Tag Archives: Asian Escapades

C How They Made Me! Chapter 71



Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer

Chapter 71:

One last AC romp then back to Manila

Seeing Wally was not exactly the highlight of my day, but even though he was being a belligerent little dickhead I just smiled at him and said, “how are you Wally I see you found MayAnne again, good on you mate and I hope you two are happy”. This warm welcome disarmed Wally and while he was still trying to comprehend my intent, I simply turned my back and walked away.

Now that I had enjoyed a blow job and a nice cold beer, I was ready to pick up Helen and head back to the Maharajah for a swim and some bedroom entertainment. I strolled up the street absorbing the sights and sounds and then ambled into Stinger. As I stepped through the door I had a feeling something was wrong and sure enough there was Helen grinding on some guys lap while enjoying a lady’s drink. My first reaction was one of anger but then I realized it was my fault, I had left her in the bar while I went bar hopping so what did I expect her to do.

With a smirk I got a chair up the back, ordered a beer and watched Helens show. Helen at this stage had no idea I was there, at least that’s what I thought until she rested her head on the guys shoulder and blew me a kiss. This was a very confusing situation for me. On the one hand I considered her mine since I had paid the bar fine but on the other hand I had left her in the bar and when in the bar she has to do her job. With conflicting emotions raging inside of me I just sat there watching her work this guy and I thought to myself Martin you still have a lot to learn, and right there and then, I vowed to myself to make an effort and learn how the scene works and try to understand the girls.

In a way this situation was a real learning experience and I realized that even though these girls were 18 years old and had very little formal education, when it came to life experience and street smarts, the majority of them left me for dead.

Helen must have worked this guy for ten minutes or so and I was just about to pay my bill and ask for my money back when suddenly she was there beside me saying “for a while honey, I dance then I come you”. In a way I was flabbergasted at the gall of this lady but before I could say anything she was back on stage wiggling that ample behind and making lascivious eye contact with me. Somewhat confused I sat back and ordered another beer. Helen must have danced for about ten minutes then with a smile she ambled off the stage and came and sat next to me. At first I was a bit worried what the other guy would say but he seemed to take it in his stride and I could sense no tension from him.

Helen sat and talked with me for about half an hour while gulping down two more mango juices and then announced she would get changed and we could go. Looking back on it I probably should have exerted more control but I was still comparatively new at the game, and was like a puppy dog in Helens experienced hands.

After the drinks in Stinger we headed back to the hotel for some fun and it was here that Helen showed her true colors. After stepping out of Stinger I was just about to hail a trike when Helen stopped me and said wait jeepney better and more cheap. I remember thinking I can afford 30 peso for the trike ride and I was chomping at the bit to get this girl home but she was adamant and next thing I knew we were climbing into a jeepney at checkpoint. The jeepney must have taken at least 20 minutes to get to the Maharajah and along the way Helen struck up a friendship with a another female passenger. I looked at this other girl and was thinking she is pretty hot when suddenly Helen asked me, “hon is it okay if my friend come to hotel”. Well I was pleasantly surprised and I had a hard time restraining my enthusiasm so I simply mumbled “sure” and gave them both a big smile.

When we got to the hotel the ladies at the front desk reception were all smiles and giggles and I got the feeling they were thoroughly enjoying the fact that I had two girls with me. Back then there didn’t seem to be the judgmental attitudes which we see more and more off in current times, but then again I was a lot younger and had no idea about Tagalog so maybe it has always been there but I was to inexperienced to see it.

We proceeded past the swimming pool which both the girls seemed to admire and into my room. Once in the room Helen said “hon I want swim and my friend but no swimming clothes”. Seizing the opportunity I casually mentioned that we could maybe go swimming naked which was greated by little giggles and next thing I knew I was handing over money so they could go and buy some “swimming clothes”.

After the girls disappeared I was left on my own so I headed out to the pool to get some sun and just recharge the batteries for what I hoped was going to be a great night. I am not sure how long I lay there just relaxing but it seemed like ages and still no sign of the girls. I was just about to give up on them and head down to the bar to get my money back when suddenly I heard Helens laughter and in she waltzed with two other girls. I looked at them and thought all my Christmases had come at once especially since the newest girls were super hot and I had lurid visions of what was going to happen in the bedroom.

The girls rushed into the room and within minutes they were changed and frolicking in the pool. My initial reaction was to join them but then I realized they would get thirsty so I wandered over and ordered a big container full of Rum and Coke and some mineral water. Now for the uninitiated alcohol and Filipinas is a heady mix provided they don’t have to much, the idea being to get them slightly tipsy so their inhibitions disappear.

Watching the girls play in the pool was fun but I wasn’t in the Philippines to be a voyeur so I quickly dove in the pool and joined in the fun. Sitting in the pool fondling nubile Filipinas while drinking Rum and Coke was definitely a pleasurable experience particularly since the sun was going down and as the rum and coke kicked in the girls were getting more and more playful. They were taking turns alternating sitting on my lap and kissing me which was delightful but I was craving something more than a tease, so I decided to push my luck and see what would eventuate.

All three girls were attractive and gave me the signs they were ready, willing, and able but for some reason I had decided I wanted the tom boy looking one. I don’t know what it is about women with short hair but for some reason, most of the time, I find myself attracted to them. Maybe it’s the fact that the short hair defines their facial features, or maybe it’s because the short hair is often indicative of a more assertive attitude which I find challenging. Whatever the reason women with short hair have always been my Achilles heel and this one was no exception. Her name was Claire and to put it quite simply she was a very attractive woman. She had the classic Filipina smile and a beautiful Mocha complexion. Her stomach was firm, her tits were small but perfectly shaped with pointy nipples and her legs were shapely with just the right amount of muscle tone. Claire’s looks were definitely the starting point but what really attracted me was the fact that she could speak English so well and she seemed a genuinely intelligent and friendly human being. We started our pool conversation casually enough with Claire asking me where I came from and how long I had been in the Philippines, but I soon discovered Claire was quite an intelligent and educated girl and the conversation moved on to discuss a range of subjects from Philippine politics, through to memorable sexual encounters.

On the one level I was really enjoying my conversation and mental connection with this girl but on the other hand I realized I wasn’t here for intellectual stimulation, so I decided to steer the conversation towards sex. I carefully considered the best strategy and deciding on the straight forward frank approach asked her, “so Claire I get the impression you may be a little bi-sexual, do you like boys or girls or both”. The abruptness and frank nature of this question momentarily surprised her but she recovered quickly and replied, “honestly I like girl better than guy, but I go with guy if I like him”. Well this is a step in the right direction I thought to myself and decided to press my luck. “So do you and Helen go together” I asked her, and in reply she gave me a mischievous smile and said “of course she is my girlfriend”. So far so good I thought to myself and deciding fortune favors the brave I asked, “do you do threesomes”. She looked at me somewhat confused and asked me “what is threesome”, to which I replied, “you know two girls and one guy together”. Upon hearing this her face lit up and she said, “we do that one time only”. Seizing the moment I then promptly asked, “would you like to try it again with me” and straight away she answered, “for a while please, I talk Helen”.

With that said she jumped off my lap and swam over to speak with Helen. She must have been talking with her for about 5 minutes and the two of them would giggle and glance furtively in my direction. During this time I tried to appear casual and nonchalant but deep down I was hoping fervently she would come back and reply in the affirmative. That must have been one of the longest five minutes in my life and needless to say when Claire and Helen came swimming back over and both proceeded to take turns kissing me and playing with my now excited male member, I was literally ecstatic.

A heavy petting session began in the pool and I was all for trying to do both of them right there in the pool but the girls would have none of that and insisted we go back into the room. I suddenly realized we were leaving out the third girl so I suggested to Helen that she bring her friend along but Helen replied in the negative saying, “No she is good girl, she not work bar”. Oh well I tried I thought to myself and then said okay girls lets go back to the room and party”. Helen said something to her friend in Tagalog and we then proceeded to my room to let the action begin.

At the risk of this turning into a sort of soft porn story I will give a few details of that sexual encounter because for me it was absolutely fantastic and the details remain crystal clear in my mind some 23 years later. Upon entering the room the two girls literally collapsed on the bed and started embracing and French kissing each other . This went on for several minutes leaving me standing there like a Shag on a rock and as much as I enjoyed watching these two turn each other on I wasn’t about to be left out, so I politely said, “excuse me girls but can I join in”. As if having some sort of reverie interrupted they both looked up at me and Claire said “sure you take off clothes and join us.

It started off with me lying on the bed with the girls taking it in turns to kiss me then each other and we soon progressed to Helen giving me a blow job while Claire kissed me and Helen. I remember at the time thinking to myself how good is this. This is what I came to the Philippines for, and wouldn’t the boys back home be as jealous as all hell.

With all this action it didn’t take long before I was rock hard and I suggested that Claire should eat Helen while I fucked her from behind. Claire simply smiled and replied “good idea” and next thing I knew I was banging away at Claire like there was no tomorrow. The moans from both girls were fairly loud but I was oblivious since I was in seventh heaven and never wanted this to stop. After about 15 minutes of banging Claire I asked her if I could now bang Helen while Helen ate her pussy. Once again Claire simply smiled and said, “sure why not”. I don’t know how many of you guys have enjoyed the threesome experience with two girls who “play well together”, but I will say, for me this was an absolutely fantastic experience and the stuff that dreams are made off.

Helen had a more voluptuous behind than Claire and longer legs but that was just more of a turn on for me because variety is the spice of life and I was in full fucking mode and at that stage would have fucked a rat on the run if I could have kept in step. Claire seemed to enjoy being fucked while eating pussy but she enjoyed being eaten by her girlfriend even more and at one stage in the throws of orgasm she was grinding herself into Helens face while pulling on her hair. Seeing these girls abandon all inhibitions and just give themselves to the feelings of lust was to much for me, and next thing I knew I was shooting my load all over Helens back.

Latter while lying back utterly spent with the two girls entwined in each others arms I thought to myself, now that is what life is all about and I couldn’t wait to tell my mates back home about this experience. In some ways it was totally surreal, it was fantasy world straight out of Penthouse porn letters, yet on the other hand it was reality, it had happened, and I had experienced what most men only dream about. This was exactly what I had come to the Philippines for and I gave a silent vow of thanks to my buddy Tim who had first opened my eyes to this wonderful country.

The girls were sleeping soundly utterly exhausted after our torrid sex session and although I was extremely content something was nagging at the back of my mind and then I remembered we had left their friend outside. Thinking that she was probably thinking these dickheads have forgotten about me, I decided to get dressed and invite her to come have something to eat since all this ‘sexercise’ had worked up a hunger in me.

I proceeded outside and there sitting by the pool was Helens other friend. I asked her if she was feeling hungry and after she replied in the affirmative I suggested we go to the hotels dining area were we could have some dinner. She seemed pleased with this idea but at the same time a little hesitant and I could clearly see dealing with a foreigner was a new experience for her. We made our way to the restaurant, sat down and who should come up and present us with the menu, yes you guessed it, none other than the girl from the Maharajah that I had been banging the night before.

C How They Made Me! Chapter 70



Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer

Chapter 70:

One more barhop in Angeles

I looked at the waiter with what was obviously a questioning expression and asked. “what do you mean, Filipina have high blood”? The waiter smiled and replied, “last night your lady very high blood, she look knife, maybe kill to you”. Okay now this had me worried, I had already experienced first hand with Hilda how the Filipina can get, and I knew even though the waiter was smiling, this was no joking matter. I thanked the waiter for his information and headed back to my room to ponder things.

Once back in the room I realized it was now decision time. Should I stay in Angeles and risk the wrath of MayAnne or should I hightail it back to Manila. I pondered my decision for a few minutes and decided I hadn’t come all this way for nothing so I may as well have one more night in Angeles, if for no other reason than to get a feel for the place.

To be honest my impression of Angeles was that beyond bar hopping there wasn’t much to do during the day so I had better start my bar hop late, and this meant some laps and lying around the Maharajah pool. One thing I really liked about the Maharajah was that when staying there and lying around the pool one could almost forget one was in Angeles. It was just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of down town and lying around the pool it was very restful and good for the soul.

After about two hours of relaxing around the pool I decided it was time for a cold beer and a little bar hop. Within minutes I was ready and next thing I knew I was walking out of the Maharajah and along the street towards the seemingly ever waiting jeepney.

Back in those days the first major bar one hit on Fields when coming from Friendship direction was Stinger, so as I departed from the jeepney it seemed only logical that I stopped in Stinger. Stinger was a dingy little bar which had certainly seen better days, it was dirty, it was dimly lit, the CR was basic, the bar was stocked with beer and local spirits, the air conditioning was rudimentary, and the sound system sucked, yet every day it was busy with customers. When I first walked in and saw a bunch of guys in their forties and fifties chugging down beers and having a good old chin wag, I thought I had stumbled into a little backwater pub in Australia, and then I saw the stage.
Because of the now departed Mummy Lilly Stinger was one of these bars that always seemed to have hot girls. Lilly had this uncanny ability to recruit seriously hot and beautiful girls. How she did it nobody knew but she would come up trumps every time. All Stinger girls seemed to have tight, trim and hard bodies, and all were baby less. Lilly was the classic old school mamasan who was in some respects hard as nails and in other ways a genuinely soft and caring human being. In years to come I was to do a short stint in Stinger and working with Lilly was both a training experience and a pleasure.

Lilly also had that ability to find the new fresh girls who once on the program would go onto become the superstars of their day. Nobody was really sure how Lilly did it and I got the impression even she wasn’t exactly sure what her secret was. But her recruitment skills were only half of her strength, Lilly also controlled the girls brilliantly. When she leveled them with her, ‘don’t even think about it bitch’ glare, the hardest core, craziest girls, would become like submissive little puppy dogs. She always trod the line between authoritarian and caring mother figure extremely well and when she passed on, this was in my opinion, an end of an era.

Stinger was owned by the somewhat infamous Gary S – – – – who was a hard arse Australian individual and yet he and Lilly seemed to have this unfathomable respect for each other, Gary or “Sadam” as the girls would refer to him, liked to keep things basic, and he was noted for his simplistic approach of “cold beer and hot pussy” is all you need in an Angeles bar. This approach was complimented by Lilly who would supply the good looking girls and together they had this little bar rocking. Gary S was always one to push the limits and among the first to always increase prices. When I asked him about this a few years later he replied, “Marty we got the best sheilas in town, the coldest beer in town and the best bar, so fuck em, Stinger will always charge more than those other cunts”.

There was one other major attraction of Stinger and that was the girls would dance topless. In today’s environment I often hear the more longer term mongerers complaining that the girls are covered up and they can’t see what her body is really like. In Stinger this was never a problem, and customers knew exactly what the girls bodies were like. The customers loved the fact that the girls danced topless and the girls themselves soon got used to it and felt absolutely no embarrassment.

I remember walking in and initially wondering why all these guys were hanging out here but when I looked at the stage it all became very evident. Taken slightly aback by this beautiful display of female flesh paraded before my eyes, I simply stood in the doorway for ten seconds with mouth agape, thinking to myself, “fuck me I wonder how long this has been going on”.

Presented with a display of firm willing brown flesh any hetro-sexual man is going to enter the bar and that’s exactly what I did. Keeping one eye on the stage and another on my path I managed to make it to the first bar stool where I plonked my arse down and straight away this topless ravishing beauty smiled at me and jiggled her tits in my face. I remember the waitress coming up beside me and asking, “what you like drink sir” and without taking my eyes from the girl in front of me I mumbled, “one beer please”.

Now at this stage I had, had a little bit of experience in the Philippines but compared to these Stinger girls who were barely 18, I was a babe in the woods. These were young women but they got on the program quickly and once you looked past their youthful features and into their eyes, the disparity became all to apparent. As a good friend of mine Mr Jung likes to say, “it’s not the years but the mileage”, and these girls even though young, had certainly seen some miles in terms of life experience.

I sat there in Stinger making eye contact with as many as I could but when you have tits flaunted in front of you it’s kind of hard to make eye contact. Even though some of these girls were really good looking and I was sorely tempted to chat to a few, I decided to just sit there and enjoy a few beers as I got a feel for the place. I was enjoying flirting with the girls when all of a sudden this tall girl with legs all the way to heaven, stepped onto the stage and whatever resistance I had mustered simply evaporated and next thing I knew I was calling her down and buying her a drink as she gyrated on my crotch.

The girls name was Helen and for a Filipina she had deliciously long legs and of course beautiful silky smooth skin with a very attractive face. As soon as she came down off the stage rather than sit next to me she chose to sit on my lap and gyrated her bottom against my crotch and then giggled as I inevitably rose to the occasion.. Helen knew exactly what she was doing and even though my bar hop had only just started, I found myself contemplating paying her bar fine. When bar hopping a common problem is deciding what to do. If you meet a hot girl who seems to connect with you physically then it is tempting to pay her bar fine and get down to business, but on the other hand in the back of your mind is the thought that, maybe there will be someone I like even more in the next bar. This is what I call the bar hoppers dilemma and this is what struck me as Helen grinded herself against me.

Now don’t get me wrong here this is certainly not a bad dilemma to have, but at the time I had only a little experience and I was genuinely confused. I gave the matter some serious thought and then asked Helen if I could pay her bar fine but I would come back later and pick her up. Helen gave me a beautiful smile and replied, “walang problema”.

After I left Stinger I had a strange feeling of contentment and security and I knew this was going to be a special day. I wandered down the street just taking it all in while avoiding the enticing calls of the door girls. I must have strolled for about twenty minutes and next thing I knew I found myself by a little bar in Santos Street. In those days A.Santos street, or blow road as it is commonly called by those in the know, was little more than a dirt road with a smattering of cheap sleazy bars that resembled the huts of a shanty town, yet if you hit it at the right time there was that undeniable vibe about the place.

Santos street was never exactly up-market and there was always a sleazy element to it. Most of the girls found their way there from Leyte or Samar, and there was always the ever present lady boys. The lady boys were not exactly attractive, but they did perform the valuable function of teaching the girls the finer points of oral sex. In fact it was common for the new girls on Santos Street to attend a sort of blow job seminar where the lady boys would give a blow by blow account of the different techniques, and demonstrate them using a banana.

I slowly wandered down Santos Street just observing the bars while ignoring the constant entreaties of the lady boys to come inside. I was about half way down when all of a sudden I spotted this vision of loveliness sitting in a small bar on the right hand side of the road. I glanced over and smiled and in return she flashed a dazzling smile in my direction and next thing I knew I was sitting in the little bar, ordering a beer for me, and a drink for my new found friend.

As I surveyed the little bar it struck me this bar was a really weird design. Down the center of the bar was what looked like a large counter top with curtains acting as drapes. There was no other seating available in the bar and I thought to myself whoever designed this bar must have been drunk or maybe in days gone by this counter top served as a stage where the girls danced. I engaged the girl in small talk all the time noting the mischievous gleam in her eyes but this illogical design still bothered me so I asked her, “why do they have a table running down the length of the bar”? I am not sure my new found friend understood my question, because in answer she slipped through the curtains, crawled underneath the table, and next thing I knew a pair of hands was undoing my jeans, and reaching inside my underpants. I jumped back a little bit startled and then her beautiful face popped up from beneath the table and with a licentious look the like of which I had never seen before, she said, I give handsome sample 300 peso only”.

At first I had no idea what she was talking about and then suddenly the penny dropped and I realized she was offering to give me a blow job right there in the bar. As the realization of her offer dawned on me I actually felt a little embarrassed, I mean I am not normally one for public displays, but then once again her hands were down my pants and suddenly all thoughts of embarrassment disappeared. I sat there at the table enjoying this young lady’s oral administrations hoping that nobody would walk in, and just as I was about to explode she stopped, popped her head up from beneath the table and said, “you make finish 500 peso”.

Looking back on this I realize what a clever marketing technique this was, I mean what man in his right mind will be able to say no. I remember murmuring something along the lines of, ‘sure babe no problem, just don’t stop now’, and next thing I knew she was back under the table sucking on my dick like there was no tomorrow.

I have always prided myself on my “staying ability” but the oral skills of this girl were quite simply amazing and it wasn’t long before I once again felt the euphoric rush of orgasm coursing throughout my body. When I had finished I was absolutely spent and I just sat there gripping the table top asking myself did this really happen. I Must have had a big contented smile on my face because the girl suddenly popped her head up from beneath the table and giggled as she announced, “you pay 500 now”. I fumbled around in my pocket dug out my wallet and handed over 500 peso which she quickly grabbed and ran to the back of the bar with.

As I sat there completely drained I pondered what had just happened. In a way I felt ecstatic and thought to myself, now that’s why I’m in the Philippines, but on the other hand, because of my social conditioning in Australia I felt a little bit dirty, cheap, and even used. This was an interesting mix of feelings for me and I think nearly everyman who experiences this for the first time has the same contradictory thoughts. On the one hand I really appreciated the simplicity and honesty of it all, but on the other hand I also realized it was meaningless for her and just a means of making money.

To this day I still struggle with conflicting feelings and in some ways I love the fact that these girls are having sex for money but on the other hand I still look for some sort of feeling or closeness. Whether they admit it or not, I think most men experience exactly the same thoughts, but at least in the Philippines it is done nicely and there is always that thin veneer of a genuine connection between the giver and the receiver.

After I paid my drinks bill I decided to do a little more exploring before going back to pick up Helen from Stinger. To be honest I knew I would need a couple of hours to restock my energy and there was no better way to do this than by sitting in a bar enjoying a nice cold beer or two. I strolled back up Santos Street towards Fields and on the way I felt like all the girls and lady boys were laughing at me. It was like they knew exactly what had just happened and as such never even bothered trying to entice me inside.

I wandered slowly up Santos street, turned the corner onto Fields and decided to enter the Hobo Bar (now La Bamba). Inside was dimly lit and there were about 5 girls dancing on a little stage. There was no girl there that caught my attention but that was fine for me because I was completely drained anyway and just wanted to enjoy a quiet beer. I sat there for about twenty minutes watching the girls and enjoying the beer. With the beer finished a good looking waitress came over and asked would I like another one but I had decided a new venue was in order so I paid the bill and headed out the door. By this stage I was feeling pretty good and as I parted the curtains to leave I bumped into a guy and a girl walking in. I mumbled my apologies and the guy replied, “fuck you Martin you dickhead”. Taken aback I focused on the guy I had just bumped into and was confronted with an angry looking Wally holding hands with an even angrier looking MayAnne.

DMZ Tick | Faces of Angeles City

Tick tock, tick tock, BOOM. The Tick DMZ Angeles City Philippines story.

Tick tock, tick tock, boom. This was how Tick saw himself. I asked him one day. “how did you get the nickname Tick” and he replied, because in the Marines I had a reputation for being a ticking time bomb, always ready to explode at the slightest provocation.

Tick was an interesting character and in my opinion one of the original old school Angeles City Philippines veterans. I am not sure of the exact date he arrived in Angeles City Philippines, some say late seventies, whilst others say early eighties. He did a solid 20 plus years in the Angeles City Philippines bar business, during which he lived life to the hilt, experiencing moments of debauchery and decadence, together with moments of true tenderness and mind numbing loss.

Ticks first taste of Asia was a tour of Vietnam serving as a US Marine. During this tour he was wounded by mortar fire which he was always reminded of by the metal plate in his head. After Vietnam he did several years in rehab which according to him did stuff all for his state of mind, but the drugs were pleasant.

During his time in America he met and married his Filipina wife with whom he fathered one son and a daughter, who according to those in the know, was seriously beautiful and an absolute glamour. The marriage was an important part of Ticks life because in some ways it determined the course his life was going to take,and was instrumental in him deciding to live and do business in Angeles city Philippines.

Like so many of his fellow Vietnam vets the war had changed him forever and he always had problems adjusting to normal civilian life in America. Sometime in the late seventies or early eighties Tick arrived in Angeles City Philippines and using his and his wife’s money he purchased the land on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines under his wife’s name, and built the legendary DMZ bar.

I can remember when I first came to Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines in 1991 walking past the DMZ and thinking to myself, what the heck was this all about. At that stage in my life, having come from a somewhat protected upbringing, I had little concept of what DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines meant, and for me it seemed like some sort of dilapidated memorial to Americas involvement in the Vietnam war.

In later years, with a deeper understanding of the American military’s influence on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, it all made sense, and I realized what an appropriate name for a bar, DMZ was. Tick was no fool when it came to marketing and even more astute when it came to efficiently running his bar. When he first started 99.9% of the DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines bars patrons were American military and what better way to attract them than by naming your bar DMZ.

As said previously Tick was a former American marine. He was proud of his time spent in the core and much of DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was dedicated to the pride associated with being a US marine.

When I first saw DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines it was not exactly a salubrious dwelling, in fact it was more like a war bunker that had narrowly missed a couple of direct hits. My first impression was that this place had seen better days but then again this was only two months after Mount Pinatubo had exploded and just about every bar in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines at that time was in dire need of a face-lift and substantial repairs.

Looking back on those times I realize Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was more like a nuclear waste land or a deserted adult theme park, than the brightly lit, mega bar scene it is today. Yet despite it’s dilapidation there was that indefinable something about Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines that appealed to some and repulsed others. Tick was certainly one it appealed to and no mere volcanic explosion was going to send him scurrying home running away from Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

Back in the early nineties DMZ was one of the most popular bars on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. There was always a decent selection of girls, with a few mud between their toes nubiles scattered between the older hand professionals. Since Tick owned the land and the building on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines he managed to keep his overheads down which meant even though the customer numbers had been drastically reduced by the Americans pulling out and Pinatubo exploding, Tick was still able to turn a tidy profit out of DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

Initially I am pretty sure Tick had his wife working the cashier booth in DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines which was again a clever idea, because it meant he eliminated the vagaries of creative book keeping, that seem so common among Filipina bar cashiers working in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. In later years when his wife was living back in America he would have his mistress stroke girl friend doing the books and once again, everything was accounted for.

Tick was a mans man full of bravado and stories. In his prime he could keep people entertained for hours and guys who had popped in for one drink often found themselves walking out onto Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines with a girl under one arm and a lighter wallet in their pocket.

Tick was very much old school and believed in making money both on the front end and the back end. When it came to the back end he followed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) to the letter. DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was nothing if not basic and old Tick would keep close watch on the overheads. I think when he sold the DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines it still had the original air conditioners as well as the rickety old sound system. He would spend enough to keep it going but anything after that went straight into his pocket.

I only knew Tick in passing, and as I was just beginning my life in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, he already had many years under the belt. I never got to spend much time with him but I would see him occasionally when he used to bar hop on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, and if he had a skin full, his bar hops were always adventurous.

One particular barhop in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines that will be forever etched in my memory was in 1996 when he visited me in Stinger just off Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, together with a young Aussie guy named Paul. Both Tick and Paul were drunk as skunks and I could tell straight away there was going to be some fireworks. They sat down the front of the bar right by the girls, but they hardly noticed the girls because they were engrossed in a conversation about American and Australian special forces.

The conversation started out peacefully enough but as it progressed, both Tick and Paul were getting more and more animated and agitated. I watched carefully ready to ask them to move it outside to Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, when suddenly and as fast as lightning, Tick whipped out an evil looking blade and pointed it at Paul. Paul, who can be a loud mouth, was momentarily taken aback, but recovering quickly he smiled and embraced Tick as if he was some long lost brother. Tick sheathed the knife, smiled back at Paul and they carried on drinking as if nothing untoward had happened.

For me Tick seemed like a lot of combat vets who I met over the years. He had obviously lead an interesting and diverse life, very much influenced by his days in the military. He struck me as one of these hard bitten guys who had seen and experienced to much to ever fit back into so called normal society.

During the late eighties and early to mid nineties I met a lot of guys like this, both here in the Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and in Thailand. They normally came across as grizzled old bums slumped on a bar stool drowning their sorrows in the next drink. As we all know appearances can be deceiving, and as I came of age in the Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines bar scene, I would learn to unobtrusively talk with these guys and some of the stories they told were nothing short of enthralling.

This was one of Ticks strengths, if in the mood he could spin a yarn and entertain people for hours on end. It was always the same subject, but strangely enough Tick was never short of an audience who seemed eager to listen and chat with him whenever visiting DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

Ticks wife was a Filipina but having been exposed to a decent life in the states she was never going to be happy living and working in the bar business in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. Add to this the fact that she had two kids already, and a parting of the ways was almost inevitable. I am not sure about the details of the separation but it must have been comparatively amicable because she left Tick with the bar on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines under her name and never caused any problems for him, that I am aware of.

From 1997 through to 2004 I didn’t have much to do with Tick. There was never any problem but we were basically moving in different circles. I would sometimes see him and we would exchange cordialities, then go our separate ways.

I met Tick again in 2004 after I moved back up to Angeles from Makati, and to be honest I was quite shocked at his appearance. The once robust Tick was now significantly skinnier, his skin was sallow and a flat dullness had replaced the once taunting sparkle in his eyes.

Having said that, although obviously sick, there were moments when he was the same old mischievous Tick. On one occasion I remember him rambling into Bedrock on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and making a business proposition to the owner. At the time the American military were in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and Tick had managed to do a deal with the brass, where he would supply some girls from DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines to visit the troops out on base. Tick asked the officers how many girls they wanted and nearly fell over when he heard their answer, “minimum 100”.

Of course it was impossible for DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines alone to supply 100 girls but Tick being a long time operator in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was unperturbed by this minor set back, and next thing he knew the officer was handing over the money with Tick sincerely promising he would take care of all the arrangements.

That night Tick reportedly visited 5 bars on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, of which Bedrock was one, and arranged a total of 120 girls. The next night Tick went around the bars of Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, gathered all the girls, then organized 7 jeepneys to take himself, the owner of Bedrock om Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, and 120 horny bar girls out to the base, where the even hornier young marines were waiting in eager anticipation. While out on the base Tick introduced the owner of Bedrock to all the brass and as a result Bedrock and DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines were deemed “safe zones” for the visiting marines.

For Tick utilizing his military contacts was totally natural, but for the owners of the other bars this was a first, and to this day the owner of Bedrock on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines still has the business card the US General gave him when he visited the base with Tick.

Things like this were classic Tick and the fact that nobody blinked an eye lid, really demonstrates how much Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines has changed. Try doing something like this in today’s environment and you would be looking at Human Trafficking charges with forty years in a Philippine jail. In my opinion it also demonstrates how much the military has changed. Back then the officers had no problem mixing socially with the bar owners on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and the troops were allowed to mingle with the bar girls on Fields, albeit under the watchful eyes of the MP’s.

One thing I liked about Tick was the fact that he wasn’t afraid to be himself. His attitude was, I am who I am, and if you don’t like it, then fuck you. A classic example of this was his habit of smoking and chewing on a cigar that never seemed to leave his mouth. At first I thought it was some sort of General Patton impersonation but when I asked Tick about it he simply smiled and said, I smoke the cigar just to piss people off.

My last sighting of Tick was when he and the Aussie owner of Bedrock on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, were chatting in Molly Malone’s. Tick was looking old and burdened by life’s woes. I couldn’t hear much of the conversation but I’m pretty sure it was to do with Mummy A— who was working in DMZ Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and battling with Tick. There were various strong expletives used whenever her name was mentioned, and the look in Ticks eyes was one of utter hatred.

Some time after Tick departed Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines I heard some stories of what the problems were. This mummy A was working for Tick and she had a habit of employing underage girls then telling certain people. These people would visit the bar on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, find the underage girl working there, blame the owner, then offer him a way out of trouble. The way out of trouble would involve a monetary payment some of which was then back handed to the mamasan who had started the problem in the first place.

Mummy A was a piece of work and she was making Ticks life a misery. At the time he was obviously sick and the mamasans conniving, duplicitous, extortion was only making matters worse.

I ran into this mamasan again some years later when she was working for Kelly in Classroom 2 Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and straight away I understood why Tick had, had a problem with her. She really was an evil conniving individual, who barely tried to hide her contempt and loathing for the bar business in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, and the foreigners involved in it.

When Tick decided to sell DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines he was very obviously sick. He was sick, his long term girlfriend of several years had passed away, he was dealing with problems from Mommy A, and the whole thing was becoming overwhelming. I think his state of mind was an influential factor in his decision to sell, as were his health issues, and the realization that because he owned the land and the building on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, he could get top dollar for DMZ.

DMZ on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines being sold, in some ways marked the end of an era. The days of a small bar on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines with rudimentary lighting, rickety old air-con’s, a dilapidated sound system , gnarly old waitresses who could suck a bowling ball through a garden hose, a urine reeking toilet, 50 peso local drinks, 20 or so bikini clad dancers ranging in age from 18 through to 30 (some with mud between their toes, some with more pricks than a pub dart board), and perhaps most importantly, a bar on Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines that made it’s money from the guys hanging with the guys in a military pub like atmosphere, were rapidly coming to an end.

The DMZ was classic old school Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and with it being sold one of the last bastions of a bygone era, faded into Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines folk law history.

After selling Tick moved back to America where he could get proper health treatment. He managed to battle whatever his illness was for a few more years but in the end succumbed.

Tick was a character who as the English would say, ‘lived life large’ in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. He was hard bitten, to some extent a social misfit, and definitely in many ways, stereotypical old school Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

R.I.P Tick and I hope wherever you are, your kicking ass and taking names.

Gordy Gale, Part 2 | Faces of Angeles City

Gordy Gale, “And now we rock” The Gordy Gale tale. Part 2.

Over the years of knowing Gordy mostly in Angeles City Philippines I often wondered how he could survive without a steady income. Little did I know it, but the man had his fingers in many proverbial pies, like most survivors in Angeles City Philippines diversification was the order of the day. Despite appearances Gordy was a surprisingly intelligent, knowledgeable and practical man, plus when circulating in the Angeles City Philippines bars he had social networking down to a fine art. He was technically proficient with computers and this landed him his first money making opportunity in Angeles City Philippines. Gordy got involved with two other American expatriates and they started their own version of internet chat rooms, very similar to that of the now defunct Jade Cool that was so famous in Angeles City Philippines. This lasted for close on four years and afforded Gordy a relatively steady income and comparatively comfortable lifestyle in Angeles City Philippines.

After the computer chat business dissolved Gordy’s income earning options were limited, especially since he was living in Angeles City Philippines. By this time he had become addicted to the hedonistic, sexually adventurous lifestyle Angeles City Philippines had to offer, and the thought of going back to America, had become abhorrent to him. Like many of us Gordy was trapped by his love of the mongering lifestyle that is indicative of Angeles City Philippines. He reveled in the freedom and sexual promiscuity. Back in America he was nothing, a nobody, but in Angeles City Philippines he could be anyone, or anything, he wanted. Gordy had found a place in the Angeles City Philippines expatriate community. He was known, accepted and even respected.

In the coming years Gordy dabbled in numerous ventures. He managed Angeles City Philippines bars, he ran the Subicrocks website, he ran Go2phil, he did a short stint in America where he solicited, (via email), money from people wishing to invest in his latest music venture, he ran an online detective agency based in Angeles City Philippines, he spent several months in Pattaya where he was going to run a bar but his employers changed their mind, and he worked throughout Asia in the antique watch business. He also played a few gigs with Angeles City Philippines local bands and he made a little money fixing fellow expatriates in Angeles City Philippines computers.

For other expats living in Angeles City Philippines, Gordy was very much a “go to man”. If you needed anything chances are Gordy knew how to get it, where to get it, and how much it would cost in Angeles City Philippines. And I’m talking anything here, from the kitchen sink and a decent lounge, through to a master builder, a competent electrician, or a television repair man, he seemed to know everyone in Angeles City Philippines. Then if for some reason he didn’t know he would find out for you. He also seemed well connected among the Filipino’s living in both Angeles City Philippines and Manila Philippines. He knew people in the NBI the PNP, Immigration, etc. I never needed to test his contacts but I know several people who did, and they reported positive, albeit expensive, results.

In countries like the Philippines it is often more who you know, than what you know, and Gordy was a master at social networking. He would always have information on which power player especially in Angeles City Philippines was doing what. What’s more, if he didn’t know someone he would go out of his way to get what information he could, and it would be stored in his convoluted memory banks for ever more.

As a bar manager in Angeles City Philippines Gordy was actually pretty good. He knew a lot of people, he was good at organizing the girls, he was good at behind the scenes organizational work, he was a draw card for the customers in Angeles City Philippines, and he was a comparatively light drinker, However despite all these good points he also had some crucial weaknesses. He was to inflexible in regards to the music being played in Angeles City Philippines, he was to old school when it came to the girls working in Angeles City Philippines bars, and most importantly, his heart wasn’t really in it. The bottom line for Gordy was, bar management in Angeles City Philippines existed as a means of survival, indeed as he often used to self effacingly say, ” I’m a much better customer than manager in Angeles City Philippines”

When it came to bar management in Angeles City Philippines Gordy never seemed to stick at a job for any length of time. I think this was because of a number of reasons. He became easily bored as there was very little intellectual stimulation in Angeles City Philippines bars, the physical stimulation waned as he saw the same girls night after night working the Angeles City Philippines bars, his time was not his own and he couldn’t come and go as he pleased, the financial remuneration when working in Angeles City Philippines bars was paltry, the number of raids in Angeles City Philippines was increasing dramatically and being a bar manager in Angeles City Philippines was becoming a risky proposition. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, seeing the Angeles City Philippines bar from a management perspective, was a bit to much of a reality check. It was no longer enjoyable and seeing an Angeles City Philippines bar through a managers eyes, stopped him from enjoying the Angeles City Philippines bar as a customer.

His shortest stint in any bar in Angeles City Philippines was the brand new and much hyped Red Bar in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. This was newly built and took the place of the Dollhouse café in Fields Avenue, Angeles City Philippines. Red bar was nicely appointed, it had a classy look and feel to it, they had a good number of decent looking girls, and Gordy had beaten a number of more experienced managers to the job in Angeles City Philippines. Everything was going along nicely until one of the “super star” girls of Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines began to show some attitude, and act like the rules didn’t apply to her. For Gordy this was tantamount to directly challenging his authority, and he decided to take her on. Both the girl and Gordy complained to the owners of Red bar in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, whose reaction was to try and appease both sides, but Gordy wasn’t having any of it. For him he thought the owners of Red bar in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines should automatically take the side of their manager and when this didn’t happen, he was sorely disappointed. So much so, that after only two weeks of work in Red bar in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines he ended up quitting, never to work as a bar manager in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines again.

Without a steady income Gordy was always struggling to make ends meet in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines , yet somehow he always survived, and always had enough cash to buy a rum and diet coke in the Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines bars. To his credit, when he was really down, he had enough sense to curtail his lifestyle and lessen his bar hopping in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. I am pretty sure there was a pride element involved in this as well, and he never wanted to be one of those guys who bar managers in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines cringe at when they see them walking through the front door of the Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines bar. He always tried to pay his way, well at least for me, and as far as I could see, he was welcome in every bar in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

He would go through these phases in his life where he would sell everything, relocate to another country etc, but for some reason he always ended up back in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. I don’t think Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was a paradise for him or anything like that, but I believe Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines offered him a comparatively comfortable lifestyle, where he could get laid regularly, live in a decent environment in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, be among like minded friends, and have his money go a lot further in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. This wasn’t exactly an ambitious state of mind but for a guy in his late fifties living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, with no academic qualifications, and limited work experience, it was about as good as he was going to get, especially when living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

One thing I noticed about Gordy was his lack of perseverance. He always wanted to make the quick buck without putting in the work. He had an extremely analytical mind and I think for him, working in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was like a mathematical equation. He would balance out the amount of time spent and the effort required, against the reward gained when working in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. If there was a disparity between effort and reward, he would simply chuck the job in and move onto something else in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

Gordy wasn’t perfect and sometimes the lack of finances made him compromise his values and make poor decisions in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. One example that springs to mind is the Subic Rocks website. He managed to sell it for 2 thousand dollars but kept the sites domain name and server access. About 6 months later after it had been sold and the site was languishing, Gordy was approached by a new buyer for the website. Sure enough he ended up locking the original purchaser out of the site, and sold it again to the second purchaser. When I asked him about this he replied “the site was dying, no work was being put into it and I had sold advertising on the site, so my name was at risk. The new owner has big plans for it which I believe will benefit the advertisers a lot more”. When I heard this I smirked and thought to myself, wow he must be desperate for money. Gordy had double dipped, compromised his principles, and he knew it.

Living in the Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines expat community Gordy was well aware of the social creed that we mostly try to live by. Part of this creed is that you stay away from the girlfriend’s and wives of your male friends living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. As the saying so aptly goes, “Bro’s before ho’s” and “in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines you never lose your girlfriend, only your turn”. Gordy espoused this philosophy but sometimes had difficulty putting it into practice. On several occasions he was guilty of chasing and having sex with his male friends girlfriend’s. This did not exactly endear him to his circle of friends in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, and even though he put a brave face on it, I think deep inside he knew he had made a bad mistake and angered his friends living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

Gordy was in some ways a sad case. He would often borrow money and neglect to pay it back to people living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. He was the subject of two fund raisers and just frittered away the money. This combined with the fact that he couldn’t hold down a job for any length of time in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, made survival for Gordy in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, a constant struggle. Lastly I think it is important to note that Gordy told little lies, which would always seem to backfire on him. A classic case in point, when he was returning to America the first time to see his supposedly dying mother. As it turned out his mother was in good health, and wasn’t exactly pleased to see her errant son, whom she had been sending money to for years on end, while he lived in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

Gordy’s situation in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was then made worse, because like any western man who lives in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines for an extended period of time, he found it virtually impossible to relate to western society . When he went back to America the first time he soon realized this, and he knew that door was closed forever. Having run out of options in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines I imagine Gordy was not exactly chuffed with the prospect of going back to America where there was nothing for him. He had burnt his bridges in America and the thought of having to go back there must have been extremely depressing for him after living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

There are several theories concerning Gordys death. Some claim he was murdered by the Russian connection in Pattaya, whilst others claim he committed suicide because he was a Christian Scientist who believed in reincarnation. Others theorize he was suffering from depression whilst living in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, whilst still others think it was a melodramatic ending typical of a wannabe rock star who never made it.

As for me I believe Gordys death was suicide, and I sincerely believe it resulted from his realization that his time in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines was over. He knew he had no other options left and the thought of having to go home leaving Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines and face a miserable, mundane, existence in a land that he no longer related to, and those close to him had severed all ties, was just to much for him to handle. I guess in some ways he was yet another victim of the hedonistic, promiscuous, addictive lifestyle, that is Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines.

The fact that I will never see his pock marked visage in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, rocking the night away again, saddens my soul. In all honesty I miss Gordy a lot. I miss our conversations about music, I miss his sharp analytical mind and his concise way of expressing himself. I miss our discussions about life in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines, art, politics, women and everything else under the sun.

I console myself with the thought that he is somewhere up there arguing with the creator about music, and banging on the pig skins for the Angels to dance to. RIP Gordy Gale the Drummer man and I will see you eventually in that great gig in the sky.

Gordy Gale | Faces of Angeles City

Gordy Gale, “And now we rock” The Gordy Gale tale. Part 1.

Sneakers, faded blue jeans and the obligatory black T-Shirt. This was standard apparel for “Gordy” Gale, another iconic figure of the Angeles bar scene. It seemed like everybody knew Gordy and likewise Gordy knew them. His was one of the regular faces of Angeles, he was a ‘go to man’, who knew where everything and everybody was. Gordy was someone you would invariably meet when bar hopping, he was part and parcel of the Angeles bar scene, and in my opinion, the town is a lesser place without him.

In early August of 2014 Gordy quietly left town and traveled to Manila. Supposedly he was returning to America where he was going to catch up with family, find a job, earn some money and start life again. He never made the flight, and 38 hours later his lifeless body was found in a cheap hotel room, after shooting himself with a recently purchased 45.

An inconspicuous, and in some ways contradictory end, for a man who many saw as the ultimate survivor.

“And now we rock” this was shouted by Gordy as he pierced the air with two hang ten signs and bobbed his head to Mountains song, Mississippi Queen. He was playing guest DJ in Shipwrecked bar, the music was blaring, the customers were rocking, and I was loving every second. This was a far cry from High Society and the hip hop dance scene, and this was an even further cry from the bubble gum girlie music, played in most bars. The girls were as usual bewildered, and couldn’t understand why all these old fart customers were getting so enthused. But Gordy didn’t care, he was in his element rocking the night away, and this is how I will forever remember him.

The subject of what music to play in a bar was a discussion I would often have with Gordy. He always maintained “the girls don’t dance anyway, so why not play music for the customers”. My counter argument would be, play a mix of music, some that the girls like and will dance to, and some for the customers. For me that intangible thing called atmosphere is very important in a bar, and over the years I have found that girls dancing and having fun is key to creating a good atmosphere. Gordy would strongly disagree, for him the customers made the atmosphere, and he was convinced the customers would party if put in the mood by the right music.

The generation gap became blatantly obvious when people like Gordy were in the bar. He would insist the DJ played rock and roll which was hardly conducive to Filipinas dancing up a storm. But Gordy hardly noticed, he figured the girls wouldn’t dance anyway so he was going to play the music he knew and loved. Gordy lived and breathed rock music. He was zealously passionate about sixties seventies, and sometimes eighties, rock. Indeed, his complete image, and most aspects of his life, related to rock and roll music.

Gordy was a true musician, and as his nickname on the boards (Drummer) suggested, he played the drums and was an ardent rock fan. I think he yearned for the rock and roll lifestyle but it always alluded him. His was always a case of so close and yet so far. He had a brief glimpse of fame when in the eighties he landed a session gig with Joe Cocker and they made a video, but this was a close as he ever came. Ironically this video will be part of Gordy’s legacy. I say ironically because Gordy hated that video and used to cringe whenever it was played in the bars.

On several occasions he came close to landing gigs with bands that went onto fame and fortune but for one reason or another he never seemed to get that elusive big break. On one occasion he was trying out for a band and the test song was Simple Minds, “don’t you forget about me”. Gordy did a good job but lost the gig to a guy who played a double base drum. Reportedly the producer acknowledged Gordy as the better Drummer but said the other guy looked better. Once again it was a case of so close and yet so far. Gordy came to hate the song “don’t you forget about me”, and a sorrowful look of missed opportunity would cross his features whenever it was played in the bars.

Gordy used to think of himself as a walking encyclopedia of music. Indeed when it came to sixties and seventies rock, his knowledge was truly impressive. I will always remember the many nights we spent in the bars playing music for each other, long after the bar had officially closed. We would invariably compare notes, test each others musical knowledge, listen to pounding rock, and revel in the fond memories of our youth.

For us this was an escape to when the world was a lot simpler, and listening to the music bought back so many memories At the same time we felt as if we were making a stand against the invasion of rap, hip hop, and modern day music in general. To most this will sound archaically inane, but for Gordy and myself it was tremendously important. We enjoyed harking back to a time when the musicians actually played their instruments, the singers sang, the drummers drummed and the rock stars wrote new tunes, along with intelligible lyrics.

I think Gordy was most happy when listening to music or banging the drums. I still remember going to see him play with a local band in the short lived Garage behind Number 1 Diner. After the gig Gordy complained for the next two days how his arms were sore. For Gordy the aches and pains were very much a realization that he was getting old, and what he had so easily done in his youth, was now a taxing endeavor. Having said that, I don’t think I ever saw Gordy as happy as he was when banging the pig skins. This was his passion, his love, and an essential part of how he saw himself, the quintessential “Drummer” man

My friendship with Gordy never really progressed beyond a common love of 70’s rock music. But for us this was enough, and upon reflection I realize the long nights we spent listening to, and discussing music, were some of my happiest times in Angeles. These were times when we could both be ourselves, and relive fading memories through the music. These were indeed happy times, and I shall forever associate them with the “Drummer” man, Gordy Gale.

Gordy originally hailed from Michigan, but like so many wanna be young hopefuls, he made his way to LA in the late seventies, early eighties. He knew opportunities in Michigan were somewhat limited, and if he was ever going to make it, living in LA was a necessity. Upon his arrival in LA he immediately became immersed in the music scene albeit only on the fringes, and was a regular in many of the recording studios. I never talked with him in great depth about his time in LA but from what I can gather he was like so many young men before him, scrounging around the scene, waiting to be discovered and given his big break.

I first met Gordy in 2002 when he walked into my bar in Makati. He was sporting his soon to become standard issue sneakers, blue jeans, and a black t/shirt. At that time he wore his hair long, (which I was always kind of envious of), and he had an air of aloofness that many would misinterpret as arrogance, when in fact it was shyness. At the time I had no idea of Gordy’s fascination with music, but I soon cottoned on when he requested the DJ play some Led Zepplin, Grand Funk, and Joe Walsh.

I got on well with Gordy that first night and even though he was in mongering mode we soon found out we had a common interest in music, and it became obvious to each, that we would have similar discussions for many years to come.

Richard Agnew | Faces of Angeles City

Richard Agnew, the king of Angeles City Philippines. Part 1.

Talk about “luck of the Irish”, at times Richard Agnew the King of Angeles City Philippines seemed to personify this saying, and even in his darkest of times, Richard the king of Angeles City Philippines always seemed to remain cocky and confident. It took a hell of a lot to put this man down, and believe me, they certainly tried.

During his time in Angeles City Philippines Richard Agnew literally experienced it all. From the depths of despair to unbridled elation, from dire poverty, where he hardly had 1000 piso to his name, through to million dollar deals done on a handshake. The king of Angeles city Philippines lived a roller coaster lifestyle.

From the sweet innocent Filipinas new to “the game” in Angeles City Philippines, through to hard core veterans who loved his wallet more than him. From moments of simplistic happiness through to the sadness that comes with the murder of ones best friend. Richard Agnew the king of Angeles City Philippines experienced it all and lived to tell the tale.

Richard Agnew the king of Angeles City Philippines has been called many things by many people. He was hounded by a Catholic Priest in Subic who accused him of “propagating and leading the sex industry which casts a black shroud of evil over the community and corrupts young people,”. He was maligned and set up by an infamous Irish tabloid, who referred to him as “King Sin Agnew” and a “sleazy Irish businessman”. He rubbed shoulders with mayors of Angeles City Philippines, political wheeler dealers, and powerful Generals. He entertained movie stars and influential businessmen. He even ran his own Tourist Police force in Fields Avenue Angeles City Philippines. He lived a high profile life using his own and other peoples money. He survived for close on 18 years in Angeles City Philippines, but this lifestyle was unsustainable. In the end he surreptitiously crept out of Angeles City Philippines leaving a crumbling empire, substantial debts, and a trail of bullet holes in his wake.

Like many before him who lead the high flying lifestylein Angeles City Philippines, Richard left Angeles under a shadow. A somewhat ignominious end for the once “king of Angeles City Philippines”.

Richards first experiences in Asia were in Thailand selling time shares. In many ways this was to prove a thorough training ground and the lessons learned there, held him in good stead during his time in Angeles City Philippines. Richard could sell ice to an Eskimo and to watch him reel in potential investors was like watching a master craftsman creating his latest masterpiece. Richard knew exactly how to appeal, whether it be through stroking the ego, emphasizing the hedonistic lifestyle, or simply tweaking a mans greed, Richard could do it all. He would nearly always find the right buttons to push and at one stage he literally had people clamoring to invest their money in his burgeoning empire in Angeles City Philippines.

If Ray Kelly was good at finding people to invest in Angeles City Philippines, Richard was the master, and I believe like many before him in Angeles City Philippines, operating on other peoples money was to some extent his undoing.

Like all good salesman Richard could adapt to just about any situation. At times he could be charming and affable leaving people thinking what a great bloke he was. At other times he could be serious and formal, as well as a strict task master. The chameleon aspect of his character enabled him to adapt to different situations in Angeles City Philippines, this ability proved to be a formidable tool for Richard, especially when making a sale in Angeles City Philippines or dealing with Angeles power players.

When it came to the girls Richard had a big heart and was comparatively naïve. In some ways he would treat them in a hands off manner, maintaining a necessary dose of cynicism. In other ways he would spoil them rotten and be like a little puppy dog wrapped around his girls proverbial finger. In his early days Richard would instigate sexual relations with a substantial amount of girls working in Angeles City Philippines, but then as he got older he toned it down a bit and tended to stick to one girl in a relatively long term relationship. Well at least long term for Angeles City Philippines.

In my opinion king Richard of Angeles City Philippines was always attracted to the wrong sort of girl. Invariably he would end up with the hard core girls whose primary motivation was money and ego gratification. Did they really like or love Richard king of Angeles City Philippines, I guess only the girls or Richard can accurately comment on that, but for me as an outside observer, it seemed they were using him as much as he used them. In a way this was the ultimate irony because if anyone encouraged the girls to be materialistic, it was Richard.

While in Angeles City Philippines, Richard operated on the simple principle that money attracts money, and this was clearly evident in the clubs he built here in Angeles City Philippines. Richard started off in the mid nineties with a little bar named Woody’s. This was a small innocuous little bar with a few dancers and meals. In fact it was more of a pub than an Angeles City Philippines girlie bar, and I think Richard was very comfortable in this environment, hence his later development of Molly Malone’s Irish pub Angeles City Philippines and restaurant. Again this clearly demonstrates the duality of king Richards Angeles City Philippines personality. On the one hand he was perfectly comfortable in a place like Molly Malone’s Angeles City Philippines and ten minutes later he was partying like a rock star in one of his brightly lit, frenetically paced, Angeles City Philippines go-go bars.

Richard Agnew was nothing if not a showman. He realized the importance of image and appearance. Playing the high rolling, hedonistic and wealthy bar owner, was for Richard the king of Angeles City Philippines, totally natural. He took to it like a duck to water. The man was a first class entertainer and when in an Angeles City Philippines bar, he was nearly always surrounded by a group of people hanging on his every word. He was energetic and effervescent, he had that lovable Irish rogue appeal, and he could tell a tale better than anyone around. Richard had the ability to capture his audience and take them on a roller coaster ride as he related his stories.

I think king Richard of Angeles City Philippines, genuinely believed that entertainment was a key factor in the Angeles City Philippines bar business. He was the first one to take it beyond hot girls and cold beer. For him it wasn’t just about selling sex in Angeles City Philippines, but rather, a total entertainment package. He was the first to invest substantial money into a group of bars in Angeles City Philippines, albeit other peoples money, and he was the first one to employ over 100 dancers in a single club in Angeles City Philippines. He was the first to install a decent sound system in all his Angeles City Philippines clubs, he was the first to emphasize glitz and glamour, he was the first to place live rock bands inside the bars of Angeles City Philippines, and he was the first to have super hot door girls dressed in a variety of uniforms, outside each of his Angeles City Philippines clubs. Richard Agnew to his credit and detriment, was never afraid to try something new. He was the first to build two mega clubs, Neros and Blue Nile,in Angeles City Philippines, he was the first to join 4 bars together and create a fully functional entertainment complex in Angeles City Philippines. He was the first to introduce the ill fated slot machines in Angeles City Philippines, he was the first to build a hydraulic stage and make it a major selling point of the bar in Angeles City Philippines. He was the first to introduce the Angeles City tourist police organization, he was the first to introduce specialized dance groups in all his bars, he was the first to build an exclusive club upstairs and market it as a members only club in Angeles City Philippines, and he was among the first to build a hotel specifically designed to provide accommodation for his Angeles City Philippines bar customers.

His aim was to provide what he saw as the ultimate entertainment package in Angeles City Philippines, something akin to the monger’s club med. This was a grand vision for the Angeles City Philippines entertainment scene, but like many such visions it became unfeasible when his partners pulled out and he no longer had access to their cash injections.

I like a few others was working for Richard the king of Angeles City Philippines at the time and looking back on those days it all seems a little surreal. His vision was a grand one for the Angeles City Philippines entertainment scene but it was unfeasible. However, giving credit where credit is due, Richard the King of Angeles City Philippines gave it a darn good try, albeit a misguided one.

Upon reflection I realize that Richard king of Angeles City Philippines, may not have been the first to try some of these things but he was certainly the first to try it on such a large and visible scale in Angeles City Philippines. If you ask me Richard was the first to ostentatiously attract public attention to Fields Avenue and the Angeles City Philippines bar scene. This of course had its upside and a significant downside, but at the end of the day, it was so typically Richard king of Angeles City Philippines. He was a man who never did anything by half measures and he exhibited a classic “boots and all” approach to the bar business. One example of this was when he hung a huge banner across what was then the empty parking lot next to the Blue Nile Executive Hotel Angeles City Philippines. On the banner it said, “over 1 million pesos in commission paid by the Blue Nile group Angeles City Philippines last month”. The thinking behind this was that this would draw the girls to work in his clubs, and secondly, this would attract potential investors who would see his clubs as being the busiest in Angeles City Philippines.

I remember once sitting in Neros Angeles City Philippines, talking with Ray Kelly who was looking in disgust at the slot machines and I asked him, “so what do you reckon about these new slot machines Ray”? He looked at me with feigned disinterest and replied, “mate it’s all bullshit. Richard has always tried to say how much money his Angeles City Philippines clubs make, because that makes it easier to hook an investor, but don’t tell me his clubs in Angeles City Philippines are making any money, because I don’t fucking believe it. What kind of fucking mug do you think I am mate”. Taciturn ‘Wee George’ had much the same opinion and he would often state in his broad Glaswegian accent, “this fucking mad Irish git is going to get us all fucking killed. Attracting this much attention in Angeles City Philippines just isn’t good, mark my words ladie”. In retrospect when considering Richards clubs in Angeles City Philippines were raided 4 separate times over the years, I think George may have had a valid point.

After Woody’s king Richard of Angeles City Philippines next project was the Tropicana Hotel and Mistys Bar. This was a step up for king Richard of Angeles City Philippines and to pull it off he needed an infusion of cash. So who did he turn to, you guessed it, none other than his old buddies from Thailand, the time share boys. Luckily for Richard the king od Angeles City Philippines these blokes were well healed and willing to invest substantial amounts to help him build the empire. After the Tropicana Hotel and Mistys in Angeles City Philippines, Richard acquired Cambodia and built Neros, then Blue Nile, then Blue Nile Executive, which were to become the undisputed premier bars in Angeles City Philippines. He was later to also acquire Bedrock as well as building Molly Malones and converting the decrepit old Tropicana into the brand new Blue Nile Executive Hotel Angeles City Philippines.

The effect Richard had on the Angeles City Philippines bar scene was substantial and he was to change it forever. His particular flamboyant, highly publicized style, was to some an exciting breath of fresh air for Angeles City Philippines whilst for others it was seen as smoke and mirrors, and bode nothing but bad for the future of Angeles City Philippines. To this day there are still two distinct schools of thought when it comes to Richards effect on the Angeles City Philippines bar scene. The first school of thought is in favor of the big bars, with the bright lights, loud music, ostentatious decorations, highly publicized events, exciting party atmosphere, high public profile in Angeles City Philippines, large stages literally overflowing with skinny hard bodied dancers, and underlying it all, the all pervasive smell of money.

The other school of thought is repelled by all of these factors and believes that the Angeles City Philippines bars should be small affairs, existing under the proverbial radar, and keeping a low public profile. For those in the second school they see an approach such as that of king of Angeles City Philippines Richards, as asking for trouble. They see the high profile as attracting unwanted attention from elements in Angeles City Philippines and Manila, they see it as rubbing it into the face of so called respectable Filipino society. They blame it for the raids in Angeles City Philippines bars, they blame it for price hikes and they blame it for the general feeling of cold commercialization that is the antithesis of the friendly laid back appeal, they associate with Angeles City Philippines bars. Indeed Richard opened the door for the groups such as Dollhouse and Wolfpack to “corporatize” the Angeles City Philippines bar scene, and in Fields Avenue at least, the days of a funky little scene where everybody knew everybody and the girlfriend experience dominated, are long gone. Nowadays it’s a big business, it’s commercialized, it’s “corporatized” and it was all started by Richard Agnew.

When it comes to King Richard of Angeles City Philippines approach I am somewhere in the middle, and once again sitting on the fence. Yes I see the points of his detractors and think some are valid, plus I certainly miss the days when Angeles City Philippines was a funky little town and the girlfriend experience was more common place. Having said that, I also realize that change in Angeles City Philippines is inevitable and I will give Richard his due. He certainly gave it a damned good try and being part of his vision in the early days was exciting, and great fun.

With six bars completed another one under construction, plus a hotel and restaurant,in Angeles City Philippines Richard had built quite an impressive empire. But being Richard this wasn’t enough and he was soon wheeling and dealing with PAGCOR trying to place slot machines in all his bars in Angeles City Philippines. For Richard the slot machines were a natural step in the evolution of his entertainment empire in Angeles City Philippines. For others they were the beginning of the end.

The problems with the slot machines were many and varied. Firstly to get the deal done Richard the King of Angeles City Philippines had to find some more money and this meant a new investor. The original investors weren’t interested in the slot machines and claimed they were still waiting to see a return on their original investment. It took Richard the king of Angeles City Philippines a while but he eventually found a big investor whom he was somewhat ironically introduced to by one of his old time share buddies and original investors. His friend did the introduction and Richard did the salesmanship. In the end this turned out to be a problem because with the new investor involved the dynamics of the relationship between the partners changed. The new investor actually wanted Richard to be accountable for the money and the original investors wanted to see a much bigger and more frequent return on their money invested in the Angeles City Philippines bar scene. Things eventually came to a head and the group split asunder. Richard the king of Angeles City Philippines was forced out and in the form of a golden handshake was given the hotel, Mistys, Cambodia and the still incomplete Golden Nile. In my opinion this was the beginning of the end for ling Richard of Angeles City Philippines, or perhaps I should say, the beginning of the end for Richards Angeles City Philippines empire.

I remember all to well the day the group split up. That night the new group in charge of Bedrock, Neros, Blue Nile, and Blue Nile Executive came into the Angeles City Philippines bars and bluntly informed the respective managers they were fired. Anyone whom in their mind they associated with Richard Agnew king of Angeles City Philippines was terminated on the spot. With this action I believe they sealed the fates of Bedrock, Neros, Blue Nile and Blue Nile Executive Angeles City Philippines. Some of the managers went onto work in other bars in Angeles City Philippines while three of them ended up working for Richard in Cambodia, waiting for Golden Nile Angeles City Philippines, to open up. Within less than two years Neros, Blue Nile and Blue Nile Executive Angeles City Philippines were sold, and in their place today is the much vaunted High Society.

It took another 8 or so months for Golden Nile Angeles City Philippines to be finished and with its completion came Richards Agnew’s last attempt at changing the face of Angeles City Philippines bar scene.

Here ends part 1 of Richard Agnew the king of Angeles.

Mark Smith | Faces of Angeles City

Mark Smith AKA AC Sheriff.

I cannot say with absolute certainty when I first met Mark Smith but I seem to remember being introduced to him in passing in 1991. At the time I was bar hopping with a friend and I remember thinking how neat, tidy, organized and functional Roadhouse was, especially when compared to most other bars on M.H.Del Pilar. I also remember thinking, it’s nice but somehow a little bit sterile, plus there was never a great number of girls to draw my attention, so my visits here were destined to become infrequent.

With it’s hundreds of girls, bright lights, and its heady party atmosphere, Visions in Ermita was for me the ultimate club and I desperately wanted a chance to manage it. Mark Smith, albeit unknowingly, was to help me achieve this goal.

In his early days Mark was a hard drinking man and his drink of choice was Wild Turkey bourbon. Like most Go-Go bars a large percentage of Roadhouse revenue came from alcohol sales, and drinking battles where obscene amounts of alcohol are consumed, were a common occurrence. On one such occasion Mark got involved in a heavy bourbon drinking competition with a guy called John Rollins. John Rollins was an established big spender in Visions and when he appeared in Roadhouse running his mouth about how much he could drink, it was an irresistible challenge for Mark Smith.

During the course of the evening Rollins let it slip that he had been offered the job as the next manager of Visions. At the time there was no love lost between Mark Smith and the Visions general manager John Reed, so when he heard Rollins news, combined with the fact that Rollins had been running his mouth, it was for Mark, like a red flag to a bull. That night Mark set out to destroy John Rollins and the end result was a totally trashed Rollins hugging the Roadhouse toilet bowl, surrounded by a pool of his own vomit. Hardly an auspicious start for an aspiring bar manager and it was made worse by someone taking photos of the event, having them developed, then slipping them under the front door of Visions with an attached note saying, “your new manager”.

The end result of this was that Rollins got overlooked for the job at Visions and I got the nod.

In retrospect looking at the events of that night as an outsider, I do not attribute Mark Smith with any ill feelings towards John Rollins. Indeed, if some young punk had come into my bar boasting about how much he could drink, and what a good bar manager he was going to be in an opposition bar, I would probably set out to teach him a lesson as well. The irony is, that at the end of the day, Mark Smith was right. The last thing a bar needs is a manager who doesn’t know his limits when it comes to drinking, and thanks to Mark Smith, John Rollins learned this lesson in a hurry.

Okay, taking the photos and having them delivered to John Reed was not exactly taking the moral high ground and certainly was a little bit petty, but here is where life’s delicious irony comes into play. After getting knocked back for the job in Visions, John Rollins landed the job as manager of Firehouse, which at the time was regarded as the premier bar in Manila and certainly paid more than Visions ever would. Had he gotten the job in Visions he would never of had the opportunity to work in Firehouse.

As William Shakespeare so aptly wrote, “All’s well that ends well” or put another way, ‘one door closes and another one opens’.

Mark Smith was an interesting character who certainly left his mark on Angeles City Philippines. He was an intriguing mix of bull headedness and Machiavellian like manipulation. He would approach most problems like a bull in a china shop, running head first against any obstacles, using a iron like will and dogged determination to break through the barriers. When he took this approach, I used to refer to him as being in Juggernaut mode, immovable, unwavering, and unstoppable. The driving strength behind Mark Smith was that he unfaltering believed his way was the right way, and when combined with his unflagging determination, this made him a force to be reckoned with.

Bullish behavior and extreme obstinacy were traits often associated with Mark Smith, but believe it or not, he could actually exercise diplomacy, and at times verged on Machiavellian like, behind the scenes maneuvering. I think in some ways Mark Smith emphasized the bullish approach because it was natural for him, and because it disguised his behind the scenes maneuvers. People came to associate Mark Smith with the bull in a china shop approach and couldn’t believe he was capable of the deft behind the scenes maneuvers, until it was to late.

In his early years Mark Smith spent some time in the navy and I think this instilled in him a respect for discipline and orderliness, as well as an understanding of the chain of command. Whenever the navy or the air-force were in Angeles City Philippines, Mark would make it a point to get to know the officers and they would invariably end up drinking in Roadhouse bar in Angeles City Philippines. I always thought this was an astute business move on Marks behalf but I think for Mark it went beyond business. Looking at it in retrospect I believe Mark Smith had a genuine respect for members of the armed forces (especially Americans) and when he played host to them he was congenial, organized and respectful. He emphasized the “thank you for serving approach” before the term even existed and in so doing encouraged them to visit his bar in Angeles City Philippines.

The respect for rank and authority was deeply ingrained in Mark Smith and he had the unique ability to convert this into the business environment of both Manila and Angeles City Philippines. During his early days with Roadhouse in Ermita Mark Smith became friends with many American embassy personnel. As a result Roadhouse was always on their list when they hit the town for a drink and some fun. Indeed Roadhouse was unofficially sanctioned as an American embassy friendly bar and a safe environment for them to drink in. This did wonders for Marks bottom line and as far as I know Roadhouse always turned a profit, even in Angeles City Philippines during the slow years directly after Pinatubo exploded.

In some ways Mark Smith was very black and white. Mark Smith in many ways preferred the direct approach, especially when it came to dealing with the Filipino’s in power in Angeles City Philippines. I distinctly remember when Alfredo Lim was closing down Ermita, Mark Smith pulled some strings and managed to get an appointment to see the mayor and talk about why he was harassing the bars. Mark came away from that meeting with a positive outlook and proceeded to tell all the other bar owners what Lim had told him. Basically Lim had said no bar-fines, no bikinis, and no loud music outside the bars. Mark Smith now had his guidelines and he responded accordingly. He got rid of the Roadhouse bikini and replaced it with tight crotch hugging shorts and a white cut off top. He abolished bar fines and he turned down the music and lighting outside Roadhouse. 3 weeks later Lim was raiding again and one of the first bars closed was Roadhouse, even though Mark Smith had complied with Lim’s instructions to the letter.

The respect for rank, or perhaps a respect for power and authority, never left Mark and he applied the same approach when dealing with the Filipino power players in Angeles City Philippines. In the late nineties early two thousands the Angeles bar scene and entertainment structure was expanding rapidly. Large amounts of money were being invested in Angeles City Philippines new hotels, new bars, new restaurants etc and all of this was occurring under the investment friendly mayor Carmelo Lazatin. Lazatin was a political master and seasoned politician plus he was ostensibly foreigner friendly, as such it was only natural that Mark Smith should develop strong ties and work closely with him when he was Mayor of Angeles City Philippines.

For Mark, Lazatin represented the top of the local chain of command. He was the Angeles City Philippines ships captain and Mark Smith his liaison officer for the foreign community. Mark worked closely with the mayor on many projects including the ill fated Angeles hospital and at one stage he even had his own office in the Angeles City Philippines City Hall.

Being close to the mayor of Angeles City Philippines has definite advantages but also definite disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that other foreigners living in Angeles City Philippines will automatically view your actions with suspicion, as will many Filipinos. During those years there were many negative stories regarding Mark Smith and his closeness with the mayor of Angeles City Philippines, but most of them in my opinion, were just the product of jealousy and resentment.

I think Mark Smith truly believed that his actions were in the best interest of the town Angeles City Philippines and the bar business as a whole. However whilst this might be true I think it’s also important to note that Mark Smith was definitely ego driven. For a while there he really saw himself as being the sheriff of Angeles City Philippines, dispensing law and order to wrong doers. Whilst it is true that he did work closely with the local cops and local politicians, he was in no way the Angeles City Philippines sheriff and had no power over his fellow foreigners when it came to living and existing in Angeles City Philippines. I believe that to some extent Mark Smith suffered from what I call the Short Aggressive Male (SAM) syndrome. Others have coined the term Napoleon complex but despite the different names, the behavioral traits are much the same. Men with this complex are normally short in stature and they compensate for this with aggressive behavior and a desire to dominate the actions of others. There was definitely an element of this in Mark Smith and this vibe was picked up by many residents of Angeles City Philippines.

In the year 2000 I was based down in Makati and I remember my boss at the time asking me “why is Mark Smith so close with the Angeles City Philippines mayor” I don’t get that, doesn’t he realize what will happen when the mayor finishes his term and a new mayor is elected in Angeles City Philippines”? He was referring to the Filipino politicians habit of purging the old regime and replacing it with their own people. In some ways I think my old boss was right and I am pretty sure the change in political power brokers contributed to hasten Mark Smiths departure from Angeles City Philippines.

Please don’t get me wrong here I am not saying he was run out of Angeles City Philippines or anything like that., but lets just say the new Angeles City Philippines administration did not exactly look kindly at a foreigner who had been so close to the preceding administration. Being a Filipino and involved in local politics of Angeles City Philippines is one thing, being a foreigner and involved in local politics of Angeles City Philippines is another thing altogether. For me I believe Mark Smith was getting ready to split from Angeles City Philippines anyway and the new administration with their hostile attitude just hastened his decision.

When he left Angeles City Philippines Mark Smith was at a stage in his life where he was ready to get out. He had suffered from a heart attack and as a result had curtailed the drinking and smoking. He had done many years in the Roadhouse bar Angeles City Philippines and it was becoming old for him. He had lost his enthusiasm for the business and he was no longer a power player in Angeles City Philippines. His son was at an age where he needed to go to America and get a proper education and the new administration in Angeles City Philippines were not exactly friendly. He had done significant numbers of women, he had lived the life and had his proverbial five minutes of fame. He had been a significant power player in Angeles City Philippines, he had outlasted many of his detractors and he had proven that he could run a successful bar in Angeles City Philippines that made money and people liked.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly I think Mark to some extent could see the writing on the wall. His existing customer base was getting old and no longer spending money in Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines like they used to. Then to make matters worse, as the old market died off it wasn’t being replaced by a new younger market. The result of this was lower sales and declining profit margin for Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines. Add to this there were now several new players in Angeles City Philippines (Blue Nile Group and Dollhouse group) with big money behind them and they represented some serious competition for a niche market bar like Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines. Then to top it all off the storm cloud in the form of human trafficking was beginning to rear it’s ugly head. I think all of these factors combined to make Mark realize it was time to get out of Angeles City Philippines.

Mark Smith like many who become involved in the Angeles City Philippines bar scene was somewhat of an enigma. From what I can gather he did not have extensive schooling and he was very much a self made man. Nearly everything he got, he got from hard work, long hours, dogged determination, and an unflinching belief that his was the right way. From his time in Taiwan he could speak Fuken and Mandarin fluently and yet despite visiting and living in the Philippines for twenty something years, he only knew about twenty words of Tagalog.

When it came to women he was impulsive to the point of ridiculousness. Once he set his eyes on a girl he liked he would become fixated and would do whatever he felt was necessary to make her his own. He was actually married and divorced six times, and as far as I can gather, all of his wives were Filipinas.

Mark was certainly intense and demanding. He was a stickler for rules and authority. Appearances mattered to him and he would always pass a rule that his managers in Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines had to wear a collared shirt, decent pants and clean shoes. At the time he was the only one in Angeles City Philippines who did this and his insistence on a certain standard in appearance was typical of how he saw the bar business and Roadhouse’s place in it in Angeles City Philippines.

He saw Roadhouse as being the cleanest, most efficient bar in Angeles City Philippines, and thanks to Mark Smiths unrelenting eye for detail, it was exactly that. He ran Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines like a staff sergeant would run an army barracks. The staff would all report to work on time, the staff would all have assigned duties which Mark would check to see if they had been done correctly, the place was spotlessly clean, and in as good condition when he left it as the day he built it in Angeles City Philippines. His bar staff headed by Olive were second to none and the service in Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines was always exemplary. The toilets were the cleanest in Angeles City Philippines, the drinks were always served in the right glass, the beer was always cold, the popcorn always warm. The music was rock and roll, and the girls all had to do the Thunderstruck routine with no exceptions. The girls all wore the same uniform, the same red shoes and the same garter belt placed the same distance above the knee.

Some people found Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines boring and stiflingly regulated. Others appreciated the orderliness, cleanliness and consistency. Whenever you entered Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines you knew exactly what to expect and while Mark Smith was at the reigns this was never going to change. Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines was a bar that attracted a certain type of big spender. Normally these guys appreciated the Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines environment, they liked the orderliness, the professionalism of the bar staff, and the organization of the dancers. Most importantly the customers liked the feeling of being in control. They liked the idea of being the center of attention, being king for a minute and being “the man” in Angeles City Philippines. Still to this day I think Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines has more bell rings than any other bar in the history of the Philippine bar industry.

Just as there were people who really liked Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines, there were also those who hated it. These people would invariably shake their heads when the waitresses would rush to light their cigarette, they couldn’t comprehend why people would ring the bell and claim that Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines was a great party bar, when for them it was regulated and boring. Most importantly they couldn’t understand why anyone would enjoy a bar that had so few dancers and all the dancers seemed like robots.

By running Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines like he did, Mark Smith always had a problem getting enough girls to work there. The simple truth of the matter was they didn’t like the music, they didn’t like the hard red shoes which hurt their feet, and they didn’t like the rules and regulations or the way they were enforced. They didn’t like the strict rigidity of Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines and they didn’t like Mark Smith whom they saw as being very strict and “bastos”. Marks rigid approach and ruling the roost with an iron fist may have been appreciated by some customers but it did nothing to entice the girls, and this is why he always had a problem attracting girls to work in Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines.

Having said that over the years there have been some absolute beauties who have graced the Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines stage, and these girls have become the stuff of legends Many have gone on to lead happy married lives in other countries, whilst others have simply faded into the fabric of Filipino society.

To his credit Mark Smith wasn’t afraid to diversify and during his time in Angeles City Philippines he dabbled in many different fields. From the Angeles City flying club and the computer based chat room Jade Cool, through to an open air steak house where Salvatore’s now stands, managing pick up disco, managing the Royal Amsterdam hotel, and even having a small role in the ill fated slot machines of the Blue Nile group. Mark Smith was involved in many different ventures in Angeles City Philippines. To his credit Mark Smith was never afraid to take on a new challenge and whenever he turned his attention to a new project he would give 100% effort.

Marks forceful personality and uncompromising approach did not exactly make him mister popular in Angeles City Philippines. But Mark was never one to worry about his popularity. He had a few long term friends and these he treasured, the rest were just acquaintances or business relationships. Some people whom at one stage he was close to became his enemies and I think this had a lot to do with Marks domineering bullish approach.

Among the Filipinos he was for the most part disliked, but then again with his demanding ways, his expectation of strict compliance to the rules and his forceful uncompromising demeanor, the dislike was almost inevitable. Juxtaposed to the vast majority of Filipinos there was Olive and Girlie who were loyal and devoted to Mark Smith as any human being could be. Both these ladies had their lives inextricably entwined with Marks and their respect for hard ass Mark Smith was never ending. They both realized where their bread was buttered but beyond this they both had tremendous respect for him as a boss in Angeles City Philippines and as a friend. Mark demanded perfection from them and on most occasions he got it.

When he sold Roadhouse in Angeles City Philippines to Mo one of his stipulations was that Olive and Girlie keep their positions. This was partly Marks way of thanking them for the many years of loyal service and friendship they had given him. In my opinion the respect was a mutual thing and to his credit, Mark trod the delicate line between being the boss and being a friend extremely well.

If truth be known I think Mark Smith did an amazing job training Olive and I am willing to bet she could hold her own in any bar in the world. Her standard of service was exemplary and the way she controlled and taught the Filipina waitresses was second to none in Angeles City Philippines. This lady could write her own ticket as far as I’m concerned. I have no idea where she is now but wherever she is I hope she is happy and doing well.

Mark Smith has left behind him a legacy in the form of Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines and even though in its present form it is radically different from what it was in Marks day, whenever I visit there, fond memories come rushing back of my time in Angeles City Philippines. As far as I know Mark Smith currently resides in Vegas where he has established himself and reportedly has put Angeles City Philippines in the very distant past. Mark Smith was in many ways a force to be reckoned with. His legacy in the form of Gilleys Roadhouse Angeles City Philippines will probably survive for many years to come, and for me at least, it will always be a reminder of the man who created it…..Mark Smith The Angeles City Philippines sheriff.

John Hammer | Faces of Angeles City

In this new series of articles I will relate a few stories, about some of the colorful characters I have met during my time as a bar manager, both in Manila and Angeles. To begin I will start with a man that I called John Hammer.

From the outset I just want to make it clear that I will refer to John as John Hammer. I have no idea how he spelled his last name, but for me he was always the Hammer man, and so he shall remain in my writings.

Here was a man larger than life. He was big, he was strong, he punched like a sledge hammer, drank like a fish and fucked like a rabbit. He was loud, he was in your face and he lived life at a frenetic pace. In juxtaposition to his exterior bravado, the man had a keen and subtle sense of humor, and was even prone to moments of deep reflection. He was an enigmatic character who lived life on the edge and left a legacy on the bar scene of Angeles City Philippines.

As Neil Young so emphatically sang “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” and this is what Hammer did. He danced close to the flames, and in the end, like so many of the Angeles wild men, they consumed him.

John was one of these larger than life characters who seemed to attract people like moths to a burning flame. Hammer attracted all sorts of people, from all walks of life. From the sycophantic hangers on, the wannabe tough guys, the wheeler dealers, the seedy nondescript shadow dwellers, the gangsters and even a smattering of intellectuals, they all knew the Hammer man. If you visited Angeles City Philippines back then no trip was complete without meeting John Hammer.

I first met Hammer in 1992 when I was running Visions in M.H.Del Pilar, Ermita Manila. This was before he ever entered the fray of Angeles City Philippines. He strolled into Visions looking like he owned the place, and I remember watching the crowd disperse before him, a bit like Moses and the Red Sea. My boss at the time John Reed, saw him coming and whispered in my ear, “watch out for this guy he can drink like a fish and likes to fight”. With that said John Reed made a quick exit out the back door, leaving me to entertain the Hammer man.

Hammer made his way to the managers table, sat down and said “you the manager”, to which I replied, “sure am” and he then said, “well get some drinks in”. At this time I had only been running the bar for 2 months, and having a man pressure me to get the first round in was a unique experience. I looked at Hammer in his muscle shirt and thought to myself, he is to big to argue with, so stuff it, I will get the first round in and let’s see what happens from there. As it turned out we had one hell of a session which lasted well into the early hours of the evening and I came away from it physically unscathed and thinking, this John Hammer is a pretty good guy.

During our drinking session Hammer would always buy his share, and while plying three of the hottest girls in Visions with Tequila, would regale me with stories of his adventures in Thailand. By the end of the session he dismissed the 3 inebriated girls, called down two sober ones, paid their bar-fines, and the last I saw of him was the big man strolling out of Visions with two seemingly minute Filipinas tucked under his large arms.

Hammer resurfaced again in 1994 (I believe it was) but this time in Angeles City Philippines. Hammer was never one to work for people, as in his mind he believed the only way to make money was to work for oneself, and be your own boss. This however was easier said than done, especially when you had no start up capital. However Hammer was never one to be perturbed by little obstacles such as shortage of money, and next thing we knew, he had made a deal with the boys from the Orchid Inn to take over the at the empty lot of land where Kokomo’s now stands. This was the beginning of Hammers career in Angeles City Philippines.

Named after the Marine Bar nightclub in Pattaya Thailand, (for some reason both Kelly and Hammer were big fans of the Marine Bar) this was, like most of Hammers projects in Angeles City Philippines, destined for a short life span. Throughout his time in Angeles City Philippines John kept on popping up with different projects, the majority of which were interesting, but never seemed to make him any money. A perfect example of this was the Marine Bar complex. This was an outside venue which featured a boxing ring where the girls from various bars would fight for prize money using over-sized boxing gloves. These fights were never really serious because the gloves were sometimes bigger than the girls themselves, but someone forgot to tell the girls this, and on many an occasion the fights would be more like a brawl than a boxing match. For small framed Asian girls these girls certainly packed a wallop, and they would always take the fight seriously, much to the crowds amusement.

At the time I am not sure Angeles City Philippines was ready for such a venue. Having said that I find it interesting to note that there is now a bar in Makati Manila Philippines doing exactly the same thing.

The fights would happen twice a week and always draw a decent crowd, but the problem was, when the fights were not happening the place was virtually deserted. Back then it was common for different groups to go bar hopping, the biggest of which was the Hash House Harriers. The Hash guys would normally make a beeline for places like the Marine Bar Complex because the beer was cheaper, and it was outdoors with plenty of space. In their own little way the HHH boys, and groups like them, kept Hammers head above water. The Marine Bar Complex was never going to produce bundles of money but at least it was something different, and provided an alternative source of entertainment for jaded Angeles City Philippines expats.

In Angeles City Philippines they will try just about anything to make money, and John Hammer was no exception. The Marine Bar Complex became home for the crocodile that the Orchid Inn boys had inherited from Lovebirds bar in Ermita. What the crocodile was doing in Lovebirds I have no idea and how it ended up in Angeles City Philippines also has me beat, but here it was, and Hammer not being one to let an opportunity pass him by, started feed the crocodile shows. People would pay to come and feed the crocodile and on some days you would see a crowd of girls and guys all lining up to throw some chicken at it. At first the crocodile was ravenous and would demolish the chicken in seconds, however as time went on, it became lackadaisical and even sluggish, seeming to lose interest in the continual supply of chicken. Not sure what happened to that crocodile but I have heard it died from being overfed, which is no surprise considering the amount of people feeding it chicken everyday.

After the Marine bar complex folded, John surfaced running Ziggys bar, now known as Brown Sugar. I will admit Hammer had Ziggys Angeles City Philippines going pretty well. He would sit at the end in the raised section of the bar and let the crowd gravitate to him. He never had to actively seek out anyone to drink with, on the contrary they would flock to him, all hoping to drink and rub shoulders with this larger than life, alpha male, John Hammer. Ziggys Angeles City Philippines was an interesting bar and prior to Pinatubo it had been one of the best bars in Angeles City Philippines. It was a weird design with a dressing room underneath the dance stage, and watching the girls come up from the depth of the building was a bizarre experience. They never came up in a group but rather one by one. The stage at Ziggys was long and in the center of the bar and yet there would only very rarely be more than ten dancers performing at any one time. Every ten minutes one or two dancers would come up from beneath the stage, and one or two would leave the stage from the front. This was like a mini production line of girls as opposed to two separate groups of dancers. For me this approach never worked as I had been schooled in the Manila way which basically meant, pile as many girls on stage as you could, and let the mayhem reign supreme.

I worked with Hammer running Ziggys Angeles City Philippines for 3 weeks and although on the surface he seemed to be having a good time, if you looked closely you could see he wasn’t exactly content. Hammer was never content working for somebody else and during his time in Ziggys Angeles City Philippines it was obvious to me his heart wasn’t really in it. There was a certain imperiousness about Hammer, as if he thought he was better than everybody else, and he certainly wasn’t about to waste any time on you if you weren’t going to spend any money. I got the impression that in the end he decided bar management in Angeles City Philippines was a losers game with no real future, even if you were the big fish in a small pond.

After Ziggys Angeles City Philippines, Hammer surfaced again in Manila, this time running the much renowned Vixens situated on the service road running adjacent to Roxas Boulevard in Pasay Manila. The scene here was much more to his liking. This was a big club with literally hundreds of girls and a steady supply of customers from all corners of the globe. This was the big pond and in true Hammer style, big John set out to leave his mark. Every night in Vixens like its predecessor Visions, was party time, and Hammer would sit up the back orchestrating things like a master conductor. As usual there was never a shortage of people to drink with except this time there were substantially more girls, so at the end of the day, the bar could still make money through bar fines rather than the managers liver.

Vixens was run by John Reed and Fred Thompson of Visions fame and they were joined by a friend of Fred’s from Thailand named John Scott. Vixens quickly developed an excellent reputation as having the hottest girls, the right pricing and a party atmosphere second to none. At this stage it’s only real competition was the Firehouse complex in Edsa, but that was a far second in my opinion.

John Hammer seemed to fit in here, but again he wasn’t completely happy. I don’t know for sure but I think he still yearned for a chance to do his own thing, rather than making other people rich.

John had been working in Vixens for about 8 months when suddenly he showed up in Angeles City Philippines again. It took him all of ten minutes to find out my whereabouts and in he walks with an offer to good to refuse. He strode up to the managers table and said, “listen buddy we have to talk”. Now when John Hammer says we have to talk most people pay instant attention and I was no different, so I replied “okay mate but what are we going to talk about”. Upon hearing this Hammer smiled and said, “your future back in Manila, you need to come get some”.

Hammer then got some drinks in and proceeded to give me a spiel on why I needed to come back and work with him in Manila running Vixens. He was there for about an hour pitching me but I was still undecided until he said the magic words, ‘buddy they need you and you need them. Angeles City Philippines is small fry, you need to come home and play with the big boys”. With that he gave me the finger click and his “get some”, paid his bill and said, “I’ll be round your house tomorrow, we’re going down to Manila”.

Sure enough at a disgustingly early hour the next morning Hammer and driver were outside my place. Next thing I knew I was being bundled into the car and we were leaving Angeles City Philippines, heading down to Manila. I did about 9 months in Manila with Hammer running Vixens, but for me it was somehow very different from both the Visions that I had known and loved so much. Even though it was basically the same people behind Vixens as were behind Visions 1 and 2, for me it just didn’t have the same feel. Having never worked in Visions 1 or 2, Hammer had no point of comparison, so for him this was all new and exciting. He was right at home in Vixens and would always hold court in the back section with his main customers being US Marines attached to the American embassy. Hammer would start the drinking and the sessions would continue until the last man standing. When I worked in Makati I would do the same with the embassy marines, and I would take perverse satisfaction in knowing the alcohol they had consumed the night before, would invariably be thrown up on their morning 5 mile run.

I ran into John Hammer again when he returned to Angeles City Philippines, found some investors and built Thunderstruck. Once again Hammer was trying to do his own thing and using OPM (Other Peoples Money) as his foundation. During his time at Thunderstruck Angeles City Philippines, I only got to see Hammer on the rare occasion as I was based in Makati, but I would hear the stories, and in a very short time Thunderstruck became Angeles City Philippines, premier party bar.

Thunderstruck Angeles City Philippines in my opinion boasted a sort of pub with pussy atmosphere. They had some nice looking dancers there, but it seemed to me that the main appeal of Thunderstruck Angeles City Philippines was as a place to hang out with ones friends and swap stories, over more than a few alcoholic beverages.

When it first started out Hammer would be there every night with drink in hand, holding court. As time progressed Hammer would spend less time in the bar, preferring instead to work out at the gym, ride his Harley or try to work his latest get rich quick scheme. This was one of Hammers hallmarks, and although he drank a lot, I always got the impression drinking was a means to an end for him. He drank calculatingly, not because he enjoyed it. I think at the end of the day Hammer was much more at home working out, fighting, or wheeling and dealing, than he was drinking in a bar in Angeles City Philippines.

I can still remember clear as day how I found out about Hammers murder. I was lying in my bed in Makati when a text came through from a very good friend of mine, who is a Mad Dog MC member and used to make regular trips to Angeles City Philippines. The text simply read “John Hammer is dead”. Upon reading this I at first couldn’t believe my eyes and I text back, “is this a joke mate”, only to receive another text saying, “no mate I’m serious. He was murdered this morning on his way home”.

Johns death had a profound effect on many people, and I think this was for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had always seemed larger than life, almost invincible, and to see him so brutally gunned down, was both a reminder that nobody is bullet proof, and certainly a reminder of ones own mortality. A second reason why his death was so shocking was because of the way it was done. They ambushed him on the little bridge at Hensonville, thus making sure he had no chance of escape. They riddled him full of bullets using automatic guns, and even emptied a few rounds into him when he was lying on the ground with his girlfriend beneath him. This was a contract killing and to this day nobody is 100% sure who did it or why. Hammers was the first paid for hit in Angeles City Philippines, that I can remember. Yes there had been other foreigners killed in Angeles City Philippines, prior to him, but none so brutally, and none so obviously an assassination.

There are various theories as to why Hammer was assassinated ranging from an old grudge in Thailand, through to him beating up the wrong people in Angeles City Philippines, his fallout with his investors in Thunderstruck in Angeles City Philippines or Hammers dubious acquisition of a “boiler room” phone list. To be honest I have no idea if any of these theories is correct. All I know is that it was a brutal murder, and I for one miss the man.

There are many stories surrounding Hammers death but I will leave those for when I write my book or blog. The big man certainly left his mark on Angeles City Philippines and for now I can only say RIP big John, and I hope you are riding your Harley on that long open highway in the sky.

C How They Made Me! Chapter 68



Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer

Chapter 68:

New friends

By the time I had woken up and MayAnne had departed it was late afternoon and for some reason I was feeling kind of drained so I decided to stay in the hotel that night or if it got to boring to restrict my bar hopping activities to the immediate area around the Maharajah. To be honest I was little worried about running into Wally as his aggravation was something I didn’t need and I was also a bit hesitant to go back to the vicinity of Ziggys where MayAnne could lay claim to me again. This girl had already dug her fingers in and I wasn’t about to help her solidify her position.

At this stage of my short but illustrious mongering career I had decided that single life is the way to go and to forget about these relationships. Of course like most men, in the long run I was in the end unable to live up this creed, but it felt right at the time, and for the next five years I certainly tried to make mongering freedom my reality.

I decided a brisk dip in the pool would wake me up and maybe a few laps would get the blood flowing again, so I grabbed a towel and headed out to the pool. Being after 5 there was literally nobody else in the pool and I decided to make the most of the opportunity and swim a few laps. Growing up near the beach I had always been a competent swimmer and doing laps of a pool or swimming in the surf was a regular occurrence in my youth and I was completely unaware a large number of Filipinos cannot swim.

I dived in the pool and started gently swimming laps and after completing about ten I stopped for a breather and suddenly I felt eyes upon me. I looked around and sure enough there in the restaurant area were three women and two guys just staring at me. Not sure what had them so enthralled I simply smiled at them and waved to which I received a smile back from all of them and then they carried on their conversation with the occasional furtive glance in my direction.

After the swim I was feeling like a new man and I had definitely worked up a hunger, so I headed over to the restaurant area, only to come face to face with two of the women who had been watching me swim. When I saw them I smiled and said, “hello girls is there any chance I can order some food because all that swimming has made me hungry”. Both the young ladies looked away from me and turned their heads as they giggled. Right about now I wasn’t sure what to do so I just took a seat at one of the tables and said, “can I have a menu please”? This bought another series of giggles and both the girls scurried away leaving me sitting in the restaurant by myself.

I had been sitting there for about two minutes and was just about to get out of my seat and berate the staff for their non existent service when from behind some closed doors a man appeared and presented me with a menu. I surveyed the menu and to say it was limited would be an understatement. I looked at the guy who was standing beside me waiting for my order and said can you recommend something as I don’t see anything that really sparks my interest here”. He looked at me with a look of benign amusement on his features and replied, I recommend the pork and chicken adobo. Everybody like that. “Okay” I said, I will have the adobo and to drink I would like a coke please”.

He took my order, took back the menu and exited the restaurant, once again leaving me sitting there with my own thoughts. I had no idea how long the food would take and I was just about to go back to my room to get a book to read when from behind me I heard the giggling again. I turned around and there were the two girls just staring at me and giggling. By this time I was totally perplexed and rather than just ignore the situation I decided to confront them and find out what was so amusing. I got out of my seat and smiled at the girls then I asked, “would you ladies care to join me for a drink”?

The girls looked at me somewhat aghast and both just stood there giggling. Thinking they didn’t understand I made the motions indicating drinking and they both giggled again and slowly made their way towards my table. When they reached me I offered them each a chair which they hesitatingly took and I asked them very slowly, “what can I buy for you ladies to drink”? In response I got another giggle and then one of them replied, “we like sprite”.

With the ice partially broken I thought I was on a roll and I was just about to get up and hunt down a waiter when one of the girls said, “I be the one” and with that she rose and disappeared into the kitchen area. Literally 1 minute later she was back with two sprites which both the girls proceeded to sip on while staring and giggling at me. By this time I was a completely nonplused. I literally had no idea what was going on or why these girls were seemingly fixated with me but not being one to let a challenge like this get the better of me I decided to put in some work and find out what the heck was going on.

While I waited for my food we made halting small talk and I found out both the girls worked at the hotel in the kitchen. These two sweet young women must have been about 22 but both had the childlike sense of humor that made them seem so much younger. It was hard for me to ascertain just how much they understood because they would only speak English sparingly and most of the time would chat with each other in Tagalog and simply giggle.

After about 15 minutes my food was delivered and as the waiter approached our table I thought I detected a sour look on his face so I said to him, “hey mate you have been a really good waiter could I buy you a drink or something just to say thank you”. The waiter seemed a little nonplused by my sudden offer and after a quick chat with the girls he said to me in English, “sure why not but what we would really like is some food”.

Then it hit me, these guys probably see guests pigging out on food all the time while they have bugger all money to buy anything for themselves and as this realization dawned I made what turned out to be a very fortuitous decision. I looked at him squarely in the eyes and replied, “how many of you guys are there in the kitchen” to which he replied, “two more” and I said, “well if it’s allowed, how about I buy a meal for everyone here”. The waiter looked at me seemingly in shock and then as my offer began to sink in he replied, “for a while sir” and went scurrying back into the kitchen.

After what seemed like ages but was probably only a matter of minutes he returned and said, “sir if it’s okay to you we would like crispy pata”. At this stage I had no idea what crispy pata was so I simply smiled and replied, “that’s cool with me man, crispy pata it is”.

From that point on the night began to get interesting. It must have been about half an hour later when three Filipino guys came and joined our table bringing with them a huge dish of what looked like pork but with all the bones and fat still attached. I was in later years to learn this is what is called crispy pata and it is considered a delicacy here in the Philippines but at this stage I was still a ‘newbie’ and just going along with the flow.

The three guys joined our table and before long we were all getting along like a house on fire with everyone telling jokes and me relating stories about my country and also my experiences in the Philippines. The guys certainly seemed friendly enough and after the meal they suggested we have a few beers and play some cards. I asked the girls if they thought this was a good idea and each of them smiled and nodded their ascent. Within seconds there appeared 3 bottles of San Miguel in a bucket of ice and a fourth one that had already been opened along with a glass of ice.

Having come from Australia I considered drinking beer with ice sacrilegious but it was very obvious to me that this was how it was done in the Philippines and not wishing to offend the locals I simply decided to go with the flow and drink the beer over ice like they did.

No sooner had the beer appeared than the dishes were cleared away and a pack of cards produced. The guys told me this was a game called pusoy dos and asked if I knew how to play. I replied in the negative and said I would just watch a few hands first and see if I could pick it up. As it turned out Pusoy Dos is very similar to Jim Rummy but with a few extra twists and rules so it really wasn’t that hard for me to pick up. I watched about five hands as well as partaking in a chug of beer each time the glass was presented and I then felt I had got the basics of the game and it was time for me to join in.

The details of that night are a bit hazy as the beer seemed to be on a never ending tap and every 5 minutes the glass was in my hand with the Filipinos encouraging me to drink it down in one. To this day I am pretty sure I never won a single hand but then again it didn’t seem to matter because we were all having such a great time and the hours seemed to fly by.

Even though the communication barrier was very much in effect that didn’t seem to stop us from becoming friends and understanding each other. I was having a thoroughly enjoyable time with my new found friends when suddenly I noticed it was 1:AM and with the beer buzzing my head I announced that it was past my bedtime and I would see them all tomorrow.

Feeling somewhat drunk I raised myself to a standing position smiled at the girls and said good night politely, then I shook each guys hand and assured them we would play again tomorrow night. With goodbyes said I now stumbled back to my room which luckily for me wasn’t far away, I opened the door, turned on the light and then without even bothering to get undressed flopped on the bed.

I have no idea how long I lay there in a drunken stupor but I remember being woken up by a gentle but consistent knocking on my door. With blurry eyes and my head now throbbing with the beginnings of a massive hangover I made my way to the door, opened it and there standing in the open doorway with a mischievous smile on her face, was one of the girls whom I had been playing cards with.

C How They Made Me! Chapter 67



Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer

Chapter 67

Maharajah and MayAnne

Well you could have struck me down with a feather, I just couldn’t believe that MayAnne was standing before me in the Maharajah Hotel. “How did you get up here” I asked haltingly, and in response she simply smiled and replied, “I follow to you, MayAnne have trike driver friend so he give free ride”. I looked at her in abject amazement and said, “so you followed me all the way to the hotel. I thought you were going home”? With this May Anne simply smiled and replied “MayAnne stay Martin hotel”.

Obviously I wasn’t going to get any more information from MayAnne and even though it felt like I had my own little stalker I couldn’t get the images of her in bed out of my head so I capitulated and said ‘come on then let’s go look at my room”.

Even back in 1991 the rooms in the Maharajah had obviously seen better days and yet despite the signs of wear and tear there was something about them that just made people feel at home. It might have been the golden heavy drapes that kept the sunlight and noise out, it might have been the carpeting on the floor (which in those days was a rarity in Angeles hotels), it might have been the close proximity to the pool, it might have been the super comfortable beds or it might have been the air of sex that seemed to pervade the entire hotel. Whatever the reason, the Maharajah just automatically felt like a home away from home, and this is exactly what it would become in years to come.

Prior to the Pinatubo explosion the Maharajah had obviously been a booming short time hotel. They had over 100 rooms in this hotel and it was plain to see its previous market had been people coming off the base for short time. At this stage there was only 1 swimming pool and most of the good rooms fronted onto the swimming pool. In years to come I was to stay at the Maharajah literally hundreds of times and a group of us developed a loose and casual friendship with the key being our occupancy of the Maharajah Hotel.

As we entered the room MayAnne switched on the lights, explored the room a little bit which included bouncing on the bed and then pronounced her decision, “hotel good MayAnne like”. At this time there was no cable TV which didn’t seem to phase May Anne at all and it wasn’t long before she was comfortably lying on the bed watching an old tagalog movie on the rickety old television that looked like it had escaped from a 1980’s movie set.

Seeing MayAnne had made herself right at home and was not to be disturbed I unpacked my bag, changed into some shorts and made my way to the pool which lay shimmering in the sun. For me there has always been something special about the Maharajah swimming pool that separates it from other pools. In current times there are two pools one out front of the hotel facing Don Juico Road and one out the back. In those days there was only one and this was the pool in the back.

Looking at it on surface value there is nothing particularly special about the Maharajah courtyard and pool. I really cannot put my finger on it why this pool area was so special, but for me I automatically felt relaxed and at home. Around the pool it is all concrete except for the flower beds which boast a basic foliage including the hotel owners prized orchids. There are good old fashioned sun chairs which are perfect for the sun worshipers and the pool itself is about 25 meters long, maybe a bit less, and always seemed clean and refreshing.

Another features I really liked about this area was that it was so quiet. One could sit by the pool for literally hours basking in the sunshine then dipping in the pool when the heat became to much. It was so quiet almost verging on serene and with a little imagination, hotel patrons could easily forget they were in Angeles. The pool area is also adjacent to the kitchen/restaurant area and although the food at the Maharajah sucks patrons would invariably order snacks which they and their girl would enjoy poolside.

Last but not least, I really liked the fact that after leaving the pool it was only a short stroll, or in some cases a stumble, to ones room. This of course is nothing new in today’s environment with many modern day hotels having poolside rooms but back then it was almost like the hallmark of the Maharajah. The Maharajah has always played second fiddle to the Oasis but for me this just made it more attractive because it was a cheaper price, it was less pretentious and there was always a room there.

I strolled out of my hotel room leaving MayAnne to watch TV and procured one of the sun chairs right next to the far end of the pool. I had been lying there for about half an hour just relaxing and letting my mind wander reveling in the silence when suddenly I looked up and there was a waiter delivering a tray of food to my room. Knowing that I hadn’t ordered anything I was a bit confused and then it hit me MayAnne had figured out how to use the telephone and get room service. This was my first experience of the Filipina just helping herself but it certainly wasn’t going to be my last.

With the Filipina there is almost a sense of entitlement, and in most cases they seem to have no idea of expenditure. For many of them money is something which grows on trees in the foreigners home land. They automatically perceive foreigners as having unlimited funds, and as such it is no problem spending it, because there is always more where that came from.

There are also several social ideals attached to the consumption of food. For starters it sends a psychological message that all is okay in the world. If you have a full stomach then you have access to money and can survive for another day. This may sound silly but consider where they come from in a situation where anything more than fish with a bowl of rice is a luxury, and you begin to understand. Secondly eating is a social occasion and because food is a luxury it is often shared. This is something like the Filipinas sharing their blessings or their good fortune. I saw this logic in action last year when I walked past the TV and there was Manny Pacquiao showering people with money on some sort of game show. Out of interest I asked the instant Filipino family what was going on and they replied that this was Manny’s way of “sharing his blessings”. Obviously this sharing did not work particularly well as the tax man is now after Pacquiao for his share but it was an interesting insight into Filipino culture.

I sat there in the sun chair and watched the tray of food disappear and pondered the situation for a while then made up my mind to go and talk with MayAnne about her taking me for granted. I walked into the room and was about to give MayAnne a little lecture but all thoughts of lecturing her left my head as she smiled up at me and said, “hi hon you like pood”? Taken aback and with all anger evaporated I simply smiled and shook my head and turned around top walk out the door, but as my hand touched the door handle I had a sudden stroke of inspiration. Turning back to MayAnne I said, “no food for me but I wouldn’t mind a blow job”. Straight away this bought a look of fake disgust onto MayAnne’s face and after she had swallowed her food she replied, “bastos Martin talaga”, then with a mischievous smile and a sparkling glint in her eye she looked me in the eyes and said, “why not”. Right then and there I decided I loved the Philippines and had no intention of leaving well at least not in the short term.

Upon observing MayAnne’s simple reaction I couldn’t help but compare it to that of a woman in my own country. Here in the Philippines, well at least in the bar world, sex was approached in a very matter of fact way and these girls had none of the inhibitions or angst that was so common among the white women I had known. Rather than being women’s liberationists that seemed to be against men and were hung up about sex these girls used it and their femininity as a means to get what they want, as well as a means to get physical gratification. This was certainly a world I was more comfortable in and in a way even though I hadn’t been bought up with Filipinas I could relate to their point of view more than that of women in my own country.

It took MayAnne another 15 minutes to polish off the Pancit Bihon, one of the few things the Maharajah made well, and then after a quick trip to the bathroom supposedly to wash her mouth, she pulled my shorts down and proceeded to suck on my dick like a true professional. For me I have always appreciated a good blow job and it never ceased to amaze me how the angelic brown skinned Filipinas could suck on a mans dick like it was something perfectly natural and there was no sense of the recipient owing anything to the giver. So unlike my world where if a woman gave you a blow job she acted like you owed her a favor for ever more as she had made the ultimate sacrifice.

After an extremely satisfying blow job I decided it was time for a little afternoon nap and this is where the Maharajah really came into its own. The room was delightfully chilled by the air-conditioning unit, the drapes kept the light out and the bed was awesomely comfortable. It wasn’t ten minutes before I was fast asleep while somewhere in the distance I could hear MayAnne giggling at something which was funny for her but which eluded me totally.

I think I must have slept for a couple of hours because next thing I knew I was being gently shaken awake by May Anne who announced, “I work now but come back hotel later”. Still slightly drowsy from the deep sleep I nodded and replied “sure babe I’ll see you later”. MayAnne smiled and headed towards the door but as she reached it she turned to me and with a serious look on her face she said, “no girls for you, you have girl I kill you talaga”. Before I could respond she had opened the door and disappeared down the corridor leaving me to contemplate how I had managed to get myself in yet another cock blocked situation.