Category Archives: Jung’s Window

Stories, essays, works of fact and fiction written from the perspective of a seasoned traveler and expat living in Asia. Learn the profane from the most mundane.

How Stupid am I

So I am sitting here in Dumaguete enjoying the life and having a rum and coke looking out over the ocean and I get a text. It is from one of my regulars before in Angeles City.

She lets me know that she has left the bar and is now in Manila working in a mall as a saleslady and is very sad and she claims to miss me so much.

u know I think of u all d time. I want to see u

(This seems to be an epidemic as I now know 3 of my regulars which have moved out of AC. Not a good trend. Even the hot cherry girl I spent my last night with before moving to Dumaguete has now moved out of AC and is in Manila, trying to get work as a sales lady… Just what is up with that? Maybe an article or post for another time.)

Anyway, this girl is saying she would love to come see me but she has problems and needs to support her family. (Gee, where have we all heard that before? Do we need a rocket scientist to see where this conversation is going?)

She says that she will come see me if I help support her. (big shock, ha?)

I ask her how much.

She replies, “How much you give me?

(I know this is like you are reading through some past event in your life and are experiencing deja vue all over again, but bear with me, this is going somewhere…)

I tell her I will not play this game and ask her how stupid does she think I am to which she replies that she knows I am smart and she will stop playing games.

Yeah right…

So I go about it another way. I change the topic and start to sound really interested in her life and what she’s doing now. We are texting for about an hour and I come around to the trap. (By the way, I just had to add the word “texting” to Microsoft Word. Shouldn’t that be in the dictionary by now?)

I ask her about her job and how she likes it and how many days a week she works. She is excited I am so into her and she replies that she works 5 days a week and likes it but it is 12 hours a day and she needs to take 2 jeepneys and a trike to get to work.

Wow, that is far away…” I text back, “How much does that cost?

(Ok, once again I am foreshadowing, but don’t ruin it for those that don’t see where this is going yet.)

She tells me she is spending like 50 to 60 pesos a day in transportation.

That last text was too matter-of-factly and I back off and change the topic again and start to talk about if she was here what we would be doing. Swimming and of course all those sexual deviant things she knows I love. She is laughing away and having a good time and I steer the conversation back around.

So, 12 hours you are working? Do you at least get a lunch break?

She explains to me that they get food from a vendor out in the street and eat in the store. She says that it is a pretty good cantina. I ask her if it is better than Sombrero which was the place she used to eat when she worked at Blue Nile Executive.

This little hint of home makes her happy and she says without prodding that it is not as good as there and for 30 pesos she gets about half of what she got there.

Bingo, just what I needed.

So armed with all the info I need I go in for the kill. I send her a text about how nice it was to be chatting with her and I’d really like her to come to Dumaguete to see me.

She is happy and asks again what the support would be. I ask her, I will match whatever she is giving her parents right now.

There is a long pause here…

Finally she texts back. This is an exact copy of her text:

Every week I give family my money 5.ooo

So, you give in one month 20,000 pesos to your family?

Yes

I then text her back, “So, you are working 5 days a week and spend let’s say on average 55 pesos a day on transportation and 30 pesos on food. And give your family 5,000 pesos a week. That means at your sales lady job they pay you 1085 pesos a day.

What?” she comes back after another long pause…

Well, that’s assuming on the other two days you don’t go anywhere or eat or spend any money at all, and I guess you have free text for life. You need to make 1085 pesos everyday to give your family 5000 pesos a week.

… two days later and I’m still waiting for her reply.

Peace,

Life Begins at Forty

They say life begins at forty.

Or is it life begins at conception?

Or maybe life begins sometime when you can actually ask these questions…

“At fifteen I set my heart on learning; at thirty I took my stand; at forty I came to be free from doubts…” Confucius.

I don’t mean to sound too deep or introspective but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Isn’t 40 when you are supposed to have some sort of assessment on your life trying to weigh all that has gone on in your life up to that point and judge whether you’re on the right track?

At least that’s the intellectual feeling I have.

Forty seems like such a mark. Like such a milestone.

I can remember back when I was in the Army in my early 20s and meeting people of that age and wondering what knowledge or wisdom they possessed which I would learn up to that age.

I mean, those people seemed like real adults. After all, back then I was just pretending to be grown up. Sure I was in the Army and had visited far away places and even put life on the line all in the name of freedom and democracy.

Those are adult things, right?

But I didn’t feel grown up back then. I felt like I was just coasting along looking for a purpose and direction. I was just a kid in uniform doing the things that people did when they were sure they knew everything and were in control of their lives.

The problem is I still feel like that.

Is this normal?

I don’t really feel like I have some sort of epiphany that I can now pontificate to my younger friends telling them that THIS is the secret of life and how they should act and behave.

So I began asking these questions of myself and wondering where I was in life and where I was going.

I have two camps of friends.

In one camp I have a bunch of great guys who are younger than me and have quite a bit more energy and tease me about growing old. They throw barbs at me about being a grandfather now or needing a nurse to take care of my tired body. These guys look at me and think now there is some sort of generation gap of thought.

In the other camp are some great guys who laugh at all of my questions on life and purpose as they consider forty to be nothing and I can see that they themselves are asking these same questions at fifty.

So I guess I just need to relax and realize that the only true measure of one’s life is self satisfaction. And no I don’t mean some sort of masturbation metaphor. I mean simply being happy with yourself and who you are as well as where you are.

And right now I am that. I am right where I want to be and doing what I want to do. So instead of quoting Confucius maybe I should be quoting another famous philosopher.

“People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin,
When I say that I’m o.k. they look at me kind of strange,
Surely your not happy now you no longer play the game,

People say I’m lazy dreaming my life away,
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me,
When I tell that I’m doing Fine watching shadows on the wall,
Don’t you miss the big time boy you’re no longer on the ball?

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go,

People asking questions lost in confusion,
Well I tell them there’s no problem,
Only solutions,
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind,
I tell them there’s no hurry…
I’m just sitting here doing time.

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.” – John Lennon

… Yeah, that fits.

Peace,

Holy Week in Angeles City

(NOTE: Warning: Highly sarcastic and quite possibly blasphemous. Proceed at your own risk…)

Last night the chanting started…

All around town the holy blood marathon booths have been set up and the holier-than-thou vagabond poets have started serenading the entire city with their monotone chanting.

No, not passages from the Bible, although some actually do take a break and occasionally delve into the scripture, this droning is a sort of non-sense rhyming couplets portraying a very skewed version of what this holiest of weeks in the Catholic calendar is all about.

The chanting is almost Buddhist or Muslim like. It is an endless 5 to 6 day religious recital repeated over and over again more like a mantra from the Tao or Koran than any prayer or celebration of the supposed resurrection of Jesus Christ.

You half expect to find at the end of these aural rainbows of tortuous sound prayer rugs laid out pointing towards the east with the Kim Wilde’s of religious chants bowing and bowing as they ‘get closer to God’ while belting out Pontius Pilot’s top ten.

It is ironic that about a week ago the neighbors came over to my house and complained that a very vocal young lady who was extremely into an afternoon session was disturbing them and confusing their child. However, don’t anybody dare complain that the 24 hours a day mumbling on static filled microphones of this Dogmatic Dr. Seuss could in anyway offend those that do not share in the national faith of Pampanga.

Something strange happens to this city around this time of year.

Pampanga above anywhere else in the World turns into some sort of spiritual showcase of the macabre and the bizarre. This small little part of Luzon has been featured on Ripley’s Believe it or Not, CNN, National Geographic, as well as many other news reports and coverage of the fanatic population which seems to follow a different doctrine than anywhere else in the Catholic community.

Pope John Paul II himself when he visited the Philippines in 1981 condemned the archaic and often times barbaric rituals practiced by these confused parishioners, yet as if waving a spiritual middle finger towards the Vatican these people in Pampanga continue to practice their Lemming like sacramental burdens of faith.

The climax of this week is on Good Friday when all the Lemmings run up a hill and crucify each other in the name of the Lord. But before that happens there is the joyous sight of young men with black hoods on marching around the street spraying their blood all over the streets.

This parade sponsor seemingly Marquis de Sade would be proud to see the razor tipped ropes being slapped into young men’s backs self flagellating their way around town going from blood marathon booth to booth with supporters, many children, running behind them laughing and singing away as if they were following a circus parade and not this horrific procession of self mutilation.

Meanwhile the ‘hard core’ Catholic Lemmings all drag their large wooden crosses up a hill and in front of hundreds of dumb struck on-lookers have nails pounded through their hands and imitate Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.

Well, almost…

In reality they aren’t even up on a cross long enough to sing a full chorus of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and are taken down before they do enough damage to get an early ticket punch to their supposed guaranteed entry to Heaven. After all, staying up there for a long time would be crazy, wouldn’t it?

The thing that truly amazes me beyond stupefaction is the blind devotion to all these ‘sacramental’ rituals. Celebrities and religious iconic figures come on TV and tell the people not to eat meat for a week, and people don’t eat meat.

This weird practice even invaded our home today.

At dinner one of the girls refused to eat some chicken and I asked her why. The conversation went something like this: (Yes I know I was being sarcastic and probably quite unfair, but hell, that’s me…)

Me: Why aren’t you eating meat?

Her: I’m sacrificing.

Me: Sacrificing what?

Her: To show my sympathy.

Me: Sympathy to whom?

Her: For the people?

Me: What people?

Her: The people on TV. To just do my part.

Me: Your part… Un huh… Ummmm….Do you think not eating meat will bring you closer to God?

Her: Of course not. I just want to help and do my part.

Me: Your part? Your part for what?

Her: My part. To sympathize with the people. And to show I am sorry.

Me: Sorry? Ok wait. You are not eating chicken to sympathize with the TV people and say sorry…

Her: Yeah

Me: Sorry to whom?

Her: Sorry to God for my sins.

Me: So eating chicken is a sin?

Her: No.

Me: Then why not eat it?

Her: Because they said so on TV.

Me: So you want to imitate the people on TV.

Her: Yes

Me: So you envy them and want to be like them.

Her: Yeah, I guess.

Me: So ‘envy’ one of the 7 deadly sins is the reason you are not eating chicken?

Her: And because I sacrifice.

Me: Ok, I think I get it now. *rolls eyes*

The point of all of it was just to show that she really didn’t know why she was doing something, it was just ‘what you do’ here. Like so many other things in the Philippines, they just follow the rules because that’s how it’s always been done.

How many times do you hear, “Sorry sir, that’s just company policy…” and some inane and frustrating rule is followed for no other reason than saving the status quo.

Another discussion for another time, but for now I am praying for a brown out so I could possibly get a little break from the chanters and possibly take a nap.

Peace,

Predictive Listening

So I sat down at the ol’ computer and started to think what I wanted to write about for Jung’s Window and nothing deep sprang to mind. I realize I’ve been a little too deep the last few Windows so I didn’t want to go down that rabbit hole again so I started to run a few thoughts through my mind.

When I write I always picture words and phrases going through my head and usually a path is lit as the ideas come into focus. Some great ideas are forgotten while other horrid thinking somehow makes it to the page. So the question came up again on what should I put to digital and no single idea was any stronger than the other so I figured I would just ramble on a bit and hopefully something will spark some debate or thought. Maybe all I will do this time around is get back to the nonsense I have become so famous for spitting out.

Sitting around a table in Zapata’s eating lunch while talking about various topics and bouncing around ideas, Netguard and I gave the waitress our order and the inevitable question was asked that seems to be taught to every waitress in some secret school somewhere. “Is that together or separate?

ARRRRGGGG!!!

Why is that 99% of the waitresses can’t seem to bring the right order unless told 3 to 4 times but they all want to know if the bill is together or separate? I usually let that western sarcastic wit get the better of me and I ask some trite rhetorical question like, “Ok, is he my barfine or am I his? Which one of us do you think should pay?” Or I try to appeal to the greed in all of us and ask something like, “Well, do you want one tip or two?

About that time after I see the proverbial deer in the headlights look of a very confused Filipina I let her off the hook and tell her, “Separate, please…

What is this? Why do they always do this?

Part of it is I’m sure the hierarchal nature of this society in so much that somehow the lowly waitress feels somehow subservient to the cashier and doesn’t want to admit to making a mistake and getting this what should be a simple task wrong. Another part I feel is just the pure laziness factor in which of course it is a hell of a lot simpler to write one receipt than two.

Inevitably no matter what you say it will still be wrong and you need an act of congress to get the final bill separated. Then of course one is frustrated at that point and you let that affect your tip anyway. So instead of a win/win she got a lose/lose. She not only lost money but pissed off the cashier which she was trying to avoid in the first place!

Things would be so much simpler if they would just listen to the customer which brings me to the thought I think this rambling’s about. It is a thing my friend Drummer and I call “Predictive Listening” and is the root cause of so many problems over here.

On cell phones there is a feature you can turn on when texting which is called predictive text. This turns on a dictionary and the software will actually predict the word you are attempting to type as you press the phone keypad. This works in a way that each key of the cell actually stands for 3 and sometimes 4 letters and instead of hitting numerous keys it guesses for example you want an ‘S’ and not an ‘R‘ and so you wouldn’t have to press the 7 key four times and only have to press it once. Once you learn to use this you can text lightening fast.

But when this is applied to listening you have nothing but problems. When a Filipina asks a question they already are thinking in their heads what you are going to say and even if your reply is totally opposite they will more than likely act on what they predicted you were going to say.

Predictive listening is so prevalent in this society that if you don’t recognize this you will never be able to turn the tables and battle it. If you ignore it you will forever be frustrated by miscommunication and have the feeling that all Filipinas are ignorant and just pissing you off by design and not simply in possession of bad communication skills.

Speaking is much different than talking. Anyone can talk. Even deaf people can talk with their hands or write with a pencil or on a computer. Talking is easy. The real skill is speaking so that your message is understood. Speaking requires one recognize all filters one might encounter in-between your message and the receiver. Predictive Listening is the greatest single filter you will encounter when speaking to a Filipina.

So the next time you are having trouble with a Filipina stop and think a minute and realize that if you keep talking you will only compound the problem while if you start to speak to her and use tools like repetition and simplicity you will be better off getting your original intention across.

Predictive Listening; just one more fun part of being in the Philippines!

Peace,

Humankind and the Mirrored Lifesource – more from the Maize of Life


Ok, here we go again… More deep thoughts and something that should only be read after you have looked at least 10,000 pictures of hot Filipinas. But after the last article I wrote for Jung’s Window, it occurred to me the story was only half done. What needs to be completed is an understanding between Eastern thought and Western thought.

What is interesting about this is that here in the Philippines there is a combination of the two and to help understand the population here you must yourself understand both sides as well.

However, a word of warning: These ramblings are totally of my own making (based on a lot of reading, experiences, plagiarism, etcetera) and not to be taken as Gospel. This is after all, just one man’s opinion…

In “The Ballad of East and West” the poet Rudyard Kipling wrote, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” At first reading, this seems to epitomize the differences between the occidental world and the oriental one: two separate paradigms, two separate belief systems, two distinctly different ways of life. One paradigm is based on faith; the other on science. One concerned with the inner contemplation; the other expanding into the universe. One solidly founded in the past, the other looking forward into the future. However, regardless of the observable differences, the basic concepts of religion are found in both these models.

Each paradigm seeks to resolve the eternal questions of where we came from and where we are going. Scholars in each model endeavor to clearly interpret the relationship of humans to a life source and then delineate the steps that build and strengthen that relationship. So then, the scholars’ goal is to define religion as Eastern and Western systems characterize it. This is the objective of every denominational theology. The relationship between man and a life source is constantly being explored, one through meditation and contemplation and the other through testing and experimentation. Each denomination pronounces itself correct and finds fault in the other. The question put before us is to compare the two approaches on the platform of time. That is, how has social progress effected this search for truth? Or, for that matter, has it?

Though science endeavors to replace religion, many find that this discipline and its resultant data are unable to supplant their faith. For example, cults of the Virgin Mary are alive and well. Late in 1995, a statue of the Virgin Mary was reported as “weeping tears of blood”. Despite DNA analysis that proved the blood to be from a man, thousands of people were drawn to a small village in Italy. Clearly, historical analysis and unembellished scientific data did not convince these people.

Science has the unique ability to dismiss the sacred even when found in the profane. Doctors, when testing new drugs, for example, use placebos to balance the results of these tests. A placebo is a dummy treatment, where scientists give flour or sugar capsules to their subjects instead of the drugs being tested. However, on average, thirty-five percent of patients in any given study respond to the placebo as if it were the drug, on various conditions ranging from arthritis to ulcer treatments to the shrinking of tumors. Stacy Davids, a clinical psychiatrist in her paper “How did Jesus heal?” writes, “…the placebo effect, once the anchor of treatment in premodern societies, has become a contaminant to be blocked out in Western, scientific Random Clinical Trials.” Thus even when the sacred reveals itself, it is dismissed away as a known-element in a statistical analysis; in other words, an aberration or anomaly of the profane.

I consider myself akin to the apostle Thomas. I have always been the type to say, “show me, then I will believe”. However, there have been times that the sacred manifests itself and the experience transcends any profane existence.

In 1987 during my globetrotting for the Army, I traveled through Israel. I took all the tours but viewed the spiritualness of the place through critical occidental eyes. For example, nowhere does the Bible state the exact location of Jesus’ baptism. Yet, on one outing outside Jerusalem, the tour guide insisted that the place we were being taken was the place. As my scientific-based self watched people dive into the river as older women wept on the shore, I slowly took off my shoes and gently stepped into the river. My occidental upbringing restrained me from venturing beyond ankle-deep water. However, a feeling of humbleness progressively filled me, which barely prepared me for the next day when I was to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the purported location where the Romans crucified Jesus of Nazareth.

On walking up to the church, I was thoroughly unimpressed with the exterior appearance. What I expected to be a grand structure in the mold of Notre Dame looked more like a place for an art show rather than the hub of the Christian religious wheel. Outside on the streets, there were booths selling everything from T-shirts to key-chains plus a multitude of sideshows. From singers to jugglers to street preachers proclaiming their version of the truth, I felt as if I were in San Francisco down by the wharf and not at the very nucleus of Christian faith.

Inside it was crowded. People were pushing and shoving in a very “non-Christian” manner. To my right, a group of teenagers knocked over parishioners bent down in prayer. Our tour guide stuck to a rigid schedule, stating he could not afford us to pause and internalize the artwork and other sculptures. He briskly herded us towards an extended line of people. After a prolonged forward-shuffle, we abruptly started to ascend a wooden staircase. As I assisted a grandmotherly woman up the last step, a large man in front of me finished his perusal and moved out of the way. And there it was: the focus of our search. The rock.

Through the smoke from candles and low light from the stained glass windows, I stared at the exact place on which Jesus of Nazareth was reportedly crucified. No longer the mountain once known as Golgotha, it is now a rock about fourteen feet high.

Mark Twain visited the Holy Land in 1867 and used his time in the area now known as Israel for the location of his book “The Innocents Abroad”. This book caused an uproar in America, as it seemed to dismiss the sacred and introduce the profane even in this most holy place. However, Twain wrote of this experience, “With all its claptrap sideshows and unseemly impostures of every kind, it is still grand, reverend, venerable – for a god died here.” And as I kneeled down and placed my hand deep inside the hole of the rock where the cross was held in place, the sacred was introduced to me. No explanations or testing would ever explain away this feeling. I had direct experience of the sacred and it is impossible to ever doubt it again.

So in our search of religion, we must speak to those who already have faith. We search not for the existence of the sacred but for the reasons of this conviction. The occidental AD religious systems endeavor to define words such as beauty, goodness, truth, freedom, right and wrong through Biblical scripture. Where the very definition of oriental BC religions, like Tao for example, is in itself vague. If anyone should ask an eastern monk to define the Tao, he would of course be unable to do so.

Does this mean the notion of Tao itself is vague and imprecise? I guess it does. However no more so than the concepts of beauty, truth, goodness and faith. Confucius is quoted as saying of the Tao “…it is formless and vague. It is hidden, mysterious and dark. It is the source of all things.” In other words, the Tao is supposed to be vague. This drives the occidental mind frantic! To the scientist, the only way to understand something is to test it and examine it in an attempt to define it. To the oriental this quest for wisdom is a way of life or a set of attitudes rather than a list of rules or commandments in which to follow.

The philosopher Wittgenstien once said, “Don’t look for the meaning; look for the use!” This is the key to religion. Though I would go one step further and say that the meaning is the use. Where the AD occidental religion is mapped out and set in stone, the BC oriental religion is an evolving thought process. In the Eastern view, some find nirvana in dance; others in meditation. Some find enlightenment through prayer; others in the playing of a musical instrument.

When two people listen to a song, one a trained musician and the other extremely unmusical, they hear two different themes. The unmusical one would frankly admit, “I hear the notes, but I don’t hear the melody”. The musician would assure the other that in addition to the individual notes, he hears something much more important – The melody! Where this melody is elucidates the basic difference between the oriental BC religions and the occidental AD theologies. The notes of that song – the actual sound waves – are heard alike by the musician and non-musician and are universally acknowledged to be real in the purely physical sense. But what about the melody itself?

Is the melody real or does it exist only in the mind or imagination of the trained musician? The musician does not need faith that there is a melody, nor does he have to accept the existence of the melody on some scriptural authority; for he obviously has a direct experience of the melody itself. And once that melody is heard, it is impossible to ever doubt it again.

Therefore, in much the same manner, the Tao is nameless. This is much different than saying the Tao has no name. The latter statement immediately awakens an analytical Western sense, whereas the first statement “The Tao is nameless” tends rather to put the listener into a peaceful Eastern slumber. “The Tao has no name” seems more precise, and therefore testable. The other phrase is more vague, and insofar as it is vague, it allows all sorts of pleasant and interesting interpretations.

Where the scientific occidental is critical of vague statements, the oriental is critical of precise statements. For only precise statements can be labeled “right” or “wrong”. Occidental AD religions are precise and BC oriental religions use vague terms that encourage each searcher to find their own “truth”. This allows for so much clarity.

Language only confuses the matter. Even in the universal Greek, mistakes are made. To preach to a growing number of gentiles in the second and third century, scholars attempted to translate parts of the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Many biblical purists of the time thought that this attempt was a serious mistake because the very words of God would be mutilated and mangled. They believed that God himself spoke Hebrew to the prophets. They postulated that the words that God spoke could not be translated.

Regardless of the bitter opposition, the endeavor to translate the Bible proceeded. The Septuagint was created. Named Septuagint or “Seventy” after the number of translators used in order to show that God was directing the work himself and that the authors were not merely translators but prophets. Thus, they reasoned, the faithful could rest assured that Hebrew wisdom, Hebrew concepts and Hebrew philosophy would survive the journey to Greek intact. However, in fact, it didn’t.

The conservatives who fought the translation were correct. By the translation of certain words, the Hebrew Bible was reflecting Platonism and even Aristotelian logic. The best example of this is in the translation of Exodus 3:14. God appears in a burning bush before Moses to tell him he will lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses wants to know by what authority he will speak to the people: “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you’, and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God replies not with an ordinary name, but with the first person singular of the Hebrew verb “to be”: Ehyeh. “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

In the translated Septuagint, ehyeh becomes oein – Being. The two seem nearly the same – merely different forms of the same verb – but they are worlds apart. “I AM” is The Creator; “Being” is a concept. When it makes the transition from Semitic, the word registers with the Greek-speaking world in an already familiar way. The thundering God of the Israelites, a God of anger and mercy, a feeling God, becomes the divine, supremely cool one of Greek Stoic Philosophy. With one stroke of the pen, the Hebrew Bible found Plato. As Paula Fredriksen wrote in “From Jesus to Christ”, “Greek concepts, in brief, did not need to be read into Scripture. They were already there, by virtue of the new language of the text.” Possibly, it was the first tangible example of the concepts of faith and piety changing through language and over time: an AD view of a BC text.

Even the very words of Jesus can be interpreted differently over time. Some believe that the meaning behind the duty of turning the other cheek as found in Matthew 5:38-39 (and surprisingly in the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls in the Manual of Discipline 10:17-18) as though it is an invitation to be a ‘doormat for Jesus’. This is far from the original intent. When it is reported that Jesus said, “Don’t resist Evil” this translates from the Greek word antistenai, which referred to the resistance movement. If someone hits you on your right cheek, they will have done it with the back of their hand – as though you were beneath their contempt. To offer up the other cheek was an attempt to get them to strike you a second time with the open palm. Thus signifying that by doing so they admit that you are a fellow human being, an equal, and someone who is entitled to respect.

Time will always change the assessment of anything. Acting like a circus mirror; depending on how and from what angle you look into it, your reflection differs.

Philosophy instructors are quite fond of holding up a mirror and asking what we see in it. What I now realize from experience is that religion is that mirror. The very act of looking into the mirror changes the state of that mirror; the mirror reflects you, the mirror reflects me.

How disturbing it would be if you were to look into a mirror and not see it reflect your image but merely remain in its original state. Chuang-Tzu is reported as saying, “The mind of the Sage is like a mirror which reflects the entire universe”. How appropriate. Not only is religion a mirror, but we ourselves are also mirrors. I find this to be an even more accurate statement. The most hostile people I know tell me how hostile I am, the nicest people I know tell me how nice I am, honest people trust me and tell me how genuine and sincere I am, hypocritical and malicious people tell me that I am basically insincere and a big hypocrite, and so on.

Why is this? There are two possible explanations. One possibility is that I am that mirror. I simply reflect into people’s faces their own souls. Or perhaps I am more like a chameleon and simply reflect those characteristics that I see in others. For example, I certainly feel more hostile in the presence of a hostile person, more selfish in the presence of a selfish person, more generous in the presence of a generous person, etc. A brilliant person will certainly stimulate me to my fullest brilliance. However, this model breaks down under certain cases. For example, a stupid person does not stupefy me into a state of stupidity or a dishonest person does not make me feel any less honest. So this is only a partial truth. Some would say that this “mirror theory” is all hogwash. They would argue that only in my own arrogance does this apply. In other words, I am so egocentric, that my judgments of other people may be conditioned primarily by their judgments of me. For example, when someone tells me how hostile I am, I would think, “What a hostile thing to say! He must be a hostile person”, or when told how smart I am, “How brilliant of him to know what I am really like,” or when told how stupid, “How stupid of him to not recognize my intelligence”. Many people I know would suggest that this hypothesis arises out of my own egocentricity. But all these people in question are themselves extremely egocentric.

So the question should not be the AD occidental theorem “ Is the “God who is” the God we think is” Which by its very nature begs for a definition of God and thus an interpretation of religion. The proper statement should be “the God in heaven is exactly as you picture him”. The oriental BC mirror of religion reflects this.

So two methods to one end. At the heart of Christianity, which defines much of western civilization, and Buddhism, a driving force in eastern culture, lies the same basic wisdom. Both Jesus and Buddha focused on the individual, emphasizing that the inner character is more vital than the outer image. Buddhist teaching forms the basis of a religion without a god. Jesus claimed he was the very Son of God. To Christians, Buddhism is a pagan religion; and for Buddhists, Christianity is a web, full of false hopes and dangerous myths.

But in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, a recognized master of peace known as the Coconut Monk built a monastery on a delta island. At one end of this island, on top of a hill, stands an enormous fifty-foot tall statue of a standing Buddha. Next to Buddha stands an equally tall statue of Jesus.

They stand next to each other, arms around each other’s shoulders, smiling. I believe that if Buddha and Jesus were to meet today that it would be like this; arm in arm. Neither would try to convert the other – not because they would regard such an effort as hopeless, but because they would recognize one another as mirrors of the essence of religion.

So we must once again look to the famous Kipling poem and continue reading. We must look to the last stanza, which is routinely ignored by occidental readers. Kipling writes,

There is neither East nor West, border, nor breed, nor birth.

When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the Earth!

The Maize of Life

Got into a pretty heated and long discussion though PMs and e-mails about my definition of religion and the morality of being here in Angeles and stuff like that. I was so enthralled by it and it reminded me of some of my college studies I thought I would share some of these thoughts.

This column will probably be way too deep for most and if you’re not in the mood for some very philosophical debate I encourage you to leave this page and go to one of our galleries and not worry about this drivel.

However if you want a laugh or some serious stuff to read, venture forth my brothers…

It has long been known that Alice in Wonderland is a giant metaphore for religion. You can find this relationship even in popular movies like Dogma and The Matrix.

While most refer to the rabbit hole or the tale of the Walrus and the Charpenter I choose for this column to look at the trial scene itself and compare there.

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll wrote of a trail in which the Knave of Hearts was on trial for some petty crime. “The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts And took them quite away!” All evidence during his trial sounded futile, as the pre-drawn conclusion seemed to be death. The Queen of Hearts, every moment she got, shouted out gleefully “Off with his head!

The White Rabbit, acting as prosecutor, was responsible for the damning evidence, which started to pile up against the nervous Knave. While Alice watched and tried to make sense of the trial, the macabre scene continued undaunted.

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.

Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

That is what I will try to do here to explain my viewpoints. To actually go to the beginnings of my faith, my sense of the word religion, and try to explain it in a few words.

What relation, if any, does the literal meaning of the word “religion” have to us? The choice for us is to simply stand dumbfounded, like Alice, or try and make sense of our lives and become our own best character witnesses.

The comparison of this fictional scene to defining religion seems appropriate. For is not the relationship between God and us a trial, with its opening arguments, numerous character witnesses, a prosecutor, and the final closing statements?

We’re taught by religious scholars that those who excel at “re-reading, re-choosing, and re-binding” to that relationship, have the better chance of a favorable verdict from whatever jury might pass judgement on them.

Continuing to act as prosecutor against the Knave, the White Rabbit read what appeared to be an obscure irrelevant poem. Afterward, the King triumphantly exclaimed to the court. “That’s the most important piece of evidence we’ve heard yet,” said the King, rubbing his hands: “so now let the jury—

If any of them can explain it,” said Alice “I’ll give him a sixpence. I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it.

The jury all wrote down, on their slates, “She doesn’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it,” but none of them attempted to explain the poem.

If there’s no meaning in it,” said the King, “that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any.

This scene in a child’s book explains the nature of my concept of the word religion. To define religion only seems non-sequitor. To try and find significance in my relationship between any Ultimate Source and me lessens the importance of the search and the important evidence gathering, much less the validity of any end trial.

Many religious leaders have searched for some meaning to religion and found what they declare is the meaning. They then insisted that others adopt that same meaning and brought untold misery to those of other beliefs. Bloodshed and torture became common instruments in the enforcement of the leaders’ idea of the correct religion. At all costs, the Christian zealot must convince heathens and atheists that God exists, in an attempt to save their souls. In true reciprocity, at all costs, the atheist works to convince the Christian that the belief in God is but a childish and primitive superstition, doing enormous harm to the cause of true social progress. The two will combat endlessly.

The denotative meaning of religion, “re-read, re-choose, and re-bind”, however, does have a certain draw for me. For instead of waiting for God to descend from on high, as many denominational religions profess He will, I feel I should deliberately create a sense of an Ultimate Source within myself. This “sense” will not come from rational thought processes. It will come from re-choosing to acknowledge my connection to life. It will be strengthened through re-binding myself to this connection through meditation and contemplation. And it will become unbreakable through re-reading and re-studying the holy texts that describe many religious practices. One book alone can never do this, be it the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran.

An observation that is attributed to Thomas Aquinas says, “Timeo hominem unius libri” or “I fear the man of one book.” Centuries ago, Aquinas knew those basing important issues on a single source generate a spectrum of human response that runs from fanaticism to ignorance.

In A History of God, Karen Armstrong writes that the increase in technology has lessened the importance of the link between people and religion. “One of the reasons why religion seems irrelevant today is that many of us no longer have the sense that we are surrounded by the unseen. Our scientific culture educates us to focus our attention on the physical and material world in front of us. This method of looking at the world has achieved great results. One of its consequences, however, is that we have, as it were, edited out the sense of the “spiritual” or the “holy” which pervades the lives of people in more traditional societies at every level and which was once an essential component of our human experience of the world.

Is this misguided editing? Perhaps not if it eliminates the bloodshed and torture that plagued people in earlier centuries and continues to torment them in many parts of the world today, where zealots and idiots use violence to spread their belief systems.

However to completely eradicate and ignore this connection to life and God can become dangerous. As Armstrong goes on to write: “By the beginning of the nineteenth century, atheism was definitely on the agenda. The advances in science and technology were creating a new spirit of autonomy and independence which led some to declare their independence of God. This was the century in which Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud forged philosophies and scientific interpretations of reality which had no place for God.

There is a story that one day in Auschwitz, a group of Jews put God on trial. They charged him with cruelty and betrayal. Like Job, they found no consolation in the usual answers to the problem of evil and suffering in the midst of this current obscenity. They could no longer find any excuse for God, no extenuating circumstances, so they found him guilty and, presumably, worthy of death. The Rabbi pronounced the verdict. Then he looked up and said the trial was over: it was time for the evening prayer.

The original idea for this column came quick. However, the execution came, as always, much slower since there had to be time to distill the books on religion with the writings of Great Teachers and the belief systems instilled over the length of my life. The essence of my definition of religion can be summed up in the debate between the occidental agnostic and the Western positivist.

The occidental agnostic will say, “By simple Aristotelian logic, we know that either God and therefore religion exists or he and it doesn’t, but we do not have confirming evidence one way or the other. Hence our only rational recourse is to suspend judgement on the matter until further evidence becomes available.

Suspending judgement is a feeble approach to solving the question of the existence of some Higher Force. Rather than retreat form the essential question, I liken myself to the Western logical positivist, though perhaps for different reasons. If asked whether or not God and therefore religion exists, the logical positivist declares the question meaningless because the word “God” is not clearly defined.

Now, if the question really has no meaning, then I would be quite happy, since then in a truly Taoist frame of mind I would reply: “If there’s no meaning in it, that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any.

Why Are We Here?

Why the Hell Are We Here?

It’s been a while since I just sat down and wrote something about nothing.

I mean, it’s not like I’ve stopped writing as I have been putting out reviews and working on the site in other capacities. But to just sit down and write something not focused and not about anything, to basically jot down a random stream of unconsciousness which I used to be pretty good at, that’s something that has been missing for a long while.

So here I am, sitting in front of Word staring at a blank page and all of a sudden I started to write. The keys tap tap taping away on my keyboard almost to a hidden beat to hidden song in my head. I hit the back space quite a few times as I don’t like where my head is bringing my fingers. I start to write something and get lost in thought…

And what am I thinking about?

Well, I wish I had the time to get out a clean blank slate and some colored chalk and we could try to map out my thought process, but the point is I find my mind is racing. It is going on 4:30 am now and HBO is on the TV just loud enough to provide some background noise. I have lived over here long enough now that random noise is almost comforting. My daughter turns three this month (man I’m feeling old. How can I have a three year old?) My current ‘girlfriend’ is fast asleep in the bed and the rest of the house is quiet.

I try to concentrate. Focus my thoughts. Just what am I thinking about?

The first thing that comes to mind is an incident that comes to the forefront of consciousness quite often. Usually about the time I am sitting in the dark sweating because we are suffering through yet another brownout and wondering why I choose to stay in this dusty little town.

*NOTE:I find it quite ironic that as I was uploading this column we suffered yet another brown out. God has a very wicked sense of humor and I can’t wait to meet him and discuss these things…*


Drummer and I were walking around on a bar hop (shocker, right?) and found ourselves walking past Pick-Up on Real Street towards the Orchid Inn. We then asked that same question we ask each other a million times a night, “So, where you want to go?” and then stare at each other wondering where would be different.

“ How about Las Vegas” I suggested.

“ Nah, I’m tired of that place.”

“ Yeah, me too…*sigh* Maybe I’ll just go home early and get some sleep.”

About this time we were right in front of Orchid and saw a guy loading his bags into a back of a van. He slowly but deliberately walked towards the front of the van and hugged a girl goodbye and climbed into the passenger side seat. We walked right passed him and saw that look on his face. That disgruntled sad and depressed look of a man about to leave somewhere he didn’t want to. We had seen that look too many times before.. Hell, we had that look back when we were tourists!

“ Hey, how about Las Vegas Club?”

“ Sounds good to me, man. I love that place!”

Thinking of that incident reminded me of a post I wrote a long time ago. Need to go find it, it seems appropriate to post it again…

So why are we here?

How do you define an Expat?

I mean, there is probably no larger group made up of more ethnic groups, more economic backgrounds, varied educational levels, numerous nationalities, wide (and getting wider) age groups, huge cultural differences, tall, short, bald, hairy, blue eyes to green to black, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…

I would wager there is not one identifiable common trait amongst them all to categorize into any definable group. It is a sociologist’s nightmare!

Webster’s defines the Expatriate simply as “to give up residence in one’s homeland.” Although there is more to it than that definitively speaking as it can also mean to be in exile or to give up citizenship of your homeland. While there are certainly foreigners in the Philippines who fall into those to latter categories, I don’t think that label sticks on most of us who choose to live here.

So then just what is it? What makes us an Expat?

It’s not the food…

It’s not the infrastructure…

It’s not the politics…

It’s certainly not the living conditions…

It’s not even the girls…

(Well, maybe it is that a little…)

I believe that the Expat finds here in the Philippines and Angeles City in particular, a community that is comprised of so much variety and diversity, mixed of course with the ever present horde of available Filipinas, thrown in with the lower economic burdens to live a comfortable life, the generally warm weather, and most of all the laid back lifestyle that truly defines the Philippines in the first place.

A line from an Outfield song sums it all up for me, “I only live for today, but I’m one day behind…”

This casual lifestyle where most Expats own an alarm clock but can’t remember the last time they used it, is perfect for a select few type of people. The qualities of which are not selected by where one is from, or how old one is, or what language one speaks, or what color one happens to be. No, the only predisposition one needs to enjoy this life is an appreciation for the small things and not get worked up over a few inconveniences.

An Expat has to learn to make do with what he has. An Expat has to learn to live simply and appreciate things when they happen. An Expat is comfortable where most others would not be. An Expat is a chameleon in a jungle of strangeness.

We all love our HBO but would live here without cable. We all love our homelands but feel at home elsewhere. We all love our families but love our extended families as well. (Many of us building families here abroad as well.) We all love our native cuisine but are satisfied with the food here. We all love fancy cars but find a trike also gets us from here to there.

Some of us are ex-military, some are current military, some of us are retired, some of us are working, some of us are married, some of us are single, some of us party every night, some of us never step foot in a club, some of us are hedonists, some of us are religious.

We all made a choice to live this life regardless of previous background.

It is not for everyone… Hell, it is not for most!

Many people would be driven mad living here. The first cold shower they would take would be the last as they would pack up and leave on the next plane available. The first time their place was broken into they would get the hell out of dodge claiming crime was rampant. The first time they got into a wreck they would sell their motorcycle and head back to their homeland where “everyone knows how to drive!” The first time there was a black out they would go back to where infrastructure was a word that actually meant something…

But the Expatriate remains.

The Expat finds a lifestyle he is comfortable with and chooses to stay in a dusty little town with limited resources and a million things that piss him off daily. For at the end of the day when he looks ahead to tomorrow, he recognizes there is no other place in the world he would rather be.

I am sure many of you are now saying, “Well, that’s all well and good. A lot of romanticizing and colorful speech describing a cowboy attitude works in generalities, but what about you? Why are you an Expat? What made you decide to throw it all away and live away from your homeland?”

Easy question – Hard answer.

I am not a draft dodger or deserter. Indeed, I spent 12 years serving my country in Army Intelligence (don’t bother, I’ve heard all the jokes…) from 1984 to 1996 – moving away from my home town of San Jose California at the tender young age of 18 years and one month. My roots in California ran deep and still do. My whole family lives within a 2 hour’s drive from each other with three sisters all within 30 miles of one another. I had a beautiful studio apartment with a large pool in a great part of town, a good job making 60,000 a year with stock options (Hell, on paper I was a millionaire for a brief moment in time), I had a gorgeous Korean-American girlfriend who had eyes towards marriage, and a nice 1966 ford Mustang sitting in the garage. I had it all…

Or did I?

The rat race was getting to me. The 18 hour days 6 days a week with a meeting on Sunday to plan next week’s activities at my Start-Up didn’t seem as fun anymore. The tech market was crashing and the company was re-organizing…AGAIN. They kept throwing options at me but moving to Tennessee was not my idea of a dream job anymore. My apartment was 950 a month and the landlord was talking of a rent increase as he was looking to retire soon and wanted his tenants to foot the bill. Gasoline at the pumps was creeping over 2 dollars a gallon. Owning the 66 ‘Stang was like paying alimony; every month some money was needed to put into her to keeping her running and not complaining. The girlfriend, although looking Asian had an American attitude, was pushing a little too hard for me to put a gold band on her finger.

It was time for a change. It was time to be where I was happy. This rat was leaving the maze and going straight for the cheese… It was long past time to think outside the box.

A few calls and e-mails and I was employed again overseas, this time in Korea. And with ticket in hand I had it all lined up, a major change in local and back to Asia where I loved. I planned it all out. First a month vacation in the Philippines (where I had ALWAYS felt comfortable) and then I was up to Korea for my new job. My flight to Manila from San Francisco was on September 13th, 2001.

Two days before my flight a few fanatics flew some people into the Pentagon and the Two Towers taking the wind out of my sails and my life’s course was once again changed.

Not to sound to callous as I realize my losing a job because of a governmental hiring freeze and the grounding of all flights is miniscule in tragedy when compared to the massive life lost, but I was upset on many different levels. I had a major decision to make…

I decided to throw caution to the wind and take the vacation anyway. As soon as the airports re-opened I re-booked my flight and I was in Angeles.

I was never happier as I realized I had no ties keeping me anywhere for the first time in my life. One month turned into two and I wondered what it would take for me to just stay. I started to hint around to a friend that I would be willing to stay if something opened up. Just that one small whisper into a friend’s ear had four job offers in front of me. When the dust settled I chose to work as a manager in King of Diamonds as I had an affinity to that club and the Kokomo’s group in general. How different my life would be had I chosen one of the other places!

Anyway, that job led to many other offers as I took to it like a fish to water (I tell everyone that with 12 years in the Army and time spent as a preschool teacher and my fondness to party, I had spent 35 years training for that job) and I thoroughly enjoyed my 10 months at KOD.

Among many groups and independents offering me work, one place that approached me was the Insomnia Group. This was run by two friends of mine and they literally offered me a dream job that I couldn’t refuse. I would work on the computer for most of the day for their Internet company with emphasis on web site development and graphic design (a favorite hobby of mine) with an additional responsibility for promotion and writing (another task I enjoy) materiel to promote not only Insomnia Group but Angeles City in general and then when night came I would open and run Insomnia Night Club for a few hours at night.

How can life get any better?

I did a small stint at Pick-Up Disco, but then fully in Insomnia again and working my two loves. Computers and the club which, contrary to popular belief, does not get old. At least it does not for me. I love last night in Insomnia as much as I loved my first night in King of Diamonds two plus years ago. The Pick-Up was a change but not quite the right fit for me as I feel more comfortable in the go-go bar than I do the disco. Minus the drug use, I’m more of a Jeff Spicoli than a Tony Manero, if you catch the reference.

Three years later in Insomnia it was time for another move. This time to stop working for the man and make a go of it myself. Life is now a little riskier and I feel a little like I did back in the start up days of WebMD, but I’m happier now more than ever.

Bottom line I now live and work exactly where I want. Maybe one day it will grow old but for now I have zero regrets. I love where I am and what I do.

I am happy in Angeles.

I am living the life.

I am an Expat.

Peace,

The Body Shot

After all the dirty tricks, dirty play, dirty laundry, and dirty games played on the Internet and in town this last month, I thought I would take a step back and try to refocus on some of the more important things in life.

Nothing seemed more fitting than to revise something I wrote a while ago and update it for this month’s column. This was originally on my free Geocities site and is still there I assume as I never deleted it and have long since forgotten the root password. However it desperately needed revision and placed somewhere proper to preserve its integrity. For this really is a serious topic and one that every visitor to Angeles City should be aware of.

The body shot!

Right after the Blow Job Shooter, this is probably the most famous (infamous?) shot in town. This fun activity is gaining a lot of popularity and with a little luck my dream will come true and the Body Shot will become a recognized sport in time for the next Olympics and I will captain the Angeles City Team. We WILL take the Gold.

It may be Cuervo Gold, but we’ll get it!

Now we are not talking armature hour here in Angeles. I am sure most have seen in person or in movies the body shot where some girl with ample bosom simply places a shot glass of tequila and places it in her cleavage and then some guy (or girl) simply removes the shot using their mouth and then downs it.

HA! Simpletons!

Here in Angeles City we have raised the bar and made this a truly interactive event and one to be both enjoyed by the participants and viewing audience. So venture forth with me now and discover something new or become awash with memories of times past. Hearken, O gentle readers, to the tales and splendor of the body shot!

Instructions on the Body Shot

Of all the sacred rituals associated with tequila, the Body Shot is the most daring, most fun, most brazen, most resplinded way to drink a shot.

How it started, nobody knows, but you have to respect the first couple willing to do it in public. And we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

The fine art of placing salt on flesh, the licking, the moment of hesitation before the shot is consumed and, of course, everyone’s favorite pastime: the sucking.

No where on the Planet has this art form been raised higher than in Angeles City. The following is given for education of this fine art form and simple instructions that even a Gator could follow.

The “Basic”

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 to 1-1/2 Oz. Tequila

  • 1 Lime wedge or calamansi (a small pygmy type lime) half

  • 1 salt shaker

  • 2 willing participants (Variations covered below)

  • A shot glass

The steps:

  1. Find a partner (preferably human).

  2. Lick a spot on your partner’s body (you decide the spot).

  3. Pour salt on the spot you just licked (don’t worry; it will stick).

  4. Lick the salt off (How long one licks is up to you).

  5. Down the shot (no sipping allowed).

  6. Suck the fruit (usually placed between your partner’s teeth).

Let’s go through the basic Body Shot in more detail as all variations are derived from this:

Get comfortable. Your partner must hold the lime wedge or calamansi half in their mouth with their teeth.

Next, place the shot glass full of Tequila in your partner’s cleavage if a woman, or in the top of their pants if a man. “Hold still!”

Now take the salt shaker in one hand, your partner in the other, and lick their neck or other body part (variations covered below).

Next, dash some salt on the spot where you just licked. Then you remove the salt by licking it off. “Hold still!”

Now you proceed to take the shot glass from your partner’s body using your mouth. (Personal techniques will enhance the effect of the drink.) Hold the glass with your teeth and down the Tequila!

Finally, take the lime wedge or calamansi half from the other’s mouth, (partner should try to hold it in their mouth as long as possible. To induce a tongue wrestling match for the wedge) and squeeze the juice from it while still attached to your “dance” partner.

Swallow!

There you have it! You may repeat the procedure as desired.


VARIATIONS:

Type 1: Girl on Girl (My favorite).

SET UP: Girl one rubs some calamansi or lime juice on girl two’s breast, thigh, stomach, LOWER than the stomach (wink, wink) then sprinkles salt on the juice. She then puts the tart tasting calamansi or lime in girl two’s mouth.

NOTE: If a lower body shot is to be tried, usually a napkin is placed in girl two’s panties/bikini bottoms to prevent the juice and salt from getting into places that would probably sting. This can be fun however licking it out, but better to be done in private parties of two or three I would think.

THE SHOT: Girl one licks the salt and juice from the breast (or wherever the salt was placed), downs the shot of tequila, then kisses girl two to get some calamansi or lime juice to combat the drink’s taste. Depending on the inclination of the girls involved, this can be a short peck to a long drawn out kiss that is guaranteed to arouse even the most stout of individual.

Type 2: Girl on Guy.

SET UP: A girl rubs some calamansi or lime juice on your nipple (or elsewhere depending on how brave you are) and then sprinkles salt on the juice. She then places it in your mouth.

THE SHOT: The girl licks the salt and juice from your nipple (or elsewhere), downs the shot, then finishes with a nice tongue kiss sucking the calamansi or lime juice from your mouth.

Type 3: Girl and Guy on Girl or Guy and Guy on Girl.

SET UP: This was perfected in Cockatoo’s and brought over to Ziggy’s as well. You will need two shots for this one. Girl one has both nipples rubbed and salted with calamansi or lime.

THE SHOT: The two doing the shot first need to decide who is going to get the calamansi or lime from the girl. The other person goes without or does a solo. When I do this variation I like the Girl and Guy on Girl and let the two women kiss. Anyway, the two shooting lick the salt and juice from girl one, down the shot, and then the juice is sucked from the calamansi or lime from girl one who is usually squirming quite heavily by this point.

Where do I go?

Where do you go?

What kind of stupid question is that?

Just kidding…

Of course the right answer is to pack that bag and come to Angeles City. The Body Shot might not be the only reason one would want to come here but it is a great side dish to an already full plate of pleasure awaiting you here. And right now is a great time to hit Angeles City and do the “Body Shot” as there are a ton of attractive willing participants just waiting for you.

The best clubs right now for Body Shots are usually the smaller clubs along Fields or the Perimeter Bars. The right attitude and demeanor is usually all you need to get some young sweet gorgeous Filipina in the mood to participate and the “where” is not so much a problem.

Who do I pick?

Here is the secret to finding a willing participant. ASK!

It’s that simple. Most of the girls that have been in the bar for a while will enjoy letting you perfect this fun sport and if you make a game out of it (get 4 or 6 girls together and tell them that the best team to do a body shot will win 500 pesos or something) and I guarantee you will have a great time. Filipinas are very competition oriented and you will be assured of getting some great viewing pleasure!

If you are having a good time in the club and not going overboard by molesting the girls they will usually flock to you. I have seen Mamasans, female bartenders, dancers, waitresses, door girls, and even cherry girls do the body shot. All depends on the guy and how he is going about his business. Be nice and it will come back to you in spades!

Why drink tequila?

Glad you asked!

A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole is maintained or even improved by the regular culling of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can operate only as fast as the slowest brain cells through which the electrical signals pass. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that while excessive intake of alcohol kills off brain cells, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.

Thus, regular consumption of tequila helps eliminate the weaker cells, constantly making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

The result of this in-depth study verifies and validates the causal link between all-weekend parties and job related performance. It also explains why, after a few short years of leaving a university and getting married, most professionals cannot keep up with the performance of the new graduates.

Only those few that stick to the strict regimen of voracious alcoholic consumption can maintain the intellectual levels that they achieve during their college years.

So, this is a call to arms. Get back into the bars! Slam that shot! Gulp that margarita! Your company and country need you to be at your peak, and you shouldn’t deny yourself the career that you could have. Take life by the bottle and be all that you can be!

Don’t forget to tell all of your friends, acquaintances and co-workers that may be in danger of losing their edge.

What is tequila anyway?

To prove I did more research than any one person should ever have to do to write up a stupid little guide to a Body Shot and once again provide further acknowledgment of my almost obsessive nature to be concise and clear in my writing , here is some boring factual information about tequila. Or “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Tequila But Were To Drunk To Ask.”

If you were to visit Mexico’s western state of Jalisco, you would find fields full of tall, spiky, turquoise plants. These cactus-like agaves provide the raw material from which tequila and its primitive relation pulque are derived.

Pulque is the traditional local beverage. To make it, the flower stalk of the agave is cut to provide the sap on which the pulque is based. The sap is then passed through a bamboo tube into a gourd, and decanted into a wooden barrel to ferment spontaneously overnight. The finished pulque is a milky grayish color, and has an acid, fruity taste.

Though pulque was made before the conquest of Mexico, the Spanish introduced the art of distillation, and called their distilled product vino mescal. Elsewhere in Mexico, this spirit is known simply as mescal, and is often served from what looks like a petrol can.

The more elaborate bottled examples sometimes contain a “worm” – a caterpillar-like bug that bores into the plant. The survival of its body, intact, in the bottle is said to be a sign of the spirit’s high alcohol content, and the consumption of the worm an enhancement of manliness. It is mescal made specifically from the “blue” variety of agave in a denominated region of the Jalisco province, and three bordering states, that is permitted to bear the name TEQUILA.

In the wild, the plant grows to 15ft, and is cross-pollinated by bats. The growers prefer to plant saplings in neat rows, then prune them to control the bug and strengthen the root. One man with a machete can prune 2,000 plants in a day, even though each has about 200 6ft spines, each looking like the blade of a saw.

The plant takes eight to 12 years to mature, at which point its huge root, resembling a pineapple but up to 500lb in weight, is excavated. Tractors and pick-up trucks haul loads of the roots to about 20 distilleries, which make several types of tequila.

The best known producer of tequila is the Cuervo distillery, which claims to have made the first commercial tequila in 1795. Behind the distillery’s Spanish mission facade, a cloistered courtyard, set round a fountain, is home to a caged raven – the Cuervo.

The distillery softens the agave roots for 50-72 hours in steam ovens, minces them in a huge mill, then places the pulp on a sieve and washes out the plant’s complex sugars. the resultant liquid is fermented with a yeast from the spines of the plant, and distilled twice in pot stills similar to those used to make cognac or malt whisky.

Jose Cuervo’s has six well-worn, rocket-shaped stills made of copper and two modern ones of stainless steel. The small independent distillery that makes Torada tequila boasts a 48-year-old mill, but its still are all stainless steel.

Tequilas labeled “100 percent agave” should contain no other fermentable sugars. By law, to be called tequila, 51 percent agave is the minimum but the remainder may be made up from cane or other sugars.

The cheaper, colorless tequilas are matured for only a few weeks. Others may be colored, and softened in palate, with caramel or almond essence. Those labeled Reposado have been matured in oak tanks for up to six months. Those with the appellation Anejo have been kept for at least a year, often two or three and occasionally eight or 10, in oak barrels usually obtained from Kentucky bourbon distillers.

Food – Out of the Frying Pan …..

I am not a huge fan of a lot of different types of food as my pallet is more of simple one. I can be easily classified as a meat and potatoes man though I do love a good Italian, Mexican, or Chinese meal, and of course enjoy many of the American staples. For the most part my rule has always been, “One must be able to recognize what is on one’s plate before eating it.” Good advice… I would write that one down if I were you. This unfortunately rules out most Filipino dishes.Another rule that I live by is, “it should not look like it did when it was alive as it is does served on your plate.” Again, I’ll pause as you take time to jot that down…

One of the results of these rules is that I am not a big seafood fan. Something about having eyeballs and various internal organs to sift through to get to the meat really taxes my appetite. Your meal should not be looking at you when you eat it!

Of course the first thing people who love to eat critters from the water say to me are, “Well, you’ve never tasted shrimp gumbo in New Orleans!” or “Obviously you’ve never had our fresh Boston Crab!” or “You could never have tasted fresh off the boat Alaskan Sea Urchins!” or whatever and wherever they feel is the best seafood available.

Trust me on this one, I have. I have been there and tasted that. I come from a family who craves seafood and I have traveled quite a bit in my early years and even more once I joined the Army.

I have caught my own Mahi Mahi after an hour fighting the beast off the back of a fishing boat in Hawaii and then grilled it up on a hibachi on a Maui beach. I have walked through Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and bought fish fresh off the boat then slow cooked it any number of ways over a mesquite barbecue. I have been to four star restaurants in Massachusetts and ordered off of their “Today’s Fresh Catch” menu. I have speared my own Barracuda in the warm waters off of Cancun Mexico then have it prepared by the finest chefs at Club Med. I have sat in the best sushi houses in Tokyo Japan and watched a master prepare a culinary delight the “right” way. But all of these leave that seafood aftertaste in my mouth and frankly I’m
happier with a Whopper and fries from Burger King.

I am not afraid to try new things, it’s just that I know what I like and unfortunately this means that most Filipino dishes are WAY off limits to my finicky taste buds. Oh, don’t think this hasn’t been a source of strife in my life too as the average Filipino loves to eat. And I mean LOVES to eat.
There is no such thing a three square meals in the Philippines. There are numerous small meals strung out along the day like checkpoints in a marathon. It is just impossible to go anywhere with your honey ko and not plan at least one meal or stop at any number of street vendors without buying something for her to snack on. The problem being that most of these things look like something removed from a mouse trap, slapped on a stick, and then grilled to a blackened color that any Cajun would be proud of.

Food is just EVERYWHERE. From street vendors to fast food joints to full fledge restaurants to people walking along the highway in between cars trying to get you to buy some freeze dried cow lips or some other popular snack food, there is no escaping it. Food is so ingrained into the Filipino culture that to think of one without the other is unfathomable.

Try this out sometime: The next time you are in a club and you see all the staff and dancers just standing around in a trance like comatose state, wait for the snack food vendor guy to walk in. Buy about 100 to 200 pesos worth of snack items from him, lay them out on the bar and along the stage, and then offer them to the staff. You’ll be amazed at what happens. What once was a sea of people standing around with no conversation or life in them at all quickly becomes awash with activity and voices. Even the people who aren’t hungry will pick up some pumpkin seeds and start cracking and chatting away. Little groups will form up everywhere with conversations started and gossip soon fills the air. It’s as if the food is a catalyst for speaking and human interaction.

Another variable you must always factor in to your Filipino food model is the ever present common denominator of rice. This seems to be the litmus test whether or not the food you are eating can be classified as an actual meal. If the food your eating contains or has a side dish of rice, it counts as a full meal. It doesn’t matter the size of meal either. It can be one chicken finger and a side of rice or a whole side of cow and rice. They are both an official meal.

I have taken previous girlfriends to lavish Italian or Mexican meals and we have both eaten to the point of being stuffed and needing a fork lift to leave, yet when we return home the first thing she does is eat some rice. She will not be satisfied unless some rice makes its way past her lips. Even the McDonald’s in the Philippines offers rice with most of their combo meals or can be ordered a la carte. When I’m home in the states I can go weeks or months without eating rice yet when in the Philippines I find this entrée with every meal.

Also something to watch out for when dining in the Philippines is the dramatic change of things you thought were safe. The Filipinos have a serious sweet tooth and this effects many of the things you would normally take for granted. The spaghetti is sweet, the ketchup is sweet, the coffee is served sweet, everything is sweet, sweet, sweet.

If you want a good laugh take your buddy to a restaurant and order spaghetti, Filipino style. Casually watch as he sprinkles the parmesan cheese on and try not to give away the punch line to early by staring at him as he twirls his first few strands of noodles around his fork and then pops it into his mouth. When he tastes the sweet sauce and recoils back in shock be sure not to be drinking anything as you may choke from laughter.

This also explains why the average Filipino is gaga for chocolate. A home run with any friend or potential in-law every time is a box of chocolates or candy. They crave the sweet stuff. The sweeter the better. This sweetness factor could explain the Halo Halo….

Ok, I take it back. This one may be hard to explain…

For Halo Halo take some crushed ice, add all sorts of different pieces of fruit and beans (Yes, you read right, beans) then pour some sticky sweet sauce on it, mix it up a little, throw it in a glass, shove a straw and spoon in it, and you have Halo Halo. A Filipino dessert specialty. Well, I guess I was right in the first place. There was no explaining it… I’ll stick to an ice creme sunday any day.

And while on the topic of strange foods…

How about Salagubang? These are beetles. That’s right, beetles! You literally suck on the headless bugs to get all its contents out, or with your thumb and finger, you can squeeze out a handful, insect by insect, on to your plate of rice, drench it with some cooking juice and eat away. This is worse than some of the food I’ve heard about eaten by prisoners in some dank dark wet POW camp!

Not bizarre enough for you?

How about Bagoong? This is a mixture of ginamos (anchovies), alamang (tiny shrimps), and other various ingredients that have been salted, cured and fermented for several weeks. The resulting salty liquid (called patis) is drawn off and used separately as a sauce or condiment. In addition to being served as a condiment, bagoong is used as a flavoring in many dishes. The equivalent of Filipino caviar. I can’t tell you the shock I got when my girlfriend brought in some mango with a side of bagoong. “Yummy”, I thought, “Mango! I love mango! This must be some sweet strawberry sauce or something.” …WRONG!

If I had looked carefully I’m sure there were many of my friends sitting across the table from me who just previously were casually watching me as I dipped a large slice of mango into this salty paste from hell and tried not to give away the punch line staring at me as I bit into this salty concoction recoiling in shock as the taste of shrimp and nuclear waste invaded my mouth. I hope they were at least drinking something as I did this so they would at least choke from laughing at me…

Had enough? Keep going, you say?

I have heard from friends of an even rarer delicacy that is reportedly quite popular up north in the Ilicos region. A lovely dish called “Ilicano Kalderetang Aso” or what we call in the west: DOG!

What makes this dish so special is that they feed the dog with lots and lots of a rice mixture consisting of onions, garlic and salt and pepper. Then when the dog is so bloatedly full, they slaughter it and take out the intestines which are now loaded with the rice. This they then steam or deep fry until I guess the smell knocks out any small rodents who happen to be
nearby and eat it!

MMMmm! Really makes the mouth water, doesn’t it?

Starting to get the picture?

No, not yet?

Then let’s talk about Balut.

I can’t begin to tell you the look of horror and dismay on my face the first time I saw this nifty little item being eaten. Hmmmm, Balut… How do I describe this without losing half of my reading audience? Basically it is a fertilized duck egg. Though those three simple words don’t give this “food” item any justice. And I do use the term “food” lightly.

Reportedly they are an aphrodisiac, but I’m sure this is just a weak marketing ploy by the “Balut Administration Resellers Federation” or BARF for short.

You can buy these little capsules of toxic waste almost anywhere from street vendors who I am told are in league with the Devil. They are served warm and usually with a small packet of salt all wrapped up in a newspaper or brown paper sheet and then shoved into a plastic bag like everything is kosher. They seem to be sold mainly at night as I’m sure most vendors are hoping you wont get a good look at your purchase for fear of seeing just how gross it really is.

Balut is sold in various states of development. The most common and sought after stage is when once cracked open you can see the tiny duck already formed with little feathers, a beak, and all internal organs in place. Many just crack open a small hole at one end of the egg and slurp out the venomous fluid that surrounds the fetus while others enjoy masticating on the end pieces of calcified albumin. The sickly crunch sound of baby Daffy being devoured is just too much for me.

My wife likes to eat balut and then try and kiss me. I love my wife but no judge in America will ever convict me if she tries this in the states.

– Jung

Barhopping Rules

I have been in and out of Asian bars for many many years and have see that
there are a lot of mistakes that newbies make and even some classic traps
that the professionals fall into as well. I by no means profess to be an
expert but think that barhopping for 8 years in Korea starting way back in
1986 and then traveling to the Philippines since 1989 as well as trips to
Thailand, Japan, and Guam I can try to give some helpful advice or literally
a “how to” or “how not to” guide on the barhop. Most of this is common sense
but there are many things one can always look for in most Far Eastern bars.
This is just some friendly advice and not meant to be looked upon as a Bible
or anything.

Anyway, enough of that… Here we go:

Preparation: What to do before actually setting foot into a bar.

This is where the novice really gets into trouble before even venturing into
a club. It is important to know why you are going into a bar in the first
place. This may seem like a stupid question, but your attitude at this point
is very important. Think about it long before the night starts. For example,
some of the questions you should ask yourself are: How much money to bring?
What to wear? And what time to start?

Dress: What to wear on the barhop.

The question of, “What should I wear? Long pants? Slacks? Shorts?” is asked
so often I think many people worry more about their clothes than anything
else. Although the surfer bum may get teased a lot for his dressing skills,
this type of person has a great attitude when it comes to attire. Bottom line
is don’t stress out to much on what to wear. A simple rule is to dress as a
local and don’t stick out more than you have to.

If you walk into a bar looking all jazzy and spiffed up you are basically
saying, “Come here girls, I’m an easy mark. I’m loaded with cash and looking
to be noticed.” This may indeed be your point, but better to blend in and be
the attacker and not the defender.

Simple pants or a pair of shorts and simple t-shirt or polo type of shirt is
best. I wouldn’t wear a lot of jewelry for the same reasons stated above.
Christian religious symbols like a cross or crucifix (without trying to be
sacrilegious) is a good way to make points with girls in the Philippines.
Many, though not Sunday church going girls, are truly looking for a “God
fearing man” and this will be noticed.

Next I need to mention personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is looked upon
highly here, even more so than in the West. A good clean guy has a much
better chance getting what he wants than someone who doesn’t seem to care
about his appearance. I can’t stress this enough. I don’t understand why some
dirty guys wearing ratty clothes and unshaven faces smelling of filth are
surprised when they can’t get the girl of their choice.

First take a long and through shower and make sure you are clean. This is no
joke. Do not take a quick 5 second shower, get in there and scrub, scrub,
scrub! Get clean! I am talking REAL clean! Take the time to wash all those
areas that you normally just skim over. This is a humid country and you need
to take time and care to ensure you are squeaky clean and smelling good. You
wouldn’t believe how sensitive the Filipina nose is.

Next go out to a barber or beauty shop and get a manicure. Even get your
toenails done if you are wearing slippers or thongs. This will only cost
about 100 pesos if you get hands and feet both done, 50 pesos for a manicure
only. Well worth it and it will be noticed.

While you’re there take the time and get a fresh haircut. Trends and fashion
change but good grooming does not. A clean neckline and clean face works
wonders. If you aren’t to attached to your facial hair, shave it. Many
Filipinas won’t admit it but most prefer a clean shaven man as opposed to a
mustache, beard, goatee, or whatever.

Next use some after shave or cologne, gel in the hair if it’s long enough,
brush your teeth, use some mouth wash and you are ready to go.

These may seem like conflicting ideas, to be clean and smell good but dressed
casually, but they are not. As is with many things in the Philippines, a good
mix of two ideas is the best approach.

Money: How much to bring with you.

Another factor to consider before heading out is the cash situation. Know
what you are going out for. If female companionship is your goal you may want
to bring some extra money. Don’t get caught short on funds and end up taking
home something you didn’t really want because you are running short on drink
money. I usually go out with about 100 dollars US. This allows for some play
margin. There is nothing wrong with coming home with change. Also, if the
worst happens and you get pick pocketed (has never happened to me but it does
happen) you’re not out too much money. I would also suggest a money clip or
small wallet kept in the front pocket as opposed to the back pocket to avoid
any trouble. It is not like Angeles is crime infested, but better safe than
sorry.

Again go out early and hit Norma’s to exchange your currency into pesos.
Norma’s closes early and it is better to exchange in the daylight anyway as
it is safer. Norma’s usually has the best rate. They are located on Teodoro
Street which is just past Insomnia Club but before you get to Margarita
Station. Take a left on this street and Norma’s will be on your left about
two blocks down. You can do this the same time you are going for lunch or
getting that fresh haircut and manicure.

Time: When to start that bar hop.

This can be tricky. There are a lot of bars that have two shifts of dancers.
Although most of the really great looking girls tend to be on the later
shift, there are MANY exceptions. You can possibly miss out on someone great
by starting too late. However you want to be early enough to see a large
variety and not miss out on the proverbial early worm. But I get ahead of
myself. First we need to go back to why you are out and about in the first
place.

If you are simply going out to hang with your mates or drop by and see some
friends you don’t really need to start hopping until 7 or 8 PM. This is a
prime time for friendship bar hopping. Most of the managers are in and you
can drop by and see Mark, Fred, Peter, (hey drop by and see me at Insomnia!)
or any other managers you know in town. The place won’t be too crowded and
you can just sit back and talk to the boys. If however you are looking to
hook up with someone you may want to start the hunt earlier around 6 PM or so
as all the prime rib will be gone early and you might get stuck with a Big
Mac if starting too late.

Side Note: If you are out and drinking around noon at the Welcome Inn or
elsewhere else you are more of a professional bar hopper and don’t need any
advice from a punk like me.

An important factor to consider is when to eat. Although there are some clubs
that serve food (Roadhouse’s popcorn for example) you may want to think about
eating before hand. This will let you drink more if that’s your kick, and it
will also not break up the night. But if you want to meet some females and
hook up quick you may want to fine her out early and hit a restaurant later
at night. No opinions one way or the other, just a factor you need to think
of before hand.

Prime the pump: How to avoid a classic trap.

Here’s some good advice. Go get a massage with the works or drop by Santos
Street for an ‘Air Start’ if your goal for that night is to find a partner.
You do NOT, repeat NOT, want to go shopping when hungry, if you catch my
drift. Many a seasoned veteran has fallen for something he shouldn’t have
because he was in need and settled before he should have. There is a
desperation that starts to settle in around 10 PM or so when you miss a few
girls you were looking for and nothing else is looking good. If you take care
of business early you won’t be in such a hurry and can enjoy the hunt to its
fullest.

Scout Ahead: Prepare for tomorrow today.

Even when a girl for the night is settled on your work is not done. Scout
ahead for tomorrow. Have a plan and stick to it. This may sound too much like
a military operation, but I don’t know how often I see someone I like from
the night before and never seem to make it back there for a couple nights and
then that girl I was looking for has been steadied out or has gone home, is
sick, on her cycle, etc. Know where you’re going and go there. Also should
mention here an important rule: Do not get lost! There have been nights I
wander into the Roadhouse at about 6PM and the next thing I know I’m drunk as
hell, doing an Elvis impersonation, ringing the bell, and it’s close to 11
PM.

Pick your running mates: Who you step into a bar with says a lot about you.

If you walk into a place and all your friends are rude loud and wearing
construction hats and screaming at the top of their lungs “Show us your
tits!” you probably won’t get taken seriously. This may be exactly what you
want, but realize that there is baggage that comes along with that.

The Philippine women are very aware of a thing called public shame or pride.
How one acts in public says a lot about the type of person you are in
private. You will have many an argument with your honey ko on how you made
her look to her friends or family. Ask someone what “Walang Hiya” means and
see if they can describe it better than I can. And believe me, they will
remember it! I have walked into a place after not stepping into there for two
years and people remembered me and called me by name. If you are first
labeled as a fool it will be hard to shake that title. However, if you are
quiet, nice and show good manners you will be looked upon as a nice guy and
that label sticks a long time too. This also pays off in spades when you do
pick a girl from a place and treat her nice. Word will get around and your
subsequent trips into the club will be pleasant.

More on Running Mates: A good place to start is in Roadhouse, Insomnia, Byrd
Cage or another hang-out type bar. If you are a good enough guy and not a
pain in the ass you can easily hook up with Me, Netguard, Roger, Mo, Bee or
any number of other well known guys in Angeles. If you walk into a club with
any of these guys you are thought of as not just a player or punk and someone
to take seriously.

Ok, you’re set to go…Now what?

The most important advice I can give you for bar hopping is to have fun. If
it starts to be more work than play and you find yourself getting annoyed at
stupid things or people it’s time to hang it up for the night and head home.
The only fights I have seen in Angeles were when people were out later than
they should have been. Thinking they had to stay out till 3 AM every night
and have the best looking thing on their arm every night. Pace yourself and
HAVE FUN! This is a vacation and meant to be pleasurable and not hard work.

Choose your bar: Again this depends on what you’re looking for. If you want
to shoot some pool know where the clubs are that have pool tables. (Private
Dancer, Stinger, Jungle, Welcome Inn, Wet Seals, and of course Kokomo’s and
Margarita Station to name just a few) If you are looking for good looking
women go to the higher end clubs, (Roadhouse, Insomnia, Camelot, Blue Nile,
Brown Sugar, to name just a few) If you are looking to just hang and drink
some with the fellas go to the more quiet bars that will allow a conversation
where you don’t have to battle the loud music. (Rick’s Cafe, Blueberry Hill,
Garfield’s Last Stand, and Black Jack to name just a few)

Choose your seat: This goes back yet again to why you are in a club to begin
with. I personally like to sit at the bar but only if it affords a good view
of the dancers. Roadhouse is the perfect set up as you can do both. However
you may want to set up a small nest in a booth or cushioned seat area where
you can invite your perspective mates into for a ‘getting to know you’
session. If you are hanging with your friends you will need a larger table.
These are all things to look for when entering a bar. If the place doesn’t
have what you’re looking for, leave. There is nothing saying you MUST have a
drink in every place you walk into.

Pace yourself or “Know your limits”: If you are not a heavy drinker, do not
drink like you are pledging to a frat house. The alcohol is not going
anywhere and there will be plenty tomorrow. Besides you don’t want to be so
drunk that you won’t have fun later on, right?

The flirting or Hunt: There is a delicate line that separates looking over
potential female companions and locking eyes and looking like an easy mark.
It’s the man who masters this flirting technique that will have the most
success. It can be awkward to have a girl come over to you and sit and talk
with you when in fact you were interested in her friend.

Girls quickly mark their territory and as it is always possible to brush off
a girl, remember that public pride thing I was talking about earlier. You can
potentially dig your own grave and fast by brushing off too many girls and
get the reputation as a butterfly or player. Many will think I am being to
delicate on this topic but the kind of woman I usually end up liking the most
is the type that will notice these things. Learn quickly what kind of girl
you like and act accordingly. If you want no strings attached and just want
to have fun you may in fact want to flirt with a lot of women. More than
likely you will be labeled as a butterfly and one of the girls who are
skilled in capturing this type of customer will quickly take note and
introduce herself to you.

Ok, you see someone you like…Now what?: If you have mastered the previous
step you are at this point alone and have seen the one you want to talk to.
This is actually much easier than it seems. Simply call her down or get the
waitress or mamasan to call her down for you. Do not ask if she wants a
drink. Of course she does. Every time I hear guys ask a girl that I crack up.
In fact I usually try and remain in control and order her a drink before a
waitress asks about it. This will make it look like it’s your idea and you
are interested in her. To bow down to the request of a waitress or bartender
puts you on the defensive. Again, a small point but important.

Wait, this isn’t the one I want! Or what to do with the unwanted guest: Take
care of this right away. It can not be done quickly enough. If a girl sits
down beside you and asks for your name it may be too late. The best thing to
do is quickly ask the girl her name and then IMMEDIATELY ask her something
like, “Hey, do you know that girl over there? Is she your friend? Do you know
if she has a boyfriend?” This does many things. First it lets her know you
are not interested in her per say and it also gives her an out. It is also a
good way to get the woman you are interested in over to talk to you.

Now you have the one you want but it’s not going well: Many times you will
start talking to a girl and find out she’s as bright as a 10 watt light bulb
and has bad breath or an annoying laugh or something else driving you insane.
The beautiful thing about Angeles is there truly are many other fish in the
sea. It is best to end the relationship quickly as if you buy her more drinks
you will quickly be marked as her customer and will find it hard to move on
to another one.

One thing I should also mention is a good thing or trick is if you are in a
bar and there is one woman who always seems to hang on to you but she is busy
with another customer, you MUST buy another girl a drink in front of her. The
new girl will first be nervous as she will think you are “so and so’s”
customer but ensure her that you are not. You are now free to hunt again.
This works great. Do not get tied down to one girl unless you intend to do
something. OR, and this is important as I have used this one many times as
well, find a cherry girl and use her as defense. I used to have a cute little
thing in the Tahitian Queen that was a cherry. The TQ was well known as one
of the most aggressive bars in AC and even one defender is sometimes not
enough, but I quickly bought my cherry a drink and used her as a shield
against other approaching girls. She knew I was not taking her home, the
other girl’s knew this as well, but it allowed me to sit back and enjoy the
club and girls without having to battle off numerous other women. Bartenders
sometimes don’t work. I know a couple well and have bought them a few drinks
and tried to use them as a shield, but many have a wicked sense of humor and
actually invite other girls over trying to set me up.

Get to know the staff: Speaking of bartenders…Get to know the managers,
bartenders, and Mamasans. These are your best source of club/food/drink/girl
information. Buy a manager a drink and it will almost always be reciprocated.
Also, these are the people to talk to for information. You looking for a
threesome? You looking for good oral skills or someone fun or someone who
gives good massages? These are the people who will tell you what’s what.

Completing the deal: Ok, you found the girl you want, now what? This can be
the deal breaker. It is VERY important that you and the girl have NO
confusion on what is expected and wanted. If you want her to come back to the
hotel with you ask her that very question. Make sure that there is nothing
misunderstood. This will save you a lot of hassle later on. When you then
decide all your questions are answered to your satisfaction simply open your
wallet and pop down a thousand pesos. Why quibble on how many drinks you
bought her and all that? Again, first impressions are important. Make it look
like it was your idea to take her; don’t wait for some pushy Mamasan or
waitress to suggest the liaison.

To barhop or not, that is the question: A delicate question to!

You have your woman all picked out, do you take her along to other clubs? She
will of course want to go with you. This again points to public pride and she
will want all her friends to see she is with a man and better yet that man is
generous and buys all her “Cousins” and friends drinks. However I would
generally say this is a big NO GO! You will be labeled a butterfly faster
than you can imagine. This is not really a bad thing, but it may make it
harder to find what you want later on. Now all the girls are not stupid and
realize that most men have a woman every night, but why provide ammunition. I
usually leave the girl at the club and tell her I’ll pick her up later.

Food with your date: This is another dangerous area to be ‘caught’. If you
are leaving early and want to stop by Kokomo’s or Margarita Station for a
quick bite to eat you probably won’t have much problems, but if you are
eating there around 2 or 3 AM when the clubs close you will be busted out by
more women than you can imagine. Remember, everyone knows everyone in that
place. It’s more like the “two” degrees of separation and not “six” in
Angeles. This goes double for the next day’s meal. This is especially true at
Kokomo’s or Margarita Station. Many many many club girls go to these
establishments and you will be seen. I suggest room service at night and send
the girl on her way the next morning before getting something to eat
yourself.

Well, there you go. Some helpful advice on the bar hop. Remember always rule
one though: Have Fun!

Peace,

-Jung