PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOURSELF!
Gecko's has reduced the price on their
calendars (Sept 2008 - Dec 2009). This is the
first calendar featuring Angeles girls in about 12
years and only a limited number were printed.
When the first printing is sold out there won't be a
second printing, so if you want one you'd
better get one soon. All photos are safe
for displaying on the wall of your home or office.
You can pick up the calendars in Margarita Station
and of course at Gecko's/
Long time EXPAT Tourist Bob has
started a new website:
Lots of good stuff there--restaurant reviews, local
shopping, local activities, news, special interest articles,
links, etc. There will be more to come, (new articles,
updates, new features, etc.). The main focus right now is on
Angeles City, but Subic also comes into play, and other
destinations are in the works. The site is a work in
progress, and still has a rough edge or two, but it's well
worth a look. Both locals and visitors should find the site
an interesting read and a good source of info.
He's even got an article about Margarita Station (LINK).
October 06, 2008
Tension at public market
By Ian Ocampo Flora
ANGELES CITY -- Fish vendors of
Pampang Public Market here expressed opposition over the
move of the City Government to renovate their stalls,
which resulted in a temporary gridlock between the
vendors and City Hall employees. Around 40 fish vendors
trooped to the fish section of the public market
recently after City Hall enforced the alleged order of
Mayor Francis Nepomuceno to start renovation and
rehabilitation works at the said section of the market.
Tess Maniacup, leader of the public market association
here, said they asked the City Hall to defer the
rehabilitation works until next month. She also decried
the lack of an enabling ordinance and the non-serving of
a notice for them to have ample time to vacate their
stalls. Maniacup and other fish vendors earlier sought
the help of the City Council, but to no avail. Last
Tuesday afternoon, City Hall employees and dozens of
policemen led by Chief Inspector Roger Tomen proceeded
to fence the said area of the public market. The fish
vendors staged their protest, along with Vice Mayor
Vicky Vega Cabigting and minority Councilors Maricel
Morales and Jay Sangil, among others.
But for Tomen and the City Hall workers, the order for
the renovation of the stalls has long been shelved
because of the opposition of the fish vendors. He
explained that the fish vendors would be given a
temporary relocation site along the east side of the
public market. "The city wants this area to fit
sanitation standards," Tomen said as he pointed to the
drainage area and the poor state of the concrete stalls,
which cater to some 100 fish vendors.
In a separate interview with Nepomuceno, he said "a
little sacrifice" is all it takes to make the fish
market area more conducive to buyers. "If we don't do
this now, then when? We need to sacrifice a little,"
Nepomuceno said assuring that the project will be
completed in 22 days.
But for Maniacup, the plan lacked the necessary
consultation. She also said the rumors that they would
be asked to pay for the renovated stalls must be
answered by the City Hall. Ligaya Guzman, 54, a fish
vendor here, said the temporary relocation stalls were
small and not within the direction of customers who
frequent the public market. She added that most of the
vendors have been hearing talks of additional payments
and other would-be payments after the renovation.
October 12, 2008
Roaring US fighter jets terrify kids
MABALACAT -- It was rainy
outside while five-year-old Trisha Carlos was watching the
cartoon network channel inside her auntie's home here last
Suddenly a continuous thundering sound roared from the sky.
The girl ran towards her auntie, shouting: "Tita, Tita, ano
yun?!" She cried and she was struggling to cover her ears.
Unsure what was causing the ultra loud noise, her auntie
went outside the garage to check it out. Her neighbors in
Barangay Dau also did the same. Other children in the
neighborhood were also "terrified" by the sounds coming from
two F/A-18 Hornets fighter jets above.
The noise, according to folk here, was different and more
"nerve-wracking" than the sonic booms of the loud F-4
Phantom fighter jets that ruled the sky here from 1970s to
1980s when the American Armed Forces still occupy the Clark
Air Base here.
In Barangay Sta. Inez, elementary pupils from various public
schools in this town were especially terrified by the ultra
loud aircraft noise. The children were at the covered court
for the opening ceremonies of the Cub Scout sports fest.
"Teacher Deth," one of the mentors supervising the
schoolchildren, said the latter got scared of the noise
produced by the low-flying fighter jets.
"The kids were frightened. They wonder what the loud noise
was. Even the village chief went out due to the loud noise
caused by jets that flying low, it could almost touch the
covered court's ceiling," she said.
It was learned that the jets were F/A 18 from the US Armed
Forces. It will participate in the upcoming joint RP-US
bilateral training exercises on October 15 in the former US
In a press statement from the US Embassy in Manila, it said:
"US and Philippine militaries will start their annual
bilateral exercises called Talon Vision and Amphibious
Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) with a ceremony on Wednesday,
October 15 at Clark Air Base in Pampanga."
The two-week training is set to be held simultaneously in
various locations in northern Luzon.
The US Embassy said the bilateral exercises are designed to
improve interoperability, increase readiness, and continue
professional relationships between the United States and
Philippine armed forces.
"US and Philippine military personnel participating in the
exercises will also conduct joint community relations
activities in selected local communities. These activities
include medical and dental missions, school construction,
classroom repairs and painting, and community beautification
projects," the statement said.
It added: "US Marines from the Japan-based 3rd Marine
Expeditionary Force and US sailors from the Essex
Expeditionary Strike Group will participate in both
ground-air and naval integration training with the Armed
Forces of the Philippines."
The F/A-18 Hornets are being used by the US Navy and the US
Marine Corps. (JM)
October 09, 2008
Jeweler gunned down
By Jovi T. de Leon
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- A
small-scale gold buyer and watch repairman was gunned down
at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday as he was opening his ambulant stall
in front of the Candaba Kitchenette along Consunji Street in
Police identified the victim as Ariel Malungkot, 30, of
Villa Barosa II in Dolores village here.
Malungkot, whom investigators said was a nephew of a
barangay captain of this city, was fatally shot in the back
of the head and his right chest.
Police chief Benjamin Medina said he personally rushed to
the crime scene upon receiving reports of the early morning
incident and led its investigation.
According to Medina, initial investigation showed that as
the victim was getting ready to open his watch repair stall,
a man dressed in a red shirt and his face partially covered
with an orange bull cap, approached Malungkot and shot from
behind, hitting the back of his head with bullet exiting in
The assailant, the police chief said, finished off the
victim with a second shot to the chest.
Witnesses meanwhile said the gunman walked casually towards
the direction of Barangay San Jose after shooting the
No empty shells were recovered from the crime scene.
Medina said they have yet to determine the motive behind the
killing of Malungkot as the city police's Scene-of-the-Crime
Operatives (Soco) immediately went to action upon his
Medina vowed to dig deeper into the case and confirm
information regarding the character of the victim and his
He also alerted Cambilans (police visibility outposts)
within the vicinity of the crime scene to look out for the
gunman and his possible cohorts.
Witnesses described the gunmen as short, wearing a red
t-shirt, and a red cap that was drawn down to cover half of
Vendors near the victim's stall said they were shocked upon
learning that Malungkot was killed, as they described him to
be simple and helpful. The victim had many regular customers
Aside from repairing watches, they said the victim was into
buying and selling broken gold and silver jewelry and old
"Occasionally," vendors said, the victim "would accept
expensive watches, which customers pawn for a price."
A fellow watch repairman near his stall said he saw the
victim enter the adjacent café and fix himself up in front
of a mirror prior to the shooting.
He said he heard the gunshots but did not see the victim's
The family and relatives of Malungkot refused to comment on
the incident as they took the victim's body to Tumang
October 09, 2008
Traffic to be
re-routed along Clark's M.A. Roxas Highway
CLARK FREEPORT -- The
Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has announced the
traffic re-routing along M.A. Roxas Highway (formerly
Mitchell Highway) here Thursday to give way to the
construction of Subic-Clark-Tarlac access road.
"As part of our continuing infrastructure development
program, please be informed that the Road Construction of MA
Roxas and Spur Road 2 Clark South Interchange Crossing
Panday Pira Access Road and Clark South Interchange,
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project, Package-2 Clark-Tarlac
Section shall commence on October 9," CDC president Benigno
Ricafort said in a memorandum circular.
Ricafort said the road construction will be done in two
stages: The first stage is expected to be completed on
November 30, while the second phase is expected to be
completed by the end of February next year.
"Consequently, a traffic re-routing scheme will be
implemented for the entire duration of the above
activities," he added.
But CDC traffic enforcers will be deployed in the area to
provide motorists a safe travel inside the freeport, the CDC
Ricafort also asked for the public's patience during the
duration of the construction period, as the infrastructure
project will benefit locators and visitors of the industrial
estate 5 area.
The construction of the project will also provide transit
access to the SCTEx to and from Subic Bay Freeport and
October 23, 2008
okays more Clark flights
By Reynaldo G. Navales
CLARK FREEPORT -- Officials of
the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) and the
Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Wednesday announced the
approval of additional international flights to three local
carriers at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA)
CIAC President Victor Jose Luciano and CAB board member Rene
Diaz said they recently approved air entitlements for DMIA
where local carriers will commission daily flights in
foreign countries and local destinations before the year
The local carriers include South East Asian Airlines (Seair),
Zest Air (formerly Asian Spirit), and Air Philippines.
Luciano said Seair has been granted by the CAB board 1,260
seats to mount Clark-Hong Kong flights daily.
Seair also got 2,520 seats to fly to Macau. This is
equivalent to two flights daily at the 2,500-hectare Civil
Aviation Complex here.
Luciano said this is a result of a series of Air
Consultation Talks between the Philippines, Hong Kong, and
Seair will also fly to
Thailand with 1,260 seats and four flights daily.
The air carrier plans to fly to Palawan and then to Bandar
Seri Begawan in Brunei. It also plans to fly to Zamboanga
and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
"Clark will now be link not only to Mindanao but also to the
Southern Asean neighbors of Brunei and Malaysia," Luciano
Diaz commended Transportation and Communication
Undersecretary Doroteo Reyes for initiating the Air
Consultation Talks with Hong Kong, Thaliand, Macau, Canada,
Finland, Cambodia and other countries.
He said Clark will have more flights to Singapore, Macau and
Hong Kong as a result of the successful air talks initiated
by the CAB.
Zest Air, on the other hand, was granted 1,260 seats to Hong
Kong flights daily. It also earned 2,520 seats to Macau
daily and to Thailand twice a day.
Air Philippines also got two flights per week to Macau.
"This is very important because this dramatizes that the
policy of President (Gloria-Macapagal) Arroyo of trying to
offer more opportunities for the region to attract tourism,
trade and investment are beginning to pay-off," Diaz said.
November 03, 2008
4 SCTEx interchanges 'still on track'
CLARK FREEPORT -- The most
sought-after interchanges for the province that will link up
various towns and this Freeport to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac
Expressway (SCTEx) are "still" on track, an official said.
Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan said the Clark North interchange
would be opened before December this year.
"We want to link our rural communities to the SCTEx. This,
in turn, would spur the needed developments in these areas
were the interchanges will rise. So far, the approach to the
Clark North Interchange is being constructed," he said.
The construction of the said interchanges is estimated at
P200 million each. It is also expected to directly link the
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and the
Freeport to the P27.7 billion SCTEx.
At least P1 billion will be poured into the construction of
the new interchanges along SCTEx that include a new one in
Floridablanca, one in Porac, and two in Clark, near
"As we keep on saying, we want to open the interchanges just
before the end of the President's term in 2010, but the
Clark North Interchange would be opened to the public as a
sort of an early Christmas and New Year gift," Pamintuan
SCTEx is expected to play an important role in the
development of the mega-logistics and services hub in the
Subic-Clark Corridor, with Subic as site of a deep-sea port
and Clark as site of an international airport.
November 06, 2008
US$100M MRO project starts at Clark airport
By Reynaldo G. Navales
CLARK FREEPORT -- The SIA
Engineering Philippines, in partnership with Cebu Pacific
Air, will lead Thursday the groundbreaking rites for the
establishment of a US$100-million Maintenance, Repair and
Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex
Officials of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC)
led by president Victor Jose Luciano, SIA Engineering
Company headed by president William Tan and Cebu Pacific
president Lance Gokongwei will lead the ceremony as well as
the time capsule-laying for the multi-million dollar
The MRO facility will service long-haul commercial aircraft
at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA),
which is being eyed as the next premier gateway of the
"The MRO fulfills the vision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
to make Clark a leading world-class service hub in the Asia
Pacific Region," Luciano said.
Gokongwei said the world-class MRO facility at Clark will
further enhance aerospace in the Philippines.
"With SIA Engineering Company's MRO proficiency, we will
certainly develop the local talent pool of aerospace
management and engineering personnel," he said.
He added that a heavy maintenance facility in the
Philippines will significantly enhance Cebu Pacific Air's
dispatch reliability and engineering quality.
SIA Engineering (Philippines) Corporation is 65-percent
owned by the SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC). Cebu Pacific
Air has a 35-percent stake in the joint venture.
Expected to attend the ground-breaking ceremonies are SIAEC
Senior Vice-President (SVP) for Services Chan Seng Yong; SVP
for Line Maintenance and Business Development Jack Kho; SVP
for Aircraft and Component Services Ivan Neo; General
Manager for the Philippines Lim Kim Yong; JG Summit Chairman
Emeritus John Gokongwei; and, JG Summit Chairman James Co.
Other CIAC officials who will accompany Luciano are
Executive Vice-President Alexander Cauguiran; Vice-President
for Operations and General Manager Bienvenido Manga;
Vice-President for Administration and Finance Romeo Dyoco
Jr.; and CIAC Board Chairman Nestor Mangio.
The project involves the construction of three large hangars
that will service long-haul commercial aircraft at a
10-hectare property inside the airport.
The first hangar will service narrow-bodied aircraft such as
the Airbus 320 while the second and third will service
wide-bodied aircraft like the Boeing 747s and 777s.
The facility will generate at least 1,000 jobs in the
construction phase. It is expected to be completed by the
second quarter of 2009.
The MRO will complement the development of the DMIA as a
logistic and service hub as envisioned by Arroyo.
Luciano stressed that the MRO is an integral part of the
operations of the DMIA because it can now handle the
maintenance, repair and overhaul of legacy carriers in the
A part of the Singapore Airlines Group, SIAEC provides
maintenance services for the more than 60 international
carriers operating at Singapore's Changi International
Airport, including airframe and component overhaul on some
of the most advanced, widely-used commercial aircraft in the
SIAEC's line maintenance support extends to more than 40
countries such as Australia, China, Indonesia and the
SIAEC services at least 80 international carriers and
aerospace equipment manufacturers.
It has 20 certifications from airworthiness authorities
around the world with six hangars and 22 in-house workshops
in Singapore, which provide complete MRO services in
airframe, component, engine, aircraft conversions and
modifications for major airlines from four continents.
In April 4, 2008, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was
signed between CIAC, SIAEC, and Cebu Pacific Air for the
establishment of a world-class MRO facility at the Clark
The agreement was signed during the inauguration of the
expanded DMIA Passenger Terminal in the presence of the
Aussies 'held captive' in Philippines
The Australian owner of a
luxury resort in the Philippines says he and his
family are being held captive by a band of armed
Australian Greg Hutchinson said
about a dozen "thugs" brandishing automatic weapons
entered the grounds of the SandCastles resort on Boracay
island last night, forcing staff and guests to flee. Speaking by phone, Hutchinson
said he and his family are being held captive in their
apartment next to the resort. "We were in our third-floor
apartment when they barged in wearing ski masks and
forced our guests and staff to leave," Hutchinson said.
"As far as I know no shots were
fired but they terrified the hell out of the staff and
guests." He said electricity and
telephone connections to his apartment, which is next to
the resort, have been cut and the emergency exit blocked
with an industrial gas cylinder. "It's terrifying for my wife,
Viveca, and five-year-old twins," Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson, who helped build
Boracay into a world-renowned beach resort, said he'd
been the victim of an organised campaign to force him
out of Boracay. "When we opened SandCastles in
1989 there were just 10 resorts here ... now there are
over 100," he said. "This type of intimidation has
been going on for three years. We thought it had
stopped," he said. "This is the way things are done in
the Philippines. "There are certain elements in
the country who wait until you develop something, make a
success of it and then they move in and force you out so
they can reap the rewards." The current dispute is over
Hutchinson's 30-year lease, which still has 11 years to
Boracay police chief Colonel
Arnold Ardiente said he had offered Hutchinson and his
family safe passage out of the resort but they refused
to leave and were waiting for their lawyer. "It is a civil dispute," he
said, denying there were any armed thugs on the
premises. "Police and security guards had
been at the resort all night," he said. AFP
"denying there were any armed thugs on the
premises" "Police had been at the resort all night," Enough said!
Airline builds P1B hangar at DMIA
CLARK FREEPORT -- The Spirit of Manila Airlines has
started constructing its P1-billion hangar at the
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here.
Officials of the Clark International Airport Corporation
(CIAC) led by president Victor Jose Luciano and Spirit
of Manila Airlines headed by President Juan Paraiso on
Friday held groundbreaking ceremonies for the
construction of the world-class facility. Luciano said the facility will service the aircraft
fleet of Spirit of Manila Airlines, which is slated to
commence their international flights this November via
Spirit of Manila Airlines is a Filipino-owned
airline, which decided to operate at Clark as their main
hub in the country.
The event was also attended by Transportation and
Communication Undersecretary Doroteo Reyes, CIAC
Executive Vice President Alexander Cauguiran, Vice
President for Operations and DMIA General Manager
Bienvenido Manga, and other officials of Spirit of
Manila Airlines. "This a one big hangar costing P1 billion that will
service their aircrafts for their operations at Clark
and an initial 200 jobs would be generated in this
project," Luciano said. Paraiso said the initial investment of the project is
US$20 million. The airline would operate an in-house
aircraft maintenance center to ensure regular "C" and
"D" checks of our aircrafts. "We are doing this to make sure the airworthiness and
safety of our aircraft," Paraiso stressed.
Spirit of Manila is slated to commence international
flights via Clark-Taipei and Clark-Macau this month. It
is also planning to expand international flights to
Japan and Middle East using the Clark airport. According to Paraiso, the hangar is expected to be
completed next year. It will house wide-bodied aircrafts
such as the Boeing 747-800 and Airbus A-320. He added that the hangar can even accommodate the
Airbus A380 one of the largest aircrafts in the world. "The project will complement President (Gloria
Macapagal-) Arroyo's vision to develop Clark as
logistics and services hub in the Subic-Clark Corridor,"
Nepomuceno orders regulation of trike fares
ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno
has directed the Public Transport and Regulatory
Office (PTRO) here to strictly enforce an ordinance
regulating tricycle fares.
Nepomuceno said there
is a need for the strict implementation of City
Ordinance 230, series of 2008 otherwise known as "An
ordinance amending Ordinance 27, series of 1992
regulating the operation of tricycle by fixing
tricycle fares within the city boundaries."
The mayor even appealed to tricycle drivers and
operators to charge the riding public in accordance
with the fare matrix.
A minimum fare was pegged at P20 for the first
kilometer (km) and additional P5 per succeeding km.
For special trip, a minimum fare shall be P20 for
the first km and additional P20 for the second km
and P10 for the third and succeeding kms. The
ordinance states that students, disabled persons and
senior citizens shall be charged a discounted rate
of P15 minimum fare and additional P2 per succeeding
Drivers and operators are also required to post
fare matrix inside their respective tricycles. They
are also asked to accept all passengers irrespective
of gender, status, age or physical condition.
A driver or operator caught violating any provision
of the ordinance will be penalized, Nepomuceno said.
For the first offense, a fine of P1,000 or an
imprisonment of one month will be imposed. For the
second offense it would be P2,000 or two months
imprisonment. And for the third offense, P3,000 fine
and six months imprisonment and cancellation of
Motorized Tricycle Operators Permit (MTOP).
The fair matrix will eliminate the imposition of
different and exorbitant fares to the commuters,
according to Nepomuceno.
Clark International Speedway inaugural races on
ON NOVEMBER 15, inaugural
races kicks off at the Clark International
Speedway (CIS), with the completion of the 1st
phase of the 3-phase construction program of the
The 1st phase -- the
1-kilometer long Drag Strip is now ready to host
national competitions with the 8th championship
races of the 2008 San Mig Coffee National Drag
Racing Championships, running simultaneous with the
Opening Round of the 4-Leg Series 2008 Pagcor
Philippine Drag Racing Championships-Northern
Series. As part of the celebration of the
inauguration of the CIS, there will be Rally Cross
and Slalom Races on the following day, November 16,
2008, mixed up with the thrills of Drifting
Exhibitions both on November 15 Opening Ceremonies
and on the following day, the 16th.
The CIS is the 5th
motorsports racetrack in the country built by Kilton
Motor Corporation, located more than a hundred
kilometers north of Manila and within the Clark
Economic Zone in the Province of Pampanga. It boasts
of a 3-kilometer engine track with two long
straights and few turns with minimal defined uneven
terrains. The construction began early last year
and is expected to complete horizontal constructions
by 2010, thereby making all races possible -- from
motorcycles, superbikes and underbone; touring cars,
drag racing and formula races. Vertical
constructions, including grandstands, circuit
control tower, hospitality suites and other
up-to-international standards facilities are
expected to be available a little beyond 2010. By
mid-2009, the one-kilometer go-kart circuit is
expected to be ready for races not only of go-karts
but underbone motorcycles and superbikes as well.
Two years from now, a racing circuit to cater cars
and even Formula cars is clearly underway to its
target date of completion.
With the strong Corporate
support from San Miguel Corporation, Pilipinas Shell
Petroleum Corporation, Yokohama Tires Sales Phils.,
Inc. and Pagcor Sports; truly promises a bright
future not only for the northerners of Metropolitan
Manila but to the whole Philippine Motorsports
Community. Envisioning the development of
motorsports in the country; for almost two decades,
Kilton Motor Corporation have built four motorsports
racetrack in the country, two of them are near the
Metropolitan Manila -- one in Pasay City -- The Kart
Trak Boomland and the other one within the Enchanted
Kingdom Theme Park in Sta. Rosa, Laguna -- the Kart
The third circuit is the
first facility built in 1992, which caters go-karting.
From the time of its establishment up to present has
produced great names in the Karting World and has
placed the Philippines in the International Karting
Map, hosting international meets and home to the
Asian Karting Championships (AKOC).
The fourth circuit and the
biggest to date is the Batangas Racing Circuit. For
more than ten years of its existence, it has been
instrumental to the development of Motorcyle Circuit
racing to Car racing and up to Formula three races
in the country.
For many years, it has
hosted the Philippine Leg of the Asian Formula Three
Championships and a home to numerous National Series
of Superbikes, Underbone, Touring Car, Grand Touring
and Drag Racing.
Bernie Kellas, Australian, past away Oct 31. Bernie
was a regular on the pool tables around Angeles City.
Daddy Ski, as the girls at Thai Hi called him, died
on 3 Nov. He had been very sick for quite a
while. Reportedly the reserved sign made by Daddy
Derry is still on "Ski's table" and the girls are asking
people to sit somewhere else.
Jack McDonald, Capt USN Retired,
passed away 10 November, at his home in Florida.
Official cause of death not now known but
friends suspect it was liver cancer. He was being
treated for a large tumor on his liver. Jack was a
long time Barrio resident, friend and mentor to
many, many, retirees in this area. He oversaw the
construction and was hospital administrator for PIH, Health
Visions Hospital, in Angeles City, Philippines. He
was also the official Retired Affairs
Representative from the Philippines to the annual
conference in Washington, D.C. He performed duties
as a Notary public for many of the retirees in the
Capt Jack was a tried and true
Submariner and his like will be missed. For many
years, He palled around with what I call the "three
musketeers", Capt Don O'Shea, Chief of the Boat,
Hap Hernandez, and Himself. All three have now
joined the "Supreme Commander" and they are more
than likely either playing golf or making liberty
runs somewhere up there. Capt Jack McDonald
has made his "last dive" and we, his friends and
shipmates, wish him all the best in his
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