Jan 2010

AN INCIDENT AT THE DOLLHOUSE:  Where ever I go since Christmas I find this to be the most talked about news item in Angeles City.  In the early hours of 23 December a Dollhouse customer was injured by two security guards upon leaving the club.  I delayed this newsletter hoping to get to the "real story" on what happened.

A summary of the known facts:  Thomas, a regular Angeles visitor from Sweden had been in Dollhouse with a girl that was in no way connected with Dollhouse or any other club in the Dollhouse Group (DHG).  There was a dispute over their bill.  While the girl was inside the club settling the drink bill, one or two male security personnel from DHG knocked Thomas to the ground where his head smashed into the cement.  A short while later he was unconscious when he was placed into a trike and transported to a local hospital. Throughout his hospitalization no representative from the Dollhouse Group ever visited his hospital room or inquired about his need for assistance with his medical expenses.

I have interviewed as many people as I could, and yeah I read most of the internet reports.  Wild stories, rumors and phantom witnesses have been in abundance on the internet message boards  (some reposted here - use the link on the right) and all should be taken with a few grains of salt.  

On 15 January I had the opportunity to sit down with Thomas and hear his side of the story.  He is looking much better than the photo on the right that was taken shortly after the incident.  He is still suffering from hearing loss in his right ear, an echo in his head when he talks, and having some memory problems from the blow(s) to his head.  He had another brain CT scan on 16 January and doctors predict several months before his condition improves.  Unfortunately, he cannot remember the details around the time of the beating.  But his memory of events since the incident are returning, so he may eventually be better able to explain what happened that night.  Thomas has been a regular Angeles visitor since 1983 and he has never had any problems with any club.  He assured me that he absolutely would not hit or kick the momasan (accusations of the momasan involved).  His Swedish friends  that were with him at the Dollhouse that night corroborate the story as told in Harry the Horse (see link at right) as to what transpired inside the club.  Unfortunately, none of them witnessed what happened when he left the club.

I have also had the opportunity to discuss this with the main owner of the Dollhouse Group several weeks after the incident.  He in no way condones any actions by his security personnel that might result in injuries to anyone.   I asked why they couldn't review the surveillance videos from the camera in front of the club and he said they do not record their surveillance cameras.  I sure can't imagine a multi-million dollar corporation like this having surveillance cameras that don't record, but I guess it is possible.  The two individuals involved have been charged and he says the courts will decide their guilt or innocence.  But, in reality, since they have been released on P 6,000 (about $127.00) bail, I really doubt a trial will ever happen as they have probably left Central Luzon.  That is just the Filipino way.  As for any compensation to Thomas, the owner says that will be settled by the lawyers or the courts.

Stewart, one of the managers in the Dollhouse Group, made multiple posts on local bulletin boards with some real questionable (IMO fabricated) information.  In his posts, among other things,  he indicated that Thomas was never in a coma (false - he was reported to have been in a coma for 4 days), that he tried to contact him at the hospital, but Thomas had already checked out (false - he was still there) and that the DHG had set up a meeting with Thomas's representatives to resolve the issue (again false).  As of 15 January, Thomas has had nobody from the DHG contact him about the incident.  

My conclusions:

1.  Did he deserve it?  This one is pretty easy. There is absolutely nothing he or any customer could have done that would justified being shoved and ending up in a hospital.

2. Did the security guards kick or beat Thomas after he was on the ground?  My staff has made numerous unsuccessful attempts to talk to the doctors that treated him at Angeles Medical Center  and AUF.  His doctors at Angeles Medical Center would not comment on his injuries due to pending litigation and the doctors at AUF Hospital didn't see him until more than a week after his injuries and would not speculate on how he got his injuries.

3. Could the Dollhouse management have prevented it?  IMO, even the best managers in the country can not always control one or two Filipinos that decide they are "macho guys" and they have the power to do what they want.  The (DHG) employees well over one thousand employees and I suspect the training for their security isn't very detailed (nor are most of the other security personnel in Angeles).  I'm sure that this incident will result in a new briefing to the DHG security guards on the limits of their actions.  This may or may not prevent a similar incident in the future.

4. Should the Dollhouse have stepped up and made sure he got competent medical treatment?  IMO, absolutely!  This individual was hospitalized in very serious condition in a marginal hospital.  He was unable to tell anyone if he had money to pay the hospital bills or if he had insurance.  Fortunately, he had some friends that were able to get him emergency medical care while Dollhouse management hunkered down preparing for litigation.




Of course there are two sides to every story..........

Click here for Internet accounts of Incident





No witnesses, but a security camera

Hotel Security for your Valuables:  In the past I have had visitors tell me that they had money removed from their hotel safe.  Whether you are using an in-room safe or a safe in the hotel lobby, you may want to consider using a locking cash bag for additional security.  They are available at all major office supply stores in America, Australia, England, etc for between $25 and $45.  We have a limited number of USA manufactured bags available for sale at Margarita Station in 3 different sizes.



On behalf of the staff at Margarita Station I would like to wish all our regular customers a great year ahead in 2010.  We had another good year in 2009 and to recognize our hardworking employees (and to comply with the Labor Code of the Philippines) we paid our staff over P1 million in bonuses in December.  Additionally, we closed our doors for one shift in late December to celebrate Christmas with our employees and some of our favorite customers.  Click here for the photos from our Christmas Party.

Some more photos of the "elves" running around Margarita Station during the holidays [Click Here]

Years ago we used to go out on Christmas day and give candy and toys to kids in needy areas.  We stopped this after several incidents where locals stopped in nice cars and got in line to get free stuff.   This year I took some of the staff and went to serve Christmas dinner to the residents at the BAHAY PAB-IBIG old folks home.  The residents here are so thankful for every thing that they receive that we all enjoyed spending time with them on Christmas Day.  This Christmas Day dinner at Bahay Pab-Ibig will become a Margarita Station tradition.



BROWN SUGAR is often overlooked in my bar hops in the Fields Avenue area.  In the last couple of months I have rediscovered this club.  The seating is as comfortable as any club in town, the girls have great attitudes and they play a good  music selection at a reasonable volume.

A INTERNET POST BY THE OWNERS OF BLUE NILE:  "Just saw this topic and I would like to clear things up so that everyone is not misinformed. Blue Nile Executive (BNE) was never sold to DHG. It was offered by they never bought it. Same as the former arcade place below it was also offered to DHG but they did not bought it. The company decided that it did not want to operate 5 bars but just 4 bars and because of the removal of the arcade, we ended up with 5 bars that includes the old arcade below BNE. When DHG did not bought BNE, we had a deal with the building owner that we will let go of BNE building and just keep the building space below it so that's what happen. After we let go of BNE building space, not the company, DHG instantly took it from the owners of the building. So for the record DHG does not own or bought BNE, they just took the building space and rented it from the building owner and we kept the space below it which will soon become an annex to Blue Nile Club.

With regards to Southern Palms Resort, we are not connected to it in anyway. It was a solo venture of one of the partner of the group who was the main man before and he used Blue Nile Group name for it. As everyone does not know yet or may have heard already that the owners of Blue Nile Group had already parted ways since June 2008. This is due to many mis-spent funds, undocumented expenses etc of the group by the former partner. Funds that were allegedly spent somewhere else where the other partners have not invested in. This includes the Slot machines that's why when the owners split up, all the machines were required to be removed from the bars and the arcade area. Because of this incidents, the new management is still suffering from lack of funding to be honest since the corporation was left with almost nothing to run it. We only made do of what we have and tried our best to keep the bars operational.

I would like to state that our bars will not be RIP and is not for sale to DHG or any other group for that matter. We are trying our best to provide our girls of what is due to them. Commission are paid up to date but unfortunately we are delayed on our payroll but everything is being sorted and the owners are doing their best for the benefit of their employee's welfare.

Just would like to comment on one of the post stating about greed. There is no greed involved in this matter because even the owners are affected and has not earned a single centavo for months now just to make sure that the employees get what they deserved. If there is greed here, better ask the former partner, maybe he can define it to you. Before anybody jumps into conclusion, please make sure you got the right information to back it up!

This 2010 will be different. There will be many new things stored for our employees and customers. This will be the year that things will be back to what it was before and much more better.

Hope this clear things. Happy New Year to all!

Regards, BNE"

"Our customer drink is only 70p every Monday and Tuesday. 95 on other days."


Neither of these are my photos, but both fit into the "Only In The PI" category.  Hard to imagine students having to wear blinders to keep them from cheating.  And a auto body made out of sawali is perfect for some island resort.


CAR WASH - Temporary Closure   This was recently posted on a local message board by the management of the BSG.      "The Body Shop Group (BSG) is suspending operations at Car Wash bar starting on January 19th, 2010. The decision was not an easy one to reach but with a global recession happening, a significant decline in customer traffic in Angeles and the recent loss of some of the BSG team members/employees, the decision was made.  The BSG will consolidate the remaining BSG members from Car Wash bar to Shooterz Bar.  This is NOT a closure of the bar. The group has a 20 year lease on the bar space and has plans to resume operations at Car Wash bar when economic conditions and customer flow return."

One Eyed Wench formerly Tender Touch/Stunners.   This club is hidden between Lancelot and Treasure Island, you still have to enter through the long narrow entrance.  Once you get past the curtain you can see the dancers instead of a blank wall.  But, it they see your camera they flee the tiny stage (see photo to the left).  This is a TINY bar with a small staff with a pool table in the back part. Seating is very limited, but the demand for the seats will remain low until they increase their staff.

THE UNDERGROUND:   Paul has closed the Underground and gone back to work.  He was the classic "How to leave Angeles City with $20-30,000."  You just start with a few hundred thousand dollars.  Then invest in a disco with the son of a politician.  Next, buy a expensive used car that breaks down every week until the repair costs are double what a new car costs.  Get a nice apartment and fill it full of quality furniture.  Then open a club on blow row and leave it with no real management while you go out bar hopping every night.  Ring the bells in every bar in town.  When you are finally down to your last $20-30K, give the furniture and broken down car to your girlfriend, close the bar and leave town.

Klub Klass has changed to Heaven ABOVE.  There are no more bands. There is a pool table where the band stage was located.  Hard to believe that customers weren't ready for a live band in a tiny upstairs room!  

BADA BING has been purchased by a consortium of four Americans (Two of the new owners have previous experience managing clubs on Fields Ave).   Dennis is on board as of 25 January as the manager.  For now, it is still called Bada Bing, but It will be renamed either Splash or Bottom's Up.  Renovations are going on after hours and for now it will be open for business from early afternoon until late.  The new owners are revamping the air-conditioning, sound system, lighting, interior paint, and seating.  The pool table will be replaced with some more big tables and of course more staff will be hired.

Wee George's is under new management.  It now closes at 9 pm.  Still has a full complement of very aggressive dancers and waitresses.   P50 local drinks all day.

ERUPTIONS was acquired by Gerry from Love and Music (L&M).  No real changes yet to the interior or the staff.

NEW DOLLHOUSE ACQUISITIONS: This group continues to expand despite the Christmas incident at their first club, Dollhouse.  Currently the group is operating the following clubs:
Dollhouse Atlantis Crystal Palace Baby Dolls
Club Asia Tropix Pony Tails Emperor's Lounge

Coming soon with new names:

Former Blue Nile Executive





 Emperor's Lounge is located on the 2nd floor above Club Asia.  Entrance stairs are to the right as you enter Club Asia (behind the first dance floor). It features spotlight dancers slow dancing, and a runway walk with certain girls going 1-by-1

Lewis (Lewis Grand Hotel) has acquired DIRTY DUCK.  Martin & Louie are the resident managers and they have resurrected this club into a fun place that is full or action most nights.

Let's hope that Dirty Duck doesn't die when Lewis opens his new club, the Forbidden City,  across the street from Kokomo's.  Looks like a late Feb or early March opening.

Dirt Mouse Disco Pub:   The information I had on this pub last issue turned out to be incorrect or the management has made some changes.   First, the bar is air-conditioned and quite comfortable temperature wise.  And most important, they do charge the same drink price for a visiting lady as a visiting man.  (The initial rumor was that they charged visiting ladies drinks at "ladies drink" prices).   I stopped in twice in recent weeks to give it a look.  Both time it was more of a pub than a disco.  A number of EXPATS playing pool and sipping on a cold one.  No dancers in sight, but perhaps they do have dancers later in the evening.  If you live in this area it looks like a great place for a cold one on the way home, but for the average tourist it is way too far off the main drags to make it worth a visit.


CHAMPAGNE:  Over the years Champagne has changed the front of their club numerous times.  IMO, the new look is by far the nicest frontage to date.  Congratulations guys on a sleek tasteful job!

VALHALLA:  Some major renovations starting to become visible at Valhalla.

FIELDS PLAZA CONDOS:  What a difference construction experience and no limits to financing makes.  Construction on Fields Plaza Condos (FPC) continues to be full blast while work two other condo projects have been stalled for months due to financial & legal problems.  The FPC building is already showing signs of quality construction materials and aesthetic extras that most builders wouldn't waste their money adding.  I predict this project will have zero construction delays and it will be finished ahead of schedule.  If you are considering investing in a Angeles Condo, I'd strongly recommend a hard look at the Fields Plaza Condos.  Gerard is using the best construction materials from rebar, to plumbing, to doors and windows.  Additionally, this building will have some of the best security features of any building in Angeles.

BLACK ANGUS STEAK HOUSE: The restaurant in the Royal Amsterdam Hotel was recently  relaunched as a Black Angus Steak House.  As with any new restaurant in Angeles it has met with mixed reviews, but mostly positive.  This establishment is known for pretty good management, so I'd expect them to continue to improve in the coming months.

WILLIE PIGS:  Willie is expanding. They opened their second location  at the DONALD PAUL HOTEL (across from hygiene) on Monday January 25th

THE COURTYARD is a new food court located on Mac Arthur highway immediately south of Johnny's Grocery store.  It officially opened the last week of January, but in reality about 75% of the food outlets won't be open for a few more weeks.  This is a two story building that features about forty different food outlets.  Chow King is the only well known franchised food outlet in the building.  The others are pretty much Filipino versions of Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc.  Most of the outlets look like they will have some air-conditioned seating.  The main court yard has seating on both sides with a stage on the far end for a live band.  The courtyard area is not air-conditioned and there are no noticeable fans.   At least for now, most outlets do not open until 5 pm.  



Owner of local website (Asian Escapades) was visited by Immigration officials on 9 January.  Rumors were flying that he had been arrested by NBI agents and all the site computers were seized.  He later posted this about the "visit":   "Don’t believe everything you read. We have no problems. I did have a chat with a couple of immigration guys yesterday but after checking my passport they were happy. None of our PC’s were touched."

WILLIE PIGS BURGLARIZED ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT   Thieves broke in through the fire exit door in the kitchen while Mr. & Mrs. Pig were sleeping upstairs.  They failed to find any cash so they made off with a broken receiver, a broken DVD player and their (cheap) cellular phone.

BAR HOPPERS BEWARE?  Aura now has one of the most expensive rum & cokes in Angeles.  You enter the bar through an empty, closed club, then into a funky back room that reminds me of something out of Apocalypse Now.  Signs indicate that local drinks are P90. BUT, that is for local beers only.  Local cocktails like rum & coke are P120.  IMO best most people leave this club for the Korean patrons.


Here is a great idea.  Take a bus from SM Angeles to SM Mega Mall or to the SM Mall of Asia.  Shop at the Mall of Asia for about 3 hours and then catch the return bus to Angeles.  Cost from Angeles SM to San Fernando SM is P100.  Cost to the Mall of Asia appears to be P200, and a round trip from AC to Mall of Asia is P300.


Australian found dead inside room
(The Philippine Star) Updated December 06, 2009 12:00 AM

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Philippines      An Australian national was found dead in his apartment in Josefa Ville Subdivision at Barangay Amsic, Angeles City Wednesday, police said yesterday.  Angeles City police officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista said security guards reported that Timothy Harriman, 40, allegedly committed suicide. Police officers led by Senior Inspector Alfredo Quiambao found the victim lying on the floor of his bedroom, with blood oozing from his mouth. The victim’s friend, Dutch national Romeo Tulnman, 40, told police he last saw Harriman alive at around 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Voodoo Bar in Barangay Balibago. The victim’s alleged wife, Lally Orpanio Harriman, 24, told police that last Nov. 14, she and her husband had a misunderstanding about the Pacquiao-Cotto fight and she has since stayed at her parents’ house in Barangay Amsic, also in Angeles City.  [See more information below in FINAL SALUTE section]

'Robber' caught on camera

ANGELES CITY -- A man who allegedly robbed a gasoline station on Sunday was identified and arrested with the use of closed circuit television (CCTV).  Alex Avelino Pamintuan, 25, single, of AU Compound Abacan, Barangay Malabanias, this city, was caught on camera poking a knife at the cashier of Starline Caltex Service Station situated along Santo Entierro Street here. After this, Pamintuan immediately left the establishment carting away some P18,000 in cash, Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, City Police officer-in-charge, said. Pamintuan was charged with Robbery with Violence Against and or Intimidation of Person before the Office of the City Prosecutor, according to Bautista.  Bautista said three witnesses have positively identified Pamintuan, a former employee of the gasoline station, as the one who entered the firm during the heist. "The workers of the gasoline station recognized the suspect whose picture appear in the Bio-Data of previous employees," Bautista said. After learning about this, elements of Police Station 6 led by Senior Inspector Melencio Santos and Santo Cristo barangay executive officer Oscar Dela Cruz invited the suspect for questioning. After confirming the statement of the witnesses, Pamintuan was placed under police custody. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

Air-conditioned bus held up in Mabalacat


CAMP OLIVAS - Armed robbers carted away some P100,000 worth of jewelry and cash from 27 passengers inside an air-conditioned bus along McArthur Highway in Barangay Dau, Mabalacat town last Monday. Reports said that a Victory Liner bus with plate number CVU-232 driven by Alfredo Tawantao was on its way to Pangasinan when the three robbers armed with short firearms declared the hold-up. One of the suspects, police said, fired his gun, hitting the roof of the bus. His two cohorts then started divesting the cash, jewelry and personal belongings of the passengers. The suspects have also taken the fare collection of the bus conductor identified as Jowell Espinocella. After the heist, the suspects alighted from the bus in Barangay Mabiga in the same town and fled toward unknown direction, police said. Police said the suspects boarded the bus at the Dau Terminal and declared the robbery only after a few minutes. (Ric Sapnu)

This is a story from Thailand, but I feel it pertinent for this column as many hotels in the Philippines use this style of water heater and they are generally not as well installed as the ones in Thailand.

Student dies of electrocution in Phuket

CHALONG, PHUKET: -- A 17-year-old student of the British International School died from an accidental electrocution on Christmas Day. Chalong Police Investigator Boonlert Onklang identified the deceased as Anurak Gottschalk, son of a German photographer and his Thai companion who works as a cook aboard a tour boat. At about 5:30pm, the boy's German uncle and a housemaid found Anurak dead in the bathroom of their home in Chalong Village 9.  They went to check on the boy after realizing that he was taking an unusually long shower.  Anurak's body was covered in electrical burn marks and his hands were still clutching the sprayer when he was discovered.  Rescue workers from the Phuket Ruamjai Kupai Foundation brought the body to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where Anurak was pronounced dead on arrival.  An examination of the body determined cardiac failure resulting from electrical shock as the cause of death.  A malfunctioning water heating unit for the shower is the presumed cause of the tragedy.

Firecracker accidents in C. Luzon lower in 2009

By Ian Ocampo Flora

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Saturday that firecracker related accidents for 2009 have been significantly lower by at least 70 percent compared to that of 2008.  DOH regional director Rio Magpantay told Sun.Star Pampanga that as of January 2, the DOH Surveillance Reports noted that some 59 accidents were reported from major hospitals in Central Luzon.  About 17 firecracker accidents were recorded in Pampanga alone but with no casualties recorded.  The said figure, according to Magpantay, is significantly lower than of 2008 and is still considered to be one of the most peaceful celebrations of the New Year. In 2008, more than 160 people were injured in firecracker-related incidents during the New Year's Eve in Pampanga alone.  Doctor Irene Canlas, officer-in-charge of the DOH-Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (Resu) reported that in 2007, the DOH has recorded 375 cases of firecracker-related injuries throughout Central Luzon. Of this number, various medical institutions in Pampanga reported 43 victims. The Pampanga Provincial Police Office also reported that the New Year revelry in Pampanga and Central Luzon were relatively peaceful. Pampanga Provincial Police Director Gil Lebin Jr. said that the no major crimes were perpetrated in major towns and cities of the province.  “It was a peaceful New Year, aside from the petty little crimes and holiday traffic it was relatively an easy holiday,” Lebin said.  However, in Nueva Ecija, two people were reported dead from the fire accident that erupted along a group of firecracker stalls in Muñoz town with 5 other people sustaining second degree burns. Another group of firecracker stalls also burst into flames in Zambales town but no accidents were recorded. But the DOH said that said this year's celebration was much peaceful due to the relatively minor incidents and the obvious decline of firecracker use due to strict government regulation and campaign to stop the use of dangerous firecrackers. Earlier, the DOH through Health Secretary Francisco Duque III appealed for a stronger crackdown against the proliferation of dangerous and illegal firecrackers nationwide. Aside from public information campaigns, the DOH also has Emergency Room Preparedness and Responsiveness program, wherein Code White Alert is declared on all DOH hospitals on December 24, 25 and 31. DOH also bans firecrackers in all of their facilities.

Cocaine seizure saves a million dope users

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO---Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Acting Chairman and Undersecretary Paul Clarence Oaminal said Saturday that the more than 200 cocaine bricks seized in Samar late last month could save a million dope users in the country.  In a statement furnished for Sun.Star Pampanga, Oaminal said that the seizure of the illegal drug is the country's significant contribution to the world anti-drug campaign in 2009.  Oaminal noted in the report that a dope user averages a consumption of .01 to .02 grams of cocaine per session. He said a gram of cocaine could be shared by a conservative estimate of 5 persons or a cocaine brick like that seized in Samar, weighing one kilo, could be consumed by at least 5,000 dope users.  Oaminal said were it not for the fast action of the Philippine Government led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the retrieval of the drugs, it would now have been distributed and consumed by dope users in the Philippines, US, Europe and Hongkong, the point of destination of the vessel that unloaded the shipment.  Oaminal noted that that the PDEA and PNP may not have the best technologies and logistical requirements but they, he said definitely achieves their mission.  Oaminal added that the past year alone, the PDEA in coordination with the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation have dismantled more than a dozen clandestine shabu laboratories nationwide, including several outfits in Floridablanca, Porac and Angeles City here.  Meanwhile, Oaminal said in the statement that he welcomes the appointment of Secretary Bebot Villar as the new chair of the DDB, who will assume office on January 4.

Kuwait-based firm to develop airport

CLARK FREEPORT -- A Kuwait-based firm, Almal Investment Company, has committed to develop the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) with a total investment of $1.2 billion.  Clark International Airport Corporation Chairman Nestor S. Mangio said Almal Investment Company, a subsidiary of M.A. Kharafi Group, has sent to his office a proposal for the development of the Clark airport.  In its proposal dated December 24, 2009, the company expressed its desire to develop all civil components of DMIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3 based on the corporation's master plan.  "Almal Investment Company is committed to the development of Terminal 2 at a total investment of $100 million representing Phase 1 [of the whole project]. It will be completed in two years after the signing of the Joint Venture Agreement," Mangio said.  Terminal 2 will have a total floor area of 35,000 square meters and a capacity of seven million passengers per year, according to Mangio.  The components of the project include airport equipment of DMIA 2, airport plaza, transport plaza, covered parking area, expansion of existing apron facilities, widening and improvement of access roads with interchanges, among others.  "The company develops aerotropolis. It builds cities around airports," Mangio said. Upon signing and execution of the Concession Agreement, Almal-Pride Consortium shall pay CIAC non-refundable goodwill money in the amount of P100 million.  "So far, it is the most firm offer with the amount of goodwill money of P100 million which the company will give to the government," Mangio said.  The CIAC Board already approved on Monday the company's proposal and that a draft of the legal contract is now being prepared, according to Mangio.  Almal will form a Joint Venture Company with CIAC on a 70/30 sharing. "CIAC will get 30 percent of the JVCO for contributing the leasehold rights over the land," Mangio said.  CIAC will not contribute cash nor issue a government guarantee for the project, he added.  The duration of the Joint Venture Agreement is 45 years, renewable for another 25 years subject to mutual agreement of the parties involved and the limitations imposed by the laws, rules, and regulations of the Philippines.  Mangio said the company will review the feasibility study and develop a master plan within six months.  Firms, which participated in the previous biddings for the development of the DMIA are welcome to challenge Almal Investment Company, CIAC officials said. (RGN)

Cop dies in mishap, not bullet

MAGALANG -- A police official here denied rumors that a policeman who was killed in a recent vehicular accident along the Ayala Road sustained bullet wounds on the head.  Superintendent Henry Flores, town chief of police, said there were no official reports that Police Officer 2 Nicolas De Guzman Cunanan, assigned at 32nd Regional Mobile Group (RMG) in Barangay Ayala, this town, was shot on the head. Cunanan, a resident of Sitio Balas, Barangay San Nicolas, Concepcion town in Tarlac, died instantly when he, while on board a motorcycle, collided with a tricycle driven by Marvin Masuela Bagaid of Sitio Balas in Barangay Turu here. Flores, however, said he will send a team of policemen to verify the rumors.  "Magaspang kasi yung daan dun sa area ng aksidente. Mabato rin ang daan kaya medyo napuruhan sa ulo ang biktima," Flores said. Cunanan's relatives reportedly asked for another autopsy to confirm the report.  Bagaid also sustained serious injuries on his left leg because of the impact of the collision. Cunanan was on his way home after celebrating his birthday party at the 32nd RMG in Camp Olivas when the accident happened. He celebrated his birthday party together with his fellow police officers. Cunanan and Bagaid were traveling in opposite direction when their vehicles collided after evading a pothole, reports stated.  The two were taken to the Balitucan District Hospital here for treatment but physicians declared Cunanan dead on arrival.  Flores earlier said they are planning to file Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide and Damage to Property against Bagaid, who is still in the hospital.  Flores said the suspect needed to undergo medical operation. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

Tricycle 'thieves' nabbed 

MABALACAT -- Five persons, including two minors, were apprehended and charged in court by the town police after being suspected of carnapping a tricycle in Barangay Dau here Wednesday.   [Wouldn't that be "trikenapping"???]

The arrested suspects were identified as Jayson Cajala, 19, of Northville 15, Cutud, Angeles City; Marlon Majia, 18, of Biglang Sibol, Dau, this town; Jimmy Moneva, 18, of Diamond Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City; Totey (not his real name), 16; and Arjay (not his real name), 15.   [Why do they give them a fake name instead of just saying name withheld?]

The suspects were involved in a theft case where a tricycle was stolen from Adorable Dela Peña, 63, of Barangay Dau Wednesday morning.  [I wonder if Adorable was still cute at 63?]

Shortly after the incident, Dela Peña reported the incident to the Dau Police Station.

Senior Inspector Jowen Dela Cruz led a team of cops and conducted a hot pursuit operation against the suspect.  [They had time to remove the side car and it was still hot pursuit?]

Dela Cruz said the suspects were spotted riding the stolen motorcycle along the national highway in said village here.  [FIVE guys were riding the motorcycle without the sidecar?  Do you suppose that is how they spotted something wrong?]

Police officers pursued the suspects who were mauled by tricycle drivers who learned about the incident.  [Humm.  The police were in hot pursuit but the trike drivers were able to maul the "alleged suspects"?  Got to love those police for not being able to stop the mauling, them being in hot pursuit and all.]

Dela Cruz said the side car of the tricycle was later recovered at Sitio Kadenang Kristal in Barangay Sapang Biabas in this town.  [Excellent police work]

Cajala, Majia, and Moneva were charged with Carnapping (Theft) but the two minors were referred to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (Reynaldo G. Navales)

‘Carnappers’ also suspects in armed robbery

MABALACAT -- Police said the five persons earlier arrested for allegedly stealing a tricycle are also suspects in a series of robbery in this town and nearby Angeles City.  Superintendent Gregorio Lim, town police officer-in-charge, said the group is also believed to be responsible in several cases of robberies on gasoline stations, computer shops, and passenger buses. The arrested suspects were identified as Jayson Cajala, 19, of Northville 15, Cutud, Angeles City; Marlon Majia, 18, of Biglang Sibol, Dau, this town; Jimmy Moneva, 18, of Diamond Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City; Totey (not his real name), 16; and Arjay (not his real name), 15.   The suspects were arrested after allegedly stealing the tricycle of one Adorable Dela Pena, 63, of Barangay Dau on January 6.  “This group is responsible for the series of robbery hold-ups that victimized passenger buses and gasoline stations. Its members operate within this municipality and nearby towns and cities,” Lim said.  The group, Lim added, is also being tagged as the one behind the robbery break-in committed in computer shops and the recent shooting incident in Angeles City.  Last January 1, elements of the town police arrested another alleged member of the group in his residence at Bigla Sibol, Villa Quintana, Balaba Phase II, in Barangay Dau for his alleged involvement in a bus robbery in Barangay Tabun shortly after the New Year’s Eve.  Police identified the suspect as Mark Hio Villato, 28, single, a native of Samar, and temporarily staying in said village.  Lim said they were able to seize from the suspect a .38 caliber revolver with live bullets.  Villato was initially charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions.  Lim said they are also preparing a case of robbery in band against Villato and his companions.  He said Villato was positively identified as one of the suspects who robbed the passenger bus on New Year’s Eve.  Senior Inspector Kenneth Vega, deputy chief of police, said Villato is also a member of the group tagged behind the tricycle theft and robberies here and other adjacent areas. (RGN)

Finnish tourist found dead in a hotel

CAMP OLIVAS - A Finnish tourist was found dead inside his rented room at Vistillana Lodge along Charlotte Street, Barangay Balibago, Angeles City on Monday.  Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, Angeles City police director, identified the victim as Kari Allan Pentinsaari, a tourist from Finland who was temporarily billeted at said lodge.  Bautista said that the victim was last seen on Saturday by Isabela Pineda, desk clerk of Vistillana who informed him about the time of his check-out.   Investigation showed that the victim should check-out at about 7:00 a.m. on Monday but failed to do so.  Pineda told police investigators that they tried to call Pentinsaari in his room and then knocked on the door. When the victim did not answer, the hotel management decided to open the victim's room using a duplicate key, Bautista said.  He said that Pineda and employees of the hotel saw the victim dead. Bautista said his men are still investigating the cause of the victim's death. (Ric Sapnu)

Any EXPAT that has ever tasted bagoong (rotting shrimp brine in a ghastly purple sauce) will appreciate this article about using it to kill rats.

'Bagoong' as new rat killing agent

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit III (DA-RFU 3) announced Friday its newest innovation in addressing rat infestation in farmlands using the side-dish "bagoong" as a rat killing agent. DA Regional Director Redentor Gatus told Sun.Star Pampanga Friday that the newest procedure was conceptualized through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and Municipal Agricultural Offices (MAO) in Nueva Ecija, in a joint effort to control the extent of damage to rice crops brought about by rat infestations. The massive rat poisoning dubbed as "Oplan Pain," which was recently implemented in Nueva Ecija, gave birth to the new method of using Zinc Phosphide (a rat poisoning agent).   The Zinc Phosphide powder stored in sachets is mixed with broken rice (binglid) and other organic materials and is flavored with boneless bagoong, a ratio of one pack to 150 grains of rice.   Initially, there were significant reports of rat infestation in the area, Gatus said. 

Gatus said that DA Secretary Arthur Yap has ordered the regional agriculture officials to undertake campaign against rat infestation in Nueva Ecija being the rice bowl of Central Luzon amid reports that rice fields in 16 of its 27 towns have been affected by rat infestation.   Gatus also ordered his field personnel in Pampanga to spread the technology to other MAOs here.  "The program, I think, will greatly help in curbing rat infestations in many areas of Central Luzon. It is cost efficient and has little effect on the environment compared to purely chemical based rat repellants," he said.  Farmers are also educated by agriculture experts on the various procedures on how to eliminate rats, according to Gatus.

The procedures include narrowing the sizes of their dikes and levies, six inches in height and eight inches in width, so as to preclude rats from living in them and by digging the holes and burrows found in their farms.  The farmers are also advised to circumfuse their rice fields with plastic sheets termed as the Total Rat Barrier System, which is set in place one month before the regular planting. Its entrances are designed to trap the rats attempting to penetrate the fenced area, which houses rice plants intended to lure the rodents inside the blockade, Gatus said.  "Only rice farms situated adjacent to the creeks and irrigation canals have incidence of rats, but those positioned at some distance away or at the middle part of the town have limited rat presence. These programs and technical knowledge are now being spread in many parts of Central Luzon," Gatus added. (IOF)

Authorities net P1.5-M ‘fake’ cell phones

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Authorities raided on Friday several mobile phone shops and confiscated some 800 “fake” cellular phones worth P 1.5 million here and in nearby Angeles City.  Headed by National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Regional Director Azor Sitchon and Superintendent Francisco Esguerra and Inspector Albert Andasan of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-3) office based in Camp Olivas, the raiding team swooped down on 28 cellular phone shops owned and operated by Filipino-Chinese traders inside the public market and in some malls like GQ, Robinsons Starmills, Robinsons Balibago, Nepo, Jenra, SM City Pampanga and SM City Clark.

Sitchon said his office received complaints from concerned individuals that several cell phone shops located in the two cities have been selling “fake” China phones, while a number of these shops reportedly lack the necessary permits issued from NTC. He said the 800 confiscated “fake” China phones do not have NTC sticker, which means they were smuggled and not registered at their office.  Sitchon said that most of the cell phone shops do not possess the necessary permits from the NTC, while some have expired licenses.

“The owners of these shops have violated RA (Republic Act) 3846 or the Radio Control Law, which has a corresponding penalty of P 5,000 for each unit (cellular phone). They will be given 10 days to settle the fines or penalties at the office, if they fail to do so, we (NTC) will file appropriate charges against them and the fake phone will be confiscated in favor of the government,” Sitchon said. “We are just enforcing the law and being the government regulatory body in terms of communication, we must look after the welfare of the public. I advice cell phone buyers to ask for a receipt and to make sure that the phone they are buying has the NTC sticker, this will ensure them that what they are buying is the real thing and is covered by a warranty,” Sitchon added.

On October 14, 2009, Sitchon issued Mission Order 09-10-168 directing NTC personnel to inspect all radio communication network to include AM/FM radio stations, Lotto Outlet, CATV, Local Government Units (LGU), radio dealers, service centers, mobile phone dealers and service center, broadcast low power FM/ISP/Maritime/LEC/ Cell Sites/ Microwave/ Trunk/Radio/Bank/VSAT and Private Radio Station System within the Province of Bataan.

Also last year, the NTC headed by Sitchon with the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Olongapo City raided cellular shops located in the Dinalupihan Public market. The raid netted some 488 “fake” China phones that were being sold to the public by Pakistani and Indian traders. Each confiscated phones were fined P5,000 each. (Chris Navarro)


Australian Timothy Harriman, age 40, committed suicide on 5 December 2009.   Reportedly Timbo had a disagreement with his wife and they had been separated for several weeks.  He purchased a gun a few days before his suicide.  On the night of his wedding anniversary he went home from the bar, took off his shoes, sat on the floor and shot himself.  A very sad ending for a one of the good guys.

Daniel (known as Sangriaone on the AC2 board) passed away at 2:15 PM on the 9th of January.  At the time he was in the USA for cancer treatment. Guys that knew him said he was a great guy who never said anything wrong about anyone.   He was a life member of the Angeles VFW.  He was scheduled to be buried in San Francisco.


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

Margarita Station Website

Previous Newsletters

Sign up for notification of future newsletters