ANGELES CITY NEWS

June 2009

EXTENDED TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN ANGELES & MANILA

Our drivers have had numerous occasions since March 2009 where travel time from Angeles to the airports in Manila was three hours or longer.  JC strongly recommends you depart Angeles five hours prior to your scheduled departure for international flights until further notice.  I departed through Manila twice in the last three months and recently traveled to Manila to pick up a family member.  Three out of the four trips took between 2.5 and 3.2 hours!

As a general rule, 95% of our customers arrive at the airport between 2 hours and 2 hours & 10 minutes after they leave Angeles.   But, increasing accidents on the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) and heavy rains in the next 5-6 months may cause extended delays.

We will not accept any responsibility if you miss your flight because you did not allow sufficient travel time.

To further emphasis this trend, on 5 June we had a customer leave Angeles at 3 pm for an 8:30 pm flight. Due to heavy traffic, he missed his flight!  He left in enough time using my 5 hour rule above and he still missed the flight.

MARGARITA STATION NEWS

 

RUMORS: It is hard enough to fight the wild rumors in Angeles, but now the editor of a popular Thailand newsletter, the Asia Bugle, stated that since Margarita Station is soon to be "redeveloped" it might as well close now.  I suggest that that writer should get a new source of information.  We have a good lease and have no plans to relocate or change our venue.

Traditionally we repaint and do major renovations in the slow season.  That has been delayed this year by the loss of our handyman and our painters being tied up on other projects (like Tequila Reef).  But, don't worry, you will be able to smell fresh paint with your meal soon.  I'm happy to report that we finally got rid of our worn-out pool tables and have two quality tables now.  The price to play pool did not go up, so these are still some of the cheapest pool tables in Angeles.  We are also in the process of building a small kitchen/bakeshop in the rear of our compound for some new food choices this fall.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT & PERIMETER ROAD NEWS

NEW NBI RAIDS:  There were some more NBI raids on 29 April on Icarus, Valhalla, Edelweiss Bar, and  Club 68.  One of those raids resulted in the closure of Valhalla.  According to reports on all the major Angeles boards some of the girls in Valhalla were not licensed with the city and at least one girl was thought to be under age.  But, according to an email from the owners of the club: "Regarding the licenses for employees and the establishment we can inform you that all necessary licenses are available which was proven a few days before the raid for 2 consecutive days the City Hall inspectors came to Valhalla and all emploees had license and all permits were there for the establishment."  They say the bar was temporarily closed for "other reasons."  Whatever those reasons were, they couldn't have been serious as the bar was reopened the other day under the same name.

SLOW SLOW SEASON:  Numerous clubs are reporting record low sales during May.  However, most of the clubs reporting record low sales are those that haven't changed anything but prices in years.  Some clubs with good lineups are still reporting 10-20% increases over May last year.  I have to admit to having some of the most boring bar hops in recent memory.  The fun factor seems pretty low in a number of my favorite clubs.  In the past when business was slow, the girls were happy to see any customer and tried a little harder to keep the customers from moving on.   Not so this season.  But, if you bring some trinkets or toys with you, expect to become the center of attention real quick.

KING OF DIAMONDS CLOSED/REOPENED: King of Diamonds was closed by the owner in late May.  There were lots of rumors about the closing, but IMO it was much ado about nothing.  This is not this owners first bar in Angeles, and he was just making some "adjustments."   As expected, the bar was reopened by early June.

COYOTE UGLY - ANOTHER BAR UNDER LITIGATION:  There are two sides to every story. Here is a short summary of a long time Angeles City visitor that decided to buy a bar not too long ago:

 

Rockin Dave and Kenneth Graham jointly purchased 'Coyote Ugly' in November 2008. The bar was renamed Midnight Rock (which is the name of Rockin Dave's businesses back in England). 

Within two weeks the two co-owners were no longer friends.  Dave says he was forced out of the business and was threatened with violence if he tried to get back into the business.

Dave has now started a law suit against Kenneth Graham in an attempt to recover his investment of about $40,000.  Additionally, there are several other charges in the law suit that don't need to be discussed here. 

As stated above there are always two sides to every story, but Dave's accusations are reinforced by several actions.  First the mamasan and dancers took Dave's side and left Coyote Ugly/Midnight Rock with Dave. Additionally, the security guard sided with Dave and therefore, according to reports, Kenneth Graham refused to pay the guard for services rendered.  This part can be confirmed by legal actions the security company says it is now filing against Kenneth Graham.

As with any bar under litigation, you won't see me warming a seat as IMO it unfairly supports one side in the fight. 

You want to buy a bar?  CLICK HERE for JC's advice

Anyone besides me see a similarity to this logo and the new Bare Assets (see new clubs below)?

A few weeks ago I stopped into Eruptions Bar (behind Dr. Holms) on a Saturday night.  The place was packed and the girls were having a great time modeling different costumes.  This isn't something they do every weekend, but the club is doing much better and is back on my list of bars I frequent.  If you are in the area it is well worth a one drink look.
The ATM is now up and running at Golden Nile.  This ATM  will take Visa (not Master Card) and all local cards like BDO or Land Bank etc. You can withdraw up to 50,000 per card per day (5000 lPesos  at one time). The cost per withdrawal is 35 Pesos.

 

Tired of loud music and endless techno or rap music?  Well this might be the club for you.  However, I had to draw the line the other night when they were playing "TINY BUBBLES"  I have seen the girls dance to country western, but some songs need to be banned.  I have now added Tiny Bubbles to the Love Boat as songs that indicate it's time for me to pay my bill and head home.

THE ALASKA CLUB is having a  SUMMER SLAM PARTY on June 8th. These are usually pretty popular events.  They are planning a FREE dinner, FREE raffle prizes, FREE fun, and Of course their 'FAMOUS GAMES WITH THE GIRLS".  Get there early as the fun starts shortly after 6 PM.

Several parties planned for the 4Th of JULY:

The Doghouse has announced they will have their second annual  pool party at ABC hotel.  Cost will be 750p for meal drinks for 2 hrs. Big raffle and over 70 girls.  More details next month.

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FIRE & ICE: This bar has received some bad press on the local boards this month.  One poster said the mamasan had taken all the girls and left.  NOT TRUE.  In fact, IMO the club has the best line up now that it has had in 18 months.  Yeah, still a few Jollibee girls and one of the worst dancers in Angeles City right now, but 5-6 girls that are way above the line. [NOTE: the mamasan & girls that left were from Sea Dreams, a sister club on the first floor].  Another poster complained they now had the most expensive drinks on Perimeter. Again NOT TRUE. Local drinks are P60, except from 5-7 pm when they are P70 but that is for buy one take one!  Not many places on Perimeter that I can think of where you can get TWO drinks for P70.

TEQUILA REEF has transitioned from their small opening menu to a full menu which includes BBQ ribs, blackened fish & chicken, steaks, sandwiches, etc.  This is the only place I know of in the Philippines where you can get a choice of steak sauce or Beaver's creamy horse radish with your steak.  My favorites are the taquito's, the fried cheese, and the veggie burrito.

CLUB SPOTLIGHT

The GOLDEN NILE is still one of the best clubs in Angeles City.  All the activity takes place on the 3rd & 4th floors where an astronomical number of girls party late into the morning to good music on a flawless sound system.  Don't worry about climbing the stairs, there is an elevator to the right as you enter the building.  If you haven't seen the BAD INFLUENCE dance shows, that alone is worth the visit.  When I have friends in town, I consider this a must club to visit.

OTHER ANGELES CITY NEWS

EARTHQUAKE: On April 21 at 3:10 am there some Angeles residents were woken-up by dogs barking followed shortly thereafter by a rolling earthquake (less than 5.0).   No significant damages or injuries were reported.

INCREASE IN ELECTRIC BILLS:  Some horror stories on the boards about 40% increase in electric charges. So I analyzed the last few bills at my house.  Cost per kilowatt went from 4.5125 to 5.229. That is a 11.6% increase, not 40%.  After taxes it went from  7.167 per kilowatt  changed to 8.09 per kilowatt or about 11.3% increase.  However, this isn't the first increase. The charges have been increased almost every month since December and that total isn't far off the 40% some residents are complaining about.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Wow, what a great place to advertise a school for girls!

OPENINGS - CHANGES - ETC

The Crazy Horse Saloon remains closed.  As stated above in the case of Coyote Ugly, I don't frequent establishments under litigation.  Therefore, I haven't been in Crazy Horse since Charlie stole it from the original owner well over a year ago.  Whereas there are two sides to ever story, this guy is so disliked that WANTED posters are appearing around town.  However, these posters appear to me as home made products and I really doubt that Immigration is looking too hard for Charlie or he'd already be in jail.  If you are in town and buying anything, I'd suggest this as one man to avoid as he has reportedly tried to sell percentages in bars where he has no real ownership.

Screamin' Eagles Cafe Formerly EZ Riders reopened on 30 May 2009.  Format seems to be much the same as before aka, a biker bar.
 

Klub Klass had their Grand Re-Opening (as a Dancer Bar/Live Music Bar) on May 24

Major construction at the Fields Plaza Nightlife Complex is nearing an end. The individual owners have now brought in their own crews to finish the interiors (see below).  It looks like we will see the first of these new clubs opening in late June or early July.
SHOOTERZ will operated by the owner of Body Shop
CAR WASH will also be operated by the owner of Body Shop.  Reportedly will specialize in table dancing.
A HARD ROCK CAFE?  That is what they say they are going to call it, but I'm a bit of a pessimist. Having had to change our name from Margaritaville because of a law suit from Jimmy Buffett, I don't think they will get away with this name for long.
CLUB ASIA   The guys from Dollhouse are at it again.  They are building a club that they say will be significantly (2x) larger than Atlantis.   The club will be where Chicken & Ribs was before and it will extend from Fields to Vian Street in the rear.  There is a 2nd floor, but on a walk through it doesn't appear to me to be a giant club like Atlantis or even Dollhouse.

As reported in the last newsletter, the La Pasha group has taken over Bourbon Street and is converting it into a bar.  If it is half as good as Fantasy, this will be a good addition to the EIGHT new bars opening in this area in the next few months.

Aura 82 was scheduled to open in May adjacent to the Bangkok Hotel.  Looks like they will miss their opening date by a month or two.

A new outdoor sports bar is being opened on perimeter Road (Near the Grandview Towers showroom) by Greg Harbert (Formerly of Tarts, Vixons ).  Reports are two satellite dishes are due to be installed this week and they should be open for business by the time this newsletter is released. 

 
A new club will open soon where Cheers Bar was located on Perimeter Road

CANDY BAR was the first of three new bars to open in the new "Bada-Bing Complex" near Zapata's Mexican Restaurant.  The bar is owned by Troy (Treasure Island) and operated by Troy's wife.  Hours of operation at Candy Bar: 11am-11pm

 

still a work in progress

Bare Assets is the smallest of the three new bars in the Bada-Bing Complex.  Operated by Peter Taylor I'm sure it will have a distinctly Aussie flavor.

Harro's new club in the complex between Zapata's Mexican Restaurant and the Phoenix Hotel was the last of the three new clubs to open.  It is the biggest of the three and hands down the most comfortable from a bar hoppers point of view.

TROPIX wins the award for the biggest change since the last newsletter.  But, IMO it isn't a good change. I stopped in there during the first week of June and they still have a great early afternoon happy hour, but they have gone from a large afternoon staff doing body painting to a small staff wearing the most ghastly costumes seen on Fields Ave in recent memory. 

Not many people noticed the Flying Machine reopened a short while back.  Well, it is closed again, this time permanently.  According to reports, the owner Hank had gotten pretty ill. The main problem he had was that he failed to renew his permanent resident visa and he was now a twelve year over stay.  Immigration wanted P500 a day (or a little over $45,000).  He was able to work a deal by having the US Embassy declare him an "American in Distress."  He was able to leave for the USA where, again according to reports, he will move in with his ex-wife and her new husband while he undergoes medical treatments.

 

CHANGES?  For fun, take a look at one of our first bar maps from 1994?  How many clubs can you find that are still in operation?

Condo Fever:  Seems like there is a new condo project popping up every few months.  If you are thinking about investing, you better shop around.  In addition to the information we have complied  here ,  there are lots of other things people should consider.   The Fields Plaza Condos will have some of the latest high tech security from imported windows that are sound proof and virtually unbreakable, special doors, key cards, fingerprint readers, surveillance cameras and a top security firm.  Many of the projects are a bit elusive about the monthly fees so I have not included them in the summary.

NEWS CLIPPINGS

From multiple sources (Not necessarily in chronological order) 

Some text may have been removed due to space limits & occasional verbose reporters.

Daniel Smith is a US Marine that was convicted of raping a Filipina in 2005.  He was sentenced to 40 years in a Philippine jail. In the last few months there have been some interesting developments in his case:
 

No rape! CA's women justices reverse Cpl. Smith conviction

  Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, the US marine convicted in December 2006 by a lower court of raping a Filipina in Subic, was acquitted ironically by the women justices of the Philippine's Court of Appeals Thursday.

"Wherefore, on reasonable ground, the accused Lance Corporal Daniel Smith is hereby acquitted of the crime of rape as alleged in the information," said the appellate court in its 71-page decision.

The ruling, penned by Associate Justice Monina Arevalo-Zenarosa of the CA’s Special Eleventh Division, reversed and set aside the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court on December 4, 2006. The Makati-RTC's decision made Smith the first-ever American military personnel convicted of committing crime on Philippine soil.

Concurring with the CA decision were two other female magistrates, Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal.

The CA likewise ordered Smith's immediate release from detention unless there is another case filed against him. Smith is currently being held at the JUSMAG building inside the US Embassy in Manila.

The court said no evidence was introduced to show that "force, threat and intimidation" were used by Smith against Suzette Nicolas a.k.a. Nicole "even as prosecution vainly tried to highlight her supposed intoxication and alleged unconsciousness at the time of the sexual act"

"What we see was the spontaneous , unplanned romantic episode with both parties carried away by their passions and stirred up by the urgency of the moment caused probably by alcoholic drinks they took only to be rudely interrupted when the van suddenly stopped to pick up some passengers," the CA said.

 
A policeman escorts US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith after he was found guilty of raping Nicolas in Subic. GMANews.TV
Improper disclosure

Earlier, the Supreme Court ordered CA presiding justice Conrado Vasquez Jr. to conduct an investigation on the alleged improper disclosure of a draft ruling acquitting Smith, and to submit a report and recommendation within 90 days from receipt of records.

The high court also ordered the lawyers of Smith to explain why they should not be sanctioned for allegedly executing the affidavit of Suzette Nicolas a.k.a "Nicole", which in effect weakened her testimony against the US serviceman.

Last March 12, Nicole changed her statement hinting that Smith did not rape her.

In a five-page affidavit, Nicole admitted that she "possibly lost her inhibitions" and became "intimate" with Smith, after drinking "alcoholic mixed drinks" with him when they met at a bar in Subic, Olongapo City on November 1, 2005.

"Looking back, I would not have agreed to talk with Smith and dance with him no less than three times if I did enjoy his company or was at least attracted to him since I met him for the very first time on the dance floor of the Neptune Club."

It was also on March 12 that Nicole wrote a letter terminating the services of her lawyer in the celebrated Subic rape case and signed a document attesting that she received money from Smith.

Court documents showed that Nicole wrote a "Notice of Termination" to her counsel, Evalyn Ursua last March 12. The papers also showed that on the same day, she signed a "Receipt and Release" document stating that she received P100,000 from Smith.

Her receipt of the amount was in accordance with the December 4, 2006 order of the Makati-RTC, Branch 139 to indemnify the victim with P50,000 for compensatory damages and P50,000 for moral damages.

Nicole is staying in the United States. She left for the US last month, according to her mother.

Not surprising

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) condemned Smith's acquittal, but said that it was not surprised by the court's decision.

“This denial of justice is but the logical conclusion of the maneuvers of the US government and the Arroyo government. The Smith acquittal is exactly what Malacañang has been praying for and working for from the onset," said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“Everything from the Nicole affidavit, to the leakage of a draft decision acquitting Smith, up to the refusal of the Arroyo government to get back Smith despite a Supreme Court decision, these were all leading up to a Smith acquittal," Reyes added.

In Malacañang, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said that while Palace officials had not yet read the decision, "we will respect its verdict whatever it will be." - with reports from Carlo Lorenzo, GMANews.TV

Such a great headline, I couldn't resist posting it:

Capitol ends Women's Month with disaster drill

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Provincial Capitol culminated Monday its Women's Month celebration with a disaster drill and medical and dental missions at the Benigno Hall. Provincial Administrator Vivian Dabu personally led the morning disaster drill, which saw women employees rappelling down the Capitol building from the rooftop. The drill was coordinated by officials of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council. "This is our way of culminating Women's Month. This disaster drill was meant to show that if men can do it, so can we," Dabu told Sun.Star. She said she was thrilled by the experience of participating in the drill, as it was a first time experience for her. "Of course, it was scary at the beginning. But on the way down, it felt good to actually experiencing rappelling down from such a height," she said, adding in jest: "I wanted to do it again after the first." At the Benigno Hall, hundreds of women employees enjoyed the free reflexology and body massages and the random blood sugar tests. Provincial Health Officer Ernesto Santos said it was their office's share and tribute to women. (JTDL)

Only in the PI. Wish I had seen this show!

Officials: Fireworks blast 'not sabotage'

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- City Hall officials said the fireworks, which went awry and marred the opening rites of the annual Mayor Oscar Rodriguez Inter-Barangay Basketball Tournament last Friday evening, was an accident.  The freak fireworks display sent about 20 persons to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries and bruises and charred two vehicles - the government-owned L-300 van of Barangay San Jose Malino and an XLT jitney carrying the fireworks, whose roof was sent high to the third floor of the Community Affairs Building beside City Hall.

City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao, in a press statement, said: "Contrary to rumors that the explosion was an act of sabotage, the fire that occurred on the church patio in front of City Hall was brought about by an accident."  "What was supposedly an electronically-set pyrotechnics had to be triggered manually by the operator because of a power outage that hit the city hall towards the end of the games' opening ceremonies," he added.

Police investigators corroborated Caylao's claim, saying the fireworks operator stumbled and involuntarily released the igniter that he was using to light the display, causing sparks to fly, some toward his (XLT) vehicle parked within a short distance from the pyrotechnics.  The vehicle, including the L-300van, blew up in a ball of fire, causing panic and speculations that the CAD building caught fire.

The statement further said: "people got scrapes and scratches while trying to run away. Two persons were particularly injured. One was hit on the eye by a splinter; the other was wounded on the hand. They were treated for injuries and given anti-tetanus shots." It also revealed that the 10 people sleeping inside the L-300 van at that moment got out safely. Mayor Oscar Rodriguez called the incident "unfortunate" and vowed to extend all assistance to victims of the accident. He told Sun.Star that "it was good no one was seriously injured and killed in the melee." (JTDL)

Clark locator 'manhandled' at DMIA

CLARK FREEPORT -- An airport security personnel here is under fire for allegedly manhandling and dragging a senior citizen businessman recently inside the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).

In his two-paged letter to Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Chairman of the Board Nestor Mangio, the victim narrated that he was rushing to the boarding area of the airport to catch his Flight 5J 368 bound for Macau.   "As I was in a hurry and as my attention was not called by anyone yet, I complied with all security protocols, save the submission of my shoes for the x-ray at the last security post. After I passed the metal detector, a PNP officer rudely shouted at me "Hey! Come back! Have your shoes x-rayed," Del Rosario said in his statement. Del Rosario said that while the manner of addressing him seemed annoying, he immediately complied with the request and returned for an x-ray examination. "This done, before I proceeded to the boarding area, I approached Officer Ngo and told him "You should respect me because I'm older and you are younger. Don't shout "Hey!" at me" That said I proceeded to the waiting area," Del Rosario said.

Ngo allegedly followed him and demanded Del Rosario to surrender his passport to which Del Rosario questioned the officer on his authority for asking for his passport.  "Without answering my question, he grabbed my passport together with my boarding pass and airline ticket. The force of his assault caused my boarding pass and airline ticket to get torn. Upon confiscating my passport, he manhandled me and forcibly dragged me to his office. He proceeded to an inner office and began to talk to somebody on the phone about me and referred to me as 'Chinese-Filipino'," Del Rosario said. Del Rosario's detention was ended only upon the intervention of another airport official, but added in his letter that he does not deserve to be treated that way by the security personnel.

"As a frequent passenger who calls the DMIA 4 to 5 times a month, as one of the pioneer locators who have invested substantial amounts of cash and sweet equity into this Freeport, and as a senior citizen I believe that, nor any of the passengers calling on DMIA, do not deserve to be shouted at, manhandled and referred to in a politically demeaning manner," De Rosario said, urging the CIAC to look into the incident.

CIAC Chairman of the Board Nestor Mangio meanwhile instructed officials inside the DMIA to look into the incident and gather statements regarding the same. For his part, CIAC President and CEO Victor Jose Luciano assured that the issue is being investigated and they are now reviewing close circuit television tapes on the incident.  Luciano clarified that Ngo is not under CIAC and answers on his actions to the PNP Aviation Security Group. "We assure that our people are customer friendly and that we have done ways to make our services courteous and efficient," he said. (Ian Ocampo Flora)

Guns-for-hire tagged in killing of Allan Pineda's half-brother
By Ding Cervantes Updated April 03, 2009 12:00 AM

ANGELES CITY , Philippines  – Police are closing in on suspects in the series of killings here, whose victims included foreigners and the half-brother of Black Eyed Peas member Allan Pineda or Apl.de.ap.  “We have identified two suspects in the killing of Pineda’s brother Joven Deala and they belong to a gun-for-hire group,” Senior Superintendent Pierre Bucsit, city police chief, told The STAR.  Bucsit said there was a “pattern” in the killings, noting that the suspect in the gun-slay of Barangay Pulung Maragul chairman Edilberto Cayanan, earlier identified as Harrison de Leon, belongs to a gun-for-hire group, too.

Deala was shot dead in his sports utility vehicle at dawn last Feb. 3 in Barangay Ninoy Aquino here. “We have evidence to substantiate our claim that the two gun-for-hire suspects were the culprits in the Deala case, but we are gathering more evidence (for an) airtight case against them and will hopefully also lead us to the mastermind,” Bucsit said. Bucsit said his men are tracking down a man known in the underworld as “Manok,” who is notorious for holdups and is a suspect in at least one homicide case. 

Last month, an American tourist, Jerry Melton, 51, was gunned down in Barangay Malabanias here just two days after he had arrived in the country. Melton was the second foreigner slain here and the fifth murder victim since last December. Last January, a German tourist was found dead in his apartment in Barangay Plaridel I. Late last year, an Australian investor at the Clark Freeport was also shot dead while driving home to this city. Two guns-for-hire were tagged but remain at large.

Meanwhile, an American resident of this city was shot in neighboring Mabalacat town Wednesday night, police said. Superintendent Elvis Diaz, Mabalacat police chief, said the victim, American William Wolcott, 62, was reported to be still in critical condition at the San Rafael Hospital as of press time. Diaz said Wolcott was with his live-in partner, Filipino-American Myra Mercado, 55, when one of two men shot him in the back of the head at the Camachile resettlement site where they visited Mercado’s sick sister.

CDC to integrate Clark, Pampanga tourism plans

The Philippines is not a whorehouse for US soldiers

By Maila Ager   INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:58:00 04/02/2009

MANILA, Philippines Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday called for an investigation into reports US soldiers joining the Balikatan military exercises in the Bicol Region are being given sex workers every night.  This needs to be investigated and exposed. This is condemnable, said Pangilinan, who initiated a resolution in the Senate calling for a review of the US-RP Visiting Force Agreement.

During his recent visit in the region, Pangilinan said he was approached by concerned citizens, claiming that at least two batches of eight to 10 women were being sent nightly to US soldiers, checking in at 10 p.m. and are out by 4 a.m. the following morning. Every time a owners/manager brings in 10 women, all will be taken. Then they’ll bring another batch of 10, Pangilinan, quoting the locals, said. The service US servicemen were also allegedly seen by the residents in hotels and bars with very young women.

We worked so hard to get rid of prostitution and cleaning our reputation when the US military bases finally left our shores, Pangilinan said. The Philippines is not a whorehouse for US soldiers

Next Frontier to generate 47,000 jobs

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) said it expects to provide an estimated 47,000 jobs to Aeta communities in the Sacobia Valley and Central Luzon residents once "The Next Frontier" is fully developed. During "The Next Frontier Roadshow" held recently at the Centro Bar and Resto here, CDC President Benigno Ricafort said nearby and contingent communities along the Clark Freeport will benefit from the spillover effect caused by the pouring of investments at The Next Frontier.

Ricafort made the announcement before members of four media organizations based in Pampanga, saying the estimated number of projects in the industrial, commercial, education, and tourism sector is expected to generate some 47,000 jobs. He said the estimated employment generation statistics are based on the recently completed master development plan for The Next Frontier - a vast stretch of land along the Sacobia Valley. Ricafort said The Next Frontier is being pursued in consonance with the Joint Management Agreement (JMA) - a contract signed on December 6, 2007 by CDC, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and leaders of Aeta tribes who have inherent rights over certain areas of the Sacobia Valley under the Ancestral Domain Claims.

He added that while the JMA and the Next Frontier enable CDC to generate investment potentials in tourism, housing, commercial, institutional and light industry projects in the Sacobia Valley, the undertaking also ensures the recognition and promotion of the overall welfare of the Aeta tribes in the area. The CDC needs at least P11 billion in investments for the total development of The Next Frontier. It is now working out the signing of lease agreements with firms whose trade focuses tourism and industrial-related projects.

Aside from employment generation, Ricafort said the CDC will establish educational facilities and centers for excellence that will supply the manpower needs of firms inside Clark 's main zone and The Next Frontier.

Last March 23, the CDC and the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the establishment of Central Luzon campus here. Ricafort and Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro signed the MOA calling for the establishment of a PSHS campus inside the Clark Polytechnic here. The CDC president said the PSHS campus is a "breakthrough" for the Clark Freeport since it not only serves as a venue for investments but also a host for a center of excellence. Ricafort added that the presence of the PSHS inside the Freeport "has great potential of encouraging the youth to aim high in terms of academic excellence."  The PSHS campus, once established, will be the second educational facility inside the Freeport since the Americans abandoned Clark in 1991. The first government public school here is the University of the Philippines Clark campus. Ricafort also noted that establishing a PSHS campus in Clark is an indication of Central Luzon's "readiness for the great industrial revolution."

Cops rescue 3 minors from 'pimp'

MABALACAT -- Police on Saturday rescued three minors from the hands of a suspected pimp in Mawaque Resettlement Center here. Mabalacat Police Chief Elvis Diaz said Jowella Mallari Onofre, 28, of Mawaque Resettlement Center was arrested in an entrapment operation against suspected pimps in the area. Onofre was charged in court for alleged violation of Republic Act Number 9208 otherwise known as Anti-Human Trafficking in relation to Republic Act Number 7610 (Child Abuse Law), according to Diaz.  Authorities here received information that some individuals are "selling" minors inside the resettlement area. Onofre is temporarily detained at the Mabalacat Police Station. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

DOH: Flagellation dangerous to your health

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Health (DOH) has warned against the dangers of self-flagellation on one's health. DOH Regional Director Rio Magpantay issued the warning as hundreds of Kapampangan flagellants are expected to troop to the streets while whipping their backs with bamboo sticks as part of their observance of the Holy Week. The practice, according to Magpantay, may lead to health risks like infection or blood clotting if not properly handled.

He said heavy beating on the back of the body may also damage nerves.

However, if it cannot be avoided as the practice is dictated by tradition, the DOH official said that flagellants should at least conduct their self-beating practice in a more "health-conscious way." "We prescribe that they must not share blades or exchange burrilos (the wooden whips used for self-flagellation) as this may result in infection," Magpantay said, adding that the practice of using the same blade by flagellants may result in the possible acquisition of infectious diseases.

For groups of flagellants, particularly those organized by towns and tourism councils, Magpantay said doctors or a health team should be available to implement some sanitation procedures. He said flagellants must also be given enough intake of water to prevent exhaustion or dehydration.  "The flagellation is done in the heat of the sun, as the person bleeds he also sweats, making the practice really water-draining for the body," he said.

Magpantay said that blades and burrilos should be sterilized first before being used.  "After the flagellation rites, the flagellants must see to it that the wounds are cleaned and treated by health personnel. They should not attempt to clean themselves with alcohol as the wounds must first be looked at by at least a doctor to prevent complications," he said.

But despite the DOH's warning, most flagellants in this province still do the yearly tradition without health precautions.  Domingo Santos, a 45-year-old flagellant here, said he has been subjecting himself to self-flagellation for over 25 years now.  "I have been doing for more than 25 years already, even cutting my own wounds. My faith prevents the wounds from getting infected, and they heal much faster," Santos said, stressing that he would still do his yearly religious vow without seeing any health personnel. (Ian Ocampo Flora)

DMIA ready to serve N-Luzon passengers

 

CLARK FREEPORT -- Clark International Airport Corporation (Ciac) president Victor Jose Luciano said residents of Northern Luzon can now depart for overseas trip through the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here. Luciano noted that it is more convenient and economical for residents of the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Cordillera Administrative regions to fly out of the country via the Clark Airport.  Luciano described DMIA as "the Airport of the North."

Most of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who hail from Central Luzon and Northern Luzon are now taking the DMIA because of the presence of budget airlines. Among the airlines operating at the Clark airport are Asiana of South Korea, Tiger Airways of Singapore, Air Asia of Malaysia, and Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific is the first major local carrier that launched flights to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau.  Local carrier Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair) was also flying between Clark and the island paradise of Boracay via Caticlan Airport.

Luciano said residents of both Central and Northern Luzon can also fly to various key cities all over the world via Asiana, the first international carrier that operated in the Clark airport. "We would like to tell our countrymen that they can now access their flights via DMIA without having to go to Manila and that saves a lot of time and money for our countrymen," said Luciano.

The DMIA can be accessed via the modern Subic-Clark-Tarlac Exressway (SCtex) from Tarlac all the way to the Clark South Interchange, which is directly linked to the airport. The Clark South Interchange is inside the Clark Freeport Zone. It is also linked to the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex).

"The Clark airport is most beneficial to residents of Central and Northern Luzon. It is most convenient and economical because passengers will no longer have to go all the way to Manila to catch their flights," said Luciano. Other airlines like Spirit of Manila Airlines will launch international flights Clark-Taipei-Clark, the Clark-Kaosheun-Clark. The airline also plans to fly to the Middle East to serve the growing number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the CL and NL. "We shall be bringing you a bigger terminal called Terminal 2, and we expect it to be finished in about 15 to 24 months, and that means we will have a world-class international airport. For the moment we have the airport with a capacity of 1 million to 2 million," said Luciano. The new terminal will have a capacity of eight million with tubes, so Clark and Subic is building a large logistics base.

The Ciac Roadshow, which is aimed to promote the international flights being offered at the Clark airport, was launched at the Clark Freeport and already visited Olongapo City.  It is currently holding a three-day mall exhibit at the Metrotown Mall in Tarlac City between April 13 and 15. It will also visit Dagupan, Laoag, Cabanatuan, Vigan, La Union, Cagayan, Tuguegarao, Isabela, and Baguio City. (RGN)

Ex-village chief murdered

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- A former village chief in this city was gunned down inside the La Pieta Memorial Park in Barangay Pulung Bulu here Saturday morning. Thelmo Lalic, 62, former chairman of Barangay Malabanias, was shot dead by two gunmen inside the memorial park where he was jogging at around 5:40 a.m. last Saturday.

Senior Superintendent Pierre Bucsit, city police director, said Lalic sustained multiple gunshot wounds on different parts of his body. The suspects were already waiting for the arrival of the victim who regularly jogged at the place of occurrence,” Bucsit said. The investigators are still establishing the motive behind the killing but said that it might be “personal.” A follow-up investigation is now being conducted to determine the identity of the suspects, including their whereabouts. Recovered from the crime scene were 12 empty shells and two live ammunitions of .45 caliber pistol.

Bizman killed

MABALACAT -- A 41-year-old businessman was shot dead by four suspected carjackers in Barangay Dau here, police said Monday.  Eduardo Manalo Canlas, 41, a resident of Don Cornelio Subdivision in Barangay Dau, sustained gunshot wounds in the head and shoulder. The victim, accompanied by Regilyn Alcantara, 22, bought his brand new black-colored Toyota Hilux pickup just eight hours before the fatal carjacking happened at 3 a.m. last Friday.

From Toyota dealership in the City of San Fernando, Canlas and Alcantara proceeded to Sphynx Bar along McArthur Highway in the same city. It was believed that the carjackers had tailed them from the said bar. Alcantara opened the gate of the house being rented by Canlas at New York Street in Don Cornelio Subdivision and while the latter was parking the vehicle at the garage, a silver colored car arrived. One of the car's occupants, whose head was covered with stockings, immediately alighted and poked a gun at Canlas, demanding that he come out from the pickup.  When the businessman refused, the gunman shot him twice.

The carjackers took his vehicle and sped off, along with their silver-colored car, towards McArthur Highway. They took with them the victim's gold necklace and bracelet, two cell phones, wallet containing undetermined amount of money, and several ORs/CRs of vehicles.  Canlas was brought to a nearby hospital where an attending physician pronounced him dead on arrival. (Jun A. Malig)

$2.5-M residential project in Angeles City

ANGELES CITY -- A Filipino-Swedish firm is set to infuse $2.5 million for the construction of a world-class townhouse and condominium-hotel in this city soon. The project, in partnership with Edifice Global Development Enterprise Inc. (EDGE, Inc.) and NJ Homes Inc., will be located in Barangay Malabanias, this city, outside of Clark Freeport.  Swedish investor Bengt Gunnar Jonasson, president and chief executive officer of NJ Homes, said the group decided to infuse their investment in this city because of its proximity to the former US-run military facility, which is now becoming one of the best investment locations in the country.

With the existing business ventures in Clark and the development of a premier international airport, Jonasson said Angeles City is the next area that will have the windfall of development. "We have to take advantage of growth of Clark in the next few years," Jonasson added. Asked why they invested during the height of world financial crisis, EDGE Inc. president Angel Tamayo said business leaders should be "contrarian" to counter the economic crisis.  "Sooner or later, the crisis will be over, and we will be left behind if we will not prepare ourselves this early," said Tamayo, adding that this is the right time to put investments to ease the ongoing crisis.

The project will include famous interior designer Budyi Layug to add quality to the tourism-related project to be established in the city. More than 100 construction workers will be involved in the project, which will include the construction of scenic waterfalls, swimming pool, wellness spa, fine dining restaurant, top bar, and entertainment and music hall.  The project, which was launched recently, included the groundbreaking and capsule-laying ceremonies spearheaded by Jonasson, Tamayo, and Guagua Rural Bank president Joseph Carlos Jr. (Ian Ocampo Flora and Reynaldo Navales)

Hospital to establish clinic in Clark

   By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Medical Center Inc. (OLMCMC) is set to establish a satellite clinic inside this Freeport. The medical center has forged a lease agreement with Clark Development Corporation (CDC) recently for the establishment of a 24-hour satellite dispensary here. The lease agreement was signed by CDC president Benigno Ricafort and OLMCMC president Monet Briones in a simple ceremony here. Ricafort said the establishment of the clinic is in line with the continuing program of CDC to provide world-class health services for the employees and locators inside Clark.

In the agreement, the clinic will house an emergency room, laboratory, pharmacy, lying-in rooms, ultrasound room, endoscopy unit, doctors consultation room, business office, and convenience store.  OLMCMC was established in August 1999 along McArthur Highway in the City of San Fernando. It has a 150-bed capacity and is reputed to have the most complete and latest medical equipment in Central Luzon.  It also operates the College of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Pampanga), which offers nursing and medical courses.

The satellite clinic will offer the most complete line of medical services to the workers and residents inside the freeport including CDC employees whose health card are acceptable to OLMCMC, Ricafort said. It will infuse substantial amount in various hospital facilities, including X-ray machine, Ultrasound, 2D Echo, and ambulance, he added. OLMCMC is one of the few medical centers in the region which was awarded with ISO 9001:2000 Certification for Quality Management System from the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (Ukas) .

Heated argument results in shooting inside mall

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- A fiery argument between a security guard and a mall-goer here resulted in the “accidental” shooting of another bystander at the third floor of SM City Pampanga Friday afternoon. Police Provincial Director Gil Lebin Jr. identified the two suspects involved in the brawl as Lemuel Lising, 17, of Barangay Lagundi in Mexico town and Julieto Ariban, a security guard of Queen Mary’s Security Agency. Police reports revealed that an argument ensued between the two around 4 p.m. on the third floor at SM Worlds of Fun. The argument resulted into a scuffle.

Due to the argument, the service firearm of the security guard went off, hitting Jhoan Floralde, 22, and a resident of Block 99 Upper Bicutan in Taguig City.  Floralde is a crew and employee of the mall. She sustained a bullet wound in the right side of her buttocks.

Mall security then began securing the area. These were later augmented by local police personnel who investigated the incident.  SM City Pampanga Public Relations Officer Roselle Sarmiento told Sun.Star that the incident was purely a “personal argument between the security guard and a customer.” She assured that everything has been settled and it is safe to enter the mall premises as of late afternoon last Friday. She also said the victim was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.

“The two men are now being subjected to investigation as we speak. We assure you that it is now safe to enter the mall,” Sarmiento said.

Anyone that ever handled a .45 can see a few problems with this story!

Cop accidentally shoots wife

CAMP OLIVAS -- A police officer is now in jail after he accidentally shot his wife inside their residence in Barangay Sta. Lucia in the City of San Fernando recently.  A report reaching this camp said the .45 caliber service firearm of Senior Police Officer (SPO) 1 Antonio Diy, presently assigned at the Sta. Rita Police Station, accidentally went off, hitting his wife Josefina Dungca Diy, 47.

According to the investigation conducted by City of San Fernando Police, the policeman, while standing in the terrace of their house, allegedly drew his service firearm from the holster to load it.  But, the firearm allegedly slipped from his hand and accidentally went off, hitting his wife, who was working in their kitchen, in the stomach.  The report said the victim was immediately taken to Makabali Memorial Hospital by one Albert Dungca but eventually died while undergoing operation.  SPO1 Diy voluntarily surrendered himself and his service firearm to City of San Fernando Police. He is presently detained at the City of San Fernando jail. Appropriate charges were filed in court against him, the report said. (RS)

Man shot dead in Mabalacat


By Ric Sapnu

CAMP OLIVAS -- A 44-year-old man was gunned down by three motorcycle-riding assailants in Barangay Sto. Rosario, Mabalacat town recently. In his report here, Mabalacat Police officer-in-charge Elvis Diaz said Joey Bonzo alias Joseph, 44, a Filipino-American and resident of said barangay was walking along the road when he was fired upon by one of the suspects. Diaz said the victim was about to enter the gate of their residence along David St. corner Capanas St. when two unidentified men approached him while an unidentified female back rider shot him with a .45 caliber pistol in different parts of his body. The victim’s neighbors brought him to St. Raphael Foundation Medical Hospital in Mabalacat but he was declared dead on arrival by attending doctors. Initial investigation conducted by police showed that “love triangle” was the probable motive behind the killing. Diaz said he has ordered his investigators to dig deeper into the killing of Bonzo.

BCDA to add entry, exit lanes at SCTEx

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has announced that it will build additional entry and exit lanes at the Mabalacat Interchange of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) to address the growing traffic volume.  BCDA spokesperson for the SCTEx Robert Gervacio said the BCDA has instructed Japanese engineering consulting firm Katahira and Engineers International (KEI) to prepare the conceptual and engineering design including the cost estimates for the widening of the Mabalacat and Tipo Interchanges.

From the original four exit lanes and three entry lanes in the Mabalacat Interchange, the BCDA plans to add six exit lanes for a total of 10 exit lanes, according to Gervacio.  He said this will be done by converting the two of the three entry lanes into exit lanes and building four additional exit lanes.  He added that the remaining entry lane in the Mabalacat Interchange will be used as a pass-through lane as five new entry lanes will be constructed after the Balem Bridge, some 800 meters before entering the existing Mabalacat Toll Plaza.

Two additional exit lanes will be constructed at the Tipo Interchange, said Gervacio.  He noted that construction of the entry and exit lanes are tentatively set to commence by the middle of the year and is expected to be completed next year.  “With these measures, we hope to address growing traffic volume in general and the sudden surge of vehicles at peak hours during holidays,” he said.

The funding of the construction of the entry and exit lanes will be sourced out from the savings and unspent amount of the SCTEx loan proceeds.  It has been observed that traffic volume in the SCTEx swells by more than 100 percent on special occasions, or from an average of 16,000 vehicles on ordinary days to over 30,000 during holidays resulting in long queues.

Another good argument for not taking a bus from Manila to Angeles

Lone cop foils bus robbery


By Jun A. Malig

CAMP OLIVAS -- A lone policeman thwarted an armed robbery attempt inside a passenger bus traveling along Edsa Thursday afternoon by shooting to death two still unidentified suspects. In a report submitted to Chief Superintendent Leon Nilo dela Cruz, regional police director, the police officer has been identified as Inspector Christopher Obien, member of the 306th Provincial Mobile Group stationed in Bulacan Provincial Police Office (PMG-BPPO).

Initial reports of the Kamuning Police Station under the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) stated that one of the three male suspects was identified as Michael Dismo, 34 years old, an alleged Sigue-sigue Sputnik Gang member, and a native of Leyte province who is presently residing at #147 Sedak St., Navotas City. Dismo and his two still unidentified cohorts were on board JMK bus with plate number TWH-201. They were armed with two caliber .38 revolvers and two bladed weapons when they announced the hold-up upon reaching Edsa.

With presence of mind and not minding his own personal safety, Obien shot one of the suspects with his caliber .45 service firearm, according to the police. “Another suspect who was seated at his back tried to shoot him but the police officer was faster,” the statement added. While the hold-up was in progress, other bus drivers and passengers traversing Edsa witnessed the incident and wasted no time in reporting the case to Kamuning Police Station 10, the nearest police station which immediately responded to the report and set up a blockade. Upon realizing he was alone and sensing danger, Dismo hurriedly got off the bus but was arrested by responding policemen. Recovered from his possession was a caliber .38 hand gun tucked in his waist.

During the search and cleanup procedure, two of the suspects were found dead. A caliber .38 revolver and two bladed weapons were recovered from them.  The driver, conductor and inspector of the bus, including the passengers, positively identified the two dead suspects as among the three men who tried to hold up the bus.  Dela Cruz immediately recommended the meritorious promotion of Inspector Obien for his heroic act of bravery. “His action was beyond compare notwithstanding the danger for his life and a clear manifestation that indeed the Integrated Transformation Program of the PNP (Philippine National Police) is effectively working on our side,” the Central Luzon police director said in the statement.

They are building a crime lab, but none of the local police have the skills to take finger prints at crime scenes!

Mayor cited for crime lab construction

ANGELES CITY -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has lauded Angeles City Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno for donating funds for the construction of a building at Camp Tomas Pepito here, which houses the Central Luzon Regional Crime Laboratory.  Nepomuceno appropriated some P500,000 for the construction of the crime lab, which is also being utilized by the entire police force in the region.  Nepomuceno was awarded a plaque of recognition during a simple ceremony held at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City last May 25. The event coincided with the 64th Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory Founding Anniversary celebration.

The installation of the PNP Regional Crime Lab at Camp Tomas Pepito has enabled the PNP to modernize its evidence collection capability through new technologies to match the challenges posed by criminal elements. Though there are limits to technology, scientific criminal investigation has become essential in solving crimes as it is more reliable than just depending on the testimony of witnesses, said Chief Superintendent Arturo Cacdac Jr., national director of the PNP Crime Laboratory.

According to Cacdac, the PNP has already set the policy direction that the PNP Crime Laboratory may follow in the coming years under the theme "Makabagong Teknolohiya: Susi Sa Agarang Paglutas ng Krimen at Gabay Para Sa Katarungan." (Reynaldo G. Navales)

NINETY per cent of Philippine police cannot shoot straight or clean their guns properly, according to recent firearms proficiency tests, an official said. "Of the country's 125,000 policemen and women 90 per cent cannot shoot straight and have difficulty just taking care of their guns," National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) Commissioner Luis Mario General said.

Commissioner General, whose agency monitors the national police, said that of the remaining 10 per cent most of them ranked barely above the level of "novice". He said his commission would recommend to the Philippine National Police that it conducts regular marksmanship training for all its members, including the top brass.

"We will recommend to the police that they take this matter very seriously because their policemen could either be killed in the field or could shoot innocent civilians," said Commissioner General.  However, he said he could not blame the police for their failing marksmanship grades, because of the high cost of marksmanship training and especially bullets.  He also cited recent admissions by top police officials that almost 50 per cent of the national police actually have no service firearms.

Article from:   Agence France-Presse

City launches meat safety program

ANGELES CITY -- The City Veterinary Office (CVO) launched the "Karneng Garantisado Handog Namin Sa Inyo" to ensure consumers in buying safe meats and defend them against illegal traders of "hot meats" in Pampanga and San Nicolas public markets. The activity was led by Mayor's Office chief-of-staff Gerard "Gepoy" Nepomuceno and City Veterinarian Jesse Villaroman.

According to Nepomuceno, this project aims to make Angeleños aware that they should get only fresh meats that have undergone the right process and passed the quality standard set by the NMIS. He added that CVO meat inspectors have been enjoined to regularly and strictly monitor the slaughterhouse in the city to ensure quality meat coming from said abattoirs.  Villaroman said consumers need to be calm since the city's meat inspectors are doing their best to protect them from any threats of swine flu, avian flu, and foot-and-mouth disease.

At present, CVO is requiring local meat distributors and meat vendors to present Meat Inspection Certificate (MIC) before their products can be distributed and sold in public markets. Without these certificates, they cannot sell their products. The city veterinarian also advised consumers to demand for the clearance certificate issued by CVO to meat sellers to ensure that the product passed quality control and have complied with the standards of the NMIS. (IOF)

Articles like this are never good for the entertainment district! 
 Paquito fight proves more dangerous than swine flu.
New law passed limiting annual rental increases.  This may be of interest to many local residents as lots of rents have previously gone up 10% or more.
 
Rare shark ends up as dinner
By Katherine Adraneda Updated April 08, 2009 12:00 AM
 

Photo from the World Wildlife Fund shows experts measuring a megamouth shark caught by mackerel fishermen off the Donsol marine resort.
 

MANILA, Philippines - Fishermen trawling for mackerel off Masbate near Donsol in Sorsogon instead caught an extremely rare shark and cooked it Bicol style, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) revealed yesterday.

WWF-Philippines revealed that local fishermen caught a four-meter-long, 500-kilogram megamouth shark last March 30 along the eastern coast of Burias Island. The group said the shark was retrieved and cooked “kinunot-style” (with coconut milk, malunggay leaves and chili) by the locals.

The report prompted the international conservation group to believe that the Donsol-Masbate region is a haven not just for whale sharks, dolphins and giant manta rays. “Rarest of all sharks, the megamouth (Megachasma pelagios) is a fairly recent scientific discovery, with just over 40 recorded encounters worldwide,” WWF-Philippines said.

“The first specimen was caught off Oahu, Hawaii in 1976. So different was it from all other sharks that it necessitated the creation of an entirely new family and genus – prompting the scientific community to hail it as the 20th century’s most significant marine find – rivaling the rediscovery of the coelacanth in 1938,” they said.

According to Elson Aca, project manager of WWF-Philippines in Donsol, local fishermen recalled a similar shark was caught in the same area decades ago. Though the group said the sighting of another megamouth shark is not likely in the near future, it remains possible that similar shark species are in the area.

WWF-Philippines said they would launch an education and information drive among local fishermen on the megamouth shark. Gregg Yan, WWF-Philippines information officer, said the megamouth is among the world’s rarest shark species, discovered only in 1976. “Only 40 other megamouths have been discovered worldwide,” he said. Yan said the latest catch near Donsol would become the world’s 41 megamouth, as named by the Florida Museum of Natural History since it is the 41st found in the world. The megamouth shark was the very first to have been caught in Luzon, WWF-Philippines said.

“This proves that the Donsol-Masbate region is a haven not just for whale sharks, dolphins and giant manta rays – but for the rarest shark species of all,” he said.  WWF-Philippines said the megamouth shark is so named for its enormous maw, which is estimated to be a meter wide and lined with a brilliant silver band to attract planktonic prey in the depths. Male megamouths average four meters while females – which give birth to live young – grow up to five meters.

The group also said that a megamouth shark is a poor swimmer, and ranges sporadically throughout the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. WWF-Philippines has worked closely with the municipality of Donsol to establish and refine the now-famous community-based whale shark eco-tourism project, transforming the once sleepy town into one of the Bicol region’s busiest revenue generators and earning it the title of butanding (whale shark) capital of the world.

Funded by WWF-Denmark and supported by the local government, there are current initiatives to establish whale shark migration routes and numbers through state-of-the-art photo-identification and satellite tagging techniques. Last month WWF-Philippines found and rescued a 15-inch baby whale shark – touted as the world’s smallest – also in Sorsogon. “The presence of two of the world’s three filter feeding sharks warrants special attention for the Donsol-Masbate region,” the WWF said.

HOLY WEEK:  Guys nailing themselves to crosses, parades of young men self-flagellating, church speakers blasting out Tagalog chants 24 hours a day -- no religious fanatics here!
 Pretty amazing to see what kind of junk is left in the drainage ditches after a good rain storm

OTHER NEWS

One of our readers, Rockin Dave (mentioned above), recently arranged through our reservations department for a trek of Mt. Pinatubo. I had no idea how to coordinate such a even, but they sorted it out.  Dave spent about P3,500 for the day long adventure.  From what I gathered, it is about a 60 minute climb when the vehicles can not go any further.

 

 

To read more, check out: http://www.midnightrock.eu/news.html

FINAL SALUTE

Nisse Nordin, a 57 year old Swede died from a heart attack on April 4 -He had been having congestion in his chest. His friend told me that he planned on going to the bank today and get money to ck into a hosp. from what i heard-he bought into Jerrys Cafe when Jerry sold. also was known to have computer expertise. His many friends at the Wobbly Boot are shocked at his death.
Maj Archie Heckler, an Annapolis (US Naval Academy) graduate and a veteran pilot during the Vietnam war, passed away from natural causes at his  Angeles City home on  April 27,2009. Archie, a very intelligent and friendly person was a popular personality in Angeles being the distinct force in social tennis. His Thai restaurant NIT NOI in the mid 70's and 80's was the watering hole of many Americans assigned at then Clark Air Force Base. Half of his ashes will be buried at the American cemetery in Clark on June 08,2009 and the other half in Annapolis. His adopted son Doi Heckler and family will be attending the burial.
Gilbert Crow  73 years old, retired US Army took his own life on 12 May.   Gill was a bit of a loner, but always friendly.  he had been battling cancer and in early May he had tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide by overdosing on pills before he succeeded by hanging himself.  A bad way to go, but I can understand his desire to not suffer a long death from cancer.
Nevill Robert Hollands:  passed away on the afternoon of 15 May ,at the age of 63,  after a long battle with cancer.   Best known as the owner of Nifty's and Club Rio, Nevill had been in "exile" in Pattaya, Thailand for the last few years of his life.  He was one of those EXPATS that lost everything he had several times in his years in the Philippines. The first time it was because he was in a business with a relative of Marcos. Acquino came to power and his business was closed and all assets were frozen by the new government.  Then a year after moving to Angeles, his home was destroyed by Mt. Pinatubo.  In the early 90's he set up a program to feed the street children. After this program was shut down by the death of one doctor and the stabbing of Nevill, he borrowed money and opened the Silver Fox.  He later sold this bar and opened Jolly Frog  next door (later renamed Club Rio).  Eventually, he took the Silver Fox and renamed it Nifty's.

Beverly James Perrin - [British] retired from the Metropolitan Police, Special Branch died in May at the age of 65.  At the time of his death he was the manager at Garfield's. Before Garfield's he had managed numerous clubs in Angeles.   Bev's was liked by his all that met him for his quiet demeanor and his love of life. Also known for frequently wearing a dashikis (a colorful West African men's garment).  Sadly, Bev's was another case of a little too much smoking and alcohol every day for years.

 

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

Booked now thru end of October 2009

Margarita Station Website

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My favorite charity is Bahay Pag-Ibig in Angeles City. Here I can see 100% of my donations going to the people in need.  Sadly, so many charities have high overhead costs where a huge percentage of donations go to the over paid staff personnel.

Another great charity is the Father Ray Foundation in Pattaya, Thailand. I encourage anyone with a little money to spare to look into and then support this great charity.  There are many great volunteers trying to continue the work of the late Father Ray trying to feed, clothe, education, house, etc. more that 850 young folks.  But, times are tough and they need contributions to keep taking care of these needy children.

They have produced a small DVD, narrated by TOM MINTIER, the retired CNN BANGKOK BUREAU CHIEF.  For a copy of the DVD or more information contact  vincentfoundation@Yahoo.com

Again, I don't support many charities, but this is one of the good ones!

The Father Ray Foundation website is:   www.fr-ray.org