EMAIL NEWSLETTER IS DEAD:
A few months back our newsletter provider notified us that they were now going
to charge a substantial fee for anyone that had more than 1000 people on their
mailing lists. Since we have over 2500 names on the list, this has stopped the
email newsletters for now. The webmaster is working on several
alternatives. We have been able to download the mailing list and if we get
the bugs worked out of a new system we will send a test message to everyone on
the list. This may be a while in coming, so for updates look to our
website for the foreseeable future.
DIRECT INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
INTO ANGELES CITY:
There are now THREE airlines conducting international
flights directly into Clark. Although officially designated DMIA (Diosdado
Macapagal International Airport), all the websites just call it CLARK.
Asiana Airlines, a full-service
airline flies from Inchon to Clark. "Since its
maiden flights in October 31, 2003 to end-2004, up to 60,000
passengers had flown in. That’s a far cry from what used to be a mere 2,500
annual passengers that chartered flights had brought in." "Asiana Airlines started with two flights a week to and from Clark, but
after only two months, these were increased to three flights a week. Now, with
five flights a week, the load factor of Asiana’s 300-plus-capacity plane
reaches as high as 90 percent, a feat in the aviation industry. “That means
there was an untapped demand which we did not know before,” says Victor Jose
Luciano, CDC executive vice president."
- I tried to get a price quote on these flights from
the internet and even selecting dates out to Dec 2005 they replied "All
flights full, select another date. I don't think so!
- TIGER AIR
http://www.tigerairways.com/ Tiger Asia has thrice-a-week
flights to Clark from Changi airport in Singapore.
- Some reports from flyers that have been posted on the
local bulletin boards:
- Budget carrier. No meals or drinks without extra
Advertised prices are dirt cheap, but those cheap seats are
often booked when checking the website.
"check in at Tiger was fine but immigration had only 2
staff on and wait was long and plane was delayed while people cleared
"Free seating leads to a charge to get on the plane and if
you are with a couple of other people arriving late on a full flight may
lead to seating apart."
"Arriving back at Clark and there were no immigration cards on the
plane....that led to a race and there were only 2 immigration people again so
move fast when getting off plane."
"Customs were checking passports, looking for a random bag to check and
generally justifying their existence. otherwise no dramas."
- AIR ASIA
http://www.airasia.com/general.php?p=pmain&l=en Air Asia will
have daily flights (or 14 flights a week) to Clark from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. Daily flights from Kuala Lumpur
will reach Clark at 10:30 a.m. and leave 30 minutes later. Daily flights from
Kota Kinabalu will arrive at 2:30 p.m. and leave by 3 p.m. An Air Asia
representative said "If
these flights prove successful, there will be additional flights to and from
Bangkok or any other point in Thailand."
- Some reports from flyers that have been posted on the
local bulletin boards:
- Budget carrier. No meals or drinks without extra
- From KL to Clark for less than P2000
(that is equal to the cost of a airport pick-up from Manila). From Kota Kinabalu
for about P1000. Malaysia’s Air Asia
also flies regularly to Clark Field, Pampanga, from Kuala Lumpur with a promo
price of about P1,998.00, one-way. And from Kota Kinabalu for about P1,798.00,
one way. They started last April 5, 2005.
TEMPORARY?": "Luciano says the two budget carriers have been allowed to operate flights
to and from Clark based on loose agreements under the EO 219’s liberalized
aviation policy in Clark. The formal agreements under a country-to-country air
services agreement, which require a political process of negotiating for
entitlements, public hearings, and the like, will be done afterward. The budget carriers have been given temporary operating permits, renewable
every month—a tedious process in an uncertain environment. Generally, airlines
sell tickets that can be used for a period longer than one month. “There are more airlines interested in Clark, but they want permanent
permits. They want to feel secure. What we have for now is a shortcut to the
process because time is of the essence,” Luciano says. “Our neighbors are
leaving us behind.”
- Both Tiger & Air Asia are "No-Frills" flights. They
don't serve food & drinks for free, but you can buy drinks on board. I've seen
some people that say bring your own food and others say you cannot bring food
on board. They are short flights, just tough it out. :-)
- Airport Departure fee at Clark is currently P 350 vs
the P 550 at NAIA (Manila).
- PICK-UPS at CLARK Not yet a great business
to bring a driver in at an odd time for a 1 hour job as we must pay them for a
set number of hours. We currently provide the service for P350. We use
our air-conditioned service vehicle which isn't a limo by any means, but it is
good enough to get you to your hotel with a great air-conditioner.
CONTINUES TO GET WORSE: The airport in Manila has always been
one of the worst for check-in in Asia, if not in the world. But, on my last
several departures it has continued to go downhill with an average of 1 hour and
20 minutes from arrival at the front until I arrive at the gate. On
arrival you look for the shortest line to get in the terminal. 15-20
minutes later you finally get to the door where the guard checks your ticket &
passport. Now wait at the door until the line to x-ray bags shortens, then they
let you in to get in the x-ray line. Through the x-ray line you proceed to
your airline counter to get in another long line. Next it is a fairly
short line to pay your departure tax and on to another 20+ minute line to go
through immigration. But, you are not done yet, there is a final check
before you get to the gate where the security people tell you to take off your
belt, sometimes your shoes, etc. The last time this was yet again a 20
minute process. And of course at the gate the airlines want to look in all
your bags just one more time! I cannot wait to start flying directly out
- DOLLHOUSE is a 24-hour club located on Fields
Ave between Rick's Cafe and the DMZ. This is one of the most expensive bar
renovations in Angeles History and hopefully these relative newcomers will
live up to their promises to show the old hands some new tricks.
- ALASKA CLUB was supposed to have their grand
opening near the end of April, but some problems with some documents at the
city have delayed them for a while. They are located where Byrd Cage was
located between Camelot and Insomnia. They have opened their street side bar,
so the rest can't be far behind.
- MY SYMPHONY CLUB Really, that is the name
of the club located in the old Maverick City Building where recently Blue K
and then Lipstick were located. I really don't think of Symphony when I
think of bar hopping and was a little worried when initial reports said no
dancers, but thing have changed and it's looking more like a conventional
go-go bar. And no they don't play symphony music! Until 15 May they are
running a special on buy one - take one San Miguel Beers for P 60!
- MAGIC MOMENTS This club is located in the
location where Big Willie's Steak & Egg Restaurant was a few months ago.
This is between My Symphony Bar & Stampede. Reports are of a cozy little
club with potential.
- T-TIMES is located down Perimeter Road near
Limited Edition (halfway between Zapata's & Honey Ko's). I just had one time
for a visit and was surprised not to see any of the girls wearing T-backs as
their sign implied. Rumor is that t-backs or coming soon.
- WISE GUYS is located on Perimeter Road next to
the the new Black Pearl Annex (see below). This is good place to look
for Jung as word is he has an interest in the club.
SANTOS BARS RELOCATING:
Not sure if it is the pending opening of the Wild Orchid Hotel on Santos street,
But many of the bars there seem to be hedging their bets on possible closures of
- BLACK PEARL has opened an annex on Perimeter
Road (Technically Don Juico Ave) next near the intersection to the VFW & Jimmy
- WOW is getting ready to open on Fields Ave on
the west side of Rick's Cafe
- DUKE OF YORK has opened an annex on the left
side of Narcissus Street about 500 feet from Checkpoint.
Their is no sign on the building when they are closed, just a sign they put
out when they are open.
- C' ITALIAN DINING: Usually places like
this don't do well in Cheap Charlie City, but more & more people seem to be
willing to pay a higher price for quality food. Chris has found the right mix
of using quality imported products to serve a quality, tasty meal. And the
people that went in aware of the prices seem 99,999% satisfied to get a
gourmet meal in AC. And now Chris is also serving up meals at Hidden
Valley Sports Club! Want good food instead of cheap food, try C' Italian
Dining on Perimeter Road.
- BLUE NILE EXECUTIVE CLUB: Hands down the most
popular club in town! Never achieved it's status as a private club, but filled
with customers every night. The line up has improved in the last few
months, but again the customers here don't seem to mind higher prices as long
as they are having fun. I myself have bought more than a few of those
"doubles ladies drinks" that look a lot like a bottle of San Miguel Light!.
- PERIMETER ROAD BARS: The bars of Perimeter Road
continue to increase and provide a great alternative to the glitz & glamour of
Fields Avenue. Many of them open early in the day (Touch of Class is
busy by 10:30 am). The price for local drinks and ladies drinks is below
all but a few Fields Ave bars. I'm sure I'll miss a few, but heading
west from the ville after 3 o'clock you can visit: My Symphony Bar,
Magic Moments, Stampede, Cherry's, Gentleman's Club, Touch of Class, Emotions
(all walking distance in daytime). Then down past Zapata's is another
clump of bars including: Illusions, Nifty's Club Rio and the Matrix.
Another block down Limited Edition & T-Times are worth a look.
Next comes the BAR-E-OH with Honey Ko's, Thi Hi, and the popular outdoor EXPAT
Pub Hangout. Still further down is the Black Pearl Annex and Wise
- ORANGE LION
www.orangelionhotel.com Located across from the Royal
Amsterdam on lower Fields Ave. Reports are that despite a report that
refuted my report about this hotel in a previous newsletter it IS OWNED by a
Dutch Expat, not the friend of "the Dutch Expat." As evidenced by Dutch Day
events in early May again this year, there are more than ONE Dutch Expat in
- WILD ORCHID This new Orchid hotel is located on
Santos street just past the bars. It looks to be ready to open in a few
- PERIMETER HOTEL Located above Emotions and
Touch of Class, this new hotel has 10 rooms all at a reasonable price.
- JJ's GROCERY Not sure what the hotel name
is going to be, but they are open for businesses as of 1 May in the form of a
About 40% of the stalls built by the CDC along Fields Avenue are now open and
operating. Many are being air-conditioned and the area in front of the stalls
has been covered with cement (which should greatly reduce the dust in the dry
season. Sadly, several of the drains the city built about a year and a half ago
were also cemented over. It is very easy to see where they used to be because of
the cuts in the street to install the pipes. Hopefully the city will uncover
theses drains before the rainy season is upon us. Some of the stalls are
being advertised for sublease at unbelievable prices!
PRICES? There has been a lot of talk/complaints about the clubs
rising prices in the last few months. I will not defend individual club
prices, but all prices are increasing faster than since I have been in business
here. It's great how someone that probably has never run a business can get
people riled up about arbitrary price increases in Angeles City.
Occasionally a club owner will decide it is time to increase prices, but trust
me, there is no great conspiracy between club owners. In fact, some of them
don't talk to each other because one or both do not like the other guys.
In reality, the electric rates have gone up twice in the last few months, San
Miguel has raised prices twice in the last seven months, Coke has raised the
price of all their products in the last few months, ice has gone up 25%, the
Department of Labor added a COLA to the minimum wage for Central Luzon that will
get converted to a new minimum wage this month (most clubs have been forced to
pay minimum wages to waitresses & bartenders - and virtually all hotels pay
minimum wages to all their employees), most imported liquors have increased
significantly due to the increased prices from overseas and a BIG increase is in
the wings if the new SIN TAXES are approved. For those of us in the
restaurant business, products that are exported have risen to fair value to
foreign importers (this includes mostly seafood's shrimp, fish & squid.
Why would they sell them in country for a lower price than Japanese importer
will pay? In the 10 years we have been open fish has increased over 500%),
gas has increased 3-4 times this year. The bottom line is the cost of
running any business in Angeles has gone up this year and further increases are
expected. On top of this, frivolous Labor suits are common practice.
Although honest businesses can win these suits, they still come with legal
expenses. Again, not to defend particular businesses, but some people
recently called for a boycott of one owner that charges a percentage for credit
card charges saying it was illegal. Wake up dudes! Show me a business in
Angeles that doesn't charge a premium if you charge goods or services to a
credit card instead of paying cash. Isn't this like places in the USA that offer
a discount for cash purchases??
Last month I received word that a cook in one of the busier restaurants in
Angeles City was routinely coughing up blood as evidenced by a bloody towel that
the individual always had on his/her shoulder. My initial reply was that
although it was a serious situation, it probably wasn't TB because that should
be caught on the annual exam required for food handlers to get a license from
the city. Then I was told that none of the employees had taken a physical
because this business did not require their employees to get a license from the
city. I indirectly put some pressure on the business and they finally sent
the employee to a doctor where the individual was immediately hospitalized. I
have yet to hear the results, but if it was TB the individual probably passed it
on to numerous employees and customers of the establishment. It is
mandatory for all food handlers to wear their licenses on their uniform. If you
go out to eat and none of the waiters or waitresses are wearing a City ID for
2005, I suggest you eat elsewhere.
TERMINATED VILLE EMPLOYEES:
For the benefit of other employers in Angeles I feel the need to mention that we
just terminated two long time employees, a houseboy and a kitchen helper, after
they were both caught stealing. Before anyone hires former ville employees
they should contact us for details why they are "former employees." If you
don't contact us, GOOD LUCK.