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Added Photo Gallery: Daddy Dave’s 69th Birthday Pool Party

Full Gallery: Daddy Dave’s 69th Birthday Pool Party at Treasure Island

What a day! This weekend has been a whirlwind of party-time activities here in Subic. This is the weekend of “Daddy Dave’s” 69th Birthday Party, and the party has gone on non-stop! The weekend started with the Sons of Bacchus Subic Dance Competition at Lips Bar in Barrio Barretto, followed by a monster bar hop with 7 stops, also finalizing at Lips Bar, and today’s pool party. Add in the after parties and the afternoon bar-b-ques, etc, and it’s been a great, crazy weekend!

The pool party started off with decent weather. A little overcast, with a few breaks in the clouds letting in some sun. I was stuck at the house taking care of a few tasks for some clients, but kept an eye on the weather throughout. Around 2:00 I packed up my camera gear and walked over to Treasure Island. The sky was a little darker, but it didn’t look at all like would rain.

I decided to go all out today, and took two DSLRs and a Compact. I fitted a Canon T1i with a Canon 17-40 f4/L wide angle and Canon 480 EX II flash, and a Canon 5D MkII with a Tamron 70-300 telephoto zoom lens, and of course my trusty Sony WX-1 Compact which never leaves my side.

I entered the pool area at Treasure Island and took a quick look around. The pool and poolside areas were packed FULL of gorgeous girls in bikinis, all smiling and laughing and having a great time. There were probably 100 girls in all. The guests had turned out for this party, with roughly 60 people in attendance. I started getting my gear ready, planning to shoot, shoot and shoot some more! Then I looked out into the bay, and saw a huge wall of black clouds obscuring the horizon out by Grande Island in Subic Bay. After blinking a few times in disbelief, the wind hit, and chairs started blowing over, with the wind whistling in the palm trees. Less then two minutes later, the rain hit, and it hit pretty hard.

To my surprise, the girls just laughed and kept dancing, swimming, flirting and enjoying themselves. About half the guests moved under the balconies and other protected areas, with the other half staying in and around the pool, enjoying the day no matter what!

I walked around the protected areas and took some shots with the long lens, and a number of closer shots with the wide angle. Eventually I knew I had to get wet, so I stored my gear in a secure location, whipped out the trusty Sony compact, and braved the elements.

Please take a look, and I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Full Gallery: Daddy Dave’s 69th Birthday Pool Party at Treasure Island

 

Added Photo Gallery: Treasure Island Pool Party – 3 April 2011

Treasure Island Beach Resort is one of my favorite places to stay when I visit the Philippines.

Located in Baloy Beach, Olongapo City, Subic, Zambales Province, the resort provides excellent value in accommodations and facilities, and offers a wonderful pool, beach front access, a great restaurant and a fully-stocked bar.

I actually moved to Baloy Beach  in January of this year. I’ve rented a house not 100 meters away from Treasure Island, and I go there often for breakfast and special events. It’s awesome to eat breakfast next to the ocean, while sitting by the pool, using their very fast and free Wi-fi to work on web sites. I’m able to use their pool and beach facilities free of charge, so when I need a break, I’ll go hang out in the pool and chat with the many expats who live around here.

Treasure Island has pool parties roughly every two months.  The latest was yesterday, April 3rd, 2011. Over 80 girls were in attendance, sponsored by 8 clubs from Barrio Barretto. The event drew a large, very well-behaved crowd of expats and tourists alike. The girls were having a great time, which ensured we all had a good time as well!
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The party included all the local drinks you could handle, including my favorite, San Miguel Light beer, and all you could eat. They provided an excellent buffet that included Lumpia Shanghai with a spicy sweet and sour sauce, mini-burgers, pasta salad, meatballs in sauce and other foods. Lumpia is like a spring roll with pork, and it’s deep fried.

There were numerous events during the party, including bobbing for balls (plastic balls are tossed in the water, and the girls have to retrieve them without using their hands), a beer drinking/swimming/basketball competition. The girls drink a beer, swim across the pool, and hand off the empty beer can to their partner. The partner now has to drink two beers, and then swim back across, and toss the empty beer cans through a basketball hoop. Another one involved girls sitting on guy’s shoulders, eating an apple that hangs from a rope in the middle of the pool (suspended above), without using their hands. It’s a ton of fun!

Here are a few pics to get you started. Don’t forget to visit the entire gallery of over 235 photos!

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Philippine Photo Gallery:  Treasure Island Beach Resort Pool Party

Added Photo Gallery: Baloy Beach Photos

Baloy Beach (sometimes called Baloy Long Beach) is just past the Barrio Barretto neighborhood on the National Highway outside of Olongapo City, Subic, Zambales Province, in the Philippine Islands.

I used to go to Baloy Beach and rent a small A-frame hut for about $4.00 a day. We would get up relatively early in the morning, around noon, and wait a few minutes until I fisherman would stroll by, selling his latest catch. We would usually get Tuna. The fisherman would sell two fish, about 10 lbs each, for roughly $3.00. He would then make a little charcoal fire in the sand in front of the hut, and cook the fish, complete with seasonings and a dipping sauce that was reminiscent of soy sauce, though not as salty and spicier.

There was not much else on Baloy Beach at that time. Towards the end (going away from Barrio Barretto), was a few places where you could pay for beach access with tables, nipa huts and fireplaces for about a dollar a day. Some of those are still there.

What has obviously changed is the construction of beach resorts. Today, you can stay at Blue Rock, Wild Orchid, Treasure Island, Sheavans, Harley’s, Kokomos, Johan’s Dive Resort and more. In addition, there are many small hotels and apartments/condos that you can rent just a block or two off the beach. I’ll add a gallery of those later – the geo-coding is taking a while, as it’s hard to remeber exactly where each of these smaller places are!

Baloy Beach is growing up. It’s great right now, but I can see it becoming crowded and noisy in the next few years. If you want to experience a great, relaxing place that’s not overly commercial, you should probably go in the next year or two.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Baloy Beach Photos

Added Photo Gallery: Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo

While I was researching my trip to the Philippines, I was wondering if Olongapo had changed much.

Back in the 80’s, Magsaysay Drive, the main road extending from the main gate of Subic Bay Naval Station, across the river (which we affectionately termed “shit river”), was lined with hundreds of bars, clubs, discos, resturants, hotels, and lots of little shops selling everything from custom-designed t-shirt to hand-formed metal watch bands to all kinds of clothing and knick knacks.

I was curious what Magsaysay Drive looked like today, so I grabbed my camera and took a few snapshots.

I’m really not very happy with the results. When I go back next time, I’ll actually document Magsaysay, with step by step photos from the gate to Rizal Avenue.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo

Added Photo Gallery: Barrio Barretto Bars and Clubs

I was lucky enough to get a vacation in early February. I had not visited the Philippines for just over 20 years, so I decided to splurge and head back to Subic Bay and The Barrio.

Prior to leaving, I spent quite a bit of time doing research on the area. How much had it changed? Were any of the bars I remember still there? What about the girls?

During my trip, I decided to take pictures of all the bars and clubs in Barrio Barretto. I accomplished that goal, with a few exceptions. I know I missed a few bars. If you have pics of them, please feel free to send them and I’ll post them here. Or, I’ll get them on my next trip, though who wants to wait a whole  year?

Philippine Photo Gallery: Barrio Barretto Bars and Clubs

Added Photo Gallery: Treasure Island Pool Party (Subic)

Treasure Island Beach Resort in Barrio Barretto, Subic, had a pool party on February 14th, 2010. Luckily, I was staying at  Treasure Island, and I was able to particpate in the fun.

They had girls representing all of the Dryden Group bars, including Mosquito Bar, Rum Jungle, The Wet Spot, Angelwitch and the Voodoo Floating Bar.

Everyone had a blast. The music was great, the food was plentiful and well prepared (Dryden Restaurant standards were met) and the filipina girls were gorgeous and fun.

Check out the pics! Next time I’ll get more.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Treasure Island Pool Party

Added Photo Gallery: Driving the SCTEX from Angeles to Barrio Barretto

The drive from Angeles City to Subic Bay used to take four and a half hours. The roads were terrible, full of holes, covered in mudslides, and there always seemed to be cars and trucks breaking down, slowing traffic and generally ruining your day.

The drive on the SCTEX (Subic, Clark, Tarlac Expressway) was fantastic! I think the entire trip only took about one hour and 45 minutes, and only that long because we stopped for gas and to refill the tire with air.

I didn’t plan this, so all I grabbed were some quick snapshots of the scenes along the SCTEX, and a few signs that said Subic.

Also included in this photo gallery are a few pictures of the drive from Olongapo to Barrio Barretto.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Driving the SCTEX from Angeles to Barrio Barretto