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.  

NAIA (MANILA) 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 of Clark.

NEW CLUBS:

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 their establishments/

WHAT's HOT:

NEW HOTELS:

STALLS:  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!

RISING 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??

WARNING:  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.