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LIFE IN SUBIC BAY 2012

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Warren have a few beers in Subic bay, Philippines

SPECIAL SECTION

Cost to move to over

This Excel Spread Sheet has been modified from the original poster off the piatnight web site with the cost as I have found them in Oct 2012. This will give you an idea of what you will need if you are planning to move over here.

{Download sheet here}

 

This is the first of many parts to come on life in Subic Bay.  So far I have only been here on vacation and years when I was in the Navy so living here now I know will be much different. As a person on vacation I was  only in Subic Bay for a short time and want to get the most out of each day and really have a great time, hell why not it is vacation time, right?

While life in the Philippines is cheap for most Expats when compared to our home counties if a person is not careful to watch their spending, well  they can quickly find their savings going fast so need to change their spending habits, take up work or may need to return home to work again to earn more cash so they can return back to the Philippines.

When you are in country where the cost of living is so cheap, the women are all around you and the night life is second to none (in my opinion) it is hard for many not to go out each night bar hopping, buying ladies drinks (LD) and just having a great time doing it. Over time this can add up and before you know it, you are broke! The bars and girls will milk you dry in no time fast if you canít keep things under control to some point.

This is one reason I like Subic Bay vice Angeles City at least in Subic Bay you have the ocean right there so you have others things to do in the day time besides hitting the bars all the time. Subic Bay has bars open in the later morning and early afternoon, but the numbers are small and since most of the guys living here are mostly out in the evening time it is not that big of a deal. While those here on vacation can  found roaming the bars at all hours, again they are on vacation, right?

Like any new location you move to meeting those that live there is always a big help to you since you can learn off their experience and more easily get things done or on a more basic level just how things work where you now live. Life in the Philippines is not like living in the States where I am from, so the things I know will not apply in the Philippines at all! In all my travels around the world I have had a good luck at flying under the radar, meaning not causing problems with locals, keeping your head about you when a conformation happens and you most always remembering; ďyou are not in your countryĒ and you are at the will of the local authorities. Keeping your mouth shut and just sucking it up can save your ass some time.

Meeting and getting to know the locals is also a good thing to do since they will give you their outlook on things and depending on whom you meet can also help you out some time if you find yourself in a bind one day.

So as I experience life in Subic Bay more I will share what happens and what I learn and hope it helps some of you out.

 

Monday Aug 6, 2012

Well I have been here for 2 months now but since it is the rainy season and I am not driving here getting around is a bit hard if I donít want to get soaking wet every day.

I have a 1 bedroom furnished house in Baloy Beach at the far end so the walk to National Highway (the fully paved road) takes me about 15 to 20 minutes because I need to dodge the water puddles, trikes (motorcycle with a sidecar) and cars, pretty much in that order too! Iím paying 12,000p (peso) a month for the place. Water bill each month is running about 350p, electricity 1,600p and my TV cable (basic)/internet (2 mbps speed) is 1,100p. The house has a hot water heater in the bathroom (comfort room = CR) and a water tank so my water pressure stays good all the time,  I also have front and back porch area which are both covered will steel bars so the house is pretty protected from intruders.

Warren's House in Baloy Beach, Subic Bay, philippines

What I really like about the house is that at night it very quiet and peaceful, I can sit out front in the evening and just relax while having my San Miguelís (beer). The store at the end of the street sales them for 27p a bottle and smoke are 50p but I found a place over on the main shopping street (164) in Barrio Barretto for only 35p so I go there and just stock up on smokes.

On the down side of living in Baloy Beach is the road, when it rains for a long time the road will flood and days after the rain stops the road is covered in puddles so if you are walking it really sucks, you need to wear sandals because you are going to get your feet wet and you need to let them dry off quickly or at least be exposed to the air so you donít get foot rot! Me, I just ware flip flops all the time now, cheap and easy, if I get a blow out just go to a sari-sari store and get a new pair for about 130p to 180p.

Other issues about living the area, the power outages or brown outs as they are call which can last for 5 minutes to a few hours or longer. The most I have had in 1 week was 4 time so far. If you are planning to staying in one of many hotels or nice apartments in the Baloy area power outages should not be a problem since many have backup generators that will lick in when the power goes out. 

Entrance fee to Baloy Beach:

 Toll Gate to Baloy Beach in Subic bay philippines

I never got stopped even when I was here on vacation; the cost is 30p per person. It seems they charge those that look like new visitors to the area when I a group or during special event days. I had some people over to the house and they were charged while in 2 trikes.

Small family stores:

 Sari sari store in Baloy Beach philippines

Called ďSari-sari storesĒ they have your basic needs for everyday life but by no means can be used as a grocery store. Items like eggs, coffee, tea, cooking oil, some sauces, beer, some local liquors, smoke, chips, some can goods and house hold items can be found in them but that is about it. A few sell cooked food at pretty good prices if you like local food. There is one store that is pretty well stocked and also has cooked food in the Baloy area which is call Lucky Mikeís and they have the largest selection of food in Baloy and the prices are ok for being in Baloy! Mike is good guy from California and if you get that craving for some good Mexican food this is one place you will want to stop in and have a talk with Mike.

Lucky Mikes Mini Mart in Baloy Long  Beach, subic bay, philippines

Other ways to get a few items in Baloy is with the food venders that make their way through the area selling fruits, fresh fish, Balut and streamed corn.

Paying bills: In the new SM mall on Magsaysay in Olongapo City you can pay most of bills in one place but depending on you cable TV and internet you make have to go to their office to make payment. If you donít want to travel in to Olongapo can you pay your water and electricity bills in the Barrio Barretto area you can walk from one to the other but it is a good walk I have to have say, or just get on a Jeepney to save yourself some time which would run you about 8p. The Jeepney to from Barrio Barretto to the end of the line in Olongapo is 12p. The Yellow  Jeepney on Razil  Ave is 8p to the SM mall, so it is really cheap to get around. From what I have found is that some companies accept visa or master card to make your payments so this saves you from having to go in the a pay center which is really handly.

Shopping:  When you move to a new area finding all the things you need and are use to having can take some time so getting out and looking your items can take come time. On the old Naval base no called  Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) you can find many American goods in the stores there if the items are in stock. I have only shopped in the free zone area a few time now but found a lot of stuff I liked and the prices were pretty good from what I recall.

In Olongapo not far from the Victory Liner Station there is the Olongapo City Public Market area in Razil Ave. You can find every thing you will need for your house, Cloths, Shoes some electronic and food and the prices there are really good.

 Olongapo City, Public Market shopping, philippines 

But what you need to do I think is to get out and check out the local stores within the city and see what they have. But to find them you need to get out and walk around and go in the stores to see what they have and how their prices are. If you have a friend they will be able to show you too many of the places which will be a big help to you. Most the store are within a short walk from the Victory Liner Station.

The new SM mall is a big improvement over the old Olongapo Mall which was at the same location. The 4 storey SM Mall has just about everything you want to find in one location. The supermarket is well stocked and large with prices that seem pretty good. If you took a Jeepney there and bought a lot of stuff you can get a taxi back to Barrio Barretto or Baloy Beach for around 300p or cheaper. In some of the store in the SM mall prices can be a bit higher I have found so doing your shopping around to save your self some Pesos!

SM mall in Olongapo City, Philippines

The other new mall Harbor Point as some know it as is located on SBMA which is open and at the time of this article is still under construction so more to come on that mall later on.

Harbor Point Mall on SMBA, Olongapo, Philippines  Harbor Point Mall on SMBA, Olongapo, Philippines  Harbor Point Mall on SMBA, Olongapo, Philippines  Harbor Point Mall on SMBA, Olongapo, Philippines  Harbor Point Mall on SMBA, Olongapo, Philippines

There are three supermarkets within SBMA Pure Gold, Royal and Freeport Exchange all of which are duty free and very well stocked with American products Royal is like a warehouse it is so big inside and besides food Royal and Freeport also have house hold goods.

Local Markets: Where to buy food, besides the grocery stores you have the street venders on 164 where you can get chicken, pork and fish as well as veggies like corn, onions, bitter Mellon, hot peppers, potatoes, bean sprouts, and various other kinds of food and fruits. There is another market are just north of Barrio Barrette which is the first street after the bridge as you pass the turn off to Baloy Beach, it is smaller than 164 but you can find the same food there too plus there is market there too along National Highway so depending on where you live this could be a lot closer for you to visit for your food needs. To get the every thing you need you need to get there between 7 and 9 am and then again from 5pm to 7pm to have the best selection.

164 street shopping area in Barrio Barretto, subic bay, olongapo city, philippines

Barrio Barretto has 2 grocery store, 1 on Nation Highway and the other on 164 and 3 places to buy meat which are all on National highway which is of higher standard / quality then the fresh air market, seeing how not everyone wants to buy pork or chicken that has had flies all over and sitting out in the heat of the day it for past 2 or 3 hours.

Power Outages: The longest I have had a outage so far as been 20 hours so if you live in place without a power back up and you have a lot of frozen food will they may thaw out before power is restore so you may want to watch how much stuff you keep frozen. Other items to have handy are a radio, flashlights, candles, batteries, a manual can opener and I even have a extra hand phone I keep charge in case my main phone goes dead.

 

12 August 2012

Things to get use to in the Subic area

Phone usages:

The first thing to get use to is how the phones work or rather doesnít work in the country. Text messages may or may not reach the receiver more often than you would expect. Sometime you may even get the text a few days later so donít be surprised if that happens, its normal!

Making phone calls can get very frustrating, you call a friend or to a company and you get a message saying, ďThe receiver is out of coverage area!Ē, now how in the world can a company be out of area and you just saw your friend 5 minute ago in the bar? I tried to call my cable TV company on 4 different lines and either got the same message or 3 beeps and then got disconnected leaving you feeling a bit helpless.

This happens a lot from what I have seen; I even tried to call immigrations in Olongapo and was disconnected by the number listed on the web site but I able to get thought on this number +63472242766 which the man in the office give me.

It doesnít take a person long to learn to use texting instead of calling unless you use the daily unlimited text and a 5 minute call for 15p thought Smart but texting 15C and sending it to number  258, because if you donít and you make a call it can quickly run your load out on your phone.

Venders:

These are the people you see roaming the beaches and streets selling souvenirs for the most part I have found that after you tell them that you are not interested they will move on but a few are a bit more aggressive and will start to pester you to buy something. If you are seated just ignore them or while walking just keep working without looking back. I always try to be polite, that is just my style but what works for you works!

Verder on the beach in Subic bay / Baloy Beach, Philippines

Internet speed:

Internet speeds in the Subic can be good if you have a good plan that fits your needs and your budget. When I talk about High speed I am not taking about anything above 50Mbps. During peak hours you can have a serious drop in your speed but this normal for anywhere so when you are talking about a speed from 2 to 4 Mbps your connect speed can be as low as 0.25 which can last for hours. So if you come from a place that is using fiber-optics or even speeds of 100Mbps with cable line like I was I use too, well it is a big step down and take a lot of getting use to.

So shop around for the best deal and speed you can get, wish I had!

TV:

For the most part pretty good but if you lose a few channels from time to time donít be surprises. Now I have only 64 days in country so donít know about all the different cable TV companies and how clear they channels are so I am sure there are some out there with outstanding service and picture quality. Let us just say, ďyou get what you pay for!Ē

Weather:

August is the peak in the rainy season and over the past 2 months I have seen a lot of rain too. So with the start of this month Iím sure there is plenty more on the way.  So sandals are the only way to go, for sue! Having sandals and cloths that will dry quickly is a most, so no leather sandals because I would think they will rut in time. Keeping your wallet in a plastic bag is also something to get use too so everything doesnít get soaked if you get caught in a down poor! Shorts another must, too hot and humid for long pants and socks unless you like foot rot from having wet or sweetie feet all day long!

Find yourself a heavy duty umbrella too, when the wind picks up it blows pretty hard, so that cheap umbrella will quickly finds its way in a trash bin.

House pest:

Where I stay the best pest are the ants, man these suckers are everywhere and if you leave any kind of food out they are quickly all over it. So I have to always sweep and clean up after cooking and eating. I found that the Baygon spay works great and will keep them away for a few days.

Mosquitoes / flying termites Ė mostly at night I have found them so I use the Baygon scented mosquito coil which work pretty good inside and outside but not 100%, but still good. The problem with the coil is the smell can be come over powering if you live in a small place, so keep that in mind!

Trikes:

These are the main way to get around a small area quickly or when the weather is bad. For most people they can fit inside the side car pretty easily but if you are over 6 foot some of the trikes may be a bit cramped. Prices can vary from driver to driver depending on your destinations. To give you an example I had one driver take me to SBMA for 150p while another wanted 300p a few days later, as I declined the offer and keep on walking the priced dropped to 250p and then lower to 200p but I decided at that point to just take a Jeepney into town and save myself a 130p.

Before getting in your trike set the price with the driver so there is no misunderstanding when you arrive.

Trikes are a good and fast way to go short distances, barrio barretto, subic bay, philippines

Jeepney :

Going on a longer ride then the Jeepney is what you will be using. There run 24 hours a day on set routes. You can tell them apart be the color of the Jeepney. During the day time they come along very often while as the night gets later they start to stretch out in between them so you could find yourself waiting 30minutes or longer if after 2 or 3am. Cost is cheap and set from place to place. You can wave one down anywhere along the road and have them drop you anywhere also. Just climb in say where you are going and hand your Pesos up to the driver.

On the down side the Jeepney can get really cramped if you are tall or big size. During the rain you will find the floor very slippery if you are in flip flop or some other smooth sole shoes. Another thing is that they don't have windows on the side but only flaps so you may get a bet wet on your ride.

The Jeepney is cheap to ride and go everywhere you need. olongapo city, philippines

 

30 Aug 2012

9am - What a nice day, the sun is out and it looks like a great day for a change. So off to the beach for my walk. normally I see the fisherman with their nets out in the ocean but today they were pulling in the nets on to the beach so I decided to have a seat and see what king of catch they had.

Fisherman off Baloy Beach in Subic Bay, Philippines

Mostly small fish about 3 to 5 inches in length but a local favorite to eat. The good part about finding the fisherman is you can buy directly from them so it is a great way to save some Pesos and have some fresh fish at the same time.

While standing there watching a man approached the group and spoke with the leader and told him that they were not allowed to fish at that location! I wasn't about to catch all he said but it boiled down to; "this is the last time I will tell you and if I you get caught again it will not be good, now pack up your net and get out of here!"

So all the guys load up in the boat and off they went for deeper waters, or some other part of the beach where they could fish!

Baloy Beach Fisherman depart area

31 Aug 2012 Friday

The day started when I got news that my girl friends sister had her baby so a trip was plan to head to Dinalupihan, Bataan and visit her in the hospital there. Since I am not driving we decided to take a bus that departs from the Olongapo City Hall area.

Departs ever half hour cost was 30 peso, no air conditioning and a older bus. The trip took about 1 hour for us to reach our drop off point then we walked the short distance to the hospital.

On the way back I spot this old Man-haul from the Subic Naval Base and had to get a picture of since this has been the only thing I have seen from that time frame. Strange how something get moved around and show up in the places you would least expect to find them.

Man-Haul trailor from the Navy PWD Subic Bay, Philippines

On the way back to Olongapo City we flag down a Victor Line bus and pay 50 Peso which is well worth the price. A much nicer bus with Air conditioning, TV, Wifi connection and plenty of leg room too.

Before heading home we stop in to a bar which is at the loading place for the Blue Jeepney line which goes to Barrio Barretto called ďSuper VĒ. A small local bar where one of our friends works at. San Miguel beers a 65p and ladies drinks are 220p, over all I counted 10 girls working that dance in the bar. The bar also has a DJ mostly playing R&B and Hip Hop and a karaoke machine if you want to belt out a few tunes.

Super V bar in Olongapo City, warren and Hanna

Super V is nothing to shout about but it is a change of pace if you are looking for that that. The girls overall are not too bad looking with a few lookers in the mix. The down side to the bar are the prices for ladies drinks but I found that the bars outside of the Barretto area have higher prices so that is just the way it is plus not many expats / visitors would venture into these clubs I think unless in a group. Me, will am I always looking for some place new and a bit off the beaten path.

After spending a few hours in Super V we, now 4 of us, head off to Moon Light bar which is only a few doors away.

Moon Light is ran by the same owner so the prices and set up are the same the only difference is Moon Light is well lit unlike Super V which is on the dark side. Music wise they play more of a variety and have fewer dancers since I only say 6 and it was after 10pm. The girls dance all at once around 8pm and after that they do individual dances.

Moon Light Bar in Olongapo City

Next stop was Scores Bar in Barrio Barretto at the Arizona hotel where 2 other friends (Hanna and Clair) work but sad to say both were not there that night. Not a lot happening this evening maybe because of the rain earlier that evening but still a fun bar to drop in and have a few beers.

The last stop of the evening was Midnight Rambler where again most of the people I normally party with were not working either but we still managed to have a great time with the manager giving my girl friend a bottle of Tequila for her birthday so that really got the party going in to high gear as the 6 girls enjoyed the drinks and food we had bought.

Midnight Rabmler in Barrio Barretto, Philippines

Reached home about 1:30am and hit the bed, go figure!!

 

6 Sept 2012

As normal for me I stopped by my bar to hang out for while practice my pool game and just relax for while. I got in before the girls arrived so the place had about 8 other guys there playing pool on both tables so I just had a set at the bar and talked with the girls that were on duty then later had a change to get on a table and have a few games.

Later that evening as the girls started to arrive I notice that several I have known are not around and there are now many new faces. So I ask my girl to go around and take pictures of the new staff.

Midnight Rambler new girls

The Midnight Rambler is making some changes to the place such as some new outfits, work in the inside of the club along with some new items being to the food menu but I wish they would bring back the BBQ chicken wings they use to have which were great when having a few beers.

spinner at the Rambler

 

9 September 2012

Well the month has gotten off to a slow start for me but on the good side the rain has not been a often or so heavy like last month.

Now we have 3 or 4 Navy ships in town so banners outside the bars to welcome the sailors are on some of the bar to draw the in and enjoy the local entertainment that Barrio Barretto has to offer.

Several bars have closed I have noticed two that opened in the early afternoon, Downunder and Toucan and night spot being Escape. Iím not sure if will reopen under the same name or maybe new owners will take them over and add some new life the strip where all the bars are.

Here in Baloy Beach the people have done a great job restoring the beach back to it natural beauty by cleaning up all the trash that that store washed in during the storms, raking the beach nice smooth, removing the logs and doing the repairs needed to make everything look really great. Since I often take walks on the beach it is nice to see it look good again.

Baloy Beach, Philippines

Being Sunday the beach is like family day for the locals who rent many of the beach side cottages and have family parties and BBQís. Also there were lots of venders trying to take advantage of the nice weather and many of the Bonka boat operators trying to passengers for rides.

Local information:

This month on 2 occasions when trying to use the ATM at different locations I was unable to make a withdraw because the machine took too long and had a ďtime runoutĒ, I guess from a slow connection to the bank. This can be a real hassle if you only have a little cash on you and need some right away. All you can do is head off another one and which for better luck or try the same one a few minutes later which sometimes works.

Power has been pretty good with only 2 Brownouts lasting only a few minutes in the Baloy area.

Hotel Specials Ė rainy day specials are being offered by some of the hotel on a walk in cash basics with some of the deals being pretty good too. Since I walk everywhere I have a chance to start to find all these small hotels that are tucked away off Nation Highway that have a 3, 12 and 24 hours rates. I donít think I need to talk about why someone would need a good for only 3 hours, do I?

Night time Ė I havenít been out to much in the evening except for my Tuesday Pool league and last Tuesday I was at Bar Barretto which is my home time. Most of the time after the game I head home but this evening I stuck around a bit longer with the guys to have a few more beer, not like I need more beers since I had been drinking most of the day anyway. Well we were entertained by one young lady there as was everyone else in the area by the pool table.

Bar Barretto

After leaving Bar Barretto I head down the street and stopped by Escape bar to say hi to one of the girls I knew there that I saw standing outside. It was last and I saw pretty well off so we spoke for a while and I headed home, sad to fine the bar closed only a few later.

Escape Bar Girls

Next stop was this local bar called Ajiya, now but this time I am pretty much gone but decided to have 1 more bar anyway. Small place in side and nothing fancy with a mix of people from what I could tell anyway and karaoke singing. I had my beer and was joined by one girl, I think was a girl anyway hard to tell due the state I was in but left after I had my beer. I may go back in and check it out when a lot more sober so time will tell!

Ajiya Bar, Brrio Barretto

 

10 Sept 2012

Moving day for me, my girl had some stuff to move from her home to my place in Baloy so I asked my old buddy if he could help us. I could have just used a Jeepney to do the move but since she had about 4 bags I saw no harm in asking since he has a vehicle. To see if he was able to help which he was happy to do, ďThanks budĒ, if you should see this!

Monday morning traffic can be a bit heavy between 8am and 10am so our 9am meeting time was a bit delayed but that is called Filipino time so no problem.

You see if you plan to meet someone or if you having an event at letís say 12 noon, then the people will start to show up about 1pm or 2 pm that is just the way life here and I love it!

So we made our way to Bataan to get my girls things on the way back we stop at Texas Joeís for lunch. Texas Joeís has some really good BBQ and the prices are really good from what I can see and well worth visiting if you are in the area and craving some good old Texas BBQ.  

Texas Joe's

The Freeport Exchange is another place to fine many items you may be looking for and is located close to piers where she ship dock. Freeport Exchange is located in the same area as the old Navy Exchange when the base was open so if you have been here for it is easy to find.

Freeport Exchange in Subic Bay

I havenít spent much time on the old base to see the clubs and restaurants there but by just driving around it looks like there is plenty there to enjoy.

While on the base I saw the 2 ships and 1 submarine that were in port but didnít see a lot of sailors in the area but maybe because it was early in the afternoon and Liberty Call had not happen yet for them!

USS Frank Cable in Subic Bay, 10 Sept 2012

On the way back home when we passed by the Toucan Bar it looked like they were open so I will check that out in a few days just to be sure or not.

 

16 Sept 2012

The day starts with a trip to the new 24 hours eat place that Drydens opens serving Filipino food. I read about it on the Forum where I read a lot a decided to take my girl there for breakfast. When I told her about it and showed her the menu she saw a lot of different foods she liked so it was a go.

We arrived just before noon time and at that time were the only customers there. The girl that served us can right over once we took our seats and was very polite while my girl looked over the menu. With it being early in the day, only the Breakfast menu was available, so she picks the Milk Fish, egg and rice with a coke, cost - 85peso, great deal on a good meal.

With the location being between 2 popular bars Lollipops and Rum Jungle I can see it becoming a great after hours hang out of both the girls and guys in the area. My only problem is that at that time the restaurant didnít serve beer which normally my meal at noon time.

From there I stopped in a bar to practice my pool game and have a few beers then off on a walk around the area. This time I headed in the opposite direction from the road leading into Baloy Beach.

Nothing to stop you from going in after the first gate, a nice paved road with sideways, the first I have seen in Barrio Barretto area. Not much to see just a few shacks and cheaply build houses and the guys playing basketball in the street.

When you reach the second gate you need to leave some kind of ID to enter. It is pretty clear that whoever developed the area had big plans for it but putting in the concrete road, sidewalks and drainage system that can be seen in the entire area.

The houses in the area look really nice and are spread out of the most post around the area.

        

At the end of Alta Vista Road you will find the Club House that was build for the residents to enjoy. As we stool overlooking the building I meet the caretaker and told us if we wanted to we could take a look around which we took him up on his offer.

It is a large structure with a pool, tennis court, pool room and indoor basketball not to mention a large reception hall area. The view from the pool area of the valley and bay is good and could be a great spot on sunny day. We asked if the place could be rented and were told it could be, while it is a bit out of the way what I like is that for the 8 hours you have the place you know only you and your guest will be there and you will not be disturbed by passer-byes who could mess up your private party.

       

So we get the caretakers number and the price and head home for the evening.

 

20 Sept 2012

Well I have been living here for close to 5 months and how time flies by so fast and I have not been doing that much either. Unlike when I was here only on vacation and was going everyday and spending like crazy I cannot be doing that now. I go out once maybe twice week and even then only for short while most of the time. I guess once a month I will do a big night out but that is about it for me.

When I moved over to Subic I knew pretty much how my live here would be and so far it has been right on track with my thinking, sure those unexpected things come up and we need to make adjustments for them, hell that is just life, right?

Weather Ė raining, but nothing like August was so I hope next month is even nicer so I can do more in the day time. When I go out I am still carrying my umbrella because you never know when the rain will start.

Since I am walking to most places in the Barrio Barretto (BB) from my place in Baloy I am learning where to find all the things I need so even with BB being a small area there are things you can find if you know where to look for them or go exploring to find them. If you need major items for the house / apartment, well no choice you need to head in to Olongapo City or maybe even SBMA and one of the stores there where the prices may be a bi better.

So far I have not any problems with anyone here which is great. Yet at the same time I always keep my eyes open and my wits about me too. Those that live in my area I say hello to and try to learn their names, just being nice you know! I am on a Pool team now and playing on Tuesdays so I am meeting some of the other guys that play from the different bars. It is really something to see how everyone ended up living here in Subic Bay. I think of everyone in the pool league that I play in I would say I am one of the youngest in the group that live here full time.

When I walk around the town area I think many of the locals think I am also local still so I donít even get strange looks when I walk through the back streets of BB or other areas and now on my walk out of Baloy the trike drivers have pretty much stopped asking if I need a ride so for that make it pretty nice now too. One thing about the Trike drivers is over time you start to see the one you know and they keep an eye out for you too. So if you are carrying something home they will spot you and come right over to see if you need a ride without having to flat one down. I know they are doing to get the business seeing where they know where I live and what it will cost me but what the hell, everyone wins the way I see it.

Living in Baloy

When I made my first trip here Baloy is where I wanted to live! I have always lived close to the beach and when I walked through the area I liked it and knew it was what I wanted. Being almost at the far end of Baloy Road it is really quite were I stay and for the most part no one bothers me here at the house and at night there is no one doing karaoke singing, at least for now anyway, all that may change come summer time so Iíll have to wait to see.

Cost wise, not too bad, the Sari Sari stores prices can be a bit on the high end but again shop around and see which has the best price for what you are looking for. One store may have your smokes for 50p while the store a few yards away might have them for 45p. I know 5p sounds like nothing to make a big deal about but when you are one set income ever Peso matters!

Something I have found also about living in the Baloy area is that from time to time you will get people coming by looking for handouts on what seems to be a good cause for the area.

The other day I had a man come by looking for donations to get a Jeepney when the man from VIP Apartments passed-away so people could attend the funeral, a few days later it was for cement bags on some project for a guard post and then again a few days after that for some drainage project. Iím sure these were all scams since the men asking to look to official and the paper that asked to read was old looking and didnít have a date on it as he pulled it out of his pocket and no kind of sheet to put your information.  What I do is I listen to them and read the paper then I tell them is that I am sorry but canít help out. I never let them enter thought my front door gate either which I always keep locked, better safe then sorry, right?

 

28 Sept 2012

Wow, I have been here for 4 months now and starting month 5. So that means it is time to head back to Immigrations for another renewal. In July I got my IRC card which will run you about 7300p if I recall right, this next renewal is about 2050p and I need to have it before the 2nd of the month so Monday I will head into Olongapo and get her done! While it is a hassle having to go in to the city each time it is really no big deal I feel. Every time I have gone to the office to get my stamp I was out within 15 to 20 min max! Just have all your stuff in order donít ask to many question and itís a easy trip.

The trips for me into Olongapo give me something else to do and new places to find to shop. I have only spent 2 nights there and both times I was in the same bar so when I go again I will check out other places like Gordon Street where there are about 10 bars over by East 10th street. I always check out some of the places on SMBA like Pier One and see what they have to offer in the way of entertainment. So I still have plenty of exploring to do still.

This month the rain was not so bad and we had some really nice day. Good to see the weather getting better and better now that spring as come. So with the nicer weather I notice the hotels and resorts are starting to get ready for the rush of summer time visitors by doing repairs and painting around the property.

 
 

1 October 2012

On the first Spent the day paying bills and buying items for the house that I needed to get for some time now. Since the house is furnished I donít really need a lot of stuff just items I want to make the place feel like home with the items I like to have around me. Depending on the place you get you may need to get a lot of small items to make the place livable for you. When I moved over the first place I had was well equipment and I only needed to get a few items which was great. While it was not a big place for me it was just big enough.

 

On the down side it was on the side of hill and the hike up there wasnít all that nice and one I was not looking forward to if returning from a night on the town. Plus with the small size I was limited to the number of guest I could have over so any kind of party was out of the question, not that man would want to make the trip up to where I lived.

Monday night I hit a few clubs and found everywhere pretty quiet even with the Navy in town which I found strange since it was payday for them. So maybe something is going on and they couldnít come out to play.

Immigration extension

Stopped in for my 2 month extension which as normal when smoothly and quickly, in and out in 15 minutes. Cost 1,830p plus 1,000p express lane fees. What I donít get is, what is the express lane fee for? It is not like there are 100 people waiting in line to get their extensions? But at the same time I think to myself, ďDo I really want to ask?Ē who knows what problems that could cost me and with everything going really well why rock the boat, right? You piss off the guy behind the counter and who know what could happen!

Back in August when I got my ICR card it cost me 5,891p plus 1500p express lane.

In June the cost was 2030p and 1000p express lane which was my first extension after I arrived.

2 October 2012

Rain this morning L, it always seems to rain when I have my Pool League games that evening!!

 

3 Oct 2012

Most of the time when I head out to hit a few bar I go early in the evening but this time I headed out at 10:30pm to visit a few places and see what was going on. My first stop was at Wet Spot, thinking it would crowded since the Navy is still in town the place was just about empty of guys. As always the girls were having a fun time on stage doing their dancing and just having fun.  The owner of the bar shows up and rounds for all the girls and a big ďCheersĒ to him from the girls with the manager leading them to hold it as long as they can. Nice thing to do for the for the girls (getting them a round) since business was slow and Iím sure the girls could use the trips.  I headed out shortly after midnight and headed for the next bar.

Bunny Ranch was where I ended up and found it even quieter then Wet Spot with only 2 guys there. So with the girls dancing on stage not much really happening with such few customers. I hung around for a few beers then headed home since it seemed everyone would be pretty much the same this evening.

4 Oct 2012

Had dinner at Rico a small restaurant that serves Filipino food and while I am there one of the girls I know from Route 69 stops in since it right next door so after I have my meal I head over the 69 to have a few beer and talk with everyone. The owner ďWillĒ came by and we talked for a while about the bar and his plans for the place which will make it a bit different from other bars in the area so weíll see how that works out over time.

The crowd was pretty good at the bar, with everyone sitting outside enjoying the music, watching the girls dance and watching the people walking by on the street. Sometimes the dancer will yell at the guys passing by to try to get them to come up to the bar, like fishing something they get 1 or 2 but most seem to pass on by.

The girls from Route 69

Over the past few weeks I have noticed the number of kids on the street looking for handouts for the Expats. Before I would see maybe 1 or 2 a day now there seems to a many more and out later at night too. Being here for 4 months you start to notice the same people around town and where they hang-out at and with the Barrio Barretto area so small and with only 1 main road it is hard to miss everyone.

 
5 October 2012

Article added on Living in The Philippines - Part 1 [here]

15 Oct 2012

Article added on Girl Friends in the Philippines [here]

24 October 2012

Seems hard to believe that I have been here almost 5 months and during that time I really havenít done a lot. Been out a few times bar hoping but nothing major like some of those I know would expect but that is ok with me. I find myself pretty settled right now so I donít mind spending most of my time around the house just relaxing and doing nothing for a change. When I was working in Singapore I worked a 12 hour day 6 days a week and most of the time it took me an hour to reach the assignment so you can really call it a 14 hour work day not including getting ready before and then relaxing after work so on average I was getting 4 to 5 hours a sleep a day.

Now I get 8 to 9 hours sleeps a day and feel great. I get up at 6 to 7 am catch the Baseballs games and start my day what a life! Sometimes my girl and I will go for a walk on the beach or around town just to see new places and to spend time outside. Since the weather is getting better with not so much rain this month it has made it all that much better. Walking along the beach when the water is clear and the weather is nice is what it is all about when it comes to a nice walk on the beach. Seeing the kids playing in the water and families have picnics on the beach just have a good time really makes you think about the life you once lived when working and the hours you put in.

Life I feel is too short to I feel to let it pass you by and letting life pass you by is so easy to do when you are working all the time. I say that because people tend to work for the future which is a normal way of thinking but at what point do you reach your future? I found for myself the future was when I realized I couldnít go any further and I was just working to be working and paying the daily bills that go with working and everyday life. What is the point of that I asked myself and that is when I made up my mind to make the move to Subic Bay where I wanted to live since 1995.

Unfortunately for me I was never smart with my earning and spend my off time in the bars around instead of getting a college degree with later in life really hurt me. Do I regret my party years, not at all, life goes on and so do I!  could my life have been a lot different if I had done a few thing differently, hell yeah but canít change that now so what the hell!

Living here in the Philippines everyone that sees you thinks you are well off and have plenty in the bank to cover your life here. God damn I wish that was the case for me. Sure I can make it here no problem but by no means and I living high on the hog (great) which is one reason I donít go out much which is what I wanted to go get to since many think or plan to move here one day.

Retirement in a different county:

If you plan to retired or even move here for a short time here in the Subic Bay area keep in mind that things you have readily available at home you may not find here, thing you like to do may not be here. Keeping yourself busy can be a challenge if on a budget also. Unless you are use to simple life style you can find yourself going nuts after a while. For me is it now a problem, I know how my life here would be plus I spend time in location where was not much to do so I learned to be calm and life this kind of life style. It is easy for me t be at home 6 days and never really leave the house, sure I make a trip market area and to the Sari Sari store to get smokes and other items needed and I am happy. When I go bar hoping the thrill runs out fast, maybe I am just pass all that now, I donít know!

Having enough saving / retirement payment to carry you through a life time here can be tricky if not carful. Then there is the other cost like if you get married or have a live-in girlfriend, well that adds even more cost to you monthly expensive. While it may save you cash on your time in the bars it could cost you more depending on what she wants out of the relationship.

Setting a budget for yourself:

Rent, cable tv, internet connection, food, nights out all need to be factored in along with if you plan to get a car or bike to get around in. so to sum it all up if you are moving over to get yourself set up in a unfurnished house with a bike you will need about 350,000 peso. (Exchange for your country to see cost) http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/

If you can bring a credit card to use here for items you want to order from overseas but make sure you have a way to make your payments while here to your card also. While living the Philippines is cheap some electronic items cost a bit more like laptops and other computer items along with hand-phone if you like the high end smart phones on the market now a days that everyone wants. Something else to keep in mind is that if you laptop / smart phone needs servicing it will need to be sent to Manila to be repaired which could take up to 3 weeks.

As far as the bars go cost is 150peso for ladies drinks, on average 60p for your beer, 1500p for early work release (EWR) for the girls in the bars. If you want or need a short time room with your new friend then there is another 300 to 600p. Depending on where you live in the Barrio Barretto area trikes can cost you from 20 to 50p one-way to where you live or to the hotel you are heading to.

Knowing you spending and party habit as you do will give you a good idea of what you will need when moving here so that is up to you. Just be honest with yourself so you have enough to enjoy your life as you want to here. The bad part is once people arrive here their plan quickly got go shit because of over indulgence in the night life and the girls here.

Conclusion:

All I have to say is plan your move to the Philippines well if you are planning a life time move here. It is not as cheap as you may think while here on vacation and takes some serious planning for a long term stay or a place to retire. As I have said before you can live here ever cheaply if you can deal with that kind of life style.

If you have mega-bucks, no worries you are set up and good to go and will have the time of your life here and that is for sure.

 
 

2 Nov Day Time Bar Hop

It had been a while since I was out in the day time so I decided to head out for a few beers and see what was happening around town. My first stop was at Midnight Rambler which I arrived at around 1pm.  Not much of crowd which is pretty normal for the bar at that time of day so I had a seat at the bar, ordered my beer and just talked with the staff. By 1:45 I was though with 4 beers and had ordered number 5 when a guy enters the bar and has a set a few stools down from me at the bar.

Ends up he had just got into town from his flight to Manila but had made a quick stop in Angeles City first. Nice enough guy as we talked and he asked questions about the bars in the areas.  He asked about what places were open that had dancers so I told him about Sweethearts, T Rose and that as of today Lollipops was opening. Hearing that he asked if I wanted to join him and hit the bars. Having no plans I told his sure after I finished my beer we would head out.

First stop was Lollipops and we arrived at 2:05, the bar had just opened and already had 5 or 6 girls on the stage so off to a great start so far. He knew the mamason so he introduces her to me then asked about getting a girl to join him to go bar hopping for the day. She brings over one but that didnít work out for him so he wanted to head out and go to Sweethearts, well I am not a fast drinking and had just got my beer plus I was having a good time there so I to told him I would meet him over at Sweethearts in a few minutes.

3pm I walked in to Sweetheartís and joined my drinking partner who seems to be having some problem with the manager about his request for a girl. There was a tall good looking stand close by while they talked but I got the feeling something was really going wrong with the deal which later is confirmed when he and I talk once he rejects the girls. Needless to say we didnít stay there long and headed over to T Rose.

4pm or somewhere around there we walking into T Rose which had a fairly good crowd in it so we sat at the corner of the bar to take in the view of the girls dancing, sitting next to me is the manager, nice guy. So again a he makes his request and the manager is right on it getting a girl to come over and to talk to him, if I recall right he went though about 2 or 3 girls before giving up and being all pissed off and telling me he is leaving. Well by that point I was a bit tired of everything that was going on because of him so I told him Iíd see him later and that I was staying put.

So now I can enjoy my time out like I wanted to so I stayed at T Rose till 7pm drinking and have a good time with the staff.

Note:

99% of the time when I go out I do it alone for several reasons.

  1. When I want to move to another place no one to stop me and no one to wait for
  2. I am a quiet drunk and not looking for problems, just a good time

I like meeting new people, who doesnít, right? Showing some one around the bars seems like a good idea and 95% of the time everything turns out great and everyone has a good time but this time it went all wrong. In the end I had a great time and that is what really matters. Well I hookup with someone again Iím sure I will but next time if thing start to go wrong I will move on a lot faster.

I have to give credit to the managers of the bars because the customers they have to deal with sometimes. Each one in the 3 bars handled it very cool and he left not mad it the managers but the overall situation or maybe he was just too drunk too.  

4 Nov Hospital Visit

This was my first time to go to the hospital in Barrio Barretto, open in 2010 it is a new building and a private hospital so it is not filled with a lot of visitor and when you walk in it really looks kind of empty when you think of hospitals back home.

     

When you go to the hospital like I did for a checkup have cash with you, if you need blood work done, x-rays or other such items you will not get the results until you pay. I am not sure if the take credit card but would think they do so I will check on that next visit just to confirm it which is always good to know information.

Another thing to keep in mind is that unless you were there for an emergency you may need to make an appointment to see a doctor and may have to come back the next day or a few days later for any follow up appointments needs like results from blood work.

5 Nov Night Market

rides on smba olongapo philippines

Each year on the old Subic Bay Naval Station now called SBMA they have a night market that is open to the public, live entertainment nightly, a different contest each day of the week and a carnival with rides and games where you can try to win prizes.

Weekends have your big groups coming from Manila to provide the live entertainment and of course will draw a much larger crowd in. I was there on a Monday and there was 1 singing group and a duet  a long with one part of the Miss Guy Olongapo City contest.

You will also find a beer garden with food close to the stage area but first you need to make your way thought the waitresses trying to get you to sit in their area but once you get your set you are well taken care of, at least I was anyway.

If you go to see the bands getting there early will only get you a place to sit since the tables are about 30 feet from fence in front of the stage once the band start people will stand at the fence line and there goes your great view.

Prices at the night market are pretty cheap; I got 2 pairs of long gym shorts that are good quality of only 180 peso for the pair. The selection ranges from items for the kitchen to shoes and handbags and lot of cloths.

The ride vary from you kiddy rights to adult so there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy for a short time since there are not a lot ride there to start with after all this is not Disneyland, ok!

 

 

Dec 12

This month I have so had so far several old friend come to the Philippines, one being my old friend from when I was in the Navy and will be here for several months, another from Canada that I meet once here in Subic Bay back in 2010 and will be in town for a few days before he returns to Angeles city and another that will spend all is time in Angeles City that I meet in Singapore.

When I moved to Subic Bay I did not plan to do a lot of bar hopping, I knew what my limited budget would be but really I have grown a bit tired of the bar seen too over the year. I do still go out from time to time but it is not high on priority list anymore. Over the six months I have been here I have only been out twice on my own. And even then I returned home after a few hours.

For those that know me well they know how I enjoy the bars and the girls but now, for some reason, itís different. When I go to the bars I have great time, I am just like that and what everyone to have a great time too, so I buy drinks for the girls I am with but that is all. I know life here for the bar girls is not easy and every little bit helps so I do not mind getting there drinks.

Those that come around looking for a handout sometimes I help too, again life is hard here for the Filipinoís. I donít care about the reason or who they are sometimes since I know I have much more than them, so why not share some? Others may see me as a fool or sucker but that ok, I donít mind one bit. Sometimes we need to give just because it is nice thing to do. I say nice vice right thing because there is a difference. We all know that saying; ďwhat comes around, goes around!Ē Maybe that is why in my life most things have gone well where I have lived while overseas?

Well I have been in county for 7 months now, how times flies! I have pretty much gotten into my own routine now and have learned a lot in the past 7 months but still have lots more to learn still but everything will come in time.

My party time has been really limited with me only going out a few times each month, mostly because I am on a limited income and going out each night is just out of the question for me. While it is cheap to party here it all adds up over time so I try to watch what I am spending each month.

Hope next year is better but I know it will bring a new set of challenges for me at the same time.

End of the year party

I spend New Years Eve at my girlís home in Bataan up in the hills, at first I wasnít thrilled about the idea but sometimes you need to do things you donít want to for others. So on the way to her place we had to do a shopping for the food. Oh my god what a mess this was since everyone in the city out doing the same thing making the open air market a zoo and packed full with people. Added in I was carrying the Christmas present for everyone that we would be handing out since we couldnít make it on the 25th. Spent a small fortune getting everything food wise and was happy some of her family came down to help out because there was no way the 2 of us could have carried it all.

After the market shopping we walk over to where we will catch the Jeepney to her place and when one arrives we pile all the bags in and off we head on our 30 minute ride in the crowed Jeepney. 

Once we reach the house people right away start people to prepping to make the different dishes to be cooked. Now understand this about her place; no refer, no running water and a 1 burner stove, ok? So needless to say it would take some time to cook the 6 or so items that needed cooking. So with that thought in mind it is off the store I go to buy soda and beer while someone else is sent to get ice.  It turns out that the store only sells Red Horse beer (40p each), good beer but strong as shit. I drink San Miguel (SMB) all the time but no choice so I get 6 bottles (500ml) to start off with. As per normal this act had to be repeated later with me getting 12 more bottles of beer  also which was fine with me seeing how the relatives that live in the area donít seem to have to much it was nice giving them all a treat on NYE.

My girl, wanting to take care of me tell me not to drink so fast so I will not drunk before the food is ready which was cool, I didnít want to make a fool of myself after all. But as the day turned to night, and the beer got colder I had a good drinking pace going and was a happy man. About 9pm the food it ready but by then food was the last thing on my mind but had some chicken just to get something in my stomach and waited for night and the fireworks I gotten which included sparklers and a tower which was 400p and looked great so was excited to see this thing go off.

Midnight Ė 31 Dec 2013

Ok time to see of this fiery tower and see what it is all about. So everyone is standing around to show we light it off and the damn this fizzes out, we wait a about a minute just in case and still nothing!! What a waste of money so we break out the 10 boxes of sparklers and only a few worked for a few seconds. Lesson learned donít but fireworks, they suck here!!!

Well at 3am we on the side of road waiting for the Jeepney to get us back to the city, being in the hills it is a lot colder then down by the beach where I live plus it being so late at night new years they were not running often. Now if I had a car would I have driven home, I think not and sleeping at her house is not an option, no room, no beds, and thin blanks so I had to get home.

Bars I visited in Dec

Alley cats - day time bar - small place with a few girls and darts, cheap prices and friendly

Route 69 day time bar - great place to go and watch the day go by from the balcony and see the dancers there in the day time

Midnight Rambler - open 24 hours - in the day time not much happening but a great place to play pool with the girls there and just relax. night time about 20 gro's and a band from Thursday to Saturday. Food from morning to 2am.

Bar Barretto - opens at 6pm - best run bar in Subic Bay, smb and sml on tap and the great hot dogs, dancers, gro's and band

Salty dog - opens at 7pm - a new bar and I find it a fun place to visit, gro's and dancers

Taffs - day time bar - gro's and darts

T Rose - Day time bar - gro's and dancers, fun bar to visit in the day time.

Allies - day time bar - gro's and darts, small but friendly place to drop in at.

Hoorah - day time bar - ex-military guys there and a fun place, darts and pool there.

 
warrens subic bay, philippines, clubbing, club, sexy, events, scenic, girls, beach, pool, night clubs, hotels, apartment, bars, girls, filipina, pinoy, dancers, bar hops, floating, ewr, bar fine, voo doo, anglefire, downunder, sweethearts, midnight rambler, hot zone, s.o.b., wet spot, bar barretto, castaways, club 1, club 20/20, fox hole, office, kokomes, rum jungle, rosies tavern, surrender, vmax, dryden, scores bar, sit n bull, blue rock, treasure island, lips, t rose, toucan bar, catwalk, escape, baloy beach, subic city, olongapo, smba, rental, resorts, vacation, u.s. Navy, ship visits
Old pictures from Jan 2010 to Dec 2011 from my vacations to Subic Bay [here]
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