Angeles City News

CONSTRUCTION MANIA 

 We haven't seen this much construction at one time in years - -  if ever.

central01.jpg (86576 bytes)

Construction on the NEW CENTRAL PARK HOTEL is progressing quickly.  Guy & Roselle have also managed to get the street paved this week into the site of the new hotel.  I'm sure this will be one of the premier hotels in Angeles for those looking for a clean, well managed hotel, at a reasonable price.   Book your Christmas season rooms in September if you want to get a room.  For more, see their webpage:

 http://www.centralpark-ac.com/newhotel.php 

orchid_apts.jpg (135964 bytes) Right next to the New Central Park Hotel, progress on the WILD ORCHID CONDO's also appears to be on schedule.  Obviously this is having an impact on Santos Street and only time will tell what the area will look like when this project is finished and the stalls on the first floor of the condos are leased out for businesses. orchid_apt03.jpg (58821 bytes)
hotel03.jpg (75638 bytes) Gerard's new hotel project near the intersection of Fields Ave & Mc Arthur Highway is on hold for now while the purchase of additional properties is being finalized.
hotel01.jpg (77066 bytes) Another building is rising rapidly on lower Perimeter Road near Checkpoint.  It sure looks like a hotel and the rumor is that it is a hotel being built by one of "the Dutch guys."  Should have more information on this project in the near future.
hotel02.jpg (62135 bytes) At the former home of Jerry's Cafe, a new building is under construction.  Word is a new group of three guys are trying something new.  Well, new for that location anyway.  A bar, restaurant/cocktail lounge on the main floor and hotel rooms on the second floor.  They will probably have exotic drinks like Rum & Coke!  All these new hotel rooms will help keep the room rates down or they will be empty.  More serious information on this hotel & club when I meet the new owners.
big_easy.jpg (102193 bytes) The Blue's theme club BIG EASY is nearing completion at the former site of Cleopatra.  It is scheduled for opening the second week of May 2006.  Steve is reportedly moving from the manager of Nero's to be the manager at this new club.  
golden_nile.jpg (75259 bytes) Richard is at it again!  The 3-4 story Golden Nile is rising between Bedrock & Cambodia Clubs.  When done, customers will be able to walk from Cambodia to Blue Nile Executive Club (going through Golden Nile, Bedrock, Nero's Forum, & Blue Nile) using the connecting tunnels.  Additionally, another club, Golden Nile 2 (being referred to as Slots & Sluts),  will be open shortly off the east side of Blue Nile.  This club will also feature high-tech, state of the art, slot machines and dancers.
maharajah02.jpg (76653 bytes) Construction on a "commercial center" on the end of the Maharajah Hotel on Perimeter Road are also nearing completion.  If this contains a reasonable grocery/quick stop store it will do very well.  Many expats pass this location on their way home every day.  The few stores in the area are very over priced and carry limited items. maharajah.jpg (70879 bytes)
ricks.jpg (89374 bytes) The former home of Rick's Cafe is now an empty lot awaiting construction by the owners of La  Pasha.  Rumor here is they will put up a three story building with bars on two floors and apartments or rooms for rent on the top floor. Construction is suppose to start sometime in June, but could be delayed as it appears that  Dollhouse is 3 inches over the property line into this lot and the pipes from Dollhouse extend another 6 inches into the lot.  
dollhouse2.jpg (87141 bytes) The new DOLLHOUSE building has looked ready for opening for several weeks, but rumors are it is being delayed by lack of the mayors permit.  It is located across the street from the Dollhouse.  Reportedly it will be a 24 hour hangout with cocktails & pool tables and even a swimming pool on the roof (lets hope we don't have any big earthquakes like the one in 1989 that took out the swimming pool on top of Cocktails & Dreams.
ez_rider01.jpg (61884 bytes) Here is a sure winner!  The EZ Riders Cafe also looks like it will open any day.  One of the keys to many businesses is "Location, location, location."  This one will do good any where in town with the right management.  The time is right for a good motorcycle orientated hangout in Angeles.  Oh Yeah, it is located on Perimeter Road near the Friendship gate.  Good luck guys!
The former PICK UP DISCO has been purchased by Rolf (Champagne Group) and is being converted into a two story club with a see through dance floor on the second level (similar to Baccara in Bangkok).

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Some new& some old places worth a new look

cold_drop.jpg (64432 bytes) At the top of my list in this category is the COLD DROP BAR & GRILL on Friendship Highway.  I mentioned this quiet bar (then the Dew Drop Inn?) about a year ago. Then there were rumors that it had closed, but apparently it was resurrected.  I stopped in a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. They now have an air-conditioned bar/dining area.  They now have a pretty big menu with items ranging from snacks like spring rolls to a "Family Feast" with a whole leg of lamb and appropriate side dishes.  We sampled their  pizza and in my opinion, it was the best I've had in Angeles in years.  They have free delivery for orders of P300 or above.  Phone # 893-7828 or 0920-405-9197.  
sports_bar.jpg (65643 bytes) The PLATINUM SPORTS BAR is located just around the corner from the Wild Orchid Resort (In the rear of Wild Orchid Resort).  it has been open for a few months and I've heard a few good reports, but I'm afraid "location" isn't going to help this club to succeed as it is off the beaten track in the day time and not in the best location for after dark visits.
disco.jpg (44912 bytes) Located next to the Platinum Sports Bar is MINISTRY OF MUSIC DISCO.  I haven't heard much about this one and don't hold your breath for me to visit any disco and do a report on it. (I think I still have my DISCO SUCKS t-shirt from the 80's).   Based on the location, on the side street between the Wild Orchid and Johnny's Grocery, my guess it is aimed more at the locals than tourists.
hangout.jpg (69444 bytes) The HANG OUT opened next to Blue Nile a few months ago.  It serves a variety of Filipino food and is very popular at night with the girls from the clubs on that end of the street.
swiss.jpg (75569 bytes) The SWISS CHALET Hotel addition has been finished finished between Central Park & Santos Street.  This hotel is not on the list of hotels we represent, but as with almost all hotels in Angeles City, our reservations department will be glad to assist you in making reservations at this hotel at no cost.  Just send a email to reservations@theville.com with your name and the dates of your visit.  They don't have a pool, but the rooms are moderately priced for the area.  And, even if you aren't staying there, you may want to give the restaurant a try.  I have heard only good reviews on their food.
shinbi.jpg (75834 bytes) OK, I haven't tried this restaurant yet, but it is on my list of places to visit.  In fact there are a number of new restaurants in the Friendship area. Most are aimed at the Korean & Japanese tourists so the prices might be a little higher than places like Margarita Station, but if they are packing in the Asian customers, the food and service must be pretty good.  I'll try to report on a few more of these in the next newsletter.
new_santos.jpg (74323 bytes) Several blocks off of Fields Ave at the end of Raymond Street there are some new businesses worth a look. The Duke of York has moved in here along with a massage parlor and what appears to be a small go-go club that will be open soon, if not already.

RICK'S INTERNET & GIFT CENTER:  Rick sold Rick's Cafe last month and relocated his Internet Gift Center into a small office in the rear of Margarita Station. Then after the unexpected death of the owner of the Checkmark Internet Cafe located in Margarita Station, Rick decided to come out of retirement earlier than expected.  After some renovations the NEW Rick's Internet Cafe is expected to open  early next week (1st week of May).
real_st.jpg (105960 bytes) Over a year ago a number of businesses donated a bunch of money for the city to pave Real Street.  The city did pave the street and eventually tore down all the squatter shacks on the south side of the street.  Within months these shacks began to reemerge. Initially as very temporary shelters then as more permanent structures.  Now, apparently in an effort to make life difficult for these squatters,  the city has begun dumping ash and rubble in the area thereby blocking the street everyone paid to have paved to promote tourism.   Hopefully Real Street will be cleaned up before the grand opening of the Big Easy.
EXPAT LIVING IN THE PI: There are many reasons why individuals from around the globe end up living in a place like Angeles City.  Several of the main reasons for many is the cost of living & a lifestyle very different than their home country.  Over the years I've seen some good friends move to Angeles City only to "throw in the towel" after about a year.  Although it may be cheaper to live here, this is still a third world country with some peculiar idiosyncrasies that some people cannot adapt to.  In this line I'd like to relate a couple of recent occurrences:

 

THE ANGELES WATER COMPANY:  A few months ago two guys came to my gate on their bicycles. They said they were from the water company and they needed to move my water meter outside so it was easier to read the meter.  I asked them for a letter from the water company and some form of ID to show they really worked for the water company. They had neither, so I told them to come back another day after I checked with the water company.  

I hate to be suspicious of a couple of Filipinos guys, but it sounded too much like an incident I read about in the Bangkok Post late last year.  Thailand being a developing country, they were a little more organized, but the story talked about a group going around subdivisions doing a similar thing, except in the end they loaded the meters into their vehicle and drove off, leaving the tenants with the need to buy a "replacement" water meter IF they wanted the water reconnected.

Anyway, I checked with the water company and they said the guys were legitimate and they would return.  Last Saturday evening, they returned and cut off my water without telling anyone in the house.  So of course we have no water for two days until I can get things sorted out.  On Monday morning the office assures me that they did not cut off my water, but they will send the guys out to move my meter. When the guys show up, they confirm they cut the pipe on Saturday afternoon.

"Only in the PI."

GOODYEAR:  For years I have purchased tires and had alignments done at the Goodyear dealer (Servitech) on McArthur Highway (near Dau).  So a few months ago when I had a blowout, I sent my vehicle there for 4 new tires and an alignment.  I was shocked when I got my vehicle back and it rode like a bad jeepney and squeaked and groaned like a 1957 Russian tank. I sent the vehicle back several times before the owner admitted that the mechanics had improperly lifted the vehicle and over extended the shocks.  But, he assured me that it would be a little better if I waited 2-3 months!  The Honda dealer in San Fernando confirmed that the vehicle had not been properly lifted and the repair cost would be P 14,000+.  Back to Goodyear and the owner says if I buy the shocks, his mechanics will install them for free!  Right, I really want the mechanics that destroyed my perfectly good shocks to install the new ones??  Do I look that stupid?   Just another reminder that I'm not in Kansas any more Toto. 

servitech.jpg (67259 bytes)

I have to strongly recommend to anyone in Angeles City that has a good vehicle - DO NOT have your vehicle serviced at the Goodyear dealer if you want to get it back in the same or better condition than it was before you had it "serviced."

 

A BAD MONTH    This last month has not been a good one for foreigners in Angeles City.  We have seen 3 deaths and one serious assault.
george.jpg (71615 bytes)

 

Sadly, George Bottrell, the owner of Checkmark Trading Services, Inc passed away in the first week of  April from a long illness.  George is survived by his wife "Baby."  George was one of the "good EXPATS"  in Angeles.  A quiet, gentle man, he expanded his business over the years from a small phone service to numerous internet cafes in Angeles City and Manila (to include the large internet center in the rear of Margarita Station).

 

HOME INVASION ?    In a reported "home invasion."  a long time resident, Hanz Holtz was murdered.  As with the next incident, there may be more to this story than was published in the local Sun Star newspaper.  It is a little difficult to believe that individuals would commit such a violent crime and then take only a few items in the robbery.  Several rumors are already floating through the expat community and hopefully we will know the whole story soon.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SUN STAR Sunday, April 16, 2006 'Robbers' kill German

ANGELES CITY - A German national was stabbed dead inside his house here by a group of men who allegedly robbed him of pieces of jewelry and a digital camera last Friday. Police identified the victim as Hans Holtz, 52, a German national of Nova Apartment 1, Clark Avenue, Villasol Subdivision in Barangay Anunas here. The Angeles City police under the supervision of Policarpio Segubre has declared the incident as a robbery-homicide. Police said Holtz, who had been living in the city for 15 years, operated a motorcycle rental business that he closed about three years ago. The victim's neighbors said Holtz had been a very peaceful man who did not involve in any illegal activity nor figured in any trouble in the city. The German national also operated a small German snack shop named the Schnitzel Corner along Real Street in Balibago's Fields Avenue district.  A report said Holtz's naked body was found lying beside his bedroom with multiple stab wounds. The victim's throat had also a deep cut.  Police investigators disclosed that they found no signs of forcible entry into the Holtz residence, indicating that the killers were acquaintances of the victim and his Filipino wife Myrna. "We are following a robbery motive by people whom the victim had an acquaintance with as evidenced by the lack of signs of break-in and his being found naked," Segubre said.  Holtz's wife claimed that on Thursday midnight, she left her husband watching television in the living room while she proceeded to sleep in the masters' bedroom. She reported that at 4 a.m. Friday morning, she was awakened when several men barged into her room and hogtied her with an electrical cord. She related that the robbers also covered her face and body with a polo shirt. According to her, she went out of the room when the robbers fled and discovered that her husband was killed.

 

HOTEL BREAK-IN or SELF INFLICTED INJURIES ?   During the 3rd week of April, Jerry  Walsh, a long term visitor said he was stabbed multiple times inside his hotel room at the Clarkton Hotel.  He had arrived from Subic and checked into the Clarkton for one night  with plans to fly to Hong Kong the next day.  Reportedly he woke up at approximately 9 AM to find a Filipino male inside his room.  He said he tried to stop the intruder/thief and was stabbed three times.  His wounds were not fatal. He was treated at Philippine International Hospital where they reportedly removed a knife with a eight inch blade.  He is in stable condition.  The thief reportedly made off with $1200 in US currency.

Jerry has told friends that he thinks the door was locked.  But, I'm told by reliable sources that the night lock cannot be opened by the hotel staff.  This would mean that he either forgot to lock the door, or a departing night guest left the door unlocked and possibly called a friend and told them the door was unlocked. The odds of a thief hitting a random room at 9 am and  getting past the dead bolt are pretty low.  And then to hit the jackpot and get $1200!  Overall, something about this one doesn't say random room break-in to me. And why wasn't the cash in the in-room safe?  Still some questions here that don't add up.  

Friends that stay at the Clarkton on a regular basis say that the hotel security is pretty good, but do report an occasional uninvited female guests knocking on their doors from time to time.  I could believe that a cute girl can get past the security by saying there are visiting Mr. Jones in 302, but I would think the hotel security and the desk clerks would notice a single Filipino male going into the room area at 9 am.  And, the fact that he was able to leave the hotel, probably with some blood on his clothing, without being noticed is more than a little questionable.  

As of 4 May 2006 the police say they doubt any break-in occurred.  There are just too many things about this incident that don't ring true.  To strengthen the case against the break-in, a local business owner told me he lent Jerry P 10,000 to clear up his over-stay with Immigration so he could leave country.  So where did $1200 come from??  Maybe the crack Angeles City CSI team will determine what really happened.

Given all this, would I stay at the Clarkton?  YES, with no hesitation.  It is a good hotel with reasonable priced rooms.  I believe there security was pretty good before this incident and from what I have heard they have increased their security since the incident.

 

TOURIST DEATH:   (22 April AN AMERICAN tourist was found dead in his hotel room in Angeles City, Pampanga province, some 83 kilometers northwest of Manila at dawn Saturday , police said.  Investigators have ruled out foul play.  Dr. Froilan Canlas of the Angeles City Foundation Memorial Center reported that Christopher James Sullivan, 51, died in his sleep from a heart attack, said Angeles City police director Senior Superintendent Policarpio Segubre.   Sullivan checked into Wild Orchids Hotel in Balibago village with his Filipina girlfriend on Friday evening, the report said.  When the woman woke up at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, she noticed that Sullivan seemed to have stopped breathing, prompting her to call for help. Segubre said it was the hotel management who called in the doctor to check on the tourist's condition.

NOTE: Chris (Coach) Sullivan was a DoD physical education teacher on Okinawa.  He will be missed by his fellow teachers and his students.

 

Many GI's that did a tour at Clark between 1965 and 1991 had a uniform or some quality clothes made at Neek's Tailor Shop.  Sadly "Neek" passed away from stomach cancer during the last week of March 2006.    
 

 

 

LAST -  AND MAYBE LEAST

tule.jpg (104079 bytes) It's that time of year again!  The Operation TULE Summer Promo is back. This year you can get your "painless"  circumcision for less than $8 (including all the medicine).