Filipino Fever – June 18, 2007

Shakerz Coyote Club LogoHello Guys, this is Mo (aka known as David) from Angeles City and Subic Bay in the Philippines.  I will be bringing you weekly snippets of events and things happening in our little portion of the world. First a little background; I’ve been a resident of the Philippines since 1988 and a regular business traveler to Asia since the late 1970s. Man, that’s a long time ago.

 

 

Anyway, 15 years ago, or so, Rick Walters convinced a couple of us that Nana Plaza might be a good place to invest some money so we bought a Japanese karaoke, renamed it Madisons and made it a Soi 33 type GRO which is a Philippine acronym for Guest Relations Officer, or in real English hostess bar. It’s now G-Spot. Nana wasn’t ready for any upscale establishments so we quickly converted it to a half go-go/half hostess format. We were quite friendly with David Walls who, at the same time, was starting his own little place called Fantasia. An opportunity arose to pick up a ground floor location which we, as a group, jumped at and both Voodoo and the Crown Group got started. Over the next couple of years, I developed some interest in Angeles City. Angeles City was the former home of Clark Airbase and sometimes housed 25,000 American military. AC, along with Subic Naval Base located 60 kilometers west, had some of the wildest and best nightlife anywhere in the world.

Stickman's Guide to Bangkok

After the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June of 1991, and the Philippine government’s decision not to renew the Bases treaty, the military pulled out. So did most of the nightlife. At about that time, a reform candidate was elected Mayor of Manila. He vowed to close down the “Honky Tonk Joints” that catered to the sexual cravings of foreign devils and clean up Manila. His goal was half achieved. He closed down the Patpong of Manila called Ermita. Some of the bar owners felt there was still a monger market to be had and migrated to AC. That was 15 years ago. The bars, then, were much like the early Nana Plaza offerings. Small, cheaply outfitted, mediocre stereo, bad air conditioning and ventilation and poorly organized. There were perhaps 20 bars. Booze was dirt cheap. Beer and local mixed spirits was about $1.00, lady drinks were $2.00 and bar fines $20. That included the girl’s tip! Short time rooms abounded and some bars had topless dancers and a few total nudity.

Over the next 5 years there was sort of a boom. By that time, we had 50 or more bars. A couple of guys with big bucks moved to town and started changing the face of AC. They built mega bars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because the smaller bars essentially offered the same product, prices remained relatively stable – save for inflation. Today, customer drinks run about $1.75, ladies drinks $3.00 and bar fines $27.00. Had the US$ remained at its lofty 60:1 ratio, these prices would be 25% less expensive. Our friends who are denominated in Australian Dollars and Euros have fared much better.

Over the next 5 years there was sort of a boom. By that time, we had 50 or more bars. A couple of guys with big bucks moved to town and started changing the face of AC. They built mega bars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because the smaller bars essentially offered the same product, prices remained relatively stable – save for inflation. Today, customer drinks run about $1.75, ladies drinks $3.00 and bar fines $27.00. Had the US$ remained at its lofty 60:1 ratio, these prices would be 25% less expensive. Our friends who are denominated in Australian Dollars and Euros have fared much better.

Bangkok Properties

Right now, there are probably 150 bars ranging from dingy, sleazy flea bags with 10 girls to multimillion dollar complexes with 200 or more dancers, laser lighting and plasma TV screens. There are 3 distinct P-4-P (pay-for-play) areas. The majority of places are located on Field Ave. This has always been the center of activity for AC. A smaller Soi Cowboy like area has sprung up a few kilometers up the road and a hundred meters or so off Field Ave is the area affectingly known as “blow row.” It has 7 bars with 5 to 20 staff, which specialize in oral gratification. Short time prices are $15.00 – and that’s all inclusive.

We now have an abundance of restaurants ranging from pretty good to atrocious and spanning the ethnic spectrum. Like the nightlife, prices are surprisingly reasonable. In the last 3 years, at least 300 new hotel rooms have become available. Room prices are high compared to Thailand. Some are outrageous starting at $100 per night. The majority of the rooms run between $30 at the low end to $75. The best hotel in town would compare with the Dynasty Inn Grande (Sukhumvit, Soi 6) and the average with the Dynasty Inn on Soi Nana.

  
Dean Barrett's Website

There is an airport on Clark; however international flights are limited to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Macau. Flights to and from Bangkok are rumored to be in forthcoming in the near future. Airlines have been reluctant to establish service in and out of Clark because Philippine Airlines has enough political clout to hinder licenses. Still, the ride from Manila airport to Angeles City averages two hours.

There is an airport on Clark; however international flights are limited to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Macau. Flights to and from Bangkok are rumored to be in forthcoming in the near future. Airlines have been reluctant to establish service in and out of Clark because Philippine Airlines has enough political clout to hinder licenses. Still, the ride from Manila airport to Angeles City averages two hours.

It’s a pleasure contributing to Dave The Rave’s blog. Next week we’ll talk a little about the Subic area and in the coming weeks spotlight happenings, events, some of the bars and, of course, their staff – along with photos. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about or see, please don’t hesitate to email me at kokomos@gmail.com.

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4 Responses to “Filipino Fever – June 18, 2007”

  1. Thank you very much David (Mo) for contributing this most interesting and informative new column. I am sure that many guys will enjoy reading it as I have. I like the way you draw comparisons between Thailand and the Philippines. Your attention to detail will prove to be a very valuable information and news source. I am both excited and honored to welcome you aboard with Philippines Fever. Cheers!

  2. terry says:

    Welcome Mo its been ages since I set foot in Voodoo in Angeles. Nice to have you aboard keep up the good work.

  3. I agree Terry, those of us who know Mo are aware of his extensive background. On top of that Mo is a very amicable guy. Congratulations and celebrations for Philippines Fever… Go Mo!

  4. Mo says:

    Thanks Terry and Dave. Being sort of retired, this will give me a way to fill some spare time.

    Mo

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