Saturday, December 28, 2013

Some Readers are a Bit Confused.

Bugle, are you trying to be cute with your headline, "Will Smuggling Move North Also." It's not supported by the comment. You have something to say, but you're playing "I've got a secret?" You say Bugle's purpose is to pass on information, so readers can decide... So, where's your information or is this just chicken shit? on Will Smuggling Move North Also?

Bugle sez:  Are you so clueless that you don't know of the Freeport Zones being used as smuggling points? I am sure that you can do a quick news search and find numerous articles on  the rampant smuggling in the Philippines.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Strange Sexual Quirks of Filipino Seafarers

When Norwegian anthropologist Gunnar Lamvik first began living in Iloilo city, a seafaring haven in the southern Philippines, he sensed he wasn't getting the richest and most detailed information about the shipping experience from interviews with his neighbors, who were home on two-month vacations from 10 months at sea. To crack the cultural mystery of any total institution, you have to go inside, he reasoned. "If you [want] a feeling of a seafarer's life, you have to be at sea with them when they are open," said Lamvik, who now studies how cultural differences affect occupational safety at a Norway-based think-tank called SINTEF. "It's important to be on board for some time, and build trust. That's the crucial thing to do."

For the next three years, he was on and off ships, floating with his subjects from port to port and trying to make that connection.

At a raucous karaoke crew member party somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it began to happen. He belted out the lyrics to "House of the Rising Sun." Then, he insisted on singing it again. "That was a real ice breaker," he said.

It was in this type of loose, booze-flowing setting that he learned the most about the lives of his shipmates. And soon, conversations turned to perhaps the most fascinating part of the Filipino seafaring identity, the little-known and barely studied sexual practice of "bolitas," or little balls.

Many Filipino sailors make small incisions in their penises and slide tiny plastic or stone balls -- the size of M&M's -- underneath the skin in order to enhance sexual pleasure for prostitutes and other women they encounter in port cities, especially in Rio de Janeiro. "This 'secret weapon of the Filipinos,' as a second mate phrased it, has therefore obviously something to do," Lamvik wrote in his thesis, "'with the fact that 'the Filipinos are so small, and the Brazilian women are so big' as another second mate put it."

According to University of California, Santa Cruz labor sociologist Steve McKay, who traveled extensively on container ships with Filipino crews in 2005 for his research on the masculine identity in the shipping market, raw materials for the bolitas can range from tiles to plastic chopsticks or toothbrushes. A designated crew member boils them in hot water to sterilize them, and then performs the procedure. There are also different preferred locations for insertion. Some have one on top or bottom, and others have both. One shipmate told McKay that others have four, one on top and bottom and on both sides, "like the sign of the cross." Another said: "I have a friend at home, you know what his nickname is?" McKay recalled. "Seven."

The practice is unique to Southeast Asia and dates back to the 16th century, though no one is sure if it has been continuous. Italian scholar Antonio Pigafetta accompanied Ferdinand Magellan and his crew on their explorations and journaled about a similar behavior in what is currently southern Philippines and Borneo. Apparently, it was also practiced in Thailand and Indonesia, but vanished from the historical record in the mid-17th century, apparently when men bowed to the pressures of Islam and Christianity.

Mckay was shocked to learn that it still existed in what, based on his extensive conversations with Filipino seafarers, seemed like great numbers. In the extremely limited body of academic literature on this topic, there aren't many numbers. One 1999 study found that out of 314 randomly selected Filipino seamen in the port of Manila, 180, or 57 percent, said they had them.

According to McKay's interviews, danger of infection and resulting pain seemed to be worth their reception by droves of Brazilian prostitutes. According to one of his papers, one shipmate told him: "'Filipino seaman are famous for them...that's why they [women in port] like us, why they keep asking for us,'" he said. "'When they hear that Filipinos are coming, they're happy.'"


The Philippines provides more seafarers to the global labor market than any other country in the world, accounting for approximately a fifth of 1.2 million maritime workers. The number of Filipinos currently living on vessels is roughly 240,000. It's as if every person in the entire city of Orlando woke up, drove to Miami, and signed contracts to ship out on cruiseliners.

The industry has not always employed Filipino crew members in these numbers. In the 1960s, only 2,000 Filipinos worked in international waters. But after the oil crisis of the 1970s placed financial pressure on the industry and a shift in maritime regulations allowed ships to hire workers from countries with lower wages, companies set out to reduce labor costs. According to Lamvik, the Filipinos emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the most qualified option for the mostly European-owned businesses. "They are fluent in English, they are Christians, and they accepted cheaper pay," said Lamvik, whose grandfather and great-grandfather both worked on Norwegian ships. The Filipinos also had a built-in nautical legacy, according to McKay. From the 16th through the 19th century, Filipinos were ordered into servitude on Spanish galleons, and in the 1800s, they helped man American whaling ships.

Still, many Filipinos are hyper-aware of their own potential displacement. Other low-wage countries, including India, South Korea, and Indonesia, apply for the same jobs. For that reason, McKay argues, the Filipinos have set out to differentiate themselves from crew members of other nationalities.

The special brand the Filipinos have fashioned for themselves revolves around an adventurous spirit, creative troubleshooting with machines, and an eloquent way of communicating the stories they tell about their skills. Onboard and in ports across the world, they weave tales to mark their territory. In one of McKay's papers, he writes about a Filipino captain who gave him a pitch about the handiness of his nationality's sailors, especially when things go awry. "The Filipino, he can fix anything ... Other nationalities, if they see there are no spare parts, they will say, 'okay, that's it, we'll wait 'til we're in port,'" the man told McKay. "But Filipinos somehow will get it working again. They'll make a new part or fix one." A third mate provided a sense of the way adventure fits into the Filipino's occupational identity:

    This is a man's job ['barako talaga'].... You are away from your family, you are in the middle of the sea and you see nothing but the sea and the sky for one month. ... If you want adventure, seafaring is your type of job. But given the heavy work, loneliness and the waves, seafaring is really a difficult job....Most land-based jobs are safe, [but] when a seaman boards a ship, one foot is already in the grave.

But their awareness of ready replacements has also made Filipino crew members insecure and hesitant. Industry insiders and other international crew members have interpreted this caution as effeminate, and a signal that they are good disciplined "followers," according to McKay, but not necessarily natural leaders. That notion, he believes, has stunted their upward mobility. In the mid-1970s, 90 percent of Filipinos working on ships served as lower-level crew members, and 10 percent had junior-level officer jobs. Thirty years later in 2005, those numbers had only shifted slightly: 73 percent were still serving in lower-level roles, 19 percent had clinched junior officer titles, and only 8 percent were at the senior level. Filipino captains are still uncommon.

Viewed in this context, bolitas is more than just a physical oddity adopted for the benefit of port women. It's an important element of the Filipinos' larger battle to assert their masculinity and compensate in a rivalry that they can't always win aboard the ship. "It's part of that competition that starts in the labor market that then bleeds over into culture," McKay said. "They are dealing with how others see them."

Apparently, the port competition is one that they feel they can definitely win, and not just because of bolitas. Filipino sailors take a sort of Pretty Woman tack in their relationships with prostitutes, treating them with much more regard than objects in a sexual marketplace. As one Filipino officer told McKay: "'The women prefer Filipinos because we treat them nice, not like other nationalities,'" he said. "'They think because they pay, they can treat them badly. Like the Koreans...But the Filipinos -- we treat them like girlfriends. We pay too, but we're nice, we smile, we even court them. That's what makes the Filipino special, we're romantic.'"

The shipping life -- one of constant movement and bleak surroundings -- is, at its core, a job of danger, boredom, and whim. Bolitas and the experiences Filipino seafarers have with them can be a welcome diversion. But it also represents a sort of social gamesmanship, a way to add some confidence to an otherwise unpredictable life. Amid the uncertainties of the maritime labor market, augmenting one's masculinity -- literally -- is at least one sure-fire way to stand out.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Reader's View

An anonymous reader commented on More Positive Thinking

Sure... I suppose that's an ok comment if you're sitting in a bar watching life go by outside and you don't have family to take care of. But if you do have a family, and a home and things that you still value in life, then you want to take an "active part" in protecting your family and home and not just let things continue to happen as they are now. Things can and do change for the good through the efforts of well-meaning people, no matter how difficult it may seem at times. Our children still need to go to school everyday and our wives must do the shopping for the family. Even if some of us feel as though we are retired... we are NOT retired from life. These are two very different viewpoints, that depend on the lifestyle and goals of the reader. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

The Bugle would like to take the time to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas.  We sincerely thank all of you for following us throughout the years and we hope that your New Year is prosperous as well.

                                            Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 22, 2013

10 Things the Bugle Hates About Christmas in the PI

With this being the so called Christmas season the Bugle has a few issues with how the locals like to celebrate the holidays.  If any of our readers have more suggestions the Bugle would love to hear about them.  

1. Beggars masquerading as Christmas carolers. 

2. Where's my Christmas?

3. Anyone with a beard is called Santa Claus.

4.  Christmas music starting in September.

5.  The number of visitors to one's house on Christmas day expecting gifts.

6.  Caroler's whose only musical instrument is a tambourine.

7. The lack of snow.

8. The cost of turkeys and hams

9. Dancing girls wearing red elves hats

10. Beggars

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Positive Thinking is What We Need

Hey Bugle.. your tag line above "It is what it is", says it all. We all choose to live here for one reason or another. Even the ones that bitch and moan continue to live here for one reason or another. The PI will always be the PI. No point trying to change anything and equally no point bitching about it all the time. Go with the flow and enjoy the good things, understanding that we are in a 3rd world banana republic and it's precisely for that reason many of us choose to live here. Not to change it and make it like home, but to embrace it with all it's warts because it's fun and exciting to be an expat. Floods? Admit that it's going to happen again, and prepare. Don't get wiped out and then sit back and complain. Why worry about the crooks and politicians (oops.. redundant)? Worry about yourself and your loved ones and your buddies. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ocean Adventure

The Bugle had a chance to visit Ocean Adventure the other day and came away rather impressed.  The last time the Bugle was there was about seven years ago and at that time he was not too pleased as he thought that the price was a little rich for what was actually offered.  But as the years have grown so to has the acts at the old Ocean Adventure.  Back then all there was was the Aquarium, a Sea Lion show, and the Dolphin show.  Now there is an additional African acrobat show and a Walk on the Wild Side show.  These newl acts give one the feeling that the price is more of a value now than in the older days.  One thing that the Bugle really loves though is the conservation message that is shown throughout the shows and in the entire park  Now if only this generation of youngsters will start to abide by what they learn.  A word of advice though don't attempt to bring any food or beverage into the place as they do a pretty robust search of your bags prior to entering.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tourist Attraction???

The Bugle just noticed the new sign being posted above the flood prone Matain River the other day.  This sign located on the National highway at the border of Subic and Barrio Barretto was formerly a picture of fishes and various seashells and was put up during the Bong Gordon administration.  It seems like the New Mayor of Olongapo is hoping for a different kind of tourist to visit our lovely seaside community.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Readers Thoughts on Olongapo River Dredging

Bugle headlines "Dredging Starts in Olongapo" when the propaganda articles Bugle submits state they have acquired a backhoe and 2 used dump trucks. Good job Bugle. Maybe if you stop the bullshit, that will help stop some of the flow into the river. The real story is Olongapo has a 5.1 BILLION PESO DEFICIT and no one is being held accountable. Where did the BILLIONS go??? Nothing has changed or ever will. Read in the foreign press that Yolanda relief supplies are already on sale in Makati. It's a month since the disaster and already the scams are evident.

Bugle headlines "Dredging Starts in Olongapo" when the propaganda articles Bugle submits state they have acquired a backhoe and 2 used dump trucks. Good job Bugle. Maybe if you stop the bullshit, that will help stop some of the flow into the river. The real story is Olongapo has a 5.1 BILLION PESO DEFICIT and no one is being held accountable. Where did the BILLIONS go??? Nothing has changed or ever will. Read in the foreign press that Yolanda relief supplies are already on sale in Makati. It's a month since the disaster and already the scams are evident. 

Bugle Responds:  How is it that we are getting blamed now for propaganda?  There are many thoughts that could be taken from the article, your thoughts are just one of them.  One could at least think that something and somebody is starting to do something or you can just start trumpeting about corruption.  We just report information you can jump to any conclusions that you want to.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ice skate Clark SM

                                              P300 to skate for 45 minutes. December only.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Will Smuggling Move North Also?

SBMA sets free-port expansion to nearby San Antonio town

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the Subic agency will jointly develop the area with the local government, after the latter declared more than 10,000 hectares of land and water area in the town’s southern tip as the San Antonio Economic Development Area.
Officials of San Antonio led by Mayor Estela Antipolo and Vice Mayor Lugil Ragadio met with Garcia here on Monday and presented a copy of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution 13-080, which enabled the conversion of the zone into an additional secured area of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Under Executive Order 675, local government units (LGUs) can allow the SBMA to extend the free port beyond its current fenced-in “secured area” and into their territory by having their local councils pass an enabling resolution. The area of expansion also gets tax-and duty-free privileges granted by law.
In particular, the San Antonio resolution declared the coastal sitios of Silangin, Nagsasa and Talisayin in the Redondo Peninsula as part of the town’s economic development area.
The newly declared economic zone comprises more than half of the municipality’s total land area of 18,812 hectares and forms the western flank of the Redondo Peninsula.
 The eastern flank of Redondo, which juts out into the mouth of Subic Bay, is under the jurisdiction of Subic, Zambales, and contains the South Korean shipyard of Hanjin, the world’s fourth-biggest shipbuilding facility.
 It is also the location of a coal-fired thermal power plant being proposed by a consortium led by Manila Electric Co.
In Monday’s meeting, Garcia said he was pleasantly surprised by the swift action of the San Antonio municipal council in passing the resolution.
The resolution was passed on November 19. Garcia first announced SBMA’s expansion program when he made the rounds of neighboring LGUs in July.
Garcia said San Antonio’s decision to join the SBMA is very timely, since only less than 300 hectares of land is now available for development within Subic’s fenced-in area.  “Many foreign investors are inquiring, and we are having a hard time responding to them due to the lack of available land,” Garcia told Antipolo and other town officials.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dredging Starts in Olongapo

This from the Sun Star
Sunday, December 8, 2013
OLONGAPO CITY -- The City Government here has found a way to dredge its river channel, after the massive flooding in August and September and the recent outbreak of leptospirosis due to the flood.
The dredging operation started after SM Prime Holding donated a backhoe worth P2.4 million in an effort to help the debt-ridden city unclog its river channel.
Olongapo is currently dealing with the P5.1-billion debt left by the previous administration, including some other loans that have matured.
“The donation of SM is a big help to the city, we cannot afford to buy any equipment due to lack of funds,” said Mayor Rolen Paulino.
Olongapo City mayor inspects dredging operation
OLONGAPO. Mayor Rolen Paulino inspects the ongoing dredging operation at the East Bajac-bajac flood gate, which serves as main outlet of water coming from the inner part of the city. (Anthony Bayarong)

He said other businessmen are also helping his administration dredge the city's river slowly. “Two dump trucks have also been lent to us by a private auctioneer inside Subci Bay Freeport and another two, which are now being used in another site came from private indivuduals.”
The backhoe donated by SM arrived last December 2 and was used immediately in the dredging operation.
“I have tasked the engineering office to immediately start the dredging of the Kalaklan River, this may not permanently rid out the flood but it w ll lower it,” Paulino said.
He added that the City Planning and Development Office is now trying to determine the cause of the flooding and find a solution to the problem.
Last August and September, the city suffered its worst flooding in years after the previous administration failed to desilt the long stretch of Kalaklan River that serves as the main water channel going out to Subic Bay.
Another desilting effort is being conducted in the Banicain River. It started in August.
Zambales Representative Jeffrey Khonghun (1st district), meanwhile, said that he already asked the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct a separate dredging program along the upstream of Sta. Rita River and at the mouth of Kalaklan River.
Khonghun’s hometown of Subic also suffered massive flooding during the rainy season.
He said a desilting program is also being implemented in the municipality of Subic. (Sunnex)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reader's Thoughts on Flood Control

You're pissing in the wind... Do you really expect anything to come of this post. We will be at the exact same place next year. That's just the way it is in the Philippines. And of course, they don't want foreigners looking over their corrupt shoulders and telling them what to do... just like we saw in Tacloban. One thing they ARE good at is soliciting foreigners to do the disaster relief for them and putting foreign dollars in their corrupt pockets. Anything else is generally never done. This is a two class society, criminals at the top and the vast poor majority at the bottom. The criminals will never change and upset their apple cart. And even more surprisingly, most of the poor don't seem interested in change either. Sad... but true. Yes, most foreign observers are tired of hearing the same conversation over and over... yawn. But we are also tired of the those foreigners that think that words will fix the problem. "Pretty please..." doesn't work here. on Flood Control

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ooh That Smell, Can't You Smell That Smell

Not to take anything from Lynard Skynard but the Bugle was walking through the Subic Market the other day and couldn't help but force himself to breath through his mouth.  The smell behind the Market is absolutely dreadful.  It is worse than the CRs in the old Kinky's establishment in Calapandayan.   While the Bugle didn't investigate the elephant grass on the side of the road he does believe that there is something dead in the area.  Old Mr. Bugle can't believe that there are actually three schools in that area that have to breathe that awful smell in all day long.   Subic City Hall is just across the street from this area and I think it would be impossible  that some of the government workers haven't noticed this terrible terrible smell.  This has got to be a health violation of some type.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Immigration Rules

Here is an excerpt from the new dress code policy for those of us who may have to go to Immigration

1.  Whereas, there is a need to modify the Dress Code Policy considering the tropical weather and the usual tourist attire in the Philippines.  

2.  For men – Top:  Sleeved shirts that cover the shoulders and waist in its entirety are required.  Bottom:  Men wearing shorts will be allowed access to the Bureau, provided, that it is at minimum knee length.  Sports shorts and sweatpants are not allowed.

3.  This Administrative Circular shall take effect immediately.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Readers Rants

The Philippine government is dysfunctional because of the corrupt in their government. The word corrupt has been used so much in the Philippines that it rings hollow today. Thieves and criminal are more appropriate descriptors. Bugle trumpets Philippine propaganda about how the Americans are envious of Subic and Clark. Both are corrupt and dysfunctional by any honest measure, just like the rest of the country! The people of Tacloban and the rest of the Visayas affected by the recent typhoon are relying on American aid and humanitarian relief. America, primarily through its military, provides significant assistance for every Philippine calamity. God Bless America! Without the American military, Filipinos would have no hope. It's a national disgrace for the corrupt in the Philippine government. But criminals feel no shame!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Where Art Thou Mr. Bugle

The following post came in anonymously from one of our readers: 

What makes you think that all these bloggers live here? You sure are good at over-reaching assumptions. Doesn't Bugle know that there is a mass exodus of Filipinos and foreigners FROM the Philippines, not into it. Get real and stop the ridiculous propaganda. The population is only increasing due to an ignorant population that can't control themselves, I would bet Bugle that you are one of them. Nobody volunteers to live in the Philippines if they can get a visa and live in a developed country, unless they have screws loose like their jeepneys. 

From the Bugle:  Not sure which one of the types of people you referred to in your post that you would like the Bugle to be but rest assured we are neither ignorant and we can control ourselves.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pool, Darts and Random Thoughts

A few comments from the readers on our local pool and dart leagues:

Pool and darts are important now? What happened to discussion of the Olongapo floods and landslides? That's all not important anymore until it happens again? Has shit river been dredged? Is there still garbage in the streets? What is the mayor doing to prevent future man made disasters? How short peoples attention spans are here. Are we to believe darts and pool are as important as Olongapo floods and landslides that actually killed people. C'mon Bugle you can do better. It's your blog! 

One thing is obvious from this blog, darts and pool are far more important than education ever has been in this society. Many, if not most, children don't even reach the sixth grade in the Philippines, but never dare to slight a kanto boy's right to play pool and darts wherever and whenever he wants. Yet people still are unable to even acknowledge this country has so many problems or demonstrate sufficient resolve to make it better. Meanwhile, the best and brightest are fleeing in droves to other countries for a better life for their families.

Bigots and trash... By the way, "Eurotrash" is a new one. I bet you would run at Olympic record speed to the nearest Olongapo money changer, if just one of their coins would happen to fall into your open palm raised to the heavens. Now, we've gotten to the essence of the world famous Po... Ever noticed it smells like shit? The locals don't seem to notice and they never give a damn... until it all backs up to become the largest toilet in the world. Please don't flush! Oh, that's right, no worries. Flush isn't something that ever works there anyway. "For a while..." The government is somewhere, doing something that we don't know and will never find out. But, it's the US Navy's fault, right. Where's the US Navy... but only when and if we need them. Yup, any sane person should be able to follow that logic. But, we don't like it if anyone looks over our corrupt shoulder. "God of the Great Monsoons and Typhoons," please, just one monster tsunami to clean up the bigots and trash,