LIBERTY CALL: Olongapo City

Olongapo - Looking up Magsaysay Blvd.

Looking up Magsaysay Blvd from near the bridge.

Well, what can you say about the City of Olongapo on the island of Luzon in the Philippines? When I was in high school, I had a couple of friends who were older and had joined the Navy right after they graduated. When home on leave they would tell stories of a place in the West Pacific that you just couldn’t believe. You sort of blew it off as over-excited storytelling and tell yourself that there just can’t be any place on earth like this. Then, you get there and realize they were pretty accurate in their descriptions of this small Philippine city that appeared to pretty much survive on the money spent by soldiers, sailors and airmen looking to cut loose.

Whether you just spent months at sea or crawling through a jungle you need some sort of way to just relax for awhile and have some fun. I’m guessing that in 1972 the average age of enlisted military personnel was probably in their early 20’s. There were those who enlisted after high school and were sent to the fleet immediately after boot camp. So many who had never stepped foot into a bar, tavern or night club were allowed to do so here. This was where many young men could test their endurance and capacity for consuming alcohol among other substances, since many weren’t of legal age stateside. When off-base you were still

responsible for being an “ambassador” for the United States, so there was some form of decorum and conduct you were expected to follow. Let’s just say there was some “leeway” in what was considered proper conduct, but if there’s one place on earth where you can act like an uncivilized animal, it was this place.

Subic Bay Naval Base Gate

Near the gate to the base.

The main street right outside the Subic Bay Naval Base gate was Magsaysay Blvd. In 1972 there were concrete sidewalks that dropped off to a dirt road surface. They were just starting to pave the center of this road with concrete at the time. To cross the street during the monsoons you stepped off the sidewalk into dirt or mud for about 15 feet and then stepped up on a concrete slab in the middle, then off it into the mud and over to the other sidewalk. This main street was lined with bars with hotels sandwiched in between. One evening I went to a bar off the beaten path by myself. I must have been nuts! I remember walking back toward Magsaysay Blvd. on muddy side streets where there were no street lights, it was pouring rain and yet probably 75 degrees. We had been warned to not travel alone or off of the main streets there. You had to be very careful if carrying a camera or wearing a wristwatch as it would most likely get snatched. I never went to town with my wallet. I carried money in a front pocket and in my back pocket I carried my military ID and Geneva Convention card. At the time there were known terrorist and guerrilla camps in the jungle outside of town and it was reported that they would love to get hold of a U.S. Serviceman. There was one other time I ever went off the main drag and that was with friends. One of the guys had a girlfriend there who invited us to her place for a meal. I think the only use for electricity in her shack was a refrigerator and a light bulb. Oh, she must have had some sort of stove because she made us some stir-fry vegetables and fish which we washed down with ice cold San Miguel beer.

Olongapo - Cab to White Rock Beach

My cab that took me to White Rock Beach

There was one lazy Sunday I didn’t have the duty and wanted to get off the ship. To hell with terror threats and street crime, I’m going to take off to see some sights outside of Olongapo. I can take care of myself, since I couldn’t find any of my buds that would want to go with and it was the middle of the day. I went into town with a bunch of my new recently purchased 35mm camera gear. I got into a cab and told him to take me to White Rock Beach. This ride was pretty harrowing in that the driver would go like hell squeezing this little Datsun through narrow slots, around blind corners in the outside lane and zooming around ox driven carts. It was nice that part of the trip was on paved roads! He dropped me off at the beach where I spent a few hours just kickin’ back and chillin’. I peeked into the pool area at the resort near the beach and then caught a cab back to town. Pretty uneventful day but nice to just get away.

Olongapo - Alternate transportation

An optional mode of transportation here.

Olongapo - White Rock Beach

White Rock Beach, located west of Olongapo

Olongapo - White Rock Resort

White Rock Resort.

As I mentioned the main street was lined with bars and night clubs. The cool thing here is that most of the places had a musical theme. What I mean is that there were rock and roll places and next door may be a country western bar and next to that may be heavy metal (well, heavy as it was in those days). Walking down the sidewalk was just like playing with the tuner dial on your car radio. You would hear a Chicago song and then next door you would hear Janis Joplin and next door to that you might hear Led Zeppelin. What fascinated me is how the Filipinos were such masters at imitation. These weren’t records or tape playing that I heard, they were live acts. Imagine hearing Ring of Fire coming out of a bar and it sounds exactly like the bassy, baritone of Johnny Cash. You walk in and there is this little brown guy in a western shirt, jeans and boots, about 4′ 6” onstage with his band making this sound. It was incredible! It made you want to stick around and see how they did with Folsom Prison Blues or I Walk the Line. There were a couple of places that had a Janis Joplin act. There you would find this tiny native Filipina belting out this big sound on stage. She would even have the Southern Comfort bottle (probably ice tea) at the base of her microphone, occasionally grabbing a swig. She had the sound and the mannerisms down to a tee. There were some places where the band may follow up a Buck Owens song with something from the Beatles and they would sound spot-on! These people could pick up on the instrumentation and vocals of virtually anyone they studied and of course, western culture was the money-maker.

Olongapo - Alternate transportation

Another form of transportation here.

Another place I remember was called Swanky’s International. It was up at the end of Magsaysay and a short block or so to the east on Rizal Avenue. The bands there always covered songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad and Deep Purple. The girls there could “doctor” your cigarette for you if you chose to partake. It was interesting that this place had a uniformed guard at the entrance, as some of the joints did. He was usually leaning in the doorway with one hand up around the corner of the door jamb. I was told that there was a button up there at his fingertips and when he would recognize someone from the local police, vice or drug force approaching, he would trigger a certain light on the wall that alerted the girls to hide any contraband that may be out.

The music was rather comforting in that it reminded you of home. Sometimes it was sad for the same reason. The one common thread with all the clubs was our beverage of choice, good old San Miguel beer. When especially sultry out you would offer the boy an extra 25 cents to bring you one from the bottom of the cooler with frost on it. And if he dug one from the bottom of the freezer/cooler that still has slush in it, give him an extra dime! They really could occasionally find one in that condition! The “working” girls would always come to your table and try to get you to buy them an over-priced cocktail with which the bar raked in their revenue. The girls were also there to solicit favors for later in the evening, if you chose. Most all of these women would tell you that they from some distant village or province and were here to make money for their family and for college. These girls were like temporary wives or girlfriends to some of the guys. They knew when you were getting shipped out and when you would return, so were available for you on your next visit to Subic Bay. Evidently there was a coconut telegraph that could provide the “ladies” with ship movement and know what we were doing before we did. John had his Yolanda and another shipmate had Jane Fonda Superstar, who worked upstairs at the D’Wave Club. Now I don’t remember how she got that nickname by us, but I’m betting it was before we were aware of the full impact of Jane Fonda’s (the actress) anti-war stand. Oh, to be young and single in this third-world Adult DisneyLand. Sort of a kinky nirvana. This was everything (and more) my friend Dave said it was several years prior. As I recall, the interiors of most of these places seemed the same; dimly lit and muggy. Some had swamp coolers or real a/c units, others not. Some had more spiders or lizards on the walls than others. Some had floor shows that would be really hard to describe.

Olongapo - Beachcomber Club 1973

The sign in the middle of the image says it all!

One club I remember up on the right side of Magsaysay had a pond out in front with a wrought iron fence surrounding the water. In this pond lived a 5 foot alligator (or was it a croc?). A woman stood outside with a basket where you could purchase a cute little live baby chick (or were they ducklings?) from her. Once you made the buy you were to toss it into the pond for the alligator to toy with, eventually gulping it down. One night I witnessed some inebriated marines daring each other to bite the heads off the little live creatures and then throw them in. Guess what? Headless chicks bobbing in the pool sort of took the sport out of the gator’s tortuous activity, but he ate them anyway. Don’t let anyone tell you a U.S. Marine ain’t tough!

Olongapo - Grand Ole Opry Club

The Grand Ole Opry on Magsaysay

Olongapo - The "working" girls at Grand Ole Opry Club

Some of the "working" girls of the Grand Ole Opry Club

Walking this street was a multi-sensory barrage of sights, sounds and smells. When you left the main gate at the base, the road leads you right over Shit River. Smell would tell you how it got the name as well as looking upstream, you could see all the shacks of the barrio built up to and over the water. As you crossed the bridge there were children below in their small banca boats begging GI’s for change. I suspect there was a hierarchy within these beggars because there would be some poorer ones with no boat who simply bobbed around treading the stinky brown water. Whether you tossed pennies, a nickle or a dime, they would dive for it and come up holding it in their hands. This river was a 40 foot wide open sewer, for god’s sakes!

Olongapo - Beggar kids in Shit River

Beggar kids from the barrio working in Shit River

As you walked into town, you smelled the beer and tobacco wafting out of the bars and clubs. You smelled the street foods, like fresh popcorn and the monkey meat or chicken livers grilled on skewers on sidewalk hibachis. Smells from cafes or restaurants were usually pleasant but may be followed by the odor of sewage and then a few feet down you’ll get a whiff of some sweet jasmine and then back to something rotten wafting from an alleyway or bad plumbing. On the road you could catch the roar of a colorful jeepney passing by or the smelly exhaust and putt-putt sound of a passing 2-stroke motorized tricycle or sort of a moped rickshaw contraption that could carry 1 or 2 (or 3 close friends).

Olongapo - D'Wave Club and 007 Club

Jeepney in front of the D'Wave Club and the 007 Club.

One food ritual I had there was when first going into town I would go to a little cafe on the left side of Magsaysay a few doors past the bridge and get a plate of pancit canton, a noodle dish. Sometimes I would order the lumpia, too. They were like spring rolls, sometimes fried. In addition to anything grilled on a sidewalk hibachi, I also ate a few hum baos. These were a sweet doughy bread that had meat in the center that was like it was in a barbeque sauce. I asked a mama san once what the meat was and she said “dog”. They were still pretty tasty. The one street food I always thought that some evening I would get drunk enough to eat was the balut. I never did. Women would stand on a street corner with a basket with some steamy towels in it. Buried in these warm towels were duck eggs. These fertilized eggs had an embryo inside that when at a certain stage of development, were then boiled. Essentially, it was like our hard boiled eggs but with a little feathery body treat inside. Just peel the shell off, sprinkle with some salt and eat. I was told that you should keep track of the semi-developed beak so you could use it as a toothpick.

Olongapo - Patrick & sweetheart

Patrick & his honey-ko

I had another food ritual there that took place on the base. When we would come back to Subic Bay from Viet Nam for repairs and maintenance, the very first place I would go was the enlisted mens club on the base. Wasn’t that called the Sampaguita Club? I would go there and order a filet mignon and a 7&7. Those several special meals there are the only time in my life I can recall ever having filet mignon. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered it stateside.


673 Responses to LIBERTY CALL: Olongapo City

  1. Jeff Zavada says:

    Dennis, remember the old couple who would take turns begging for money. One night it would be the woman with her hand out and eyes rolled back in her head and then the next night it would be the husband.

    • No Jeff, I don’t remember them. I do remember an occasional cruel bastard that would throw a handful of shiny washers into Shit River from the bridge. The kids would dive for them thinking they were dimes. When they surfaced they would be super pissed! It wasn’t too funny when they had an accomplice on the bridge that would give chase and slice the offending sailors achilles tendon. Ouch!

      I heard stories that before our time over there when you had to wear a uniform off base on liberty. When crossing the bridge you would be pestered by the boys wanting to give shoe shines. If you refused or gave them any shit, you got a streak of black shoe polish across the back of your whites.

      • John says:

        69/70 Had a shoeshine boy rubbed neutral polish over my spitshined shoes when I said no. Never anything on my whites

      • wayne mc cullough says:

        I guess me and my buddies were cruel. We threw those big Hong kong dollars AT the kids in the boat in shit river

      • I never had much trouble with kids but did get in a knife fight with some guy I tried to sell my watch to and he fried a folding money trick. I never went to the White Rock but a fellow crewman went there and was murdered. Our ship the Shangri La was there in 1970 and I lost count of how many times. I did have a bar girl wife who would greet me when we came in except when she had gone to stay with her family and then she would provide a substitute for me. Our favorite drink was the Cuba Libre and of course when money was low it was San Miguel. I never wasted me with alligators but usually went right to the club or out to eat off base. I only went to the club on base once cause why would you put yourself in that positon when across the river you could do anytning you wanted. We also went to the VFW once or twice for meals, etc. I never had much problem with kids cause I knew where I was going and didnt waste time getting there. I remember having to bargain with all the drivers of the different types of vehicles. We went to shows which had a standard show they might still have somewhere today. You would have people dancing between sticks being banged together. Then it would lead up to a girl with no or few clothes who would pck cash out of sailors mouths with her
        vagina. I also remember listening to a band practice on the island near the base where the navy ran a small resort. They did practice songs until they were perfect. I remember when we were in yokuska they had bands from the Philipines providing enertainment there because the Jap[anese could not do it well enough.

      • Dan O'Riley says:

        Enjoyed reading this. Nice job describing what only one who was there can! I first hit Subic in Apr 69 on LST-1073 USS Outagamie Co. (McHales Navy)and thru Jul 72 3 WESPAC cruises made many visit across the bridge favorite watering hole was the U and I Club and trips up to Subic City! In Dec of 71 had just returned from WESPAC cruise On USS Ogden LPD-5! Not looking forward to ship upkeep and drills I swapped onto USS Sterett DLG-31 and headed right back for WESPAC and Olongapo for my last 8 mo’s and only had 1 month in transit barracks in SD when we returned!

    • Donny Uherek says:

      Jeff, I remember the two beggers, I tipped them at least once back in 1973. (USS CORAL SEA-CVA43)

      • Richard, '65-'69 CVA-14, TemDu, Subic says:

        66-67-68 (USS Ticonderoga)
        Yes, whites only for liberty. Shiny stuff thrown at SR divers. Aggressive shoeshine boys – although we had an armed RP gate guard – occasional racing stripe awarded. But it was a very violent place at that time. We had snipers, pick pockets, the “Mickey Mouse” bomber, strong arm robbers (armed pick pockets, murders, “Pirates” and the Hukkabakuk Communist Provisional Revolutionary Government. Or, just the “Huks”. Funny how command filtered everything to fit their narrative requirements.

        Organized gangs (Ziggi, Roxos, B’nai alam) didn’t exist. Snipers (Or how’d that big gouge get on the foredeck of the harbor patrol boat?) were ‘Japanese holdouts’. Pirates (again, didn’t exist) were a continuing problem for the recreation facility on Grande Island. Not like aggressive pan-handlers. Like armed squads with AKs IEDs, and gas powered dugouts. Trying to rob the casino and the hotel.

        Interesting times, as they say. And. like the old guy sez, “They look taller with machine guns.”

    • David Lush says:

      I was stationed there 71 to 74 and don’t remember anyones heals getting sliced. I worked Armed Forces Police at the gate and in town.
      The memories I will never forget and that’s why I’m going back around July/August to retire or maybe Cebu City.

      • Richard says:

        It got quieter as everyone realized it was good for the economy to focus on the ‘Adult Disneyland’ aspect. But, during 67-68, when the fleet was in, it was a very interesting place. If anyone has photos of the base and the bars, plz post. My cameras were stolen out of my locker.

      • Bill says:

        Rode an ammo ship from 69-74 and made 3 cruises to westpac. Lots of liberty. Married my wife of 45 years there in 71. Got married at a church in town. Stationed at NavMag 74-76. Lots of adventures there. Hard hat once cruise in Subic in 72 or 4 months. Was there during the base strike in the mid 80s. Was stuck in town and snuck back on base the first night of the strike with a dozen marines by jumping a fence outside town and going through the jungle. We went straight up the side of a steep hill hand over hand pulling each other up.
        Yeah, lots of memories. When I was on the Leftwich we hit a sub and were in dry dock several months. That’s an entire story in itself.
        20 years in the Navy. Best port in the world

      • Ed Regan says:

        1968, USS America, we were warned of the shoe shine boys smearing mud on you shoes then tried to get you to get a shine. When you put your foot on the box a knife was put to the tendon on the back of your ankle and if you did not hand over your money they would cut the tendon.That cruise and from 1970 to 1976 I had never of this happening.

      • Richard says:

        Hard to describe the changes in O city between the beginning of force escalation and the later, almost ten years later, interactions. The shoe shine was one gimmick. There were others; the taxi charges (sometimes 100 times the fare when the fleet was in town). The girlfriends picture trick. The wallet snatch (obvious) where one pickpocket worked with others to trip the sailor or marine as he tried to chase down the pickpocket. Even the barracks weren’t safe. The shoeshine boys and ‘stewards’ turned into bandits if you turned your back. It did get better, safer, as time went on. Not because of anything we did. I think the ‘vendors’ just realized they’d make better money if it was peacefully done. Noobs had no idea what had gone before. And, having said that, there were some very decent people in the PI. But conditions were very different from ‘The World’ we knew stateside.

      • F. Nalica says: if you remember that last name email me

      • william Caswell says:

        David, I was at Subic from 72-74. Worked Provost Marshal’s Office. Always had a lot of respect for you guys going out in town among the PC. Remember the squid who was messed up on something bad and raped a pregnant dependent by the bowling alley? I busted a 3′ riot baton over the creep and he didn’t notice.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        That creep you hit with the 3 baton got serenely dealt with for raping a pregnant dependent, Court Martial offense & hard labor in prison along with being busted down to E1, dishonorable discharge. If he would have been in a Middle Eastern country his punishment would have been far more severe. He shamed the U.S.Navy, his command & shipmates/coworkers. Whatever he was on the pusher got away with it.

      • D.C. Bennett says:

        Hey Dave! Let us know how it’s going in Cebu (or wherever you landed).
        I was WestPac salior ’71-74, NAVMAG Safety/Security (“Floating-Rib”) ’74-77, “Beat Charlie” 7thFlt hard-hat 77-78.

        Dann Bennett

    • Rhonda says:

      By any chance do any of you Remember my father BM Richard Rentschler?

  2. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    My favorite port. I was stationed there from 1974 to 1976. The aligator was in front of Paulines. I worked Harbor patrol Security on PBR’s, Special Operations Branch, and Kennelmaster at K-9 (Military Working Dog Branch). Learned to like baluts.

    • Hey Stubby, thanks for the memory clarification on Paulines! That definitely sounds very familiar. It sounds like you had some interesting duty there after your time on the Franny H. Congrats on the baluts, LOL!

      Stay tuned for other LIBERTY CALL: posts, but the rest will just be mostly photos. The memories of Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila and Kaohsiung,Taiwan in 1972-73 are just not as vivid to me as Olongapo.

    • David Summers says:

      Was there in 74. Spent most of my time at the “L” club or the Sierra Club. Did balut once! (It was raw, not boiled) Tried dog once as well…loved the monkey meat!

      • Oh man, you must have really been toasted to eat a raw one! I used to like those steamy doughy things with the sweet BBQ meat filling in the center. One time I asked a mama-san in a club what the meat was in the center and she told me it was dog. I still ate a few even after that in addition to the awesome “monkey” meat on the stick. I think those steamed dough things are called hum-bao.

      • J. Jones RM1 USN (ret) says:

        those doughy things you mention below are called Sho-pow, a chinese steamed bread, which is why it is doughy, steamed, not baked.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        David Summers my first time there in Olongapo City was on Tuesday, November 26, 1974. It was my first Westpac, I was on
        my second ship, the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19. During that first
        Westpac I was there in Subic five times and twice in Manila, my
        Two most favorite & the very best Navy liberty in the world. I met
        My late wife of 31 years on Thursday, January 16, 1975 during
        my third time in Subic. She worked at the Sierra Club, I got
        stationed at SRF Subic Bay on Monday, November 20, 1978. I
        tried to get stationed there in 1976, but I had to take shore duty
        which I did in Pearl Harbor. When my orders read SRF Subic Bay, it was worth more than all the gold & silver in the world. I was in the L Club, I met a woman named Christy here, from Leyte, she had a son from a Marine, she was very honest with
        me, we spent a night together, later I seen her with a new boyfriend and she saw me with my girl friend who became my
        Wife on Thursday, April 5, 1979, we stayed married up to
        Saturday, March 6, 2010 when she passed away, my wife was
        a wonderful woman, great wife, great mother, we had 3 children
        during our 31 years of marriage. I sure hope thing turned out very good for Christy & her son because they deserved to have
        the good things of life as many of those women there in the Philippines do deserve, and there were a lot of those that did
        turn out to be good, the ones no one ever hears about at all.
        3 years before I went into the Navy, I read in the Philadelphia Bulletin in August of 1969 about a man who got engaged to a
        Filipina woman he met in 1959 when he was working in the Philippines for Scott Paper, he was a widower, after I read that
        news article, I knew then and there that I was going to marry a
        woman from the Philippines. In 1971 that man in Philadelphia
        got his fiancé & her parents to the United States, he married
        his fiancé, it was also in the Philadelphia Bulletin, I also read
        that article several times, my late mother & father also read that
        article as well, my late parents then knew that I was going to
        marry a Filipina woman, I was in the Navy almost a year, stationed aboard my first ship out of Norfolk,VA I have seen
        many Filipina women there and I had sensed that I would end
        up marrying a Filipina woman, which I did, I have no regrets at
        all about it. Within the next 3 to 4 years, I plan to return home
        to the Philippines, my second country & live out my life there.
        I now cook Filipino food.

      • Alan says:

        I spent a lot of time at the Sierra Club in 1973 and 1975. What was the name of the group that was there whose lead guitarist was Manny? Great times!

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        I was always in the rufadora and the valentines club. One club I had a lot of fun with on a side street was the tiger lady

    • wayne mc cullough says:

      I’m glad to see something about the alligator in print. Now my friends & family will believe me when I tell them about getting baby ducks drunk and then feeding them to the alligators. I can’t believe we were that cruel during my 3 deployments on the “Connie” in the 60’s

      • Jon Covey says:

        Well, mine is the best, we had a RMSN that when the kids wanted him to buy the ducks and feed to the gator, he just said the hell with the gator and bit the head of himself. The locals about came unglued for that one, think it was in 1973/74, and the rm was our own dave hughes. If I remember right….

    • then you remember Col. Towey

    • Richard, '65-'69 CVA-14, TemDu, Subic says:

      Yep. I was sent back to the hospital, and while waiting for my ship, I invested a lot of time drinking and whoring. I must have been obnoxious because the MAA ‘drafted’ me to Base Security. I worked security from O City to Grande Island. Man! There were a lot of ways to get yourself messed up. Most fleet visitors had no idea how many guys got robbed, rolled, hurt, and occasionally killed. They just saw it as an Adult Disneyland of bars and brothels. Which it was. It was also not a good place to take shortcuts off the beaten path. Even if you were an SP, in uniform, with brassard and nightstick.

      Meanwhile we’re fighting Huks, performing EOD against the Mickey Mouse bomber, and dealing with petty gang crime in the vill. I still remember a couple of those nights; The Guy who was to Dumb to know he was Dead; One Riot, One Ranger; and Hey, it’s just one eye. Lets go F*Ck ’em up! We coped by forming the “Murder of the Week Club” – pun on the “Book of the Month Club” – where we all get completely drunk and compare notes on the most gristly murder we were involved in, cleaned up from, or transported the body. We didn’t kill anybody that I know of, but some guys were really busy in that town

      Glad you guys morphed those Liberty Boats into PBRs. Those Proahs could run circles around our fastest Liberty Boats. Guns would have been nice, too. But, hey, technically, we were not at war, the Huks didn’t exist, the last Japanese sniper died out, and PI was an ally. So why do you guys keep asking for 45s? Could it be the big gouge on the bow? The one that just ‘happened’ one day?

      But, you know, you’re right. They just never would believe it at home. They just won’t believe it. Oh, and don’t ever ask me about the ‘job interview’ I had after the “One Riot.” incident.

      • Bill says:

        Rode an ammo ship from 69-74 and made 3 cruises to westpac. Lots of liberty. Married my wife of 45 years there in 71. Got married at a church in town. Stationed at NavMag 74-76. Lots of adventures there. Hard hat once cruise in Subic in 72 or 4 months. Was there during the base strike in the mid 80s. Was stuck in town and snuck back on base the first night of the strike with a dozen marines by jumping a fence outside town and going through the jungle. We went straight up the side of a steep hill hand over hand pulling each other up.
        Yeah, lots of memories. When I was on the Leftwich we hit a sub and were in dry dock several months. That’s an entire story in itself.
        20 years in the Navy. Best port in the world

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Bill I’m glad that you & your wife have been married 45 years. The base strikes alway happened when the USS Ranger CV-61 was in port there in 1979, again in 1983. Two weeks after the first strike ended, on April 5, 1979 the USS Midway & a Liberian freighter were in an accident in the Indian Ocean, the Midway had to get back to SRF Subic Bay for quick repairs and the. Back to Yokosuka for the dry dock. My late wife & I we went to the U.S.Embassy in Manila for me to get the legal capacity for us to get married, the guard at the Embassy just let us right through, the guard used to be supervised by my late father in law, so he knew my late wife and my military I.D.card we got into the Embassy. Hours late my late wife & I got married by Judge Jose L. Uy at City Hall there in Olongapo City. Bill we beat those critics who said that my marriage would only last up to 5 years at the most. Next month on March 6 will be 6 years since my wife passed away. We were married a month shy of exactly 31 years when she passed away. My ultimate goal if for me to be living back there in Olongapo City by the month of October, 2017 for good.

    • D.C. Bennett says:

      Stubby, do you recall Dave (?) Bender? MAC “Grubby” Ahrens (ex-Grayback submariener, ex “Floating- Rib” at NavMag)?

  3. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    Remember the Spanish Gate. We use to eat there on the way to the Club for happy hour where the drinks were about 10 cents. Then we would hurry out the main gate. When the liberty limit was reached in town, the gate was closed off. This may have started when the Battle Groups increased.
    I think the Radar Gang settled on D’ Wave Club. We didn’t feel too comfortable in Swanky’s.

    • Man Stubby, your memory is great! I think I’ve fried most of mine, hehe. Yes, now I remember the Spanish Gate. I believe you may be correct on the D’Wave Club being a sort of central location for the Radar Gang. That’s where Scotty’s girl “Jane Fonda” worked. I think Swanky’s may have been the hangout for the Weapons guys or maybe it was Engineering. I know that the couple of times when I left there, the sidewalks felt like walking on a waterbed all the way back to the ship!

      • John N says:

        I remember being in the Spanish Gate one time in the late 70’s and I saw this huge rat run across the floor and I told the waitress about it and she said “ Yes, we have mice “
        It was amazing how good the bands were. I remember a girl that sang and she sounded just like Janis Joplin.

  4. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    I once talked a new guy into wearing his dress blues on liberty in Olongapo. He was very popular with the ladies (must have sweated off 10 pounds).

    The base was outstanding with the beaches (dungaree, all hands, Cubi Point, Grande Island), golf, bowling, horses to ride. There was even a football team that played in full pads against Guam, Japan, Okinawa, Clark, and maybe Korea. The players were mostly TAD from the large ships. When I was on the Connie we had an OS there for the whole cruise. I went to a game during the rainy season once. Too windy to use umbrellas and trash cans beeing tossed around but the game went on.

  5. J. Jones RM1 USN (ret) says:

    Brought back some memories. I was there well before any paving of roads or sidewalks….First appeared on the scene in ’65…Hung out n the Joy Club, Lil China Inn, and a few others..Was actually stationed at the ComSta at San Miguel about 30 miles north towards IBA. Spent lots of time in Subic City….sometimes never made it out of there to get to Olongapo. And could I tell you stories.. similar to those you experienced or heard though….I just had a bunch of them after doing 3 tours all with extentions there and at Sangley Pt. Anyway enjoyed the read….good job.

    • Dave says:

      I was stationed at NavConSta from 1965 to 1967, at San Maguel. Went to Olongapo all the time. Only club I can remember with my failing memory was the East Inn which was way at the end. Many Autralian sailors requested and love to fight. I almost got married, but got shipped out before I did. Many fond memories.

      • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

        Dave, I was also stationed at San Miguel. Was there from January 1966 to July 1968. I was a Radioman. My name is Frederick Smith. I worked at the Terminal Building in the Relay center. Our barracks were the quonset huts on base. I live in Palmer, MA.

  6. Jim Val says:

    I was TAD from NSGA Taipei to San Miguel May-Jun ’71. Took a few trips to Po Town, but only when Subic was void of ships. We would rent a micro-bus, stop at the San Miguel brewery in San Antonio for a case of beer and finish it by the time we got to PO. I remember the gator pit, and a place called the Rocket Room that we stayed away from for some reason that I don’t remember. My recollections of Subic are hazy as we were hammered before ever arriving. I have a better memory of the Cross Roads at San Miguel. My favorite spots were the Sampiquita and the UAC (Ugly American Club) – what an appropriate name. There was a kick ass band at the UAC in those days. There was one place that was off limits after the Huk’s shot it up one night – or so the story goes. The bars at the cross roads would rotate the pay day floor show. I have this vision of a drunk sailor laying on the floor of the UAC with a dollar bill in his mouth, and someone yells out “does your mother know what you’re doing?”
    Liberty in Taipei was excellent also; but much more civilized and pricey – everything cost 3 times as much as in the PI.

    • unperson192 says:

      ah, the ugly american….had a girlfriend from that bar…name of nancy, as I recall…

    • S White says:

      I tried to email you thru the email address left on my web site but the emails are bouncing. Contact me at please.

    • Dave says:

      I went to the cross roads many times. Went to one bar where I went to the bathroom which was a glorified out house with a cement floor. One night I went to the bathroom, and the cement floor gave way and I was able to grab the fortified sink and found myself hang waist deep in the waterie shit. Thank god I did not go down all the way. Went back to base, threw away my clothes. And took a long shower.

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Dave, that is all part of the fun. You can tell that story now and laugh about it. You probably laughed about it at the time I reckon. Great times in Po City that is for sure. I am Australian and was in the Navy at the time. Had some great nights in Olongapo.

      • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

        Dave, that bar where the floor went through at the Crossroads was called the RRB Club. It was further down the road away from the base and on the left side of the road. I lost my cherry to a girl there named Linda back in February of 1966 when I was 18. And I knew a sailor who worked at San Miguel in the Relay center with me that also fell through that outhouse floor at the RRB. His name was Marvin Wixom from Detroit.

    • Jim: you got to San Miguel about time I left for Gulf of Tonkin TAD on USS Preble and then jumped on the USS Fox. May ’71-Jan ’72 Your trips were how I remember if we didn’t take the base bus to Subic. After TAD I only had a couple of weeks before shipping back to states Homestead, AFB NSGA. One thing I did wrong and was told many times not to do. Eat a taco from the street. Monkey meat on the stick was ok. By 4 that morning I was burning the toilet water. Couldn’t wait till sickbay opened. Corpsman smile and said, “What’d eat down at the Crossroads.” I told him. He turned around to his medicine safe and worked the combination and removed a couple of little white pills. “One now, another in 12 hours.” That how I remember it. Loved getting up with The GAF Band at one of these clubs….we had a routine…Sunshine of Your Love, Oye Como Va and Born to be Wild. Their instruments were knock-off originals but DAMN those filipino fellas could cover a song. Oh. Just realised I cannot post a photo.

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello Chuck. Would love to see some Olongapo Photos. I have some. I was in the Aussie Navy and went in and out of Subic a few times in 70’s and early 80’s. My email address is If you give me your email I can send you some photos. Best time in Olongapo. I went everywhere, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Olongapo, India, South Pacific Islands. The Navy was the best time of my life, but I think Subic Bay (Olongapo) was the best. Hope to hear from you mate

    • axeman51 says:

      Jim, you were TAD when I arrived in Taiwan. Went to the P.I. when I left Taiwan. Will never forget the bus ride from Manila to Subic. Here I had grown up in Colorado riding in the mountains and lived overseas for over a year and never had I had the ride like that ride. Had to hit the 1st bar I could find to settle my nerves. The P.I. was an unbelievable place in 72. A lot different than Taipei. Fond memories of both places, but still have to give the nod to Taiwan. Axe

  7. AL Wellman says:

    Thank you for the photos. I was there from 1970 to 1972 and regret I never risked taking my camera outside the main gate. During the 71-72 cruise I was assigned to Shore Patrol every duty night in port. I usually spent the night walking back and forth along Magsaysay, but one night they had enough SPs to assign me to the Olongapo jail to take custody of any sailor unfortunate enough to be arrested by the local constabulary. The city was home to three political parties at that time; and the party controlling local government incarcerated the other two as outlaw gangs. The back wall of the jail was a line of three cells separated by bars. The place was illuminated by a single naked bulb dangling by an electrical wire from the ceiling in front of the center cell. Each cell was standing room only. Male members of the two gangs were in the two outer cells to prevent them from injuring each other through the bars. The center cell was for female prisoners. There was a small crowd of visiting friends outside the cells bringing food to the prisoners since none was provided otherwise. The crowd was generally attired in shorts, tee-shirts, and shower sandals, but the immaculately groomed police wore crisply pressed military-style khaki uniforms and carried M16 rifles.

    • Thanks Al, for the comments! You notice I have no photos at night, hehe. I too stood Shore Patrol duty during the ’72 WestPac and the ’73 WestPac a few times. It was a different perspective on an evening in Olongapo when you were stone cold sober. I don’t remember if a senior Petty Officer carried a side arm or not, but all I ever had was the billyclub. We broke up a couple of fights, but it was pretty uneventful for the most part. If we saw a sailor taking a leak in an alley we made sure he came back toward Magsaysay and not wander off in the other direction. Do that and you may never be seen again! There was a club down at the end of Magsaysay where it met Rizal that I think was up on a second floor. We were supposed to break up a crowd but nobody was causing a real problem so we let everyone have their fun. We did get to shove our way through the huddled mass of guys to get a front row look at the “floor show” the girl was putting on. When we would walk into a club a girl might ask me “Hey, what your name?” In the deepest bass I could muster I’d reply “Johnny”. She’d ask “Johnny who?” I’d reply “Johnny Cash!” “Oooohhh, we love you!” LOL

      That jail sounded pretty hairy!


      • Stubby says:

        Sounds like the New Jollo Club where once a sailor swallowed a peso coin during a show and was taken to Cubi Point Hospital to have it cut out. Once referred to as the New Jollo Chapel before taking our Squadron Chaplin to services there.

    • John Arnold says:

      Thanks for getting me back to the base, never thought I’d make it. I was in Subic, 70, 71, 72, 73 off and on. DD852

    • bobby says:


      • Gene says:

        I was on the Connie 67-70 .. corpsman so we may have crossed paths on board. Our favorite nite spot was Club Fuji and the attached Hotel Belmont.

      • Charles Abbott says:

        How funny, I still have have business cards and receipts from the Empress Hotel….. I was there from 1974 to 1977 on the USS Enterprise CVAN-65. DI’d you ever drink any MoJo, or shakem up.

      • Christopher O'Rourke says:

        Charles, I watch a short video series called Pinoy Joyride on YouTube and In one of the videos in Pinoy Joyride Dimitri Valencia drove on Rizal Avenue and the Emperor Hotel is still there, the entry way/ground floor is a restrauent & the upper floors it’s still a hotel. Rizal Avenue & Magsaysay Drive are now an extension of Downtown Olongapo City.

      • Charles Abbott says:

        That’s why I’m glad I found this site. It takes me back to my youth. I still remember you could here the Sierra Club when you hit the end of the bridge. Let me know when you get there for good. Post some memories of the past.

      • Christopher O'Rourke says:

        I remember the Sierra Club, today the Sierra Club, Playboy Bar & Old West One is a warehouse and the Shell Gas Station next to them is a nursery that is selling trees, plants & garden items. Charlie’s Mexican restrauent is still there, next door to it is and/was a bicycle shop that an ex-shipmate of mine & his wife owns, he got out of the Navy on Monday,May 5, 1975 and got married that night and he stayed there and has done well for himself & his family. When I do get back home there, I will be informing this site and will in due time pay my former shipmate & his family a visit.

      • Charles Abbott says:

        Well thanks for keeping these memories going for so many people. Keep us all up to date pls and post new pictures when you get home.

  8. AL Wellman says:

    On my first Sunday off duty in Subic Bay, I decided to see what Grande Island offered as an alternative to Olongapo. At the boat landing they warned us to stay within the cleared area on the landward side of the island because the harbor boats couldn’t patrol the South China Sea side, and pirates would come ashore armed with shotguns and machetes to rob any sailors they found. When the boat reached the Island, most of the passengers headed for the Navy club to the left, but I chose to explore the outdoor recreational facilities to the right on my own. When I reached the far end, I found an off limits sign where a single lane dirt road continued walled in by nearly impenetrable jungle vegetation on either side. It had rained the day before, and I could see no recent footprints or vehicle tracks on the dried road surface of raindrop pocked mud. No one was watching from the cleared area behind me, so I decided to take a short trip down the road. I was almost immediately hidden from the clearing as the road curved into the jungle. I continued cautiously watching for footprints or recently disturbed vegetation beside the road. I found none and followed the road around the island to ultimately emerge from the jungle behind the Navy club. Enroute I found numerous concrete fortifications (some damaged by second world war artillery fire) and a rusted 6-inch coastal artillery gun being overgrown by the jungle. There was also a rocky beach on the South China Sea where the water was decidedly clearer than the turbid sandy beach on the bay side recreation area.

    On later trips I took a mask, snorkel and swim fins to explore the coral reef off the rocky beach. It was like swimming in an aquarium with the colorful tropical fish and reef animals. I never saw any pirates, but there were numerous small, transparent jellyfish which were difficult to see and relatively painful when I accidentally let them touch exposed skin. A tee-shirt was usually adequate protection, but I recall a painful episode when one got inside my shirt.

    Another time I took my camera to get photos of the old coastal artillery disappearing rifle of what the Army had called Battery Flake of Fort Wint. As I was focused on finding a good perspective for natural lighting of the subject, I was discovered by one of the Filipino security personnel employed by the base. He was patrolling the road on foot with a shotgun. He was happy to help me continue my photographic documentation, and would theatrically posture with his shotgun to clear subject areas of interest before I entered. We talked about our backgrounds and jobs as he escorted me back to the Navy club. I thanked him for his help and he invited me to visit his family’s club in Olongapo that evening.

    He turned out to be just another guy collecting a fee for each customer he could bring in. He had a couple of side routines for making sure I spent all the money I brought with me and he established his percentage rather than the club owner. As we were walking down Magsaysay, he surreptitiously pointed me out to a conspirator who then made a clumsy attempt to pick my pocket. He promptly suggested it would be safer if he carried my money. I had only brought a few dollars with me, so I played along to see what happened. He called one of the hostesses over as soon as we selected a table at the club. As we were having drinks, he inquired indelicately if I liked the girl; and then asked if I had any more money, because it wasn’t really enough. I thanked him for showing me his family’s club; and walked back to the base saddened by the evidence the corruption of Magsaysay didn’t stop at the main gate.

    A friend aboard a minesweeper awakened in his bunk one night to find one of the shipyard employees searching through his trouser pockets. Do you remember the story about the truckload of Japanese cameras and stereo equipment being stolen from the Subic Bay post exchange and ramming through the main gate to disappear into Olongapo? Air Force personnel had a similar story about one of the Clark Field crash trucks running through the front gate with sirens blaring. I don’t know if they were true; but I remember each US gate guard was unarmed, but accompanied by a Filipino with an M16 — because it might be an international incident if a wealthy American were to shoot an impoverished Filipino. I wonder if the Filipino would have fired high if directed to shoot an escaping thief.

    • Thanks again for more Subic Bay memories, Al! I don’t recall ever hearing of the infamous PX heist on the base. I like your story of how it’s hard to trust anyone there during that period of history. It seems as if most of the locals were networked or in cahoots somehow to separate sailors and G.I.’s from their dollars/pesos. In regards to your last sentence, YES, my cynical side says that the armed Filipino would have fired high, since the thief was probably a cousin-brother-uncle who would later share in his bounty with the “guard”.

      I only have one vague memory of Grande Island. Some buddies and I took a water taxi out there one evening to have some drinks at the club. I suspect we had already “prepped” at the Sampaguita club on base. All I remember there is stepping off the water taxi and walking the narrow dock toward land. It was night-time and there were lights under the dock illuminating the sealife below in the crystal-clear water. It felt sort of like walking over an aquarium. I don’t think we stayed there very long and headed back to Olongapo for the rest of the evening.

      • Dano Smith says:

        I have a similar memory of Grande Island Al, did the same thing exploring the island by myself a few times and also with a hostess who worked at the Sampaguita Club. I was on TDY for 3 months while awaiting transport in 1980. I didn’t drink (still dont) and had a girlfriend back home I was remaining faithful to (she didn’t do me the same courtesy ) so my experiences in Olongapo were not quite the same. I did a couple Honor Guard details for Filipino servicemen who died and had a friend on base who was a local boy and he took me home a few times but otherwise I stayed on the base.

      • AL Wellman says:

        It’s too bad more of us didn’t see the remains of Fort Wint. A few images are available at:

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Al I remember seeing the old gun mounts of Fort Wint on Grande Island, my late wife & I went out there about three weeks after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay. This was on Saturday, December 9, 1978. We both just explored the place, came across Fort Wint, even some old Budweiser beer cans from the early 1970’s when there were beer drinking parties out there. My late father in law was U.S.Army in World War II, he was a combat solider, after the War, he went to work at our Embassy in Manila till he retired in 1972.

      • Carina Locquaio says:

        Hi my name is Carina. I live in Hawaii now but originally from Samar Philippines. I have a friend and became my classmate who is a child of an american military who was stationed in olongapo in late 60’s to early 70’s. She has a half brother who is John Smith named after his father who John Smith too. He was an Air Force. By any chance, do you know him? They are both are looking for their parents. Their mom died already. Thank you in advance.

  9. AL Wellman says:

    Some of the clubs could be rented for a private party. One of the Australian ships held a party allegedly beginning when the Australian crew simultaneously removed all their clothes. That event was long remembered by the surprised party hostesses.

    Do you recall the US Navy swap program in effect during the Vietnam War? It was possible for a sailor to swap duty stations with another sailor holding an Identical billet on a different ship. There were a number of restrictions, but it was attractive to sailors on a deploying ship who wanted to avoid a prolonged separation from their families, and to sailors on a returning ship who wanted to continue enjoying Olongapo’s life style.

    I met a division officer who related a swap story illustrating the possibilities. As I recall, one of his third class petty officers was in the midst of a difficult family situation which was likely to degenerate into a hardship separation, or at the very least distract the sailor from his duty responsibilities. So a swap was arranged with a sailor from a returning ship as his ship prepared for deployment. The division officer reported the replacement petty officer was a good performer at sea, but made various arrangements to live ashore whenever the ship was in Subic Bay.

    The first visit to Subic Bay was marked by the new sailor informally scheduling a division party at an Olongapo club which rewarded him with an individual room with food, drinks, and hostess services for as long as the ship was in port. New sailors returning to the ship reported the colorful party with stories encouraging shipmates to visit the club on subsequent nights ashore. The environment encouraged testing limits to provide new experiences maintaining the popularity of the club for subsequent visits to Subic Bay.

    Ultimately the wild party excesses killed one of the hostesses. The replacement petty officer was reportedly arrested by Philippine authorities; and the ship sailed without him.

    • No Al, I never heard of that “swap” program. I first reported for sea duty in 1970. That was when Rear Admiral Elmo Zumwalt was in charge and it was called the “new” Navy. We saw lots of other changes effected that bothered the senior PO’s and other career guys in the way we were allowed some relaxed restrictions. It’s possible the “swap” thing could have been Zumwalts doing, I don’t know.


      • Pete Maher says:

        The “exchange of duty” program was a long-standing Navy program. I did it from a ship in Pearl Harbor with another ship in Norfolk in 1976. Probably the worst decision of my life.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Pete there is also the bar fine system in the Metro Manila and Cebu City areas as well, Thailand has it also, so does Taiwan & South Korea. When you ha swapped from the ship you were on in Pearl Harbor for a ship in Norfolk, VA as the worst decision you ever made in your life, I agree with you there entirely. Norfolk, VA is the garbage dump of the Navy, Marine Corps & the Navy’s little brother the Coast Guard unless you are from there. When a Navy sailor, a Marine and/or Coast Guard sailor transfers from Norfolk to San Diego, Bremerton,WA, Jacksonville,FL or Pensecola,FL they are moving up, when they transfer to Norfolk, they are moving down. The Med cruises and Med ports minus the Spanish ports are overpriced. I spent Thanksgiving day 1972 in Cannes, France, that place makes Japan look like a bargain in comparison. Westpac cruises and Westpac ports are the best.

      • Kenneth L Burroughs says:

        I took part in the swap program. On Nov.6, 1967 I was on board the USS St Paul CA73 and just got back from my 2nd deployment from WestPac. In May of ’68 we were getting ready to go back for #3, I was in a bar one night and ran into a guy that was telling me how bad he wanted to get back. We had both just made 2nd class BT, and had about the same amount of time left. I ask if he wanted to try a swap, He said sure. We both put in a chit and it went though. We both got orders in about two days. Off I went to the USS Hopewell DD681. I got to stay in San Diego till Nov 15 1968 then back for #3. I liked the Tin Can Navy much better. The cruiser was great in heavy seas, but the Tin Can was a lot more lax when it came to rules and regulations.
        Was in Olongapo many times and enjoyed every one. Made it to White Rock Beach a couple of times also.

    • Stewey says:

      Yeah well,,ya gotta admit it was hot up there,you know us Aussies don’t stand on ceremony.
      DDG. Snipe 1969

    • Greg Hoffer says:

      I remember the swap program. I was stationed at NSD in subic from 7/1969 to 9/1971.
      A chief I worked for had been in the Philippines for 9 years and told me how he would swap his eligible stateside duty for the subic duty which was considered preferred sea duty.
      I think he planned on staying there till he retired

      • AL Wellman says:

        I remember rumors of some CPOs and warrant officers purchasing clubs in Olongapo and retiring there. It seemed like a good retirement income at the time; but I wonder how subsequent political changes may have affected their lifestyle.

      • Dan O'Riley says:

        I spent 69 thru 72 on wespac ships and in fact my last 10 mo’s in the navy I swapped off a LPD onto a DLG with another SM3 who had a family in San Diego . For me it was I didn’t want to sit in SD and chip and paint after the wespac cruise I had just been on! Also remember Blaylocks base taxi’s I think he was an old retiree! Favorite hangout was the U&I Gardens inside /outside bar!

      • greg says:

        Thats funny because I use to hang out at the U & I club a lot. They had the greatest band who could imitate any group. A really fun place!!

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Gregg the chief you work for at NSD Subic Bay was very smart. I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay from 11/20/1978 to 3/30/1981. I wished the Navy just would have left me there, had that would have occurred, I would have most likely retired there and would
        still be there. I wanted to get stationed there in 1976 so that my late wife & would would have most likely got married by early

  10. J. Jones RM1 USN (ret) says:

    The “swap program” really had more to do with your detailer in Bupers. I pulled off a swap with another RM after we finished ComSysTech school. We both entered the 3 month school with ongoing orders to our final duty station. I had been ordered to NorthWestCape Australia, and he had orders to NavCommStaPhil at San Miguel where I had been stationed previously. All during the three month school, I made up things I knew he would not like about the place. I pretty much told him he may as well get his divorce now as he surly would have one before getting out of the PI. Then as a good friend, I told him I would trade orders with him. He would love Australia and hate the Philippines. He agreed, so I got on the phone to my detailer (someone I knew and had previously been stationed with), and we both agreed on the phone to him that we wanted to trade orders…With the phone call completed a week later a message came in amending both of our final orders. He went to Northwestcape, I went back to Comsta Phil. I then took 30 days leave upon arrival, went to Cavite City, to Sangley Pt, my old duty station. The comcen there was part of ComstaPhil. I had left 9 months previous and my old Chief was still there. A few strings were pulled and I was slotted to return to Sangley Pt. After my leave, I went back to San Miguel to check in again, pickup my orders sending me to Sangley and left again for Cavite City….I would still often go to Po town via Victory Liner or Saulog whichever left Cavite first. Since my work schedule much of the time was rotating two eves, two days, two mids then 80 hours off, I had plenty of time to spend once getting there.

  11. AL Wellman says:

    I found an interesting history book by Gerald Anderson entitled “Subic Bay from Magellan to Pinatubo”. He indicates there was nothing left of Olongapo after the scorched earth evacuations of World War II. The Olongapo we remember was part of the Subic Bay Naval Base when the Philippines became independent in 1946. The Navy built a community with water, telephone and electrical utilities for Filipino civilian employees at the base. When NAS Cubi Point was built during the Korean War, the runway alignment included the Filipino village of Banicain. Filipinos living in Banicain were relocated to Olongapo when their village was demolished. Although they may have enjoyed new homes with public utilities, unemployed Banicain Filipinos chafed at the restrictions of living on a naval base. Olongapo became a focal point for perceived continuation of US colonial practices. The issue reached national proportions when an American sentry at the Naval Supply Depot shot a Filipino and the Navy failed to put the sentry on trial. In response, the mayor of Manila announced in July 1955 that American servicemen accused of crimes in Manila would be tried in Philippine courts rather than released to military authorities. Martial law was declared in Olongapo when the American owner of an Olongapo auto parts store was murdered in October 1959. Although Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay (for whom Olongapo’s main street of clubs was named) had ended the Huk rebellion in 1954, the murder was attributed to the Huks when the town of Olongapo was turned over the Philippine government in December 1959.

  12. AL Wellman says:

    I just remembered a song of the era sung by some of the talented musicians of the clubs. I was sung to the melody of the Ballad of the Green Berets substituting “Subic Bay” for “Green Berets” and using a chorus of “She went short-time with America’s best.” Unfortunately, that’s all I remember. Can anyone recall more of the lyrics?

  13. John Hodges says:

    Green back dollars hangin’ on her chest.
    She’ll go short time with Americas best.
    One hundered men she’ll lay today.
    But only three in a normal way.

  14. Frank McManus says:

    was on the Newport News ca 148 ,1972 veitnam tour,,Had a blast in po city,,,,,,,thats about all i remenber.

    • Tom Lane says:

      Hey Frank McManus…I was aboard the Newport News during the ’72 Westpac as well! I was in 7th Division and then moved over to OI Division. We had some fun times “going over” in Subic!! Nice meeting you shipmate!

  15. What about the Sanpageita Club on base……downed a lot of Paul Mason Cold Duck there before heading out to town…….yee haa

  16. chuck graham says:

    Dennis, this site was a great find. !! Your memories from Subic brought back soooo many mem’s from my time there. I don’t quite remember the names of the bar’s I visited just the great times. You’re right about the singers, they could impersonate anyone, and it did make you homesick on some of the songs. Was out there with you on the gunline brother, Newport News CA148.

    • Hey, thanks for the comments Chuck! I remember one day I snuck up topside for a quick smoke. You guys were sitting north of us firing inland somewhere between Hue and Quang Tri. I had my Instamatic camera with me but you guys were about a mile away. I borrowed the starboard lookouts binoculars and held one of the lens up to my Instamatic lens to get a shot of the Newport News. That distinctive sihoulette was even more awesome with all that fire-power! I just ran across that photo lately somewhere around here recently. Take care, bro!

      • chuck graham says:

        Yea I remember eating a nice meal at the EM Club one night and the band playing in the other room started singing I beleive it was the Beach Boys ” and I told my buddy, My God The Beach Boys are here !! We stopped eating and stepped into the other room and there on the stage was just a local PI band playing…What a surprise !!! The Filipinos were capable of a lot of things, I remember a shipmate who worked in the Officers Wardroom and one day he and I were sitting on the mess decks and he took the celophane wrapper from my cigarette pack and with just a few twists he made a ballerina out of the celophane. Unbeliveable !! I have a lot of respect for for the Philippine People. I beiive the US did a great diservice to our allies the Filipinos.. Just my opinion.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Chuck Graham, did you know by any chance a Gunners Mate by the name of Bill Waldren and a Storekeeper by the name of Al Corbin? I went to boot camp with them at Great Lakes during the
      summer of 1972. Us 3 arrived at Great Lakes on June 27, 1972
      and we left there on September 6, 1972. They went to the USS
      Newport News CA-148 which was homeported out of Norfolk,VA. I went to the USS Seattle AOE-3 out of Norfolk,VA,
      I did two Med & two Carribean cruises on the Seattle, then I got
      transfered to the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 out in San Diego,CA.
      My very first liberty in Olongapo City was on Tuesday, November
      26, 1974, it was also the beginning of 40 years of dating Filipina
      women, I dated 9 Filipina women in the past 40 years, I was married to one of those 9 Filipina women for 31 years, the one I married is my late wife. I have dated two in the past 3 years. Within the next 3 to 4 years, hopefully sooner I’m planning to
      return to the Philippines for good & live out my life there, so I’ll
      be seeking a good Filipina woman that is about 3 to 10 years
      younger than me for dating, long term & a second and final marriage for me. If you do happen to know either Bill Waldren or
      Al Corbin or both of them can you get in contact with me either
      by comment or my e mail

  17. Ralph Cain says:

    I served on the USS Gray DE 1054 about the same time. ’72 would have been my first cruise. We were probably in Subic at the same time. Your article brought back some interesting memories. It sure was an experience for a small town Pennsylvania boy.

    • Marge says:

      Hi! I’m looking for a man named Ralph that met a woman named Sally year 1972. He fathered a daughter in year 1973. Our mom passed away and thats all left with us. I’m trying to help my sister.
      I apologized I know its out of your topic.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Ralph Cain, being you were a small town Pennsylvania boy, my late father was from Pittston, Pennsylvania, midway between Scranton & Wilkes-Barre. I was stationed out of Norfolk, VA from 1972 to 1974, the out of San Diego from 1974 to 1976. I was told by a former neighbor who went in the Navy the day after I did who served on the USS Ponchatoula AO-148 that was homeported in
      Pearl Harbor, HI, I was on the USS Seattle AOE-3 where I did 2 Med cruises and 2 Carribean cruises told me all about Subic Bay.
      I was skeptical about what he told me, months later 8 months to be
      exact, I had my very first liberty in Olongapo City, Subic City, I was
      Never the same after that, he was right. The detailed that was
      assigned to all boot camp & ATB recruits gave us the wrong orders.
      I was supposed to go to Pearl Harbor & he was supposed to go to
      Norfolk. If we both would have been in the same job rating, we would have swapped. I did get shore duty in Pearl Harbor in 1976
      and then finally in Subic Bay in late 1978. I met my late wife on 1/16/1975 in Olongapo City, we got married on 4/5/1979 a few months after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay. My late wife & I
      stayed married up to 3/6/2010 when she passed away in Tucson,AZ
      in St. Joseph’s hospital. My late wife & I were married 31 years, she
      was a wonderful wife, mother & woman.

    • Bill says:

      Was on uss Lang DE 1060 same time frame. Spent most of my time at the Joy Club. Was also on Terrell county lst 1157 and uss tilamook ata 192. Lots of time in subic

  18. Dave Dysart says:

    I was an RM on the USS Ranger in 1974 when we were in Subic… this brought back so many memories… I had a real cutie pie from the Pearl Club named Marlene that was stunning… spent many days on Grande Island with her but she had a secret about her home life that I tried to crack but couldn’t, probably married but wouldn’t admit it. Then I moved in with Bonnie who lived in a little apartment somewhere behind the clubs, I would just poke my head out of the door and there was the little neighborhood store where I would get my cold ones… Bonnie took real good care of me and we lived with her mother, sister and brother who all had jobs around the town… then I got daring one night and decided I would drop in on Bonnies sister at what ever club she worked at…. last thing I remember was the shattered San Miguel bottle around my feet and my body heading toward it…. Things went down hill from there and probably a good thing cause Bonnie was looking for a ride to the States. I had a blast in the P.I…. went back in 1994 to shoot fireworks off the barges in Manila for the centennial celebrations… sure did bring back a lot of memories…. I used to have home movies of me diving off the diving board at White Rock… smashed my nuts everytime, but I was the only one who dared and I loved it… There was a little quiet joint around the corner that also had hot peanuts and we would listen to my buddy Lang play guitar, drink San Miguel and eat peanuts…. what a place… I still beg every Phillipino I know for a plate of Pancit…. only they know how….Monkey meat, lumpia, pancit, and an occational baloot for breakfast with a healthy dose of White Castle Rum. … I can still hear the Moody Blues Nights in White Satin, playing over and over and over.
    And then there was the American community 1976 4th of July celebration in Singapore….
    OR….. the excursions to MIDWAY ISLAND…..

    • Ahhhhhhh…, More wonderful memories of the P.I.! Thanks Dave, ya made my day.


      • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

        Hi Dennis. I was a Radioman 3rd class stationed at San Miguel from January 1966 to July 1968 and worked in the Relay center. Like all sailors I will never forget Olongapo. I mostly hung out at the California Club just past the main gate and one of the first bars on the right after passing shit river. Further up Magsaysay at the end on the right side was some night club where they had a band called The Gay Toppers. Around the corner a little ways down was Mom’s Taco Shop. I used to hang out at the Geisha Club way down the road. People talked about the food that was sold on the streets, but nobody mentioned mangoes. I liked the green mangoes with rock salt.I was a vegetarian, so I didn’t eat the monkey meat. I had a girlfriend in Olongapo that I’d see while on my 32 hours of liberty. Her name was Victoria (Vicky) Flores. I tracked her town some years ago and she was living in West Virginia, as she married some handicapped man. She died some years ago of Alzheimers’ I think she lived in Angeles City which is outside of Clark AFB. I went TAD to Clark AFB twice. I swapped photos with the man who married Vicky. Outside of my base at San Miguel they called the bars there The Crossroads. I lost my cherry at age 18 to a girl named Linda at a bar called the RRB Club I have a list of 40 sailors who worked as Radiomen at San Miguel with me. I have a pretty good long-term memory. I only have a couple photos. One in the California Club at Olongapo with a bunch of us sailors, and one of another girfriend named Lita who once worked as a bar girl at The Crossroads with her sister, but then she ended up going to Olongapo to work. Just today, October 19, 2019, I was telling a nephew about how great Olongapo was to us military guys. He had never heard of Olongapo.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Dave Dysarthria, if you were my neighbor where I live at, I would cook some pancit bihon, pancit Canton, chicken adobo, turkey adobo(I’m the only one in my neighborhood that cooks turkey adobo) I also cook chicken apritada, chicken arroz Valenciana,
      FIlipino fried chicken, chicken with crispy opo. I was married 31
      years to a wonderful Filipina woman I met on my first Westpac
      when I was on board the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 when it was
      Homeported in San Diego. I was on the Blue Ridge from 8/22/1974 to 9/25/1976. I made my first Westpac on 10/18/1974,
      very first time in Subic Bay for me was from 11/25 to 11/27, 1974. I had duty the first day in, the next day was my very first
      Liberty in Olongapo City & Subic City. Boy did I ever have fun
      there, and it was so much better than the Med cruise ports and
      the Carribean cruise ports with the exception of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Westpacs are better. My second time in Subic Bay, I rode
      a Victory Liner bus to Caloocan City, that was when I seen the
      Real Philippines, going through the small barrios, villages, small
      towns in Bataan, Pampanga & Bulacan provinces. I had the first
      Filipina, it didn’t work out like I thought it would, but then I wasen’t ready for married life yet, I was only 21 then. On January 16, 1975 when I was on shore patrol on Rizal Avenue
      between Magsaysay & 14th. Street, I met my late wife, I wished
      I would have stayed on the Blue Ridge two more years, had I
      would have, I would have told the one that became my wife that
      I will try to get stationed at Subic Bay. I went to Pearl Harbor for
      shore duty, then in November, 1978, I finally got duty in Subic Bay at SRF Subic Bay. It was the very best tour of duty I had in
      the Navy. After I got stationed there, I started to request to marry
      my girl friend, we did get married on April 5, 1979, we stayed
      married till March 6, 2010 the day my wife passed away, we were a month shy of being married 31 years when she passed
      away in St. Joseph’s hospital in Tucson,AZ. My wife was a wonderful woman, great wife & great mother. She was one of the
      9 Filipina women I dated in the past 40 years. Dave I’m sure you
      would remember Lourdes FIlipino restraunt on National City Blvd
      and Sampaguita FIlipino restraunt also on National City Blvd in
      National City don’t your? They are both no longer there, I used
      to go there & eat when I used to get letters from my girl friend
      who became my wife. Within the next 3 years, I’m planning to
      return home to the Philippines, my second country for good &
      Live out my life there, I already have my 4 choices where I want
      to live at when I do return there as my heart is there. There’s a
      Dysart Road in Avondale, Arizona just outside Phoenix.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        By the way Dave, I knew the first owners of the Sampaguita Restraunt there in National City. Jack & Connie Doane, Jack was from my birthplace of Buffalo, NY & Connie was from my late wife’s hometwon of Cavite City. My late wife’s second cousin
        owned Lourdes Restraunt. In 1981 my late wife & I were offerd to buy Lourdes Restraunt, my wife said no, my late mother in law
        said no to it also, it turned out to be a very wise choice to make.

      • David Lush says:

        Does anyone here still live in Olongapo City? I’m looking to come back and look for my heart I left there 40 years. I would be nice to meet some people there to get some new insight and make sure I’m on the right track.

      • ron says:

        I remember the 007 club when a shot was fired, Philliphine Police came up two abreast and a girl and I lef. I remember the blutes to which i did not try but once. I was there in about 1971 with VMA 211 at Clark Subic.

  19. Jim Mount says:

    Wow, so many memories of times long ago. I was attached to VA-52 that deployed on the Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. I remember many great times in Olongapo, walking down the streets hearing the bands in the clubs play, going in for a few San Miguel beers and lots of dancing with the local girls. If you closed your eyes sometimes you would think you were listening to the actual band that recorded the music. “Smoke on the Water” or as I use to refer to it as “The Phillipine National Anthem” blarred everywhere. I remember one particular afternoon sitting in a bar listening to “July Morning” ( a Uriah Heep song ) and savoring the time. I was single back then and I rermember the sadness I had when we left port for the last time to head back to the states. So happy to be heading home but so sad to leave behind so many memories and friends.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Jim Mount, the song Smoke on the water is Nor folk, Virginia’s all time favorite song, that was wher I was stationed at aboard my first ship before I got stationed in San Diego aboard the USS
      Blue Ridge LCC-19, I made my first Westpac in late 1974. My
      first Subic Bay Libery was on November 26, 1974. Four of my
      shipmates & myself we took a Jeepney out to Subic City to the
      Cherry Bar, that was where I first heard the Carl Douglas song
      Kung Fu Fighting, when I heard that song, I thought it was No more fighting. The women I had there prior to meeting my late
      wife, the day I met my late wife, it was when I had shore patrol
      duty on Rizal Avenue patrolling between Magsaysay & 14th.St.
      Everytime when I left Subic Bay on all 3 Westpacs in 1975 on
      the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, 1985 & 1986 aboard the USS
      Tarawa LHA- and when my tour of duty at SRF Subic Bay was
      finished on March 30, 1981, I cried every time, the Navy just
      should and ought to have made Subic Bay tours of duty for the
      bachelors & divorced men 3 years, if they got married there or
      if married and their wives happen to be from the Philippines then
      it would be 4 years counted as sea duty, look at the money the
      Department of Denfense would have saved if they would have
      done that. Had that would have been done, I would have been
      There 4 years at SRF Subic Bay & would have been maybe
      aboard the USS Sterett CG-31 for up to five more years there
      and most likely, my late wife & I would have had two more children, and would have adopted more which I probably would
      have retired from the Navy there and would most likely be living
      in the Philippines right now with a house paid for in Cavite City
      my late wife’s hometown.

    • Jim Mount says:

      Funny how time goes by and before it we are old. Now 71, hard to believe it was so long ago in the early 70’s that I was on the Kitty Hawk and we had Liberty in Olongapo. As so many have stated, hard to describe what it was like unless you were there. As a young single guy in my early 20’s it was a magical place. Frequented The Catwalk, and Paulines mostly but also many other clubs. Often wondered what happened to “Corrina” from Paulines, had some fun times with her on both of my Westpac cruises. Maybe just thinking about the fun times now reminds me of what it felt to be young and my whole world ahead of me. We will never forget the San Miguel, the mighty MOJO, the clubs, the bans and of course the women. It was truly a sad feeling the day we left Subic for the last time. Always told myself I would get back some day. Thanks for all the comments from those who spent time there.

      • Christopher O'Rourke says:

        I know just what you mean there Jim, I’m now 64 myself, hard to believe. I have the ultimate goal of making home to Olongapo City for good & live out my life there as my heart is there and always will be there. I should & ought to be living where my heart is for my own good. The Navy should & ought to have just left me there the end of March,1981. The tour of duty there was way far too short in length. Our Air Force(Air Farce) counterparts who was stationed at Clark & Wallace could get as many back to back tours of duty there depending on what job title they held. I enjoy reading the different comments about Subic Bay & Olongapo City very much. Navy Liberty in Olongapo City, Manila & the greater Metro Manila area are the very best Navy Liberty in the entire world.

      • Kenneth L Burroughs says:

        Jim, We must have hit a few of same clubs. When I got out and came back to In. some of my old friends and I got together and I decided to make up a MOJO for one of my high school buddies, It was a night to remember ( I think, I don’t remember). Anyway I was there a little before you, ’66, ’67, and ’69. I use to got to the White House a lot.

  20. Keith Winterowd says:

    Wow! what a memory. I was there on West Pac in 77 on the Whipple. You sure triggered a lot memories. I used to tell some stories to friends when home on leave or when I got out. They really didn’t know what to think. It was really one of those “You had to be there” places to get it. I have some stories I can still tell and I have some stories I will never tell.

    • Keith, you hit the nail on the head. “You had to be there!” No-body outside of a vet that’s been there, done that can possibly understand a place like this. “Some stories you can NEVER tell,” LOL.

      • Clevenger; Iwas in 115 ON THE MIDDLEWAY;WestPac 71-73.
        Spent 1 Chirtsmas and new years in Olonapo. Lots of great memories. were you in 115? Dan “whimpy” Kirkendall A01 USN RET.

    • Joseph Fletcher USMC 1976-79 USNR 81-85 says:

      I was there in 78 on a West Pac as well. Left Pearl on LPH-10 Tripoli them we switched over to LPH-11 New Orleans at either Wake or Midway. Been a long time and a lot of substances since then. In the middle of our stay we cruised to Cebu for a week but only got off the boat twice there.

      And you are spot on. Nobody believed me either. I have to admit, when I crossed that bridge for the first time I was half scared to death. We actually by-passed every club when one of the four of us would say “I ain’t goin’ in there”, finally stopping at the Sierra Club at the end. For some reason it seemed “safe”…Incidentally, that’s the only club any of the others posting have mentioned that was still going by the same name. Other than those on base anyway. One night, drunk as hell, found myself out in the street after curfew screaming for a trike to take me somewhere. Beautiful young gal grabbed my by my ear like a mad mother would do, and wouldn’t let go. Drug me to her place against my protests saying “You come with me Joe, PC shoot you”. I’ll just say she was very kind to me. Only thing she wanted from me was my attention. I don’t think she worked in the bars as I never saw her again and I was still to drunk to be hungover when I left. Maybe the best 3 months of my life.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Joseph Fletcher that you lady saved your life and kept you out of trouble at the same time. If that would have been I’m in your citation at that time, I would have given that your lady my attention. My very best Navy Liberty was in Olongapo City, Manila.

      • Joseph Fletcher USMC 1976-79 USNR 81-85 says:

        Oh she absolutely saved my life. Or at the very least saved me a beating and a lot of trouble off base and back at the Battalion too. Believe you me I looked for her for several weeks, and whatever time we had left there at that point, always had my eye out for her. I would have recognized her had I seen her, she looked a lot like a young Michele Malkin. I would have had zero interest in being a butterfly with her. She saved me, fed me, washed me, gave me safe harbor, and all she asked in return, for those all too brief hours, was me.

        “Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line
        Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine
        If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
        Come in, she said
        I’ll give ya shelter from the storm” ~ Dylan

  21. Chuck Graham says:

    Dennis, in one of your comments, or blog’s you spoke about the ship trying to manuver to stay on station and that the ship would steer a triaungler course or something simular. Question, was it common to steer towards the shore while making this manuver ? Does any topside sailors have this info ?? This is coming from a snipe who didn’t get out of the fire room much !!! Thanks, Chuck

    • Chuck, I don’t recall anything about any triangular courses. You may be referring to when we were close inshore traveling parallel to the beach maybe firing at a target or not. From what I’ve heard, we were drawing fire from shore batteries so that they would be trained on us and that would allow a cruiser like the USS Oklahoma City to fire with their big guns and not have to maneuver as much, being the larger vessel.

      Up in CIC whichever of us was manning a radar scope, also had the deck lookouts on our SP phones. The port lookout would be calling out splashes that were coming in towards us. With each report as shells would come closer his voice would go up another octave. We would recommend to the bridge “Hard right rudder, all ahead flank.” They would ALWAYS continue on a northerly course for a few more minutes before getting out of there.

      I always wondered how the snipes would know what was going on or not really hear about until after the fact. I don’t think those of us in the Combat Information Center really always had the whole picture as the command up on the bridge was running the show.

  22. Michelle Miller (Dialino) says:

    Nice blog spot! I was born in Olongapo back in 1983 to one of those bar girls. Scary! I currently and have been living in the United States since 1986, I do remember some things there. And the funny thing is that I am a legacy of military members. I guess which explains my interest in joining. I was turned down from the Army because of a medical issue “hernia” I was born with. Blah thats shitty. But I my brother is in the Marines. Both my father and bio-father served the Navy. And my grandfather from the philippines was part of the MPA and got out of it and hid from them. To my legacy my great grand father faught in Pearl Harbor and many more cusins but too long of a list. One of these days I hope to find my bio-father. If anyone can point me to ideas that I probably have not tried I AM ALL EARS!! 🙂

    • John says:

      Michelle, contact Andrew Delgado Monti…retired cop and private investigator, Send him what you got in the way of information and he may be able to help. Shouldn’t cost you too much for a basic name/address search. If your bio-father is in the US, he should be able to find him. Good luck.

      • Michelle Miller (Dialino) says:

        Thank you sooo much. I don’t think without a ss# that my mother threw away is going to be much helpful. I know that he was on the USS Coral in 1982. There is just too many missing peices. Because I have checked out this cruise book and cannot locate the name she gave me (William Johnathan or William Jonathan). I think she gave me or he gave her a false name. But then again my mother told him her name was Melanie (Mel) due to the fact it was probably common for a filippina bar girl and that her dad was an ex affiliation to the MPA(Muslim Philippine Army) and was in hiding. I know that he had blonde hair and blue eyes, which makes sense where my 10year old son has the blonde hair and blue eyes. Someday I will find him and I will probably know the history of my fathers side of the family and my brothers before me. Appearently theres two before my birth and almost close in age (29). Thank you though. I will look into this…

    • AL Wellman says:

      Michelle –
      My memories of Olongapo include observing probable children of US servicemen on the sidewalks of Magsaysay Boulevard; and a few women of my age who appeared to be daughters of the Japanese occupation. I wonder if you would share with us your perception of life in the Philippines for children of military romances in comparison to children of more traditional unions?

      • Michelle Miller (Dialino) says:

        Al Wellman,
        Lets see I was born there in August 1983 and moved to the United States in 1986. The little time I was there was intoxicating enough to make me miss my other side of culture. As a child you don’t normally think of the mistakes or adolescent decisions your parents made prior to your creation. I rememeber my grandfathers house tucked away furhter into the jungle of Olongapo, tortoises from the sea, the crazy rain, early headstart, the candy store and many more at the USN Base. I have no idea what the name of the base was, but I do remember my step dad’s comments about a so called speed bump that ended up being a snake and the monkeys that histerically swung from tree to tree. The greatest part about that insane comute to base was the view. I remember this one time when the sun began to set, which I might add in any location high above see level is always beautiful, was the bats that came out of hiding and man there were allot….But to target your question more, for me its more afffecting as an adult. I’m turly excepting what had happend in the past and even more thankful of the father I have grown to know. Taking a chance for true love with a filippina with a baby must have been odd, but it all worked out. The saddest part of all this as I pointed out only affecting me once the truth came out. I was only 10. I never felt more empty when my dad told me this. And even worse when my mother told me 8 years later that my biological father came back and did meet me at 5 months old then she dropped the bomb when she stated that he gave her his social secruity number for my future curiosity. To sum up my feeling about this, lost completely, my heart truly is missing a piece of who I am. Growing up, my heart never changed about how I felt to serve this country as my father did. I am truly greatful for those who serve and attent American Military University. I am daddy’s girl!! HooRAH!! But to be honest I think ppl take their family for granted and if I had what they had (knowing) life would have been completly different. I do have one thing that keeps me somewhat attached from that memory, a picture he had taken of me and my mother when he met me for the first time. My heart aches to know that he was the one that took that picture.

      • Matt says:

        Hi Michelle, I came across your post and I know of someone who can help you find your father. I assume that you know basic info about him like name, SSN, etc. I have a friend who find fathers/parents of adoptees and Amerasians.

        You can join this facebook group so you could post your inquiry

      • Michelle Miller says:

        Thank you Matt.. The only down fall is that at one time there was a ss# that my father had given my mother, but selfishly my mother got rid of it. So all I have is a name and basic information of his title and the name of the vessel he was in. I am about at that point where it seems hopeless. I thought it would have been nice to meet him, especially since he gave his ss# to my mother just incase I wanted to ever find him and know who he was. My fear is that I am 29 year old and I do not want him to assume I care not to ever know who he was….. This information was hidden from me up until 19years ago.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Michelle Miller(Dialino) you step dad wasen’t the only Navy guy
        that happen to find true love with a Filipina woman that had a child, I am also one of the many others as well. I met my late
        wife of 31 years on Tuesday, January 16, 1975 when I had shore
        patrol duty on Rizal Avenue. My late wife had a son born out of wedlock in 1969. I was stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 on my first Westpac, it was my third visit to Subic Bay
        when my late wife & I met. When I finally got stationed at SRF
        Subic Bay, I went to work right away in getting my request to
        Get married pushed through and get all the necessary paperwork into Comusnavphil before I could get married. My
        late wife & I got married on Thursday, April 5, 1979, we stayed
        married up to Saturday, March 6, 2010 which was the day my
        wife passed away, she was a wonderful wife, mother & woman.
        During our 31 year marriage we had our late daughter who was
        born at Cubi Hospital on Monday, November 3, 1980, and our
        youngest son born on Wednesday, August 11, 1982 at Balboa
        Navy Hospital in San Diego, CA. The snake you step dad ran over was only replace by hundreds more, and those monkeys
        being hysterical, my guess it is part of the Cubi Point area in the
        jungle part, I’ve been the wild monkeys, I even seen one throw a
        Rock at the Navy bus, even a few base taxi’s & base buses that
        Vialago Transport group ran on the base from 1979 to 1983,
        then the Navy exchange ran them. I hope that you will find you
        biological father or have found him. I’m in the beginning steps
        to find out if I might have other children I may have fathered in
        the Philippines that I might no know about. I have photos of
        myself ranging from my infancy up to Labor Day, 2014 that I’m
        willing to share, even willing to take several DNA tests as well.
        I’m planning to return to the Philippines within the next 3 to 4
        years, hopefully sooner for good & live out my life there as my
        heart is there, and I want and need to be where my heart is.

  23. Tom "Butch" Callen - BT3 - USS America CVA66 says:

    I probably should have repied here instead of the
    “My four years in the Navy” In future I’ll reply here
    Tom “Butch” Callen

  24. Larry Weiler says:

    After serving thirteen months on Midway Island, I was assigned to the USS Wichita (AOR1) out of Long Beach, California. My first tour with the Seventh Fleet started in June of 1971. The veterans of the Wichita’s first cruise to Subic Bay routinely joked about the conditions and experiences in Po City as we sailed out of Long Beach. Many of those that were making their first Westpac Cruise did not attempt to take their first liberty in Olongapo City. They felt safer spending their time at the EM Club on base. I personally started my night at the EM Club, but ventured across the River to check out action. It certainly was an eye opener for this Midwestern Boy. I quickly became to enjoy all the bars, restaurants and met some very wonderful women to share conversation and other exciting activities. I quickly learned that “Checking” out other women in other bars was a “No No” and if you got involved with other females and the ones you had gotten involved with earlier would label you a “Butterfly”.

    There were several of us from our division that would routinely stay overnight. Because of the Marshall Law that was proclaimed by President Marcos, everyone had to head back to the Naval Base or find a Hotel or the girls house to stay at. No one was allowed on the street after midnight. We would normally get up early in the morning and walk down the street and occasionally stop in one or two of our favorite bars. (I rather enjoyed the D’Wave Bar.) The one morning we stopped at the D’wave and found one of the talented musical groups practicing their music. They would listen to a record then practice playing the music on that record. This particular band could easily pass for the bands “Chicago” or “Boston”.

    I had very many enjoyable and exciting experiences during my two Westpac Cruises. I have to admit that it was much more exciting duty then I had while I was stationed on Midway Island. I still occasionally will grab a six pac of San Maguiel Beer which always seems to bring back some really great memories.

    Thank everyone for the great stories !!!!!!!!!

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Larry I remember the curfews there during the Martial Law, and the staying all night in town at a hotel or one of the women’s homes. I stayed at the Skyline Hotel about 4 times, this was 1974, and I sure wished I would have had my late uncle with me
      on liberty there, he was in the Navy during the last days of World War II, he was on the USS Southerland DD-743, during my second visit to Subic in December, 1974 I met one of his former
      girl Friends, she was the mamasan at the Cherry bar in Subic City. She told me about my uncle, she told me he should have
      married a good Filipina woman, she was right. I met my late wife
      of 31 years on my third visit to Subic Bay on 1/16/1975. I got
      stationed at SRF Subic Bay on 11/20/1978, married my late
      wife on 4/5/1979, we stayed married up to the day she passed
      away on 3/6/2010. We had 3 children during our marriage. Within the next 3 to 4 years, I’m planning to return to the Philippines for good and live out my life there, maybe I might
      return there sooner which I would rather have. The liberty in
      Olongapo City and Manila were and are the best liberty in the

  25. Gregory Spain says:

    There in ’66 with 1/26 BLT. I found out that I had a girlfriend and I belonged to her and only her.She produced a butterfly knife from thin air and placed it at my neck because another girl spoke to me. Gotta love that place. It was big fun!! =]

    • Dave D says:

      Never visited the butterfly knife (although I don’t know why) but she cracked me enough times with a san Miguel bottle….Geeze, I think I’m still wearing the dents…. Ilovedthatplace….. 1976 Westpac cruise on USS Ranger… Comm Dept…

  26. Stubby says:

    Do you remember the T shirts that were sold on Magsaysay? I remember “Radarmen do it better in the dark” and “I may not go down in history but I would go down on your ……..”.
    Another song that was played in the clubs was “Shame and Scandal in the Family”. It’s been recorded several times. The Peter Tosh or later versions are the best.

    • The only t-shirts that I can remember today are the “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” shirts. I don’t remember the “radarmen” one at all. I’m familiar with Peter Tosh but don’t recall that song by him or anyone else. Ahhhh, old age! They say the memory is the second thing to go. I can’t remember the first. 😉


      • AL Wellman says:

        I remember the T-shirts with Charlie Brown and Lucy in poses unlicensed by Charles Schulz

    • Don Wilson says:

      85 “Bill the Cat” cartoon tees were sold on Magsaysay

  27. Jim Val says:

    While on TAD to San Miguel May-June 1971 I remember there being a midnight curfew at the cross roads – everything shutdown at midnight and officially we had to be back on the COMSTA or unofficially off the streets. I helped out with the rent for a little place that set back across the road from the UAC.

    I was discussing the curfew with an Airman that was stationed at Clark and he told me there was no curfew in Angeles City during that time period.

    Was there a midnight curfew at Subic/Olongapo? It seems to me there was, but I only made a few trips down from San Miguel during my short stay.

    My memory is fading, I bought this Memory Foam Pillow and the darn thing doesn’t work, my memory hasn’t improved a bit.

    • Jim says:

      There was a curfew in the crossroads and in Olongapo..They really tried to enforce the one in Onongapo because you were also not supposed to get 6 feet off the main two roads.

      In the crossroads, they really didn’t care where you went, you just had to get off the streets and out of the bars. I lived off base as did many and you just went home to to someone elses home and that was it. Angeles and Manila had no curfew. There were only two things that usually got you off the street, either a sweet thing on your arm or an empty wallet.

      • AL Wellman says:

        When I was on the Olongapo shore patrol, we would clear sailors from Magsaysay Drive as we moved back to the main gate after curfew and then inspect one “randomly selected” club each night to be certain no sailors remained inside.

  28. Art Belenzo says:

    I was born and raised in the Philippines,was fortunate enough to pass the rigid exam for the US Navy in 1968. I finally enlisted in the US Navy in June 1969 in Sanley Point. Went to Boot Camp in RTC San Diego. Upon completion of the Basic Training, I attended Steward A School and eventually assigned at the Pentagon CNO/SECNAV FLAG MESS. In 1970, the first year of the Zumwalt’s new navy, I changed rate to Engineering striking to become Machinist Mate. I was sent to Great Lakes BP&E school then to MM A School and after graduating first in the class I was promoted to third class PO and was sent to AC & R Class C school in San Diego.. after that I went to General Dynamic’s Shipobuilding in Quincy, Mass to be part of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Conversion of a brand new ship.. USS Wabash AOR-5. In June1972 after being promoted to Second class PO, I re enlisted so I can be stationed in the Philippines. I was stationed in Ship Repair Facility (Docking Division), Subic Bay from June 72 – early 1974. So reading some of the stories being posted here, I can say some of them are fairly accurate while some not too accurate. I was in the Philippines when Pres. Marcos declared Marshall Law in September 1972. The road were paved in 72,but due to 38 days of continued rain in July and August, most of the roads were destroyed.

    There were three different section of bars that most service members go to.. for the Pilipino locals and US service members they tend to go to the bars like El Bodegon, Jade East, Cherry Club, Bonanza Club and the likes, for the Caucasians they like the clubs along Magsaysay while the Blacks like the Jungle area. Sierra club is one club that Pilipino service member and the Caucasian mingled but nobody dared to stray to the Jungle.

    There was no curfew before Marshall Law was declared because I used to drive late from Manila to see my girlfriend. during Marshall Law, the curfew was from midnight to 0600 hours.

    I was also in Subic Bay when there was a riot that was started by the crew members of the Connie and Ranger, who gathered behind the Marine barracks, demolished Sampaguita Club, marched thru Main gate to Magsaysay and wrecked Sierra Club. when asked to stop by the Philippine Constabulary, one of the rioters charged the Police and gun fire erupted killing few rioters..

    The stories about the monkey meat/dog meat is really not so true. Vendors say monkey meat to US service members to dare them to buy and eat the barbecued meat but in reality they are either beef, buffalo meat or pork.. In my 20 months of stay in Olongapo as a single US service member I bought, eat those so called monkey meat/dog meat barbecue and later learned first hand when I meet and befriended the head of the Local Health and food Inspector of Olongapo City. As far as buying raw balot and consuming it. I have not meet any vendor selling raw balot. They sell hot and steaming balot ready for consumption.

    As for the the Pilipino Guards in the gate with their M16, yes they will shoot you if you were told to stop and continue to run esp during Marshall Law. Plus the local Police will apprehend you if you evaded the guards.. All the vendors, jeepney drivers and street cleaners in Olongapo were the eyes and ears of the local government.

    I was fortunate enough to be stationed at the US Naval Base Subic the second time from 1987 to 1992 as Head of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Shop, Subic Section in PWC. I was one of the last US Civilian to cross the bridge in November 1992 when the base was formally transferred to the Philippine Government.

    During my 2 tours of duty in the Philippines, I have seen some of the bad side of the US in general towards the Pilipino locals which I really don’t want to discuss here. However, If someone is interested to know, please send me an email or a number where I can call him in the US and I’ll be glad to give him the info he/she wanted to know.

    • Chuck Graham says:

      Hello Art, welcome aboard !! I personally think you have a beautiful country and great people.. Had many great times there, and would love to return one day..

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Hello Art, I just read your article, I was first there in Olongapo City late November, 1974, it was my first Westpac, fifth Navy cruise, I did 2 Med & 2 Carribean cruises aboard my first ship
      the USS Seattle AOE- that was out of Norfolk, VA. I reported aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 in San Diego, CA on 8/22/1974. When I reported to the Blue Ridge, I asked my shipmates when is the ship going on Westpac, and how long.
      My new shipmates were already making bets that I would get
      married during Westpac, which I didn’t, had I would have taken
      them up on it, I would have wound up winning the bets and would have had my very first brand new car all paid for. I did
      meet my late wife of 31 years in Olongapo City on 1/16/1975,
      She was from Cavite City, we got married on 4/5/1979, a few
      months after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay, I was in the Parcel Post section of Supply Department from 11/20/1978 to
      3/30/1981. It was the very best tour of duty I had in the Navy.
      My late wife & I had 3 children, our oldest son & our late daughter were born there. My late wife passed away at St.
      Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, AZ on 3/6/2010, she was a wonderful wife, wonderful mother, wonderful woman, she did
      work in the Sierra Club, she hated her job there, and when I
      got stationed at SRF Subic Bay, she was so relieved & glad for
      us to be together. My second liberty in Subic Bay I met a mamas an who knew my uncle who was a Gunners Mate aboard the
      USS Southerland DD-743 from 1944 to 1948, she was a one time girl friend of his, she told me some of the things he would do. My uncle he had another girl friend in Cavite City who bore him a son & then a daughter, I met my cousin at the Pearl Harbor bowling alley when my last name was called for an open
      lane, my cousin & I started to get to know each other, later we
      Both got stationed at Subic, me at SRF, my cousin at Cubi, he was an HT. His sister, I seen her on the old Seeing Stars with
      Joe Quirino that I used to watch on Channel 9, she spoke of my
      Uncle, my cousin she married well. Art within the next 3 to 4 years I plan to return home to the Philippines, my second country and live out my life there as my heart is in the Philippines, the day I left The Philippines on 3/30/1981, I
      Left my heart there.

    • Rodney Halley says:

      Would love to read your info re the poor treatment of Filipinos by U.S. personnel. . .I am 62, born and raised in Louisiana, was in the Navy from June ’72 til Dec ’78. . .

      Stationed in Subic 1974-1976 and remember seeing Filipino enlistees near the Main gate, eventually headed to the States for bootcamp. . .

      I met and married a wonderful lady from the PI and after forty years, we’re still together. . .

      I’ve done a good bit of research on the relationship between the U.S. and Philippine peoples and governement and certainly believe that the U.S. did the Filipino people very wrong. I’ve even read where Mark Twain wrote in opposition to the U.S. colonizing the Philippines.

      It’s very much a shame how some people, some countries, some governments think themselves better than others; it angers and saddens me at the same time, the way our U.S. Government treated Filipinos in their own country.

      Rodney Halley

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Rodney, I just read your comment, I agree with your comment there. The Filipinos were treated wrong, so we’re many others as well. I didn’t like the treatment our Embassy in Manila did towards my late wife & I at all. I’m glad that you & your wife are together and married 40 years. We have and are beating those critics who said our marriage would only last up to 5 years. My ultimate goal is to be living back in Olongapo City for good, and live out my life there.

  29. […] bungalows, sat square on the beach of the eastern shore of the bay, about five miles out of Olongapo City. He was one of those American GIs who regularly fall in love with the East and stay around when […]

  30. Looking for Dalia Santiago who worked sampiguiti club.My father Mark southern stationed at Subic Bay Naval Base in 1973.It is believed in 1974 that Delia gave birth to possibly my sibling.Im trying to locate them. Any info email me

  31. rick ferguson says:

    I was stationed their in 1985 n 1986 b company marines I loved it their. and ive been back I went by myself in 2007 n 2010 its very safe pretty much the same but more things too do. don’t be afraid too go back their. I had an amazing time again. and theirs not hardly any americans their exept manila so your even more popular you don’t even need the bar girls. the sm malls are better than usa malls. its super cheap still.

  32. rick ferguson says:

    the dmz bar in angelos city is still their too. all the old bars got destroyed from the volcano in 1999 but they’ve built it back up nice. Magsaysay ave is pretty quite compared too when we were stationed their but angelos city rocks its still the same. and if you have it wear your old navy or marine shirts they still love us and remember us.just get a cab or jeep mee or tric. or ride on the victory liner buses its still the same.and theirs no drugs their on my plane ticket it said death too all drug trafficers. that was cool.they still have red horse n san migel beer but no mojo or bullfrog. I quess they forgot how too make it. 12 too 1400 round trip 20 hours air time but its worth it guys. go too youtube and punch in the dollhouse angelos city. but honestly when you get their you wont need the bars girls. plenty of nurses and college girls I was 42 in 2007 it didn’t matter too them and I dated rich girls too serious.i cant wait too go back I stayed 2 months in 2007 then 1 month in 2010.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Rick, I was stationed at San Miguel as a Radioman. Got sent TAD twice to Angeles City outside of Clark AFB. My memory was a club called the Cock ‘n’ Bull. That was my hangout for my two trips to Clark. My name is also Rick. Full name is Frederick Smith of Palmer, MA. Age 72.

  33. rick ferguson says:

    I mean the old bars on Magsaysay ave got destroyed by volcanic ash in did most of everthing else.

  34. Bill Penrod says:

    Wow, great blog. Brings some great memories, my story started in November 1969. Ten days straight liberty, yep ten days. I had so much pussy an beer or was so much beer and pussy anyway it was eight days of that, then it happened I meet a gal and we had two great days together. I gave her my address as we departed back to the line for 90 days. My honey wrote weekly (never asking for money). After two more liberties (Feb-April 1970). I returned for my R & R in May 1970 and we were married. After 43 years we are still married. I see so many blogs of former service members looking for their lost loves from their times in the Philippines it is heart breaking. At their time they didn’t want to take a chance with love I did and it was great!!!!

    • Jim says:

      Bill, Good for you and congratulations on the longevity of your marriage!! I met my wife while stationed in Taiwan 1971-72. We’ve been married 42 years. I saw some heartbreaks during my tour and decided I wasn’t leaving without her. Probably had as much to do with her cooking as anything else. I did a 2 month TAD to San Miguel, PI – not Olongapo, but it was fun.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Bill, good for you & your wife being married 43 years. I was married 31 years to my late wife when she passed away on 3/6/2010. Those of us who married Filipina women in the Philippines that have stayed married till death do its part have
      beaten the critics who said our marriages would last up to only
      5 years. I met a couple a few months back, they are now married
      40 years, I asked them if they know of any Filipina women in the
      Tucson area that are between 47 & 59 years of age that are widowed that would be most interested in meeting me a 61 year
      old widower. I will only date Filipina women, and within the next
      3 to 4 years, I plan to return home to the Philippines, my second
      country and live out my life there for good, so I will most likely
      be looking at living in Olongapo City as I’ m most familiar with
      despite all the changes, so I know that I’ll be asking church
      family member there if they have any members in their family
      in the age range that I’m seeking a second marriage to if it’s
      meant to be.

    • D.C. Bennett says:

      Thanks for a great post Bill. Talaga!!

  35. Pete parpan says:

    Anyone remember the employees of the em club at San Miguel?
    I was there in 1967 thru 1969. Looking for pix of that era

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      I fully remember the EM Club at San Miguel, as that was the very first place I went to with a friend named Mike Saine soon after checking in at the base. We were both Radiomen and worked at the Relay center. I don’t remember the names of the employees at the EM Club though. Only remember having my first Sloe Gin Fizz and Singapore Sling at the club. I remember the juke box, and they had a slot machine. I bought some of their lumpia there too. It was also the first time that I ever had tomato juice with ice in it, which they had at the club. My name is Frederick Smith, age 72, and live in Palmer, MA. Served at San Miguel from January 1966 to July 1968. Most sailors spent 1-1/2 years there. I extended for a year, serving for 2-1/2 years.

  36. Tom Prothro says:

    I was in and out of Olongapo on ships between 1961 and 9164. Had a hellof a time there. Especially the club Oro..I spent two years stationed at com/sta/phil San Miguel 1964 to 1966. I spent most of my time at the crossroads or Pops sari-sari in Angeles. I made to to Olongapo several times but stayed mostly at the crossroads at the pink elephant or the playboy or remys jungal place. I married a girl from the Philippines and were happlily married for 50 years until her passing earlier this year. I loved the P.I and some of my fondest memories are of the time I spent there. I am in My 70;s now, to old to go back, but not to old to dream.

    • S White says:

      Were you ever TAD to Danang from NCSP? I am trying to locate people that were.

      • Jim says:

        Not sure if Tom was, but I was in Oct/Nov ’66

      • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

        I went to Radioman School with a sailor named Stephen Aranjo. Both of us were sent to San Miguel. Aranjo had a hair lip, should you remember someone like that. Although we were stationed there in 1966 and 1967. I went to 1968, but Aranjo didn’t. Anyway Aranjo was sent TAD to Vietnam for 90 days. Turns out that he allegedly was cleaning a rifle and killed an Army Sergeant. Aranjo was never found guilty for that. He died at age 62 and lived in Chicopee, MA. I live in Palmer, MA, which is about 15 miles from Chicopee. I went to his wake. My name is Frederick Smith.

      • James (Jimmy) Jones says:

        I arrived at San Miguel in Apr ’66. Was there about 6-8 months or so and was sent to Comcen Sangley. Was also A Radioman, fresh out of “A” school. I went TAD to ATCU100 Danang for a couple weeks in Nov 66. It was so I could get my reenlistment bonus tax exempt. I reenlisted early for “B” school and then got tech control school after that. Then came back after the schools and went directly back to Sangley. My old chief was still there and he oulled some strings to get me back there. I stayed 3 years on that 2nd tour. Did a tour at NCS SDiego, then back to San Miguel for a 3rd tour. Left in 75. I loved that place. Went back in 87 as a civilian ito Angeles and went to work for Ford Aerospace at the Crow Valley bombing range by Tge mitter site at Capas, Tarlac. Mt. pinitubo blew its top and ended the job. I hung around a couple years then got terrible sick in Sept. ’93 and returned to San Antonio,TX Spent a year in tge hospital. Started goibg back for 3-4 months a year in 2014. Finely decided to move back over there this year. I got their special retirement visa, a lot better than doing the visa renewals every 59 days. Living in Castillejos now about half way between San Antonio and Subic. It is a quiet life now, I’m in Tx right now, taking carr of business but have flight back this coming Tue. The 22nd. Just never got enough of it.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        James(Jimmy)Jones I ‘m glad that you’re now living in Castallajos there, I hope I didn’t misspell it. Last Friday,October 18th. Was the 45 Anniversary of my very First Westpac Cruise aboard my second ship in the Navy-The USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 which that class of Navy ship is the Navy’s luxury class of ship. I met my late wife of 31 years on my third visit to Olongapo City in Thursday, January 16th., 1975 when I was on Shore Patrol Duty, the time we met I didn’t know that we would marry right away, we waited 4 years before we both got married after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay. The Navy should have made the tour of duty there 3 years sea duty if a bachelor, divorced and 4 years if you got married there. The Navy should have just left me there in the Philippines where my heart is still there & always will be. I’m communicating with a Filipina in Park City,Illinois whosehusband dumped her for a younger woman after 34 years of marriage. She like me wants to return to Eastern Samar where she is from. I plan on meeting her sometime in the future, she’s 70, I’m 66, we are in no hurry at our age. When we meet, we’ll find out if we are both right for each other. She’s the same astrological sign as my late wife, a Leo.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Hi Tom, I was stationed at San Miguel from January 1966 to July 1968. Worked in the Terminal Building in the Relay center as a Radioman 3rd class. I remember the Playboy Club, as that was the very first bar that I went to at The Crossroads. It was on the left side right across the street from the Nautilus Club. I used to go further down the road to the RRB Club where I lost my cherry to a girl named Linda. The Pink Elephant Elephant sounds familiar, as I’ve probably gone to every bar there. And at the Playboy Club I met a girl named Lita, and she had as sister who also worked in there. The next time that I went to the bar looking for Lita, her sister said that she moved to Olongapo. I tracked her down and found her in some bar in Olongapo that I can’t remember the name of the bar. Frederick Smith of Palmer, MA. I’m 72-years-old. I have a list of 40 guys who I remember their names who were also Radiomen and worked at Relay. There people who formed a club of San Miguel sailors who served around 1963, 1964, and 1965. I also have a printed-out list of their names if you want it. If you want to make contact, I believe the guy in charge is named Larry Wilson. It has his e-mail address as: There’s another guy who could hook you up. His name is Jim McLean. He’s at: They meet every two years at various places in our country. I hung out with guys named Henry Saine, and Steve Aranjo. Steve was sent TAD to Vietnam and accidentally killed an Army Sergeant. They never found him guilty I went to Radioman School in Bainbridge, MD with those two guys before we were sent to NAVCOMSTAPHIL.

  37. Tom Prothro says:

    I was never TAD from San Miguel except to Tarlac sta for a year in 65. I was a navy corpsman

  38. A.c. Engel says:

    An amazing blog for memories. I was on CarDivOne staff on Midway ’71 & ’72. We always looked forward to going to the EM Club for a steak dinner before going out to Po Town. It helped with the amount of liquor intake. Does anyone remember Jollo’s? Nastiest bar on the strip. An interesting “show” was always worth a look. So many memories … so little space to discuss them.

  39. J. R. says:

    I was there 68-72 there was a resturant down the road Papagayos fantastic food, the a casino down magasaysay on the right and second floor, I went back I have lived in the PI for 15 years now. love it

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      J.R. Papagayos was on Godon Avenue, I used to get the Jeepney that went on Gordon Avenue, then turn left on 14th. Street to take me home, then it would drop me off at 14th. St. & Fendler, I would walk a block & I’d be home to my wife, oldest son who I adopted & my late daughter when she was an infant. Those were the best days of my Navy years, being stationed at
      SRF Subic Bay, the Navy should have just left me there.

  40. JA WIMBISH says:


    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      I remember The Jungle and remember how mostly blacks frequented the bars there. I’m a white guy and went down to the notorius tough place with a half Mexican guy. Nobody bothered us as we danced with girls there. That was back in 1966.

  41. Jose Garza says:

    I was stationed aboard the USS BRULE AKL-28 for about a year and half. I arrived at subic bay around October of 1965 straight out of boot camp. I was still 17 years of age. Many fond memories going on liberty in Olongopo.I remember an upstairs club called the Supes Club. I still have a picture of the 5 young band members and their names. let see Leonardo Santos, Ponciano Ruis, Pio Toledo, and Gregorio Flores I didn’t get the last ones name. Any how it was fun when your young and full of testosterone.. I had a girl friend named Luz. She had one glass eye but a good body. Spent many a night with her and her room mate. Now I’m pushing 66. I don’t think I’ll go back though. Getting back to my ship. It was flat bottom and about 150 feet long. The same style of the USS Publo that the North Koreans captured.Our ship would take supplies back and fourth to Viet Nam to Saigon and in the Makong Delta or coastal ports in Nam. Our sister ship was the USS MARK. We got caught on one trip to Nam by a typhoon. It felt like we were surfing down those giant waves. Ah those were the day’s.

  42. I have sit here and read all the comments that you guys have posted about Olongopo City and man does it bring back so many memories. I was a ABH-2 on the USS New Orleans LPH-11 in 1969-70 when we were on a Wes Pac deployment and spent a lot of time in Subic Bay. After having spent my first yrs on the East Coast it was a real treat to go the Far East. I could tell so many stories but it would take up to much space so I’ll only tell my last days there. We were in our last port and leaving there heading home and I was late getting back to the ship so the Air Boss was a little up set with me and he said that I would have to stay on board when we got to Hawaii which didn’t upset me. What he didn’t know was we would make a stop in Subic. I was “out of my mind” knowing i would miss this stop. The last day I went to his office and begged to go on liberty. He sit there with a very stern face and listened to every thing I said and then cracked a little smile and said, I was waiting for you to come and ask me for liberty. Go and enjoy yourself. We had a Heck of a party that night and one that I will always remember. If anyone knows anyone who was on the New Orleans LPH-11 in the V-1 Div. give them my email address.

  43. I was a Navy Brat son of a Senior Chief and at Subic from 66-68 then 70-72 then again in 77-79 lastly 81-86 as an 01-04. I saw many changes over the years. I saw the old Shit River and I was a kid when I was first there and I felt sorry for the kids that swan in that filthy water. I saw things there by the time I was 16 most adults never see in a lifetime in the clubs. I got my degree and then joined the Navy and was fortunate enough to spend nearly 5 years there. I have many fond memories of the P.I. as a kid, teen and finally as an adult. That place in a sense was my home. I took advantage of my time there. I made many friends and stayed in contact with them over the years. I have become fluent in tagalog and have always admired the generosity and hospitality of the Filipino people. I have been all over the place and have stayed in homes with dirt floors and in some very beautiful western style homes with marble floors and it is always the same very hospitable people that are quick to smile. Sure there were the folks there on Olongapo and in Angeles City that were well a bit shady and yes we have then here in the states too.

    Many ask did you marry a Filipina my answer is no. My wife is a blonde haired blue eyed American girl that I had met there in the first grade. We both travel there every other year. I was just there this past December 2013. It is hard to walk around the base now as in many ways it is a ghost of its former self. Yet there have been many changes and many new jobs. The main gate that is mainly for pedestrians still has the small quonset hut and as I called them cattle guides still in use as it was until the base closed in 92. Shit river still smells but no more kids in banca boats asking for coins. Magsaysay Ave is very different. The clubs are gone. there is the odd massage parlor and a couple of clubs but mainly just businesses have came into place.

    The Victory Liner bus station is there and still the same as it was back when you rode that wild zig-zag road to get to the road that led to Angeles or Manila. I walked the streets and closed my eyes and could remember the old days. Gone forever. Great times and great fun. I always enjoy when I run into a former Marine or Sailor and Olongapo comes up. The adult Disneyland many say. That city was in the Guiness Book of Records for having more bars per square block than anywhere in the world. Spanish Gate is no longer a Cafeteria but now a white table cloth restaurant. Much of the base is intact with many of the old buildings re-purposed or left to rot. Low Mau Camp is almost all gone. Vehicles imported from Japan are staged and sold there. Upper Mau Camp is there as is the JEST Camp. The world famous Aviators O Club was dismantled and rebuilt in Florida part of a Naval Museum there. Cubi Point is intact though most of the building look pretty weather beaten. Fed Ex was there for years until the Phil. Gov’t. wanted too much money to operate there so they pulled out. The old Naval Magazine is now restaurants and other purposed buildings.

    I could go on and on. There is now a Expressway from Subic to Clark and it takes only about 40 minutes to get from one to the other. In the old days you took the wild ride through the Zig zag road and usually stopped at Sandy’s Drive in for an ice cold San Magoo or two. That is now gone. I was lucky to have spent so much time there. I will say this the old days ( Prior to 92) were the best days of my life. I had some wild times and some that I will never forget. many can not fathom what went on there. It is beyond the comprehension of most. For those that served, lived, and experienced life there you know what I am talking about. Anyway I have rambled on enough good times and great memories that I will cherish all my days. I go back now in memories and in my extensive photo collection from those carefree times in my life.

    • Jim says:

      That was a great post…..though I really got a chuckle when you referred to 92 as the good old days. I was at Clark in 92 as a civilian working in Crow Valley Bombing Range….I left in Sept. 93, well after Mt. Pinatubo blew its top. The chuckle is for me 92 sort of sucked compared to the good old days of 65-75…where I did three active duty tours between San Miguel Comm Sta and ComCen Sangley Pt. I sort of understand what you mean being there as a kid, as I was still 17 when I arrived there as my first duty station….The only reason it wasn’t as shocking to me as it was to most is I spent a lot of time in border towns in TX and also TJ when in SDiego. So it was just a hyper town on steroids compared to those in Mexico, although those were pretty wild too. I mean where else could you see the lady and the donkey show??? That they didn’t have in Olongapo…Have planned to go back 3 or 4 times but things keep coming up, mostly medical now to always makes me postpone the trip….Maybe someday I’ll make it back.

      • Jim,
        I hear you. I spent time in Angeles on Fields and have been to the Nipa Hut or the Fire Empire as it was later called. I recall the Banana Cutter as she was called. The P.I. had its share of for the lack of better words amazingly entertaining venues.
        T.J. had its wild times as well. I recall reading in the paper many years ago that while remodeling a bar just south of the border a couple of skeletons in Cracker Jacks were found plastered up in the wall of a club and estimated had been there since the early 60’s.
        As far as a trip to the P.I. goes all I can say is GO! Time as I am feeling as I advance in years is flying by and it is still cheap. I recommend Philippine Airlines as the have direct non stop flights now from Los Angeles to Manila. About 14 hours. That is a lot better than the MAC Flight I took on my first trip there on a Navy 4 engine propr that Island hopped across the Pacific and when you got to Cubi your ears were ringing from the noise. The exchange rate is around P42.00 to$1.00. Travel from Manila to Olongapo is faster with the expressway and even faster for Clark. There are many nice hotels to Choose from. The former Chambers Hall the BOQ on Clark has been transformed into a Holiday Inn and it is nice. Subic has many as well.
        San Miguel the old Comm. Station that was a out of the way sleepy little place and you passed through Subic City as it was called a little wild strip of bars between Olongapo and San Miguel. Man the things we forget and then ah yes remember. Sangley Point was turned over to Philippine Gov’t. in I think 1970. That base is a shambles now. As shared those were great times the bases were very nice and life was simpler. I guess it was because we were young and carefree on many levels. Anyway anyone contemplating a trip back all I can say is Go! In my view you will be glad you did. It put such a smile on my face to see and revisit all of the places of my youth. Sure it has changed and yet so have I. The renewed appreciation for my time there well PRICELESS!

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Tony. I have a lot of photos as well is it possible for you to send me some via email. ( Photos of bars and bar girls mostly and any of the facilities on the base would be good. I could send you some photos as well. Hope to hear from you. Alan Lehman

    • D.C. Bennett says:

      Thank you for taking the time to make such an insightful post. It means a lot to so many of us . . .

  44. Mike Slocum says:

    Great posts gang!! Tony thanks for bringiing us to date. Also a shout out to Art and Michele for a more local prspective. Jim, thanks for the memory about “Smoke on the water” being the anthem when I was there in 73 on the Hancock(VA-164) I’m sure you remember you could walk out of one bar hearing that song and into your next favorite place hearing the same thing without missing a beat. In 1975 I was there same squadron and ship but a different national anthem by then. I’m still hearing “Free Bird in my memory banks all these years later. Speaking of rock and roll, I was doing some research recently about one of my favorite rock bands(Journey) and come to find out that Arnel Pineda the current lead singer for them was in a band playing there in 1989 (I was then in VA-196 on board the “Connie”) at the California Club but don’t exactly remember where the Caifornia club was in town between wearing my self out on Shore Patrol and my drunken bar hoping my memory is really fuzzy. Another “old guy memory issue” I’m sure a lot of you remember the Frictions at the Sierra Club in the 70’s and 80’s but I also remember another band that could rival them at a place about half way up on the right of Magsaysay between the main gate and Rizal Blvd called the Madison Club also in 1975. I was told by one of the bar girls that I knew there that years later that they wound up going to a big club in Manila? I could share some New Jolo Club memories here but I want our good friend Dennis to keep this going without having to worry about decency/censorship laws so I’ll keep quiet and leave warm memories and smiles on all of our faces!!

    • Thanks for the post, Mike! Years ago I heard an Arnel Pineda demo covering a Journey song on KINK radio in Portland, OR and it was really spooky how much he sounded like Steve Perry. I think this was just before he was officially named lead singer.

      Uhhh… New Jolo Club? Memories of that fine establishment should probably be posted elsewhere, hehe.

      • PJ Gonzalvo says:

        Hi Sir Dennis, I’m Pauline from GMA News, one of the media networks in the Philippines. Do you know of any Subic naval base veteran who currently lives in Subic or Olongapo area? We’re looking for someone to interview for one of our news segments with regards to his experiences during his tour/stay in Subic. Pls. email me @ if you know anyone. Thank you!

    • Pete parpan says:

      Big band in 68 – 69 era was the electrodes. They did The Beach Boys better than the BB’s. Did many more too but Good Vibrations was killer. Still love the old sounds and memories as well. San Miguel duty station as well as San Miguel beer fond memories.

      • Ronald Walls says:

        The Electrodes were some really talented musicians. I use to talk to them when they were on break at the enlisted men’s club. They wanted me to get a certain album for them so they could learn a song once. I found the cassette tape album and took it to them at the club. Within a few days they learned the song. If my memory serves me correctly I believe it was A Horse With No Name. I have told people through the years how talented those guys were. I remember them doing Purple Haze and it sounded just like the record.

      • Pete parpan says:

        I was at san miguel same time you were. Do you remember a waitress named Charie in nco club? She was so sweet, shy and cute. I had a photo of her and I for many years but lost it somewhere along the way. The electrodes were truly top notch. Saw them in po nearly every time I was there. Fond memories indeed. I am sitting here in a inpatient hospital for a broken back this New Years eve and catching up on old times. i was a CTR3 back then and moved up to CTR2 in next duty station of San email is… Drop a line if you like. Take care mate and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Mike Slocum, I was there in Olongapo City during my first Westpac cruise when I was on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 in
      1974(twice-November 25-27, 1974 & December 11-19, 1975) in
      1975(3 times-January 12-22, 1975, April 15-16, 1975 & on
      May 4-6, 1975. I did a lot of shore patrol there, I met my late
      wife of 31 years on January 16, 1975 when I had shore patrol
      duty. Rizal Avenue had a lot of bars, nightclubs, restraunts &
      hotels, I stayed about 5 times at the Skyline Hotel which today
      the ground floor is a warehouse. I got stationed at SRF Subic
      Bay on November 20, 1978. The bars & nightclubs in the Jungle
      we’re just about almost gone, and a lot of bars & nightclubs East
      of the Skyline Hotel became furniture stores, appliance stores and warehouses. The song Smoke on the water by Deep Purple
      is Norfolk, Virginia’s all time favorite song, I was an East Coast
      Sailor before 8/22/1974 when I reported aboard the USS Blue
      Ridge LCC-19 in San Diego. Going from Norfolk, VA to San Diego, CA for a Navy or Coast Guard sailor and Marine in the
      1970’s is moving up. The very best Navy libertys I had were in
      Olongapo City & Manila. Within the next 3 years, I plan to be living out my life in the Philippines for good. I married my late
      wife on 4/5/1979 & we had 3 children, she passed away on
      3/6/2010 in Tucson, AZ, my late wife was a wonderful wife, mother & woman.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Hi Mike, wow…. I was just telling someone else on this post about how my hangout was the California Club. It was on the right side of Magsaysay Drive. It was just a few bars past the so-called shit river after leaving the main gate at Subic base. I had a girlfriend in the California Club named Victoria “Vicky” Flores. I met her at the Geisha Club further down the road, but she ended up at the California Club. I have a photo of her sitting on my lap, and there’s about 8 other sailors in the photo. Vicky had a Filipina friend named Lebrada “Lebby.” I tracked down Vicky and found that she moved to the US and lived in West Virginia with some handicapped man. She died a few years ago of Alzheimer’s.

  45. I am not sure if you guys and gals have seen this. That would be amazing if we got Subic or parts of it and Cubi Point back. It would be something to see our Navy back in PO City.

    Philippines to Let U.S. Build Military Facilities on Bases
    By Joel Guinto and Norman P. Aquino Mar 14, 2014 1:26 AM PT
    The Philippines will let the U.S. build facilities inside the Southeast Asian nation’s military bases, under a pact that would boost the American troop presence there at a time of rising tensions with China.
    Philippine concern about access to U.S. facilities on its bases was “sufficiently addressed” and the two countries will hold further talks later this month as they seek to wrap up an agreement, Philippine Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino said at a briefing in Manila today. “It’s safe to say there is already consensus” on the access issue.
    The negotiations come as a territorial dispute escalates between the Philippines and China over resource-rich shoals in the South China Sea. The Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally, lacks the military power to deter China from contested waters rich in oil, gas and fish and has asked the United Nations to rule on disputes, a process China has rejected.
    Chinese ships used water canons in January to drive Filipino fishermen away from the Scarborough Shoal, the Philippine military said on Feb. 24. China warned off two Philippine boats near the Second Thomas Shoal this week, its Foreign Ministry said on March 10.
    The Philippine foreign affairs department summoned China’s envoy in Manila to object to China’s latest action and asked it to “desist from any further interference” at the shoal, the agency said on March 11. Last month it also summoned the envoy over the water canon incident, calling it an act of harassment.
    Strong Signal
    China has the right to drive Philippine ships away from the Second Thomas Shoal, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday in a statement on its website, citing spokesman Qin Gang. The Philippines sent ships carrying materials to the shoal to build facilities there, a move that infringes China’s rights and is a provocation, Qin said.
    “The defense pact would be a strong political signal to China that the U.S. is on our side,” Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform in Manila, said by phone. “The deal may allow American access to more Philippine military bases, which also benefits the U.S. in its Asian pivot strategy.”
    China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said today that the agreement “is an issue between the Philippines and the U.S.”
    Facilities to be built by the U.S. inside Philippine bases will be for joint use, Batino said. “Negotiations just like this one are very fluid and we cannot have a definitive time line when we will finish this.”
    Subic Bay
    Securing U.S. facilities in the Philippines was one of the remaining issues that the parties needed to address, J. Eduardo Malaya, a member of the Philippine negotiating panel and the Philippine ambassador to Malaysia, said at the same briefing.
    The U.S. ended its permanent military presence in the Philippines with the closing of the Subic Bay base after the lease ended in 1991. The U.S. rotates 500 troops into the southern Philippines each year to aid in counter-terrorism operations, while 6,500 come annually for exercises, according to the Philippine military.
    The Philippines is very close to finishing the pact with the U.S., President Benigno Aquino said in an interview on Feb. 19. Negotiators may seek to wrap up a deal before U.S. President Barack Obama visits the Philippines in April as part of a trip to the region that also takes in Japan.

    • SGT C USMC says:

      WESTPAC serving in the USMC…When you said you were “Going Home”….it meant you were going stateside or to the PI…. !

      USS DUBUQUE LPD 8 1979 -1980 .

      boom boom!

      • Christopher S. o'Rourke says:

        SGT C, I agree with your comment, it also applied to the Amphib sailors And the Seabees. I was stationed on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 on my first Westpac of 1974-1975. I was in Subic Bay 5 times during that Westpac and twice in Manila. I met my late wife of 31 years on 1/16/1975, we didn’t get married till after I got stationed there at SRF Subic Bay on 11/20/1978, a few weeks after I got stationed at SRF, I put in my request to get married, my late wife & I got married at City Hall in Olongapo City on 4/5/1979, we stayed married 31 years, my late wife passed away on 3/6/2010 in Tucson, AZ, I’m planning to return to the Philippines for good and live out my life there.

  46. John Law says:

    USS Rainier AE 5 1967-70

  47. george hogue says:

    i got to spend some time in olongapo on a 81/82 westpac USS Truxtun……I keep seein references to the monkey meat on the stick that was sold along magsaysay and everywhere else and it cracks me up that there would be anyone that would think its actually monkey meat…. a shipmate of mine was kidding me about the very same thing when i was there….he said “c’mon now what is the most common animal in the phillipines?” i was guessing dog or chicken and he told me you are leaving out THE most common…i said give me a hint and right then i spotted a big ole rat running along the wall and around the corner down the alley….i died laughing when i looked and saw him touch the tip of his nose to confirm what i had just figured out lmao

  48. marilyn labrador morales says:

    hi sir im marilynlabrador ,i was born in olongapo January 23 1975 i am still hoping to find my father ,,if ever he happens to read this my mom name is Gina thats what the name that the people who adapted me gave of my mothers name ,,thanks GOD speed ,,hoping for your kind and consideration

  49. F4 AQ says:

    I was on the Ranger for 3 cruises, 68-71 (Vietnam). Olongapo was where we usually went for liberty, Japan a few times, Hong Kong once per cruise. What and adventure that place was! Crummy, dirty, dangerous, outrageous (the floor show at the New Jollo Club), the baby bird eating alligator, the pick pockets, the shoe shine scammers, the jeepnies, the old lady selling “monkey meat” (meat of some kind twisted around a stick and roasted over a charcoal fire in a tin can), the bar girls hanging around outside trying to get you to come in and buy them a drink (“I love you, no shit! Buy me a drink, sailor”). I learned to not wear my glasses on liberty. One of the bar girls’ best tricks for getting you into the bar was to snatch your glasses off your face and run inside. Getting your glasses back without buying her a drink wasn’t worth the time it took. Just buy her a drink and move on, or not. Short time, overnight, you buttahfly!, you numba 10 (real bad), you numba 1 (the best). A whole vocabulary to learn. I had some really good times in Olongapo, but I was always watching over my shoulder.

    A friend of mine spent part of a cruise at Cubi Point, keeping our extra planes ready to fly out to the ship if they were needed. He met a local Filipino guy who made his living writing love letters for bar girls. Sailors and Marines would send love letters to the girls, sometimes even money so they wouldn’t have to work in the bars, and then be true to the guy. Ha! They kept right on working and making money. Anyway a girl would get a letter from some guy out on a ship or in Vietnam. She would bring it to this guy and he would read it, and then compose a response, all sweet and lovey, and being so faithful, and thanks for the money, and I just can’t wait til you’re here again… Then the girl would put her signature and a big kiss on the letter, he would sprinkle some perfume on it, seal it up, and then she would pay him and leave. He had lots of clients. Business was very good. The guy tooled around on a yellow Honda 90 and wore nice clothes. He had other rackets, too, but the love letter business was nice, clean work and very easy money.

    • AL Wellman says:

      One of my shipmates warned me when changing duty stations to always give your next duty station as a forwarding address rather than your home address. It seems some of the Olongapo bar girls would remember which ship their good customers were on when business was slow (or the guy on the Yellow Honda 90 had especially attractive rates) and send letters to his ship detailing how enthusiastically she intended to celebrate his next port visit. This guy said he had a hell of a time explaining the letter to his wife when it was forwarded to his home after he had transferred to another command. (He claimed one of his shipmates had used his name during a port visit, but then his wife called his shipmate’s wife and he was in hot water with the shipmate.)

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Al that guy was in double hot water back then with his shipmate and his wife. That was a very hot water & sticky issue. Always use the next command as the forwarding address when transferring, never your home address if your are married, it still applies today whether the woman is from The Philippines, Australia, Spain, Italy, or Thailand. I seen it happen on all three Westpac cruises I made, all two Med cruises as well.

  50. Shawna Hull says:

    oh the memories of subic bay…I was stationed there from 1982-1984…United States Navy Dockmaster… first female docmaster. i always wanted to go back to see what onlongapo looks like now, and if shit river still remains. i love lumpia to this day and make it often. american women were not liked by the working girls in olongapo, they thought we were a threat to their potential income from the service man…. they called us “brown eyes”…. hee hee…. i got slashed with a butterfly knife a couple times…. nothing a lil’ mojo or red bull couldn’t cure tho! any one remember filmore east?? that place was the shit! eat you a couple monkey meats before you go in and suck up the redbull once you were in there….it was close to the main gate so mp’s were close by to help you back on base. oh the good ole days.

  51. michael watkins says:

    glad i had some experience before i started visiting olongapo.
    we had a fat young ladys man yeoman who most likely never had a girl friend.
    the second day. he was in a big hurry to get married before the ship got underway and i believe the navy was more than happy to expedite the paperwork for him.
    i knew in future i would want to account for my conduct and was respectful to the people and fraternized with a filipino woman who had two caucasion children who it seemed did not speak english.
    if you never got past first base with a us girl i imagine you would be all gaga about human trafficking in foreign countries

  52. Sandy teter says:

    I was in a p3 squadron that deployed to cubi pt from Hawaii. Was there in 85 and 89. Reading through all of the posts bought back a lot of memories. I loved the chicken adobo, but always thought the meat didn’t look like chicken sometimes. Thought it was dog, but the mention of rats makes me wonder just what I was eating. Sometimes it took so long for them to bring your food, we would joke that they had to kill the chicken. maybe they were catching the rats. ewwwww. Remember eating rice with your fingers, chicken on a stick that was sometimes spoiled if you were’t careful, pansit and the sho pow. American women were called round eyes when I was there. When the ships would come in, we would go to barrio Barrettia because the town became so crowded. Anyone remember abracadabra? Another bar there was a bar in the front and a pigpen in the back under the same roof with no wall in between. You could buy mangos on the street for a few pesos and the best bread from an oven on the street. I remember paying five pecos for a mango thinking i had gotten a good deal, and one of the local girls said i should have gotten three for that much. go figure. it would have been a dollar on base. Remember snorkeling on grande island where the water was so clear and seeing bright blue starfish way down on the bottom. When the ships came in, it was almost impossible to get a taxi from the hangar, so a few of us walked to the barracks in the dark, and a bunch of wild pigs ran across the road in front of us one night. For some reason there was a snake pit in the back of our barracks. Never understood why it was there. Was Fillmore east the one American women couldn’t go in unless they were escorted? The name sounds familiar. California Jam and the US Festival were my favorite places. I remember something waking me up banging around in our room one night-my roommate had bought a baby monkey out in town and bought it back to the barracks. Spent a christmas at an orphanage and also got to go to a refugee center-both eye opening experiences. Was there when marcos was voted out as president and the demonstrations closed the gates to the base for several days. Sad to think the main drag outside the gate has changed so much. It was definitely a colorful place. Many, many fond memories.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Sandy, I was stationed at San Miguel from 1966 to 1968. But Olongapo was the place to go. I also loved the mangoes. I’d buy them and ask for their salt. The mangoes were called “manga” and the salt was called “asin.” I loved the green, tart mangoes. Frederick Smith, age 72, Palmer, MA

  53. BM3 Rocky Patterson says:

    Wow, what a blast from the past. You guys have brought back so many great memories. I flew into Clark in Nov. 74 straight out of boot, 17 and full of piss and vinegar. Then I found The Po !!!! I caught the Camden AOE2 and made another WestPac in 75-76. Does anyone remember the EM1 who chugged the glass full of lugees to beat some Marine in a gross out contest at the Wagon Wheel ? One of those snot wads was mine.
    I passed out one nite in a ditch 3 blocks back off the main drag. Had an empty bottle of White Castle next to me the next morning and barley remember hearing the the PI Regulars driving around all nite enforcing the curfew during marshall law.
    You are right, had to be there…….. A bunch of us missed ships movement in Hong Kong and went TAD
    In Subic for 2 weeks and ended up playing football in a flooded shit river field, and got some extra shots courtesy of Uncle Sam. And I degress, thanks guys for a great visit to those days.

  54. shirley says:

    hello..i hope you wont mind if i ask you about the woman who sell lumpia and barbeque..pls if you remember her name please let me know..thanks in advance..more power and more
    blessings..that things happened 1975 -1976 1977…

  55. Kadjo says:

    Great blog – I’m a 20 year Retarded (or Retired) Enlisted USAF Airman (1980-2000) originally hailing from cold-ass New England (CT), and my first base out of Basic & Tech School I get sent to Clark AB RP. It spoiled (or ruined) me forever! I was stationed with the 1961st Communications (“Baby-Makers”) Squadron. I lost track how many times I visited NAS Subic/Cubi Point, and Grande Island partying, snorkeling & scuba diving on my weekends. My buddies and I would take our girlfriends alternating between NAS Subic, Po-town and Wallace AS, San Fernando, La Union for our scuba diving trips. I arrived 18 and single, but left 21 and married with three children!!! I departed Clark on August 17, 1983 (remember it like it was yesterday) and I try to live by Gen. McArthur’s saying “I Shall Return.” I was one of the lucky guys to find a keeper wife and still be married to the same honey-ko (legally) for 31 years!!! Although I’m an expatriate working in Qatar, this site brought me down memory lane again!! And, NOW all I can think about is I am in a 20 day count-down for returning to Baloy Beach, Barreto Barangay, Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines. The base is still there, but it is not like we remember it! I feel a little sad when I see some of the buildings just wasting away empty and not being used. Subic is now a Free Port with the Koreans and Chinese buying up all the Lease rights. AS for food and drinks, they still have all the local famous drinks – San Magoos (Miguels), Red Horse was a new beer introduced in 1981, White Castle, and ESQ Tanduay Rum, and all the great foods, some of the retirees are still there and some of the clubs still exist but are renamed! Also, there is still monkey meat on a stick (really beef or pork)!!! I try to go back at least every other year. With all my children, grandchildren and home located in California; my heart, memories, and vacation plans still call the Philippines HOME. I too think our great government US of A did a dis-service to many Filipinos, but at the time of our departure, with no help from Mt. Pinatubo, I think Cora Acquino was upset with USA thinking we were protecting Marcos, and wanted us out of the country. Filipinos are still very found of Americans. And, most places are still just as safe as (most places) in America. Now Ninoy Acquino is seeing how the Chinese are just claiming any coral reef they can grab for mineral rights in the Philippine Sea! Low and behold, we are being asked to help out again. But, all for the next chapter of US-RP relations to come… who knows maybe we will be back in Subic again. There are a lot of wishful thinking Filipinos and Americans!!! Take care great site again!

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Kadjo, your comment is great, I also married a keeper wife, she was a wonderful woman, we met on 1/16/1975 in Olongapo City,
      it was my third time in Subic during my first Westpac cruise, I was 21, my late wife was 23, I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay
      On 11/20/1978, a few months later on 4/5/1979 my late wife & I
      got married, we had 3 children, my late wife passed away on
      3/6/2010 a month shy of being married 31 years. There were all
      Kinds of know it all critics that said my marriage would last up
      to only 5 years. Here is a question, where were those know it all
      critics at on 3/6/2010 at 2:20 AM Mountain Time when my wife
      passed away in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Loser City Tucson, AZ?
      The answer they were NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Those of
      us who married keeper wives have and will continue to beat the
      SO CALLED KNOW IT ALL CRITICS who only love marriages
      to fail & end in divorce, and there are way too many of those
      kind around. Within the next 3 to 4 years, I plan to return home
      to the Philippines for good and live out my life in my second
      country where my heart is, when I left SRF Subic Bay to return
      to San Diego for shore duty, I left my heart in the Philippines.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Hi Kadjo, I was stationed at San Miguel, Philippines from January 1966 to July 1968. Twice I was sent to Clark AFB for TAD. My memory of Angeles City was the Cock ‘n’n Bull nightclub. I live not far from your state of CT. I live in Palmer, MA. Frederick Smith, age 72.

  56. mick ross says:

    july 7th 1973 the uss hancock just pulled into port and i boarded it for my 1st day of hancock brother was already aboared but i couldnt find him so i just roamed the ship just checking it out. wow! i couldnt believe how big it was.well the next morning this guy who was a radioman with my brother reconized me in the mess hall and asked me if i was daves brother.they were expecting me to arrive. i said yep,and he took me to him.that night me,dave,and a couple of his friends went out to olongapo city to party. i was 17yrs 4months old.joined the day i turned 17,went strait to boot camp, then strait to the hancock.we crossed shit river,(where we got our clothes washed by the filipino women by the way)went into about the 3rd or 4th club on the right, the oceans 11 club and this beautiful filipino girl walks right up to me,(not the other 3 of us)me and says hey cherrie boy,i love you no shit,you buy me drink?i was in love!my brother and 2 friends says ah come on lets go theres hundreds of these clubs here,lets just keep walking.well anyway we went in and spent most of the night right there.her name was minda(i still have pictures of her)mind you i was 17yrs and 4 months old only,never even had any make a long long story short, for 5 american dollars,i got drunk,screwed, and the hotel room for the was the best night of my life.and probally still is.every time we pulled into subic i’d go see minda.didnt need the dollar for the hotel room any more either,we always stayed at her friends back home i know didnt believe my many many stories about this place.i sure they thought i was greatly exaggerating. it was liking smoking some hash,then walking right into a story book,(a fairy tale book) like some cartoon carectures would was surreal!especially for a 17 year old.the greatest city i’ve ever been to,to this someone else said,”you would have had to have been there to believe it..soooooooooo true. . mick

    • Hey Mick, great story! Yep, just like smoking some hash and stepping into another world. Good description, totally surreal! I was sitting around a late campfire a couple of months ago and a member of our RV group (coincidentally a USS Hancock vet) and I started exchanging Subic Bay and Opo liberty stories. Another guy who was there got up and left in disbelief that there could be anywhere on earth like this. “You guys gotta be kidding me.” LOL

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Mick Ross, the day you reported aboard the USS Hancock in Subic Bay, I was on the USS Seattle AOE-3 heading to Rota,Spain & my second Med cruise, after 2 years on a floating
      Exxon gas station, I was in San Diego finally on the West Coast
      on August 22, 1974 aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, I was
      in Subic the first time on November 25, 1974, I had duty the first
      day in, the next day was the first of many libertys I would have,
      Boy did I ever have great liberty there & also in Manila when the
      ship pulled into Manila twice, plus the five times into Subic Bay.
      I met my late wife of 31 years there on Janaury 16, 1975, we got
      married a few months after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay on
      April 5, 1979. My late wife & I had 3 children, she was a wonderful wife, mother & woman, she passed away on 3/6/2010
      in Tucson, AZ. Within the next 3 years I plan to be living back
      in the Philippines for good & live out my life there. The past
      40 years 75% of the women I dated, had as girl friends are
      Filipina, I was married 31 years to my late wife, she was one
      of the Filipina women I dated & had as a girl friend, reading
      your comment, I wished I would have been in Olongapo City
      on Westpac in 1973. Those were great times, great liberty
      and being where the most beautiful women in the world are.

    • D.C. Bennet says:

      Well told, Shipmate. Thanx for posting this. It is really hard to put our experience into some sort of perspective that makes sense w/the rest of our lives!
      It is good to know that you cherish and appreciate this as much as we do!

  57. Tony aka Boomer says:

    On my many trips back to Po City and Angeles I just close my eyes and it takes me back. Those were the golden years. Life was slower and well FUN! No internet, no cell phones just dusty streets, San Magoo and warm women.

    It has changed and it will never be the way it was. i am thankful to have experienced it as it was then. I share stories with others and people look at me like Yeah Right! Matters not from time to time I run into a vet that has served and lived at either of those former U.S. bases and when we get to talking I always see the same twinkle in the eyes of the one I am speaking with and for a little while it is like time travel.

    The P.I. in those days was the best, simple and just the best days and nights of my life. I look at old pictures and smile yeah good times.

    • Jim Jones says:

      Hey Boomer,
      I finely was healthy enough to make the trip back this year. I left the middle of march 2015 and stayed for two months. The first couple days was a surprise. Seeing the large malls and all the improvements made to the country. I knew they were there, from reading forums, but seeing it in person, well it hit home then. I visited all the old areas I knew and loved. I used Angeles as a hub, and went to Bauang La Union,/Poro Point where Wallace used to be. Lived there for about a year or more right after the valcano blew. Back to Angeles, then off to the Subic area. I stayed in Baretto and visited Olongapo, took a jeepney to the main gate, then walked all the way to the Po market. Kept trying to picture what clubs where where, but after awhile gave up on that. I then headed up to San Antonio, whee NCSP was. Looked for a couple of old buddies that I knew retired there in the 80’s and were still there in the early 90’s. It was sad to find out they had all died. For those who might have known Wayne Rogers RMSC he may actually have made Master Chief before he retired, I’m not sure. Anyway he passed away about 9 months ago. I was hoping to see him again, as we were best of friends back in the mid 60’s while stationed at NCSP and again in the mid 70’s. I went further up the coast and visited IBA and Mascenloc. I then returned to Angeles again before heading to Cavite City. I still can’t believe how many more thousands of people they packed into that area. I then decided to go to someplace new. I had never been off Luzon in all the years I lived there. So the obvious was to go to Cebu. I spent a month there, and saw some of the island, then off to Bohol and a few days on Pangalo beach. Visited some of the normal tourist traps whle there, but also couldn’t resist looking for some of the backward areas that reminded me of the 60’s. I only then realized how much I missed being there. I have already planned on going for the winter this year. have tickets purchased to leave mid Nov. and return mid March 2016. We will take a month of that time and visit other countires in the area with trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam. I havn’t been to anyh of those since 1966. some on Vacation, some TDY’s. I know they will have changed as much or more than the Philippines has. So it will be all new again. Hopefully can make it an annual thing for a few years anyway if my health will hold out.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Jim Jones, I read your comment, I myself being now that I’m retired, a widower since 3/6/2010. my late wife of 31 years I met her in Olongapo City on 1/16/1975. We got married a few months after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay. That was the very best tour of duty I had in the Navy, two years ago I finally made my mind up, I’m planning on returning to the Philippines for good and live out my life there. I’m in the long drawn out tedious task of selling everything I own, and once that’s done, it’s good riddance to the Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area, which is the very worst place I’ve ever lived and worked in. I have learned and have more than paid the price of a mistake of taking a job in Mexizona like a stupid idiot that I at least realized. I should have went back to the Philippines three years ago in the very first place to begin with. At least I’m doing everything I possible can to correct that mistake I made. My children are grown, my late daughter is buried in Ventura, CA, my late wife is entombed in Los Angeles, CA. My sons are too far away, one is in the Air Force at Kadena, and my youngest son is in Texas. I’m not needed or wanted anymore in the U.S., since I’m not needed or wanted in the U.S., why should I live where I’m not needed or wanted? So it makes sense for me to finish out my life in the Philippines anyway. I’m communicating with a real estate agent, she’s fifty on, live in General Trias, Cavite. My late wife was from Cavite City, I have a cousin of my own who was born there, he’s retired Navy, he went back there for good, and his sister is in the Manila area, so there’s family I have in the Philippines from my own side, those cousins of my, their late father was my uncle, he was Navy, stationed aboard the USS Southerland DD-743, he was a plank owner. My second time in Subic Bay, I met one of my uncles old girl friends in Subic, she told me all about my uncle, how he was. Jim I’m glad that you plan to winter there in the Philippines. I hope that I do meet the real estate agent when I return there for good.

  58. Randall says:

    I came to Subic bay from vietnam for six weeks to do repair work on Uss Hunterdun county 838. I experienced many of the same things and was in the Swanky bar several times – quite a place. Met a sweet lady named Mila. I was there January ’70 .

  59. Tim lindsey says:

    Am going to visit for 17 days in jan 15. Taking my 2 youngest sons, both are college students who like to dive. My first visit since 88. My first visits as in 69. Had some good friends during those years, that I hope to find and in good Heath. Anyone know how to locate people in olongapo before I get there?
    . Will visit grande island for sure. That’s where I learned to dive while in the navy. Also going to palawan by ferry. Never got very far away from olongapo when stationed there, the navy was pretty stingy on Liberty passes. 24 hours ok 72 hours well that happened only 2 times. Went to manila , bagio, and paghasan falls (sp). The train ride to bagio was a trip, animals, vendors, good pork rines, houses built within a few feet sometimes looked like inches, from the tracks,tried to take a nap, that didn’t work!, My first victory liner trip to manila I was in dress whites, civilian cloths were no allowed. I step off the bus and was mobbed by 50 kids from 6 to 12 or so years old! It’s like they new I was coming, funny how news travels so fast in the phillippines. Just ask a local and you can find out what there serving on base tomorrow for lunch ! Or when you’ll be back! Anyway a phillippino cop yelled something they all hit the ground . I stood there wondering what I was supposed to do as he was armed with an automatic rifle. He motioned to me to go! I got in a cab and left! I immediate bought some cloths and changed! Shortly after that zuwald changed policy in the navy to allow civilian cloths.
    I used to refer to the PO as the black hole, I once gave a girl 100$ to buy groceries for dinner at the market for us and her family, she did and returned. I ask if there was any change, she politely said no. I Never ask again! Change just vanishes! At the market! she and all her friends couldn’t carry 100$ worth of groceries. Had a vip flight one time the captain ask to have sushi for dinner. I went to the market bought 10$ worth of groceries and fish, feed 11 people.

    • Stephen White says:

      Make sure that all your passports have more than 6 months remaining on them before you go. I went to PI to get married in 2012 and was prevented from boarding the plane from Honolulu to Manila by Hawaiian Airlines. The reason was I had only 2 1/2 months left on my passport. It cost me $1000 to stay in Honolulu while I got a new passport issued. When I got to the PI I talked to a supervisor in immigration and they told me that it would not have been a problem. As you can tell, I fell in love with the people and the country while I was stationed there 1970-72.

    • Tony AKA Boomer says:

      If you have a chance research Manguayguay Island that is a cool place and there are many wrecks to dive from WWII. Boracay is another great place. Grande Island is still there and open but under the Philippine Gov’t. now. Prices are still reasonable. Dungareee beach is still there and when you see Cubi it is like a ghost town now. A neat place on base is Ocean Adventure. Down by the main gate there is a mall now. It has changed a lot but many of the old structures are still there and repurposed some better than others.

      As of late I seem to be running into more veterans that were in the P.I. and they all seem to suffer like me from nostalgia and that gleam or twinkle when speaking of Po City and Angeles and yes Subic City if one dared. Great times and now that we are all advancing in years the better memories out weigh some of the not so good I think.

      In time sheesh it has been 22 years since we pulled out of Subic all will be in some obscure page in a history book. For those that were there during its heyday we all remember and no matter if you had your heyday in the 50′,-90’s they were all similar on many levels. I doubt there are more than a handful that are still on active duty that actually were stationed in the P.I. when the bases were in operation.

      Have a good time and trust that when you walk around Subic and see the changes a tear will come to your eye. Same with when you walk down Magsaysay Ave. The gate looks the same a bit run down but the old Quonset hit remains as does the stench from shit river. yet when I was there last year I walked from the gate all of the way to the Victory Liner bus station and it is more subdued but the memoried flood and it is almost like a time warp. Hard to explain but you will see what I mean when you are there.

      Oh no more “Hey Joe!” it is “Bawsz” and women still called “madam”

      • Tim Lindsey says:

        thanks will check out the wreck diving. And yes im used to Bawsz. They use that term at my local store owned by an Asian Indian family. Guess it means customer!

      • Dave D says:

        do us all a favor and take some pictures to post back on here, like Magsaysay Ave, White Rock, the gate, islands… that would be awsome…. and stand in front of the old Pearl Club and yell… MARLINE…. I miss that girl….

      • John Hodges says:

        Took over 40 years but I found my Honeyko from the Tom Tom club………In PHOENIX of all places. She’s been there for almost 30 years. Go figure….

      • Tim lindsey says:

        Go figure. She was probably looking for you too. War brings people together then tears them apart! But people never give up!. You started your search in PI and ended up in Phoenix . Amazing! Yes I’ll take some pics. That’s my first dive location for about 5 days . There are a few wrecks in subic bay. Should be a good starting point. Some spanish some ww2.

      • Gary Smith says:

        no what you mean when you say nothing like the heydey my wife and i go every year for two months and eventually retire there if i don’t die first lol. we stay at the blue rock at baloy beach when not in her province Bicol. and usually a week in tarlac visiting friends. and few days in pampanga. last two years spent several days in Boracay which i don’t like that much to many tourists.

      • Tim Lindsey says:

        Yes that’s probably right. Was the blues not whites. Probably thinking of Sasebo Japan.

      • Tim Lindsey says:

        Just got back from subic. Got my 2 sons qualifies in diving . Tried to hunt up some old friends . Not to successful there but going back next month without sons to give it another try without distractions. Geographical have changed, all the bars in olongapo have been replaced with a thriving community of families all working on the old base , nice malls . Just a couple bars mostly Korean. But subic as we new in in the old days is the new barrio district a lot of the clubs in olongapopo have moved out there. Pricesce and people about the same. The bands have been replaced by videos but , kind of miss that. Go further out being subic you get some bars like the old subic some bands a lot cheaper not so much hustle. . Be little more careful as it with those kind of places . Treat people with respect and friendly. And be cautious go with somebody or keep cool there are always valtures no security. .

  60. For those missing the old Angeles City bar scene, I have hundreds of photos posted on my Facebook Group, Classic AC Photos. Everyone is welcome to join:

  61. Gary Smith says:

    spent many liberties in olongapo in the 60’s while stationed on the USS Woodpecker out of Sasebo, Japan. used to love going to moms and getting tacos with special hot sauce. Would burn your mouth but chased it with ice cold san mig. Was there forget what year we took an old coast gaurd whec through overhaul before giving it to Viet nam. Also was stationed on USS Sterett when was home ported out of Subic that was CG-31. Met my wife in the west fargo club and have been married for 40 years. Definatey remember the old days there dirt streets had to wear whites on liberty in the early days and if monsoon season get the mud on them might as well throw them away. awww the good old days

    • Tim lindsey says:

      Yes most of the times the whites were ruined on 1 night of Liberty. But had several made there faily cheap taylored perfectly. Just part of the cost of Liberty. Sharkskin material . Was legal uniform from the navy’s viewpoint. Was not actually sharkskin but had a lot of silk and looked shiny. Embroideries cuffs when rolled up on Liberty.

      • Tim Lindsey says:

        Actually my purpose was to find an old flame. Janet Santos. Did not have that much success but am going back to try again new her for 10 years just to stupid not to marry her . But you know how the Navy was. Well they said the wouldnot approve bla bla. Had to have there approval ect ct. So I figured it was impossible just a stupid military attitude that I bought into. But I’m going back and am going to try to work the barangay captain to locate . Got any suggestions.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Gary Smith, good for you & your wife of 40 years, we beat those critics. I met my late wife on 1/16/1975 in Olongapo City, she worked at the Sierra Club. I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay on
      11/20/1978, so after I got stationed there, I went to work right away in requesting to get married, I had to bring my girl friend to
      the command which I did. My late wife & I got married on 4/5/1979, we stayed married till 3/6/2010 when she passed away
      in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. The critics said that
      my marriage would only last 5 years. Where were those critics at
      on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 2:20 AM Mountain Time when my
      wife of 31 years passed away? The answer is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. We married wonderful women. Within the next 3 to
      4 years, I’m returning home to the Philippines, my second country for good & live out my life there as that is where my heart is, and I need to be where my heart is. I will only date Filipina women, and I’m seeking a Filipina between 47 & 59
      years of age for dating & a second marriage. My late wife & I
      had 3 children.

  62. Gary Smith says:

    think you are talking about sharkskin blues not the whites which we wore in olongapo.

    • Jim says:

      All the custom tailored whites I ever saw was the ones that were made from this relatively NEW material called Polyester Knit. They made custom Bell bottom whites, that never had to be starched and ironed. Some commands there would allow them for everyday, but were NOT allowed for any personal inspections.

      • Glen Bradshaw says:

        Was young 21yr old Marine stationed at Cubi Point near the carrier pier. We were Marine Air Support Squadron-2….with radar control we flew Navy & Marine small aircraft up the coast to a small island target North of Subic Bay …..dropped bombs on the island for the day’s operations. The evening operations were in Olongapo City. We worked hard & we played hard! My girl’s name was Ester, now she was a wild thing. After all these years just thinking of her puts a smile on my face. Lots memories…..a couple of us took a long weekend trip up the road with a bunch of curves to Bagio…then in Olongapo the San Miguel beer, the entertainment was fantastic, the monkey meat, poncit dish, a few times some guys & I went a little further into town to see the “Cock Fights”…now a single cock fight does not last but a few minutes. I think this is where most of that chicken-on-a-stick comes from, the losers. There was at least one loser…sometimes both cocks die. I loved PI. It was the best place that I was stationed!! Yes, I had a buddy get a pistol stuck in his face & was robbed while in a jeep-nee. I saw a young girl pull a butterfly knife out of her hair up on her head & go after a guy. And a couple fights( young men, drinking & good looking women) well we did some damage to the bar….but no one was seriously injured. Had lots of fun…..once my outfit rented the Swanky Club for the whole day & evening. They cooked us a big pig on a bamboo pole out back over a fire, also had some kind of cooked goat head on a stove & some type of spicy meat rolled up in a crust and fried. Food & beer was great. Somewhere I still have a picture of all of us….officers, enlisted, the members of the band & the girls all together in a group.. we were pretty much looking wasted! GOOD MEMORIES—GOOD TIMES!!! I have talked about life in the city of Olongapo to a few guys over the years….I guess some of them figured it was BS. You just had to be there & live it… was a long time ago, BUT I REMEMBER ALL OF IT! Semper Fi.

      • Glen Bradshaw says:

        I got carried way telling my adventures the year was 1963-1964 in Olongapo, Philippines.
        My same outfit Marine Air Support Squadron -2 after the experience of the practice operations from Cubic Point, Subic Bay, PI. ….they ended up in the real live operations from Khe San, Vietnam & from I Corps, Vietnam. Semper Fi.

  63. Larry Paulino Galinato says:

    Dennis…I enjoyed reading your blog, especially the part where you describe a crocodile pond in front of a club on the right side of Magsaysay Drive. You may recall the name of the club was Pauline’s. I lived at inside the club because my mother managed the club for my grandfather who was the proprietor. I attended George Dewey High School on base from ’68 and graduated in ’73. Pauline’s burned down due to an electrical in the summer of ’74. I still have family there. My cousin, the honorable Rolen Paulino is the current mayor of Olongapo.

    Larry Paulino Galinato
    Las Vegas, NV

    • Roger F. Cary says:

      Was in Olongapo in 67&68 aboard USS NIAGARA FALLS (AFS-3) Went to Paulines club many times. Got to know a young lady by the name of Gina. What memories I have

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Larry, your story was very interesting. I think everyone who went to Olongapo remembers Pauline’s with the pond in front. I was stationed at San Miguel from January 1966 to July 1968. Frederick Smith, age 72, Palmer, MA.

  64. skywalker says:

    Writing a novel that includes Cubi, Subic and ‘Po City in the 1981-83 time period. Anyone remember which side of the street the Chuckwagon bar was on? I think that was the name.

    Also, there was a great t-shirt that began with “I’ve smoked dope, chewed rope…” and ended with “…but I ain’t never seen shit like this.” Anyone remember it and have the actual words?

    • Skywalker,
      You can find a list of bars at , but unfortunately the Chuckwagon is not listed. I don’t recall seeing it in ’72 or ’73, but then the memory cells are needing some tweaks. I wish I had the t-shirt you describe. 😉


      • John Hodges says:

        I spent a LOT of time on Magsaysay during the early 70’s through the early 80’s. Don’t remember a joint called The Chuckwagon. I remember the Cockeyed Cowboy, The Wagon Wheel. The Old West #1 & #2 there were a Lot of Country themed bars on Magsaysay and Rizal like the Oak Barrell and the Joy Club #1 & Joy Club #2.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        John Hodges, don’t forget there was the Alamo Club which today
        is a warehouse on Magsaysay, the Wild, Wild West, the New Mexico bar. Kong’s Restraunt next to what used to be the Shamrock night club(hard rock place), the outside had a green background with 4 leaf clovers, the the 3 leaf Shamrock that it should have had, today Kong’s is just a shell and the Shamrock
        club is the Olongapo Casino, the same building where the Alamo
        Club was, the entire second floor where the Playboy & Sierra Club were are a warehouse, what became the Airport club in
        late 1977 is now a Gothic rock club, the Shell gas station is now
        a nursery selling plants & trees. I seen it on the you tube videos
        of Olongapo City. Where the West Fargo bar was, that became
        the Disco Cube, then an open from bar, that entire building is now Sam’s Pizza. Those who owned bars & nightclubs that got
        Out of the bar business & into the furniture store, appliance store, warehouse business were the smart ones. I plant to be living back there within the next 3 years for good. I met my late
        wife of 31 years in Olongapo City, we had 3 children, we met on
        my first Westpac on January 16, 1975, a I tried to get stationed
        there in 1976, but instead got stationed there in 1978, after I got
        stationed there, one of the first things I did was put my request in
        to get married, April 5, 1979, my late wife & I got married, she was a wonderful wife, mother & woman, she passed away on
        March 6, 2010 in Tucson, AZ. We had 3 children, my oldest one
        Is In the Air Force at Kadena, he’s planning to make a visit to
        the Philippines in a few months, he’ll be visiting Cebu, Dumagete
        City. I adopted him, we had our late daughter who was born at
        Cubi Point Navy hospital, our youngest son he lives in the Dallas
        Fort Worth area. Olongapo City is where I will most likely be living there again since I’m most familiar with it despite the changes it & we all went through.

  65. skywalker says:

    Thanks Dennis. I saw that t-shirt every visit during my time in a squadron on Midway and never bought it. I kick myself often.

    • Yep, I could kick myself for never buying a “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” t-shirt, among others.

      • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

        I’m still going through this long list of posts and love it. Everyone mentions the numerous bars, but nobody seems to talk about how they had an indoor movie theater in Olongapo, as well as a duckpin bowling alley on some second floor on the right side of Magsaysay Drive. Nobody mentions Mom’s Taco Shop that seemed to be a popular place when I was there in 1966.

  66. Juan says:

    Dennis thanks you for the memories. MarineBarricks station for about 15 months I loved the legends club and the Sierra Club and I would go to the Playboy club. I worked in the supply hut I was a e-3 I think about my friends that I made during that time and I missed them I was stationed at Subic Bay from 1973 to 1975. Every day was a party.

  67. Dennis Rutowski says:

    Dennis thanks for the great web page. I was stationed at Sub Group 7 rep at SRF fm 85-86. Can’t believe I ate the “mystery meat” on a stick. Some of my favorite places were Straw Hat Pizza, Cork Room and Tepanyaki Steak House. I always found my way to D-rock no matter what shape I was in. Always wanted to find people from PSD or NAVPTO that I worked with.

    • Christopher S. o'Rourke says:

      Dennis I was stationed at SRF from 11/20/1978 to 3/30/1981, it was the very best tour of duty I had in the Navy. I also did 3 Westpacs aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 on my very first
      Westpac from 10/18/1974 to 5/21/1975, was in Subic 5 times that Westpac and twice in Manila. I met my late wife of 31 years
      On my third visit to Subic on 1/16/1975. It was right after I got stationed at SRF that my late wife & I got married. My second &
      third Westpacs were aboard the USS Tarawa LHA-1, I was in
      Subic twice on my second Westpac, my late wife & our late daughter who was born at Cubi Point Navy Hospital & our youngest son were there in the Philippines during that Westpac.
      That second Westpac was from 10/18/1984 to 4/26/1985 and
      my third Westpac was from 6/18/1986 to 12/19/1986, I was in
      Subic five times that Westpac. Within the next 3 to 4 years I’m
      planning to return to the Philippines for good & live out my life there as that is where I left my heart there on 3/30/1981 when
      I had to return to San Diego from duty in the Philippines. The
      Navy just should & ought to have left me in Subic Bay for good,
      had they would have, I’d still be in the Philippines this very day
      my late wife would be still living or I would be remarried to another wonderful Filipina woman that is about 6 to 10 years
      younger than me.

      • Angel says:

        Hi Christopher, by chance do you know anyone by the name russell burwell or russell burrell? stationed in Subic Bay around 1980-1985?? His son is looking for him and im just trying to help him. 🙂 thank you in advance! 🙂

  68. John Arnold says:

    You must have taken notes in Olongapo, you tell your story like I was walking next to you. Your credibility went over the top when you described “shit river” I went off the beaten path a couple of times. Both could have been disastrous. I almost got robbed and my throat slit the first time (got free somehow) and ran 4 sec 40 gettin outta there. Like most of us I could go on forever about Olongapo and Subic City. People stateside couldn’t believe some of my tales and was sure I was full of it. Thanks for the good memories
    . “Fast” Johnny Arnold DD852 Leonard F. Mason OS2

    • Kat Varn says:

      John, my dad was on the Leaky Leonard…. would love to chat. His name is Robert (Bob) Hardegree and was DDG(later HTC) and retired Command Master Chief. Writing about his time in the old Navy.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Kat Varn, the old Navy your father was in was before I went in in 1972, I was in the transition Navy, going from old to new. Two of my uncles were in the Navy as was my paternal grandfather, and five of my cousins. My late fathers older brother, one of my two uncles was on the USS Southerland DD-743 which he commissioned, he was in the Philippines many times in the late
        Part of World War II, the Battle for Leyte Gulf, Battle of Lingayen Gulf, the Naval support in retaking of Manila, Cavite City where my late wife of 31 years was from, and two of my cousins were
        born there. Within a few years I will be moving back to the Philippines to live out my life there as my heart is there.

  69. marty martin says:

    74 to76, uss worden just missed ali frazier fight in manila. loved to gt shave and haircut and drink a cold one after getting into port.

  70. princess anne says:

    Is there any program in Olongapo City that can help those fil-am children who wants to find their father?

    • I’m not sure, but in a quick look on Google I found this site at . Scroll down the page past all the photos and you’ll see listings of people trying to locate others. I’m sure there must be other resources available on the internet.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Princess Anne, there’s on You Tube some short clips called Left by the ship that you can log into and view, there’s a grown man in Olongapo City that did the filming of Left by the ship, he has a
      blog, he’s trying to help those look for their fathers. I have sent
      comments myself, I was stationed there at SRF Subic Bay from
      11/20/1978 to 3/30/1981. I was there in Subic Bay on three Westpacs a total of 12 times and twice in Manila. My very first
      Westpac was in 1974-1975 aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19
      I was there during that first Westpac on 11/25-27, 1974-first time
      12/11-19,1974-second time, 1/12-22,1975-third time, I met my late wife on 1/16/1975 when I was on shore patrol. 4/15-16,1975
      Fourth time, May 4-6,1975-fifth time. My second Westpac of 1984-1985 I was in Subic Bay 1/14-20,1985 & 2/14-3/5,1985 and my third Westpac in 1986-five times aboard the USS Tarawa
      LHA-1. My second Westpac my late wife was there. I’m wondering if I might have any children that are in the Philippines,
      Within the next 3 years I plan to be living back in the Philippines
      for good, live out my life there. I sure would like to know if I do
      have other children that are or might be there, I’m willing to take
      several DNA tests, share photos of myself from my own infancy to my most recent that were taken Labor Day, 2014.

    • Yea same here that would be nice…

  71. Ron Murray says:

    Dennis, Brought back a lot of memories. I was on the Piedmont AD-17 during that time so you probably tied up to us somewhere. We spent about 6 months of the 8 month cruise in Subic tending ships. We had a routine. Hit the bowling alley early, eat and have a few beers to get the evening started then hit the bars. We would start at I think the Astro Club or whichever one was the first or second bar on the left as you started down Magsaysay, Mike’s, the Florida Club and for some reason after enough San Miguel we would end up at Jolo’s and then continue our “fun”. By the way where are you from. My wife’s maiden name is Clevenger.

  72. Ron Murray says:

    One of my most interesting memories actually happened in Long Beach. We were in another apartment drinking and some guy from another ship came in with his wife and the girl and I had a hard time keeping a straight face since we had “met before”. Glad they did not live in or close to our apartment building. Prevented a sticky (no pun intended) situation.

  73. Ron Murray says:

    Just made sure the bars were not too close to together.

  74. Brad Simpson says:

    Nicely described! I heard the stories while stationed @ camp Hansen. When our ship lka116 st Louis pulled in I saw many ships and thought “there can’t be that many girls in this small town” After crossing shit river I found out the stories were true! This was 77.I had a wife and home for my two weeks. Cost me one drink per night! I found a side bar about half way up the main drag and one block over to the left. Got mama san to make me mojo! Was yellow not red like Okinawa. Ended up sleeping on the floor.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Brad I remember drinking mojo, my former next door neighbor who lived at 35B 7Th. street just two blocks from where Magsaysay drive ended at Rizal Avenue made it, she also cooked Pancit Bihon, fried rice, chicken adobo, pork adobo, mung bean soup, lumpia, barbecue on a stick. Josie was her
      name, she cooked a banquet for the whole entire 3 unit apartment complex and visiting Naval officers from the Pakistani
      Navy. Mojo the red is to be drunk with a lot of food, this was in
      late January when my girl friend was in Manila getting an NBI
      clearance, paperwork so that my request to get married can be
      processed. I met my late wife on January 16, 1975 in Olongapo
      City on my first Westpac, I was stationed aboard the USS Blue
      Ridge LCC-19 at the time, the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 was my
      second ship. I wanted to get stationed at Subic Bay in 1976, but
      I had to go to shore duty, which I was stationed at Pearl Harbor.
      On November 20, 1978 I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay for sea
      duty, it was the very best tour of duty I had in the Navy. My late wife & I got married on April 5, 1979, we stayed married up to
      March 6, 2010 when she passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Loser City Tucson, Arizona. I call Tucson Loser City because
      Many employers left Tucson, Spring training baseball, minor league baseball, minor league ice hockey, and many other events that bring & brought money to TUCSON all left. Back to
      my marriage, there were so many critics that told me that my
      marriage would only last up to 5 years, well on March 6, 2010
      those critics were nowhere to be found, my late wife & I had beaten the critics, our marriage lasted 31 years.

      • David Lush says:

        Just real quick then I’ll talk later, but the mojo, omg…I will never forget my 1st experience from it (well part of it). All I can say that stuff was soooooooooo delicious in those little 6 oz. glasses. Drank( guzzled) 4 stood up to go pee and did a face plant right on the table. Next thing I know it was the next morning.

  75. joe says:

    I met my second ship (the uss lasalle) there in 74.I had just turned 18 and stayed almost six weeks.Oh the wonderful memories!The only establishment names i remember were the cave,playboy room,and that one special place on the right hand side just out of subic called heaven.Does anyone remember that? Olongapo was nice experience,but after six weeks got real tired.If subic were still active now though i would be on the next plane there.

  76. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    The very first time I was in Subic Bay was on November 25 to November 27, 1974, it was my very first Westpac, I was on the USS
    Blue Ridge LCC-19. I had duty the first day in Subic Bay Naval Base. The next day was my very first liberty in Olongapo City. I was
    In Subic Bay 5 time during that Westpac, and twice in Manila. The very first time I went to Manila was on December 14, 1974, I rode
    on Victory Liner to & from Caloocan City. On Thursday, January 16, 1975 I met my late wife of 31 years. In November of 1978, I got
    stationed at SRF Subic Bay, it was the very best duty station I was
    stationed at when I was in the Navy. My late wife & I got married on
    Thursday, April 5, 1975, my late wife passed away on March 6, 2010 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, AZ. We had 3 children
    during our marriage. Within the next 3 to 4 years I plan to return
    to the Philippines & live out my life there. My heart is in the Philippines & I need to be where my heart is.

    • David Lush says:

      I can totally understand your feelings about Olongapo and the Philippines in general. My heart and feelings for there culture and the people there is undesirable, that is why I hope to be back there by June or July this year. I can’t wait and the anticipation is overwhelming.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        David thanks for the comment, it was very touching. The Philippines was the very first country outside the United States &
        Canada that I got to see. I went into the Navy, first in the reserves March 29, 1972, then on June 27, 1972 I went on active duty at Great Lakes, the to my first ship out of Norfolk, the
        USS Seattle AOE-3 where I did 2 Med & 2 Carribean cruises. In
        the Med we couldn’t go outside the ports we visited except in
        Rota, Spain & Naples, Italy, but only as far as Rome by train, bus. It was on December 14, 1974 when I first rode Victory Liner
        to & from Caloocan City that I got to see the real Philippines
        Traveling through the little towns of Bataan, Pampanga & Bulacan provinces. The North Luzon Expressway only went as
        far as Tabang, Bulacan, it goes all the way to Dau, Pampanga
        where it connects to the SCTEX-Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway.
        There’s a site on You Tube called Pinoy Joyride that I watch every day, where it’s various length videos that range from a few seconds to a little over an hour. Demitri Valencia does the videos
        when he drives throughout Luzon. I made several comments in
        both English & some Tagalog words mixed with it. The videos are very good, the ones I like are of NLEX, SCTEX from Metro
        Manila to Olongapo City. My late wife was from Cavite City. My
        father in law served in the U.S. army during World War II, then after the war he worked for the U.S. embassy in Manila till he
        retired in January, 1972.

  77. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    I made an error on the year my late wife & I got married, we did get
    married on Thursday, April 5, the year was 1979, not 1975, sorry about the error.

  78. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Dennis Clevenger, are you related the Clevenger family in and around the greater Newark, Delaware area? I went to Christiana High School with a Curtis Clevenger prior to my joining the Navy in
    1972, I went on active duty two weeks after I graduated from high
    school. The very best times I always had in the Navy were in the
    Philippines in Olongapo City & Manila, my two most favorite liberty

  79. GM Bade says:

    I seem to have hit the Jackpot for old memories! You’ve done a super job, Dennis! If you find that your RV takes you to places without snow, maybe our paths would hopefully cross at some campsite or the other.

    ’70-’71 ………BEST adventures of my life! …..Things I remember— Pulling alongside Carrier Pier( VA-25 USS Ranger CVA-61), couldn’t mistake the rising nervous anticipation of the crew; once ashore, taking the first Blaylock ride,then walking across the Shit River bridge, shaking my head in disbelief at the kids below; entering the first bar on the left after the money exchange. There I found foreign surroundings, a different language and my initial view of the Givers of Pleasure. But before I could finish my first San Miguel (without a star) the ladies became most un-lady-like. Soon enough, tables were tipping over, glasses were breaking and girls were showing their anger. Seems that the real mama-san was off for the day and the stand-in mama-san was learning from the others that she wasn’t supposed to be “working the floor”, let alone spending so much time with ME! ……..My first moments in this welcoming Wonderland and I was unwittingly the center of a major conflagration! But I had a good time in spite of it all (you know what I mean!) So that was the beginning of many other eventful happenings in the months to come -more later.

  80. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    GM Bade, I read your comment just now, what you experienced I can say is that with the women fighting there, I call it in a way getting to watch the fights and when women do fight a lot of them fight dirtier than the men. In the very late 1980’s, very early 1990’s
    There was women’s wresting on television called GLOW-Glorious
    Ladies of Wrestling, they were dirtier than the men, more violent too. When I was first in Subic Bay, the buses & taxis were run by
    Guerro Transportation services, this was in 1974, 1978 and up until
    The end of 1978. From 1979 till 1983 it Violago Transport services.
    Violago had a Toyota dealership in San Fernando, Pampanga. I
    was on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 in 1974, my very first Westpac
    was also in 1974, during that Westpac the Blue Ridge was in Subic
    Bay five times and twice in Manila. I met my late wife of 31 years in
    Olongapo City when I had shore patrol duty on 1/16/1975, I finally
    got the duty I wanted in 1978 and was stationed at SRF Subic Bay
    from 11/20/1978 to 3/30/1981, that was the best duty I ever had. After I got stationed at SRF, I started the request to get married and
    the paperwork done, I married my late wife on 4/5/1979, and she
    passed away on 3/6/2010. My late wife was a wonderful wife, mother & woman. With all of us who were in the Navy & Marine Corps that did Westpac cruises, spent time in Olongapo City &
    Manila have so many stories of our experiences to tell that all of us
    can not just only put together an encyclopedia together, but can fill
    a nice sized library at best, and those experiences we will never
    forget. My heart is back there in the Philippines, and I plan to move
    back there for good within the next 3 years & live out my life there.

  81. joe says:

    Does anyone remember the place way downtown where the girl would snatch money from sailors mouth ,and then there was that thing with the horse or donkey.I also recall the locals smashing the poor monkeys skull for the contents inside.Also remember throwing slugs into shit river when exiting subic,then people getting very angry.There are a thousand memories from olongapo.Through the years when meeting filipino women would mention that i had been to olongapo, and no matter their age or where they had come from they all aware of what took place there.So now when they ask where i had been just say luzon area,and they still know.One funny note,last year met filipino gal and after telling her i had been to olongapo she told me she was not from that area.A couple of weeks later we went out for few beers with dinner she was getting a wee bit intoxicated,so i again mentioned olongapo and the next words from her mouth were(oh it,s been years since i,ve been there),needless to say i was(blown) away.

  82. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Joe that place was was the x rated Jolo club you’re talking about. As for the horse or donkey that would sound a lot more like Tijuana
    to me. The smashing of the monkeys skull I have heard many stories about that when I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay. Now for
    the Filipina women I always smile & blush Everytime I see a Filipina
    woman, this has been going on for the past 42 years for me. I was on the East Coast stationed aboard my first ship out of Norfolk, VA,
    I was going through a very painful experience called the dear John
    letter from a few women, a lot of anti military feelings on the East
    Coast outside the states of PA, NJ, NY, & FL during the 1970’s. The
    very first time I had seen Filipina women, many being daughters of
    some of my FIlipino shipmates, some being wives of some of my
    shipmates who did time in San Diego, Long Beach, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Seattle-Tacoma area, and the Pearl Harbor
    area. I had a very strong feeling that I knew it was inevitable that I
    was going to date women from the Philippines and would one day
    marry a Filipina woman. Three years before I went into the U.S.Navy, I read a newspaper article about a man in Philadelphia who met a Filipina woman in 1959 when he worked overseas in
    The Manila area for Scott Paper company, he was a widower when
    he met this Filipina woman, also met her family as well. His wife had
    died 3 years before in 1956. In 1959 he wasen’t ready to make a
    second marriage at all. In 1969 he petitioned her and her parents
    To come to the United States, he asked her to marry him, of course
    He did many trips between Philadelphia & Manila over those years.
    Two years later they got married. Those newspaper articles in 1969
    and 1971, I read those articles over & over in the Philadelphia Bulletin dated August 4, 1969 was the engagement of the couple,
    and the marriage that took place August 7, 1971. I was living in Newark, DE at that time which that town was very anti Navy, anti
    Marine Corps as were many college towns nationwide thanks to
    The Viet Nam war and the Kent State killings which brought about
    the wearing of civilian clothes on liberty overseas & at home for a
    five branches of the U.S. Military. I made my first Westpac aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 in 1974. My shipmates on the Blue Ridge were saying that I will be married before Westpac will be over, had I would have taken them up on the bets I would have
    won those bets and had my first brand new car plus the insurance
    all paid in full. I met my late wife of 31 years on January 16, 1975
    we didn’t get married till a little over 4 months after I got stationed
    at SRF Subic Bay on April 5, 1979. My late wife was a wonderful wife, mother & woman, she passed away on March 6, 2010, we had
    3 children and we had beaten the critics who said my marriage was
    Only going to last 5 years. Since November 26, 1974 75% of the
    women I have dated were Filipina women, I was married to one of
    them for 31 years. Being that I have been a widower I will only date
    Filipina women because 98 to 99% of the white AMerican women want absolutely nothing to do with me whatsoever all because I was
    interracially married 31 years to a Filipina woman. Where I live there’s a single parent father that is divorced from a Mexican woman, he has also faced the same thing I have faced, he will only
    date Mexican women. Within the next 3 to 4 years I’m returning
    to the Philippines for good and will live out my life there. My heart is
    In the Philippines, I left my heart there on March 30, 1981 when my
    tour of duty at SRF Subic Bay ended and I boarded that Flying Tigerss space A flight at Clark AFB for my return to San Diego. I wished the Navy would have made my tour of duty at SRF Subic Bay a four year tour of duty and just left me there for good.

    • joe says:

      Christopher, i wish you luck returning to olongapo,but be careful as i understand there is some anti american sentiment presently as well as terrorists in philippines.Hell i am 59 years of age and if things were still the same i would be right there.Yes there was much anti military sentiment in the northeast in the early and mid seventies,which is why i left school at age seventeen in 73 to join navy. I lived about 35 miles from the city of new york.My first ship was uss fairfax county lst1193 out of little creek va.Then i was transferred to the uss lasalle agf-3 in i believe august 74.I was flown to subic to meet lasalle but she was late and i was barracked at subic for 3 days until ship arrived. When she came in we were in dry dock for about 6 weeks. As for the horse and donkey act,i assure you it was there as i personally witnessed same,along with the monkey brains thing.This all blew my mind as i was only a kid and had just lost something special at a bordello in san juan called the black angus while on first ship uss fairfax county.I wish you the best of luck with your plans!

  83. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Joe I was first I. Subic Bay in November 25 to 27, 1974. I had duty the first day in, but the next day was the very beggining of all of my
    Liberty time in Subic Bay. Having gone from the USS Seattle AOE- in Norfolk, VA-The Navy’s garbage dump for those who were not from there to San Diego, CA to the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 was moving on up. Terrorists we have them in our large cities called street gangs, the hate group KKK are satanic cross burning, lynching, church burning, devil worshiping terrorists in our own country, my birthplace of Buffalo, NY, neighboring Lackawanna,NY,
    Detriot, Dearborn, MI, Paterson & Passiac, NJ have terrorists that
    are with Al Quaida and nothing is being done about them in our
    own country. The Middle East we know is the most Anti AMerican of
    all areas in the world. I know what you mean, in Mindinao in the Muslim areas is where the terrorists in the Philippines are & the anti
    AMerican feeling is in many places, mostly from the very rich & wealthy. I also have three other choices of where I want to live at
    in the Philippines, they are Masbate in the city of Masbate, Legazpi City and in Sorsogon province. My oldest son who I adopted because I married his mother in 1979 is going to the Philippines to
    visit Cebu City, Dumagete City & Tacloban City, Leyte to get Information for me. I have a widowed cousin in law in Carrigara, Leyte that maybe I might just want to latch up with, that would be an interesting citation if Her & I did that. Joe thank for the tip & comment, I won’ be looking for the Anti AMerican feeling people when I get home there, I’ll be seeking a good Filipina woman that is
    about 3 to 10 years younger than me that is widowed or never married, but wants a chance to be with me for good.

  84. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    This Tuesday, May 6, will mark 40 years when I left Subic Bay to return to San Diego to finish up 7 months of my very first Westpac
    cruise. I was sad when the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 pulled out of
    Subic Bay. I wouldn’t be back there till November 18, 1978 when my
    Flying Tiger charter flight from Travis AFB arrived at Clark AFB. My
    Sponsor, his younger brother & his cousin were there at Clark to meet & greet me. We then got into a Navy special services sedan for Subic Bay. We traveled Mac Arthur Highway to Gapan Road in
    San Fernando, then traveled Gapan road to the road that goes to
    Bacolor, Pampanga then traveled through Guagua, Pampanga &
    then stopped at Sandy’s for a break, I was glad for the cold San Miguel’s, the barbeque at Sandy’s there in Santa Cruz. The rest of
    The trip, we went in a grey Navy sedan, the battery died in the Navy
    special services sedan. I was so tired from that long flight when I got checked into the barracks, I just took a shower & went to sleep.
    I didn’t go out in town those first days, I was getting adjusted to the
    Philippines time. It was great to have been stationed at SRF Subic Bay. Some of my former USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 shipmates got
    and were also stationed at Subic Bay, and of course we married our
    wives there, so for us it was like a family reunion. The Zig Zag road
    was being widen to 3 lanes in late 1978, the Dinaluphian bypass
    was being used by those driving, Victory Liner started running Express bus & Air Conditioned bus service to Caloocan City & added service to Pasay City. The North Luzon Expressway now went all the way the Dau, Pampanga just outside of Clark AFB, and
    Gapan Road so if you drove or rode a Victory Liner Air Conditioned
    Express bus to & from Caloocan, it no longer had to go through
    Dinaluphian, Bataan, Lubao, San Ysidero, Santa Ana, Guagua, Santa Ynez, San Pedro, San Pablo, Bacolor, Apalit, Pampanga,
    Calumpit, Malolos, Tabang, Bulacan.

    • Tony aka Boomer says:

      Sandy’s Drive is long gone. Leveled torn down many years ago. Clark is a memory and slowly the U.S.A.F buildings are evolving into re-purposed facilities and other left to rot. It is sad to see. However the terminal is now host to flights all around the P.I. and South East Asia. Subic is suffering from the same changes. Some remains but is so different. Gapan is still there but mainly just local traffic. There is a freeway system now that is very nice and much faster than the old days. You can make Clark to Subic in about 40 minutes on a nice smooth highway now.
      I travel back every year and I seen many changes since the closing of Clark 1991 and Subic 1992.
      At times I close my eyes and I can go back in time in my memory and visit the wilder days of youth. Don’t get me wrong it is still fun and I love the P.I. but it has become more expensive and well it is different. At times I wish I stayed gone when I left in 92 and just kept the memories alive in my mind.
      People are still friendly and as nice as ever but now that there are no more U.S. Bases the vibe is different. No more will one hear Hey Joe where you going? Now it is hey Boss.
      Yes I miss P.I. of the 70’s and 80’s by far the best times for me. At least I have the memories.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Tony aka Boomer between all of us on the comments we have made & will continue to make, we have enough to be able to put
        An encyclopedia set together that would fill a row or two minimum in a nice size library. The happiest days of my life were in the Philippines. I know that you read my comments from time to time. The superhighway from Subic all the way to Tarlac Central toll plaza reminds me of the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike of the early 1960’s. I have seen the SCTEX Subic route video on You Tube several times. I also have seen on You Tube a series called Life Beyond the Sea with
        a lot of great information that is helpful for me since I plan to return to the Philippines for good & live out my life there as my heart is there. The trip you & your wife make back there, the Philippines has had a major impact on your life. In my late wife’s
        hometown of Cavite City I’ve been called Boss or that’s Aurora’s
        husband or sometimes chief. A lot of the bars that were on
        Rizal avenue between Magsaysay Drive & the Bajac Bajac River
        are now warehouses, furniture stores, computer service stores,
        appliance stores. Rizal avenue was going through a transition
        In the late 1970’s & the 1980’s from bars & nightclubs to furniture
        stores, appliance stores & warehouses.

  85. Jim says:

    I know the feeling of coming back. Arrived late March, still here. Very little is the same besides the smell. I left in 93 I had returned late 80’s as contractor. Was here when pinatubo blew its top. But that was only after being gone 12 years but bases were the same. Now 22 years of no bases. Nothing is the same. Big money came into Angeles. All the small bars on fields are gone. Now it is high rise (10 story or less) hotels with the bars And or restaurants on the ground floor. Now you can eat, drink, get drunk, get laid, all without ever leaving your hotel building. Fields has become “walking street” plus my observation is it is all about the money. And the Koreans, Japanese, and middle easterners sure throw the money. People thought the fleet drove up prices. That wasn’t a pimple on a monkeys ass compared to the inflation in entertainment prices are concerned. And it is worse price wise here in Cebu city where I am at right now. Had to visit here once. If it were not for my still smooth talking, I would never get her pantys off. That is if I had to pay a bar fine. Of course you have to work a different class of women like school teachers, office workers, gov’t employees, and such. But the silver tongue beats a pocket fill of pesos anytime

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Jim, I’m glad that you’re back there in the Philippines. Within the next 3 years I plan to be living back there for good. I know you may have read some or several of my comments. Since 11/26/1974 I have dated 9 Filipina women, I was married 31 years to one of those 9 Filipina women. I’m trying to get to that
      10th. Filipina woman for dating. Where I live at in the Loser City
      Tucson metro area, my chances of dating an available Filipina between the ages of 45 & 59 are 1 out of 1600, everyone of them is either married or have a boyfriend or don’t want to deal
      with men, the widowed need time to adjust, I had to adjust when I lost my wife of 31 years, I was married 31 years to a wonderful
      Filipina woman. Everytime I see a Filipina woman whether in person or photos, I always smile & blush, this has been going on
      for me the past 42 years. I was going through a very painful &
      hurtful dear John letter experience in Norfolk, VA, plus the East
      Coast states with the exceptions of the state of New Jersey, the
      Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington area, and the state of Florida there was widespread anti military feelings that were
      going on because of the Viet Nam war and Kent State killings
      which brought about the wearing of civilian clothes on liberty for all 5 branches of the military. The very first time I noticed Filipina women were in Norfolk, VA being they were wives of some of the shipmates I had, some were dependent daughters whose fathers were in the Air Force at Langley, the Navy & Marine Corps. I knew then & there that I was one day going to be married to a Filipina woman. I have tried to date white AMerican
      women, but they want absolutely nothing to do with me whatsoever at all. It’s better for me to only date Filipina women
      since I’m planning to live out my life in the Philippines for good.
      Olongapo City is where I’m most familiar with, and there are 2
      churches of which I’m affiliated with that are there, so I won’t have any problem getting a good Filipina woman in my life again. My youngest son he will only date Filipina women, he speaks 3 languages, so does my oldest son, he’s planning to make a trip to the Philippines, he’s Air Force, stationed at Kadena on Okinawa, so for him that will be. 90 minute flight
      into Manila, he plans to check out a few towns for me. I have
      Other choices besides Olongapo City which are Masbate City
      on Masbate island, Legazpi City, Bulan, Sorsogon province,
      also Sorsogon City.

  86. terry mcguire says:

    DEnnis im a little younger was on what we called magsaysay blvd every night in 1988.Came into olongapo on the uss san bernadino Lst 1188.i was a 50 cal gunner with 7th marines we were on a westpac.the pi will never dissapear from my mind.trying to find out what happened to a girl i met and corresponded with for the next 10 years.Can you offer any insight.Loved reading this page.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Terry McGuire I know just exactly how you feel about the woman that you met, then corresponded with 10 years. The only one that truly knows her exact whereabouts is her, perhaps some of
      her family members that she was closest to, neighbors that just
      might still be living where she lived & are still living. There have
      been times that I wondered since I’ve been a widower over the
      Past 5 years if any of my former girl friends from the Philippines
      and other Filipina women that my late wife & I knew when we
      lived in Olongapo City that if they are living here in the U.S. In
      California, Arizona where I live at the present time just might be
      widows themselves or still living. I met my late wife on 1/16/1975, we didn’t get married till 4/5/1979 because I wasen’t
      ready for marriage at 21, I was at 25, my late wife she was a wonderful wife, mother, woman. We stayed married up to the day of her death on 3/6/2010. There were shipmates of mine, even my bigoted relatives in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area who
      always hated my parents, my sibblings and all family members
      who moved out of the state of New York for the nations most hated states which are New Jersey & California, plus Pennsylvania was right in there too. The critics were NO WHERE TO BE FOUND AT ALL on Saturday, March 6, 2010
      when my wife passed away, the critics that said my marriage would only last 5 years. Tom I sure do hope that you will soon
      Know of your woman friends whereabouts & if she’s a widow or
      never married that the both of you will get reacquainted again
      and most definetly renew that friendship and take it from there.
      There was a woman that worked the L a Club named Christy
      who had a son whose father was a Marine, she told me the truth,
      showed me the picture of him, she kept it so that when her son would one day ask her who his birth father is, she’ll show him the
      Picture, we spent a night together, this was late 1978 before my
      late wife & I resumed our relationship. I sure do hope that Christy & her sons lives have turned out good, that she did marry a decent guy and that they are still together, I only can
      wish that her & her sons lives have turned out well. The past 40
      Years 75% of the women I have dated are Filipina women, within
      The next 3 years I want to be living back in the Philippines for
      good. At my age I’ll be seeking women there that are about 3 to
      10 years younger than me that have never been married, or widowed whose grown children are doing good for themselves,
      I won’t rush into it. Tom if you do find your woman friend, I sure hope you’ll let all of us who have had Subic Bay experiences know. My heart is in the Philippines.

    • Greg says:

      The experiences of my 26 months in Olongapo/Subic Bay are irreplaceable. A lot was changing in those times-7/69 to 9/71.
      The people I met on base were absolutely wonderful. I thank God I was sent there. Not knowing about the economic opportunities in the PI I have looked at where large congregations of Filipinos are living overseas. I know Australia, Great Britain have larger Filipino citizens that have moved there. I have often wondered if that would be a good move.

  87. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Terry, I’m sorry that I called you Tom in my comment, I didn’t mean to call you Tom.

  88. Christopher S. o'Rourke says:

    Greg I read your comment, it’s very true your comment. In the summer of 1969, August 4th
    to be exact, I read an article in the Philadelphia Bulletin about a man in Philadelphia, the article was where he announced his engagement to a Filipina he met in 1959 when he worked for Scott Paper in the Philippines, she was about 20 then, he wasen’t ready for
    A second marriage, being he was a widower, his wife passed away 3 years earlier, I kept
    reading that newspaper article, I started having thoughts then, I was only going on 16 then.
    My thoughts were, I can go one day to the Philippines, met a woman there. But little did I
    know then, that it was going to happen to me. Two years later the widower had his fiancé,
    And her parents arrive in Philadelphia, he petitioned all 3 to come to the U.S. In 1969 when he announced his engagement, he made several trips for Scott Paper to Manila. On August 7, 1971, they got married, I kept reading that article over & over. I knew then in 1971 that I was going to one day meet a Filipina woman and would marry a Filipina woman. After I got in the Navy in 1972, I was stationed in Norfolk, VA aboard my first ship,
    I have seen many Filipina women, dependent wives of some of my shipmates, dependent
    daughters also of some of my shipmates as well, I knew then that it was inevitable that I
    was going to marry a Filipina woman one day, sure enought it did happen, I met my late
    wife on January 16, 1975 when I was stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 on
    My first Westpac, I had Shore Patrol duty that day. I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay on
    November 20, 1978, on April 5, 1979, my late wife & I got married & stayed married up to
    March 6, 2010 the day she passed away, a month shy of being married 31 years. My late wife was a wonderful wife, wonderful mother, wonderful woman. Within he next 3 years, hopefully sooner, I will be living back in the Philippines for good & live out my life there.

  89. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Last week on May 21, 2015 was the 40th. Anniversary of when my very first Westpac cruise ended, that sounds a bit unusual, there was a song about a month after I had returned from my very first Westpac cruise called Miracles by Jefferson Starship that made me always think about the Philippines and my hearts desire to return there, it’s still my hearts desire to return there, but this time for good as I have said in many of my comments. The one who was stationed in Viet Nam and his best friend in the Navy talking about the Philippines, they spent R & R there, that years later he did marry a Filipina woman. I told many shipmates of mine that I’m going to marry a Filipina, which I did. Last night I seen a short History video on the Subic Bay Marines, it was broken down into 4 parts, former Marines that were stationed at Marine Barracks Subic Bay told their experiences, about 7 had their wives on there whom they married in the Philippines, many of them married over 30 years or more.

  90. Alan Lehman says:

    Hello Everybody. My name is Alan “Frapper” Lehman. I was in and out of Subic from 1970 until 1978. I was in the Austalian Navy and had the time of my life. All of the stories above resonate with me and bring back so many memories. Is it possible to post photos on this site. It would be fantastic to see some photos of that period. Thankyou.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Allen you’re somewhat lucky if you’re a bachelor or widower where you’re at there in Australia, you’re only a five to 6 hour flight from Sydney to Manila, provided that you live in the Sydney area. I’m in the long slow drawn out process of trying to sell everything I have & own where I live at in the Loser City Tucson,
      Arizona(Mexizona) Metropolitian area, the very worst metro area to sell things in outside a store & shop in the U.S.A.(America).
      Bad attitude of lookers that believe you don’t need money at all,
      They believe Thank Yous, Good Luck, I’m Sorry, Better Luck is all you need for all of your financial needs, their idea of free is they just take it when you are not looking. I call Tucson Loser City is because the city has a very bad business attitude, they are anti jobs for people, they want people to be poor. If you don’t speak Spanish in Tucson, you will not get a job at all. Once I have everything all sold, I’ll be Philippines bound out of California from Los Angeles to Manila. I’m planning to live out my life in the Philippines where my late wife of 31 years was from.

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello Chris, thanks for the reply. I am Married and living in Perth, Western Australia. Its on the west coast and a lot closer to Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines. I am 63 years old. I was in my teens and then 20’s when I first went to Olongapo. My first trip there was in 1970 and I was 18. It was a real eye opener. Nothing like Australia at that time. I didn’t have a girl friend in Australia and so was right into the girls and booze. Because I was so young I had to be back on the ship by Midnight which was a bit of a bummer but I got used to it and when I turned 20 that was when I could stay off the ship all night. I loved the whole scene, the excitement, the booze, the beautiful girls. I used to go to the Sampagita Club first of all and have a meal and drinks and then head off over shit river into town. I used to drink at the Seventh Fleet Bar which over the years changed it’s name to D’Nights Club. Bamboo Grove was another along with Playgirls Bar and Jolo Bar. I have plenty of photos over my time in Olongapo and would love to be able to put them up on this site, but I don’t know how. I would love to see photos from other guys as well. I have stories as well that I would love to tell. Maybe if I contact the Blog Owner (Dennis Clevenger), he might be able to tell me how to put up photos. I did 30 years in the Navy starting in 1967 and finishing in 1997. I was 15 when I joined and 45 when I finished. I met my wife in the Navy (she was a Navy communications specialist) and we married in 1982. No children. I would love to go back to Olongapo and other places across south east Asia to see the changes and to reminisce. Anyway my wife is calling (she wants her lunch) so I had better go. Bye for now

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Alan I just read your reply, I was on my final Westpac cruise in 1986, I was stationed aboard the USS Tarawa LHA-1, my ship visited Freemantle, I wore my uniform on liberty, rode the Westrail commuter train into Perth, drank quite a bit of Swan beer & Fosters when I was there. I got to see the outlying area, visited the park where the kangaroos are kept for study & safety, an emu walked right up to me & rubbed againist me. I had a great time there in Perth, I was almost contemplating on moving to Australia in 1987, I
        Didn’t, I went to work for the Marine Corps in San Diego, then the Navy and finally the Air Force till I retired with a total of 40 years.
        I was going on 19 when I went into the Navy, retired from the U.S. Government at 58 going on 59. I met my late wife in Olongapo City on January 16, 1975 during my third visit there, in late 1978, I finally
        Got stationed at Subic Bay, after I got there, I put in my request to
        Get married, my late wife & I got married on April 5, 1979, we had
        3 children during our 31 years of marriage, my late wife passed away on March 6, 2010. My late wife was a wonderful wife, mother & woman. I’m not only planning to live out my life in the Philippines, but also am seeking another good Filipina lady that is between 48 &
        6o that is a widow or never married as I’ll be 62 this October.

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello again Chris. Thanks for reply. Give me your email address and I will send you a few photos of my times in Olongapo and other south east Asian ports

  91. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Alan my e mail address is,
    I’m waiting for an e mail address of a Filipina lady who is a friends of the one I want to send e mails to, I already e mail the one who sent me photos of her friend and I’m very anxious to get back to the
    Philippines and meet this lady, she’s in her early 50’s which works
    Perfect for me. All of us who and have commented on Liberty Call
    Subic bay/Olongapo City are building an encyclopedia for a library
    reference area.

  92. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    I’m now sending & receiving e mails online from a Filipina lady that is in her early 50’s, very good lady, has 3 grown adult children, a teen ager in high school, lives in Cavite province. I’m very anxious to get back to the Philippines for good. I want to get to know a lot of
    Good Filipina ladies that are in their very late 40’s, their 50’s as I’m 61, will be 62 in October. Maybe one of those good ladies could very well be the right one for me.

  93. Bugsy says:

    Wow… thanks for the memories Dennis! I was in Subic in July & August, 1977. I reported aboard my ship there… USS Buchanan (DDG-14). I arrived on July 12th but she was at sea, after which she went to Patya Beach in Thailand. So I waited for her in Transit Barracks in Subic until she returned on July 29th. THEN, she had a three week upkeep period. This means I was in Subic for about five weeks. Poor me! 😉 Olongapo City was an eye opener for me in so many ways. To put it bluntly, I grew up there in a hurry… if you catch my drift. My club was the Sierra Supper Club, which was up near the end of Magsaysay Blvd on the right. My girl lived just a few blocks passed the end of Magsaysay.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Bugsy, great comment I just read, yoUr girl that you said lived a few blocks off of the North end of Magsaysay, it had to be 7th. Street or one of the other streets real close to it. I lived on 7th. From 12/1/1978 to 4/14/1979 at 32B, then my late wife of 31 years & I moved to 35B 14Th. street, East Tapinac just three blocks from Rizal avenue which today is mostly computer stores, computer repair dealers, furniture & appliance stores and warehouses with some restraunts there. I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay from 11/20/1978 to 3/30/1981, my tour of duty at SRF should & ought to have been a four year tour of sea duty to begin with in the first place. He day I left The Philippine on March 30, 1981 to return to San Diego for shore duty that should have been a three year tour, I left my heart there in the Philippines. My late wife of 31 years passed away on 3/6/2010 in St. Joseph’s hospital in Loser City
      Tucson, Mexizona, and the critics who said my marriage would only last up to 5 years were nowhere to be found when my late wife passed away, we had three children, my late wife was a wonderful wife, mother & woman. The only women I want to date are Filipina women between the ages of 48 & 60 as I will be 62 this October
      And in a few years I plan to return there to the Philippines for good
      and live out my life there.

  94. Alan Hartman says:

    I enlisted in the Navy on September 25, 1972; going through Boot Camp at Great Lakes, IL.

    After my leave from Boot Camp; I arrived at my new home for the next three years: USS Tuscaloosa LST-1187; home ported in San Diego. It was during my first WESTPAC73/74 that I got my initial taste of Olongapo City. I listened to the many “Po” stories from the seasoned shipmates on Tuscaloosa about their exploits during the 1970/72 time-frame, and found them really hard to believe. Boy … was I in for a major awakening! My first club was the “Oceans 11” where I met a woman whom took very good care of me during all the times I was in Subic from September 1973 through July 1975.

    In late November of 1973, the Tuscaloosa lost her Bow Doors during a Typhoon as we steamed through the Luzon Straits on our way to Taiwan. We ended up spending 7 weeks (November 29, 1973 through January 16, 1974) in Subic for the major repairs. Those seven weeks were heaven on earth! All of the experiences expressed on this Blog (that I’ve seen first-hand) are very hard to believe by many when I attempt a description of “life” in Olongapo.

    I usually hung out in the “Oceans 11”, “Apple Disco” and the “Eden Bar” where most of the Tuscaloosa sailors frequented. I did come close to getting “Butterflied” a few times; though I remained unscathed during my time there. One time I did awake without my wristwatch after falling asleep in a back-corner booth in the “Oceans 11” club. After the start of Curfew; I and other shipmates that lived with Filipinas on the back-streets of Olongapo; would party at each other’s apartments throughout the night until the wee hours of the morning. I was really surprised that we were able to elude the low-life’s and the PC’s during all those expeditions.

    The Filipina I met in “Oceans 11” club took me in and I lived with her my entire time while in Subic during that WESTPAC73/74/75.

    We kept in touch after Tuscaloosa returned to San Diego March of 1974. I returned to Subic during WESPAC75 (parts of May, June & July) after our involvement in the evacuation of South Vietnam. I was due to leave Tuscaloosa in early September 1975; as my enlistment was up; so we married on July 21, 1975.

    We were reunited in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, upon her completion of the documentation process (passport & other papers which took way too long in my opinion) in April 1976. I started school in July 1976 via the GI Bill for two years full-time, and received my Associates Degree in Drafting & Design Technology (Mechanical/Structural) in June 1978. I was interviewed, hired and relocated to Saint Louis, MO during that last weekend in June 1978; by the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (now Boeing Defense, Space & Security). I took advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit and attend the university full-time in the evenings & weekends, and received my BS degree in May 1990.

    I’ve had the great pleasure of being assigned to many of the amazing weapon systems deployed by our military from 1978 to the present (Fighters, Missiles & Satellites). I’m currently in my 38th year of my career in the Aerospace Industry.

    Sadly, my Filipina wife developed Diabetes in 1980. Back then, there were virtually no markets of “Sugar Free” drink/food. The few places that did sell this type of drink/food priced them out of our reach. She went through a few of the different medications as they became available over the years. She eventually succumbed to the disease (brain, heart, liver & kidney damage), and passed away on February 5, 2002.

    • MICK ROSS says:

      you never mentioned her name. was it minda?MICK USS HANCOCK 1973.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Mick, the Filipina I married was Aurora M. Villanueva, she was from Cavite City. Her father served in the U.S.Army in World War II. After the war, my late father in law worked at the U.S.Embassy in Manila. My late wife’s two youngest brothers joined the U.S.Army after they immigrated to the state of Washington in 1979. My only late daughter was born in the base hospital on 11/3/1980. I lived at 32C 7th. street, a few blocks North of Rizal avenue & the North end of Magsaysay Drive. We later lived at 35B East 14th. street, a few blocks South of Rizal Avenue.

      • ugguru54 says:


        It was not Minda; her name was Conchita and I always called her Tita. I never heard her family or friends use Conchita; it was always Tita.

  95. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Alan I know what diabetes is about my late mother died from it on June 12, 1997, exactly 5 years after my favorite aunt died from it. My late wife she passed away March 6, 2010, a month shy of being married 31 years. For you it was a few months shy of you & your wife being married 27 years. In a few years my goal is to be back in the Philippines and live out my life there. You read many of my comments about Olongapo City. You know that my heart is there. My late wife died from way too much stress that she went through, losing our only daughter, the damned Air Farce not being supportive of grandparents rights, and just only wanting to see our grandson, well it was very hard on the both of us to lose our wives, they were wonderful women. I’m now sending e mails to a real estate agent that lives in General Trias, Cavite province, same province where my late wife is from, she’s in her early fifties, the age range I’m seeking, Filipina. The past 42 years everytime I see Filipina women in person, in photos, I always smile & blush all the time. You work for the same company my late father worked for, and my brothers work for. My brothers live in Delaware, work for Boeing in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania. With me retired after 40 years of government service, I’ll be getting my social security, and will be paying down my debts, I’m planning to sell everything I won’t need, want, once that’s sold, I’m bound for the Philippines for good. The damned illegals from Mexico are being catered to and coddled in 33 out of 50 states are driving me out of our own country.

  96. ugguru54 says:


    I hear you on the immigration fiasco! Although my Filipina wife was married to a “Natural Born” Citizen of the United States; it took me 7.5 months to get her to the States.

    The main reason for the delay was due to my ability to acquire full-time employment. Dealing with the State Department, INS and Congress (I had a sit-down meeting with my Congressman in his office in the Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh); which took me nearly a month to schedule.

    I was told that since I was not gainfully employed; the State Department ordered the INS to not allow any person into the USA if they were to become a “Ward of the State” and thus, a burden to the Taxpayer.

    Just look at the Retarded Politician’s nonsensical handling of immigration today! I tried hard to secure employment; however, the economy really sucked in Pittsburgh back in 1975. I finally decided to do something that wanted to avoid … CHEAT!

    Unfortunately, in my “personal” opinion … the greatest danger to the American Public is not the brain-dead radicals peppered throughout the planet … it’s our own federal government. I minored in U.S. History while in college, and I carry a pocket Constitution with me and I’m convinced that I know more about what our Constitution states than 95% of those worthless traitors in all three branches of the government.

    • Jim says:

      I agree with everything you have said, I went though about the same thing about the same time and I was still in the Navy. Mine wasn’t about employment, it was just everyone along the pipeline of paperwork dragging their feet. But I would say, I would not continue to admit fraud online for any reason. Especially with things like they are now. Immigration is a hot button for a lot of people. But that is just my opinion.

      • ugguru54 says:


        You have made a valid point. I’m very new to this website and want to know if it is possible to delete a paragraph in my post or can I simply delete the entire post.

  97. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Ugguru54, I just read your comment, the run around we got from INS, the state department, our embassy in Manila, and the idiots we have in Washington that stay there thanks in part to those that vote for them, and also to the whinny, cry baby, coddled brat, constantly complaining non voters who will never vote but will shoot their mouths off, and the damned New York City based finger pointing news media. When we met our wives, we met good ones. There were those critics that said my marriage would only last five years at the most. When my wife passed away on 3/6/2010 at 2:20 AM mountain time, those critics were no where to be found. We have beaten the critics. That’s one thing the critics don’t like is when they get beat.

  98. Jim says:

    You would have to contact Dennis Clevenger about removing the post. it is his blog….think he is the only one that could do it.

  99. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    For all of us who have spent many Liberty days, nights, even have lived in Olongapo City when those of us who served in the Navy & Marine Corps, there are some new videos on you tube about Olongapo City. One of those is in two parts, filmed by a fellow expat who lives in Carmen, Cebu, Philippines. His videos are called Over the, and another was done on his driving tour of Magsaysay Drive, he is also ex Navy who lives in the Philippines in the Metro Manila area or maybe the Baguio City area, they are very good to watch, and it’s a must. The road off the old main gate bridge to the left is now a tree lined walkway next to the street, much cleaner than 40 years ago.

  100. Rik Granucci says:

    OMG. My first time there, was 1962 as a 12 year old and then spent the next three years in Taiwan. When I graduated, I received a full NROTC scholarship and was commissioned. I was back there continuously from 1962-1978 [BTW, they PAVED the road in 1978!!!]. Every pic there reminds me of that place to a ‘T’. Thanks for that. Every story you’ve ever heard about Ologapo, believe me, is TRUE most likely: I have stories I most likely will NEVER tell. Thanks for this. It was truly, the WILD WEST town and don’t get me started on the monkey act at the Jolo club… Rik Granucci

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Rik. Alan Lehman here. Ex Aussie Navy and spent a lot of time in Subic from 1970 to early 1980’s. I have some photos of my time but would love to see any others that you guys have of your time there. I am making a photo book of my Navy career and back in those days I didn’t own a camera and so only have photos that the photo ladies took of you and sold to you later when developed. If you have any photos and would be happy to send them to me that would be great. my email address is ( Thanks mate, hope all is good with you.

    • Rik Granucci says:

      Got a reminder of this and decided to add a ‘last experience’ to the list. Albeit I was the acting Legal Officer for the USS Kitty Hawk in 1978 before return of WESTPAC, one of my better memories regards our PR officer obtaining several tickets to the Thrilla in Manila — and yes I was there for the Ali Frazier fight. BTW: Frazier had it won had his coach not thrown in the towel … had Ali by points before that final round….

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Rik about the paving of the Zig Zag Road in 1978, you are partly right, it was being concreted and in some spots was widened to 3 lanes. I rode on it on November 18,1978 when I was enroute from Clark AFB to duty at SRF Subic Bay. Victory Liner started to put air conditioned buses in its fleet then. What used to be the jungle in Olongapo City on Rizal Avenue from the North end of Magsaysay Drive to the drainage channel became auto & motorcycle repair shops, tire shops. Today you can ride on Victory Liner and not travel the Zig Zag Road when going to & from Caloocan City, Baguio City, wild Angeles City. Angeles City is a lot more wild than Olongapo ever was at its wildest days.

  101. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Rick, I remember riding a Victory Liner bus on 121/14/1974 from Olongapo City to Caloocan City to visit the Manila area. The zig zag highway was only a lane and a half black top. On November 18, 1978 after I arrived at Clark AFB, my sposer & myself we rode in a special services car to Sandy’s in Santa Cruz, Bataan. The Gapan road was almost new, you didn’t have to go through the small towns
    there in Pampanga province if you didn’t want to, if you took the bus, you went through those towns. We continued on to the base in another car, a Navy grey sedan, the special services car had a dead
    Battery. We bypassed the town of Dinaluphian and the zig zag was being concreted and widened to three lanes, it bypassed another village at the very top of the zig zag road. Olongapo City on Rizal
    Avenue in the jungle and East of Magsaysay was going through a business transition then, the bars & night clubs in the jungle were
    being phased out, and East of Magsaysay all the way to the Olongapo General hospital, the bars & night clubs were being converted into furniture & appliance stores, the bar next to Charlie’s
    Became a bicycle shop, another bar had become Shakey’s Pizza,
    Some others became restraunts, warehouses, there were still some
    bars, night clubs. The Kimura movie theatre is now closed, the first floor of the Skyline hotel is now a warehouse. Some of the former bars & night clubs are now computer repair & computer sales stores, some are internet service & cell phone service & sales outlets, some are larger restraunts, I’ve seen them on the Pinoy joyride videos that I watch on you tube. You have read many of my comments. I’m very anxious to return to the Philippines and live out my life there for good.

  102. Seeker says:

    All of the comments seem to be from the 1970’s era…
    Anyone (other then me) ever go there in the 1980’s?
    I was on the USS Ranger (CV 61) for 2 WestPacs, last one actually a rush job – pulled on station, turned to the wind, and launched for GulfWar1/Kuwait (About then, also assisted several large masses of black gear and fins over the side of one of the elevators… A-hem)
    The first time, coming and going, we hit the PI. Second tour, my orders came while at sea. I was air lifted to PI, where I spent a couple months (!) doing NOTHING while paper pushers pushed paper…..
    I got to know Olongapo. (grin)
    There was only 1 place on earth that was wilder then that… Paddia Beach, Thailand (There really IS such a thing as a dog and pony show… wow)

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Seeker, I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay from November 20, 1978 to March 30, 1981 which was not only the very best duty I ever had in the Navy, but it was the very best tour of sea duty I ever had. I was there twice during my second Westpac cruise of 1984-1985 when I was stationed aboard the USS Tarawa LHA-1-what I call The Turkey of The Sea, and five times during my third & final Westpac cruise in 1986. In a few years I plan on living back in the Philippines for good. I’m in the long drawn out very slow tedious process of selling everything I own and paying off my debts in the damned backward, 1870’s, barbarian, Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area, the very worst metropolitian area in the entire United States to sell items, NO ONE WANTS TO PAY A DECENT FAIR MARKET PRICE AT ALL, BECAUSE THEY WANT IT FOR FREE AND/OR NEXT TO FREE. Once That’s done, it’ll be good riddance to The LOSER CITY TUCSON, MEXIZONA Metro area which is the very worst place for dating women if you want to date Filipina women, NO MORE
      PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH, PRESS 2 FOR SPANISH, and hearing Spanish when I make phone calls. The Liberty there in Olongapo City, Manila and Pattaya Beach, Thailand-What I call the tourists version of Olongapo City are the very best liberties in the entire U.S.Navy.

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Seeker. Alan Lehman here. Australian Navy, was a CT back in 70/80’s. We were in Subic and I am pretty sure the Ranger was in during the 80’s when a Typhoon was coming and all ships alongside were going to have to sail. I come back on board and it must have been the weekend and they said no more liberty, ship under sailing orders. MP’s were running around town trying to get everybody back to their ships. My mate and I didn’t want to go to sea in a Typhoon and so went up to the forecastle and shimmied down a jacobs ladder onto a painting platform and then onto the wharf and back into Olongapo. We went to the American Legion post in town and stayed quiet in there avoiding the MP’s. Some old veterans had a phone link to the Ranger and were keeping us updated on the sailing situation. As it turned out the Typhoon missed the Philippines and the ships didn’t sail. Really good times back then. I have photos if you would like. Post your email address and I will send them to you. If you have any that would be good as well. Thanks mate, hope all is good with you and family.

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello again Seeker (IR, Proximity or TV). My email address is

  103. Anthony V. Perpuse says:

    Hi sir, My name is Anthony Perpuse, My mother is a filipina she lives in Olongapo City before Her name is Carmencita Perpuse. She tells me that my Father is a U.S Navy named John Bogel They’ve met before in a Bar in olongapo. I hope that you could help me find my Father Thankyou. And have a Good day!

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Anthony V. Perpuse, I know you want to know where your father is, if your mother told you what ship or Navy command he was stationed at when your parents met, what job title, division he was in aboard the ship he was stationed on, that would give you more information to go on. I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay from November 20, 1978 to March 30, 1981. I’m very sure you read some of my comments and even glanced at them as well. I’m a father and I’m trying to find out if I might have any other children that I might have and never knew about that might just
      be there in Olongapo City. In a few years I’m planning to move back to the Philippines for good and live out my life there, Olongapo City is one of my 4 choices of where I want to live. I will search birth records for the period of August 15, 1979 to September 15, 1978 to find out if I just might have any children that could be mine. I have photos of myself from my infancy up to when I paid a bill that I’m willing to share, and even take several DNA tests as well. I do wish you the very best of success and that you will find your father, and that your father will and is also looking for you.

      • Anthony V. Perpuse says:

        Hi Sir Christoper My mom told me that they met in Baretto Olongapo City in Bazard Bar in 1979 He is a chief and he lives in hawaii his name is John Vogel and my mom told me that he know Me as his son. My mom dont remember what division or stationed e was. Hope that you could help me sir thankyou.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Anthony, I just started an online search for John Vogel, between the ages of 60 & 64, so far on white(puti) pages I have put down on a list that is growing, I now have a total of 9 John Vogels on my list that, there will be more. If your father was from Illinois, then the search is narrowed down, the white(puti) pages didn’t list any for the state of Hawaii. Have a great araw.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Anthony, I went into the Navy in 1972 when I was going on 19. Fresh right out of high school, right after I graduated. I went to Great Lakes for boot camp & ATB school at boot camp. In my ATB company, there was a Fellow company member whose last name is Voegl, but it was Vance Vogel, maybe they are both related, he was from the state of Illinois. Your parents met in 1979, my late daughter was born November 3, 1980 at the base hospital at Cubi, which today is Subic hospital. My late wife & I got married on April 5, 1979, 4 months after I got stationed there.
        It was nice that Alan Hartman was able to find the commands your father was stationed at. The Buzzard bar, that was almost
        close to the Barretto-Subic line, what I call-just about where Barretto ends and Subic begins, my late wife & I went out there to Baloy beach a few times before we got married & after our daughter was born.

  104. ugguru54 says:


    I performed a search in a website to which I am a member that contains service information of U.S. Navy personnel whom joined the website; both active & inactive. I located the information of the following member:

    Name: John Vogel
    Service Years: 1971-1991
    Rank/Rate: Chief Petty Officer/Radioman
    Duty Stations:
    1972-1975 USS Knox FF-1052
    1974-1976 Naval Air Station Atsugi
    1975-1977 Naval Air Station Cubi Point
    1982-1985 USS Brewton FF-1086
    1988-1991 USS Prairie AD-15

    You will notice that there is a four-year gap (1978-1981) and a two-year gap (1986-1987) of missing service information. Also, the service years for three Duty Stations overlap. Any information about John’s service years would only have been inputted by John himself. John joined and registered on the website on January 19, 2013. So, that would have been the day he entered the above service information. His last login to the website was January 19, 2014. It appears that he joined on a whim and has never visited the website since.

    Anthony, at the very least; you have five sources to investigate to learn, if indeed, that this is the John Vogel for whom you are searching. He was a CPO and he was stationed in Subic Bay.

    Good Luck!

    Alan E. Hartman, jr.

    • Angel says:

      Hi Alan, by chance can you also help me. 🙂 Im looking for a U.S. Navy stationed in Subic Bay arounfd 1980 to 1985 – Russell Burwell or Russell Burrell (not sure with the spelling). Im just trying to help his son whose looking for him. His mothers name is May Militante from Olongapo City. Thats the only information I have about him :'(. hoping you could also help us.

      Thank you in advance!!!God Bless.

  105. ugguru54 says:


    I made a typo and am correcting John’s last login date from January 19, 2014 to January 19, 2013.

    • Anthony V. Perpuse says:

      Hi guys, Im Anthony 32 years old, now have 3kids. I thankyou for the time and Effort you shared in search of my father John Vogel, a US serviceman according to my mother Carmen Villanueve Perpuse, whom my father met when he was stationed year 1979 in Subic Olongapo
      My search for my father John Vogel whom knew only by that name is for the purpose of knowing that we are still here, my mother and his grand children As far as i remember John Vogel knew that i am his son Anthony and had communication with my mother from the time i was born in 1983 until late 1990 from that time ob communication was cut, and no news was heard about my fathers destination of work.
      I hope you guys these details would be of great help also in search of my father
      God Bless Thanks.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Anthony, I just read your comment, when you mentioned your mothers name, I noticed her middle name is the same as my late wife’s middle name. My late wife was Aurora Malari Villanueva, from Cavite City. When my late wife & I got married, she became Aurora Villanueva O’Rourke. My late wife & I were married 31 years when she passed away, exactly a month shy of being married 31 years. We got married April 5, 1979, she passed away on March 6, 2010 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona-I call Tucson Loser City, because of all the jobs that left
        there(employers) and events that brought in tourists which left. I will be selling everything that I don’t need and want very soon, when that’s done, I’m returning to the Philippines and live out my life there. I’m planning on returning to Olongapo City as I’m familiar with it despite all the changes. I do hope that you will find your fathers whereabouts.

  106. Larry says:

    New Novel centered in Olongapo available on Amazon: Olongapo Vietnam’s Playground, check it out.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Larry, it’s funny how just today, 19 October 2019 I just received in the mail the book that I ordered on-line called Olongapo Vietnam Era. I also ordered SUBIC Alleys of Heaven. I now have both in hand and just started reading the,. Frederick Smith, age 72. Living in Palmer, MA. Stationed at San Miguel, Philippines from 1966-1968.

  107. Always been curious about something…
    When I was briefly stationed in the Philippines (Well, Temporary barracks) I was given a “canned” Lecture/Speech about life outside the gates.
    Among all the… interesting… things one might come across, and things to know, like – Thou shalt not Dis the Mama-san, or attempt to evade the Bar Fine system, There was this Gem:
    It is not uncommon to find a girl who is QUITE Compliant, Agreeable, All around NICE. You get married and she moves to the US. As soon as she arrives, She’ll join up with other women and… well, the honeymoon will be OVER… She will wait out the required 2 years and divorce you.
    Nice scare tactic (I was already married, so… Yawn time)
    Isn’t the Philippines a territory of the US? (Or, at least in 1989ish)? As such, do/did you still need to be a US Citizen for something?

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Patrick, the Philippines was a U.S.A. Territory from December 10, 1898 to July 4, 1946. I’m very sure you read many of my comments about Olongapo City and my Liberty time there, and my tour of duty there. Those bar fines, the bar owners got 90% of the bar fine money there, it is the same in Thailand also, and many Latin American countries as well and even I. Taiwan, South Korea. I’ve been around, the very worst women I have found for dumping their husbands after a few years of marriage if married to a military person are the so called nice hometown, high school sweethearts who can do no wrong, those that served in the military and the ones from South Korea are the very worst ones when it comes to divorcing the guys in the military.

  108. I have a dim memory of the Temporary enlisted barracks. Some things I recall though:
    1. Put your shoes outside with $1.00. Next morning they’ll still be there, but spit shined (Boots… $2.00)
    2. There was a vending machine… DON’t try the chocolate, it is always bloomed/rotten
    3. right outside the fence, up a hill, was a small village. With a shower that was shielded from the village… but NOT to the base. made for some …interesting… scenery at times (Course, old men took showers too… and now I resemble those images 🙂 )

    • ugguru54 says:

      While I was in Olongapo back in October 1973; a shipmate and I were “picked-up” by two sisters. They took us tho their apartment out on a side street somewhere to the west side of town; not to far from Shit River. We had to quietly step over their sleeping mother & much younger brothers on the stairwell and hallway before we could enter the sleeping area of the apartment. Before we could get “busy” with them; they insisted that we shower first. Well, the shower head was sticking out of the outside wall. We exited a small door and off to the side of the door was the shower head. There we were a few minutes prior to curfew; standing stark-ass naked on a small cement pad soaping up. All the while, people were walking down a dirt path beside the building laughing at us. To this day; I can’t believe that I was that dumb and desperate to get laid!

      • D.C. Bennett says:

        You were not dumb. . . You were being respectful of your female companions, being hygenic, and “going with the flow” of local custom and practices (i.e. also “culturally sensitive”)! Yeah, I know you were just trying to get laid . . . . . But don’t be so hard on yourself for doing the right thing!

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        D.C.Bennett I wished the Navy would have put me on a West Coast ship out of San Diego after Boot Camp instead of out of Norfolk,VA which was then the Navy’s garbage can in 1972. Today Pascagoula,MS is now he Navy’s garbage can. I would have had more great libertys in Olongapo City had I would have been there in late 1972,1973. I finally got there on my first Westpac on 11/25/1974 aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, I had duty that first day in. I had Liberty the next day and that was the beginning of many great times for me then. I only wished the Navy kept me there. The tours of duty should & ought to have been 3 years if unmarried,divorced,widower & 4 years if you got married there in the Philippines or if your wife was and/or is from the Philippines.

  109. Rik Stators says:

    not dumb nor desperate IMO, but part of the age and time. Can remember similar and to include ‘others’ in side rooms or same room having ‘their time’ while I had mine

    • Everseeker says:

      I remember a shipmate who had “his time”… the girl and he kinda… clicked…
      She invited him out the next day, and they took one of those godawful bus’s away from the downtown area… she showed him some cool areas of her country… (along with a good deal of “off the books” Their time)
      And yes, the next several months were full of red tape… He, on an aircraft carrier, she in the city (Still working, which never seemed to bother him)
      I left before their story ended, but it sure looked like the marriage was going to happen as soon as the cruise was over & he could get leave/Space-A flight to the PI

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Everseeker the woman the aircraft mechanic was with showed him the real Philippines that he got to see, he had a tour guide, translater, but the planned marriage just didn’t happen. But that shipmates life was sure changed. The best times I had in the Philippines were when I was traveling seeing the countryside, the small towns, seeing the real Philippines that many tourists, military, and military dependents hardly ever see at all.

    • ugguru54 says:


      Yeah … I had a “same room” episode while in Keelung, Taiwan back in 1975. Four of us picked up four girls and spent the night in a hotel room. We drank and played strip-poker and since I stink at cards; I was the first one totally naked! After the game was done, each of us took our girl and dove in. The girl with me was about 4-5 months pregnant. She was on her back and spread wide. Since I’m no John Holmes nor am I a Pee Wee Herman; I was concerned about the fetus. I hesitated and she assured me it would be fine. So, as they say in the Navy … I went “Over the Hill”

      • Rik Stators says:

        haha. Speaking of Taiwan, I spent three years there not far from Keelung, actually Tien Mou…I was a student in the 60’s going to Taipei American School. Seems we may be about the same age. Different times….amazing ‘rules’ … 😉

      • Anthony V. Perpuse says:

        Hi Guys any info? about my Father John Vogel? Thanks and have a good day!

  110. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Anthony V. Perpuse, exactly what state did your father come from? I went to ATB school at Great Lakes, IL from 8/17/1972 to 9/6/1972, Apprentice Training Battalion School was and is an extension of Navy boot camp. In my ATB company, there was a Vance Vogel who was from around the Rockford, Illinois area. In 1978, about Augsut of that year, there was an article in either the July, August or
    September, 1978 edition of All Hands Magazine on John Vogel. Alan E. Hartman, JR did a erase arch on your father, his final duty
    station was the USS Prairie AD-15 from 1988 to 1991. The USS Prarie AD-15 was homeported in San Diego. Your father retired from the U.S.Navy in San Diego, and if he is still living in the San Diego area, that would narrow your search for him. I have found a John Vogel listed in the age 60 to 64 year range that lives in Moorpark, California just Northwest of Los Angeles, California. You’re looking for your father & I’m looking to find out if I have other children that I don’t know about in the Olongapo City area. Hopefully what I was able to give you in information will be of help and that you will find your father.

  111. Thanks for the memories, I made 2 west pacs from 1975 and 1976 on the USS Enterprise. All these comments take me back to those wild days in P.I. What about the Mojo Juice. Onxe again thanks for the memoried. I still have some cards from the clubs where I paid for a girls night off..

    • BM3 Charles Abbott says:

      I need to use spell check I guess

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        BM3 Charles Abbott those card from the clubs where you paid for a girls night off, I sure hope that you never showed them to you wife if you are married. Being one who has spent many Liberty time there myself when I was on the Blue Ridge on my first Westpac, it was a good thing for me that I never had those cards saved, because the women I dated would have got very leery of those cards regardless of what background the women are and what country they are from. But it was also a good thing that you saved them, they are going to be collectors items one day.

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello Charles, Yes, great times in PI in the 70’s and 80’s. I have lots of memorabilia as well. I have a take home girl pass from the Island Girls Bar in Barrio Barretto. Have lots of photos as well. If I give you my email address, will you email me photos of your stuff. Give me your email address and I will do the same. ( Thanks mate, keep the memories alive.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Hi Charles, I was stationed at San Miguel, Philippines from 1966-1968. One day the Enterprise was in port at Subic Bay. I did a tour of your ship. That was probably in 1966 or 1967. Frederick Smith, RM3 from Palmer, MA.

  112. Chuck Smith says:

    Home base was San Miguel NCS about hour bus ride. Mostly TAD Yankee Station Gulf of Tonkin. Nov. 70- Feb. 72. We had The Crossroads just off base. About 8 bars and one hotel. Going back to read the comments to see if I recognize any names. Great writing.

    • linkounavy says:

      Chuck, were you a CT?

      I was at San Miguel about May-June 1971; TAD from NSGA Taipei Taiwan. There were about 30 of us. Half went to PhuBai.

      I was a CT(R) watch stander at “Receivers – Ft. Apache” about a mile north of the main NCS base gate. I stood 2-2-72, no mid-watches.

      Spent most of my off time at the Cross Roads; Sampiquita, UAC, and the beach, taking the banca’s out to Capones Island. Went down to PO only 2 or 3 times, but memories of that place are burnt into my brain – what a place!


  113. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    It only seems like it was a few weeks ago that I was on my very first Westpac cruise which began 41 years ago yesterday when I was stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 which was homeported in San Diego, CA in 1974. 38 days later I was in Subic Bay, on my very first Liberty there in Olongapo City, Subic City. The very first Liberty there is unforgettable to this very day. 52 days after my very first Liberty in Olongapo City, on Thursday, January 16, 1975 I met my late wife of 31 years when I was on shore patrol duty
    on Rizal Avenue from Magsaysay drive to 14th. Street was the beat
    I was on that night. I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay on Monday, November 20, 1978 and was there till March 30, 1981. The Navy should have just simply left me there for good. My ultimate goal for me is to be living back there in Olongapo City in two years, and to stay there for good, live out my life there. Olongapo City has changed, and so have I also changed too. All of us who have been in Olongapo City during the 1970’s, 1980’s, even the 1960’s and those from the 1940’s & 1950’s that are still alive have also changed.

    • charles abbott says:

      Yes sir Christopher they will, I have all kinds of memorabilia From PI, I still have the recipe for mojo and shake um up, amongst a lot of other small things.I should get them all together and post a picture of them. My wife knows about all of those things and knows that is just a part of my past. Once again thanks for the memories.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Charles I remember the mojo, when I was living at 32C 7th. Street in West Tapinac, just a few blocks North of Rizal Avenue & the North end of Magsaysay, my next door neighbor Josie had a large dinner cooked for us in the apartment complex, she had mojo with the food in a large punch bowl, I drank it with the meal. Mojo is supposed to be drunk with a large meal and kept in lots of ice. I still
        have my Cruise book from the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, I also have a plaque from my tour of duty at SRF Subic Bay, and a photo of my late wife that was enlarged to 5 X 7 that was taken the year I met her. I compared the photo of her to the photos of women I attended high school with, my late wife’s photo would put everyone of them to shame. When I had brought photos of my wife to my 30 year high school class reunion, a few of the women I graduated with told me that my late wife would put them to shame, at my 40 year reunion, many of my high school alum told me that since I was married 31 years to my late wife, that I’m much better off dating Filipina women and it’s true. I’m now e mailing a real estate agent that lives in General Trias City, she’s 52, In the age 48 to 60 year age range of Filipina that I’m seeking for a long term life with.

      • Everseeker says:

        ummm “…I still have the recipe for mojo…”

        PLEASE Share!

      • charles abbott says:

        Chris, you tell such a great story and when reading them just takes me back and enjoy the times I spent there. I’m sorry to hear about your late wife. I know how well they take care of the husband and children. My 1st wife was Filipino and unfortunately didn’t get her to the states. While home on leave I ran into my children’s mother ( now my x ) talked me into getting a divorce, so listening to my – – – – – – instead of my heart I divorced her and lost all contact with her. But now I can say I’m happily married to my Jr High school sweet heart for 26 years this Holloween. But I do wonder what my life would have been like if I’d got her to the states. Some day I’d love to go back… Thanks for the memories

      • Jim Jones says:

        It’s amazing how the traffic on this blog has picked up in the past few days….I went back for a couple months early this year, returned in May. Now, have been spending the last few days booking things for the next trip back over. Will be leaving mid Nov and won’t be back for 4 months.

        Still considering at least 6 months there and 6 months here in TX for now. Want to have a Plan “B” escape from here if the SHTF in the next year or two. I don’t trust our present situation as I strongly feel our most threatening enemy of our nation is residing in the White House. Unfortunately he has recruited sufficient people in Congress and the Senate to back up his destructive plans. So I want some place else to live available on a moments notice. I’m in the process of liquidating  all my assets and shift much of it out of the country in case the wonderful IRS or other Agency chooses to try to take it.

        Yes things have changed there as I found out. Some good, some bad. But, in the end, pretty much the same after getting a little used to it again. Still haven’t figured out how all the Filipinos are finding the money to shop and eat at all the new big malls. But they do, because they are all packed and not with just lookers. They got “stuff” in their arms and food in their belly bought at the food courts in the malls. That part, if they can afford it is good. It means the country is actually developing a middle class again. I remember when there was a fairly good size middle class back in the early 60’s. But, on the down side, most of the country didn’t have power. I lived there in every decade from the 60′ through the 90’s and watch the slow development of the country, then was gone for 20 years. I always loved it there, all 15+ years living in country.

        I would say to anyone and everyone that misses the good times there, to GO BACK. If for no other reason than to satisfy the “I wonder what it’s like now” question that constantly invades your mind. I only left the country due to massive medical issues. AT this point in my life, I know I will die one day, but am not going to sit and wait for it to happen. I’m going to spend what time I have left, enjoying the life I have, and that means a lot of time in the P.I. Only a 4 weeks left and I’m on my way. This time with wife in tow.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Jim, I just read your comment, I agree with you there entirely. In a few years, I plan on living back there in the Philippines for good. It would be real nice if it were only right next door to our country instead of that joke of a country called Mexico which has had 191 years to become a first world country, but chose not to. Instead Mexico chose to hang on to the dumb, stupid, ignorant, superstitions that Spain instilled in them, and the corruption they learned so well from Spain. The Philippines having an improved economy is moving forward. The superhighways they are building, one of them called SCTEX that goes right into Subic Freeport reminds me of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the mountainous areas in the early 1960’s. I’m looking forward to traveling Victory Liner from Pasay City on it when I return there to look for a place to live in in Olongapo City. I’m most familiar with Olongapo City, and it offers me the best overall advantages for me to live there.

      • Jim Jones says:

        Christopher S. O’Rourke says:
        October 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

        Jim, I just read your comment, I agree with you there entirely. In a few years, I plan on living back there in the Philippines for good. It would be real nice if it were only right next door to our country instead of that joke of a country called Mexico which has had 191 years to become a first world country, but chose not to. Instead Mexico chose to hang on to the dumb, stupid, ignorant, superstitions that Spain instilled in them, and the corruption they learned so well from Spain. The Philippines having an improved economy is moving forward. The superhighways they are building, one of them called SCTEX that goes right into Subic Freeport reminds me of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the mountainous areas in the early 1960’s. I’m looking forward to traveling Victory Liner from Pasay City on it when I return there to look for a place to live in in Olongapo City. I’m most familiar with Olongapo City, and it offers me the best overall advantages for me to live there.

        Yea, I have been on that road a few times when there this past spring. it had been a long time for me to have been in Olongapo. Since I like to walk, I started at the main gate and walked to the main market just to see everything. Not much there to bring back memories, as it is all new (to me) and different businesses along the entire road. Only saw a few bars and clubs that appeared to be set up to take care of Korean customers only. But, other than to go to on up to B. Beretta, I didn’t get off the main drag.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        CJim the time I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay Rizal Avenue was undergoing changes, many of the bars & nightclubs on Rizal Avenue from Magsaysay Drive going towards the Victory Liner bus station were and have become furniture stores, appliance stores, a bicycle shop, The area that was called the jungle even also went through changes from bars, nightclubs to tire dealer ships, motor cycle & auto repair shops-this was the very late 1970’s/very early 1980’s. I lived at 32C 7th. Street, West Tapinac from the start of December, 1978 to late April,1979. From late April,1979 to the end of March,1981, I lived at 35B 14th. Street, East Tapinac, just a few blocks South of Rizal Avenue & Olongapo City National High School. Where the Philippine Independent Church was is now Jollibee hamburger, Mister Donut is where the Caltex gas station was, I watch travel videos many times that Dimitri Valencia puts out called Pinoy Joyride and other travel videos, I mainly watch the ones on NLEX/SCTEX.

  114. Charles Abbott says:

    Mojo Drink
    1- bottle of beer
    1 – bottle of coke
    1 – glass of cherry brandy
    2 – glasses of pineapple juice
    1-pint of rum
    2 – glasses of whiskey

    Shakem Up
    1 -pint of gin
    2- bottles of 7-up
    1- small can of pineapple juice
    I hope someone try this

  115. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Charles in this day & age as we know it, any married couple that is married 25 years or more that marriage is considered to be a good one. Most marriages last maybe up to 10 years at the most. Your present marriage 26 years next week, mine 31 years(till death do its part), my late parents 45 years, my father never remarried at all. I come from a family where remarriage for the widowers is almost just about unheard of. The mojo recipe you posted, I now remember it. Mojo is designed to be drunk with a lot of food, not all by itself, that’s just my honest opinion. I would have made it with strong Irish whisky if I were still drinking, but I don’t drink any alcoholic beverage anymore, don’t smoke anymore either, I did all that stuff in the Navy on two Med cruises, two Carribean and three Westpac cruises. I do drink three cups of coffee a day, have to have coffee.
    Take coffee away from all five branches of the military, and there won’t be much of a military. Happy anniversary to you & your wife.

    • Charles Abbott says:

      Thank you sir for your comment. My wife was my 7th grade crush but was too embarrassed to act on it. We crossed paths again through another Jr high school friend and still see her regularly. I do hope to revisit the Philippines again some day just because it was a special part of my life. I hear you plan to move back! When you do keep the posts coming. You tell such a great story. I’ve been looking at videos on U tube but don’t see any from the good old day’s ( 70’s for me ) Before videos and cell phones lol. Thanks again for keeping the memories alive.

  116. Angel says:

    Hi Everyone! 🙂

    By chance can you also help me. 🙂 Im looking for a U.S. Navy stationed in Subic Bay around 1980 to 1985 ish – Russell Burwell or Russell Burrell (not sure with the spelling). Im just trying to help his son whose looking for him. His mothers name is May Militante from Olongapo City. Thats the only information I have about him :'(. hoping you could also help us. Any additional information would be a great help.

    Thank you in advance!!!God Bless.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Angel I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay from November 20, 1978 to March 30, 1981. If Russell Burwell were stationed at SRF Subic Bay, then I might know him. I was a Storekeeper attached to the Supply & Comptroller section of SRF Subic Bay, the only ones I know when I was at SRF Subic Bay worked in Supply & Comptroller Department, Milpers section, and the Repair office and some of the workers in different shops that I was in contact with daily. I know what your friend is going through, trying to find his father. I have a cousin who was born in Cavite City that I met at the Pearl Harbor Bowling Alley on a Sunday night, we got to know each other, his father was my uncle who was in the Navy from 1944 to 1948 and his younger sister used to be on Seeing Stars with Joe Quirino and she told that her father was a Gunners Mate in the U.S.Navy, two of my cousins, one I met, the other I didn’t meet, both born in Cavite City my late wife of 31 years was from there. If your friend & his mother have the job title what Russell Burwell was when he was in the Navy, the job title would tell what department he was in if he was stationed aboard a ship or squadron if in the Aviation side of the Navy, and the time he was in, and he can get in touch with the Department of the Navy and/or find out where he can get the needed information.

  117. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    It’s almost November 20, 2015, the time is 9:25 PM Mountain time where I live at, and it’s 11:25 AM November 20, 2015 in the Philippines. Exactly 37 years ago I checked in for duty at SRF Subic Bay, the very best tour of duty I ever had in the U.S.Navy. The time of late November,1974, November of 1978 are very special times in my life. November 3, 1980 my late daughter was born at the hospital at Cubi Point, another special time of my life. To all of those who served in the Navy & Marine Corps that were stationed at Subic Bay, Cubi Point, Capas, San Miguel have lots of Liberty experiences that we will always remember. My ultimate goal is to still return to Olongapo City & live out my life there as my heart is there.

    • Alan Lehman (Australian Navy) says:

      Hi Christopher, we all remember Subic Bay and the fun we had there. The 70,s and early 80’s was the best time of all, that right time in history. I think about Olongapo and the bars and the beautiful girls all the time. Just fantastic. My email address is If you have any photos that you would like to share please email me with them. I have lots of photos and if you would like to see them please give me your email address. Thanks mate.

      • Joseph Fletcher USMC 1976-79 USNR 81-85 says:

        Hey Alan! I was there starting somewhere around mid/late April into Late August 1978. I was a Marine with 1/3, camped at the Upper MAU camp. They changed the name to Camp Tamez while we there.

        Anyway,..Were you by chance palling around with a couple of Russian sailors? I remember a couple of Australians and Russians that ran together all pretty cool cats. We all had some gals that shared the same building on one of the side streets off of Rizal and maybe a block to the right of Magsaysay. Like to the right of Shakey’s Pizza. One afternoon sticks out especially. Along with his “girlfriend”, we were ribbing an American Sailor pretty good because he had absolutely no clue she wasn’t really a she. Even she was perplexed by it, I mean, really, it was pretty obvious. I don’t think any of us cared that she was a Benny? Boy. She was a blast to party with. It was just the fact that he was oblivious. I mean it seems kind of mean relaying it now, at the time it was pretty hilarious though. As others have said, it was a very surreal place and we were sooooo young.

        I know it’s been a while since you commented here. Hope all is well

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello Joe, all good here mate. Hope you and family are safe. If you would like to talk, my email address is
        I have a lot of photos you might like to see and reminisce over. Hope to hear from you mate.

  118. Dale Harrison says:

    I ran across this site today and read many of the entries. Great stories and brought back many memories. My club was the Zanzibar on the far end of town. (65 66,67) Market Time.

    Girlfriend Priscilla Pincalin out of the Zanzibar. We never forget. Hoping to maybe connect with shipmates from the mid 60s. USS Forster DER 334.

    • JH says:

      The Zanzibar, my hang out too in 72-75.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        The Zanzibar, D’Cave were where many of my USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 shipmates who were into rock music went to along with the Shamrock nite club. Charlie’s bar & Mexican restraunt was mainly where those of Mexican background went and also USS Blue Ridge sailors of all background went to-mostly those in Deck & Weapons departments. Kong’s restraunt was where many sailors, marines & local residents went to eat.

  119. Wild Bill says:

    I can’t use my full name because this is way too personal to share with the world I live in now. Olongapo 1972 oh yea! Does anyone remember the gambling casinos on Magsaysay. You walked up a couple flights of stairs to padded doors with guards stationed, you walked in and it was beautiful, almost like Reno or Vegas. I don’t remember pavement on the street, I just remember mud and 5 peso motorcycle side car rides. The San Miguel gave you the screaming shits, I ended up drinking 7-up, no ice, and smoking good far east pot. Even tried smoking a little of the smack that was around but not enough to get hooked on it, stupid is as stupid does. After spending a lot of time at d-cave and a lot of other Olongapo clubs I migrated down to Subic City, home of wondering pigs in the road and beautiful young girls (with the clap). Keep on trucking shipmates, from Wild Bill, USS Kitty Hawk, (the shitty kitty)

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Wild Bill, do I remember Olongapo City, well today is the 41st. Anniversary of when I first arrived at Subic Bay aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 on my very first Westpac Cruise and my fifth Navy cruise overall, I did two Med cruises and two Carribean cruises aboard the USS Seattle AOE-3 which was out of the Navy’s garbage dump-Norfolk, VA for those that are not from there. I had duty the first day in, the next day I went on my first liberty in Olongapo City & Subic City, it was my first all nighter I had. In Subic City I met one of my late uncles former girlfriends, she was the mamasan at the Cherry Bar in Subic City, Gloria was her name, she told me quite a bit about my uncle and I told my late parents a few years later. Wild Bill you read many of my other comments about Olongapo City. There are so many between all of us Navy & Marine Corps veterans and some Air Force as well. I’m now in the long slow drawn out process of selling everything I own in the damned Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area, once that’s done I’m returning to the Philippines for good and live out my life there. I should have retired there over three years ago in the very first place to begin with. There I won’t have to hear and put up with that damned press one for English, press two for Spanish anymore there. Olongapo City is my best bet overall because I lived there and am more familiar with it despite the changes Olongapo City went through and we Navy & Marine Corps veterans have also gone through as well.

    • Alan Lehman (Australian Navy) says:

      Hello Wild Bill. I love you man. You sound like my kind of drinking partner. Back in the early 70’s and through to the 80’s I was in and out of Subic Bay on Australian Warships. I used to drink at the Playboy Bar and 7th Fleet Bar (changed its name to D’Nights Club)
      Also had occasion to go to Jolo Bar and American Legion Outpost. I have photos of my time there if you are interested in seeing them. Give me your email address and I can send some to you. Olongapo must have been a little like it was in the American West in the Cowboy days. I was a big gambler in my time but never new about the gambling dens in Olongapo. Probably a good thing as I would have lost all my money and had none for the beautiful bar girls. Bye for now mate

      • Wild Bill says:

        Hey Alan, I was only in P.I. for maybe 8 or 9 or so weekly visits during 1972. It was the last year of combat off Viet Nam so we came into port off the CVA 63 for some much need crazy time, and I did try to make the most out of it. The gambling halls were shut down by the dictator Marcus I think sometime in spring of 72 . Too bad, because you could gamble with pesos and have a cheep fun time. See ya mate.

    • Jim Mount says:

      Hi Wild Bill:
      I was on that same cruise, part of the Airwing, VA-52. I remember so much of Olongapo but forgot about the casino until you mentioned it. So many memories of times when we were young.

  120. Wild Bill says:

    Good for you Chris, hope you enjoy your life in that beautiful warm climate.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Wild Bill, I will enjoy my life there in the warm tropical climate of the Philippines, it beats the dry desert heat of Mexizona, the harsh cold winters of my no good ROTTON birthplace of Buffalo, New York which is way too cold in winter. I won’t need any twenty ton cold winter clothes of New York State and Alaska, no more heating bills either. There’s a real estate agent that lives in General Trias City, Cavite City that is in her early 50’s I want to meet & get to know.

    • Ron Murray USS PIEDMONT AD-17 says:

      Wild Bill we may have crossed paths in Subic in 1972. I was on the Piedmont AD17 and Subic was our overseas homeport.

  121. ATTENTION!!! so was there ever a bar called “the friendly bar”. Im beginning to think my MOTHER is INSANE!! And does anyone Recall ever knowing a lady nicknamed LIZA?

    • Ron Murray USS PIEDMONT AD-17 says:

      Yes there was a bar by that name.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Michelle Tremblay, your mother is not insane, I was never in the Friendly bar at all during my three Westpac cruises when I was in the Navy and when I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay. You read many of my comments, I was married 31 years to my late wife, a very wonderful wife, mother & woman. My two sons married Filipina women. My goal is to be living back there in the Philippines by October of 2917for good, Olongapo City is one of my top choices because I’m most familiar with it. You’re a very attractive woman, almost any man with very good sense would be glad to have you as that very special lady in his life. You remind me of my late daughter who would have been 35 last month. She was born at Cubi Point hospital on 11/3/1980.

      • Christopher…Thanks for the many kind comments but My mother refusing to tell me anything about my dad to conceal what she is ashamed of is wrong..if thats the case then looking at me should make her feel ashamed..Hence me calling her crazy…I dont know whats fact or fiction..

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Michelle there are millions of people everywhere in the world that don’t want to tell members of their families, coworkers because yes they feel ashamed, which is wrong. I told my late parents about one of my cousins that was born in Cavite City, I met him when I was on shore duty in Hawaii, it was my late uncles oldest son, he was in the Navy, so was I. My cousin & I got to know each other. It wasen’t my place to tell it to my grandmother, that was my uncles responsibility, which he finally did tell my grandmother about my cousins born in Cavite City, it was the birth of my daughter that made him tell my grandmother. Give it time, eventually your mother will finally tell you about your dad when the time is right.

      • Nope it will never happened known fact

  122. Ron Murray USS PIEDMONT AD-17 says:

    I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this site but it is worth visiting. It was developed by a former Marine who retired there. It has a lot of pictures, history, a list of bars and other establishments both in Olongapo and Subic City, and pictures of some of the girls and a whole lot more. Please check it out

  123. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    With 2015 coming to a close in two and a half weeks, this is quite a year. Next on December 14 will be for me the 41st. Anniversary of when I first rode on Victory Liner from Olongapo City to Caloocan City, seeing the small villages & small towns of Northern Bataan, Pampanga & Bulacan provinces, seeing the real Philippines. The past 41 years has been amazing for me as well as for many of us who have spent time there on Liberty in the Navy & Marine Corps in the Philippines. Many of us have lots of stories of our experiences there that can easily fill up a good size library and then some. For many of us there are those whose hearts are there in the Philippines, my heart is there, and always will be there.

    • Charles says:

      Well said…… I also left a piece of my heart there as well. That’s where my 1st marriage was. Those days will forever be etched in my mind.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Charles, I know just what you mean. Next week I get my social security check, that with my government pension I’ll be a step closer to returning home to the Philippines for good. I want to meet the real estate agent who lives in General Trias City, Cavite and see how that goes. Have a great holiday season there Charles.

      • Charles says:

        Well good for you Christopher, as least your living out your dreams. When you get there please post pictures and have a wonderful life in three Philippines. It really is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Let us know how things are going and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Post pictures please. Wish I could join you.

      • Charles says:

        Sorry about the type o’s…. Fat fingers lol. I mentioned in the Philippines but you knew that.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Charles you aren’t the only one that has typo errors, I have done many of those myself as well. There’s spell check today, they never had that when we were in our teen & early twenties, I sure wish it were the mid 1970’s all over again, because if it were, we both know where we would be at if it were. For me they would have to tie me up just to keep me from going and having a great time, especially there in the Philippines, also Thailand as well.

  124. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Today December 14, 2015 marks for me the 41st. Anniversary of when I first rode on Victory Liner from Olongapo City to Caloocan City when I visited the Metro Manila area for the very first time. It was also that same day that I got to see the real Philippines traveling through the small villages & towns in Northern Bataan, Pampanga & Bulacan provinces. The Philippines was the very first country outside of the United States & Canada that I got to see. The NLEX(North Luzon Expressway) only went as far as Guinguinto, Bulacan, there were no air conditioned or express buses on Victory Liner then either. The Philippine peso to U.S.Dollar rate of exchange was about 6.60 to 1.00 USD then. Rizal avenue from Magsaysay Drive to the Victory Liner bus station was being concreted then. There were Mobil, Getty, Shell & Esso(Exxon in the U.S. & Canada gas stations then. The Esso is called Petron today which is owned by Exxon-Mobil and also there was Caltex which is Texaco in the U.S. Kong’s restraunt was a favorite or one of many favorite restraunts to eat at in Olongapo City then. If those of us who were in our early to mid twenties back in 1974 & 1975 were to become that age again and on Liberty In Olongapo City, the Metro Manila area and Cebu City for those who went there. There were many of us who married Filipina women, those of us who were and are married till death do its part have and had wonderful wives, some didn’t just like anyone this day & age, there are the good marriages and the bad marriages between men & women of all nationalities regardless of what country the spouse you are married to is from.

    • Alan Lehman (Australian Navy) says:

      Well said Chris. I think that is how a lot of us from that era feel. All the best for Christmas to you and your family and indeed to all who access this blog. Thanks to Dennis for starting this blog. I have had a lot of good memories recalled from reading the blog and the comments that other guys put up. I hope you all have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Hope to see you all back on this blog next year. Bye for now

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Alan I wish you & your family all the very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & a Happy Summer in Australia while it’s now winter in the land up above. I wish I were living back in the Philippines which I do hope that in two years that I will be living back there and live out the rest of my life there, won’t have to deal with cold winters, hot Mexizona desert heat, and won’t have any heating bills to pay or heavy twenty ton winter clothesline either.

  125. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    2015 is coming to a close, 2016 is just about to start. I wish all reader & commenters a very Happy New Year of 2016. For those of us that we’re in the Navy, the Marine Corps that have spent many Liberty nights in Olongapo City can say it was one way to always have New Year’s Eve if we want to look at it that way. Many of us met, even married our wives there for those who married Filipina women. For those who are or might still be bachelors or even became widowers it was where they were in a way playboys. For many like myself we found, met & even married our true loves, I still have my goal of returning home there to live out my life in Olongapo City by October, 2017. Olongapo City has changed, and so have many of us former Sailors & former Marines and those of us who married there, our wives have also changed.

    • Chuck Smith says:

      Home base San Miguel Comm. Station. Christmas eve 1971 in Hong Kong USS Fox DLG-33 (Yankee Station GOT)

    • Alan Lehman (Australian Navy) says:

      Thanks Chris. Happy New Year to you too. I spent 1974 Christmas in Hong Kong and New Year. What a time that was. For weeks before Christmas day, we used to smuggle grog onboard in the Signal Box that had signals for the ship inside. We couldn’t unlock it until we got into the commcen and so nobody on the gangway could look inside it. On Christmas day we made a MOJO in a big metal rubbish bin and boy did we get pissed (drunk). Even the Captain when he come around to each mess had a cup of Mojo. He probably wondered how we got that together. Great times.

  126. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    2016 is already a week old on this January 8, 2016-The late Elvis Presley’s birthday which is a holiday in Memphis, TN & Tueplo, MS and for all Elvis Presley fans everywhere. This is the very first comment of 2016. Next week on Saturay, January 16, 2016 will mark the 41st. Anniversary of when my late wife & I met in Olongapo City when I was on Shore Patrol duty. For those who were Third Class Petty Officers & up/Marine Corps Corporal & up that were on their first Westpac cruise ever or second Westpac cruise and had Shore Patrol duty, it was a great way for us single guys to go and check out the bars/night clubs, restraunts, even some of the stores selling Philippine wood carvings, and just about any item you wanted such as LP albums of Philippine recording artists, cassette tapes which are now just about almost extinct. It was also a good way to meet some of the women you wanted to spend your free time with as well, some have turned out to be great
    wives, mothers & women themselves. There was the ice cold sodas of Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, Miranda orange, Royal Tru Orange-I used to down the large family size Royal Tru orange soda, family size in reality is really economy size. I buy Royal Tru Orange soda every now & then-it’s a luxury item East of San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento & Seattle. I look forward to reading many new comments on Liberty in Olongapo City this year.

  127. Pete Maher says:

    How in the world does anyone describe the nightlife in Olongapo (or Angeles City, for that matter) without explaining the legalized prostitution of the “bar fine” system?

  128. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    Pete, places like Angeles City, the Barrio Baretto section of Olongapo City, the Ermita section of Manila, the bar & nightclub section of Cebu City in the Philippines and in Thailand where there are bar fines to pay to take the woman out of the bar for the night are places for bachelor men, divorced men. The bar owners got 90% of the bar fines money. Many of the women don’t like working in the bars there at all, many because of being born poor and working poor were and are forced into that line of work because of the poverty. It’s the same thing in most of Latin America as well.

  129. M.L. McDonald says:

    RM2 M. L. McDonald navcommsta pi out at san antonio oct 67 to jan 71. worked at the receiver site.some of my fondest memories are the weird stuff we pulled down in po. had a 450 honda cl, for over a year, that was the biggest motorcycle in the pi! hundreds of 350s, millions of 305s, and, billions of honda bently 90s.. (trikes) anybody heard of jerry livers or mike bruns? raced for johnny schniders bike shop. nr 51 fontain st, olongapo. rocket room, m.b, club, oceans 11, sams hotel, 10 men rent the whole top floor, then trade girls all night. aaaahhhhthe good ole days. when i do get old ans am sitting on the porch in a rocking chair. the little teenage girls go walking by and say, theres a dirty ole man, THEY BE RIGHT…

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Macca. I was in and out of Olongapo over that period. Radioman on Australian Warships. I was 18 years old and had never seen anything like what you see in Olongapo. I loved it. My mates back home could not believe some of the stories I told them. I have a lot of photos of that period. If you would like to see some of them, give me your email address. Mine is I would love to see some of your photos if you have any.

    • M.L.

      I was in the “Po” at various times between September 1973 thru July 1975 (WESTPACS 73 & 75). My best hangout was Oceans 11 and my backup was the Apple Inn. I became addicted to Mojos! During those years I lived in town on Kessing Street (73-74) and Fendler Ave (75). Those memories are still quite clear after 40+ years.

      Take care,

      Alan (BM3)

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Alan those mojos were addicting, especially the red mojos, you had to have a lot of food to eat when drinking mojo. My former neighbor on 7th. Had a huge feat of lumpia, pancit Canton & bihon mixed, pork adobo, squid adobo & chicken adobo and rice as well as fried rice and plenty of red mojo, that was dinner for me that night when I got home, my girl friend who I married had to get paperwork in Cavite City and an NBI clearance in Manila and bring them home so I could turn them in as soon as possible so that we could get married. The mojo was good, this was in early 1979 when I had mojo.

      • Chris, I so much miss the PI food that you listed. The best on the planet!

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Alan I cook Filipino food, I cook pancit bihon, pancit Canton, chicken adobo, chicken apritada, Filipino style corned beef hash, turkey adobo, chicken arroz Valenciana, mungo bean soup, chicken tocino. Both of my sons are married to Filipina women. I also have Royal Tru Orange sod in my home which is a luxury item East of San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle. I have been communicating by e mail with a real estate agent that lives in General Trias City, Cavite province, she’s in her early fifties, next year I put my home up for sale and will be selling everything I own and my goal is to be living
        back there in one of three final choices I narrowed down on where I want to live out my life in the Philippines, one of them is Olongapo City of course, the other two are San Fernando, La Union province which kind of reminds me the the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA area &
        the city of Ventrua, CA in a tropical setting and Legazpi City.

  130. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    I added cooking fresh chicken tocino to my Filipino cooking, I have cooked the chicken tocino twice, and beef cube tocino using a tocino marinating mix. Where I live at in the Loser City Tucson, AZ
    metro area there isn’t even a Filipino restraunt at all. The nearest one is in Chandler, just right outside of Phoenix which is 100 miles from where I live. Pima county has 30,000 Filipino, 88% of them live in the Northwest suburbs of Loser City Tucson in the suburbs of Casas Adobes, Oro Valley, Catalina, Oracle Junction, Marana & Avra Valley where I live at. I’m trying to get some of the Filipinos I met recently to buy their home where I live at.

  131. John Gilzean says:

    Had liberty there more than once, 1967-1968, USS Valley Forge LPH-8. Memories that stay with me to this day. Indeed the adult Disneyland!

  132. Howard Kitchen says:

    I WAS THERE 68-69 USS Valley Forge LPH8 nothing like the P.I.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      I was there 5 times on my very first Westpac cruise of 1974-1975 when I was stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 and twice in Manila. The two very best Liberty ports in the entire U.S.Navy. I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay from 11/20/1978 to 3/30/1981, the very best tour of duty I ever had in the U.S.Navy. The tour of duty was way too short there, it should have been a four year tour of duty there if you got married there, three years if you didn’t get married. It was counted as sea duty. The grand total amount of time I have spent in the Philippines equals to 33 months-all 3 Westpac cruises I made, plus my tour of duty at SRF Subic Bay.

      • Charles says:

        Thanks to all of you for keeping these memories alive. I spent time there from 1975 to 1977 and think of the Philippines Daly. I love that place and will till the day I die, I miss the food,people and most of all the memories I have of Olongapo City.

      • Tony aka Boomer says:

        The P.I. in those days was a wonderful place. Sure there were scams and some wild things going on but that is everywhere. People were trying to get by and life there was as many say simpler and a lot of fun.

        I think about life there during the 70’s and 80’s in my view far better than it is now. To see Subic and Po City now is hard. Sure some things are better but those carefree days and nights were the best.

        We can only go back in our minds. At times I wish it were the same. The return trip was fun and neat to see the improvements and yet bittersweet as what was is no more nor will it ever be.

        The Philippines has come a long way in some areas and in others it stays as it was almost like frozen in time.

        The Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force retirees are aging and in time they too will pass into history. I am thankful for the memories and when I run into those that served and lived there eyes light up and for a little while it is alive again as it was.

        Good times for sure and it is a shame that the bases closed there. It was a great place to be and there was always something fun to do.

        The clubs, music, Mojo, San Mig, women and the environment just the greatest of times.

      • Charles says:

        Well said…….. A smile comes to my face every time I think of the time I spent there. I hope to return there again some day before I die. I will always love that place.

      • Tony aka Boomer says:

        By all means do so just be prepared as it has changed a lot. The old buildings on base have been repurposed and or torn down. The liberty route signs were still up when I was there in 2015. Shit river is the same no more beggars in boats asking for coins. the area across the bridge is is very different a mall resides on the right side clubs are gone. Some still looks the same but a different pulse now. No more Hey Joe it is Hey Boss.

        Worth seeing but from my own experience at times I wish I would have just not returned and remembered it as it was.

        People are still the same always a quick smile and trying to get through life. Food is good San Mig is cold just Magsaysay is no longer bar after bar with the great bands of yesteryear.

        The good thing is fro manila there is SCTEx a expressway that runs past and through the old Clark Air Force Base so getting to Subic is quick and you enter from the east side of the old base near where the horse stable and motor cross track was. All overgrown now and when you drop in the old shell of the McDonalds is there on your right. When you drive towards the Main Gate area you will see all sorts of mini mall type buildings. very different now.

        Drive around the base and much remains with repurposed buildings and all are in a sad state of disrepair. Lower Mau Camp is full of cars and heavy equipment from Japan that is for sale.

        The Aviation Bar on the hill near the JEST Camp was removed and brought to Florida asa museum.So on and so forth.

        Cubi point is there but all of the buildings are run down. Just be prepared when you see the base it is not what it once was.

      • Charles says:

        Thanks Boomer, as I said I was there in 1975 to 1977 and the first thing that comes to mind is crossing shit river, then the sound of the bands of yesteryears, the smell of all the great foods, and the smiles on all the faces. I am 62 years young and remember the USS Enterprise, and the Philippines like it was yesterday. I still Google pictures of p.i. from then to now but then is what pops up in my mind every time . I can still hear free bird from the Sierra Club as I’m crossing the river in my mind. Will always love that place. Thanks for this website

      • Tony aka Boomer says:

        No worries. I think it would be great if a reunion of sorts could be put together on Subic for former service members to get together and revisit for a lack pf better words the carefree days of youth there. To share stories of various adventures so to speak.

        This website is a great vehicle for all to share but man would it not be great to get a few hundred folks together to go back and visit at the same time.

        P.I. in those years was awesome.

        Thanks for the website as well. It is great to read the experiences of so many. It always brings me back for a few minutes.Pssssst! Hey Joe where are you going? Or when you get to a barrio seeing and hearing the kids run down the street smiling and laughing as they follow you Hey Joe give me money!. It was cute and always brought a smile to my face when I would pass out a few pesos to these kids and off they would go to buy candy. It did not cure the socio economic ills of the P.I. but for a moment I felt like Santa helping a kid enjoy a few minutes of a day in their impoverished world.

        Love the P.I.!

      • Charles says:

        Yes it would, I’d be back there in a minute. I also gave the little kids money and candy and made me feel good to see the smiles on there faces. ……. Those were the days..

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello Chris, I was in Subic around that 1974 period.on an Aussie ship. Blue Ridge was in port. During our visit a Typhoon was heading our way and Blue Ridge ordered all ships to get prepared to leave subic and head out to sea to ride out the Typhoon. I jumped ship with a mate and we ignored all the MP’s driving around town telling everybody to get back to their ships. We holed up in the American Legion Post. As it turned out, the Typhoon veered away and we didn’t have to sail. Great times in Subic.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Tony aka Boomer, I just read your comment on Olongapo City, especially on Magsaysay Drive, it was starting to transition from bars & nightclubs in the late 1980’s as I have seen on some videos. We also look at ourselves and we too have also changed as well. Next year I will have my home, and all of the furniture up for sale. Once I have everything I don’t want, don’t need all sold, I will be Philippines bound for good where I will live out my life there. I won’t have to put up with the desert heat, cold days at all anymore. I would rather have the tropical climate of the Philippines or the world’s best climate of Southern California in the Civilized San Diego area where I can’t afford to live at anymore which isn’t my fault that the rents are overpriced and out of reach. The best part will be GOOD RIDDANCE to The LOSER CITY TUCSON METRO AREA in Mexizona.

  133. Tom Robinson says:

    Never heard of it, never been there, never pulled in there, never flew into there !! And especially never gonna admit anything less…..
    Yep, thats my story.
    ADR1 U.S.N. Ret’d

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Tom you must have spent all of your time in the Navy on the East Coast where you only did Med & Carribean cruises most of the sea duty time, every once in a great while an East Coast sailor might get lucky and do a NATO cruise, visiting Northern European countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. Westpac cruises are still the best. You missed out on an awful lot of great Philippines Liberty, Thailand Liberty as well.

      • Jim Jones says:

        Never heard of it, never been there, never pulled in there, never flew into there !! And especially never gonna admit anything less….. Yep, thats my story. ADR1 U.S.N. Ret’d 11/71-7/93 Tom you must have spent all of your time in the Navy on the East Coast where you only did Med & Carribean cruises most of the sea duty time, every once in a great while an East Coast sailor might get lucky and do a NATO cruise, visiting Northern European countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. Westpac cruises are still the best. You missed out on an awful lot of great Philippines Liberty, Thailand Liberty as well.___________________________________________________________________ I think that was meant about the same as the Monkey that says           “hear no evil”          “see no evil”          “do no evil”I can’t get blamed for anything I never admit to, so “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”I pretty much did things that I would stick to my story also.   BTY, I have been back in the PI since Nov 17th, boo hoo, leave Tuesday. Spent 2 months playing tourist at Baguio, Poro Pt. (the old Wallace AFB), Cebu City, Boracay, Alona Beach, Bohol, Subic, and San Antonio,Zambales. ( the old NavCommSta San Miguel).  Then headed to Angeles City for  @ months R&R. Playing tourist is hard work at almost 69. Needed a place to just chill the last 2 months. Fields Ave. is still loaded with bars, but I never entered a single one, even though my Filipina wife of 28 years pushed me (us) to go bar hopping. But, I leave the old memories alone. Would rather remember my bar hopping days (memories) in tact as the most insane times on earth. We will go home and discuss if we really want to move back here or at least split our time half here and half in the states. It is actually a tough decision. The country has made major changes, some good for sure, but at the same time, some not so good. We will see for next year.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Jim we are no longer in the bar hopping league as we’re not in the decade of the very late 1960’s, the 1970’s where we could do that. I don’t drink any alcoholic beverages anymore, I haven’t since 1991. I did my share of it, the San Miguel’s in the Philippines, even when I was stationed in San Diego, Long Beach & Pearl Harbor. The memories of those days will always live on. I’m in the long slow drawn out process of selling everything I own, next year, I’m putting the house up for sale in the Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area, once that’s all done, Philippines bound for me for good. There I won’t have to hear press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish when I make phone calls, I will be off of the Avra Valley Pot Hole Dodging Team for good. There’s the real estate agent that lives in General Trias City, Cavite, same province where my late wife of 31 years is from that I want to meet, she’s in her fifties, I’m 62 so that works out for me. The decesion I made, it took me a few years to decide, I finally realized that I’m no longer needed, or wanted in our own country, and not appreciated at all as we are Viet Nam era veterans and senior citizens. Plus my heart is in the Philippines, I left it there on 3/30/1981 when I had to fly back to the US when my tour of duty was over with.

      • Charles says:

        Chris, I wish I could go with…….

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        I know how you feel there Charles. I’ll be so glad once I return there to the Philippines for good & live out my life there. No more cold winter days, no more crazy Mexizona weather with above normal temperatures in February & March, no more scorching desert heat either, and that damned ugly desert brownery.

      • Charles says:

        Some day I’ll make it back. Hopefully. Let us all know when you do. Later brotherman

      • Jim Jones says:

        I hope you find what you are looking for. I found, after 3 months last year and 4 months this year that, I am actually more confused now than I was about living there. I don’t remember if you have been back over there in the past 10 years or not. But, you realize that it will not resemble what you remember in much of anyway except for the dirt and the smell. My suggestion to you is to take the proceeds from the sale of your house and park it into something that is somewhat safe. To me, the PI is not the place to park your money as it will not be in your name. Things don’t always work out my friend. Even our government has changed the banking rules, where they can take your money, so it is not safe in a bank here in the US anymore. Gold, Silver, probably a better bet for now, as the crash is coming. I don’t blame you for wanting to get out of your present location, but like I said, park your proceeds somewhere out of the reach of our government or U.S. banks. Think everything through. You can live over there and Rent for a reasonable price.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Jim I won’t park my proceeds in a U.S. Bank, if I place them in a non U.S. Bank, it will be either a Japanese, Australian or Canadian bank. The majority will eliminate my debts and I plan on renting a place in the Philippines. We have changed ourselves, so has Olongapo City, and my own birthplace of Buffalo, NY which I haven’t visited in since Labor Day Weekend of 1971 and that was just a visit there. I will never ever set foot for a visit in Buffalo, NY ever again. I would never ever visit my birthstate either. My birthstate taxes the dead. I have thought everything through very carefully, the 2013 government shutdown helped me make my final decesion.

  134. Alan Lehman says:

    Hello Boomer, Alan here (Aussie Navy) AKA Frapper. I have photos of that period in our lives and I imagine you have some as well. If you would like to send me some by email that would be great. My email is I can send you some as well if you want to give me your email address. Thanks mate

  135. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    It has been a little over a month now since a comment was made by me and a few others more than a little over a month. So with a lot that goes on everyday, there will come a day in the future when some more sailors & Marines will be visiting there in Olongapo City, the ex pats need to talk with a lot of the new generation of Sailors & Marines about the do’s & don’t while on Liberty there in Olongapo City, Manila and other cities & towns there in the Philippines. The ex pats would be doing a good service and that includes me once I’m living back there in Olongapo City to tell the new generation of Sailors & Marines of the do’s & don’t see while on Liberty there, it can make a huge difference between some Sailors & Marines getting into trouble and/or staying out of trouble.

  136. Jim Perry says:

    I remember hanging out at Marilyns and stumpy and gimpys, in subic city.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Jim, I remember coworkers of mine when I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay talking about going to Marilyn’s, Stumpy & Gumpys in Subic City-this was in 1978 & 1979. My very first liberty in the Philippines was on 11/26/1974, I was stationed on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 which was out of San Diego at that time. It was my very first Westpac cruise, I did two Med cruises & two Carribean cruises on my first ship out of Norfolk, VA. I went to the Cherry Bar there a few times, there I had met the mamasan after the woman I spent time with introduced me to her, it was one of mu uncles former girl friends, she told me a lot about him. This was almost 2 months before I was to meet my late wife of 31 years.

  137. Dennis Marzen says:

    I made 2 westpac cruises 73-77, with HS-2 aboard the USS enterprise. I hung out at the Rufadora and Valentines club mostly. Their was a bar on a off street called the tiger lady and it was fun also. I left the PI in March of 77 to get discharged on a early out(school cut). I remember saying what a place, I will probably never see this place again. Fast Fwd 2004-2005 as a Master Chief reservist I was sent to the PI Manila for the operation Balicatan a yearly op between the Filipino sea bees and US sea bees. I made it to Angeles city but never to Olongapo. I took some Navy divers to some bars in Manila, some things never change. Crazy place

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Dennis, I remember the Valentine Club, it became De Marks Italian restraunt in 1978, then in 1984 it became a Filipino restraunt. The Philippines was where I left my heart there, and my heart is still there and always will be. I want to be living back there by the start of August next year. Of course a lot depends on how quick & fast I can get everything I’m in the process of selling right now in the damned backward, 1870’s, barbarian, sh@thole, Loser City Tucson Metro area in Mexizona, which is the sob story capital of the universe, the excuse capital of the universe, the bad attitude capital of the universe, the cheapskate capital of the universe. Tailgating & Pothole dodging are sports in the damned Loser City Tucson metro area. Once I have everything all sold in the damned Loser City Tucosn, Mexizona metro area, it’ll be good riddance to the state of Mexizona and the Loser City Tucson metro area. Olongapo City is one of my top 4 choices where I want to live out my life in the Philippines, San Fernando, La Union province is another choice, it reminds me of Scranton, Pittston & Wilkes-Barre, PA, Ventura, Oxnard & Thousand Oaks, CA all combined, the other 2 choices
      are Legazpi City, and there’s a realtor that I want to meet that lives
      in Genral Trias, Cavite province, not far from where my late wife of 31 years grew up in.

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        I hope you get back over their. Like I mentioned it was still the same in 2004/2005. It is still the wild wild west

  138. Don Wilson says:

    Spent 6 months runnin the streets of Olongapo City due to a P3 squadron deployment in 1985. Worked an evening shift that started at 3pm. Always got an early secure. Wasusually out in town partyin by 9pm. Ended up usually at The Runway on Gordon. Had an east facing balcony. Would watch the sun come up then go back to barracks 31 to sleep before doing it all over. Had a buddy in another P3 squadron back at Barbers Point. He didn’t deploy to Cubi. But he heard the sea stories. And decided he was gonna marry a Philipino. So he took leave and married a girl he knew for 3 days. Of course they divorced. And the funny part is he got order to Cubi on his next PCS

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Don your friend & his ex wife both rushed into that marriage, of course we know they weren’t the only couple to do that, we seen during our days in the Navy of coworkers, shipmates who rushed into marrying their hometown, high school sweethearts that also got divorced, only difference was they knew them longer & spent more time with them, and we also knew of some who married women who grew up all their lives in the area where they were stationed that have turned out to be great wives. I was stationed at Pearl Harbor from 10/26/1976 to 10/18/1978 on shre duty, people of Filipino background make up the majority of Hawaii’s population, it’s a surprise your friend didn’t meet any Filipina women who were born right there in Hawaii. Most of the women I managed to meet there happen to be U.S.born Filipina who were born in Hawaii and happen to be 2nd. Generation born U.S. Of Filipina background.
      Hopefully he met a better Filipina woman after he got stationed at NAS Cubi Point. My late wife & I met in 1975, I wasen’t ready for marriage in 1975, but I was in 1979, 4 years after I met my late wife of 31 years.

  139. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    It will soon be mid August, and in 2 months & 6 days on 10/18/2016 will be the 42nd. Anniversary of when I went on my very first Westpac cruise. Then in late November on 11/26/2016 will be the 42nd. Anniversary of my very first liberty in Olngapo City. I’m so very anxious to get everything that I’m selling that I don’t want, don’t need all sold. Early next year the house & all the furniture goes up for sale, I want it all sold and be out of the damned Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area by the very end of June, 2017. I want to be living back there in Olongapo City by the middle of August, 2017 for good. I miss Olongapo City very much. There I won’t have the Mexizona desert heat to deal with, the dateless life-won’t ever have to deal with that either, and at least meet a good Filipina woman that is in her 50’s that is widowed or never married, and just live out my life there for good.

    • Dennis Marzen says:

      Sounds like a good plan. I was on that same Westpac with HS-2 aboard the Big E. I remember the first night of liberty in Olongapo. It was raining very hard. I remember I could not believe how many
      bars their were. In fact the Westpac of 76-77 I was due to be discharged in March and had to leave Olongapo via Angeles city to get back to the states. I remember leaving Olongapo thinking I will never see this place again. Fast forward to 2004. I was a Master Chief in the Reserves as a Seabee. I was sent to Manila to work on a project at the US Embassy dealing with the Operation Balicatan a joint military op between Philippines and US. P.I.has not changed believe me.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Dennis some things are good that they remain the same, and many times we know that change is good & bad. I’m glad that you did get back there to the Philippines in 2004. There is one thing in me that hasen’t changed at all, that is Everytime I see Filipina women & know that they are Filipina, I always smile & blush. My heart is there in the Philippines, and I need to be living there the rest of my life anyway. There’s a realtor in her early 50’s I want to meet and see where that goes.

  140. Ed Crudie says:

    I was stationed at Sep Guard Company, Marine Bks, Cubi Point, PI 4 June 1974-26 Aug 1976. It was the best duty station I had in all my 22 years in the Marine Corps.

    • Dennis Marzen says:

      I stood shore patrol on the bridge with you guys. You guys stayed in the Quonset
      huts right.

    • G. Bradshaw says:

      My unit was MASS-2 from Okinawa. In 1964 we stayed on the 3rd floor of the Marine Bks, Cubi Point, PI. Our work area was in the Quonset huts next to Navy Mobile Arrest Unit (saw them catch 2 aircraft off aircraft carriers……neat stuff, saved both pilots). Our work area was just across from the carrier pier. We flew small Marine & Navy aircraft using a radar/computer system (A/NTPQ-10). Dropped bombs on a small island target North of Subic Bay. And YES we had the best liberty in the Far East. Great memories!!!

      • Alan "Frapper" Lehman says:

        Hello Mr Bradshaw. It was the best liberty in the Far East by far. I have been to all the places, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines tops them all. I was on Aussie warships that visited Subic Bay periodically. I dropped in every now and again over the period 1970 – 1976 on different ships. I had girlfriends that I used to catch up with over the years, sometimes working in different bars or the bar had changed it’s name. I have photos of my time there if you would like to see some of them. My email is: Give me your email and I can send you a couple.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Ed, it’s a shame that our tours of duty in the Philippines weren’t 4 years if married & 3 if not married. Our Air Force counter parts that were stationed at Clark in Angeles City & Wallace in San Fernando, La Union province had their tours of duty that long. The Navy should have just left me there for good, had that would have happened, my late wife & I would have most likely had 2 more children, and of course I would be still living there in the Philippines today. I want to be living back there a year from now if everything I’m selling is all sold by the end of June next year at the very latest. Where I live at in the Loser City Tucson metro area I want out of there so bad and be back in the Philippines for good since my heart is there.

  141. J.W.Mick. says:

    Spot on! Thanks for reawakening some old memories!

    • Dennis Rutowski says:

      Good day. I’ve been reading the comments for some time now about Subic and the P.I. in general. I was a YN2(SS) assigned to the submarine refit facility for Submarine Group Seven at Subic Bay. I can say you would not find any port of call like Subic. I worked there from ’85 to 87, discharged in ’88 and married that same year with a woman who worked at Planning & Estimating (we’re still married after 28 yrs). I’m now nearing retirement age and have been contemplating, at least, a retirement in the northern part of the Luzon. Too many fond memories to list but some of them are The Cork Room, Straw Hat Pizza and Camp John Hay. I was looking to retire in Tucson but decided against it. Lived there for a while in the late ’90’s. Not impressed.

      • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

        Dennis you are making a very smart choice not the retire in Loser City Tucson. I wound up there because of the military bases being closed left & right in the 1990’s during the Bill Clinton years in the White House. The Tucson metro area is the very worst metro area that I have ever lived in in my entire life, the very best was the San Diego area. Next year I hope that I will be living back there in Olongapo City or maybe San Fernando, La Union. Pizza Hut took over Straw Hat Pizza in 1984. I’m glad that you & your wife have been married 28 years. I watch on You Tube Pinoy Joyride videos, I mostly watch the ones that goes North towards the Ilocos Norte, it reminds me if Pennsylvania, but without the cold winters. I want to meet a realtor that’s in her early to mid 50’s that lives in General Trias City in my late wife’s birth province.

  142. Bob says:

    Lordy…I must be a dinosaur…Stationed at San Miguel 59-61…CT3 working shifts of course across the river…We used to have to ride the cattle car every day to get to work.Looking back now don’t know how I did it, those 8 hours shifts with the cans on my head..I would be redundant to describe what has been told over and over again, but I remember the bus ride from SM to Subic, and of course in Olaongapo there we’re so many clubs that I can’t hardly remember them all..One of my favorites was the SILVER STAR…I was also among the lucky few who managed to get some TAD aboard two carriers…The TICONDEROGA & LEXINGTON…They took me to some good westpac towns, but it was hard to beat the PI for unforgettable liberty…I felt sorry for some of my friends back home who never knew fun we had when we we’re young and in the service…BOB on Long Island

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Bob, I just read your comment, I know that you have read many of mine that I have inputted myself. The cattle car you mention you rode in, I called them raised transports when I was at Boot Camp at Great Lakes in 1972. The Liberty times we had there in the Philippines will always be with us. I’m so anxious to get back there to Olongapo City next year after I have everything I’m selling in the damned Cheapskate, Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area and get as far from the Loser City metro area where 1880 & beyond are only street addresses, not years or decades. My goal is to live out my life in the Philippines for good. There’s a realtor in her early 50’s I want to meet there & see where that goes.

      • I remember riding in those transports used for school buses at NAS Barbers Point, HI 1956-58. We lived in metal quonset huts for base housing, too. I was in San Miguel CTRSN Nov. 70-Feb-72 mostly TAD Yankee Station.

  143. Bob says:

    Chris S…Well if you went through boot camp in 72, you must be about 15 years younger than I, so I figure your about 62-63 years old…..and I give you credit for the fortitude to sell everything, and make a new beginning in the PI…have you thought about any special area in the PI you would like to give a try…I really enjoy this blog, and I will try and follow your exploits…Please keep me and everyone on this blog up to date on what’s going on…..

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      Bob, I turn 63 next month on 10/17/2016. Olongapo City is my top choice because I lived there, most familiar with it despite the changes it and I also went through. I also have 3 other choices as well that I’m considering. Since I had lived in Olongapo City before, there are people that I know there provided they are still living there & still alive, plus there are some fellow expats there that I just might know from my days of being stationed aboa d the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, stationed at SRF Subic Bay, plus from my days of shore duty in Pearl Harbor & San Diego. I do cook Filipino food and I know the Jeepney routes since the jeepneys in Olongapo City are assigned routes and the route are color coded, plus the bus companies that serve there.

  144. John says:

    You have covered the subject of Olongapo with interesting detail as I remember it from 71 to 74 on the USS Enterprise CVAN 65.

  145. sdebernardi says:

    I was stationed in Subic from May-August 1969. And an hour north of there at San Miguel/NAVCOMSTAPHIL Sept. ’69-August ’70. While in Subic me and a buddy had an apartment off base near the Market in an area off-limits to US Service Men. So no Shore Patrol never came into the area. I was 18-19 years old. A Cherry Boy when I arrived…but not for long. The Philippines changed my worldview for the better. I tried to extend my tour but it was denied. The Brass knew it was a young man’s paradise and I got sent back to the States/Washington, D.C. For my final 2 years of active duty. 😖 Thanks for the blog post.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      I agree with you there sdebernardi, the brass should & ought to have let you extend your tour there at Comnavsta San Miguel, I know how you feel there. You could have been assigned to the Navy’s garbage can which is Norfolk,VA for those who are not from that area. I’m in the long slow drawn out process of selling everything I own in the Loser City Tucson metro area which is far worse than Norfolk,VA. Once I have everything all sold, I’ll be bound for the Philippines for good, my heart is there, I was married to my late wife 31 years, she was from Cavite City, so you know about Sangley Point. Today Sangley Point is a Philippine Navy base and home of the Philippine Air Force Academy. There’s a very special lady there in the Metro Manila area that I want to meet in person, she’s 59 & I’m 63, very good age difference, she’s a Financial Consultant, all her children are grown up and are doing very well for themselves.

      • Gapo says:

        Chris just be careful going back there . Like the old olongapo days there’s still a lot of cons roaming PI .i miss the place too.

  146. David Sargent says:

    This article brings back so many memories….San Magoo beer… eat balut…..we were there on the mid 70’s….and adult Disneyland is exactly how I described it to my friends and novices who had not had this pleasure of crossing Shit River and tossing in pesos and watch the kids dive for them….to this day I still love pancit Cantonese and lumpia.
    ..PI holds a lot of memories for me and my friends…David Sargent OS3 USS Hoel DDG 13…1975-1979

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Dave. I was in Subic when your ship, USS Hoel was in one time. I was on an Australian warship. I loved Subic and had similar story to tell my mates back home. They couldnt believe what I was telling them. I had a lot of photos to show them and eventually they believed my stories. I was wondering if you had any photos to show from that period. I have quite a few and would like to show you some of them. You could send me your email address and I could send you some of mine to look at. My email address is Thanks mate, hope to hear from you. By the way, I was the Australian version of your CT’s. I did trips on submarines as a CT as well.

      Bye for now

  147. Andrew says:

    Does anyone here know an American who was stationed in Subic Naval Base named Lester Harry Leatherman? Or his buddy named Michael? I don’t know his surname. Any info. would be appreciated. I’m trying to find my dad. Thanks

  148. Judy Pacificar says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I grew up in the town before Olongapo. My Dad was once a waiter at Sampaguita Club and later on was the manager at the China Sea’s Club while my Mother owned and operated a beauty and dress shop near the jungle and moved in front of the Admiral hotel and next to Kimara theater. Nice to hear your first hand experiences there. I also enjoyed your photos.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      I just read your comment twice. I used to go to the China Seas Club when I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay, my late wife of 31 years & I went in there a few times before we got married, and after we got married we went there from time to time. The very best times of my life were always in the Philippines. I now have a very special Filipina lady that I was matched with on e Harmony, we chat quite a bit, she’s 59 & I’m 63 that’s a very good age difference for us. I’m selling everything I own that I don’t want, don’t need and after that is all done, I’ll be Manila bound on Philippine Airlines out of Los Angeles and will look for a place to live at in Paranaque or Las Pinas so I can be very close to the love of my life and get to know her.

  149. Richard Haut says:

    Hey bro u hit the nail on the head that’s exactly how I remember it. I ended up getting married over there. Got her back to the States .after3 weeks there she took off never saw her again.i had a great time in olangapo. Rich Haut USS FOX DLG 33. Bt3.

  150. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    In a few months, I put my hope & all of the furnishings up for sale in the Loser City Tucson, Mexizona metro area, once I have everything all sold, it will be good riddance to Mexizona the very worst state I have ever lived in and I will be homeward bound to the Philippines for good and will live out my life there. My goal is to be out of Mexizona by the end of June,2017, I do want to not just have that goal met, but achieved earlier would be even better. Where I live at, it takes almost forever to sell everything as the Loser City Tucson metro area is the cheapskate capital of the universe, the excuse & sob story capital of the universe.

  151. dale goodman says:

    USS CONSTELLATION 72 73 and 74 Cruises. These comments sure bring back a ton of memories.

    • Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

      I agree with you there Dale, I have a ton of my own memories there myself. I met my late wife of 31 years there on my very first Westpac cruise, that was in 1975, we got married after I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay. We had 3 children during our marriage.

      • Alan Lehman says:

        Hello Dale. Alan Lehman here. Australian Navy. I was in Subic 72,73 and 74 but only for two or three week visits. I loved the place, best liberty port in all the Far East theatre. I had been to Hong Kong, Japan, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia and also Malaysia. Been all over, but Subic was the best. I have lots of photos if your interested. I would be interested to see your photos if you have any. My email address is Hope to hear from you pal. Bye for now

  152. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    2016 has only 3 weeks left & then it will be 2017. I still have my ultimate goal of living the last third of 2017 back there in the Philippines for good. I will be in the Civilized San Diego area for the New Year’s weekend. There are only very few places that I want to spend the New Year’s holiday in, they are in the Philippines, The San Diego & Los Angeles areas in Southern California.

  153. Christopher S. O'Rourke says:

    We know that today is December 14, 2016. I just spoke with my girl friend in Paranaque, Metro Manila earlier today, we are all busy with Christmas coming. After my conversation with her on messenger I remembered that this very day 42 years ago was my first trip from Olongapo City to Caloocan City, Metro Manila on Victory Liner. The Victory Liner buses along with other bus company buses in 1974 in the Philippines were not air conditioned except for the tourist buses.
    The ride to Caloocan City on Victory Liner was entirely 2 lane roads till you got to Guinito, Bulacan where the NLEX(North Luzon Expressway) ended if traveling North and began if traveling South. The zig zag highway is now 3 lanes wide, and is now all built up and there’s SCTEX(Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) that goes from Subic Freeport to Tarlac province which SCTEX become TPLEX(Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) that will end at Rosario, La Union province and be open all the way to Rosario, La Union. Victory Liner uses SCTEX, NLEX, TPLEX & SFEX(Subic Freeport Expressway) when making their express runs to & from Baguio City, Caloocan City, Manila, Quezon City & Pasay City from
    Olongapo City. The 2 other bus companies that serves Olongapo City which are Saulog Transit & Genesis bus company don’t travel on SCTEX at all. I watch many short videos that Dimitri Valencia does called Pinoy Joyride. I watch the videos that travels to Subic Freeport, Olongapo Coty, the Ilocos region many times, the video that he does on SCTEX reminds me of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike(I-476) of the early 1960’s in the years of 1962 & 1963.

  154. Alan Lehman says:

    Hello Chris, Happy New Year Pal. Let us all know when you get to P.I. mate.

    • Christopher O'Rourke says:

      Alan, I’m in the preparation phase of getting my property put up for sale. I will paint the outside of the house in the what I hope will be the final coat of yellow paint, then do the trim. I’m replacing the solar lights outside now, will have the bare spots in the front yard covered over in stones, the furniture will also go up for sale as well. My ultimate goal is for me to be out of the Stste of Mexizona by the end of June for good & be all settled in the Philippines by the end of October.

  155. Thanks for bringing back the memories. Everything talked about was extremely accurate , except for the fact you must multiply your experience by ten . I made two apearences in the PI . The first was on the Big E ( Go Enterprise ) , and the other was on the Coral Sea CV – 43 . What a great time for a young man. Thank You United States of America.

    • Christopher O'Rourke says:

      Glad to have read your comment there. The Liberty we had there in Olongapo City & also in Manila if the ship went into Manila was great, best liberty in the entire U.S.Navy in the entire world. My oldest son is going to the Philippines. I told my oldest son to retire there after he finishes his Air Force career. I’m in the slow process of selling everything I own in the Losef City Tucson, Mexizona metro area and when that’s done, I’m Philippines bound for good. I was married 31 years to my late wife who was from Cavite City, just outside of Manila about an hour drive depending on traffic, and my girl friend who is 4 years younger than me lives in Paranaque, Metro Manila, I want to be very near her very much.

  156. Christopher O'Rourke says:

    Since my last comment, a few things have been happening, My girl friend & I met in person, we spent an entire day together on 3/19/2017 in Los Angeles at her uncles home, my girl friends uncle is a church Pastor in Long Beach, CA, I’m very anxious to see her again & spend more time with her before she returns home to Metro Manila. On 3/30/2017 was 36 years when I had to return to the states from duty in the Philippines for shore duty in San Diego. I’m still putting my home, furnishings and everything I don’t need & want up for sale. The market is way too slow where I live at in the Sh@thole, Barbarian, Loser City Tucson metro area as far as selling real estate goes. My oldest son is now on terminal leave and at present is in the Philippines with his aunt & uncle in Nueva Ejica province, it’s his very first time in almost 36 years that he has been in the Philippines. I told that when he retires from 30 years in the Air Force to move back to the Philippines. So I hope there will be more comments very soon.

  157. Will says:

    My family was stationed at subic 68-69. Learned to drive stick on the hilly base roads at 14yrs. My summer job leading sailors on horseback rides thru the jungle. Marlboro reds were $1 a carton! Much drinking and much temptation off base. There was a band, maybe 1/4 mile down Olongapo’s main drag on the right that played grateful dead note-for-note perfect. Went to that bar a lot.

    • Christopher O'Rourke says:

      That was a very short tour of duty there for your family, my tour of duty when I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay on 11/20/1978 should have been a 3 year tour of duty before my late wife of 31 years & I got married on 4/5/1979 and the. It should have been made a 4 year tour of duty the way the Army & Air Force does it in Germany, Italy, Norway hat would save a lot of money there.

  158. Christine Kingsley says:

    Hello, I’m hoping someone here can help me find my biological mother from Cavite. I was born in the summer of 1978 and she already had 5 other children. She started dating a Navy man and I’m guessing it was better to give me up than have a baby from a man that is not her current boyfriend. I don’t know her name but she was dating a friend of William (“Bill”) Smalley. I’m not sure if they worked out in the end but if anyone knows of a woman that fits this description, please let me know! My adopted father was in the Merchant Marines and I am a naturalized US citizen. I’m not looking for much…just for family that may look like me.

    • Christopher O'Rourke says:

      Christine have you ever checked your birth record by any possible chance, that would be the best possible chance because it will give the name of your birth mother, birth place along with the adoption record of not only your adopted father but also your adopted mother. My late daughters name was also Christine, she was born at what is now the Asunción Bay medical center when it was called the Cubi Point Navy Hospital on 11/3/1980.

  159. Carl Hinchey says:

    Hey Dennis, I was in the ‘Po, the same time with the helo Det onboard USS Midway, 72/73. What a great liberty port for a 19 y/o.
    Cheers, Carl

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Carl. I was in the Australian Navy and went in and out of Subic Bay from 1970 until nearly 1980. Have lots of photos of that period. If your interested, let me know. ( If you have any it would be interesting to see them. Thanks mate.

    • Christopher O'Rourke says:

      I know what you mean there Carl, I was in the Mediterranean in late 1972 aboard the USS Seattle AOE-3 when you were there in Olongapo City as a 19 year old. I was 19 but in the Med, I wish the Med ports were like Olongapo City that would have been much better liberty there. I did my first Westpac cruise in 1974/1975 aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 and I had my very first Olongapo City liberty on 11/26/1974 and it was far and much better than those Medcruise liberty ports. My favorite all time Liberty ports for me are Manila & Olongapo City. My ultimate goal for me is the be living out the rest of my life in the Philippines in Olongapo City.

  160. Steve Shauf says:

    Dennis, you nailed it. Thanks for refreshing my memory about so many things in and around Olongapo City. I was stationed at COMNAVPHIL, Subic Bay from February of 72, until August, 73. The name of the little club with the alligator out front was called The Tender Trap. At least that was its name during the time we were there. Baby Domingo sang lots of Carole King, and Carly Simon songs in those days. Great voice. I remember another unique club about 3 blocks down, coming from the main gate on the left. It was called the You and I Club, and it had what was surely the coldest air conditioned place on Magsaysay Drive. The band there did an amazing job imitating The Four Seasons.

    • Alan Lehman says:

      Hello Steve, Paulines was the name of the bar with the Crockadile out the front. I have a photo of it. you can’t post photos here, but if you go to the FaceBook page called ” I Remember Subic Naval Station ” there is a photo of the bar and you can see the wire cage around the crockadile pen.

      • Christopher O'Rourke says:

        Paulines wasen’t there in late 1974 or I wasen’t looking for it then, but have been told about it years later. The times & memories of when we spent Liberty in Olongapo City & even went to Metro Manila or Baguio City from there on weekends were great times we had there. The U.S.Navy should have just left me there for good. Very soon in a few weeks I will be resuming my Saturday Open air market sales when the weather turns cooler in the damned Ugly,Backward,1870’s,Barbarian,Sh@thole, Loser City Tucson, Arizona Metropolitian area which is the Sh@thole of all of North America. I’ll take Olongapo City any day over where I presently live at.

  161. J says:

    Man I was there too, and it was cool, I just wished you could have walked around to the jungle and witness that also…. All and all, PI Olongapo City was a life growing experience, I just wish I had all the flix I took while I was over there…. Ammaaazzzing!!!

  162. F. Scott says:

    I served on the USS Ranger (CVA-61) from 1966-1970. Liberty in Olongapo City was a social education. There were unwritten laws and rules that were government enforced. Unregistered prostitutes were subject to arrest and beaten while in jail.

  163. Dennis Marzen says:

    I remember when our carrier pulled in (1974), I was an Air dale (HS-2) . The Filipino bands and beer on the Cubi Point peer when we got off the ship

    • Christopher O'Rourke says:

      Dennis I know you might have read many of my comments about my times in Olongapo City. There are enough from all of us who were there as Navy & Marine Corps active duty. I was first there on November 25 to November 27, 1974 when I was on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19. I had duty the first day in, but the next day I had my very first liberty there in Olongapo City and it sure beats o ut every single Mediterranean port that I have been to on my two Med cruises and also the Caribbean as well except for Ft. Lauderdale that was max liberty there, but Olongapo City, Manila are the very best during our time in the Navy.

  164. Darwin says:

    Im looking for a person name JAMES but not sure about he’s last name and he is merchant marine civil and he’s work Are supplying equipment for ship i think accoring to woman i known and Im related to her she’s my mother and he have this black african american boyfriend before “James” they’re station here in Philippines naval base year 1984 of 1985, he also have a rank in the services, I only have limeted info about this person im looking for. If anyone here known or idea who’s this guy. I more appreciate your kindness thanks.
    0466678226 or

    Thank you yall

  165. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    It’s been quite awhile since I sent a comment. This past November 20,2017 marked the 39th. Anniversary of when I checked into SRF Subic Bay for the very best tour of duty I had when I was in the Navy. Next week on December 14,2017 will mark my 43rd. Anniversary of when I rode on Victory Liner to Caloocan City over what was then just a lane & a half wide zig zag Road then. Today that Zig Zag Road is 3 lanes wide in some spots and having seen earlier this year a short Victory Liner video on You Tube of a Victory Liner going to Olongapo City over the Zig Zag Road today it’s almost a town of its own. 1978 the Zig Zag Road was being widened to 3 lanes in some spots.

  166. Jace says:

    Superb! Made me feel like it was yesterday!

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      I know just what you mean there Jace. We Navy & Marine Corps Veterans that have spent time in Olongapo City whether we were stationed there at Subic Bay, Cubi Point, San Miguel, Mt. Santa Rita Naval Link Station or just visiting there or even TAD there have enough experiences we tell about which can fill a few library book shelves. My heart is there in the Philippines and once I do return there, it will be for good.

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        I was their on 2 westpacs 1973-1977. Then I was in Angeles City and Manilla when I was in the reserves 2004-2005 doing a seabee op balicatan as a Master Chief. Still great people/the beer is san miguel light and red horse great times

  167. Jerry Gilreath says:

    Another Vietnam vet here, I did 39 months in nam most of it with helicopter units often on an LPH. We pulled into Subic often, I am just one of the millions of Americans who as young men fell in love with the country and people. I find in all the stories and memories on this site not one of them is critical or negative obout the Philippines. Something has to be good about any place that can generate so many lifetime memories covering generations and decades. I was there in 67 and 68 then back in 72 and 73. My favorite bar was the East Inn, my girl all that time was Alice, or Alicia Clairol. I retired from the Marines in 85, and am now 72. I still miss her, and have always regretted not fighting the orders and going back. I would still like to know how her life went. I know everything I remember is now gone, including my old ships and buddies, only the memories remain. They are still clear and still treasured.

    • BOB says:

      You could never understand it unless you experienced it…Was it our youth at the time, or the beautiful green country, or the Philippine people….possibly a combination of all three…Spent 18 months at the Naval Radio Station in San Miguel in 1959-60, and yes I did love going to Olongapo, but I also enjoyed the country itself, and the people, and still have a soft spot in my heart for the Philippine people I knew then, and the ones I meet today…Truly a once in a lifetime experiences, and I thank the Navy for giving me the chance to experience it….

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Bob I agree with you entirely. The Navy should have made the tours of duty in the Philippines 3 years if a bachelor and if that bachelor got married there then it would be 4 years like the Air Force did and the very lucky ones were the ones who stayed there for more than 4 years. There was one Navy person I was stationed with on shore duty in Pearl Harbor who spent 6 years in the Philippines and he had to do 3 years shore duty in Pearl Harbor. When his shore duty in Pearl Harbor was finished, he retired and him; his wife & their youngest son went back to the Philippines, their older children stayed in California.

    • Buzz says:

      I always hooked up with Alice at the East Inn Club when I flew EA-6A cross countries from Iwakuni to Cubi Pt. That was 70-71. After active duty I was flying KC-130s out of NAS Glenview and did manage to get one night in Olongapo in 78. When Alice saw me walk in the door she screamed my name, ran across the room, leaped in the air, and grabbed be with all fours. It was quite a night. She was just fine and the same as always.

  168. Dan Almashy says:

    I enjoyed your stories on Olongapo City, ha ha. Very accurate for sure. Pretty much to a ‘T” as I remember it, some I don’t remember. Your discription of all those bars and the bands that sounded like the real thing, that’s what I thought too. . I was probably there first time fall of 69 and several times until my final in spring 71. I’d have to re read some of my letters home to my wife to get the dates for sure there is a write up on the log of my ship online which tells a little about what we did month to month but not of exact dates…But anyway, Just wanted to let you know it was a great write up. I was on LPD2 Vancouver. One of my close friends on the ship a fellow RD, had a brother who was a sonar operator on LPSS574 Grayback, a sub that was also in Subic a lot. their home away from home..It’s possible you might have seen it there at some point. Thanks again !!

    • Dan,
      Glad you enjoyed the articles!


    • D.C. Bennett says:

      Dan A. took my virgin RDSA ass accross shit river for the first time. We were still in dress whites at the time. He took me to wonderful place the Scope-Dopes frequented called the Geisha Club (2nd floor, on the left near the Joy Club {I think}.
      He fixed me up w/a very young, short girl w/a pug-nose and short straight hair. We wound up going to the Marilyn hotel. When that young girl took her top off, I thought I won the lottery!!! Big firm tits on this little cute bug nosed girl!
      Dan left the ship the next day. Don’t think I had the chance to thank him. I was addicted! I took leave in P.I. I shipped-over for 4yrs to get a 24 month tour in P.I. I turned-down DREAM stateside shore duty for another WestPac cruise (went TAD to 7thFltSPDet, Armed Forces Police). Extended my enlistment to finish the TAD. Took 30 days terminal leave in P.I. before flying back for my discharge.
      I still can’t get over it . . .

      • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

        Hi D,C, I knew a girl at the Geisha Club on the 2nd floor in Olongapo named Lita. I even have a photo of her. I was there in 1966. She was a beautiful girl. I even found a photo of her at some photography place way down the road in Olongapo. It was on display in the window.

      • Dann Bennett says:

        Hey Fred! Lita must have been a stunner! Glad you had that experience. . .

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Dann Bennett I read your comment of your experience you had in Olongapo City when you had to wear whites on Liberty. The experience you have with that lady you were matched up with was quite a very good one for you. Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26,2019 will mark the 45th. Anniversary of my very first Subic Bay Liberty on my very first Westpac Cruise which was my 5th. Navy Cruise, I did 2 MediterrNean & 2 Carribean Cruises when I was aboard my first ship in the Navy when I was stationed in Norfolk,VA from 9/22/1972 to 7/31/1974. I enjoyed the Westpac a lot more. The Liberty in Olongapo City & Manila were great. Manila is still my favorite big city outside the U.S.

      • D.C. Barnett says:

        Happy 45th!

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        I always remember my very first Olongapo City Liberty every year & when I first rode Victory Liner to Caloocan City and most importantly the day I met my late wife and when We got married and when I got stationed at SRF Subic Bya.

  169. Charles B. Small says:

    I remember getting into a tricycle with a women went to some house, woke up in the morning I was robbed of my belongings, my wallet was gone, had to walk back to base in my shorts, shirt gone, sandles gone. From that day I learned not to trust anybody!

    • Charles C. Small says:

      I’m sure this is a story you weren’t to keen to have shared with your wife at the time, nor any of your four children. Sounds like a bit of karma if you ask me. LOL!!

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Your experience where your were robbed could happen anywhere in other places as well. I had shipmates who were not only robbed in Olongapo City, but also in Naples, Italy when I did my second Mediterranean cruise in 1973 and even in Athens, Greece, and we know of the Tijuana of old as well.

  170. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    Charles B .Small I hope that you carry your wallet in your front pocket. From my second Mediterranean cruise in 1973 I always carried my wallet in my front pants pocket. What you went through, that could happen almost any place in the world outside Japan, Singapore, Australia, Spain. When my ship was anchored in Naples, Italy I dodn’t Bring my wallet with my, just my ID card & what I knew I was going to spend on liberty. 8 of my shipmates had their wallets stolen in Naples, but not their clothes. After that incident in Naples the majority of my shipmates started carrying their wallets in their front pockets and many sailors of the Navy, & it’s baby brother the Coast Guard and Marines in Norfolk, VA which was in the 1970’s & before the Navy’s garbage dump. Did the same.

  171. Mary says:

    Wow, ‘did not know it was like this. My mom, as I was told worked in one of those club around 1970’s, 1972 for sure., and I’m the product. Still searching for my u.s serviceman father seems impossible for i have no bio info of him..thank u for sharing your story. At least it gives me ideas of that place back then.

    • What was her name and do you know what club(s) she worked in?

    • AL Wellman says:

      I would encourage anyone searching for an unidentified United States father to get on one of the autosomal DNA databases. Testing costs about $70 if you wait for the sale prices. Some databases are better than others because of the size of the database or ability to access information without paying continuing membership fees. I won’t do any advertising, because you can and should research what you will get for your money before paying for the test. Individuals sharing DNA with you are likely to be close relatives of your father and may be willing to share information even if your father cannot, has not, or will not.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Al Wellman, you are right in your comment to Mary there. I do hope that Mary will eventually find out who her real father is, nand it would be very nice if her real father were to also seek her as well. She has her mother first & last name, plus her birth record that says who her mother is. Somewhere there has to be a break through in her search for her father.

      • readersquest says:

        If anyone looking for a former military father has his name, branch of service, birth date, and social security number, they can try applying to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO, as “next of kin” for a copy of his military service record.

        Without that information, registering DNA with and other genealogical services will sometimes return matches on the birth father. A friend was able to locate her biological father—a musician her biological mother had a one-night stand with in college—that way. Unfortunately, he passed away a few weeks before she was able to try to reach him; but his partner was able to give her a lot of information about him, and I think it maybe did them both some good.

  172. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    Today is April 5, 2018. It was on this date 39 years ago when my late wife of 31 years & I got married at City Hall in Olongapo City. We were married by the Honorable Judge Jose L. Uy. I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay. The very best duty I ever had in the Navy. There were critics that said my marriage would only last up to 5 years. Those critics were wrong. Where were those critics ar on Saturday, March 6,2010 ar 2:20 AM when my wife had passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Loser City Tucson, AZ? The answer to that question is, they were NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
    My late wife was a wonderful wife,mother, grandmother,woman, I often think about her.

    • Dennis Marzen says:

      You have my deepest sympathy Chris. In the early 70’s it was easy for a young man to fall in love in the Philippines. Myself tried to get a fiance visa to marry a girl I met but with being in the squadron it was really hard. I am so glad you found your true love and was able to make it happen

  173. Michael says:

    My best Olongapo story is the time I met a bar girl and she she said that she wanted to go to a different club, When I ask which club I understood her to say “Cherry Bits club”. I said sure and we walked out to the street and she flagged down a jeepney, I didn’t understand why we would need that but just went along. We headed down the main street away from the main gate. I don’t know if anyone remembers the area of bars that was for blacks only called the Jungle. We drove through that area and came to a check point maned by armed guards. The girl could tell that I was a little nervous so she opens her bag, pulls out a hand gun and tries to hand it to me, She said “if your afraid take my gun”. I pushed it away before the guards got a look at it. We went through the gate and drove a ways out along the cost up on a hillside overlooking the sea, full moon but all I could think was, she is taking me out to kill me and no one will ever find me. Pretty soon we came to a gate with a drive leading down to the sea. The guard at the gate was armed and they talked and than he let us in. It was only than that I saw the sign by the gate that said Sierra Beach Club, not Cherry Bits Club. Turned out to be a beautiful resort. She knew lots of people and introduced me to her friends. I could not understand what was being said but everyone was very nice to me. She even paid for everything. They had a band and she got up and sang a song to me, Pretty soon she said that it was time to go and we took a jeepney back to Olongapo and I got back to the main gate just before it closed at midnight. Had a great time but I was never so happy to be back on my ship that night.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Michael you had quite an experience there on liberty. I’m glad that it turned out very well for you. Liberty there in the Olongapo City area as well as Manila was great. I miss Olongapo City very much and the Philippines as well. All of us who spent time in Olongapo City, the Subic Bay Area, and traveled on Victory Liner or Saulog Transit buses where we seen the real Philippines have lots of stories to tell.
      Many of us who married Filipina women and had our families are now grandparents or becoming grandparents. On November 26th. Will be my 44th. Anniversary of my very first Liberty on my Very first Westpac cruise in Olongapo City, less than 2 months later I met my late wife of 31 years there. She was a wonderful wife,woman & mother.

    • gmgafprhovet says:

      Great story Michael! Where else in the world could a young man have an experience like that! Although you were uncomfortable going to “Cherry Bits”, this young lady took you under her wing, took you to a really nice (I know the place) club on the beach (that most fleet saliors will never see), introduced you to her filapeno friends, sang to you from the stage (w/a live band), paid for everything, and made sure you got back to the base in time! {you should have had an overnight pass}.

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        As a West Pac veteran of two cruises aboard HS-2 on the Big E I will say the girls in Olongapo took care of us. Most of us 18 or a little older could never believe a place like this existed. Some of the greatest memories of times I had 74-77. Unless you were a West Pac Veteran no one will believe this place even existed.

  174. Uglydawg. says:

    Was on Shore Patrol detail when Marcos declared Marshall Law in 72. We were briefed that anyone still on the streets past (I think it was 2300 but it may have been midnight) would be shot…not arrested but shot. We started at the end of town (O’po) and cleared the bars, herding hundreds of unhappy sailors and Marines towards the main gate. They would go a few bars ahead of us and settle back in. By the time we got to the last bars they were packed. After the first “sweep” of town, we went back to find stragglers…starting at the far end of town again, it was as if we had never made the first sweep..they were still very full of GIs. After the second sweep we kind of gave up. The bars all locked their gated and guarded storefronts as usual and if you were inside, you stayed inside until morning. The night passed without incident in Olongapo…Marcos’ threat didn’t include us, I guess.
    Shore Patrol was great duty. The “best” (most rewarding to visit) bars had girls that would intercept you on your way in and do some pretty amazing things to distract you from your duty. I didn’t mind.
    I’ve got to say that Olongapo cannot be described..not completely. You just had to have seen it for yourself.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      I know just what you mean there Uglydawg. The day Martial Law was declared in the Philippines, I was on my way to my first ship in the Navy in Norfolk,VA on a Trailways bus out of New Castle,DE. I had finished boot camp at Great Lakes 2 weeks earlier. I didn’t do Shore Patrol in Olongapo City till December, 1974 on my first Westpac Cruise aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19. It was in what was called to Jungle then. Shore Patrol Duty there was great, it was a great way to check out what bars & nightclubs you wanted to go to and didn’t want to go to on Liberty later either the next night or some other night that you didn’t have duty. Olongapo City, Angeles City, Cebu City which I have never been to and in Manila which is my favorite for Navy Liberty was a place for a bachelor and/or divorced man to be in. My very best tour of duty I ever had was at SRF Subic Bay, the Navy should have just left me there.

  175. Stephen vanskike says:

    Anybody remember a small place called Ding’s. Circa 75/76,

    • Charles Abbott says:

      How about Swanky’s

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        I remember Swanky’s on Rizal Avenue, I did Shore Patrol and went in there a few times on Shore Patrol Duty and doing Shore Patrol Duty there you were able to check out which place you wanted to go to on Liberty the next night and even where you wanted to eat out at as well.

      • Charles Abbott says:

        That was one of the 1st clubs we went into, the Valentine’s Club, Sierra Club just to mention a few in 1975

      • Donny Uherek says:

        Swanky’s was my favorite club. Got to know the band, and did some major partying with them. 73 Cruise USS Coral Sea.. Great Memories!

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        I remember the valentines club well. We would normally go to the e club in Subic to get a steak, stop at the Rufadora bar drink beer and hang out with my other helo shipmates and then off to the Valentines club, D cave etc. 2 Westpacs their 74-75/76-77

      • Charles says:

        I was there both cruises on the USS Enterprise. I love the Philippines so much I married a Filipina

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        One time in 75 we had to ferry VIP’s in our helos(HS-2) to Angeles City, etc. We left off 2 helos and I was one of the lucky 12 guys stay back for support. Man I couldn’t believe how dead Olongapo was without all the ships in. Funnest 3 weeks on beach det in my life

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Dennis you were one of the lucky ones to have been on beach diet. I wished I would have had Beach diet when I was on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19. I would have stayed with my late wife who was my girl friend then. Those were great times if you were a bachelor then or had just finished going through a divorce and ready to move on in life.

  176. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    The Valentine Club was one of my hangouts during the end of my firstWestpac Cruise. It became DeMarks pizza when I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay in late 1978. On my second Westpac Cruise it was a family oriented Filipino restaurant in 1985.

    • Dennis Marzen says:

      I also remember a club called the tiger lady It was on a side street and you had to walk upstairs. The upstairs club above the rufa dora was cool also. The best imitation of Janis Joplin I ever heard. For a kid that had just turned 18 what an experience. I also remember the bands and beer on the pier when we we came in at Cubi Point on the Big”E” I would love to go back just for one day

  177. Jim Mount says:

    After 35 years I have decided to pick up the game of bowling once again, bought a new ball and bag and joined a men’s league this past Fall. It has been a lot of fun, guys from their 20’s to well into this 80’s. Guess at 72 I am once of the senior members. There are at least two members who were in the service at the time I was ( 71-75 ) in and also have experiences from Subic Bay and Olongapo. Made me want to go back into this blog and read more of the experiences of those who were there. As in so many things in life, unless you were there you have a difficult time telling others about it. As a young man in my 20’s and single it was truly a place of great fun and adventure. Just remember going across the bridge into town and the excitement of the sights and sounds and smells. I will try and remember the clubs I frequented: The Catwalk, Paulines, The 12th of Never, Gold Nuggent, The 3rd Eye to name a few. I still remember a few of the ladies I met and often wondered what happened to them. Lots of San Miguel, Mojo, and dancing, mostly coming back to the Kitty Hawk but occasionally staying over. How can we forget the “monkey meat” on a stick, ;luckily I never got sick. I once bought a large painting of two Chinese type junks that I still have displayed in my house that only cost me a few pesos. I am fortunate in that I began a journal during my first Westpac tour and still continue it today so I can look back and read my postings and the memories come back as if they were yesterday. Times goes by and memories are what make up who we are.I will never forget my days in Subic Bay and I am proud to have served my country. God bless all of you who have posted on this blog.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Good that you decided to take up bowling again. I used to do it a lot myself. Everytime when I bowled I would many times make strikes is there were Filipina women also bowling, I had a form of competition that kept me on my toes. My late wife & I bowled a few times at least. We were going to do it regularly, but we didn’t.

  178. RealTruth says:

    Forged by the Sea. Nothing like a bunch of bar girls and sailors forging regrettable memories.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Real Truth my youngest brother who was never in the military & his ex wife forged regrettable memories when they got married, my ex sister in law never worked in a bar, they lived in the same town nearly all their lives. My youngest brother went 5rough a very nasty & bitter divorce which he won his case. My youngest brothers ex mother in law is a professional home wrecker & gold digger. His ex mother in law destroyed on purpose 4 marriages, 3 engagements and she worked for DuPont.

  179. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    Bar girls & sailors aren’t the only ones who are and/or have forged regrettable memories. Millions upon millions of people have forged regrettable memories world wide.

  180. RealTruth says:

    I’m sure there are a lot of stories like that, but this site is about the Navy and Olongapo/Subic so I’m keeping the topic on that subject. I have been to Subic twice and never had a regrettable experience. It seems like most of the commentators here are celebrating not having their wives find out about their actions or trying to make Adult Disneyland (as Dennis calls it) seem innocent when there are really a lot of destructive things happening.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Real Truth very true there. Subic Bay/Olongapo City back when I was in the Navy was for he bachelor sailors,bachelor marines, divorced sailor & marines & in many cases for the widowers which among active duty Navy & Marine Corps as well as Air Force in Angeles City was & is very few if any. Angeles City is wilder than Olongapo ever was. Olongapo City was also for the sailors & marines whose wives are from the Philippines.

  181. scott spencer says:

    It just wasn’t Subic. It was the whole military (Navy for me) experience that was so memorable. I think most of it was because we were young and can never go back to the way it was. No amount of money can buy it back. Nothing in my life has compared to it. Very few from my high school class went in the military. It was the 1970’s for me, right after Vietnam, and the service was not the thing to do. College was no option then because of money so I went in for the soon to be gone GI bill. Best decision I ever made really and I salute all of you who served no matter which branch.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      I agree with you Scott Spencer. The service was not the thing to do in many college towns during the 1970’s. I was on Shore Duty in Hawaii where the majority of high school graduates join the military in the Honolulu area and they appreciate the military. Very true no amount of money can bring back my very first Westpac Cruise of1974-1975. I met my late wife of 31 years on 1/16/1975 when I was on duty-Shore Patrol. She was the love of my life, we had 3 children during our marriage. The Navy should have just left me there in the Philippines.

  182. Jim Mount says:

    Back in the late 60’s I was in college and had a deferment . I was in that “fish bowl” lottery and I unfortunately had a low number so I would have been drafted, my college roommate who had some medical issues had a number in the high 300’s. Life is full of luck and uncertainty. I graduated from college but since there were only so many slots for OCS I decided to become an enlisted man in the Navy., did my Basic Training in cold Chicago and got sent to Supply School, when it was time for orders the Navy Chief told me I was going to “God’s Country” to which I said, “where is that ?” and it turned out to be NAS Whidbey Island working for VA-52 an A-6 Intruder squadron. Yes it was “God’s Country”, but that is for another day as this is a blog about Olongapo and Subic Bay..

    VA-52 deployed on the Kitty Hawk for a Westpac Cruise in 1971, a long time ago but what I remember about seeing the Phillipines as we pulled into port was the beauty of the shoreline, which I grew to love over time. First time in Olongapo was sort of mind bogging with the sights and smells, crossing the bridge with the kids jumping into the river for coins,, Then I was in town with people hawking everything imaginable, I remember girls handing out of windows asking if we wanted “short time”. I grew to savor the San Miguel beer, the friendly people in the stores and restaurants and the clubs with music, music, music.I loved it all especially dancing to the music and of course the girls. After awhile you got to know some of them really well , sometime I would pay the bar fine and go out to other clubs or out to eat or back to their homes. I often wonder what became of some of them.

    It was a time when I was single so it was just an amazing place to spend Liberty. I would love to go back but life now has changed as I have gotten older .. I have lived a great life so far but still think of those very very special times. I grew up as we all did. Unless you were there it can never truly be explained.. Probably the memories are more special because we were young and had so much life yet to live. Now 72, I have been blessed with good health so maybe there will be a trip back in the future ?

    God bless you all for your Service, I know as time passes I am proud to be a Vet.

    • darwinlesterserrano says:

      Hi guys, Anyone here stationed in philippines,Olongapo City in Naval base..Im looking for a guys name sure about his last name but his name is “JAMES” and he is a merchant marine back in the days and he station in Olongapo city and he met a girl name Concepcion “Connie” as a cashier bar name is “Hole in the Wall” back in the days around 1984-1985 not sure but around the year.. the person Im looking for is a merchant marine and he have a rank and he station in different ship like usns spica,mississipi,pavilion something like that and they supply oils.. Can anyone give me information or maybe know this person can please kindly message me up I’ve been searching him for whole my life.(P.S he is African American)  I’m his SON that left behind in philippines. Thanks

      Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Jim Mount I just read your comment. I’m very sure that you read many of my comments that I have posted. With the many comments we former Navy & Marine Corps Veterans that have been in the Philippines many times along with some Air Force even some Army Veterans are enough to have an entire shelf in a library. I met my late wife of 31 years there. We didn’t get married till after I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay a few months. We had 3 children during our marriage. Our oldest son he graduated third in his high school class from Morse High School in San Diego, very fluent in 3 languages, works a great paying DOD job at Aviano AFB in Italy, our youngest son lives in Bremerton and work in Seattle, takes the ferry across Puget Sound to & from work, just loves it there. Our daughter is buried in Ivy Lawn Cemetary in Ventura,CA. I have a grandson that is in Foster care, my youngest son, niece,nephew in law in Bremerton are trying to get him out of Liberal Vermont where my ex son in law who is retired Air Force that mentally never took off the Air Force uniform has lost 7 jobs because of his attitude. I’m retired after 40 years of government service, recently got out of the Loser City Tucson area, now living in Arizona City which is next door to Casa Grande & I-8 which I drive home to the San Diego area for visits. My late wife isentombed in San Fernando Mission Cemetary in Los Angeles.

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      I read your comment on your time in the Philippines. I know you read many of mine if you did. I met my late wife of 31 years there in the Philippines, we had 3 children during our 31 years of marriage. The Philippines was the very first country outside the United States & Canada that I got to see. Mytour of Duty there was just way too short for me. The Philippines you were stationed in & was stationed in were different, but yet the same at the same time.

    • Frederick H Smith Jr says:

      Hi Jim, I’m also 72 since 25 June 2019. My name is Frederick Smith. I live in Palmer, MA. I also went to Great Lakes on 13 April 1965. My best friend Thomas Mancuso was stationed as an Navy airdale E8 at Whidbey Island. I was stationed at San Miguel, Philippines from January 1966 to July 1968. I frequented Olongapo pretty much on every liberty that I had.

      • Jim Mount says:

        Hi Frederick: thanks fir sharing your story of yourself and your friend who was stationed at Whidbey Island. The Pacific northwest is a beautiful place, always wanted to go back for a visit but never have as of yet. I began my Diary in 1971 when on a Westpac cruise on the Kitty Hawk. Just realized last year while visiting Indianapolis, Indiana that a pilot on board the Kitty Hawk on that ’71 cruise was shot down , captured became a POW, later released at the end of the war and became the Governor Of Indiana …..I saw his picture and wondered if I had ever met him while serving on the ship ?
        Olongapo for those of us who were there was some of the best times we could imagine. The sights , the sounds, music blasting, great Phillipino bands, the girls, the dancing, San Miguel, Monkey meat on the way back to the ship….you had to be there to understand what it was all about. I remember as we left the Philippines for the last time on my 2nd Westpac cruise and watching the land fade into the distance I actually felt sad for knowing I was not coming back and leaving some friends I had made. It was created memories that are with me to this day.
        Don’t know where Palmer, Ma is but we have family in Boston.

    • Dennis Marzen says:

      I was stationed with HS-2 aboard the Enterprise and made 2 Wespacs 74-75/76-77. Was also on beach det for one month in Cubi Pt. Loved the people, the food, beer and the bands. I hanged out mostly at the Valentines club and Rufadora. The bar above the Rufadora had a singer that did the best impersonation of Janis Joplin I have ever heard. Another bar we went once in awhile off a side street was the tiger lady an upstairs club. Who can forget the squadron and ship parties at Grande Island. When I flew out of Angeles getting out of the Navy in March of 77-I remember thinking I’ll never see this place again. Fast forward 2004-2005 I was their as an LSCM working with the Seabees in an annual military operation called Balacataan. We stayed in a motel in Manilla, things hadn’t changed much. Subic and Olongapo had a lot of neat resorts. sign of the times.

    • Jim Jones says:

      I am now living back here and believe me it is not the same. the base has been turned over and Americans gone since 1992, almost 30 years ago. Hard to find any kind of bar in Olongapo except a few that cater to Koreans. I understand there are some bars on the old base since it is now a large commercial hub, like a separate more modern town. There is a small number of bars and hotels in Barrio Baretto maybe 30 or so, but not the same. So keep your memories. Doubt of many will open back up since this lockdown of COVID19. TAll bars and hotels have been closed for 3 months. Most won’t survive,(with same owners) as it could be months before they open if ever. Same with Angeles City. The restrictions are crazy. As a senior citizen, anyone over 60 and those under 21 are quarantined to stay in their house, except to buy food, if you live alone, or for medical. Then you have to jump through hoops to get a quarantine paper pass and travel paper pass to travel. Anyone can ask you for you to show the pass. No pass no service. They have just started opening up for the people within the towns for the rest of the population.

  183. BOB CT2 San Miguel says:

    BOB..CT2 San Miguel…Its been said many times here in one way or another, but of course it comes down to this…No matter who describes OLONGAPO, unless you we”re there and saw it, and tasted it, and experienced it, you will never understand what it was like….I was there in the early 60-s, and I understand what these guys are saying…, An experience to last a lifetime, and for the most part the Philippine people are good people…

  184. Frederick H Smith Jr says:

    Hi Bob, wow… I just went through all of the posts on this site. There’s a lot. I’ll now tell other Navy buddies about this site. Just today I received two books in the mail that I ordered on-line. They’re about Olongapo. You can do a search for that via Google. Just today I was telling a nephew about Olongapo, as he never has heard of it. I was an RM3 at San Miguel from January 1966 to July 1968, so we wouldn’t have met each other. I believe the CT’s had a different barracks than the Radiomen. I was at one barracks when I first arrived, but later it got overcrowded, so they made some Quonset Huts for us. I remember the Nipa Hut on base overlooking the South China Sea and watching the sunset at the beach. But The Crossroads and Olongapo were the places to go. I lost my cherry at the RRB Club at The Crossroads when I was 18. Every sailor that experienced Olongapo will never forget it unless they get dementia or Alzheimer’s.

  185. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    Very son it will be 2020 & the 45th anniversary of when my late wife & I met on 1/16/1975 in Olongapo City. When we met we didn’t know that we would marry each other. Sure enough later in 1975 that I had met the love of my life. When I got stationed at SRF Subic Bay, I submitted my request to get married. The entire process took only 4 month for everything. Being stationed at Subic Bay was the biggest factor why the process was fast.

  186. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    This is my first comment for 2020 on Liberty Call Olongapo City. 11 days ago on January 16,2020 was the 45th. Anniversary of when my late wife & met in Olongapo City. I had Shore Patrol Duty when we met. At that time we didn’t know that a little over 4 years later we would marry each other. I knew as early as August 5, 1969 I read the Philadelphia Bulletin about a widower that announced his engagement to a Filipina woman he met in 1959, there was a photo of him, the woman he later married & her parents, he petitioned all three of the. To Philadelphia. I read that article several times, I knew then that one day I would meet a Filipina woman and that I was going to marry a Filipina woman, Sure enough, it did happen, I have no regrets of having married my late wife at all. If I had to live it all over again, I would do it again.

  187. gmgafprhovet says:

    Recently read “Olongapo Liberty” by Rob Leininger. It is a novel based on his experiences in P.I. while on the USS Longbeach. He really ‘gets it’.
    Very well written w/several good sub-plots. He actually UNDERSTANDS the girls and the relationships that some of us formed. Highly reccommended!

  188. BOB says:

    Well this is not my first reply, but after reading some of the comments I had to jump in…I was at San Miguel as a CT from just about all of 1960 and 1961….every reply I read here just brings backs the memories more vividly…A young mans dream duty, in a beautiful country…I only wish now I had done more whatever

  189. Leah Dudgeon says:

    I always get nostalgic when I read about the US bases in Olongapo. My aunt use to work in the bases and one summer she invited me to spend a few days with her. She was able to get a permit for me to enter the bases through one of the servicemen. What i remember most, and still very vividly after 40 years, is the change- scenery, landscape, and smell- as you enter the bases past the gates. The other side of the gate was the colorful hodgepodge of humanity called Filipino and past the gates was, to my 15 year old eyes, what America must look like. Clean, lined with trees, smells clean, there were traffic rules, and houses and buildings looked like those I’ve read in my books. I remember eating Baskin -Robbin and steak and salad with thousand island for the first time. That three days at the bases was enough for me to decide that someday, I want to go and live in America. I did it. Now living in California, I always tell my children, never underestimate the power of a girl’s dream.

    • gmgafprhovet says:

      ” Never underestimate the power of a young girls dream.” I knew many of those girls who achieved their dream. I am in touch with some of them to this day.
      It is hard for anyone to describe the power and incredible energy of that place called Olongapo . . .

  190. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    Leah I just read your comment on your base experience 40 years ago. In a few days it will be 45 years that my first Westpaccruise ended. My late wife she enjoyed Baskin Robbins ice cream in chocolate chip & mint chocolate chip ice cream as well as steak, salad with thousand island dressing as well. My late wife was & still is the true love of my life. We had 3 children, our late daughter was born in the hospital at Cubi Point on 11/3/1980. My grandson is a lot like my late wife & I.

    • Leah Dudgeon says:

      Christopher, how funny that your late wife’s Bakin Robbins and thousand island experience were the same as mine! You’re blessed that you met the love of your life. A lot of people live and die without knowing true love. I met mine, too. Here in California where I now reside.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Leah I’m very glad that ikalawa are very happy with you asawa, I mix Tagalog words with my English. I also magluto(cook) Filipino food, I have my nuhuli daughters Filipino cookbook. She was tri lingual, spoke English, Tagalog, Spanish & was learning how to speak Italian, she was an Air Force dependent wife when sh died in Italy, victim of domestic violence which the Air Force turned a blind eye to. My sons are tri lingual also. The Philippines is very dear & very close to my heart where it’s still there.

      • Leah Dudgeon says:

        Im so sorry to hear about your daughter. I am very familiar with domestic violence. I was a counselor in the Philippines for women in crisis.

    • Leah Dudgeon says:

      I am writing an article in my blog about my husband’s buddy (David Gawlik) in Michigan who was also stationed in the Philippines. This is how I found this blog. ( I will reference/hyperlink this blog in my article.)

      First time I met David, I was floored by how well he speaks Tagalog and his love for Filipino food. Just like most of the stories shared in this thread, he was married to a Filipina (they eventually divorced) but he still talks so longingly about the Philippines. I was curious about that. Until I read this thread and realized that his experience and nostalgia are not very uncommon.

  191. BOB CT2 San Miguel, PI says:

    Leah Dudgeon ….Many young ladies from the PI eventually came to the US….How did you get to the states ???

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Very true there, my late mother who was first generation U.S. born of Norwegian ancestry told my brothers & I that when were were growing up. My late father also told us that don’t ever underestimate the power of a woman, a young girls dreams, which are very true.

    • Leah Dudgeon says:

      Hi BOB, I was recruited by insurance companies and I was on a J1 visa. It was my version of mid-life crisis when I left the Philippines and a thriving career. I had to honor the dream of the “young girl” in me. And then I met the love of my life here! now that’s another story… My full story at:

  192. […] lot of good memories of the Philippines. He was with the US Navy and was stationed for 4 years in Subic Bay. David married a Filipina and named his only daughter, Filipina. His current American wife […]

  193. BOB says:

    Leah….Thank you for taking the time to let me know exactly how you got to the states, and of course I did click the link you sent…YES the Philippines is a lovely country, and the people of the Philippines are all that you said they are…I spent 1 1/2 yrs at San Miguel, and loved everyday….Glad your so happy, and I loved your line “We are grateful, warm, kind and gentle.” I have met some Philippine families in our church her on Long Island, and without exception they are a joy, especially when I tell them I have been to the Philippines…BOB CT2 San Miguel 1959-61

  194. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    For those of us Veterans that had been in the Philippines when we were in the Navy, Marine Corps & Air Force whether we were on Liberty there in Olongapo City, Manila, Cebu City or Angeles City, we remember those colorful Jeepneys. Mattel which makes Hot Wheels cars, the famous Barbie dolls has in its Hot Wheels line up a vehicle valley Road Bandit which is a Jeepney. You can buy it where Hot Wheels are sold. I bough a total of10 for a dollar each. I sent 2 of the. To a Filipina lady in Park City, Illinois that I’ve been communicating with for almost 3 years. She will be surprised when she get them. The other 8 I have on display, I haven’t opened them up yet. The display Jeepneys are yellow which is the color of the Magsaysay Drive/Rizal Anvenue rout in Olongapo City. I bought them for nostalgia sake.

    • Jim Jones says:

      I just bought a real one, have it stored in my garage in TX. since I have already moved back to the Philippines. and you forgot to list Cavite City, where Sangley point was an American Navy base, as well as ComStaSanMiguel, in San Antonio, Zambales. lol, Was stationed at both places back in the 60’s. Almost forgot, the transmitter site at Capas, Tarlac, Camp John Hay in Baguio, and Wallace AFB at Poro Point LaUnion.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Thanks Jim, I forgot about the other bases, my late wife of 31 years was from Cavite City. Sa glen Point is not only a Philippine Navy base, it’s also home of the Philippine Air Force Academy at the same time. There was also Nichols AFB in Pasay City & Macton AFB on Macton across from Cebu City. I’m glad that you bought a real Jeepney & have it stored in your garage in Texas. A few of my former USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 shipmates & myself wanted to buy Jeepneys & ship them back stateside.

      • Jim Jones says:

        Yeah even I forgot about Nichols as it had already been returned to Philippine hands before I arrived in 65. But we did still maintain communication links by microwave from Sangley to Nichols that had some circuits to facilities in Manila like JUSMAG. The rest of the circuits were actually telephone lines that carried the phone traffic from the base and all the long distance lines from Cavite to Manila PLDT. Same with Mactan AB. It had been sort of a reserve airport for emergency use for B52’s, and then in 1961 they started a build up for mainly the Cargo planes to take some of the traffic away from Clark. There was Camp ODonnell. How could I forget that. I worked as a contractor there. The first contract that went to Ford Aerospace was to just take over the communication duties. Then due to failure of another large defense contractor that I won’t name, the contract was terminated and was given to us. Ford soon sold that to Loral Corp. and we tlook operational control over running the entire Crow Valley Bombing Range in Capas Tarlac. I worked on that range from ’87 unti, ’91 when Mt. Pinatubo blew its top. Best job I ever had. We shut down operations only 2 days before it blew. I then moved/evacuated up to Poro Point where Wallace AB was. It only stayed open for another month or two before it was closed down. It has been a life long experience living somewhere in the Philippines during decades of the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and a couple years of the 90’s. Then started coming back 2014,15,16 for about 4 months each year, then moved totally in 17 and only go back to the states for a month or so each year. Of course this COVID19 has screwed everything up. The Philippines has had the toughest quarantine of any country in Asia and probably the world. I have been in quarantine (same as house arrest) for 89 days now.. I’m 73 and I know I don’t have much time left, and this not being able to get out and go is physically also taking its toll on me. No end in site for those of us over 60. The rest of the population is getting back to normal, but the gov:t here won’t even talk about any plans to allow us out of our houses. Of course foreigners will be allowed to travel to leave the country, but may not be able to come back for maybe years. So it is a hard decision to make when planes start flying again in and out of the country. In the mean time, I sit and wait to be released from house arrest so I can continue to enjoy the rest of my life here in the Philippines.  

  195. Jim Jones says:

    Also, there may be a much larger presence of Navy ships back in Subic. Seems the USA and Australia got together on a joint venture and bought the ship yard the Koreans had (went bankrupt) in Subic. They are supposed to have it open in a year. The Chinese was interested it getting it and the Philippine gov’t didn’t want that. So seems they relaxed their stance and were happy to agree to the US/Aussie take over. Got around base issues by making it a commercial business that also caters to US Navy ships. The President here also withdrew his cancellation of the Visiting Forces Agreement. Seems he is feeling the pressure of the Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, and may require a little protection from Big Brother. Just read about it a few days ago.

    • As much of a prick as the Philippine president seems to be, I feel it would behoove them to have some more U.S. and Aussie presence there because of what the Chinese are trying to do in the South China Sea.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        It would be great to have an increased U.S./Australian presence in the South China Sea there. There needs to be an increase in the Navy’s Pacific Fleet which has always been undermanned while the Atlantic Fleet has always been overmanned, I have a newphew in law that is a LT stationed aboard one of our Pacific fleet subs that is homeported in Bangor, WA, he said that the Navy needs to build up its Pacific Fleet, he was stationed on an Atlantic Fleet sub out ofGroton,CT and when he did cruises to he Med & North Atlantic, he was getting all kinds of Liberty time, but in the Pacific fleet all he gets for Liberty is Pearl Harbor & Guam..Like me he also has served in the Atlantic & Pacific fleets.The Pacific is much better than the Atlantic fleet.

      • Jim Jones says:

        I agree. China is using the carrot and stick approach over so many countries all over the world. They give them money, then loan them money, then push them to give them all kinds of concessions. They start major infrastructure then threaten to shut it down if they want something more. In the Philippines it is obvious especially in the gambling industry. they are just using that to launder money. they also have thousands of Chinese working in these industries. But the President is also pro Chinese, so never kn ow which way he will go on things. He is trying to play both ends against the middle, a dangerous game. I think he is beginning to realize the mistake and now want Big Brother (USA) to come back and protect him, even though he is doing it against his personal preference.

  196. gmgafprhovet says:

    For J. Jones: Thanx for your up-date on the shipyard!
    Where are you residing in P.I.?

    • Jim Jones says:

      Right now I am living in a small town (pop. 60k) about 30 klm north of Olongapo, name Castillejos. Its about halfway between Olongapo and San Antonio where NavComStaPhil was at. I did a couple tours there back in the 60’s and 70’s .

  197. gmgafprhovet says:

    I know the area. Castillejos was the DZ for the Cubi Pt. Parachute Club. I have a t-shirt w/the parachute club logo on the front, and a “Welcome to Castillejos DZ” design on the back . . . (of my design) The picture prominently features the barbed wire fence that I landed on on one jump. I also dated an Olongapo blue shirt security gaurd (Lydia Donatos). She was from a town between Castillejos and San Antonio (I’ll have to look at the map to get the name). She took me home with her for part of the Christmas holiday. Some of the guys here might remember Lydia: Stout dark skinned girl w/short strailt hair and a chipped front tooth (that oddly gave her character. . ). This was ’74-78.
    A good site for RP military current events check out “ Retired Analyst”. He is def wired-in. Hope to see you “back home” in P.I. someday.

    • Jim Jones says:

      The town was probably San Narcisco. The population has mushroomed between San Antonio and Olongapo. I used to blow through on my Honda CB750k2 in less than 30 min. Now it can take an hour from Castillejos and probably 1 1/2 from San Antonio. Population here is over 60k now. Was probably less than 6k back in those days. This COVID crap is driving me crazy. as a senior over 60, I am quarantined to my house, have been for over 90 days now. International flights are still discontinued except for Filipino citizens, and a couple a month sweeper flights to get foreigners out. If you leave, no idea when I would ever get back. No visas fore foreigners except those that are returning with Filipina spouse or other exemption like diplomat. There is talk about slowly opening it up, but on a country by country basis depending on that countries active covid rate. So USA will be last on the list. Estimates say could be 3 years or after a vaccine is available. But info is fluid, so don’t really know anything from day to day.

  198. gmgafprhovet says:

    GORDON AVE, ’72-79, D’Country Inn:
    Do any of you squadron airdales remember a “wild-child” by the name of NATY CALIXTRO? She was a hard-shooting pool player and a two fisted drinker if ever there was one (also known to indulge in any other pharmacutical that was available). If you remember her or any of the girls there let me know. I am still in touch w/Naty (she has been state-side since 1980). She remembers those days fondly, and would like to get in touch w/people she knew from that most special and exciting time in her life.

    Dann Bennett

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      I remember the D Country Inn there on Gordon Avenue, there used to be a blue Mitsubishi Jeepney type vehicle that used to take some of the women who worked at the Barrio Barrett/Subic location of D Country Inn. The lady you kept in touch with through the years misses the people she got to know during her younger years there in the 1970’s. I used to ride the Gordon Avenue/14th. Street Jeepney route which is the red route. I lived on 14th. Street at 35B at MBC apartments. Like Naty there I wonder about a few of the women I got to know when I was stationed at SRF Subic Bay. Being that I’m a widower I’m communicating with a Filipina who is in Park City, IL, I’m trying to get her to make a visit to Arizona City. We’re 4 years apart, very good Filipina lady. She like me wants to return to the Philippines.

  199. […] of good memories of the Philippines. He was with the US Navy and was stationed for 4 years in Subic Bay. David married a Filipina and named his only daughter, Filipina. His current American wife […]

  200. Richard McDonald says:

    As an 18 year-old sailor in Olongapo I became a man thanks to a beautiful filipina. She was pleased I selected her out of the multitude of willing girls

    • Christopher O’Rourke says:

      Richard McDonald you were very fortunate enough to have visited Olongapo City when you were 18 & you choosing a beautiful Filipina there over the others. I wished I would have been there in 1973 instead of the Mediterranean. The Westpac libertys in the 1970’s of Olongapo City, Manila, Cebu City for those who went there, Pattaya Beach, Thailand as well as Keelung,Taiwan & the Australian ports are much better than the very costly French ports, Greece outside of summer.

  201. T H says:

    Truxtun DLGN-35 QM 70-71, Olongapo scared this city boy to death, LOL

    • It certainly was a culture shock to most all of us!

      • Charles Abbott says:

        Yes it was but i loved it. I was there many times in 1975 & 1976 on the USS Enterprise CVAN-65. If we could only turn back time i’d do it all again. Thanks for the memories…

      • Dennis Marzen says:

        I made 2 Westpac’s aboard the big E in 1974 and 1976 stationed with HS-2. I was 18 the first time I set foot in Olongapo-it was pouring rain, so me and a couple of other guys went into the first country western bar we came too. Oh how wild!!! Didn’t really get to see Olongapo until the next day when we left the ship about noon to go exploring. It was really sticky and humid and the San Miguel beer went down like water. Fun times!!! Even to this day trying to explain Olongapo to veterans that weren’t their is impossible. I know they don’t believe it

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        I know just what you mean Dennis Marzen, when we told fellow veterans who have never been on Westpac cruises in the Navy, because they were either stationed on the East Coast, or have never been stationed in Europe or outside the United States. I to,d a few sailors on 10/30/1978 in the Disbursing Office at the Philadelphia Navy Base waiting to get paid, I was on leave and had my orders for SRF Subic Bay with me. When I told them about the cheap low rents of Olongapo City, some didn’t believe me, but they wished they were going there to see for themselves. A neighbor of mine who went to the Enterprize in early 1975 told me in Norfolk in March of 1974 about the Philippines, I had to see for myself. He was right, it was the very best Liberty, Olongapo City, Manila & Pattaya Beach, Thailand which is the European male tourists Olongapo City.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        My very first Liberty in Olongapo City & Subic City was on Tuesday, November 26,1974. It was my very first Westpac Cruise for me, I did two Mediterranean & two Carribean cruises on my first ship which was out of Norfolk, VA. When I was getting ready to go out the base on Liberty, I thought I was in Central City, Colorado at first till I had seen the Jeepneys, other sailors, marines on liberty. It was a great experience for me, Olongapo City & Manila were my most favorite Liberty ports. Westpac cruises back then were much better than the Mediterranean cruises. I was stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 then. If there was a real Fantasy Island in real life like the old television show of that name, my fantasy would be to be in my early twenties again on liberty in Olongapo City & Manila.

  202. Christopher O’Rourke says:

    After my very first Liberty in Olongapo City and more Olongapo zcity Liberty on my very first Westpac cruise aboard the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 a few of my shipmate had the Stevie Wonder cassette tape, even 8 track tape as well, on those cassette tapes & 8 track tapes I heard the song Golden lady where Stevie Wonder sang Golden lady, golden lady I like to go back, everytime I listened to it when the ship wasen’t in Subic Bay or Manila, it made me want to go back to Olongapo City. I had met my late wife of 31 years on 1/16/1975 when I was on Shore Patrol duty in Olongapo City, that was my third time in Subic Bay that first Westpac cruise, we didn’t get married till after I got stationed there. My late wife & I during our 31 years of marriage had 3 children, we heard snide, nasty remarks where people said that marriage will last only 5 years-those critics which are everywhere, well when my wife passed away on 3/6/2010 in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson,AZ, where were those critics at? The answer-they were NOWHERE TO BE FOUND, that’s where they were. My late wife was, is & always will be the love of my life. I speak to a good Filipina lady whose husband dumped her for a younger woman after 34 years of marriage, and I wished my late wife & I would have known them, because I would have got on her ex husbands case, especially since I’m a widower. Someday day I will meet this lady and from there who knows what will happen.

    • Jim Valk says:

      My heart goes out to you, to some extent I’ve had a similar experience.

      I was only in the PI for 2 months, May-June 1971 on TAD to NAVCOMSTA Phil (San Miguel) about 45 minutes north of Subic by Victory Liner. I was a CT. Got down to Po 2 or 3 times, not long enough for any relationships.

      My home base was in Taiwan on an intel gathering station run by the Air Force. ( ) I met this beautiful Chinese lady the second day of my tour in Feb ’71. The day I returned to Taiwan from the Philippines I ran in to her again, took her to a movie. We’ve been together now 49 years.

      She was born in Shanghai during the Chinese Civil war. She and her mom and dad were the only family members to get out, literally on the last ship to escape Shanghai which was under siege by the communists in 1949.

      The Navy put me through the gauntlet when I told them I was going to marry her in Feb ’72. I had a top secret crypto clearance and since she was born in China the Navy tried to split us up.

      They gave me orders to go back to Subic to hook up with the USS Mauna Kea AE-22. Fortunately when my clearance was pulled I had been temporarily assigned to PN work in the Navy HSA Personnel office in Taipei. The officer in charge appreciated the work I was doing so he got my orders canceled and I finished up my enlistment in Taipei.

      During the request to get married phase I had to see a bunch of people including the base Chaplin who told me this marriage would never last. They made my future wife see similar people including someone in ONI who tried to sour her on what it would be like for her in the USA and insinuated that she shouldn’t trust me. Some friends tried to talk me out of it, my family didn’t want it. And she’s received her unfair share of nasty comments for almost 50 years, the last one just a week ago.

      If you haven’t already, take a look at . You have to set up an account to use it, but there’s many WestPac sailor members and a large PI group.

      Again, my heart goes out to you man, I don’t know what I’d do without my wife. I wish you fair winds and following seas.

      • Christopher O’Rourke says:

        Jim, I just read you comments. You & your wife have beaten those critics 50 years. The critics have their negative attitude that if they don’t say their snide nasty vicious remarks about people the world for them will end & collapse. The critics love hatred, being unhappy,want everyone to be bitter, unhappy &miserable. Those kind are everywhere.

      • gmgafprhovet says:

        Thanks for posting this. I know many saliors w/Asian wives. Most of them are still married and happy. I had many relationships in Asia over the years. Many of those girls are better people than I will ever be . . . But they all helped to make me a better human being.

      • darwinlesterserrano says:

        Is anyone known name J. BRADLEY he is a merchant marine and station in olongapo city naval base 

        Kind regards


      • Chuck Smith says:

        Jim: I was a CTR stationed at NAVCOMSTAPHIL Oct.’70 – Feb ’72. Most of that time I was TAD (3X). Only made liberty to Olongapo a few times. At San Miguel we had The Crossroads which was a much smaller version. A few bars, jeepneys, same food. Was to go to Vietnam but awoke me one morning and sent me on my way to Cubi Point to take a Greyhound C-2 and deck landing on USS Ticonderoga by that afternoon. Down to Indonesia through Straits of Java for Indonesian war games. Mission to break the code. Aussies were having a hard go at it. Took our little CT crew 5 weeks. Floated past Krakatoa. I have pics but cannot post on this thread. Ports. Hong Kong and Subic. Dropped me off in Yokosuka, Japan to catch flight back to PI. While there I went looking for CT friend stationed at Kamiseya. Took train to