Friday, November 30, 2012

Here Is What An Under-Cooked Burger Looks Like

In response to the Bugle comment: “Maybe next time you get a bad burger you could take a picture of said burger so that we could see what a "bad" burger looks like” a reader sent a photo and this comment: "Here is a picture of what an under-cooked burger looks like."  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Stand by My Post

Comment from a reader who claims to be the reader who sent the post: Avoid the Burgers at Texas Joe's:

Dear Bugle, I’m the reader who sent in the post about the under-cooked burger at Texas Joe’s. I should point out that my post said that Texas Joe’s is my favorite restaurant in Subic, that my son’s ribs were good and that I will continue to eat at Texas Joe’s. But I stand by my original comment: the burger was undercooked! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In light of the recent comments concerning Texas Joe's we at the Bugle thought that instead of keeping these comments within the actual post itself we would like to highlight a comment from the actual owner of Texas Joe's.  Now this isn't some kind of "right to reply" issue it is just that we feel that since this is a popular restaurant with our readers we thought that that our readers would appreciate that the owner of the establishment actually responds to customer comments and doesn't just pay lip service like so many of the locally owned establishments.
My name is Paul, owner of Texas Joe's. I'm sorry to hear about your less than optimum experience with your burger here at our restaurant.
I did some checking and discovered the details of the incident, and have identified your server. She is one of our new gals (no excuse) and Gilbert has conducted re-training with her and the cooks.
I am curious, however, and perhaps you can give me a call at the restaurant (252-3189). Gilbert says you come here frequently and usually order burgers, sometimes for take out. Was this incident an isolated case, or in the past for all of your other burger orders were they similarly undercooked?
The reason I ask is because we do NOT offer burgers cooked medium or rare. Only well-done, and each cook has a $50 instant read thermometer to ensure that meat temperature is 160 degrees before removing from the char-broiler.
In any event, thank you again for your comment and please come see us again for a "properly" cooked hamburger.
PS- we get our ground beef special order at SM (not Royal). This is the first I have heard of any problem with bone chips in the meat. We will look into that immediately. We have had bad luck with every other ground beef supplier that we have tried and have finally settled on SM since they opened up here locally. We are sourcing a meat grinder though. We want to grind our own beef and will be doing so very soon.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Avoid the Burgers at Texas Joe's

I went out for dinner recently at Texas Joe’s, which is my favorite restaurant in Subic. Rather than getting the ribs, I opted for the Bubba Burger.
I asked for the burger to be cooked “well done”. Since I have long experience ordering at restaurants in the Philippines, I repeated the request a few times. When she read back my order and didn’t say “well done”, I repeated it again and said: “could you ask the chef yourself to make sure it is well done.”
When the waitress brought my iced tea, I followed up: Did you let the chef know the burger should be well done. The waitress responded: “Oh yes sir! Well done sir!”
When the burger came, I went through my usual ritual. I have done this dozens of times in restaurants throughout the Philippines. While the waitress watched, I took a knife and neatly cut my burger in half to check if it was properly cooked. Of course, it was not. It never is at a restaurant in the Philippines. It was cooked medium, not bloody but deep pink.
For some reason, cooks in the Philippines are adamant about not cooking burgers well done. I guess they feel that it is not the proper way to eat a burger, that a burger should be juicy. A well done burger is generally dry. Whatever the thinking, it is true throughout the country. Order a burger well done and when you get it, cut it in half and it will be somewhere between pink and bloody.
I just looked at the Texas Joe’s waitress pitifully after cutting my undercooked burger in half. She responded: “Yes sir, that is well done.” I didn’t protest, or send the burger back, I just quietly ate half my undercooked burger and tossed out the rest. In addition, the burger meat had some bone chips in it. It looks like they are buying the cheap beef they sell at Royal.
Hello Chefs in the PI.  This is what a well done burger looks like.
On the bright side, my son ordered the ribs and they were good as they always are at Texas Joe’s. He gave me half his ribs and I enjoyed those. We’ll keep eating at Texas Joe’s, but we won’t be ordering the burger!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lubao, is Worth a Visit

Most of us who have lived in Subic for a while, before SCTEX opened, remember taking the old Olongapo-Gapan highway. Much of that road stretches through the town of Lubao, Pampanga. The town is not much too look at but it actually has a few things that make it worth of a day trip.
If you take SCTEX from Subic to the Dinalupihan exit and turn at the sign stating San Fernando, that will put you on the road to Lubao. Here is a day trip itinerary:
Drive to Lubao town center, which involves driving along the national highway until you see the Lubao sign. Usually, if you were going to San Fernando or onto Manila, you would veer left. Instead veer right. Drive about 10 minutes and you will come to “downtown Lubao” with a small town square.
In the center of town is the Lubao church. Built in 1572, this is the oldest church in Luzon and the second oldest church in the Philippines. It blew my kids minds that the church was 440 years old. (That's nearly twice as old as the United States!) The church is a stately old structure that is a well-preserved functioning church.
The high-walled house beside the church, with the brown wooden gates, is the home of the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whose is well-loved in the area.
About a block from the church is the President Diosdado Macapagal museum. A reproduction of the nipa hut in which the president was raised is in front of the museum and the museum itself is small but interesting. It offers a glimpse of the Philippines when it was relatively prosperous, before it fell into decades of unrest.
You might want to pack a lunch or snack, which can be enjoyed on the benches in the town square or better yet in the church's adjacent plaza area. There are only small restaurants, such as Burger Machine around, so dining options are very limited.
On the drive back to Subic, Lubao's famous roadside gardeners can be seen. This is definitely worth a stop. A wide range of plants, flowers, seeds, soil and other garden supplies can be purchased. (This includes a wide variety of colorful garden gnomes!) On our visit, we gave the kids a small budget for them to pick out some plants to start their own personal garden at home. This was a lot of fun as they agonized over which plant or seedling to buy. This turned out to be the funnest part of the day trip.
A visit to Lubao isn’t exactly a super-charged outing but it’s a fun, interesting and affordable day trip if you live in Subic or Angeles.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Subic Golf....Just like the Old Days

From a reader:

I read with excitement that the Binictican golf course on base had re-opened. The developer has lots of grandiose signs posted, showing a waterpark and so forth, but those look a lot like the many lavish (but fake) planned investments on the base.

I called the course to find out the green fees for walk-ons.

The person who answered the phone at the golf course was aware that it was open but did not know the green fees. There was a lot of shouting and asking of questions to his colleagues then we were disconnected.

I called back. He apologized and said he would connect me to the registration desk. He tried to connect me but we were disconnected again. (They might want to re-route some of that money for the million dollar waterpark into getting a decent phone system!)

I called back again. This time the connection to the registration desk was a success. There, the friendly lady said green fees were 800 on weekdays and 1000 pesos on weekends. I asked if there was a discount for SBMA and/or Olongapo residents. She said she thought there was and then we were disconnected again.

I decided not to call back again. Apparently the golf course is open again and apparently you can play there if you are not a member but bring extra cash in case they are figuring out the green fees on the spot.

This reminds me of the days when the mean Taiwanese lady ran the golf course, riding around on her personal cart snarling at the golfers. The golf course green fees changed daily, sometimes visitors were welcome, sometimes even members were banned, sometimes the course just didn't open at all.
Looks like the new managers are carrying on that fine tradition

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Air Carrier to Open Subic-Boracay-Taipei Route?

This sounds a bit far-fetched to us at the Bugle but we can only hope for the best.

2012/11/21 22:18:24
Manila, Nov. 21 (CNA) A Philippine air carrier is scheduled to launch regular flights between Subic Bay and Boracay in the Philippines and Taipei in January 2013.

Rene Ocampo, an executive with Astro Air International Inc., expressed the airline's intention to fly the routes when he met recently with Raymond Wang, Taiwan's representative to the Philippines.

The Subic-based company is now waiting for the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to give it the green light to fly the new routes.

The company will use two MD-83 passenger planes for the flights and will ask Taiwan to provide logistics and maintenance support.

Early this month, budget air carrier Air Asia announced that it would begin flying between Taipei and the Clark Freeport Zone in central Luzon in December.

(By Emerson Lim and Lilian Wu)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Senate Investigates Subic Bay Dumping

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Loren Legarda, together with the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, will conduct a hearing on the reported dumping of toxic wastes in Subic Bay by a foreign firm on Wednesday, 21 November 2012, 10:00a.m., at the TaƱada Room, Senate of the Philippines.
1. SRN 894– Resolution Directing the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to Conduct a Joint Inquiry, in Aid of Legislation, on the Reported Dumping of Toxic Waste in Philippine Waters by a Foreign Firm and its Alleged Claim of Coverage Under the Visiting Forces Agreement With the United States to Avoid Investigation and Possible Criminal Liability, With the End View of Ensuring that Implementation of Philippine Treaties and Agreements With Other Countries Will Continue to Serve the Paramount Objective of Protecting the National Interest by Sen. Legarda;
2. SRN 895– Resolution Directing the Proper Senate Committee to Conduct an Inquiry in Aid of Legislation on the Reported Dumping of Toxic and Hazardous Wastes in Subic Bay by Glenn Defense Marine Asia by Sen. Defensor Santiago;
3. SRN 896- Resolution Directing the Committee on Foreign Relations and Other Appropriate Senate Committees to Conduct an Inquiry, in Aid of Legislation, on the Reported Dumping of Hazardous Wastes in Our Territorial Seas Abutting Subic Bay and if Necessary to Revisit the Provisions of the RP-USA Visiting Forces Agreement to Prevent a Recurrence of the Incident Subject of This Resolution by Sen. Pimentel III; and
4. Other Related Matters
  1. Hon. RAMON J.P. PAJE
Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Represented by:
OIC-Director, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-DENR)
Executive Director, VFA Commission
Chair & Administrator, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)
Chairman, Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)
OIC – Manager, Subic Bay Ecology Center
Vice-President, Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce
  1. Rear Admiral LUIS TUASON, Jr.
OIC & Vice Commandant for Operations, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
8. Rear Admiral CECIL R CHEN
Governor, Zambales
  1. Vice Admiral MATEO M. MAYUGA (Ret)
Chairman, Glenn Defense Marine Asia

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Golf is Back at SBFZ

Dear Sir/Ma’am:
Greetings from Subic Golf by SubicLeisureWorld, Inc. We are located at Bldg. 6900 Binictican Drive , Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Subic Golf formally reopened January 1, 2012 upon completion of the renovation for our fully functional 9 Holes and we are currently in the process of completing 18 holes that is forecast to open soon! Under the same management from 2007, we are more committed to continue and develop the Subic Bay golf course.
Good News! As goodwill, we will honor the membership of the previous golf club, as long as the previous members show proof of membership via certificates or receipts. They must also update their membership status with our company; this will ensure a smooth transition with the new management.
For New Membership with 25 years playing rights - for spot cash, less 5%
Class A Residents at Php400,000
Class B Tourist at Php500,000
Class C Corporate at Php800,000
"We Accept Pay and Play"
We welcome companies who want to advertise and feature their brand we are changing our tee yardage markers, these are golf course signages and landmarks. Each tee marker will have an Ad space to feature your company logo and promos for duration of 1 year. Single sponsorship per tee marker for the 18 holes is available. We will send you a proposed sample yardage marker with your name/logo; all modifications and actual content for your perusal. As a participating sponsor you could also extend some promotional activities on our future tournaments and events, your involvement will surely bring us equal benefits.
Season Promos:
Unlimited Golf for 1 month (9/18 holes) Php10,000
Golf Lessons 12 Sessions plus 2 with Free 14 Tray of balls Php6,000
November 21 and 22, 2012 - ”2 DAY FREE ROUND OF GOLF" for EVERYONE!!!
Tee Off Time
For more information please call 252 - 9419

Friday, November 16, 2012

Here's Why We Love Google

While some of our readers may like Yahoo for its search engine and others may like Bing but here at the Bugle, we love Google and this is why:

Google denies mayor's request to take down blogs

by Jojo Malig,
Posted at 11/14/2012 7:38 PM | Updated as of 11/14/2012 7:38 PM
MANILA, Philippines - Internet company Google has revealed that it refused the request of a Philippine mayor to take down 5 blogs critical of the local official.
Google, in its latest transparency report, did not identify the mayor.
"We received a request from the office of a local mayor to remove five blogs for criticizing the mayor. We did not remove content in response to this request," the company said.
The five blogs are hosted on Google-owned
Google said that since 2010, it has received various complaints involving defamation, government criticism, and impersonation from Philippine internet users.
In its FAQ page, the tech giant said it does not comply with all content removal requests.
"Some requests may not be specific enough for us to know what the government wanted us to remove (for example, no URL is listed in the request), and others involve allegations of defamation through informal letters from government agencies, rather than court orders," it said.
"We generally rely on courts to decide if a statement is defamatory according to local law," it added.
From January to June 2012, Google revealed that it has also received takedown requests from governments in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Monaco, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
"Governments ask companies to remove content for many different reasons. For example, some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography," Google explained. "Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction."
The Philippines recently enacted the anti-cybercrime law, which penalizes online libel with 12 years imprisonment and a hefty fine.
It also authorizes the Department of Justice to order websites to be blocked, even without a court review.
Petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the new law, which is under a 90-day temporary restraining order.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Recently the Bugle has been getting several comments from our readers thanking us for our coverage of local news.  Well the Bugle wants you our readers to know that we appreciate your comments to us.  It is due to your readership that makes us keep plugging away with local info.  What we also want you to know is that it is through your comments and suggestions that allow us to keep coming up with topics to write about.  So I guess what we really want to say is keep the comments coming the Bugle loves them. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wake up! Time to die

Many foreigners die in the Philippines with no funeral plan, no money, no will, and figure it is no problem as someone else will take care of it for them. The real fact is someone you love or happen to be living with at the time of your demise will be stuck with the duty of putting you to rest. To make it easier on that someone why not do a little planning and get things taken care of in advance? This is one suggestion. Olongapo now has a crematorium. Olongapo Memorial Chapels and Funeral Services is located in Santa Rita and pictured here. You can pre-pay your cremation and that part is finished. The current price is P28,000. Public viewing either in the funeral home or in your own residence costs money. Casket rental alone is around P40,000. Viewing in a funeral home is P3000 a day and seven days is average. So some expense money readily available for this purpose is a good idea. Written instructions for your loved ones to follow are also a good idea. Maybe you don't want to be displayed in your driveway for seven days while friends, strangers and relatives are playing cards and listening to Candle in the Wind. If not you could leave written instructions to cremate you without delay. ASAP. That way the money could be spent on one last blowout with everyone dancing around the urn and telling lies about what a great guy you were. 'Everyone Bites the Dust.' Make it easy on the ones you love and be prepared.
Olongapo Memorial Chapels and Funeral Services.
Del Rosario St Tabacuhan, Santa Rita, OC
223-1692 645-1640

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love Shop Baby

With less than fifty days left until Christmas it seemed a good time to check out Barrio Barretto's own Love Shop located in the strip mall at the turn to Baloy Beach. It is a satellite outlet of it's larger version called Nice & Naughty in Angeles City. Love Shop has a wide selection of marital aids or sex toys. A sex toy is is defined as an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure. The most popular sex toys may be vibrating or non-vibrating. Love Shop has all this and much more. Lubricants, creams, oils, lotions and jells are handy things to have for a good massage. You can also find sexy costumes to show off your wife or girlfriend during the holiday office or go-go bar party. We didn't actually find the perfect costume but we did find some hot fashion accessories like crotchless panties and multi-colored nylons and garters to purchase. The girl working the store was knowledgeable and fun and good looking too. Hot tip: This place does not bargain and nothing is cheap. Still for some handy slide and glide lotion this is the only place we know selling it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cheapest Beach Rooms in Town

While out and about the other day the Bugle came upon a pretty funny advertisement and figured that our loyal readers outside the local area deserved to see it.  The Bugle is not sure which demographic that the advertisement is aimed at, but figures that the owners are not going to bargain over the room rates.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Iron Giants in the Bay

Those who enjoy looking out onto the bay might have noticed the giant rust-colored ships that seem stationary in the area of the bay near the Hanjin shipyard. These ships are owned by a Brazilian iron ore company that operates the world's largest bulk carriers, which sometimes visit to Subic. The largest, and always stationary vessel, is being used as a transhipment facility. Other carriers bring in iron ore and it is moved to smaller vessels and shipped to China to make the rebar and other components needed to underpin its massive infastructure buildup.

Here is an article from Mining Weekly that tells more:

Brazil’s Vale invests to get around Chinese megaship ban
By: Keith Campbell
Published: 25th May 2012

Brazilian diversified mining major Vale, the world’s number two mining group in terms of market capitalisation, has announced that it is to establish a second floating iron-ore transfer station, in Subic Bay, in the Philippines. This station will transfer iron-ore from the miner’s giant Valemax bulk carriers to smaller Capesize and Panamax ore carriers, which will then convey the ore to ports in China. The first of these floating transfer stations, also in Subic Bay, started operations in February and cost the Brazilian group $52-million.

The Valemax ships are the largest bulk carriers in the world. Each of them has a length of 362 m, a beam of 65 m and is able to carry 400 000 t of iron-ore. Each Valemax can carry three times the cargo of a Capesize bulk carrier – Capesize ships currently carry 80% of the world’s seaborne iron-ore.

Vale has ordered 35 Valemax ships, of which eight have been delivered. But Chinese shipowners, alarmed by the competitive threat they pose, have persuaded the Chinese authori- ties to ban them from that country’s ports.

The floating transfer stations are Vale’s response. They allow the company to deliver its iron-ore some 85% of the distance from Brazil to China on board the more cost-efficient Valemax ships, and then conclude the last 15% on the smaller vessels.

In addition, Vale has an operational land-based distribution centre in Oman and is building a second such centre in Malaysia. Together, these floating transfer stations and the distribution centres will be able to absorb the total capacity of all 35 Valemaxes, which comes to 60-million tons of iron-ore a year.

However, Chinese steelmakers, eager to benefit from the cost reductions the Valemax ships could bring, are reported to be pressurising the Chinese government to lift the ban on the vessels. One of the first Valemax ships successfully docked at Dalian last year, before the ban was imposed.

Moreover, nearly half of the Valemax ships – 16 out of 35 – are being built in China by Rongsheng Heavy Industries, an order worth $2.1-billion. (The rest are being built in South Korea. One of the South Korean ships recently developed cracks in its hull on its maiden voyage, but Rongsheng states its ships are very safe.) Not all the Valemax ships will be owned by Vale, but those that are not owned by the group will be on long-term lease to it.

Should the Chinese government change its policy and allow the Valemax ships into its ports, this will not render the floating transfer stations superfluous. As each transfer station is actually a modified bulk carrier, they will simply be moved to new locations to serve other markets in Asia and South-East Asia.
The development and deployment of the Valemax ships has had a severe impact on the value of Capesize vessels. The website last month reported that new Capesize ships that had been worth $69.9-million in April 2010 were now worth $39.9-billion. The website also reported that, as a result of the Chinese ban, the value of Valemax ships had fallen by 36%. But, for Vale, it is the value of the iron-ore and the utility of the ships that are important; the book value of the vessels is a secondary issue.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Brazilian miner’s Mozambican operation has ordered 33 200 railway sleepers from agriculture and forestry company Montara Continental, which operates in Mozambique and Tanzania and is 75%-owned by the British Obtala Resources group. The railway sleepers will be delivered over the next seven months and will be used in the upgrading of Vale-owned railways in Mozambique and Malawi and in the construction of a new line in Malawi.