(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.)
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
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!