallways or nearby rooms. All the rooms are furnished with
hand crafted furniture made on the premises by the best craftsmen, real
king size beds with pillow top mattresses, and expensive bedding &
pillows. Comfortable bathrooms have separate showers and bathtubs
(or Jacuzzi's). Large TV's have over 50 cable channels and 6 in-house
video channels. The swimming pool features a sand beach,
rain shower, and a large heated jacuzzi. The first class
kitchen offers a choice of a air-conditioned dining area or casual pool
side tables. Other amenities include a spa, an entertainment area
with game tables, and a third floor sun deck. Rooms range from
about $100 a night to about $475 for the Master Penthouse. For
more details see http://www.margarita-station.com/hotels/abc.html
||In December ROADIE'S
bar opened up Perimeter Road near the Clarkton. It immediately
became a place to hit during their 2 for 1 happy hour.
During the first two months they were busier than any of the
other Perimeter bars, but starting 1 March there will have new
prices. Time will tell if they can maintain their current
volume of customers with the higher prices in the slow
season. But, for now it is my pick as the BEST NEW BAR.
has opened in the location formerly occupied by Rick's Cafe in
the center of Fields Avenue. The bar is getting good
reviews, but I haven't had the energy to be on that end of town
after 7 pm to check it out. Photos and a review by next
On the 11th of Jan 07 Classroom II was raided by
elements of the Philippine National Police Criminal
Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG). At the time
of the raid the club was sponsoring a "Son's of
Bacchus" event. These are supposed to be semi-private
parties where the customer pays a set fee for food, drinks and
entertainment for several hours. On this day, at least two
Filipino men from CIDG purchased tickets and were admitted to
the club. When the entertainment exceeded the standards allowed,
the CIDG men inside stopped the festivities and led more CIDG
personnel into the club. They allowed all the foreigners
in the club to exit the club, but they then detained
approximately 50 female employees. They also detained
Bobby Gibson, a British National, who was performing as the MC
for the event.
Reports were they were all taken to Camp Crame in
Manila. Some girls suspected of being underage were
examined by the camp dentist (standard Filipino procedure now
used to "prove" age). The bar employees like
waitresses & bartenders were separated from the
dancers. The waiters & waitresses (and Bobby) were
charged with "trafficking." The dancers,
once they were cleared by the dentist, were sent to the DSWD
(Welfare Department) in
Angeles and questioned further. Then they all had to have
their mothers travel to Angeles City to have their
"rescued" daughters released to them! Bobby
& the club staff were finally released from detention on 19
After two years of negotiations, Angelo
sold Gecko's to an American that owned some bars years ago in
Subic. Angelo ,is still in the area working on a USA fiancée
visa for his girl friend.
Seals Club has been sold to a group of Expats.
This club was little more than a pool hall on an out of the way
side street. A Grand Opening of WET
SPOT will be this Saturday (Feb 24th 8pm 'till
late). Finger foods, strong drinks at good prices and best of
all, single, available women and music for men. Located near the
rear entrance to Orchid Inn, near "Blues Brothers
Church" past Roy's Pub (end of the street). (formerly Wet
||After experimenting with
a walking street (no vehicle traffic), the city fathers have
finally decided to make lower Fields Ave a ONE WAY street.
This has made it somewhat safer since many of the sidewalks are
blocked, but there is no enforcement of the speed limit. Unless
they get some control on the speed limit, a bad pedestrian
accident is imminent. Look close before crossing the street
|New look of SANTOS
STREET. The Hole in the Wall was the first major
change on Santos Street a few years ago. The Hole in the
Wall is now closed as construction will begin soon for the Lexus
). Next came the Wild Orchid Hotel, which
immediately went to the top of the list as the most expensive
but also the most popular. You must book at least 45-60
days in advance to have any chance of getting a room for more
than 1-2 days. Now, the townhouse project of the Wild
Orchid Group is nearing completion. Info on these units
was listed in our Nov 2005
newsletter. Some units are still available.
CLUB? When the Wild Orchid Group first announced
their townhouse project in 2005 their plan was for five small
stalls on the first floor of the complex for small bars.
One look inside tells me they have made some radical changes to
this plan. The entire first floor will be one large
business. More details soon on whether it will be a club
or a restaurant & bar.
Another project of the Wild Orchid Group, the HonkyTonk bar has
opened across from the Wild Orchid Resort on Santos
street. Originally planned as a LA Cafe style club where
everyone was welcome. I've heard no reports about this
club, but I will be sure to make a visit so I can report on it
in the next newsletter.
CASINO The main construction of the Golden Nile is
finished and the interior work is also nearing completion.
Still no word on when this club/casino will open.
|BLUE NILE - LA UNION
The Blue Nile Group has recently taken over the Southern
Palms Resort and Stiletto's nightclub in La Union. They
have renamed the hotel the Blue Nile Beach Resort. and the
nightclub Blue Nile Beach Club. Word is that the
managers and a group of girls from the Blue Nile Group rotate up
to staff the Beach Club for two weeks at a time. If they
are able to continue this without running into licensing
problems, this will definitely change night life in San
|NEW LTO: A LTO
Drivers license renewal office is being opened in the SM Mall
located inside the entrance to Clark SEZ. If it is as
efficient as the one in SM San Fernando you can renew your
license in about an hour and walk out with the actual license.
A big change from the 80's when you had to go back to LTO every
6 months to get an extension stamped in your temporary
license. It wasn't unusual to have the license expire
before you ever received the permanent copy.
DISPLAY 2007: OK, your company pays top dollar for a
prime location (corner of Fields Ave and Teodoro
put two large display windows on the front of the building to
attract customers. The manager decides this is the perfect
place to display his wide variety of sanitary napkins! Only in
PLUS Check out this blog from a group of Filipinos
that visit Angeles City for the culinary variety. http://anton.blogs.com/awesome/2006/08/index.html
Sure looks like they had a blast in Zapata's! If you
haven't been there, you have missed the best Mexican food
Angeles has to offer. Great atmosphere for a small
|Investments continue to pour in
to the Angeles/Central Luzon area. For news
clipping click on these numbers > 1
Photo by RICK's CAFE
The annual balloon festival was held on Clark the first week of
February. It is great to see these beautiful balloons
lifting gracefully into the sky. Kids run out to the
street and point to the sky with huge smiles on their
faces. Now if you have Php 75,000 (about $1500 US) you
don't know what to do with, you can get a private two hour
balloon flight at Clark. (NOTE: this price does not
include additional expenses "such as crew fees and
permits.") For more information contact Capt. Den Roa
at (632) 833-3264.
|What can you do after your relaxing balloon
flight? How about a private sunset dinner cruise on Manila
Bay? For just Php 16,500 you and a companion can enjoy a
three course dinner on a two hour cruise. Or how about a
day trip for about Php 45,000?? http://www.geocities.com/party_yacht/
FAKE DRUGS! Lots of guys come to the Philippines
and buy Viagra or similar drugs from some t-shirt vendor on the
street for amazingly low prices. Hey guys, this is the
land of fake everything. You can buy "gold bars"
from WWII treasures, "radioactive materials" from the
Clark munitions storage areas, and yeah, "real" Viagra
for only $2! In the last year several tourists have been
found dead in their hotel rooms with no cash, no cameras or
anything else of value reported, but there is usually some
Viagra on the night stand.
||Moving to Angeles? Looking
for a used TV? Then check out THE BLUEBOOK.
The on-line edition can be found at: http://www.blue-bookph.com/
Frequently hard to find copies around town, the online edition
is easier to read than the printed copies. The size of the
publication continues to grow and if they keep it on line I'm
sure it will encourage more people to advertise.
||RICK'S CHECK CASHING
cashing of personal U.S. Dollar checks for expat residents
of the Angeles City area (military retirees, residents of the
community). See Rick in the courtyard of Margarita Station
from 8am to 1130am Monday thru Saturday. A 5% charge on checks
$100 to $500. (Write a check for $105 and you get $100 bill,
$210 and get $200 in US currency etc). If you have any questions
you can call 892-0119 or stop by and visit us in our internet
Mexicano Grill near Friendship Gate now has Taco
Tuesday, hard and soft shell tacos with choice of
fillings & three different Salsa. Served in a buffet
format so you can make the taco of your dreams. Also every
Sunday from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm they have a buffet
which includes several Filipino Dishes & several Mexican Specialties.
Additionally they have a chef dedicated to making omelets to
The Philippine Star
|RABIES in the
Philippines TOKYO (AFP) - Japan Wednesday
urged travelers to take precautions after two nationals
contracted rabies in the Philippines, with one of them dying in
the first cases seen here in 36 years. The two men both were
infected after being bitten by dogs in the Philippines, the
health ministry said. One victim died last week in the first
human rabies case confirmed in Japan since 1970, the ministry
said. The man, in his 60s, failed to take vaccination shots
after being bitten, and later showed symptoms such as delirium
after returning from the Philippines to Kyoto in western Japan,
it said. In the other case, a man was in serious condition in
Yokohama, Japan's second-largest city, near Tokyo, after
returning from the Philippines last month.
"Rabies is out breaking globally," said a health
ministry official. "The ministry is calling for travelers
to get vaccination shots if they were bitten by a dog
overseas." The last case of rabies in Japan was in
1970, when a man died after contracting the disease in Nepal.
But Japan has seen no human case of rabies that originated
domestically since 1954, with the last animal infection
confirmed in 1957, according to the ministry.
HOTEL Yeah, another hotel project is rising.
Several years ago an American said he would build the largest
hotel in the area on this site (not counting the big hotels on
Clark). Nothing happened here for almost two years until
recently when construction began in earnest. This new
hotel is located just before the church and Petron station on
Don Juico (Perimeter Road). There are several more small
to medium size hotels under construction within 1 mile of Fields
In the area between the new hotel mentioned above and the
EuroPhil Hotel someone has recently cut all the trees (Strictly prohibited
by DENR). It looks like this large lot will be cleared for
another large construction project.
EXPATS who are native English speakers who may be available for
part-time tutoring jobs within Pampanga? The job will mean conducting
practice English speaking sessions with foreign students. Ability to
speak Korean or Chinese in addition to English is desirable. For
details, pls. contact Edna at mobile # 0921-628-3165.
|I just finished reading the latest Christopher
Moore novel, THE RISK OF INFIDELITY INDEX. Absolutely one of his
best books. I always enjoy his Calvino series and the occasional
Calvino Rules for EXPATS in Asia (My favorite is: Always marry an
orphan). The book is available at all major book stores
in Thailand or via his website at www.cgmoore.com
At his website you can also download a free copy of the book CHAIRS which
is now out of print.
Several times a year I report about the
death of an EXPAT or a tourist. Not sure what black cloud we were
under in the last few months, but we lost an unusual number of
individuals. Some individuals had been ill for years, but many
others died way too early.
|Ray Hoffman, 63
years old, retired USMC died in late November. He had
undergone a quadruple heart bypass but continued to ignore
doctors advice about changing his life style. But, he went
out the way he lived, sitting in a bar waiting for another
|On Tuesday, December 5,
2006 David L. Sellers, a retired
USAF Master Sergeant, passed away in his home at the age
|On 9 Dec 2006, Peter, the manager at La Pasha
died of a heart attack. He was rushed to AUF Hospital
but there was nothing they could do for him. He is
survived by his pregnant wife.
|On 13 Dec 2006, Treavor Frettsome
lost a long battle with cancer at the age of 62. Over the
years he was in Angeles, Treavor owned numerous
clubs. In the last ten-fifteen years he had private
Dancer, Private Dancer Too, Byrd Cage and finally Honey Ko's.
|In December, Ken Brown, died in hospital from
various health complications. Friends said his health had
been slipping for a couple of months. Ken was a friendly
guy that sold perfume fragrances to people. He always had
a smile on his face.
|Bill Lyons, the owner of the Patio, The Patio V
and a small beach resort in Zambales lost a long battle
with cancer the evening of 31 Dec. He was laid to rest at
the Clark Cemetery.
|Bob Byrne passed away on 3 Jan from a heart
attack at home. He was a business partner with Roy W. at
the Brass Knob and had only lived in this area for two years. Sadly
he never saw the completion of the Brass Knob project.
|About 3 pm on 7 Jan during a meeting of the
Josephaville I Home Owners Association, David Skamarak, suffered
a heart attack. Reports are that he was given CPR before
being taken to Divine Shepard Hospital (former PIH). He was pronounced dead about 7 pm.
|Long time Angeles resident, Glenn Hartell
(Australian), died in Australia on 9 Jan 2007. Glenn had
returned to Australia in December to seek proper health care.
|William Anthony Crisp
(Tony), the Australian manager at Touch of Class
|Austrian, named Herbert
Brunner died in mid-Feb 7th, 2007.
|A tourist, Kenneth Thomas
from Sydney, Australia was found dead in his hotel room at
the Perimeter Hotel. Cause of death was reported as
|Dave Hutton, a
former Australian police officer, was violently murdered
about 8.30 pm on Feb 17, 2007 by a crazed ex-boyfriend of
the lady that had been living with Dave for several years.
The guy scaled the security fence and pounded on Dave's door,
when Dave then opened the door, the attacker immediately
delivered the fatal stab wounds. Dave's girl was injured in this
attack also. however is currently recovering.. This was a quiet
decent caring guy that sent his girl through nursing school and
took good care of her. The attacker has been
arrested. Dave was 62 and a regular afternoon guy
usually Frequenting Moons Bar, Helsinger, and Purly Gates, in