Thursday, October 30, 2014


(I got an email from a reader, a United States Navy retired serviceman.  I am publishing it verbatim on this blog as well as my reply to same.)

Hello Goddy
May 25

Goddy, I just saw your blog entries for Olongapo and I have to say those pictures caused a flood of memories...... all quite pleasant.  I have to say that from my first visit to your beautiful country, as a sailor, and throughout my Naval career thereafter, I considered the Philippines to be my second home.  I was lucky to have spent considerable time there....... Since I spent so much time in the Aviation side of the Navy, Gordon Avenue was my favorite haunt.  The old places I used to visit for a beer (every time I got to spend time out in town) were VP Alley and the UA Club across the street. For sure, I spent alot of time up and down Magsaysay, enjoying the food, the people and the fabulous music.  Thanks for the few pix of Gordon. Those are rare, to say the least.  But they sure do bring back memories of my younger days and the great time I had meeting some really fine people.  Yes, I visited many other cities in the Philippines and especially enjoyed the time I was able to spend on Samar Is.  LOVED that place!  All I can say is that the people of the PI are forever friends with me....... You folks are the best!

I could go on and on..... obviously..... again, I just wanted to say thanks for posting those pix, especially those of Gordon Ave...... If you have any more, especially if they are of the old VP Alley or the UA Club locations, I would sure appreciate seeing them.  Of course, you may not even be able to locate those anymore.  But if you have any pix of that area, I would love to see them.  THANKS AGAIN and God Bless!

Mike Armstrong (USN Retired)


Intersection of Magsaysay Drive and Gordon Avenue, Olongapo City

October 29, 2014

Hi, Mike!

Thank you for your email and for the kind words and pleasant things you said about my blog as well as our country—the Philippines—and its people!

I got your email about an hour just after you sent it and I’m sorry for not replying right away.  I was thinking it would make you a lot happier if I could grant your request; that is, posting more pictures of Gordon Avenue, your favorite haunt, particularly the area where VP Alley and UA Club were located.

I was quite familiar with both establishments that you mentioned not only because I used to pass by the area but also because I worked with the Military Police, Office of the Provost Marshal, U.S. Naval Base, Subic Bay and we had a list of all clubs, hotels and restaurants (about a thousand of them collectively—if I recall it correctly) as well as their addresses in Olongapo City and nearby Subic town.  But twenty-two years have passed since the U.S. Bases’ pullout and I can no longer remember their exact location.  I made an effort to ask an elderly person out there but he, too, could not recall even the buildings that housed them.

You probably were attached to Patrol Squadron 47 in Cubi Point when you were stationed here.  I remember VP stands for Patrol Squadron.  And VP Alley must be for VP personnel.  But that's just my guess.

Anyway, I am sending you on separate email recently-taken photographs of Gordon Avenue and other areas of Olongapo and the former U.S. Naval Base and look forward to sending you pictures of the area or the new business establishments where VP Alley and UA Club were located.

Thank you again for your email and God bless!


Monday, December 24, 2012


The Nativity Scene.  Photograph taken at Holy Land in Subic last December 8, 2012 during SBMA Prayer Ministry's Advent Recollection.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Goddy's self-portrait sketch

I'm home (Gapan City) for the Holy Week--not just to reflect but also to unwind.

It’s Good Friday today and I am actually thinking of how I should spend the Day. I thought it would be okay to deviate from the usual way I have spent past Good Fridays as I have always carried my cross ever since. I have suffered long enough and have already sacrificed so many things in my life--my ambition... my personal happiness... and some other things that I value so much—not just for the sake of those who mean much to me but, more importantly, to please the Lord.

I have oftentimes been betrayed and stripped naked of my dignity as human. In atonement for my sins, I have mortified and offered sacrifices. I have practiced self-emptying and self-denial. In fact, I have already experienced crucifixion and death on the cross—if only metaphorically.

On 28 June 2009, I posted on this blog an entry titled “Deja Vu” where I wrote partly about the pains I had gone through. Please click and read the aforementioned link.

Have a blessed Holy Week!Link

Thursday, March 8, 2012


When I was temporarily reassigned to another office--the Total Quality Management (TQM) Office--we had our "cascading session" (whatever that means) at All Hands Beach. We picked up our foods and everything we needed in a quonset hut somewhere in the former U.S. Naval Magazine area some ten or more kilometers from the main gate of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

On our way, I decided to make a video of the road. I really loved the sight! If one's lucky, he'd see a barangay of monkeys (conducting traffic stop--JOKE ONLY) as well as other wild animals and birds like labuyo wandering along the road. But feeding them is strictly prohibited.

The video I made had a defective audio. So, I decided to remove the sound and replaced it with another one. Hope my readers will like it.

Please click the video to watch Subic's verdant highway and enjoy the sight of its lush vegetation. Music (instrumental): theme from the Korean soap opera "Full House"--my favorite love story.

(This one's for Lerma de Jesus of Hayward City, California, a well-meaning friend and my favorite high school classmate, who appreciated and liked photos of Subic that I posted on my Facebook account.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I once heard a female co-employee arrogantly exclaim, "Rule No. 1: The boss is always right. Rule No. 2: If he commits a mistake, refer to Rule No. 1."

Although to me what she said did not make any sense, it was obvious that she was trying to stress the arrogance of power.

The above incident stemmed from a work situation where another co-employee was silently complaining about an unfair move made by his supervisor that negatively affected him. In an attempt to resolve the problem, that distorted guideline was given.

In the mid-70s, during my employment as clerical assistant with the now defunct United States Naval Base in Subic Bay, the duty Officer of the Day (OOD), a U.S. Navy Lieutenant, asked me to type a personal letter for him, which I did. When I was done with the letter, I gave it back to him together with the sheet of yellow pad paper where it was drafted.

After proofreading the letter in his office, he went back to the Admin Office, confronted me, and the following dialog between us ensued:

OOD: Why did you change my spelling?

(I changed "laxidaisical" to "lackadaisical". He was referring to the "lackadaisical response" to the letter he sent earlier.)

Goddy: Aaah... that's the correct spelling, sir.
OOD: Did you go to college?
Goddy: No, sir.
OOD: Don't change my spelling!
Goddy: But that's the correct spelling, sir.
OOD: Did you go to college?
Goddy: No, sir.
OOD: Don't change my spelling!
Goddy: What do you mean by "laxidaisical", sir? Do you mean cold? Nonchalant?
OOD: Yeah!
Goddy: Then, that's the correct spelling, sir.
OOD: Did you go to college?
Goddy: No, sir.
OOD: (Very demanding this time) DON'T CHANGE MY SPELLING!!!
Goddy: Umm... do you want a dictionary, sir?
OOD: Yeah, give me a dictionary!

After I handed him an English dictionary, he went back to his office and, after some ten or fifteen minutes, returned the dictionary back to me. Although his silence implied he was convinced, I could sense he was not pleased.

Honestly, at times, thinking that that incident might have shattered the OOD's ego, I regretted having insisted what was right.

In an another instance, when all clerical assistants of our division were transferred to another division in our department, I encountered an incident similar to the one above.

After I was through typing an investigative report, one Filipino supervisor who edited reports confronted me. He was very much upset about my changing "double locks" to "double lock" (referring to handcuffs).

The Filipino supervisor demanded not to change "double locks" as, according to him, that was correct. Not wanting to be in an argument with the supervisor, I did as instructed by him--although against my will.

The other clerk on duty who was beside me and who witnessed what was going on, secretly looked up the phrase in question in the dictionary then showed the dictionary entry to me. Then I asked her, "So, who is right?" She said, "You!"

Although the abovementioned incidents dealt only with the communication skills of office superiors, similar situations occurring in work organizations will prove that bosses may not at all times be right.

It is unfortunate that some people at the helm of their organizations, especially in government offices, believe that everything they do is right. Still, even more unfortunate, they believe that running their offices depends solely on their whims, without regard for the laws or regulations and policies by which the organization and its men are covered and protected.

Back to that lady co-employee I mentioned above, let us try to analyze the rules she stated.

Rule No. 1: The boss is always right.
Rule No. 2: If he commits a mistake, refer to Rule No. 1.

Now, aren't these rules ridiculous and illogical?

First, she stated that the boss is always right. Then, she said, if he commits a mistake...

Isn't it that when one commits a mistake, he is not right? How come, therefore, that he is always right?

Rule No. 1 is not compatible with Rule No. 2. They do not jibe with one another.

Of course, that lady co-employee of mine might just want to underscore how arrogant those in power can sometimes be.

And, maybe, we can also add that we should not underestimate the intellectual capacity of some subordinates even if they have but low educational attainment. Many of them are very intelligent and have lots of common sense. In fact, there are occasions when they even outsmart their superiors.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Lou Gaboy. I believe many know who he is. Yes, he's the author of Gabby's Dictionary and someone the City of Gapan is truly proud of. He was an A1 and super bright student when he was still studying. Click the "author thumbnail" on this link to know more about him.

I am embedding on this blog two of his videos I found on not just because he's a good friend of mine but because I really like 'em. Please click to play said videos below:

Lou Gaboy - Refrain
(Video uploaded by
elgeefy on

Lou Gaboy - You're Closer To Me
(Video uploaded by
elgeefy on

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I was surfing the Internet sometime last week when I came across a video about Gapan, my hometown. It made me yearn for home. I am embedding said video uploaded by nuevaecijabiz on and sharing it with you, dear readers.