ANGELES CITY NEWS

Feb 2009

JC's TIP OF THE MONTH:  Beware of products from street vendors.  The photo on the left shows hundreds of pork or chicken sticks sitting out in the heat at the beginning of a hot evening.  These yummies were probably put on the sticks early in the day and likely had seen no refrigeration since the animal was slaughtered the night before.  I'm sure the BBQ sauce was also prepared and stored in proper hygienic conditions too. If you consume some of these around midnight, don't be surprised if you are on the toilet before sunrise. 

On a related note, due to several reported stings in December I DO NOT RECOMMEND you buy anything from street vendors.  If you absolutely have to have a cheaper pack of cigarettes, send a bar waitress out to get them.  Several bar owners are calling for a 100% boycott of all street vendors.  In any event, the phrase "Buyer Beware" is taking on a new meaning in Angeles.

MARGARITA STATION NEWS

 

We shot our annual staff photo in mid-December at our staff Christmas Party.  Unfortunately I forgot to take the raw photo with me when I went to Bangkok for the holidays.  I finally go around to editing the best photo.   Better late than never.  Our staff hope you have a great year in 2009!

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT & PERIMETER ROAD NEWS

POLICE REASSIGNED/TERMINATED  In some of the best news we have had for a long time, it seems that the Regional Director for the National Police Commission, Leon Nilo Aquino Dela Cruz, CEO VI, has finished investigating allegations of corruption in the Angeles Police force. During the last two weeks of January a dozen or so police from Station 4 and other stations in the vicinity were terminated or reassigned to districts outside of Angeles.

This positive action coupled with the fact that there have been no reported police setups since around December 10th seem to me to signal a new era in Angeles City and a positive step forward to the Philippines as a whole.

The Balibago Barangay Captain is apparently also ready to take on Police Corruption should it resurface after the actions of the NPC Regional Director Dela Cruz.  With all this attention I believe the police in Angeles are going to have to return to the proper mission of "Protect & Serve."  However, anyone that feels they are being charged with something they did not do should immediately inform the management of their hotel or any EXPAT manager in town so we can get them proper assistance.  These might be good phone numbers to have in your cellular phone or your wallet.

FIELDS AVE BARS FOR SALE:  Gerard is getting ready to build four new bars on the land between McDonald's and the Walkabout Hotel.  These bars will be 2 story units with between 185 square meters and 285 square meters on the ground floor.  The second floor of each unit will have room for an office, stay-in, and storage space.  There will also be one outside bar (Pattaya style) in front of the four bars.  Initial plans are for his contractor to build the shell of the clubs and for the renters to finish the interior with their own designs. Individuals can have the bar built to their specifications (even adding a 3rd story) if they secure a contract before construction begins in the near future.  Interested individuals should contact Gerard at the ABC Hotel.   Email: info@angelesbeachclubhotel.com   Initial plans (1 2)

13 Jan 2009    Annabelle, the floor manager from Paradise Bar was finally released after 145 days in the Angeles jail.   Annabelle was arrested almost 5 months ago when an official from the city approved her license and then accompanied the raiding team which asked for the girl by name.  Despite the fact that the girl had a properly approved license, she and Annabelle were arrested and the club was closed.  Several days later the girl in question was released because she was found to be of legal age.  But, Annabelle was not released as certain city officials were reportedly trying to get the club owners to pay a "release fee."  The charges were actually dismissed on December 11th.  The court finally signed release papers on December 17th, but she was still detained until 13 Jan 2009.

GOLDEN NILE:   Nowadays I don't frequent the clubs on Fields Ave too often.  But, I finally got around to visiting the long awaited Golden Nile on lower Fields Avenue. I have read endless complaints about this club on the local bulletin boards.  I have to disagree with the critics. I found the club to be great.  Absolutely some of the best looking girls I have seen in Angeles.  The staff is easy to connect with when compared to other mega-clubs.  Some also complain about the drink prices which are about $2 for a rum & coke.  Come on guys many of the smaller clubs on Fields are charging $1.75.  Count me in for the extra quarter.  You can be sure the next time I find the energy to stay out and visit the clubs on Fields, the GOLDEN NILE will be on my list.

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH

What can I say about this one? 

"One in every crowd."

Typical Angeles Door

Goes no where....

Says DO NOT ENTER.....

and  PULL to open

 

Only in the PI.

Is that like a runaway market?

 

OPENINGS - CHANGES - ETC

The SKY BAR is a new 24-hour bar located on the roof top of the ABC Hotel. This is a great place to take a date to watch the sunset or to just relax.  They do have a small staff of girls to entertain the customers that come without a date.

Lewis Grand after dark as seen from the Sky Bar

Great view of SM from the Sky Bar

VALHALA has opened to mixed reviews.  I tried to take a look the other night but it didn't open until 5 pm.  I'll try to get some interior shots soon for a future newsletter.  It is on Fields Ave at the former location of the DMZ. 

SUNSHINE BAR has opened on Perimeter Road between The Phoenix Hotel and Zapata's Mexican Restaurant.  It was a little too warm the night I visited, but they appear to have plenty of air-conditioning, so it may just take a while to find the right settings.

Midnight Rodeo has reopened, this time on Oak Street next to Roy's Pub.  This is a pretty small venue, but I'm sure it will do OK if it has some of the same bands as before.

HAPPY ROCK has reopened under new management.  On the day of the grand opening there were 3-4 Filipino males sitting out front acting like "door boys."  That put me off so I figured I'd wait a day or two until I checked it out.  Still haven't been in because they constantly have Filipino guys sitting outside. Not sure what the interior concept will be, maybe macho dancers???

WILLIE PIGS  has moved from next to Cheers (in the VFW area) down to a space between Zapata's Mexican restaurant and the Phoenix Hotel.  Willie's was a popular diner in it's previous location due to the food being good value for the price.  I believe he will do even better this close to the action.

TEQUILA REEF Is on track to open before the end of February. As with any building construction in the Philippines, there have been several setbacks with the original contractor (now off site) running out of funds because he had emergencies on another project, and a problem with the temporary electric meter being unable to handle welding. Virtually everything required to open has either been contracted or is sitting in storage waiting for installation.  90% of the staff has been hired and is in training in Margarita Station.

Equipment & Supplies arrive from Thailand First floor dining area is beginning to take shape
BOHEMIA closed their doors again in the end of January due to low sales and labor problems.  Hopefully Frank will reopen in the future as his food was very good for Angeles City.

CITY STARTING TO ENFORCE SETBACK?  The Anchorage Inn recently removed the front of their building.  Too early to tell if this is part of the city's move to enforce the setback ordinances or if the Anchorage management just wanted to open up their dining area.  In any event, the regular customers (mostly HASHers) never missed a drink.  Many just moved their chairs while the wall was being torn down.  Other businesses have been given notices they must remove frontages that encroach on city property.  This happened a few years ago, but the city backed off when hit with the problems of establishments like Champagne, Typhoon, and many of the businesses on the north side of Fields Ave which would be required to remove 6-12 feet from the front of their businesses (some of which are barely that big).

 

OTHER NEWS

CEBU PACIFIC CUTS BACK BANGKOK>CLARK FLIGHTS  Starting 5 Feb 2009 Cebu Pacific will cut back flights between Clark & Bangkok to two days a week (Tuesday & Saturday only).

SEAIR will begin Clark to Bangkok flights in May or June 2009.  They will be flying an Airbus 320 and prices should be comparable with Cebu Pacific.  IMO this will be better for most people since SEAIR has an office on Clark and they do not have the credit card problems most EXPATs and tourists have with Cebu Pacific.

Photo by CRAIG HAMMERSLEY

The 14th International Balloon Festival  will be held on Clark from 12-15 February 2009.  In addition to balloon flights there will be a variety of aviation events from parachuting to remote controlled aircraft air shows.   For more information see http://www.philballoonfest.net/  If you are planning on being in town that weekend I suggest you secure your hotel rooms ASAP.

Photo by CRAIG HAMMERSLEY

ABC Helicopter service

Sorry, but the ABC helicopter is no longer available (Update 2012)

WILCON BUILDING SUPPLY has opened next to McDonald's in Dau.  Almost the size of the WILCON in San Fernando, this store has a great selection with prices on many items only a fraction of what ACE Hardware charges. Before you buy any tools, lighting or building supplies you should check out this store.  But, bring a bag lunch with you because check out isn't fast.  Expect 12 to 15 people to handle your receipt in the 15 to 20 minutes after you pay.  Several will be equipped with different rubber stamps and acting very important.  Then, when you think all is done, the guard (in a silly looking paper hat) acts like he is checking your receipt against the stuff  you bought  and then he will frisk all the employees assisting you with taking your purchases to the car.  Security at Fort Knox is not this severe!

ZERO crime in Angeles between Christmas and New Years???
Click on image on the left to see an article on Evelyn Davis's appeal on her conviction for murdering her husband Steve (one of the former owner of Jade Cool).

Crime rate drops in Angeles City in 2008

ANGELES CITY -- "The 2008 crime situation in the city has recorded a significant low crime rate as the year ended," said Angeles City Police Office (Acpo) Director Pierre Bucsit during his presentation of peace and order situation held at the office of Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno last January 22.

Acpo reports showed that of the 392 total crime volume reported, 183 are categorized as index crimes (crime against persons) while 209 are non-index crimes (crime against property).  Of the reported index crimes, physical injuries ranked highest with 59 cases. In the non-index crimes, robbery and theft are on top with 47 and 46 cases, respectively.  "Crime solution efficiency rate of Acpo was 86.22 as manifested by the 338 cases successfully solved out of the 392 crimes reported last year," the reports stated.

Bucsit said Acpo's major concerns at present are crimes involving motorcycle men riding in tandem and physical injury cases. "Our efforts will focus on police visibility at night spots and entertainment areas, posting uniformed and plain clothes personnel, conduct of 'No plate, No travel policy' and 'Oplan Sita' for motorcycle riding in tandem, checkpoints, and intensification of 'Oplan Bakal'," he said.  Acpo also launched its own hotline number 888-6731 for help and police assistance, Bucsit added.

Meanwhile, City Administrator Mark Allen Sison vowed to improve the participation of the local government unit in anti-crime efforts while appealing to the business sector to cooperate with the city police.

Balibago Business Establishment Association Vice President Carlos Basilio and Auditor Baby Pingul requested a consultative meeting concerning peace and order situation in the central business district of Balibago with the city administrator, Chief of Staff Gerard "Gepoy" Nepomuceno, City Tourism Officer Angela Flores and Bucsit.

Norwegian arrested in Angeles City for alleged slay try

SECURING YOUR VALUABLES:  Again in the last month I have received two reports from guys that claimed they lost some money from their hotel security boxes or in-room safes.  One of these was from a hotel where several other people reported similar problems in recent months.  However, almost all the cases involved guys that had consumed so much alcohol they had no real idea of how much they had in their pockets or their safe.  So, no real way to tell if these reports are true, but at least one hotel has reimbursed their guest after he reported it. 

I have ordered some locking bank bags that will be for sale in Margarita Station, but they are not likely to be available before early summer.  I strongly suggest guys coming from the USA pick up one of these bags from an office supply store.  They should eliminate and doubt that someone has been going through your cash or valuables.

CAR BREAK-INS:  Last week several cars parked between Happy Rock and Honey Ko's have had stuff stolen after there windows were busted out.   Individuals should use caution when parking in this area.

Jury finds 2 not guilty of running sex tours

 

By Larry Hertz  Poughkeepsie Journal   

January 27, 2009

 

A Dutchess County jury Monday acquitted two men accused of running so-called "sex tours" to the Philippines.

 

The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated for about three hours before finding Town of Poughkeepsie resident Douglas Allen and Norman Barabash, of Queens, not guilty of promoting prostitution in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. Allen, 64, and Barabash, 63, were accused of helping clients of their travel agency, Big Apple Oriental Tours, make arrangements to meet prostitutes in Angeles City in the Philippines.

 

Following the verdict, Allen's attorney, Senior Assistant Public Defender James Hill said his client had always maintained his innocence. "This case has been going on for a long time, and I'm glad it's finally over," Hill said. "An astonishing amount of time and resources were spent on a case that perhaps did not deserve it."

 

Hill noted the investigation was launched by the state attorney general's office in 2002 when Eliot Spitzer was attorney general, "and I guess we all know how that turned out."

Spitzer was forced to resign as governor last year after a federal probe into a high-end prostitution ring revealed the governor had been a client.

 

Sting operation

 

The lone witness at the trial was Dennis Maddalone, an undercover investigator for the attorney general's office. Maddalone testified he secretly taped conversations he had with Allen and Barabash while posing as a potential client in 2002 and 2003. Jurors heard about 10 hours of those taped conversations during the week long trial.

 

In his closing argument to the jury Friday, Assistant Attorney General John Prizzia said those conversations proved Allen and Barabash were engaged in arranging sex for money for their clients. But in their summations, Hill and Daniel Hochheiser, Barabash's attorney, noted Prizzia had never presented any evidence proving their clients had any direct knowledge of illegal activity in the Philippines while they were being investigated.

 

Minutes after the verdict was announced, Hochheiser praised the jury for its decision.  "Jurors are generally smarter than lawyers and judges and police," he said. "They have a knack for seeing through the politics and making sure justice is done."

 

Dutchess County Court Judge Gerald V. Hayes presided at the trial in the county courthouse in the City of Poughkeepsie.

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Twenty-six persons were injured when a Zest Air plane carrying passengers bound for Boracay Island undershot the runway as it was about to land at the Caticlan airport in Malay town, Aklan province Sunday morning.

Except for a passenger who suffered a fractured collarbone, the passengers and a few airport personnel suffered only minor injuries. But the incident forced the closure of the airport for more than five hours.  One passenger, Rowena Versoza, 40, suffered broken bones and a cut to the head. She was taken for treatment at the Aklan Baptist Hospital in Caticlan along with the other injured, said Inspector Lory Tarazona, police chief of Malay town, said in a phone interview. Three of the injured were airport personnel who were hit by debris when the plane crashed against the concrete perimeter fence.

The airport was closed to all incoming and outgoing flights because the plane blocked the 30-meter wide and 950-meter long tarmac. All incoming flights were diverted to the airport at the capital town of Kalibo until the Caticlan airport was re-opened at around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Volunteers at JC's favorite charity, the Bahay Pagbig home for the elderly accepting two blood pressure cuffs  from Aida.  These were donated by frequent visitor David Lillig.  Thanks David.
RUNNING A BUSINESS IN THE PI   I have 3-4 books full of suggestions from guys that have never tried to operate a business in the Philippines.  After 15 years at Margarita Station some things still amaze me.  One is the "out of stock" situation that occurs between Christmas and Chinese New Year.  We have routinely stocked up heavy in December to prepare for this phenomenon but this year with a new stock clerk I forgot to inform her.   This year during the first 3 weeks of January we were unable to get common items like: full-size dinner napkins,  German style hot dogs, bacon, many ice cream, Red Bull, sour cream, small squid, pork ribs, mango juice and orange juice (except in cans-yuck), etc.  We were able to find some substitutes, but only in the PI can a supplier that has only two products (mango & orange juice) have neither product for over 3 weeks.
The Returned & Services League (RSL) of Australia is a Veteran Organization (similar to VFW ) which has a Sub branch here in Angeles City.  They are very active in community work raising funds to assist the less fortunate children in this area and have conducted a number of medical missions in cooperation with Tony Mamac, the Barangay Captain for Balibago, and with Dr De Guzman of Community Medical Services.

They are also a major contributor to the free operations given to Children with Cleft Lip and Pallet deformities. (Click here for story )

For more information see their web page at  www.RSLANGELESCITY.com or call Cell number +63-916-524-3084

General Meeting 3rd Tuesday of each month and social gathering every Tuesday 2.00 pm at Ponderosa Hotel

Only in the PI:  I was checking on the internet for some information on Hundred Islands and on a tourist website I came across this schedule of events for the area.  Check out the excitement on Feb 8th!

 

Events & Festivals

February 14, 2009 5th Free Civil Mass Wedding
October 23, 2008 Dra. Ampy’s Medical Mission
March 14-18, 2008 2008 Hundred Islands Global Homecoming
February 8, 2008 POWER INTERRUPTION
February 14, 2008 Hundred Islands Hundred Kisses
WILD ORCHID HOTEL - BARRIO BARETTO

In mid-January I was able to break out of Angeles for an over night trip to Subic (Barrio Baretto).  I stayed again in the Wild Orchid.  What a beautiful hotel.  From the spacious lobby to the huge pool, this hotel is hands down the best in the area.  On this trip I had time to enjoy the "Barefoot Bar & BBQ" area located right on the beach.  Somewhere I had picked up the idea that the BBQ was only on the weekend so I didn't give it a try on this trip.  But, looking at the selection, this will lead my list for a dinner on my next trip to the barrio.  For more on this hotel, see http://www.margarita-station.com/hotels/wild-orchid-subic/index.html

They are within a few weeks of having the huge rooms on the 4th and 5th floor finished.  These rooms are huge with nice sized balconies (see photos below).  They were still waiting for some dining table and chairs for the rooms, but they should be available soon.  Not sure where all the people are coming in March, but many of these new rooms are already booked for March.

On my first visit to the Wild Orchid in Subic I thought some of the meals were a bit over priced.  Since then, several of the cheaper eateries have raised their price and the Wild Orchid has lowered theirs.  When the choice comes down the the ambience of the Wild Orchid or one of the run down places on the beach, I'll continue to eat at the Wild orchid.  But, next time I'll go for the private breakfast on the veranda of my beach front room.

ARIZONA HOTEL - BARRIO BARETTO

A few months ago there was a thread on the Angeles 2 bulletin board about one guys misery at the Arizona Hotel in Barrio Baretto.  I asked a few people and got completely different feedback so I decided to check it out on this visit to the beach.  For my meal I selected the pork cordon bleu. It came quickly and it was honestly one of the best meals I have had in a long time.  The pork was juicy & tasty, the sauce spot on, and the mash potatoes were the best I have ever had!

 

After dinner I asked the manager, Bern Smeisser, if he could show me some rooms.  They had a vacant Family room and a Superior room (see photos below).  All the showers have been remodeled in the last 4-6 months, and all the rooms were clean.  I was unable to photograph the standard rooms because they were all full (not a bad sign in the middle of the week), but I was able to peek in one. They standards were a bit small for my taste, but OK if you are on a budget.  The superior compared in price to the tiny beach front room my buddy got at the Blue Rock.

The family room (below) was spacious and had a great view of Subic Bay
The SUPERIOR room at the Arizona Hotel in Barrio Baretto
BLUE ROCK -- BARRIO BARETTO

The BLUE ROCK is one of the most popular places on the beach in Barrio Baretto.  A friend of mine on a budget stayed here while I stayed at the Wild Orchid.  The last time I was on the beach I remembered a big difference in the prices of meals at the Blue Rock vs. the Wild Orchid.  This trip one of my friends had the Filipino breakfast with tocino at the Blue Rock and I had the same breakfast at the Wild Orchid.  Both were P230.

 
FINAL SALUTE

Bernt Diefenbacher, aka  Ben Pinatubo, was murdered on about 18 January 2009.  The 55 years old retired German High School teacher was found dead in his kitchen by his housekeeper on 20 January. According to initial investigations, he died from massive blows to the head, at sometime on 18 or 19 January.

According to reports it was a very brutal murder with "lots of close violence."  The initial investigation said a baseball bat or a machete was the possible murder weapon.  Later the police did find a "jungle bolo" with blood on it during the investigation. There was no signs of theft.

Friends of Bernt were very shocked by his violent death. Ben Pintubo,  as he was called by all his friends here, was considered a nice and friendly guy.

 

SERVICED HOUSE FOR RENT   We only have one,  so book early.   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.    For more details see http://www.margarita-station.com/house.html

Margarita Station Website

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