ANGELES CITY NEWS

Feb 2008

FEEDBACK!   I did a shorter newsletter in December a bit out of laziness and a bit because I had received no comments on the Sept 2007 newsletter that featured over 100 new photos  from Clark Special Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base).  Wow, the feedback was overwhelming!  Feedback isn't necessary to keep these newsletters coming, but the volume in December has sure motivated me to put some more time in on this one.

MARGARITA STATION NEWS

 

The future of Margarita Station.  Lots of reports about the pending closure of Margarita Station on some of the local bulletin boards.  At this point these are untrue rumors.  Our original lease does expire in June 2008, but we do have the exclusive option to renew the lease for another 15 years.  We are currently in negotiations with our landlord and do not expect to close our doors in June this year.

I have updated the photos in the ville section and have included some photos sent in from several customers.  If you have some good photos from Margarita Station, please send them to manager@theville.com                                               Click here for Margarita Station photos            

THE GREAT TACO DEBATE:  Margarita Station was recently slammed on one of the local bulletin boards for having over priced tacos.  I was pretty sure our prices were more than competitive with other places in Angeles, so I did a taco test from 5 places around town.  All the tacos were pretty good, but even though we used better (more expensive) ingredients, our tacos did not turn out to be the most expensive ones in town when we weighted them out and figured out the cost based on weight.                     Click here for the Taco Test
In early January we sent our dayshift manager, Tom,  to Bangkok to have some surgery for a veracious vein problem.  When the doctors were doing pre-surgery tests they discovered that he had stage 2 lung cancer.  After some additional tests he returned to the Philippines and is exploring treatment options with UST in Manila.
RICK'S CAFE IS CLOSING  Rick has tentatively announced the closure of his internet cafe in the rear of Margarita Station at the end of Feb.  I've offered him a deal that may extend that closure by one to two months.  This is the last internet cafe in town with private booths, but there are so many internet cafes in Angeles City these days that there isn't enough business to pay the bills.   But, don't worry because Rick's gift delivery service will continue to operate from his home after the internet office closes.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT & PERIMETER ROAD NEWS

Once again, in January 2008, the entertainment district was disrupted when police raided a number of bars and made arrests, changing existing rules/directives that had previously applied.

15 Jan 

One day after a letter was distributed to the bars stating that barfines were illegal, an article appeared in the Sun Star Pampanga.     

Strangely, the on-line edition of the Sun Star on the 15th had no mention of the "No Barfine Campaign."  Instead it had this article which never appeared in the printed paper:
 

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Angeles tourist belt cleared of minors
By Dante M. Fabian
 

ANGELES City policemen are maintaining a close watch to keep minors, especially girls, from wandering at anytime of the day in the tourism district of Balibago in the city.

Angeles Police Chief George Gaddi ordered various branches of the police in the city to conduct daily round ups of minors to keep them out of reach of unscrupulous persons, foreign tourists and Filipinos alike.

Since the start of the New Year, inspections in the vicinity for minors have been conducted continually under Oplan Sagip Bata implemented by police officers led by Senior Inspector Myrna La Torre, Women's and Children's Concerns Section (WCCS) and Superintendent Pedro Ramos, Angeles Police-Station 4 chief.

Nightly patrols have been assigned to look out for children who may be victimized by pedophiles.

In a recent round up led by La Torre, Senior Inspector Kenneth DG Vega, Station 4 duty officer, and Senior Inspector Luisito Tan, Angeles Police-Station 4 deputy chief, resulted in the rescue of seven minors.

Parents of the seven minors who were found loitering the Fields Avenue area did not accompany them and some were found engaged in selling various items to tourists even at the wee hours of the morning.

La Torre said the youngsters' age ranged from 7 to 15.

Ramos later sent the youngsters to the City Social Welfare and Development Office for proper disposition.

16 Jan 2008

 
Two Americans, Briton face white slavery, bribery raps

Two American nationals and a Briton were accused of white slavery and bribery by the police after authorities raided their night clubs on Fields Avenue. The raids resulted in the arrest of 57 hospitality girls, all working without permits.

DMZ Bar owner Norvel Delbert Bostick, a retired US Marine and a native of California, a certain "Daddy" Kelly of Honey Pot Bar and former UK policeman Richard Agnew have been slapped with criminal charges in court  after the simultaneous raids.

Except for Bostick, who was detained at the city district jail for a direct bribery offense, police said Kelly and Agnew remain at large. They will still be facing a jail term if found in violation of Article 341 of the Revised Penal Code or the white slave trade.

Police said Bostick allegedly offered P9,000 to a member of the raiding team in exchange for the release of seven women arrested inside his bar. The policeman turned the offer and immediately handcuffed the American.    

On Tuesday, police at the tourist belt area raided the Blue Nile Club, the biggest girlie bar on Fields Avenue. The bar employs more than 500 guest relations officers (GRO) including waitresses and dancers. Complaints said most of the workers there do not have permits.

Later, policemen raided the Honey Pot Bar and arrested five women, all working without the necessary permits from the city hall.

Night clubs owners employing women without the necessary working permits is violation under a city ordinance, an official said.

Police said the campaign against prostitution will continue in a bid to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and protect tourists from being afflicted with sexually-transmitted diseases.

The Angeles City-Clark Tourism Association (ACCTA) has yet to issue statement in connection with the fresh crackdown by local authorities against the entertainment business.

ACCTA has more than 300 members, these include hotels, restaurants and bars owners, whose business are located mostly along the busy red-lights district in Barangay Balibago here.

At least 30 percent of the city coffer came from the entertainment business in Fields Avenue alone, ACCTA sources revealed. With a report from Jess Malabanan

Norvel Delbert Bostick, aka Tick, must be one of the first guys ever charged with trying to bribe a police officer in the Philippines.  He is now out on bail.

17 Jan 2008      

Bar manager, 46 others arrested
By: Bernard Galang


ANGELES City — Police arrested Monday night the floor manager of a popular nightclub here, a suspected “mamasan” and 45 bar girls for allegedly violating the police’s “no bar fine” policy and for working without the necessary permits.

Senior Insp. Kenneth Vega identified the floor manager as Engracia Camero, and the suspected “mamasan” (pimp) as Rowena Ruiz, both of the Blue Nile Executive Club on Fields Avenue, Barangay Balibago.

The two, along with the 45 female employees of the nightclub whose ages range from 18 to 39, were arrested by members of Police Station 4 under Supt. Pedro Ramos.

Police said a Filipino-Indian police asset paid P1,350 to Ruiz to go out with one of the girls. He brought the girl to a hotel and had sex with her. This signaled the raid on the nightclub and the arrest of the suspects.

Last Sunday, the city police launched a campaign to stop prostitution in the entertainment establishments, which is blamed for making the city “the source” of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the country.

Letters enjoining owners and operators and warning them of the consequences were distributed to establishments in Barangay Balibago, Malabañas up to Anunas.

NOTE: After being processed, charged and held for over 12 hours it was discovered that the police had raided and taken the staff from Blue Nile, but the girl taken out by the undercover individual had come from Blue Nile Executive Club.  Based on this all charges were dismissed.

In the middle of all this trauma the commander of station 4 was transferred to Aurora province and Major Tan was moved back in as the commander.  He was informed last year that he would be promoted to Major and the promotion went through with the transfer back to Station 4 after a several month assignment to another station near Friendship.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Councilor: Angeles 'not source of Aids'
By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES City Councilor Maricel Morales has denied reports that the city is the source of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the country.

Morales was reacting to a news report she described as "misleading and derogatory to the image of the highly urbanized city.

Sun.Star Network Online's coverage of the Sinulog 2008 Festival

A banner story in this paper's January 15, 2008 issue titled "Angeles police launch 'no bar fine' campaign" stated that the Angeles City Police Office has launched a campaign to stop alleged prostitution in the entertainment establishments here, which is blamed for making the city "the source" of Aids and HIV in the country.

Morales said over the past five years, the City Aids Council has recorded only 11 Aids and HIV cases in the city.

"Misleading reports may tarnish the good image of our beloved city," she said.

According to her, the city health officers are in a close watch on the 11 patients.

Workers in the entertainment districts undergo regular medical check up to ensure their health, she added.

The councilor stressed that the Angeles police should correct their previous statements, which she described as "damaging to the image of Angelenos."

She also clarified that contrary to reports made by the city police, there are no "bar fines" in nightclubs here.

She even lauded the local police for its recent campaign to rid the entertainment area of minors.

"We fully support the move of the city police to save the minors from prostitution and other illegal activities," Morales added.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Aids report didn't come from us': Angeles police

By Dante M. Fabian
 
 
THE Angeles City Police Office (Acpo) has clarified the report that it is to be blamed for giving the impression that this city is the "source of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) in the country".

The Acpo said it did not make any statement "pertaining to the city as the source of Aids." It said the police just received information from the International Concerned Community regarding the issue.
 
Angeles Police Chief George Gaddi said it is very unfair to the Acpo to accuse them that they are the source in giving bad image to the city. "We are, as a matter of fact helping the city get rid of prostitution. The information citing Angeles City as source of Aids in the country is purely baseless," he stressed.

"Regardless of the derogatory, misleading and unfair reports regarding the City, the Acpo continually execute ordinances made by the local government. One of which is Ordinance No. 43-10 "prohibiting the charging of payment of bar fine or escort's fee or similar activity commonly imposed on costumers to take out women employees or night clubs, cocktail lounges, bars, pub houses and sauna baths, hotels, motels," the police chief said.

Gaddi said Mayor Francis Nepomuceno even lauded the Acpo for its intensive effort to get rid of prostitution.

He added that: "The police will continually pursue its operation against prostitution and lewd shows to ensure that Angeles City is free from unwholesome entertainment that maybe catered to tourists."

Last Monday, a team led by Superintendent Pedro Ramos, Angeles police deputy director for administration, conducted raids on the DMZ Bar, Honey Pot Bar and Blue Nile Executive Bar along the stretch of Fields Avenue in Barangay Balibago in the city and arrested a total of 61 bar girls and suspected pimps for allegedly violating the city's "no barfine" policy.

According to Dr. Lucielle Ayuyao, head of the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC), "Angeles City is the first sentinel area for the prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-Aids."

RHWC is under the City Health Office that conducts regular monitoring of this city's entertainment workers particularly along Fields Avenue.
25 Jan

City Councilor Maricel Morales assails city police for retracting statement that started this crackdown.

Monday, January 28, 2008
Mayor's aide says bars don't pay right taxes

ANGELES CITY -- "People have been circulating lies about extortion among bars in Fields Avenue because they have been affected by our campaign to clean the collection of proper taxes. Those profiting from the former system are the ones circulating these rumors," Jose Humberto Tayag of the Business Establishment Monitoring and Registry Compliance Office (Besmorco) said.

City Director George Gaddi said there are people from the City hall allegedly extorting money from the bar operators and their employees after the local authorities have implemented the "no bar fine" policy.

Tayag said the "rumors are baseless". He said there were no more extortionists in the current system in ensuring that the bars in the area follow the "rule of law".

"Our job is to ensure that employees of these bars are protected," Tayag added.

He said the rumors surfaced after his office began looking on the "real" income of bars along Fields Avenue and the strict implementation of no extortion policy among city hall employees.

"What we discovered is that most of these bars are not declaring their real income and somehow evaded paying the proper taxes," he said.

"They have been in 'vacation' for so almost seven years, now I told them to pay what is due do that they will not have problems," he said.

Some journalists present during the previous press conference also said bar owners were threatening to "pull out" because of the "no bar fine" policy.

However, Tayag said the policy was the implemented by the local policy.

In the past bar owners charge customers who avail of "take out" service from commercial sex workers usually amounting to P1,500 or more.

The transaction, however, was not documented in receipts making it hard to trace.

The local police have implemented the ban hoping to curtail the threat of the spread of sex related diseases and regulate prostitution in the city.

"If they are pulling out they are doing all of us a very big favor," Tayag said.

Records gathered by this correspondent show that there are around two hundred establishments along Fields Avenue with small to medium bars employing commercial sex workers as well the usual employees.

Some bars with big number of employees only report a marginal amount that if computed is "impossible" to maintain such lucrative bars, according to Tayag.

 

Monday, January 28, 2008
Sumulong era collections back in Angeles City
By Dante M. Fabian

ANGELES CITY -- Despite the support pledged by businessmen in the tourism industry here to increase tax payments to the City Government, establishments here are now seriously considering moving out of the city as they allegedly face harassments and "underground collections" allegedly perpetrated by some City hall officials.

Old-timers in business here said the alleged "protection racket" seen to kill the tourism industry and affect even other peripheral industries "is reminiscent of the 60s to 70s when Faustino del Mundo, then feared as Kumander Sumulong, exacted fees on businesses in the city and province."

They said the tourism industry is the backbone of the city, including its real estate business, supermarkets and most other businesses in the city. They said Sumulong's activities were opposed by then governor Francisco Nepomuceno.

The goons employed by Sumulong were hunted and killed by armed group called the Mankis said to mean Mang Kitong's.

Bar managers here said their investors are now looking for properties to build new establishments on in La Union, Tarlac and Zambales.

According to the managers, their investors can no longer afford to come across with the alleged underground collections estimated to reach P15 million a month.

They said harassment techniques, including the rumors that Angeles City is the source of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) in the country and accusations of prostitution in bars are now employed by an alleged group at the City hall.

A "mamasan" here said lately, a City hall official at the Sanitation division of the City Health Office stopped the releasing of work licenses of entertainment workers.

Another mamasan said a member of the Business Establishments Monitoring and Regulatory Compliance Office (Besmorco) has informed some mamasans that the licenses will be delivered to the bars and a "fee" of P1,500 will be collected in addition to the P850 that the employees have spent for these.

Managers here have strongly rejected a scheme to collect P50 per day from each of the employees in the entertainment establishments here numbering about 5,000.

They said: this was relayed to officers of the League of Angeles City Entertainment Managers (Lacem) by certain members of the Besmorco headed by Humberto Tayag Jr.

A bar owner here said in December, they have agreed to increase the gross annual sales to be declared this year to support the administration of Mayor Francis Nepomuceno in attaining an executive budget for this year set at P1 billion.

They said this was upon the request of the city treasurer Juliet Quinsaat.

Managers claimed that the group at City hall seems to be determined to collect the alleged "underground fees" from the entertainment workers.

They said their superiors have been trying to contact City hall officials to resolve the mess but to no avail, as Tayag their connection with Nepomuceno and who was chairman of the Acta, had gone on an indefinite leave.

Despite changes in the police commander, the clear lack of direction from the city has resulted in one of the worst January's that the entertainment district has seen in years.  Some clubs have much reduced staff as many employees are not reporting to work for fear of spending time in the Angeles jails.   Some of the bars are reporting sales off as much as 40% when compared with previous years.  Hotels that never have vacancies unless you book 3-4 weeks in advance all have rooms available today.  Rumors are running wild.  As with previous crusades, I predict  this one will pass and business will soon return to some semblance of normalcy.

WHAT'S HOT

For me, more than ever, it's Perimeter Road that's hot.  They are not taking much of the heat from the current crusade, which is concentrated pretty much on the Fields Ave area.  A few weeks ago I did my ever so often visit to Fields Ave and found lots of customers disguised as empty seats and lots of girls that had made a few too many visits to Jollibee.  All that and the drinks were only 50-70% higher than my favorites on Perimeter Road.

 

LOST IN ASIA currently has a good lineup and good drink prices.  Probably the worst seating of any bar in Angeles, but the staff makes it worth a stop for 1-2 drinks.

HONEY KO's is still one of the best clubs on Perimeter Road.  Although it has it's slow days, like any bar, most days here are great.  Good drink prices and largest rum & cokes on the strip.

 

FIRE AND ICE has been one of the better Perimeter clubs since mid 2007.  Currently a bit under-staffed, but still always on my bar hop as I'm sure they will restock the pond soon.

MIRRORS: Yes, Mirrors in the Clarkton hotel is alive and kicking again.  I found no where near the 70 girls I've heard about, but there are enough staff to make it worth a stop.
And a surprise, the drink prices are not higher than the other Perimeter bars.

   

OPENINGS - CHANGES - ETC

CRAZY HORSE: Opened in December where Magic Moments was located (very close to the old wet market near Checkpoint).  Lots of controversy about how the new owners acquired this club from the previous owner, who was a pretty nice guy.  

CLUB ATLANTIS:  Had a soft opening on Thursday 10 Jan and then the Grand Opening on Friday the 11th of January 2008.  Hands down the most spectacular club in Angeles City.  The club features 3 floors with a view of the dance floor.  Plenty of good seats on the first two floor and the third floor has two "VIP PODS" which require a set fee (which I heard is P3000)  in consumables.  Time will tell if Angeles City is ready for a club of this size.  I enjoyed my first visit and will definitely stop in on my next Fields Ave bar hop.  Congratulations Derek!

 

GOLDEN NILE:  Was scheduled to open before the 26th of Jan, but the opening was delayed.  The best guess on the opening date that I can get from the group is .... "soon na lang."

Not sure if they stepped on some toes or what happened, but after years in the same place the city recently made Nifty's and Club Rio cut 8-10 feet off the front of the two bars.  These places were small before, but they are on their way to becoming closet sized.  Still, it doesn't seem to be effecting business too much.  Still, it doesn't seem to be effecting business too much.  Note the Sweety's hasn't made any changes yet. If they cut back I think they will have to close as it isn't much deeper than 10 feet.
 
ERUPTIONS: This bar opened in early December in the same building as the Gentleman's Club and Dr. Holms.  Pretty good sized club with pretty active pool tables.  Dancers start in mid-afternoon.
BC Momma and Dragonstar have announced the rebirth of the Byrd Cage  The NEW Byrd Cage will be located where Confetti's used to be.  SOFT OPENING was in mid-January.  BC Mama and Dragonstar plan to recreate the bar that still remained in their hearts and look forward to seeing all their old Byrd Cage customers there as well as introducing new customers to the Byrd Cage Experience!
STARGATE:  As a general rule I avoid New Years Parties but this year I decided to go down to Stargate and watch the fireworks.   For a small club Neil went all out.  He closed Roadie's early and had the staff from both clubs at Stargate.  He had no cover charge and he laid on a pile of free food.  Then it was free drinks from 11 pm until midnight!  Boy the "balloon chasers" showed up for that. Then at midnight he had  60,000 pisos of fireworks for a rockin display that lasted over 40 minutes.  Anyone not driving got a free trike ride home after midnight.  Great job Neil!

 

CLARK SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE NEWS

25 Jan 2008

Construction on Terminal 2 will begin on Clark in the second quarter of this year according to Bienvenido Manga, the General Manager for DMIA.  He says this terminal will be capable of handling 8 million passengers per year (vs. the 1 million pax that Terminal 1 is capable of handling).   Additionally, he says the in-flight catering facility which is under construction by Miascor and Gate Gourmet will be capable of providing up to 4000 meals per day.

Fontana - Six illegal Chinese workers in a massage parlor on Fontana Resort were recently reported to be giving "sex under the table."   Fontana management said the paperwork was being processed for these employees and it is looking into the reports on inappropriate behavior.

MORE KOREAN'S  Article about more investments on Clark by a Korean firm.
 

OTHER NEWS

 

 

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The US Dollar has continued to weaken.  With the drop in the dollar, many hotels have switched their rates from US dollars back to Pesos.  At the end of January the rate was $1 = P 40.0.

I can't remember how many times all the stalls have been demolished along Real Street. But this week (Late January 2008) permanent stalls were under construction again.  How long will it be until these wooden shacks are replaced with cement block stalls?

 

In December I was unhappy to see the construction of a permanent amusement park behind the stalls, just across the street from Margarita Station.  This park has a spinning  "disco"  where the floor drops away, a roller coaster, and a huge boat that swings back and forth.  I was sure when I saw the speakers that we were going to have a severe noise problem. But, it turns out that the Filipinos don't like the roller coaster because it "throws you around and is not comfortable." In other words, it is too good!  Almost like a real roller coaster despite the small size.  Not like the kiddy roller coaster at Boom-na-boom.   The lack of customers has kept the volume down where it doesn't effect business.

TEQUILA

REEF

Coming Soon, TEQUILA REEF, Angeles.  The final details have been worked out for the construction of a new restaurant in the heart of the entertainment district.  This project is going to bring three EXPATS that have owned three different Angeles City restaurants over the last 15 years, together with the owners of Tequila Reef in Pattaya!  More details in future newsletters.      http://www.tequilareef.com/

AMERICA IN CONCERT ON CLARK:  This should have been in the last newsletter but I misplaced the photos.  In early December we were lucky enough to have the group AMERICA perform a concert on Clark. The weather was perfect and my old friends Dewey & Gerry put on a good show.

                                                          

ONLY IN THE PI:  Build a nice parking area and then post a NO PARKING sign

I recently received some photos taken by some motorcyclists checking out the almost completed expressway to Subic.  One EXPAT friend took a look at the photos and said "Just think about how much rice they can dry on that roads!"

 

More New Hotels

 

 

Gerard's next project in Angeles is the construction of an 11 story building on the corner of Don Juico and .....   The 10th and 11th floors have already been sold as deluxe condos.  Some of the units will be used for overflow units for the ABC Hotel.  Other units will be for sale for individuals wishing to reside in the building or to invest in property that will be rented by the building management.  Construction should begin soon now that the soil samples are back.

Construction continues on the monster hotel near the Iglesia ni Cristo church on Perimeter Road. 
Construction has begun on the Savannah Hotel.  It is located between Honey Ko's and the Clarkton on Perimeter Road.  This is the first building I have seen in Angeles with steel beam construction.  Wow, proper cement pumping equipment too.  Construction is going pretty fast in January.

Westin Palace Hotel   Time will tell if they can keep this name (the sign out front has changed several times in the last few months).  Located near the Friendship area (this area can be renamed KOREA TOWN any time!).  The hotel caters to Korean's but is nice to all nationalities.   They have 70 rooms and right now they are running a promotion with all the rooms at P1500 a night.

DISCRIMINATION IS ALIVE AND WELL IN ANGELES CITY!  I recently stopped into this small hotel in KOREA TOWN (Friendship).  A Korean man got all excited and was running around looking for his Filipino manager. Finally the manager showed up and told me I had to leave as this hotel was for Koreans only.  I told him I ran a website that booked hotel rooms and yes we had some Korean customers.  He said "Koreans OK, but you go now!  No Americans. KOREANS ONLY, YOU GO NOW!"

Charlie's Apartelle opened in late December. It's located on Malabanas Road just off of Don Juico (Perimeter Road)  near the Phoenix hotel.

ABC NEWS:  In 2007 the Angeles Beach Club Hotel went from a hotel that many said would never work in Angeles to one that is setting the standards for new hotels.  Since they first opened, the junior suites are always 100% booked and the other rooms are not far behind.  We have moved the ABC onto our list of hotels that we recommend you book 30+ days in advance if you expect to get a confirmation for more than 1-2 days.  Some significant changes at the ABC Hotel this month.  First, the Filipino that had the contract for the Food & Beverage has been replaced by Franz from Azzuro Restaurant (over Lancelot).  This should drastically improve the quality of the meals at the ABC and, if possible, make it even more popular.  Also, another big change is Dennis (from Insomnia) has moved in as the General Manager.

RED TULIP  This is a Dutch owned hotel 4 blocks behind the Gentlemen's Club in Josefa Subdivision.  They have pretty big rooms, but the location is not ideal for tourists without their own transportation.  If you have transport or don't mind trikes, the rooms are pretty big for the price (Big TV with DVD player) and they have a nice quiet patio restaurant.  Although this hotel is not on our list we will be glad to assist in making reservations at no charge.  Just send your request to: reservations@theville.com
THE BANGKOK HOTEL is located close to the intersection of Fields Ave and Mac Arthur Highway.  This boutique hotel has 22 rooms, but they were fully booked when I visited in late January, so no room photos.  Although this hotel is not on our list we will be glad to assist in making reservations at no charge.  Just send your request to: reservations@theville.com
JACK'S is another boutique hotel being built off the beaten path.  With all the new hotels being built around town there is bound to be a surplus of rooms in the near future.  This will be good for the local EXPATs looking for a place to hide from their wife.
The WALK-ABOUT HOTEL will also be located on Fields Ave close to Mac Arthur Highway.  Based on the current construction it looks like this hotel should be open in the summer time if they don't hit any hidden Filipino snags.
SERVICED HOUSE FOR RENT  Still in the trial phase, but we have had good feedback on this place.  You can rent one bedroom and have the entire house to yourself, or a group of 3 guys can have a party house much cheaper than 3 hotel rooms.   You'll probably want to rent a Balibago Buggie or a motorcycle, but trikes are available close to the house. For more details see http://www.margarita-station.com/house.html

MISC

All old timers from Angeles City will remember the POWDER KEG.  Well, I recently found out that there is a NEW  Powder Keg!  This Powder Keg is owned and operated By Paul And Mercy Bruno. Paul along with his ex Army buddy Wayne, were both responsible for the setting up and managing of the original Powder Keg in Angeles City, Pampanga many years ago.  It was a favorite of my military unit back in the early 80's.

Alas the original Angeles City Powder Keg is no more. But, Paul has recreated the atmosphere and menu that made the Keg so special.  The new Powder Keg is located on Alona Beach on Panglao Island just off Bohol . They specializing in authentic Italian pizza, subs and home made chili.

For their website, click on the Powder Keg logo on the left.

 

That said, December didn't end well in our area.

LONG TERM EXPAT MUGGED AND ROBBED:  December 25th. Santa Maria 2

Terry Coogan, a long term resident EXPAT was mugged and robbed in Santa Maria 2 at 7:00pm on Christmas Day.   Amazingly enough, Terry was sober at the time.  He was leaving his house when two guys on a scooter came up behind him and clubbed him with pipes.   He says  he did not see them until he was laying on the ground.  When they tried to grab his wallet he held on until they beat him some more with the pipes.

Korean couple found dead in Porac:  December 27, 2007

PORAC -- Two Korean nationals were found dead at Go-Yhang Ville in Barangay Manibaug Paralaya on Wednesday.  Pampanga Police Superintendent Rolly Mendoza, identified the fatalities as Oh Young Kwan, 38, and his wife Lee Hyen Koung of the Manibaug Paralaya village. Investigations revealed that at 7:17 a.m. on Wednesday, the lifeless bodies of Kwan and Koung were found beside their residence.  Mendoza said Kwan sustained a bullet wound on his left cheek while Koung was shot in the head.  The Porac police station received a text message from a security guard at Go-Yhang Ville, about the lifeless bodies of the two Koreans lying on the pavement beside their house.  Police found the bodies and recovered three empty shells of .45 caliber pistol.  The children of the victims, aged 9 and 10 said they saw from their room two men wearing camouflage pants, black jackets and black bonnets stabbing their father. Mendoza said Koung was an educator in a Korean school in Angeles City.  The couple, along with their two children, was residing in the village for 10 months now. Police investigators have yet to establish the motive behind the killing of the Korean couple.

 

FINAL SALUTE

Robert Earl Priest, 51   a US Navy veteran, Bob was best known to many of us as Bob from Bob's Mongolian BBQ (that use to be downstairs from Dominos.)
 
Bob had cirrhosis of the liver and to make matters worse, he got hepatitis. In May Doctors gave him 6 months to get a liver  transplant in order to live but alas, he never found a donor.   Bob died died Monday, Dec. 21, 2007 at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Bob met his wife, Jocelyn, here in Angeles City.  he is survived by his wife Jocelyn Priest; children Steven Michael Priest, Kier Formanas Priest and Stephanie Michelle Priest; parents Michael and Mary Priest. Also surviving are sisters Michelle (Bill) Robertson and Debbie Jones; two grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his grandparents and sister Sandra Shillings.   Bob will be missed by many friends in AC and also Barrio Barretto. 
Nicolaas (Nico) Krabbendam, 51

On Christmas Eve Nico Krabbendam passed away in his sleep from a heart attack.   Nico had Foxy's Club in the old Southern Star and later moved to the Field's Ave area and took over Butterfly Rock's.  He will be missed by his many friends in this town.

Bill Pond

On new years eve I was in Fire & Ice when word came in that Bill Pond had passed away.   Bill was on the Fire & Ice pool team and most thought he was in good health.   He will also be missed by many friends he had in Angeles.

 

I have been a fan of Christopher G Moore's novels since I picked up my first one many years ago. Most of his books are fictional stories about the interactions between EXPATS and the locals in Asian countries.  His latest book, The Risk of Infidelity Index is IMO his best novel, but Pattaya 24/7 was a great read too!

As his writings have become more popular, his books have been translated and published in other countries around the globe.  Currently his books have been, or are in the process of being translated into, German, Japanese, Chinese, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Hebrew and Thai.  Additionally, he has sold the movie rights to several of his books. In Thailand, his novels have been published by Heaven Lake Press, and this publisher had done a lot to improve the quality of the books and to reduce the price for the readers.  And now Atlantic Monthly Press in New York and Grove Press in London have committed to publishing four books in the Vincent Calvino series in the USA, Canada and the UK so you don't have to get a trip to Bangkok to get his latest novels. Look for the USA/English editions of Spirit House in May 2008.

You can see reviews of all his books on his website at http://www.cgmoore.com/    You can also order any of his books on line through his website, or for people not in Asia, you can order his books through Kagi or on Amazon.com

This month the Italian edition of Pattaya 24/7 will hit the stores in Italy.

Italian Version