Welcome Filipino Fever Fans, this column will now appear every fortnight. Thanks for your support…
Sorry for the missed article last week. I was up to my butt in some things at the resort and then got some sort of funky flu, which made me sick enough that I did not do much Internet stuff (which has to be classified as almost dead). Anyway, I am not sure I have enough material to do weekly articles, so, if Dave does not mind, I will do these twice a month from now on.
Many thanks to all of you who have emailed me, asking for specifics or more information. It is a pleasure hearing from you. Part of my motivation for writing these articles is to try to convince a few people to make the Philippines a part of their recreation itinerary. The place has lots to offer and, at least for me, a welcome break from other destinations in Asia.
I mentioned that Manila has some of the finest dining at some of the best pricing in Asia. Last night I had the pleasure of eating at a small little place in the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Manila, Makati. It is run by a Swiss chef and his wife and seats 30 or so. There were four of us. We had appetizers, entrÃ©e, dessert, coffee and two bottles of excellent Chilean wine and the bill was P8,700! That is about US$189. I had Cesar’s salad with Scottish smoked salmon, lamb shank with Ratatouille and herbed rice and a chocolate mousse that provided enough calories for me to fast the rest of the month. If you are in town, try Gourmand. It is located in Ft. Bonifacio. Booking is a must. Their number is 02-815-8801.
The rainy season is upon us but it does not seem as severe as in past years. Usually it rains for an hour or so a couple of times a day for a few months. This year, we have had several days with no rain at all. Last week we caught the fringes of a typhoon and it dumped lots of water. That coupled with some very high tides caused some excitement at the Treasure Island resort (www.mossubic.com). We had a seawall built to protect the pool and pool area and the contractor shortchanged us. He built the front restraint but only put it 50 cm deep. The water washed all the sand away from in front and another 10 cm below it. We got sandbags in before the wall collapsed. The disturbing part of this is that the contractor was a foreigner. He has been around the area for a number of years and knows what he is doing. He was highly recommended so during the construction, we did not do as much checking, as we would do with local management. Live and learn.
The bar scene has been excellent. We usually experience a slow down in the summer months, but this year is far less noticeable. The hotels remain well occupied and the bars are doing a brisker than normal business. I recently revived Voodoo in AC. It was dormant due to some problems with City Hall. Once I knew the incumbent mayor’s picks would not be re-elected, we got a permit and reopened. It is a smallish place — about the size of Fantasia in Nana Plaza, but we installed a shower along the entire length of the stage. The girls control the water valves and put on a very good show. Once Dave works out how to ad photos to the blog, I will send many pix from the bars.
Talk about dirty politics; a Taiwanese firm purchased the rights to the Subic Country Club. They spent a fortune renovating it. New clubhouse, tennis, swimming pool, a couple of restaurants and an ultra modern gym and spa. After it was about 99% complete, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority decided to file a case against them for breech of contract, went in, and took it back. When I say ‘went in’, they brought a truck load of Marines in full combat gear and a SWAT team and went in, herded everyone out and locked the doors. They took all the personal property of the management including automobiles, computers, cellular phones and the like. It rather reminds me of the midnight raid on Clinton Plaza. The lesson is that if they want you out, you will be out.
Last week we had a visit from some of the Bangkok and Singapore members of the Mad Dogs Motorcycle Clubs. Man, those guys can party. I was a member for a while, but they instituted a new policy requiring members to get the Club tattoo. At 57 years old, I decided it was a little late to start getting inked up. I still ride with them, but cannot wear the colors. The MDMC was founded here in the Philippines many years ago and has grown to include branches all over Asia. Over here, they sponsor several fund raising events a year and have a large contingent of Filipino and foreign members. For a country with no Harley, BMW or Ducati sales or service, it is surprising how many big bikes you see. In Angeles City, I would guess there are 15 Harley’s. Maybe more.
If you are thinking about a getaway in the near future, here are some upcoming events:
Sons of Bacchus (SOB). The SOB was started 5 years ago and consists of a group of seven bars. Every Thursday from 5 till 7 they have a rotating party at which there is a catered meal, all you can drink and a battle of the bars where the girls from each bar put on a show for prize money. There is a raffle following the contest and everyone wins something. Prizes include eight half bar fines, three free nights in Subic, ladies drinks, customer drinks and food discounts. You get an up close and personal view of the festivities. . Entry is P550. Add P400 to be a judge at the contest. Following SOB there is a 2 hour party at Voodoo, Lollipop or Treasure Island. More half bar fines, free food and happy hour prices.
August 5 — Pool Party with the Voodoo girls. It starts at 12 noon at Kokomo’s pool and features all you can eat and drink plus 4 hours of fun with 40 or so Voodoo ladies. Lots of fun. Admission is P850, which entitles you to happy hour prices in Voodoo, Lollipop, Ziggy’s and Treasure Island for the rest of the night.
August 12 — Feed the Street Kids. A good friend of mine from Bangkok is coming over to celebrate his birthday and wants to share his good fortune with many of Angeles City is less fortunate. He is sponsoring a lunch for 250 street kids. Passing out the food takes a good bit of help so anyone in town welcome to join. It is something you will not forget soon.
September 2 — American Labor Day Weekend. Another Pool Party with the Voodoo Girls.
It is good to be back. If you have any ideas, comments, suggestions or other thoughts, please email me at [email protected]