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.

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.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Young Marcelito in a scene from MMK's Balot episode
(Photo from the Internet)

Bago ko narinig ang tungkol sa kakaiba at nakamamanghang talento ni Marcelito Pomoy, ang madalas kong pinapanood sa youtube ay si Lani Misalucha kung saan ginagaya niya ang boses at pagkanta ng ating mga local divas. Aliw na aliw ako sa pag-i-impersonate ni Lani at manghang-mangha ako kung papaano niya iyon nagagawa.

Lani Misalucha in her Diva's Medley
(Video uploaded by mo94572 on

Nang minsang dinala ko sa office ang aking laptop at pinanood ko si Lani sa kanyang pag-i-impersonate, nakita ako ni Myrna, isang ka-opisina, at binanggit niya sa akin ang tungkol sa kakaibang galing ni Marcelito. Pati raw boses-matanda kuhang-kuha niya.

Nang mapanood ko nga si Marcelito sa KrisTV, labis akong na-impress sa performance niya na siyang naging dahilan kung bakit palagian ko na siyang hinahanap sa Maliban kay Vincent Bueno na labis ko ring hinahangaan at kinalulugdan, wala pa akong pinanood nang ganoon katagal sa youtube. My God! Twenty-four long hours non-stop watching of Marcelito’s videos—paulit-ulit! Nakaka-addict talaga!

Vincent Bueno sings I'm Yours
(Video uploaded by KemiKatt22 on

But what really affected me most was Marcelito’s own life story. Sa totoo lang, masakit sa dibdib! Parang gustong maghimagsik ng aking kalooban sa bahagi ng Maalaala Mo Kaya (“Balot”) kung saan ipinakita ang batang Marcelito na natutulog sa madilim na bangketa habang malakas na bumubuhos ang ulan.

Lumaki siyang hindi kilala ang tunay na pamilya. Hindi ba siya nagkasakit o nilagnat man lamang noong panahong iyon ng kanyang kabataan? Kangino kaya siya naglalambing kapag masakit ang kanyang ulo o masama ang kanyang pakiramdam? Kung araw ng Pasko, ano’ng nadarama niya? Kangino siya nakikipagsalu-salo tuwing noche buena? O alam kaya niya kung ano ito? At kung alam man niya, nagkaroon kaya ng kahulugan o kabuluhan sa kanya ang mga salitang ito?

Kung siya’y inaapi ng kalaro o kapuwa-bata niya, kangino siya tumatakbo para magsumbong? Sino kaya ang nagtatanggol sa kanya? O naranasan pa kaya niya ang paglalaro gayong walang sumusuporta sa kanya at kinakailangan nang magtrabaho para kumita?

I have great compassion for Marcelito—if only because his life story almost runs parallel to mine. Parang nakita ko ang isang bahagi ng aking buhay at pagkatao sa kuwento ng kanyang buhay.

Naging pin boy si Marcelito sa Estrella Bowling Alley sa Bislig City. Naging pin boy rin ako sa Torres Bowling and Billiard Hall sa amin sa Gapan City noong ito ay operational pa.

Nagtinda siya ng ice cream. Ako nama’y nagtinda ng ice drop. Nagtinda siya ng balot. Hindi man ako nagtinda ng balot, nagtinda naman ako ng sweepstakes ticket, ng nilagang mais, at ng kung anu-ano pa.

Kung anu-anong odd jobs ang kanyang pinasukan at ginampanan—nag-poultry boy, sa piggery, sa construction, pati pagtawag ng pasahero ng jeep, pinatulan din. Ako ma’y kung anu-anong mean and manual work ang ginawa—nagbuhat ng saku-sakong ipa (rice husk), hinahabol at sinasampa ang mga pampasahereong bus upang mag-alok ng tindang sigarilyo, at tumulong pati na sa paglalabada ng aking ina.

Hindi matandaan ng mga magulang ni Marcelito kung kailan siya ipinanganak. Hindi ko rin alam ang tunay na birth date ko. Noong una, ang sabi ng Inang ko, March 7 daw. Tapos, March 2 raw. Marcelito settled for September 22 while I settled for April 10.

At mayroon pa, pinaluhod si Marcelito sa asin dahil sa pagkakasalang nagawa niya. Ako nama'y sa munggo pinaluhod dahil sa kagagawan ng ina (o tiyahin ba iyon?) ng isang grade school teacher na nagsumbong ng kasinungalingan sa mga magulang ko.

Ano pa’t dahil kay Marcelito, nalama’t nadama ko na hindi pala ako nag-iisa.

At nais ko ring ipaalam kay Marcelito na hindi rin siya nag-iisa sa sinapit na kapalaran noong kabataan niya. Huwag na siyang magtampo sa mundo dahil may kasama siya—ako!

Goddy on board Sajorda River Resort's Floating Restaurant