Mar 2008




Our dayshift manager, Tom Donnley, had one lung removed at University Santo Thomas (UST) hospital on 14 March 2008.  Since that time he has been in the ICU as his body is trying to cope with only one lung.  He suffered a minor stroke on the morning of the 15th, but it appears there were no lasting effects to his movement or speech.  In the first few days he used 15 units of blood, so we have been trying to replace these units with the blood bank for the last week.  80-90% of the donors that we have sent to the hospital have been rejected for assorted reasons.  We still need to find 6-8 qualified donors in the coming week.  We would like to thank the staffs from Rick's Cafe, C' Italian Restaurant, Jovy (one of our contractors that does our airport pickups) and assorted EXPATS that have made the trip to Manila trying to donate blood.  This week the Swagman Manila plans to send some donors.  If you are willing to donate blood, stop by Margarita Station and check with the cashier for the next transport to UST.

I have been sending out daily updates on Tom to his family. These updates are posted daily at


A LITTLE INFLATION?    When we first opened I updated prices once a year. Then in 1995 the prices started changing so fast we computerized our recipes and the cost of our ingredients and started updating every 3 months.  By 1996 I noticed the drastic change in prices of some items so I saved that years prices for future reference.  I just looked at some of the old prices from 1996 and there has been a bit of inflation (see photos below).     Interesting to see some staples like chicken have changed little when compared to seafood.  Only recently has pork gone up significantly (with bacon no longer having any relationship to the cost of pork).


Besides the increases in ingredients, the minimum wage has increased 151% from P 110 to P 276.  With our average of 95 employees this is roughly an extra P 373,500 a month in salaries for the same staff we had 12 years ago.  Plus a 151% increase in 13th month bonus.   One more notable increase is bottled gas which has increased 192% from 899 to 2625 per bottle.  We use an average of 35 bottles a month so our gas bill is now about P60,000 a month more than it was in 1996.    Our electric bill in 1996 averaged P 49,000 per month.  One of our most recent bills was P 188,800.   So when people say our food has gotten too expensive, and it is just us trying to rip off the tourists, I just shrug my shoulders.    


In the last newsletter I had many articles about a small battle between the city and the bars.  This is the last article that was in the papers (shortly after  the last newsletter was published).  Business seems to have returned to normal with some of the bars now paying the "Jojo" group an unspecified fee.

Monday, February 04, 2008
Pan hit for relief of Angeles cop
By Dante M. Fabian

ANGELES City Mayor Francis Nepomuceno recently censured Central Luzon Police Director Errol Pan for "unceremoniously" relieving a police superintendent from his assignment at the Angeles City Police Office (Acpo).

Nepomuceno's dismay was contained in a resolution sponsored by Councilor Agapito del Rosario III for approval by the City Council in its session last Tuesday.

In his resolution, del Rosario expressed Nepomuceno's disgust over Pan's relief of Superintendent Pedro Ramos, whom he identified as an officer who had hands-on style in managing the anti crime drive in the city.

Ramos, a native of Bulacan has figured in battles with organized crime groups in the region. He was deputy city director for administration and concurrent chief of Station 4, which covers the tourist belt here when Pan relieved him.

Sources said Ramos was removed in connection with the "clamp down on alleged prostitution in the city."

A few days before his relief, he implemented an operation where about 47 people were charged for prostitution.

Local bar managers here belied the accusations of prostitution, saying employees go out with men only upon their own will and not for sex.

Nepomuceno declared Pan's relief of Ramos as "deplorable".

Ramos figured in a controversy that stemmed from announcements to business establishments that Angeles City is the source of Aids in the Philippines.

"This is in connection with information received by our office coming from the International Concerned Community regarding the issue that Angeles City is the source of Aids in the Country," Ramos said at the opening portion of the letter distributed to businessmen earlier.

Ramos said due to this report, the police have decided to conduct a campaign against prostitution in the city.

Managers in various entertainment establishments here said that since the reports came out, business has slowed down significantly and has placed them in a worse situation.

This was met by strong protests from businessmen in the tourism industry as they said this "Aids scare" would discourage tourists from coming to the city. They said the damage resulting from the announcement has caused irreversible losses.

As this developed, a group of new employees at city hall were accused of "hostaging" the licenses of entertainment workers here in their alleged continued attempt to collect P1,500 monthly from each of the about 5,000 entertainment workers.

"Mamasans" told Sun.Star Pampanga that the office of Nicolas Tolentino, sanitation officer, could not release the licenses since some men reportedly calling themselves as the "Jojo group" came to haul the licenses.

The men reportedly planned to deliver the licenses to the bars in order to collect the money from the bargirls.

According to mamasans, the "Jojo group" has lowered the "fee" last Wednesday to P500 and last Thursday the amount was down to P150.

Here is something you don't see often.  A few weeks ago I walked into La Bamba right at opening time and there were no dancers or customers.  Of course, it didn't take long for it to fill up.  A good early afternoon club with great management and staff.



When the Byrd Cage opened a lot of the staff from the BODY SHOP followed Elsa to their new club.  But, I've been in a few times since then and I'm happy to report there are still plenty of dancers in the Body Shop.  I think it opens about 4 pm with a second shift starting about 6 pm.
I stopped into Dr Holms one day last week to see the place packed.  They had arm wrestling competition going on.  It was well organized with Ted Lerner doing the MC work and Don McMahon acting as referee. I caught some of the girls and the final match (heavy weight) pictured here. 

I didn't get a chance to see much of the club's staff because the place was so crowded.  Dr Holms is open early in the afternoon. It has a good snack menu and a walk-through to Eruptions in the back.


Club Atlantis has had mixed reviews from all the punters on the various Angeles boards.  I've been in a few times and I find it to be a place I'll visit again when I'm on that end of town.  Large staff of dancers, good lighting, and the music is not too loud.  And if you are hot, the air conditioner pumps out lots of chilly air in here!
Honey Ko's is still the top club on Perimeter Road.  It opens about 3 pm and is usually full until 7 pm, but the party goes on until late.
Lost In Asia has improved quite a bit with the addition of DUKE as the manager.  And the rumor is they will be working on improving their seating in the next few weeks.  IMO if they get some better seating they might give Honey Ko's a run for the money for the top spot on perimeter.
Happy Rock is a quiet little bar in the group of bars near C' Italian.  One of the few bars on Perimeter with a generator big enough to operate normally during brownouts.  And as you can see, it has the occasional diamond in the rough.


KJ sporting a great t-shirt at the grand opening of the Byrd Cage.


The Byrd Cage has opened on Real Street.  Owned and managed by Dragonstar and his wife, Elsa  (aka BC momma) it is a lively club that immediately had a good following.  The club opens at 7 pm

I believe more money has been spent remodeling this building in the last 10 years than just about any property in Angeles City.  Multiple remodeling as Cleopatra (remember the moat?), Sphinx. Big Easy to name a few. Now under renovation again by the Dollhouse Group.  Rumor is it will be called Tropics.

Heartbreakers (formerly Pickup Disco) has recently been sold to the Dollhouse Group.

ALEX LONGHAIR PLACE has replaced The TRUCK STOP  on Santos Street.


Thursday, January 31, 2008
DMIA declared main airport

CLARK FREEPORT -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has announced that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Manila will be closed to give way to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here as the main international airport of the country.

Clark will now be the new premier airport, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared during last Tuesday's Cabinet meeting in Malacañang convened to discuss the future of Philippine aviation, including DMIA's role as a developmental route where a liberalized regime of air policies will be in effect.

Prior to issuing the directive, Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza briefed the President on the need to transfer Naia's operations to DMIA to ensure the country's economic competitiveness.

"For the Philippines to be competitive, we have to close Naia as our major gateway and transfer to Clark," Mendoza said referring to an impending multi-lateral agreement providing for an open skies regime among a number of Asian countries including the Philippines.

"In other words, you are saying Clark will not just be a developmental route, it will now be the premier airport," Arroyo told Mendoza adding Clark will now be phased in as the premier airport because Naia is too crowded already.

Mendoza revealed that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries, including Japan, Korea and China, have already agreed to adopt open skies in the region beginning with unlimited flights between capital cities by December 2008.

Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council also confirmed Malacanang's latest pronouncements on the fate of the country's main international gateway.

"The President has declared during the last Cabinet meeting, which was fully supported by Secretary Mendoza, that DMIA will no longer be treated as a developmental route but as the main international airport of the country," Pamintuan said.

Pamintuan also revealed that Arroyo is inclined to sign and issue a new executive order liberalizing aviation over the DMIA and the Subic International Airport in Subic Freeport Zone in Zambales.

He said Arroyo instructed Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol to review and come up with a final draft of a proposed Executive Order (EO) 500-B that will amend the existing EO 500-A.

"The President also instructed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and other Cabinet members to study the aviation policies of Vietnam which has been experiencing dramatic growth of its tourism industry and determine whether these policies could be adopted to our advantage," Pamintuan said.

Clark officials, led by Clark International Airport Corporation (Ciac) chairman Nestor Mangio, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) chairman Rizalino Navarro, CDC President Levy Laus and Ciac Executive Vice President Alexander Cauguiran, also attended the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang to lobby for the approval of the proposed EO 500-B.

Mangio welcomed the Arroyo's pronouncement on DMIA as the new main gateway adding, "it is the right thing to do to serve our national interests."

"DMIA is more than enough to answer our country need for a modern and efficient international gateway which is important for us to sustain our economic competitiveness in international trade and commerce," Mangio said.

Right now, according to Mangio, Clark's 2,500-hectare civil aviation complex is undergoing a major facelift starting with the phased expansion of its passenger terminal to accommodate around two million passengers per year.

"This initial phase of terminal expansion is expected to be finished by the first week of March this year," he said.

On top of its modern instrument landing system, navigational aids, meteorological equipment and complete airfield lighting system, Ciac also recently installed new US$10-million dollar radar considered as the most advanced in the country.

As one of the largest aviation complexes in Asia, with its two 3.2-kilometer parallel runways, DMIA is certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) with ratings of Category I for Precision Approach Runway and Category IX for Emergency Services.

"There is even enough room at Clark's aviation complex to expand our runways and terminals to accommodate the largest wide-bodied aircraft in the world," Mangio said.

He noted that the recent landing at DMIA of the Airbus A380, currently the biggest passenger airline in the world that is capable of accommodating 800 passengers in a single flight
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Freeport ready for international airport operations
By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- Clark Development Corporation (CDC) president Liberato Laus said the Clark Freeport is "physically" ready as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) is gearing to operate as the country's premiere gateway to the world.

Laus issued the statement after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared DMIA as the replacement of the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) recently.

The CDC official said the Clark Freeport is "physically ready" in terms of infrastructure to accommodate vehicular and human traffic once the DMIA is fully-operational as an international airport.

He noted the completion of the P21-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), which will open next month. The expressway would then connect Clark to contingent areas like Subic's seaport in Zambales province and the industrial areas of Tarlac province.

"Travel time to Subic, which usually takes two hours, will now be cut down to just 30 minutes," Laus said, adding that nearby Tarlac province will be closer by just 10 to 15 minutes.

Laus stressed that Clark officials have been bullish in the development of the Freeport's infrastructure to meet Arroyo's grand vision to transform Clark into an aviation and logistics hub in the Asia-Pacific Region.

He added that within the first quarter of 2008, construction work for the Clark-South Interchange (CSI) is set to start.

Earlier, CDC executive vice president Isaac Puno III of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) reported before the media and Clark officials that construction work on the CSI, which would link the Clark Freeport and nearby Angeles City and Mabalacat town to SCTEx "is set to start early next year (2008)."

Puno said the construction date was "based on the BCDA's revision and assessment of the area," which is near the Mabalacat gate of Clark.

"We are set to start construction (of the Clark-South Interchange) by early next year as per our assessment and revision of the area's geography," said Puno, who is also program manager for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP).

The CSI, which would cost the government an initial P314 million, is among the three interchanges that would connect the province of Pampanga to the 21-billion SCTEx project.

The two other interchanges would be built at the Hacienda Dolores in Porac and Floridablanca. The Porac interchange would cost P260 million while the Floridablanca interchange would cost P280 million.

Laus said the construction of the CSI is expected to attract more investors inside the Freeport as presidential infrastructure projects will realize the government's vision to make Clark and Subic Bay Freeport Zones as the premier logistics hubs in the Asian pacific region.

As much as we'd like to see the airport on Clark developed further, it is a long way from being ready to handle all the commercial flights into the country.  There is a big difference between a few budget flights a day and a A380 full of passengers!  The runways are far superior to NAIA, but the terminal and parking ramps are years away from accepting more than a few planes at a time.



More Clark Photos:  I had an opportunity to fly from Clark to Iba on Good Friday.  On the return I got some good aerial shots of Clark.


Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex)

After a long wait, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex) opened during holy week for "dry runs."  It will close again for about one month while they finish.  Only in the PI would they build a road like this that goes through Clark (thus the name for the road) and not have an entrance/exit anywhere inside Clark.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Clark Freeport will have access to SCTEx: agency

THE state-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) gave assurance that Clark Freeport Zone will definitely have direct access to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
 The BCDA said the construction of Panday Pira Road, which serves as a vital link from SCTEx to the freeport through Clark North-B Interchange, would start as soon as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) releases a supplementary loan for SCTEx.
 SCTEx spokesman Robert Gervacio said work on Panday Pira Road would take at least four months.
 Thus, Gervacio ruled out the possibility that Panday Pira access road could be completed in time for the scheduled opening of SCTEx in April this year.
 He explained that deferment of work on Panday Pira Road was a strategic decision meant to streamline and rationalize certain components of the ongoing construction of the main SCTEx project.
 As it was, some adjuncts of the 93.7-kilometer SCTEx were "scoped out" as an offshoot of reduction of the project cost to P21 billion.
 Gervacio stressed that, like every stakeholder, the BCDA also wanted SCTEx to be completed on time "so that the people, particularly those in Central Luzon, could begin to receive the benefits of having a world-class, seamless highway."
 "As much as we want construction work to go full steam ahead, there have been some constraints that prevented us from meeting our original deadlines," Gervacio said, adding that once completed, SCTEx would be worth the waiting.
 He also called on the stakeholders to continue supporting the BCDA and the government in pushing SCTEx to full completion, instead of standing in the way of the road builders.
 "It is now a matter of time before we open SCTEx to vehicular traffic. Having done that, we can focus on addressing the concerns of the public, particularly the motorists that would likely come up along the way," he said.

The Manila Times Internet Edition, Feb. 8, 2008
Save GMA from ‘shame’

"ANGELES CITY: Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) Chairman Ruperto Cruz yesterday called on all allies of President Gloria Arroyo to “save her from shame and disgrace before it is too late” as the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) is set to open on April without the access to the DMIA.

“The President will face criticisms when the SCTEx opens in time for her birthday on April because the Clark Freeport has no direct access to the expressway,” Cruz told The Manila Times.

He blamed Clark Development Corp. (CDC) President Levy Laus’ alleged opposition to the Clark North Interchange in Dolores.

Clark has only two interchanges: the Clark North Interchange in Dolores, which was supposedly linked to an access road to Expo Pilipino, and the Clark Logistics Interchange connected to the North Luzon Expressway Spur Road in Mabiga, Mabalacat.

The Clark Logistics Interchange is only a connection between the two expressways, SCTEx and NLEx but was not completed.

“It is just a loop connecting SCTEx and NLEx, and it doesn’t take you inside Clark because there are no arterial roads entering Clark. It will only serve commuters coming from Manila going to Subic and Tarlac, and back,” explained Cruz."
Sunday, March 16, 2008
SCTEx opens for March 18-24 dry run
By Albert B. Lacanlale

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Motorists may use Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) Subic-Clark segment for free from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on March 18 to March 24 as the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) conducts a dry run for the soon-to-be-operational toll road.

BCDA president Narciso Abaya said the dry run of the 50.5-kilometer Subic-Clark segment would be beneficial for motorists bound for Bataan and Olongapo, and Subic, which has been a major tourist destination during the Lenten season.

The free Holy Week dry run dubbed "Handog ni Pangulong Gloria: Libreng Biyahe sa SCTEx" is an initiative of the Office of the President, BCDA and other agencies.

Only Class 1 or light vehicles, chartered buses and motorcycles with an engine displacement of 400 cubic centimeters or higher will be allowed to enter the expressway during the free Holy Week trial run.

Motorists coming from Nlex bound for Subic are advised to take the Spur/NLE interchange located between the Dau and Sta. Inez Exits of Nlex and proceed to the SCTEx Clark Logistics Toll Plaza.

After crossing the bridge, motorists should follow the loop of the ramp towards Subic. Motorists are also advised to follow the appropriate road directional signage.

Likewise, motorists at SCTEx bound for Bataan may exit at the Dinalupihan Interchange via the Roman highway.

On the other hand, motorists from Subic and Bataan bound for Manila are advised to enter the SCTEx through the Tipo Toll Plaza or the Dinalupihan Toll Plaza, respectively, and follow the road signage towards the Clark Logistics Toll Plaza.

Upon reaching the Clark Logistics interchange, they should take the first ramp to the right that will lead to the toll plaza, then the Spur/NLE interchange connecting to Nlex.

Travel time from Clark to Subic will be reduced to a mere 40 minutes.

From Nlex in Balintawak to Subic, travel time will only be about one hour and 30 minutes.

The SCTEx is a flagship project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and is among the mega-projects intended to transform Central and Northern Luzon into a super region.

It is expected to serve as the new economic backbone for Central Luzon and the adjoining regions that is expected to create wider opportunities for investment, trade and employment.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Thousands of motorists cruise along SCTex
CLARK FREEPORT -- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) reported that thousands of motorists have used the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex) over the past five days since its soft opening on March 18.
 On Day one alone, a total of 2,356 Class 1 and Class 2 vehicles did a trial run on the 50.5-kilometer portion of the SCTex from Clark Freeport in Pampanga to Subic Freeport in Zambales following the opening ceremony led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
 The Presidential entourage set in motion the week-long free trial run dubbed "Handog ni Pangulong Gloria, Libreng Biyahe sa SCTex" that would last until 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
 The freeway is open only from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. SCTex program manager Robert Gervacio announced that motorists using the SCTex during the Lenten Season could avail themselves of "reliable and expert road assistance" courtesy of the Tollways Management Corporation (TMC), which also operates North Luzon Expressway (Nlex).
 Gervacio said the TMC, designated interim SCTex operator, has deployed patrol vehicles, service crews and other Nlex staff members to ensure adequate assistance to motorists.
 Charly Espanola, TMC division head for the SCTex, said they have also fielded emergency medical services, towing crew, and repair technicians along the Subic-Clark portion.
 "There is a composite security team deployed along the Subic-Clark segment coming from the BCDA, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Clark Development Corporation (CDC) to ensure the safety of our motorists," Espanola said.
 The BCDA said it expects big volume of traffic along the Subic-Clark segment because the new expressway offers faster and more convenient travel to Subic and Clark.

The SCTex is directly linked to Nlex via a two-kilometer spur road and interchange just after the northbound Dau exit of the Nlex.
 A one-page advisory distributed along the Nlex since Tuesday said Subic-bound motorists can take the spur interchange between the Dau and Sta. Ines exits of the Nlex and then proceed to the SCTex Clark Logistics Toll Plaza, turning left for Subic.
 Those bound for Bataan can exit at the SCTex Dinalupihan interchange via the Roman Highway.
 From Subic and Bataan bound for Manila, motorists can enter the SCTex at the Tipo Toll Plaza and the Dinalupihan Toll Plaza, respectively.
 They exit at the Clark Logistics Toll Plaza, and then through the Spur Road connecting to Nlex.
 Only Class 1 (light) vehicles, tourist and chartered buses and motorcycles with engine displacements of 400cc and above are allowed to use the SCTex during the dry run.
 The TMC and BCDA also advised that there are no service areas yet along the SCTex, and that the nearest stops for rest areas are along Nlex and inside Subic.
 In case of emergencies, motorists are encouraged to call the SCTex hotline (045) 865-2030, (02) 3629997 and (02) 3622246. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

It was bound to happen:    How long does it take to drive the 55 kilometers from tollgate to tollgate?  16 MINUTES!   Yes, 16 minutes is all it takes if you happen to be a Frenchman butterfly that hears of a cute new girl in Subic.  He says his time will go down below 15 minutes when the Friendship interchange is opened.   Average traveling speed was 2 kilometers per hour short of 200 (198) due to some cars on the road, was blocked a few times ,and when overtaking reduced speed to 200kmh in case of unexpected lane change/swerving .  Top recorded speed : 266 kph.  Vehicle : Porsche 996 turbo s (460 bhp). Tires : Michelin sport pilot 305.   Gas : Petron blaze.  Gas consumption : 15 l (25.4 liters/100).  Gas cost : 720p.



New Hotel



I recently got a tour of the Lewis Grand Hotel on Perimeter Road.  This is the most ambitious hotel project in the Balibago area to date. They were trying to open in late April, but June to July is IMO a better estimate.  They will have 68 rooms, including 4 big Presidential Suites with big corner balconies looking out over the pool area, 16 Executive Rooms, 16 Family Rooms. The rest will be standard "Superior" rooms.
SERVICED HOUSE FOR RENT  It is now fully booked thru 1 Sep 2008.  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.   You'll probably want to rent a Balibago Buggie or a motorcycle, but trikes are available close to the house. For more details see


I have been hearing good things about the SOUTHERN CROSS SHUTTLE.  This is a quality, new Tourist Bus that connects Angeles & Manila.  It should not be confused with the dilapidated Blue Bus of years gone by.  The bus leaves the Southern Cross Hotel in Ermita (Manila) daily at 10 am.  The bus leave The Brass Knob Hotel In Angeles at 1 pm.  For more details contact the Southern Cross at:
Day Outing:   Got some time and $$ to kill?  Why not take a flight to Iba or just a sightseeing flight?  I got to do that on Good Friday with a couple of Expats.  The aerial photos of Clark above are from that trip.  We boarded the plane at 1030 am, flew to Iba to deliver some supplies to Palmera Gardens, and we were back to the hanger on Clark at 1 pm.  We had a great, relaxed lunch with a view of the South China Sea and we made several loops over the Angeles side of Pinatubo looking at developments in the jungle. 

A flight to Iba for a drop-off/pick-up costs about $140.  For $160 Jimmy will give you a good sightseeing time over Pinatubo.  For more information see  or contact Jimmy at

PALMERA GARDENS RESORT  Palmera Gardens is one of the few beach resorts on the west coast of Luzon that is foreign managed. It is only about 5 minutes from the Iba airport.  With the opening of the SCTex, it is now only about 2 hours by car.  For more information see their website at    E-mail:


GOOD FRIDAY:  For the first time in 3-4 years a large percentage of the restaurants & bars in Angeles closed their doors for the day.  Most of the bars that were open did not have dancers, or had their staffs dressed in street clothes.  The streets were empty!


Blast from the Past:

Late 1980's Clark AB list of off base hotels


1994 Margaritaville Map of Balibago Bars



Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Angeles vice mayor declared 'persona non grata'

By Ian Ocampo Flora

ANGELES CITY -- The City Council here has declared its own presiding officer, Vice Mayor Vicenta Vega-Cabigting, as an undesirable person.

During Tuesday's session of the City Council, Councilor Danilo Lacson filed a resolution declaring Cabigting "as persona non grata."

Enumerating the "issues" against Cabigting, Lacson said the resolution is the result of the vice mayor's refusal to sign the appointments of confidential staff assigned to the majority bloc, as well as the issues emanating from the reorganization of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LB).

In response to Lacson's resolution, Cabigting delivered a privilege speech. She, however, refused to take questions from the majority bloc of the City Council.

But the majority bloc seemed to have been dissatisfied with the answers of Cabigting and proceeded with the approval of the resolution.

Cabigting did not preside over the proceedings that led to the approval of the resolution. The majority placed Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation president Carl John Miranda as presiding officer.

Councilor Willie Rivera criticized the action of the majority, saying the act "is a way of closing the doors for communication and dialogue" and that it would not be proper to declare the presiding officer, who is mandated by law to uphold her position, as persona non grata.

Most of the councilors, on the other hand, affirmed their votes with the issues raised earlier against Cabigting.

"You (Cabigting) have a personality defect; you try to cling on something even though it is wrong," Councilor Agapito del Rosario told Cabigting, pointing out that the vice mayor's earlier privilege speech was "too personal" on the part of the majority.

Tension sparked when Miranda, the presiding officer, recognized barangay leader Robin Nepomuceno to vote on the resolution as ex-officio councilor representing the LB.

When Cabigting resumed in presiding the session, she said the act of Miranda was "clearly in violation of the current court procedure on the issue of the LB between Nepomuceno of Barangay Cutcut and Jerry Alejandrino of Barangay Pandan."

"The issue is already in court, if it would appear that the City Council is already recognizing someone, our SK might be seeing himself in contempt of court," Cabigting said.

Councilor Ares Yabut, on the other hand, lauded Miranda's action, stating that Nepomuceno is the real LB president.

But Cabigting vowed to present the proceedings of the resolution, the media tapes of the session and Yabut's declaration in court, adding that any issue pending the decision of the court should not be discussed in the council.

Some attendees of the session were disappointed with Miranda for having been playing as a "puppet" of the new majority.

"He sits there but he does not call the shots, he does what honorable councilors dare not do," an observer said.

Friday, February 22, 2008
Vintage bombs found in drainage canal

ANGELES CITY -- A barangay zone leader was in for the surprise of his life when he accidentally unearthed two vintage bombs while clearing a drainage canal in Barangay Pandan here recently.

Crisanto Atienza was busy with what he was doing at 10 a.m. Tuesday when he noticed metal protruding from the excavation. He thought it was just a metal scrap. But to his amazement, what he found were two bombs. 

He immediately informed Barangay Pandan chairman Jeremias Alejandrino about the bombs who, on the other hand, requested for police assistance.

Angeles policemen led by Rolly Reyes immediately responded to the scene and secured the area.

The Angeles City Police Mobile Group provided security within the area. At about 1 p.m., the Explosives and Ordinance Division (EOD) team of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in Clark Field arrived and conducted full excavation and retrieval of two "unexploded" bombs. The vintage bombs were identified by the EOD as one 80 mm Cartridge and one 25-pound bomb.

According to reports, the two bombs might have been remnants of Word War II, as the city used to be a battle ground between American and Japanese troops.

Police said the two bombs may still explode if improperly handled. It was not immediately established if the two bombs belonged to the Japanese or the American troops.

The recovered vintage bombs are now in the custody of the PAF for proper storage and disposal.

KOREAN RESORT DEVELOPMENT ON THE SLOPES OF MT PINATUBO:  Here is something I haven't heard a word about until I flew over it.  A little research and I found out that a  Korean developer has built a hot spring resort, a hilltop picnic cabana and now is building a road into a scenic waterfall.  It appears these  developments have not been advertised because they are Korean ONLY facilities.  Too bad as they look like a nice day trip from Angeles.

Hot spring resort opened last year

Scenic waterfall with small lake

Road being built to waterfall

Hilltop building halfway from hot springs to waterfall


Irma R. Buizon, the long time companion of Bretto (Brenten Readett) passed away last month at the age of 38.  She had been fighting breast cancer and then bone cancer.   Baretto's business has been for sale since his death. For more info contact 0915-933-8614.
On 19 February Dana "Weiner" Moen died in a motorcycle accident.  Dana was 51,  an experienced bike rider, and a member of the American Steel Motorcycle Club (ASMC).

Margarita Station Website

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