Category Archives: General

How Does A Bar Make Money

Like it or not a bar is a business and a business by definition has the objective of making a profit. When it comes to dealing with girls and partying or when it comes to regularly patronizing a bar, it is easy to forget that the bars are a business. The bars are accountable, they are a business and the objective is to make MONEY.

So now down to the crux of this article how do the bars make a profit. The first and most obvious way is through the bar fine. The bar fine in Angeles bars is anything from 1200 up to 4000 with the bar receiving 48% the girl receiving 50% and the mamasan receiving 2% as her commission. In most bars I would estimate that the bar fines account from anywhere between 40 to 60% of the bars revenue on any given night. The barfine is of course a critically important aspect of any gogo bars profitability and in my opinion a cornerstone of the Angeles bar business as a whole.

An equally big percentage of a bars profitability is made up of drink sales. The drink sales are composed of customer drinks and ladies drinks. Customer drinks range anywhere from 50 piso (local drink happy hour price at some bars) through to 300 piso for a shot of Hennessey XO Cognac. On average I would say the price for a local drink at the non happy hour time period would be 95 piso in most Fields Avenue bars.

A very important part of bars sales is the ladies drinks. For those of you who don’t know a ladies drink is a drink you buy a girl who works in the bar. These will normally act as an ice breaker or a prelude to a barfine. The ladies drinks are always more expensive than the same drink when bought as a normal customer drink because the bar gives the girl a commission on every drink she gets purchased for her. The ladies drink in this respect is actually a subtle way of giving the girl an opportunity to earn some money rather than just handing her cash.

In the last 5 years Angeles has seen the development of the so called double ladies drink. The double ladies drink pros and cons have been discussed endlessly but at the bottom line here is that the so called double ladies drink is normally a double price of a single ladies drink or if not exactly double then very close to it. The double ladies drinks will range anywhere from 280 piso through to 350 piso. The ladies drinks can also perform another function when they are utilized as a substitute for the bar fine. In modern day times there is some fairly serious pressure on the bar fine system from various authorities linking it with prostitution and even human trafficking. As a result it is becoming common practice for bars to replace the actual payment of a bar fine with the purchasing of a certain amount of ladies drinks. This is a variation on the more traditional bar fine system and is called the EWR (Early Work Release). The customer purchases a certain amount of ladies drinks and the girl is then free to stop work and leave the bar with the customer.

In Makati the owner of the major group of bars has gone on record as saying, “we don’t want a bar fine system”, in fact there is no such thing as a bar fine in his Makati based bars as it is based upon the purchasing of ten ladies drinks and once the girl has secured 10 ladies drinks she is free to stop work and leave the bar with whomever she likes. When it comes to Angeles I estimate that the ladies drinks make up anywhere from 35% through to 55% of a bars total sales on any one night. Of course the figure can go as high as 70% in the bars that substitute the bar fine with ladies drinks. As is clearly shown by these figures even they are only estimates the ladies drink is an essential component of a bars profitability.

Many bar owners adopt the approach of trying to maximize profits by minimizing expenses. This is what I loosely refer to as the positively negative way to run a bar. Running a bar this way will typically include ordering the bare minimum of stock especially in terms of alcohol. This in fact does not increase profit because by purchasing this way they miss out on the discounts that come with purchasing in bulk however I think it is important to remember that many bars are run on little more than a shoe string budget and have little choice but to order thriftily. Two other ways of minimizing cost include a limited the use of electricity by turning off an air-conditioner and other electrical appliances when the bar is not busy and applying deductions to the workers salary, these will mainly include uniform and food deductions, deductions for bikinis, makeup, shoes and of course loan advances with interest.

In modern times bars will often try to sell a number of products where the profit margin is maximized. Two which spring to mind are ping pong balls and party poppers. The ping pong balls are perhaps the ultimate money spinner. They represent a one time minimal investment and can be used time and time again. The girls love them because they are an easy way to get commission and the customers enjoy them because of the atmosphere they create when the girls scramble to collect them. Most ping pong ball buckets contain 10 balls and they sell from between 300 to 500 piso depending on the bar. Another gimmick is the party poppers which are bought for about 50 peso each and sold for 100 to 150. Lastly there is the more traditional items for sale and these include T/Shirts, bar towels, beer coasters, key chains and a number of other cheaply produced items. Overall I would estimate that these items would account for approximately 3 % of a bars profit level.

Where To Live! Subic or Angeles? Part 2

In part one, I outlined my perception on the living situation in Subic (primarily the Barrio Barretto area, because that’s where I spent most of my time – that’s where the bars are, mostly). Where one needs to go to shop for essentials is outlined here, as well as what it is like to barhop here compared to Angeles City.

One of the reasons I decided to move back to Angeles, after nearly two years in the Subic area, was the availability of goods that I wanted, and how spread-out things are compared to Angeles. In A.C., I drive my old car about once every two weeks, and then only to go somewhere out of walking distance, like Marquee Mall, The duty-free stores on Clark Airbase, Perimeter bars, or to the immigration office. In Subic, I depended on my car nearly every day (it’s an old car, I’m not rich, and I hate to have to depend on it). I lived in the Santa Monica complex, Subic (close to Dreamland Resort), and I was driving to the bars and hotels in The Dryden group almost daily; I also needed to drive to downtown Olongapo or onto Subic Base to the duty-free stores to do much in the way of worthwhile shopping. I also found I needed to drive to Angeles a couple of times a month to shop at SM Mall, Marquee Mall, etc… I’ll give you an example of what I’m getting at: once I went on a quest to buy some local honey, which is readily available in Johnny’s Market, JJ’s Market, SM Mall, and several other places I know in Angeles. I drove all over downtown Olongapo, the Subic Base, and Subic City, and never found any at all! I did locate some imported “Sue Bee” stuff in a small jar, but it wasn’t what I needed, and the price was horribly inflated. I drove to Angeles City on my day off and picked a couple of liters up at Johnny’s.

I have other examples of things the Subic shopping area lacks, but the above one stood out in my memory. Another thing that really annoyed me was when, on two separate occasions, I needed some duplicate keys and good quality photocopies; there was no place in The Barrio Barretto area to get either, even with all the expats jammed into that area. The only place I could get keys made (that I could find) was on the streets of downtown Olongapo, in little street nooks. For photocopies, I had to continue on to the duty-free stores on SBMA, where I found a machine at the National Book Store (unfortunately for me, their machine wasn’t very good, but it was the “only game in town; I ended up re-doing the project the next time I went to Angeles).

This situation is due to improve! Our friend “Pok Pok Boy” has informed us that there is an SM Mall being built in downtown Olongapo, and an Ayala Mall (The Corporation behind Marquee Mall in Angeles) on Subic base, right by the entrance to downtown Olongapo. Even though it’s still a bit far from where most of the expats are living, it at least means that shopping will be easier and better than before. This is bound to draw more expats to the area, which will, in turn, draw more girls. I saw these two construction sites in late November of 2011, and they’re moving right along. I was told the SM mall will be in operation in about six months, and the Ayala mall in less than a year. If you have kids or girls that you’d like to entertain during the daytime hours, there is “Ocean Adventure Marine Park”, with a dolphin/whale show on the base that we found surprisingly entertaining, along with a sea lion show. There is also the “Zoobic Safari” zoo, but we didn’t get to see this, as our group arrived too late in the day to go in. I’m not the best person to ask about such activities available in the Subic area, but it’s clear the area is growing again!

As far as the bars, what expats/tourists are looking for in a barhopping experience can vary quite a bit. The fact is there are less bars, and less customers. As the area has grown, so have the number of expats, and the number of girls hoping to meet them. More action = more girls, and vice versa. You should see it when ships come in! The volume of girls seems to double, coming out of the woodwork. If you’re one of the fellows who like to “drown” themselves in a “sea of girls” (putting it politely), this is far more likely to happen for you in Angeles, at this point, than it will in Barrio Barretto. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen plenty of happy fellows achieve “major party time” in Barretto! There are plenty of fellows who prefer this scene to Angeles.

Back before Pinatubo erupted, it was pretty much the opposite for these two areas. After the Americans left the two bases, Angeles grew out of the ashes to become the punter’s prime destination, while the bars of Olongapo were replaced by a virtual ghost town of empty buildings. The real “death-knell” came when this was compounded by the then-mayor, Kate Gordon, deciding to shut down all dancing bars in Barrio Barretto. This caused what little scene was left to locate in the Calapandayan area of Subic City. Obviously, this is changing.

While Angeles City is still a far more active scene, I believe we will see this becoming less the case as time goes on, particularly with the much-improved access provided by the expressway, and the large malls coming in.

I’m aware that there are punters who are on a constant “feeding frenzy” for new faces in greater volume which, clearly, the Subic area is far less likely to provide at this moment in time (for a precious few, even Angeles City can’t keep up with their “thirst”), but I can say, for myself, that some of the best girls I’ve ever met were right there in Barrio Barretto, and I’ve got plenty of company in guys that agree with me. There were plenty of beauties I never managed to get to. As a good friend of mine said to me, “Sure, there are less girls here than Angeles, but how many do you need at any one time?” … and, too, as the scene grows, so will the volume of girls, just like it did in Angeles.

One perception that I have regarding the Subic scene that makes it preferable to the Angeles scene: the Gordon family seems to have the respect of the departments who routinely attack the Angeles bar scene in search of favorable headlines and big payoffs, under the guise of enforcing morality. I’m not personally aware of how far back it goes that a Gordon family member wasn’t the political leader of the Olongapo/Subic area, but they go back quite a way, and really appear to be respected enough to run the area without federal agency interference; the different agencies don’t come in over the local government’s heads like they do in Angeles City. In Angeles it sometimes seems like nobody’s really in charge, opening the door to seemingly rogue operations aimed only at foreigners, while turning a blind eye to the many native-run establishments who are far more guilty of the charges they throw at the “visiting teams”.

I’ve always enjoyed The Subic Bay Area, and I will continue to enjoy it. I can say that I hope to live there again. Even though Angeles is more convenient for me in a lot of ways at this point in time, I look back on my stay in Subic with fondness, and would certainly go back if the opportunity presented itself. I miss those peaceful days and nights at the beach! … and, not just a few of the beautiful girls I met!

Where To Live! Subic or Angeles?

There are so many fellows from different walks of life, and many levels of financial security (or insecurity) around here, who, honestly, have one common bond when they find their way to this village ¬¬– that’s the lure of the Filipina (they’ll sometimes develop other reasons as time goes by, but this, with damned few exceptions, is at the root of the attraction). This place is surely as great a testament to the lure of an available, attractive woman as there is in existence. Without them, I probably wouldn’t even know how to spell the name of the country, or even know where it is!

Of the years I have lived here, nearly all of them have been spent living in Angeles City, with the exception of a year and eight months I lived in The Barrio Barretto area of Olongapo City, in the Subic Bay Area.

The Subic Bay Area, at one time a larger bar scene than Angeles City (in the days of the American occupation of the Subic Naval base) is now a substantially smaller scene than Angeles (as of this writing in 2011). Through the years, in my “tourist” days (as well as while I’ve been planted in A.C.), Subic has always been a place I thoroughly enjoyed visiting for a three-day visit. I always wanted to live there, and I finally did, from October 2008 to May 2010.

The secondary lure (everything’s always secondary to the ladies for me!) of The Subic Area was the beaches and being close to the water. I grew up on the West Coast of America, so I take to being around the beach. Leaving the women out of the equation for now, I’ll share what I liked about living in Subic, and what I didn’t.

I enjoy spending the afternoons on the various floating bars. There were three when I was last there, and they all are just fine with me. The “Arizona”, The “Blue Rock”, and “Treasure Island” are all hotels that have floating bars tethered to their beaches. The GROs working on them vary, but mostly they’re good company while hanging out on those floaters. Nothing like this in Angeles City. The most popular beach area for expats is in “The Baloy Beach Area”, though the “Arizona” is quite nice, on the main highway; it does seem a bit windy there, at times, though.

As far as restaurants, there are more of them in Angeles City (as there is more of just about everything) than Barretto, but a very good meal can usually be had at The “Arizona” or “Blue Rock”. There is a lower-budget place just up the street from the corner where Club One is situated, right across the street from the former “Marmont Hotel”; it’s called “Sit & Bull”. This location was the “VFW” in my tourist days, and is known in the area for good solid meals at a reasonable price – it’s where the locals eat. There’s a pretty good English-style fish & chips joint on the main highway called “The Underground”. The “Dryden” restaurant, which once was my favorite place to eat anywhere, unfortunately didn’t survive the transition of Tom Dryden leaving it, but is now a pretty good fast-food-style spot next to The Wet Spot bar, serving a variety of sandwiches, pizza and snack foods. Right across the street from “The Arizona” is a little Filipino spot called “The Coffee Shop”, which makes a very popular taco and taco salad. It’s not the same as if you were eating in Mexico, but it’s a pretty darned decent bite to eat. People’s tastes in what-satisfies-them- in-a-meal vary so greatly that it’s almost pointless to spend much time recommending anyplace. If you ever decide to go/move to Subic you’ll come up with your own preferences, as we all do.

I’ve often been asked about the difference between Angeles and Subic as far as renting a house or apartment. I came away with the impression is that it’s not a lot different. There are more new complexes in the Angeles area. You can pay too much, and good deals can be found in both places. One thing they both have in common is that you’re best off hitting the pavement and looking for places with a sign and phone number out front. Realties and want ads aren’t as dependable as they are in the West for finding something you’d like for a price you’d be willing to pay. Subic landlords are quite fond of having you pay your lease money up front, and will sometimes offer substantial discounts for your ability to pay them a lump sum in advance. I’ve rented in seven different locations in Angeles and one in Subic. I found all of them by word of mouth or just having a look around.

There are quite a few expats leasing in the “Baloy Beach” area, in the neighborhood of the “Blue Rock”, “Wild Orchid”, and “Treasure Island” resorts. They, naturally enough, like to be part of the expat community gathered there, and enjoy its proximity to the better beaches in the area. I, personally, wouldn’t want to live on Baloy Beach because I found it to be a poor value-for-money – you are, in good part, paying for the beach that the rental is close to, which causes the leases to be pretty high for what you’re getting, in a great many cases. I know plenty of guys who are quite happy with what they’ve found on the Baloy Road, so just keep in mind that you can likely get a nicer place for your money if you venture away from this popular area. If you’re willing to pay the price that is, of course, your personal choice. One other thing I dislike about this particular area is the horrible road leading into it. With all of these popular resort hotels in there and the large expat community, I feel it’s downright stupid to not do whatever it takes to get this road paved properly. In the rainy season it often becomes almost un-drivable! The potholes and flooded areas are formidable.

During the rainy season The Subic area is far more flood-prone than Angeles. Where I lived in the “Santa Monica” complex (in close proximity to the “Dreamland Resort” area), the whole complex got flooded for three days once (it hadn’t happened to this degree in over ten years, but once is all it takes)! The water was waist-deep outside of the house I was leasing, and I had 21” of water in my bedroom/toilet/den area on the lower floor. A couple of more inches and the whole living room and kitchen area would’ve been flooded, also. If I ever live in Subic again (which I might) I’ll definitely look for higher ground!

Sending Your Girl Money

Come on admit it, as much as you may disparage the guys who take girls out of the bars and support them, chances are you have either done exactly the same thing, are planning to, or will do so sometime in the future. Say what you will about money hungry Filipino families and the girls money scamming tactics but the fact is the majority of us will find ourselves supporting a girl in one way or another.

In this article I will examine the various ways people can send money to the Philippines detailing the steps involved in the procedure, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each system.

The first and probably most reliable way is a bank to bank money transfer. To do this is relatively simple yet there are a number of disadvantages to this system as well. The bank has some advantages in that the money is electronically wired and its arrival can be checked which gives the recipient less excuses, secondly most major Philippine banks can be directly accessed from the banks in an overseas country, thirdly the banks have branches all over the Philippines, even in the smaller towns in the province which makes accessing the money easier. Fourthly and perhaps most importantly the girl does not have to take the entire amount of money out of the bank. In other words she gets to save and budget the money whereas with Western Union she cannot do this. The three biggest banks that I would recommend are BPI (Bank of Philippine Islands, BDO (Banco De Oro) PNB (Philippine National Bank). All these banks have numerous branches throughout the country and all issue basic savings accounts with ATM Card access. The ATM access is particularly important because it allows quick and easy access to the money without the recipient having to stand in long lines.

There are also many disadvantages with using the banking system to get money and primary among these is the fact that the banks make it so hard for the girl to open an account. To open an account the girl has to have at least two forms of valid ID which in this country is easier said than done plus a person has to have enough cash to open the account in the first place. All bank to bank transfers will require a SWIFT code and other codes which can get confusing for your average Filipina with little experience in this area. Most bank accounts require you to maintain a minimum balance and once again for the Filipina this is easier said than done. Last but not least there is nearly always a queue at the bank, the banks opening hours are restricted, the exchange rate is normally the lowest possible and any money transfer usually takes up to two days to clear through their system.
I also think it is important to note that it is the inadequacies of the banking systems that has created the need for services such as Western Union.

Talking of Western Union this is the most commonly used means to send money and yet it too has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages are as follows. With Western Union the money transfer is almost instantaneous and the offices are open longer hours than the bank plus they are often open on public holidays whereas the banks are not. Like the bank they have offices spread around the entire country and the country that the money is being sent from. This means it is relatively easy to send money and it can be collected easily. Best of all the Filipinos are familiar with Western Union and understand the system. Another advantage is that many girls have Western Union cards which acts as a sort of ID for them and often the staff at a particular office become well known to the girls and vice versa.

The old saying goes nothing is perfect and that is certainly true in the money transfer business, and Western Union does have some deficiencies. For starters, whether sending money or receiving money there is nearly always a queue of people and you will find yourself waiting just like in a bank. There is almost always people hanging around the outside area of Western Union offices and security can become a problem. Western Union nearly always give the lowest exchange rate and charge the highest percentage for their service, plus you will be asked to present two forms of valid ID every time you pick up the money and for the bar girls, this can often be a problem. Last but not least the girls are often circumspect when it comes to people seeing them get money from Western Union and they feel self conscious about it plus they have no choice but to take out the entire amount sent in one transaction.

There are two major alternatives to Western Union and these are Xoom and a new service called Ko-Card.

Xoom is primarily a service restricted to America. People from America can send money back to the Philippines using this service and their cut is slightly lower than that of Western Union. The problem with Xoom is that there are not that many offices in the Philippines and it is restricted to America. Having said this I have heard that when sending money from America to the Philippines especially if the recpient is in Angeles then Xoom is a cheaper and just as reliable alternative to Western Union.

Talking about alternatives to Western Union we now have a new service which in my opinion incorporates many unique features and I predict that this will make large inroads into the market dominated by Western Union. The name of this service is Ko-Card and it is specifically designed for people to send money from overseas to the Philippines.

There are several advantages ko-kard has over its competitors. Firstly it is linked with MasterCard, Visa, a major Philippine bank Banco De Oro (BDO) and the BancNet ATM system. This means that the ko-kard is multi functional in that it acts as a Debit/Credit Card, as an ATM Card, as a bank Savings Account and as a money transfer system. With ko-kard money transfer is only just the beginning. Ko-kard combines the advantages of a bank account and a card card. It can be used as a credit card wherever MasterCard is accepted and Ko-Kard users can even deposit cash into their account just as they would with a bank account. Ko-Kard is a complete financial package all in one card giving ease of use, financial security and increased purchasing power.

As a money transfer system ko-kard has several advantages for both the money senders and the money recipients. The sender benefits from lower transfer fees than Western Union and because ko-kard transactions can be organized over the internet there is no need to trudge down to an agency carrying cash. In fact ko-kard is so convenient you can send money without even leaving the safety of your home. Other advantages are that it is easy to manage the ko-kard online, you may have multiple ko-kards and the ko-kard system allows the sender to manage the account and regulate the girls cash needs.





There are also some significant advantages for the girl who is using
ko-kard . The ko-kard acts as a valid ID and it allows access to money 24/7 as long as there is an operating ATM machine. Because it is linked to a nation wide ATM system and to the MasterCard system the ko-kard gives the owner superior purchasing power. For the girls there are a number of practical advantages for example there is no waiting in line and no need to fill out forms. There is no need to present ID in order to receive money, there is less travel involved because they only have to travel as far as the nearest on-line ATM and lastly, because ko-kard is linked to the nationwide BancNet ATM system, it is easy for the girls to send money to their families in the province.

Because ko-kard is linked to the bank this means that it can be used as a savings account. Now as a ‘newbie’ you may ask so what’s the big deal about a savings account and the answer is that for the average Filipina saving money for a proverbial rainy day is a foreign concept and anything that encourages them to learn the savings philosophy can only be a good thing.

The average Filipina lives for the moment and has no idea of the concept of saving. As a result when she gets money from Western Union where she has to withdraw the entire amount, the money is normally spent within 24 hours. Every Filipina will have a backlog of payments she has to make as well as a demanding family and this is where the ko-kard comes in. With the ko-kard your girl has the option of withdrawing the entire amount or budgeting the money plus her family need never know the exact amount that was sent. This is encouraging the girl to understand saving and she can control the flow of the money so she won’t constantly be asking you for more.

Ko-kard is the modern and efficient way to send and receive money. It offers many advantages to the sender and the receiver, it is specifically designed to cater for the needs of those wishing to send money to the Philippines and best of all it is a cheaper service than its competitors.

If you are interested in learning more about the ko-kard service check out www.ko-kard.com or email info@ko-kard.com or simply get your girl to visit the ko-kard office in Margarita Station, Fields Avenue, Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines.

Typhoon Tales

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery so with this thought firmly in mind I proudly present my typhoon tale dedicated to Crumple, whose style I have unashamedly copied.

Of course I realize I will not even come close to the master who has the unerring ability to draw random thoughts from points A to Z and somehow make a connection however I will give it a shot and in so doing hopefully describe in an entertaining way what we all went through with the arrival of super typhoon Megi.

Megi what kind of a name is Megi? Have you ever wondered why they always name Typhoons after women? Yes, Yes I know the old joke about them being wet when they come and after they’ve gone leaving a trail of devastation. But seriously now, why do they always seem to give typhoons female names?

For this typhoon we had plenty of warning. Thanks to the modern wonder of the Internet and that godsend named Google many among us have become instant meteorologists and long before these storms hit we are warned with imposing looking maps boasting a swirl of color reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting.



I am fixated on those red swirls Jackson Pollock had nothing on the typhoon weather map.


Anyone who has lived here for five or more years or even visited just once during the rainy season is well aware of the havoc and devastation these storms create. And us foreigners are not alone, the Filipinos are all too familiar with the fury of Pacific Ocean typhoons and consequently Northern Luzon was declared a national calamity area before the storm even hit.

Talk about weather prediction but the scary thing is, they were right. The great mass of low pressure, blasting wind and torrential rain slowly built up over Guam and then traveled its torturously slow path towards Philippines all the time building in intensity until it made landfall as a category 5 Super Typhoon.

Which brings me to my second why question for the day. Even though we are prepared for the typhoons, we are aware of their approach and they come every bloody year, why then do they cause so much damage and take so many lives? Is the infrastructure that haphazard? Are the typhoons so strong that no matter what the Filipinos do they are going to succumb to the ravages of mother nature or is it because the Filipinos have destroyed so much of the natural vegetation they have cleared a perfect path for the annual mud slides?



200 Miles per hour battered Illocos province causing massive damage and loss of life.




Fields Avenue is always prone to flooding every time a major storm hits Angeles.


Then again maybe its just good old human nature. Could it be human nature to become attached to ones home and not want to abandon it or perhaps it is human nature to just stick it out no matter what the world throws at ya.



Roof what roof?


Here’s a horrible thought, perhaps it’s as I always say, ‘it’s all about the money’. Let’s face it these people who each year are battered by the storms live a precarious existence and are lucky to have two pesos to rub together as a result they can hardly be expected to build a weather proof home let alone vacate their little shanty once the typhoon hits in earnest.

But wait a minute didn’t the President just secure hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid money? Will the Philippine Government actually divert some of that money to build decent infrastructure thus avoiding more devastation and loss of life in the future? Will the Aid money actually be used to aid those who need it? Will the troops be sent to rescue some people who genuinely need rescuing or will they stick to the easy pickings of poor exploited Angeles city bar girls? Please note Jung they weren’t why questions that were will questions.

We are all familiar with the theory of global warming and if changing weather patterns are indicative of this phenomenon then the Pacific Ocean typhoons are proof that global warming really is happening. When I first came to the Philippines 19 years ago I noticed it started drizzling in late June early July and carried on well into late September and many of the major storms were down south in the Visayas or Mindanao however in the last seven years I have noticed a distinct change where the major storms seem to skirt the southern regions and instead batter Northern Luzon plus they are each year coming later and later each year.

Those Moro Liberation guys down south must have come up with a way to control the weather and are now diverting the storms northwards to batter the predominantly Catholic Luzon. And all this time we thought they were just your average run of the mil Moslem extremists.

When it comes to typhoons preparation is everything. I know this and yet every time a typhoon hits I am unprepared. There is never enough food or water in my fridge, my front yard which I have been persevering with for six years still takes on the appearance of a swimming pool at the slightest drop of rain and my Guava tree still blows in the wind threatening to tear down the power lines. I console myself with the fact that with the typhoon comes a ‘brown out’ and if I had any food in the fridge it would go bad anyway. As for my front yard, well it becomes a cool playground for my dogs and the Guava tree provides welcome shade from the sun so it can blow against the bloody power lines all it bloody wants. Having said this I must admit, 24 hours prior to the typhoon hitting I got SWMBO’s father to chop off a few of the more prominent branches as this way I don’t have to put up with a distraught landlady who is convinced my Guava tree is possessed by some evil fruit demon hell bent on taking down the neighborhood power lines.



My front yard which becomes a swimming pool with even a hint of rain






My Guava tree which my landlady is 100% sure is possessed by a demonic fruit demon hell bent on bringing down power lines every time there is a storm in Angeles.

I am never one to be prepared, (perhaps that’s why I was thrown out of boy scouts), but when it comes to ‘brown outs’ I have learnt the hard way and have now invested in a number of small battery powered fans. These fans will not cool you down significantly but they will blow enough breeze to keep you from turning into a puddle of sweat. Trust me there is nothing more annoying than having nothing to do but lye in bed swimming in a pool of your own greasy sweat.

There are many problems associated with typhoons and one of them will always be the dreaded ‘brown out’. In the Philippines if it rains there will be a ‘brown out’, if there is too much sunshine there will be a ‘brown out’ and if there is a typhoon you can bet your bottom dollar there will always be a ‘brown out’. In fact I am anticipating another brown out any minute now simply because I am writing about them. Of course there is never any reason given for the ‘brown outs’ and when they happen one is brutally reminded just how dependant on electricity we really are. The brown outs force locals to adapt and live their lives around intermittent sparks of electricity.

When the typhoon hit’s the brown outs go into overtime and we lucky expatriates get to experience that uniquely Filipino phenomenon, the “rolling brown out”. More often than not the rolling brown outs are only short lived being a duration of two or three hours then an hour of power then 2 more hours of brown out etc. The rolling brown outs are annoying but in a way easier to handle than what I have termed the Super Brown Outs. I figure if you can have Super Typhoons then you can have Super Brown Out’s simply because the two so often occur together.

As I have said previously typhoon Megi was well broadcast and I knew only to well there would be prolonged brown outs coming but nothing could have prepared me for what eventually happened. The typhoon had been forecast to make landfall Monday morning and as we all braced ourselves a number of us were lulled into a false sense of security by the slight breeze blowing and occasional raindrops falling from the sky.

On the news and by text messaging we heard tales of woe from up North but so far Angeles had remained virtually untouched. I thought about this and images of the bright red swirls virtually missing Angeles on the weather maps suddenly sprang to mind. These were accompanied by the prophetic words from the likes of Thotoy and Shagger both of whom claimed “Angeles never really cops the brunt of these storms” and “Angeles is protected because it has mountains on both sides”. I looked outside at the calm surroundings and thought to myself who am I to argue with the venerable weather sages Thotoy and Shagger, looks like they were right Angeles would once again escape.

By 9PM just as I was stumbling into the shower the first brown out hit. Now when the power is cut off there is no water so one minute I am standing under a shower letting the water cascade into my sleep laden eyes and the next minute I am standing underneath a dry shower head looking like a complete idiot. I hear the pitter patter of little feet and then through the door carrying a candle comes my eldest daughter who looks at me and promptly asks why are you standing under the shower with no water dad?

By candle light I manage to dry off , get changed, don my raincoat, straddle the bike and amidst cries of “goodbye daddy” and “see you later mahal” I bravely head off into the ominous looking clouds and blanketing rain that once was Fields Avenue.

Tonight was DocJaidee’s last night and the lanky mongerer had made it abundantly clear that he expected a good time and wasn’t about to let a mere super typhoon dampen his spirits. We partied in Golden Nile until about 3AM and during that time there was continual brown outs in fact so many we couldn’t tell when we were on normal power and when we were on generator. At times I would look out on the street from my lofty perch only to see the lights on Clark fully illuminated but the lights on Fields all non existent.



While the storm raged outside the lanky DocJaidee was uncommonly subdued on his last night in town.


Which brings me to my third ‘why question’. Why is it a system installed by the joint efforts of Americans and Filipinos some 30 years ago, works better than any modern day equivalent installed solely by Filipinos? Watching the inner sanctum of Clark function smoothly no matter what the elements throw at it compared to the normal world of the Philippines as represented by Fields Ave and Perimeter Road one is forced to have some serious doubts as to the future of this country.

The night progressed smoothly until a bunch of AE members came in including Nitty, BamBam, Drummer, Jung and others. They all sat at the big tables and proudly announced “well there’s no power and we cant go home so we thought we would drop by and say hello. We knew you had a generator and we knew you would still be here so come on it’s your round”.

Now noticeably most of this group had a girl with them so I knew if there was any money to be made it would be from the drinks but at this time of night in these conditions I reasoned it was hardly worth it so when the mamasan asked, “can we close early because the generator run out of gasoline”. Even I know generators run on diesel but who was I to pick straws so I took this as my cue and closed shop.

Once SWMBO and I got outside I saw that it wasn’t to bad in fact there was hardly any wind at all and the rain wasn’t exactly heavy either. We straddled the bike then just as we were nearing Bunny Burger SWMBO whispers in my ear that she is hungry. Now I don’t know how many readers have experienced the wrath of a hungry Filipina but let me tell you its not a pretty sight and behind that soft diminutive whisper is a world of demand unparalleled by western women.

Knowing full well the consequences of taking an angry unfed Filipina home I deferred to my cowardice and promptly made a sharp left turn bringing us to a stop outside the ever beckoning Bunny Burger.

In the Philippines there are numerous restaurants that claim to be open 24/7 but in reality few of them are. Bunny Burger however is the exception. When we got to Bunny Burger I noticed there were several customers inside even though it was 4AM and the conditions outside were rapidly deteriorating. I asked the girl at the counter where is the delivery bike expecting her to tell me sir we cannot make delivery on night like this but instead she smiled and simply replied “the boy deliver order Sir Martin”. Hearing this I thought to myself it’s hats off to Bunny Burger. When it comes to food delivery this joint is to fast food what Wells Fargo was to mail delivery 200 years ago “we deliver come rain hail or shine”.



Baby back ribs always popular with Filipinas typhoon or no typhoon.


Having had my assumptions shattered and being put firmly in my place I realized not all Filipinos are lazy, disorganized and corrupt. In fact sometimes under adverse conditions the Filipino male will excel and their tenacity and willingness to work are clearly demonstrated.

With take out firmly tucked under her arm SWMBO ordered a trike whilst I braved the elements on my motor bike. Once home there of course was no power so our Bunny Burger was consumed by candle light which kind of made for a romantic setting and no sooner was it finished than I found myself on top of SWMBO doing what a man and a woman naturally should.

By the time we had finished copulating with the sound of wind howling through the Guava tree and the rain pouring down outside it was 6AM and I fell into a fretful snooze with visions of flood water flowing through my living room.

Now in a typhoon with no power I will normally sleep with the windows open so as to capture some sort of breeze and keep things a little bit cooler. My windows are covered with wire mesh thus preventing dengue carrying mosquitoes from devouring me and it is actually quite a pleasant experience. That is until you are rudely shaken out of your slumber by the sound of the neighbors roosters crowing, (yes they even crow when half submerged in flood waters), or the sound of the taho vendor advertising his wares at full cry.





I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the Filipino food named Taho but basically it is bean curd topped with caramelized sugar and sago. This is normally considered a delicacy for breakfast but can also be enjoyed anytime of day and night.

With the inclement weather conditions I wasn’t expecting the Taho man to be doing his rounds so when I was jolted out of my sleep by his ringing voice I could hardly believe my ears. Normally I would have been pissed off being deprived of my precious sleep but for some reason this particular morning I found his familiar voice strangely comforting and I found myself grudgingly respecting this guy who no matter what the conditions lugged his heavy metal containers of bean curd and caramelized sugar around with him to make a grand total of approximately 400 hundred piso daily.



8 AM in the morning and this guy is out selling Taho no matter what the weather conditions.


The brown out had now been going for approximately 8 hours when all of a sudden in the midst of the storm the power came back on but only for a minute and then out again. Shit I thought to myself this power supply is like a prick teasing bitch, it gets you excited with its seductive promise only to pull away at the last moment leaving you frustrated and hot under the collar.

Throughout that day the wind continued howling and the rain pelted down like some giant god pissing on humanity trying to drown the entire world in his urine. The power would come back briefly only to be snatched away again in a momentary heartbeat.

There was no TV, no water, no lights and nothing to do at home except write down notes for this article whilst watching the flood waters in my front yard steadily rising.

It is now 12 minutes past 10 on Tuesday night. The rain is pelting down harder than ever but the wind seems to have died down. I have been texting Drummer who has rapidly become the local weather expert and he has explained to me how typhoons travel in a swirling motion and what we are now experiencing is the typhoons tail. This is all very well but I have seen the maps on AE and I know that the front of the typhoon is larger than the tail which leads me to my fourth and I promise very last why question. Why is it that we had more rain from the tail of the typhoon than we did from the front?



The tail end is significantly smaller than the front yet in Angeles we received more rain from the tale than from the front.


Being about as knowledgeable of the weather as I am of a woman’s mind, this typhoon tail business means nothing to me but even though it is raining outside we still have power and I have found time to finish this article. My air-con is working, my electricity powered fan is blowing and after my performance earlier this morning SWMBO is looking at me with what can only be described as a look of intoxicating expectation. Typhoon or no typhoon my little universe is alright and I certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

Where To Live! Subic or Angeles?

Part 1:

There are so many fellows from different walks of life, and many levels of financial security (or insecurity) around here, who, honestly, have one common bond when they find their way to this village ¬¬– that’s the lure of the Filipina (they’ll sometimes develop other reasons as time goes by, but this, with damned few exceptions, is at the root of the attraction). This place is surely as great a testament to the lure of an available, attractive woman as there is in existence. Without them, I probably wouldn’t even know how to spell the name of the country, or even know where it is!

Of the years I have lived here, nearly all of them have been spent living in Angeles City, with the exception of a year and eight months I lived in The Barrio Barretto area of Olongapo City, in the Subic Bay Area.

The Subic Bay Area, at one time a larger bar scene than Angeles City (in the days of the American occupation of the Subic Naval base) is now a substantially smaller scene than Angeles (as of this writing in 2011). Through the years, in my “tourist” days (as well as while I’ve been planted in A.C.), Subic has always been a place I thoroughly enjoyed visiting for a three-day visit. I always wanted to live there, and I finally did, from October 2008 to May 2010.

The secondary lure (everything’s always secondary to the ladies for me!) of The Subic Area was the beaches and being close to the water. I grew up on the West Coast of America, so I take to being around the beach. Leaving the women out of the equation for now, I’ll share what I liked about living in Subic, and what I didn’t.

I enjoy spending the afternoons on the various floating bars. There were three when I was last there, and they all are just fine with me. The “Arizona”, The “Blue Rock”, and “Treasure Island” are all hotels that have floating bars tethered to their beaches. The GROs working on them vary, but mostly they’re good company while hanging out on those floaters. Nothing like this in Angeles City. The most popular beach area for expats is in “The Baloy Beach Area”, though the “Arizona” is quite nice, on the main highway; it does seem a bit windy there, at times, though.

As far as restaurants, there are more of them in Angeles City (as there is more of just about everything) than Barretto, but a very good meal can usually be had at The “Arizona” or “Blue Rock”. There is a lower-budget place just up the street from the corner where Club One is situated, right across the street from the former “Marmont Hotel”; it’s called “Sit & Bull”. This location was the “VFW” in my tourist days, and is known in the area for good solid meals at a reasonable price – it’s where the locals eat. There’s a pretty good English-style fish & chips joint on the main highway called “The Underground”. The “Dryden” restaurant, which once was my favorite place to eat anywhere, unfortunately didn’t survive the transition of Tom Dryden leaving it, but is now a pretty good fast-food-style spot next to The Wet Spot bar, serving a variety of sandwiches, pizza and snack foods. Right across the street from “The Arizona” is a little Filipino spot called “The Coffee Shop”, which makes a very popular taco and taco salad. It’s not the same as if you were eating in Mexico, but it’s a pretty darned decent bite to eat. People’s tastes in what-satisfies-them- in-a-meal vary so greatly that it’s almost pointless to spend much time recommending anyplace. If you ever decide to go/move to Subic you’ll come up with your own preferences, as we all do.

I’ve often been asked about the difference between Angeles and Subic as far as renting a house or apartment. I came away with the impression is that it’s not a lot different. There are more new complexes in the Angeles area. You can pay too much, and good deals can be found in both places. One thing they both have in common is that you’re best off hitting the pavement and looking for places with a sign and phone number out front. Realties and want ads aren’t as dependable as they are in the West for finding something you’d like for a price you’d be willing to pay. Subic landlords are quite fond of having you pay your lease money up front, and will sometimes offer substantial discounts for your ability to pay them a lump sum in advance. I’ve rented in seven different locations in Angeles and one in Subic. I found all of them by word of mouth or just having a look around.

There are quite a few expats leasing in the “Baloy Beach” area, in the neighborhood of the “Blue Rock”, “Wild Orchid”, and “Treasure Island” resorts. They, naturally enough, like to be part of the expat community gathered there, and enjoy its proximity to the better beaches in the area. I, personally, wouldn’t want to live on Baloy Beach because I found it to be a poor value-for-money – you are, in good part, paying for the beach that the rental is close to, which causes the leases to be pretty high for what you’re getting, in a great many cases. I know plenty of guys who are quite happy with what they’ve found on the Baloy Road, so just keep in mind that you can likely get a nicer place for your money if you venture away from this popular area. If you’re willing to pay the price that is, of course, your personal choice. One other thing I dislike about this particular area is the horrible road leading into it. With all of these popular resort hotels in there and the large expat community, I feel it’s downright stupid to not do whatever it takes to get this road paved properly. In the rainy season it often becomes almost un-drivable! The potholes and flooded areas are formidable.

During the rainy season The Subic area is far more flood-prone than Angeles. Where I lived in the “Santa Monica” complex (in close proximity to the “Dreamland Resort” area), the whole complex got flooded for three days once (it hadn’t happened to this degree in over ten years, but once is all it takes)! The water was waist-deep outside of the house I was leasing, and I had 21” of water in my bedroom/toilet/den area on the lower floor. A couple of more inches and the whole living room and kitchen area would’ve been flooded, also. If I ever live in Subic again (which I might) I’ll definitely look for higher ground!

When I continue this subject, I’ll go over other differences in the two areas, from my perspective. I’ll discuss what it is like to shop for basic goods, where things are located/convenience of location, the differences in the bar scenes, and what one area features that the other doesn’t.

Part 2:

In part one, I outlined my perception on the living situation in Subic (primarily the Barrio Barretto area, because that’s where I spent most of my time – that’s where the bars are, mostly); shopping, and where you need to go to do it, is outlined here, as well as what it is like to barhop here compared to Angeles City.

One of the reasons I decided to move back to Angeles, after nearly two years in the Subic area, was the availability of goods that I wanted, and how spread-out things are compared to Angeles. In A.C., I drive my old car about once every two weeks, and then only to go somewhere out of walking distance, like Marquee Mall, The duty-free stores on Clark Airbase, Perimeter bars, or to the immigration office. In Subic, I depended on my car nearly every day (it’s an old car, I’m not rich, and I hate to have to depend on it). I lived in the Santa Monica complex, Subic (close to Dreamland Resort), and I was driving to the bars and hotels in The Dryden group almost daily; I also needed to drive to downtown Olongapo or onto the Subic Base to the duty-free stores to do much in the way of worthwhile shopping. I also found I needed to drive to Angeles a couple of times a month to shop at SM Mall, Marquee Mall, or some other place. I’ll give you an example of what I’m getting at: once I went on a quest to buy some local honey, which is readily available in Johnny’s Market, JJ’s Market, SM Mall, and several other places I know in Angeles. I drove all over downtown Olongapo, the Subic Base, and Subic City, and never found any at all! I did locate some imported “Sue Bee” stuff in a small jar, but it wasn’t what I needed, and the price was horribly inflated. I drove to Angeles City on my day off and picked a couple of liters up at Johnny’s.

I have other examples of things the Subic shopping area lacks, but the above one stood out in my memory. Another thing that really annoyed me was when, on two separate occasions, I needed some duplicate keys and good quality photocopies; there was no place in The Barrio Barretto area to get either, even with all the expats jammed into that area. The only place I could get keys made (that I could find) was on the streets of downtown Olongapo. For photocopies, I had to continue on to the duty-free stores on SBMA, where I found a machine at the National Book Store (unfortunately for me, their machine wasn’t very good, but it was the “only game in town; I ended up re-doing the project the next time I went to Angeles).

This situation is due to improve! Our friend “Pok Pok Boy” has informed us that there is an SM Mall being built in downtown Olongapo, and an Ayala Mall (The Corporation behind Marquee Mall in Angeles) on Subic base, right by the entrance to downtown Olongapo. Even though it’s still a bit far from where most of the expats are living, it at least means that shopping will be easier and better than before. This is bound to draw more expats to the area, which will, in turn, draw more girls. I saw these two construction sites in late November of 2011, and they’re moving right along. I was told the SM mall will be in operation in about six months, and the Ayala mall in less than a year. If you kids or girls that you’d like to entertain during the daytime hours, there is “Ocean Adventure” marine park, with a dolphin/whale show on the base that I found surprisingly entertaining, along with a sea lion show. There is also the “Zoobic Safari” zoo, but I didn’t get to see this, as our group arrived too late in the day to go in. I’m not the best person to ask about such activities available in Subic, but it’s clear the area is growing again!

As far as the bars, what expats/tourists are looking for in a barhopping experience can vary quite a bit. The fact is there are less bars, and less customers. As the area has grown, so has the number of expats, and the number of girls hoping to meet them. More action, more girls, and vice versa. You should see it when ships come in. The volume of girls seems to double, coming out of the woodwork! If you’re one of the fellows who like to “drown” themselves in a “sea of girls” (putting it politely), this is far more likely to happen for you in Angeles, at this point, than it will in Barrio Barretto. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen plenty of happy fellows achieve “major party time” in Barretto! There are plenty of fellows who prefer this scene to Angeles.

Back before Pinatubo erupted, it was pretty much the opposite for these two areas. After the Americans left the two bases, Angeles grew out of the ashes to become the punter’s prime destination, while the bars of Olongapo were replaced by a virtual ghost town of empty buildings. The real “death-knell” came when this was compounded by the mayor deciding to shut down all dancing bars in Barrio Barretto. This caused what little scene was left to locate in the Calapandayan area of Subic City. Obviously, this is changing.

While Angeles City is still a far more active scene, I believe we will see this becoming less the case as time goes on, particularly with the much-improved access provided by the expressway, and the large malls coming in.

I’m aware that there are punters who are on a constant “feeding frenzy” for new faces in greater volume which, clearly, the Subic area is far less likely to provide at this moment in time, but I can say for myself that some of the best girls I’ve ever met were right there in Barrio Barretto, and I’ve got plenty of company in guys that agree with me. There were plenty of beauties I never managed to get to. As a good friend of mine said to me, “Sure, there are less girls here than Angeles, but how many do you need at any one time?” … and, too, as the scene grows, so will the volume of girls, just like it did in Angeles.

One perception that I have regarding the Subic scene that makes it preferable to the Angeles scene: the Gordon family seems to have the respect of the departments who routinely attack the Angeles bar scene in search of favorable headlines and big payoffs, under the guise of enforcing morality. I’m not personally aware of how far back it goes that a Gordon family member wasn’t the political leader of the Olongapo/Subic area, but they go back quite a way, and really appear to be respected enough to run the area without federal agency interference; the different agencies don’t come in over the local government’s heads like they do in Angeles City. In Angeles it sometimes seems like nobody’s really in charge, opening the door to seemingly rogue operations aimed only at foreigners, while turning a blind eye to the many native-run establishments who are far more guilty of the charges they throw at the “visiting teams”.

I’ve always enjoyed The Subic Bay Area, and I will continue to enjoy it. I can say that I hope to live there again. Even though Angeles is more convenient for me in a lot of ways at this point in time, I look back on my stay in Subic with fondness, and would certainly go back if the opportunity presented itself. I miss those peaceful days and nights at the beach! … and, not just a few of the beautiful girls I met!

L is for lesbian

L is for lick, L is for love and these days L is definitely for lesbian. As male mongerers many of us are quite partial to a lesbian experience in fact I know many guys who specifically seek it out and consider it a turn on. A little girl on girl action is becoming more and more frequent and it has even gotten to the stage where it has spawned its own lingo. For example you will often hear people asking for a girl who “plays well with others” or refer to a “carpet muncher” or as a blunt Australian mate of mine likes to say, ”a girl who goes the growler”. It is a simple fact that in the Philippine girlie bars what I call ‘pseudo lesbianism’ has been going on since day 1 but in later years it seems to have come more out in the open amongst both the girls and the customers. In this article I will address the reasons behind lesbianism examining why it occurs and why it seems to be on the increase.

In the Philippine bar culture there seems to be various degrees of lesbianism. For example what foreigners would often refer to as a butch woman or a dyke is referred to by Filipinas as a “tom boy”. Basically a tom boy is a female who exhibits masculine characteristics rather than feminine and this includes a sexual orientation towards females.

A lesser degree of lesbianism is referred to as a T/Bird. These are girls who retain some feminine characteristics but again their sexual orientation is towards other females rather than males.

A third degree and again a lesser degree is basically the Bisexual girl. The Filipinas tend to refer to girls such as this as lesbians but in the strictest sense of the word they are Bisexual not lesbian. These girls are often quite hard to pick because they retain their feminine characteristics and have an equal sexual orientation towards both men and women.

The first and easiest to explain reason why so many bar girls indulge in lesbian behavior is because it represents comparatively safe physical pleasure with little to no downside. This is sexual pleasure without any draw backs. There is little if any physical wear and tear on either participant’s body, there is little chance of STD’s and life threatening diseases and there is no risk of unwanted pregnancy. For many women having sex with other women has only positive aspects without the negatives. It is all about sexual pleasure without the associated risks that are an integral part of heterosexual (male female) sex.

A second reason which is particularly applicable to Filipina’s working the bar is what I call the comfort level. Put simply when they are having sex with another Filipina also working the bar it is in many ways like being in a proverbial comfort zone. This occurs because the Filipinas are in a similar situation having similar experiences (both working in the bar), they have similar cultural experiences, similar backgrounds, a similar language and of course a similar sex drive achieving climax through exactly the same means as each other. The comfort level is further increased by the fact that because both partners are the same sex they can more easily understand and empathize with the feelings and emotions each is experiencing and they can understand the problems that one or both may be experiencing. When it comes to Filipinas working the bar a sexual relationship will often start off as a friendship and then over a period of time expand into a sexual relationship. With the initial friendship as the basis this makes for a very comfortable situation for both parties.

I distinctly remember a gay friend of mine in Australia arguing that homosexual sex was far better than that of heterosexual sex. Like a fool I asked him why and he went on to argue that only a man can truly know what pleases a man. I have heard many lesbians apply this same logic as they argue only a woman can truly understand a woman and therefore only a woman can truly satisfy another woman. Personally I have serious doubts about the validity of this argument as it discounts the natural desire to propagate the human species however when taken into consideration it certainly helps explain why lesbianism would be on the increase amongst the Filipina bar girls. It is an undeniable fact that man will never totally understand women and women will never totally understand men however the level of understanding especially amongst same sex partners must inevitably be increased. Indeed when I have questioned some same sex female partners they always emphasize how they understand each other much better than a man could ever do.

Another factor which should be taken into consideration especially when it comes to the Filipina bar girl is that their fellow females make better sexual partners than Filipino men and foreigner men. Let’s face it the average foreigner customer is not exactly a prime specimen of manhood and chances are he is going with the girl purely for his own physical satisfaction and the Filipino men mostly view the girls as ‘putas’ or prostitutes and their actions towards the girls will reflect this attitude. However when it comes to their fellow bar girls there is no judgmental attitude since both girls are in the same situation, each partner is most likely in prime physical shape, they share the same physical and emotional needs and each will get turned on giving satisfaction to the other.

There is an old adage which states “men fall in lust, women fall in love” in other words men have sex for the sake of physical satisfaction but women have sex to satisfy both physical and emotional needs. If this is true then it makes sense that girls working in the bar environment would be attracted to each other since they have sex for similar reasons and are looking for the same things from the sexual experience. Given they are looking for similar things from the sexual experience it makes sense that bar girls will often turn to each other to meet those needs. It is also important to note that when the bar girl goes with a foreigner most of the time she is doing it for the money and in her mind he is “just a customer”. On the other hand when she goes with another girl it is for both the physical and emotional satisfaction. For the Filipina bar girl the female to female relationship can become very important and it is not uncommon for them to develop strong emotional ties to each other.

There are numerous other reasons why bar girls experiment in lesbianism not the least of which is an anti male feeling. In the Philippines the incidents of rape and molestation are alarmingly high and a large percentage of this is from relatives. In many cases women who have experienced rape or molestation at the hands of a male will turn to other women for their sexual satisfaction. This is almost like a backlash against men and a suppression of heterosexual desires. One lady whom I was to become involved with for a number of years I met inside Firehouse bar in 1994 and it was on our initial meeting where she informed me her nick name in the bar was “tomboy”. At the time I really had no idea about the implications of this name but was soon to find out it meant she was sexually attracted to other females and take it from me she was rampant amongst the bar girls perhaps even more than I was. We became involved in a rather stormy relationship and it wasn’t until many years later when we were discussing her bisexual desires that she told me about her experience of being raped and molested by her father in law during her early to mid teens. We discussed her feelings towards this experience and both agreed that this was probably the driving force behind her attraction to women and she recognized the fact that these feelings represented a rebellion against males.

There are many subtle psychological and sociological reasons why Filipinas will partake in lesbian behavior. Firstly there is the control factor which often goes hand in hand with the corruption of innocence. When a woman is having sex with a man she is normally the subservient partner however when it comes to having sex with another woman she is at worst in an equal position and many times in a dominant position. For example in the bar world it is common to see the more experienced girls sexually pursuing the less experienced girls or even the cherry girls. In this scenario there is definitely a power factor where the experienced girl gets a sense of power from corrupting or at least bringing the less experienced girl to their level. It’s a way of saying you are exactly the same as me even though you may have less experience. Lastly when they have sex with a less experienced girl the more experienced partner is in control and as such assumes dominance.

Recently I asked Drummer to cite a few reasons why he thinks Filipina bar girls so often experiment with lesbianism and the following is one of the points he bought up. It’s psychological thing…they are told from birth that they are worthless and nothing and their only purpose in life is to help the family financially, and that if men cheat on them, that it is expected. So now that they have found themselves working in a bar, they succum to what they have been told and “act” like a bad girl, so as to be the “best daughter” in the family. Everyone turns a blind eye as long as the money is coming in. Now that they consider themselves to be “bad”, they are free to do anything badgirls do. including lesbian activities. Its kinda like “see how bad I am now?” Much as the bakla makes everyone wrong by acting over the top, after a failure with women he “becomes” one

Other reasons why lesbian like behavior is on the rise in the Philippines girlie bar scene include the fact that women have less psychological barriers towards same sex sexual experience. You will often see women kissing and hugging in a much more intimate way than men will ever do. For the Filipina bar girl it is just as natural and acceptable to kiss hug and have genuine feelings towards your fellow bar girls as it is to engage in the same behavior with a male.

When the girls from the province first enter the bar life it is a somewhat radical change from their existence in the province and they find themselves in a strange world where they are lonely because they have few to no friends and they are existing in an unfamiliar world with unfamiliar rules. One effective way to relieve this loneliness is to develop a friendship or a sexual relationship with another girl working in the bar.

So far I have given examples of how the lesbian or bisexual behavior is seen as being natural and accepted but there is also an element of taboo that surrounds it. The feeling of doing something taboo or just slightly naughty appeals to the teenage sense of rebellion that seems to be an integral part of all teenagers throughout the world. This feeling of flirting with a form of behavior that is not socially acceptable is summed up by the Katty Perry song “I kissed a girl and I liked it”. This song highlights the titillation that comes from engaging in a form of behavior that she has been taught to believe is unacceptable. It is the thrill one gets from breaking the rules. This feeling of excitement and titillation definitely plays a role in the Filipina bar girls world and makes the lesbian experience exciting and enjoyable. Lesbianism represents a breaking of the rules and rebellion against predominant social mores which is why it is exciting and therefore attractive to many bar girls.

The Filipina have a reputation worldwide for pleasing their man and in bar girl terms this may well take the form of engaging in whatever sexual behavior they know turns the man on. Many bar girls know that if they please the man sexually they increase their chances of receiving a bigger tip and at the same time they realize many men get turned on by the girl on girl experience. As a bar manager nearly every second day I am asked does such and such a girl play well with others or will she do the girl on girl experience or Martin I want a girl who eats pussy. Some guys will even bring in their girl friend or wives and ask for a girl who will “play” with their partner. Bottom line here is that the lesbian like behavior is being not only condoned by the customers but actually actively sought after by male customers.

Often the lesbian behavior and the lesbian relationship will develop as a result of emotional rebound. On many occasions I have seen bar girls become emotionally involved with a male only to have that relationship dissolve and in a type of emotional rebound they have fallen into a lesbian relationship. There is definitely an anti male aspect to this behavior but more importantly I think it is just a safe way to fill in the emotional void that is left after a relationship dissolves.

As in most aspects of life there is the inevitable factor of money. Many of the so called tom boys or full on lesbians who adopt the masculine characteristics will become involved with the bar girls because they know the bar girls have access to foreigners and therefore have access to money. Often the tom boys will use the bar girls and pimp them out worse than the real Filipino male and of course a large percentage of the girls earned money will always be kept by the TomBoy . I am glad to say this aspect of lesbianism is getting less and less and only exists in the main part around the fringes of the bar scene.

Lastly there are several other more superficial reasons why lesbianism is on the rise in the Filipino bar scene. It is good harmless fun, it is a way to pass the time with little to no downside and very often it is just a manifestation of the desire to experiment and have some fun, it is an expression of sexuality and most importantly it is easy sexual satisfaction and gratification.

Cherry Girls

Definition: For the newbies who are unfamiliar with the term cherry girl it means a virgin or a girl who has not yet had sexual intercourse and her hymen is still in tact.

I distinctly remember working in Visions in Manila in 1992 and there was this cute petite little girl named Lyka. I remember how she had a cherubic face with a dazzling smile and a mixture of flirtatiousness and beguiling innocence. She was a little dark skinned beauty so after spotting her for the third time and making eye contact I decided fortune favors the bold and invited her down for a drink. As she walked off the stage to come and join me I observed how she grabbed a shawl and put this around her. She had a delightfully sexy walk and I remember thinking as I watched her cute little hips swaying provocatively how nice it would be to nail this one and I felt an old familiar swelling just anticipating the action.

Lyka sat down and then dazzled me with that beaming smile as I mumbled something to the waitress about a ladies drink. We sat and talked for a while and I remember thinking how this girl had a kind of childish innocent appeal which was really attractive. Everything seemed to be going well and after 3 drinks Lyka was subtly flirting with me so I decided to pop the question, Hey Rosie I think you are a really pretty girl and I was wondering, would you like to come back to my hotel room”? Rosie looked at me with another beatific smile giggled and replied, “I go with you but I am cherry girl”.

Well talk about shot down in flames, I had been rearing to go, I had this beautiful firm bodied young lady who seemed to be into me and everything was looking really good until those dreaded words came out of her pretty little mouth. I was literally dumbfounded and didn’t know what to do. My perplexed state must have been amusing for Lyka as she simply smiled and said, “no problem Martin you get 2 girls but other one no cherry girl”. At the time I thought all my Christmases had come at once and I must admit I ended up taking one of Lykas friends as well as Lyka and had a very entertaining night.

In the end the situation turned out to be very advantageous for me but the point of this story is the disappointment and frustration I initially felt when confronted with the simple truth that the girl I was interested in was a virgin. I remember thinking at the time these damned cherry girls should be banned from the bars what a waste of time and money they were. As time passed I was to come into contact with many cherry girls and with many people who couldn’t stand them and many people who were ambivalent about them and others who swore by them and dedicated tremendous amounts of time and money to procuring that elusive cherry.

Cherry girls are observed by different people in different ways with some swearing by them whilst others find them frustrating and a total waste of time and money. The purpose of this article will be to examine the cherry girl phenomena and highlight her role inside the bar as well as examining what they mean for the customers. Hopefully through reading this article, visitors to the bar will gain a better understanding of the cherry girl/bar girl and develop an effective approach towards them.

When it comes to the bar there are actually several different types of Cherry girl and they can be categorized as follows

1. The true virgin.

2. The girls who have lost their virginity but still claim to be cherry girls for a variety of reasons.

There are a number of reasons why a non virgin girl working the bar would claim to be a virgin and these include

She has lost her cherry but has never been with a foreigner so for foreigners she claims to be a cherry girl. This is generally referred to by mongerers as the strawberry girl.

A girl who has had a bad experience and this has put her off sex so to avoid having sex with bar customers she claims to be cherry.

A girl will claim to be cherry because it gives her greater leverage in deciding who she goes out with.

A girl who lost her virginity in what she considers a “bad” way, (for example a girl who was raped or lost it by engaging in lesbian activities) and rather than confront the painful emotions she now convinces herself and others that she is still a cherry girl

A girl who is genuinely lesbian or frigid. To avoid having sex she will tell you she is cherry.

A girl who restricts her sexual encounters to Filipino men and /or Asians only. Rather than tell you this she will simply say she is cherry and use that as a convenient excuse not to go with you.

A girl who thinks your penis is to big so rather than admit she cannot handle it she will say she is cherry and avoid you and herself losing face.

A girl who has a boyfriend or a regular customer coming soon and she wants to be “tight” for him.

A girl who knows you and who you are involved with (for example your wife or girlfriend) and as such does not want to go with you. Rather than just state the truth many girls will simply make the I am a cherry excuse which in her mind is a nice way to decline your offer of sex.

A girl who knows your reputation and is afraid if she goes with you she will be critiqued by you. Rather than admit this fear she will once again look for the easy excuse which is normally claim to be a cherry girl.

A girl who has only recently lost her cherry but doesn’t want to admit it. She is still in denial and as such will try to convince herself and others she is still a cherry girl.

A girl who knows you well and realizes she cannot play you for money, love support or whatever. Rather than admit this she will simply make an excuse not to go with you and one such common excuse is claiming to still be a cherry girl.

For all of these categories I would like to extend my thanks to Drummer who was as always an invaluable source of information when I was writing this article.

Moving right along it is now time to look at the real virgin and examine her role in the bar. The Filipina virgin in the bar looks like a contradiction in terms but in fact the truth is far from that. The simple fact is that whilst the bar is selling sex the virgins who know nothing about sex often fit in very well and earn good money for both herself and the bar. In a business that is selling the promise of sex I have always found it ironic that virgins should be employed but from personal experience I can positively state that cherry girls, for the most part, make money for the bar and themselves.

Ok, so the question must now be asked how do cherry girls make money in the bar environment. The most obvious answer is they become very proficient at getting ladies drinks. Whilst the normal girl has two options at her disposal, (the promise of sex and her ability to communicate with the customer) the cherry girl only has her ability to communicate with the customer. In many cases it is almost as if they compensate for their lack of ability to offer sex by becoming proficient at communicating with the customer.It is not unusual to find cherry girls among the ranks of the top drink getters in the bar.

In most cases cherry girls working the bar regard their virginity as an asset which when sold will bring them a large amount of money. Whilst working in the bar I have heard negotiations for a girls virginity from as high as 100 thousand to as low as 30 thousand. It is important to note here that normally the mamasan’s will get a cut of the cherry girls money which partly explains why mamasan’s regard cherry girls as profitable propositions. On another level the point to realize here is not how much the customer has to pay but rather that the girls themselves and others in the bar regard virginity as a precious possession which in the bar has an actual economic value. The girls themselves realize this and it is often the need to make money by selling their virginity that drives a cherry girl to work in the bar in the first place.

Contrary to this in the Philippines we also have what is referred to as the “professional cherry girl”. These are girls who work in the bar for a long period but maintain their virginal status. These girls survive mainly by hustling ladies drinks but they have also been known to go out with customers accompanied by another non virginal girl who will perform the sexual acts whilst the cherry girl watches without physically partaking. In my experience as a customer this can be fun but overall it is a waste of money since normally the cherry girl does absolutely nothing when it comes to sex.

Communication is a major factor in the cherry bar girls world. On many occasions I have seen male customers just spend time chatting to cherry girls whereas for other girls they tend to cut to the chase and make the EWR proposition almost immediately. The cherry girls learn how to communicate with the customer more effectively because this is their major tool used for earning money and the customers seem to find the cherry girls more friendly and in some ways less imposing. It’s almost as if the customers feel like they have less expectations put on them by the cherry girls plus they find the innocence attractive. I remember one Asian Escapades member who would bar-fine a cherry girl quite regularly and buy her drinks in the bar. When I asked him why he replied, “it’s a bit like being a teenager again and having a summer camp crush”. When sex is taken out of the equation, as is the case with cherry girls, communication seems to flow more easily and this is combined with the attractiveness of innocence making the cherry girl a very inviting proposition.

Another factor which explains cherry girls presence in the girlie bars is their physical attributes. It is a commonly held belief that a virgins body is tighter and firmer which are attributes that many male customers of the girlie bars look for. One major advantage that the cherry girl has in her favor is the fact that she is seen as being non threatening by the other girls. On many occasions I have seen customers together with their girlfriends bar fine cherry girls and the girlfriend will allow this because she finds the virgin girl non threatening and less likely to steal her boyfriend.

In bar terms the cherry girls are almost like a trainee or an investment. At first they cost the bar money but in most cases after a short period of time they produce far more than they cost and when they lose their cherry within a short period of time they are often the most prolific bar finers in the bar. On many occasions I have seen guys come into the bar and buy the cherry girls a few drinks just to maintain contact so as they can be the first man after she looses her virginity. Some other advantages for the bar are the fact that cherry girls only have to attend hygiene once every three months and the fact that they are less likely to “sneak out” with customers. In short they are not time consuming and less of a hassle for the mamasan’s.

The cherry girls can actually add a lot to the bars atmosphere simply because they have a child like sense of fun and normally the other more experienced girls enjoy playing with them and teasing them and most importantly they tease the cherry girls about sex. Last but not least the Filipina cherry girls are renowned for engaging in sexual activity without losing their virginity. I am talking here about cherry girl blowjobs something which I always found a most pleasant experience because it combines sexual gratification with the sense of innocence. To many being a cherry girl and engaging in oral sex may seem contradictory but in the Philippines it is simply seen as maintaining ones valuable asset whilst being practical and earning money. For the man it is great because it is sexually pleasing and secondly it is gratifying to know the girl cannot have sex with you but she is doing her best to make sure you are satisfied, without as they say, “going all the way”.

As always there are two sides to every story and this is certainly the case with cherry girls in the bar. On the downside cherry girls can be an exercise in frustration. On many occasions I have seen people come into the bar, take a fancy towards a girl, buy her a ladies drink only to find out she is a cherry girl. The result is invariably disappointment as they know nothing will happen and they feel like they have wasted their money buying the girl a drink.

Another bad thing about cherry girls is if they give up their virginity they will inevitably fall in love and will be more like a limpid mine than a pleasant companion. If a Filipina is in love with you this will in the vast majority of times cramp your mongering and you will normally find you are expected to meet some serious obligations that go with taking the virginity. In the Philippines it is never as simple as taking a girls virginity there will invariably be numerous hidden strings and expectations attached.

Even though I have never made it with a virgin I have talked to many girls and many customers about the experience and from what I have heard it is not a particularly pleasant experience. It is painful for the girl and painful for the man. It is messy and generally there is no sexual satisfaction for either party. Worst of all there will always be substantial expectations attached to the giving up of the virginity and these expectations can be very expensive both economically and emotionally. Last but not least the taking of virginity leaves you open for a variety of problems and pressure particularly from the girls family to the extent where you may be forced to marry her or at least provide a substantial monetary payment.

In the end we can say what we want about cherry girls but love them or hate them they are here to stay and it is my sincere hope that this article will help readers understand the concept of cherry girls in the bar, give an insight into their world and furthermore help readers formulate an effective approach towards them.

Angeles City’s Seasonal Variations

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”

Now some of you may ask what the heck is mjibbo doing utilizing famous quotes about the seasons. Well I must admit it is an unusual way to start an article but when Shagger suggested the topic “Seasons of Angeles” for my next column I just couldn’t resist it.

The seasons have always influenced man-kinds existence and it is no different when it comes to the Angeles bar business. Technically speaking Angeles only experiences two seasons, the rainy season and the sunny season, yet despite this these seasons influence the bar business quite dramatically. In fact the influence of the seasons is clearly shown by their alternative names. The rainy season is referred to as the quiet season or the slow season and the sunny season is referred to as the peak season or the busy season.

The seasonal variations in the weather have a direct effect on the Angeles bar business for example the months June through to October are officially considered the rainy season and are alternatively known as the quiet season because this is the time when there are less tourists in Angeles.

Traditionally these months are the summer time in Europe and America so as a result there is always less customers during this time period. Conversely these months represent the winter time in the Southern hemisphere and during these lean months visitors from the Southern Hemisphere countries have provided the bulk of tourists for the Angeles bar business.

During the so called rainy season the Southern Hemisphere customers are also joined by customers coming from Asian countries and by a healthy number of eternally horny expatriates who have made Angeles their home. The main Asian countries that supply the customers include Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and mainland China. Together these two distinct groups keep the Angeles bar scene alive during the slow season.


The rainy season is also referred to as the slow season, especially by those involved in the bar business, because it is during this time that there is the lowest number of tourists which translates into the lowest amount of customers visiting the bar. The rain combined with the haphazard infrastructure and minor floods provides an inconvenience when bar hopping in the rainy season but despite these inconveniences in my opinion this is one of the best times to visit Angeles.

There are a number of advantages to visiting Angeles during the slow season not the least of which is the number of girls. During the slow season the number of customers goes down and the number of good looking girls goes up. Many of the girls who during the peak season find a supporter and leave the bar now find themselves in the position of having no support and as a result come back to work in the bar. This creates a situation where there is a large number of girls and a low number of men. The bottom line is; lots of girls and less competition for their services.

One of the things I have always liked about the rainy season is the girls attitudes. All of a sudden the average customer in the eyes of the bar girls can go from Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, to Brad Pit the object of woman’s desire.

This does not occur because of any change in the customers appearance but simply because due to the lack of customers the girls are finding it harder to make money and as such are getting less choosy who they go out with. Secondly there is less competition (customers) for their attention. Because there are fewer customers in the rainy season the girls tend to exhibit less “attitude” and generally speaking they are friendlier. They are also keener to go bar-fine and perform well because they need the money.


During the rainy season the girls outnumber the guys and their attitudes towards the customer tend to be a lot different. In short it is a “buyers market”.

During this season the business is down so to attract what customers there are many bars will engage in special promotions and price cutting activities which is always beneficial for the customers. Lastly as a customer you will find in the rainy season that bars value your patronage more than they do in the busy season and as a result you will receive more free drinks and in general find people more approachable and friendly.


Christmas in July party at Neros

Last but not least this is also the slow season for other service providers such as the airlines consequently the cost of traveling to the Philippines is often very much less during this time than it is in the On Season.

Of course these are generalizations and there will always be exceptions to the rule however over the years I have certainly found these generalizations to hold true and the rainy season for me has always been a great time to visit Angeles.

Nothing is ever perfect and there are of course several negative sides to visiting Angeles during the rainy season. Firstly the very obvious point that it is raining and the resultant complications this causes for customers. The infrastructure of Angeles is haphazard at best and when it starts to pour going bar hopping or just about any activity can be time consuming and not really a pleasurable experience. Most visitors to Angeles travel by the cramped trikes whilst this is not a particularly comfortable means of transport at the best of times it becomes dam right inconvenient during the rainy season. What’s more it is during the rainy season that the flu’s and colds seem to proliferate and invariably you will be exposed to them as you mingle in the bars having close contact with the girls and other customers.

In the hedonistic environment of cheap booze and beautiful available young women it is only natural that many bars act as a sort of party venue where people let their hair down and enjoy life to the fullest. During the rainy season the number of people in town is less and there is a sort of dampening of the party vibe simply because there are less people in the bars and therefore less interaction with the girls. If you are looking for social interaction and a raging party scene then the rainy season is not an ideal time for you.

Because the town is quieter the locals have been known to become more desperate so as a result the vendors are slightly more aggressive and some bar staff will resort to little scams in order to make that all important extra piso on the side.

The Angeles bars often act as a sort of party venue which is only natural when yare somewhat unique in that they offer act as a sort of social gathering place Mention downside of rainy season if you like to hang round the guys there is not so much comradeship the bars are more prone to hustle you and perhaps push for the easy money such as ladies drinks or little scams. There is an air of tension almost palatable fewer parties or fun events attended by a large number of people less outside activities such as pool parties can get a cold easily wet then air-con the vendors and beggars are slightly more aggressive less pool parties and things simply because it is raining and there is less people in town to attend them hard to travel anywhere especially by boat or to a coastal destination and why would you want to do it anyway when it is raining.


The so called managers table at Vortex. There was a time when this table was one of the busiest in town.

Lastly in the rainy season outside activities are severely limited. Pool parties playing golf, go-carts, horseback riding, trekking Mount Pinatubo, motorbike riding and a host of other outside activities are hampered by the rain.


Watch out Tiger Woods here comes Shagger and mjibbo. Please note mjibbos intense concentration as he prepares the perfect pitch and put.

The On season or the high season as it is alternatively known also has several advantages and disadvantages. The high season is October through to April and generally you will find it a lot busier than the slow season. The most obvious advantage is the weather. During these months it is hot during the day with constant sunshine but at night time it cools down and it is quite a pleasant temperature especially during November through to March. One advantage of this pleasant weather is that it allows special events such as pool parties which are always a must attend for Angeles visitors.


Pool parties at the Lewis Grand.These can get pretty raunchy and are a classic example of the sort of fun one can have outside the bar during the On Season.

One major advantage of the “On season” is that the town is crowded and everyone is making money this in turn creates a more positive atmosphere which permeates throughout everything in the town. During the “On season” you will find many of the bars have a lively party atmosphere as the crowds of tourists, expats and girls peacefully mingle with each other all spending money and having a dam good time.


A busy bar during the On Season and noticeably there is a large representation of AE members.

Another advantage of the “On season” is that bars will put a heavy emphasis on regular parties for example dog house and Wow Wednesday as it is hoped a greater number of customers will attend and amongst them some bigger spenders than normal. To attract people shows such as these will often become a little more risque and sexually orientated.


The DogHouse always a popular get together for just about everyone.

There are also a number of disadvantages to the On Season and primary among these is the fact that it is a ‘sellers’ market. By this I mean there are a lot more customers which translates to more competition for the girls company giving an advantage to the girls and it becomes the sellers market. This is directly opposite from the “Off season” where there are more girls and less customers giving the buyer an advantage, in short it is a ‘buyers’ market rather than a ‘sellers’ market. The ’sellers’ market translates to the girls getting choosy The ‘sellers’ market is particularly noticeable during the holidays such as Christmas and Easter, during these times there are numerous customers yet few available girls because a large majority of the girls will go to the province or simply take a few days off work.

Normally during the peak season there are more customers but less girls available. Often visitors will come for a period of 2 or three weeks and rather than bar fine a different girl every night many will just take one girl out of the bar and have a sort of short term relationship with her. Every year the good looking girls or the more experienced girls will find somebody who is willing to support them, albeit for a short period of time, and as such they will stop work in the bar. The chances of this happening increase dramatically when there are more visitors in town.

Another very basic disadvantage of the On Season is that it is more expensive to travel here because the air fares are at peak rates. In the rainy season you will be able to purchase tickets for as much as 20% less than during the peak season.

All in all each season has its advantages and disadvantages however one thing remains constant and that is Angeles and the bars are always a great place to visit no matter what the time of year. This is the town of sexual adventure and total hedonism. As my opening quote so eloquently stated “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”

Helpful Cellphone Tips in the Philippines

Since most of the population and immigrant locals use Text Messaging as their main form of "talking", one should get used to this method of communication. It’s cost effective, and it keeps a written record of what was said, which can be handy later.

Network…any GSM phone that operates on 900/1800 mhz will work. This includes many models by Nokia, Sony/Ericsson, Motorola, and HTC and even Chinese models. If your phone simply has the name of your carrier on it, such as Cingular, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile,Vodaphone, O2, etc…check the actual model number of the unit first to verify coverage. CDMA only phones will not work here.

Providers….Smart, Globe, and Sun. Each company has certain benefits and drawbacks so just pick the one you like. Both Smart and Globe support data services so you can access the internet, email, video calling and more, using GPRS, EDGE, 3G, UTMS, HSDPA. This guide will answer most of your questions about using a cellphone with Smart or Globe. As I have never used SUN, I will simply post a link here for you to read about their services: SUN Cellular

Can you use your phone from your own country here?

if it is already network unlocked, meaning you have verified that it can be used on a telcom provider, other than the one you bought it from, YES
if not, one can usually get it unlocked in one of the many cellphone shops along Fields Ave, or at Savers Mall, SM Mall, or Nepo Mall.

Should I bring my phone with me or just buy one here?
Well, that depends. If you think you need to have all of your foreign contacts with you while here, then yes. If you just need a basic phone for calling and texting, one can be purchased for as little as p1500 brand new. That being said, your phone might have lots of bells and whistles that a cheap local phone won’t. But, many use a dedicated phone, just for the Philippines, so they reduce the risk of getting their foreign, expensive phone lost or stolen.

Basically, you buy a pre-paid SIM card, which costs anywhere from 80 pesos to 150 pesos and add load balance to it. This will now be your local Phils number. You will place it (usually underneath the battery) in your new phone, or the phone you brought over with you. Load can be added by buying a reload card and following the instructions on the card, which consists of scratching off a hidden pin number and sending a text message or making a free call to reload, or by purchasing Eload (electronic load) from one of many roadside shops or going into the telcom provider’s business office.

Texting Messaging and Predictive Texting

Get ready though, as filipinos have an interesting way of abbreviating their words, and sometimes use phonetic spelling, or "TAG-lish" so you’ll have to ask a buddy to read and decifer your incoming messages.

English speaking persons have the option of using their phone’s built in dictionary while composing text messages. Sometimes called T9, it can be activated in the phone menu, and it can really save a lot of time. Words, next letter and even next sentence choices are spelled out in advance of the word being completed, and can be chosen while typing. So instead of typing the word HELLO with 13 key presses, it can be done in 5 key presses. Be careful when spelling new words when in T9 dictionary mode, as if you mis-spell a word, it will be offered as a word choice every time until you enter so many new words as to overwrite your custom words.

To Check your balance with SMART
CALL 1515, you will hear some beeps then be disconnected. You will then receive a text message with the balance.
TEXT 1515 and send to 214
You will then receive a text message with the balance.
Use the SMART menu and select Buddy Balance.

To Check your balance with Globe

CALL 222 You will then receive a text message with the balance. This costs 1 peso.
TEXT bal and send to 222 You will then receive a text message with the balance. This is free up to 8 times a day.

To Reload Smart using a reload card by calling
CALL 1510fourteendigitpinnumber
using the pin number you have revealed by scratching off the hidden section

Reloading Instructions for Globe Call & Text Card
For GLOBE Handyphone local [Philippine] subscribers
1. Dial 223 and press Send
2. Follow the voice prompts
3. Enter the first 10 digits [Call Card Number] then press #
4. Enter the last 6 digits [Call Card PIN] then press #
5. A voice prompt will then confirm if the load attempt is successful

For GLOBE Handyphone US Roaming subscribers
1. Dial *123* + call card number + PIN + # sign. Do not put spaces in between this sequence.
Ex. *123* 1234567890123456#
2. Press SEND.
3. Wait for this confirmation message to flash on the screen. “Please wait while we process your request.”
4. You will receive a message shortly after. “Reload successful new balance is Pxxx”

International Text Roaming is really great, as you can keep in touch with persons in the Philippines and it costs them one peso to send a text message to you, as if you were still in the country. Many persons use two phones when back in their home countries, one with the SIM on roaming to receive messages, and their local foreign phone for replying. Roaming can also be used to deny incoming calls while here in the Philippines, to ensure your privacy, location, and/or help you get some needed sleep or continue with your business meeting, uninterrupted. In this case, although you can send and receive text messages, you will be unable to make or receive calls.

Roaming with SMART…

Activating International Text Roaming
Simply text "ROAM ON" and send to 333. Roaming activation will occur within one (1) hour, usually instantly. (Important: Remember to activate pre-paid roaming before leaving the Philippines.)

When your Buddy Roaming service is activated you will be able to send and receive text messages in over 100 countries in the world, anytime for only P20 per send; enjoy zero-charging for receiving text messages while roaming; and disallow all outgoing and incoming calls (even while you’re in the Philippines).

To deactivate the roaming feature upon your return, simply key in "ROAM OFF" and send to 333. De-activation will occur within one (1) hour, usually instantly. (Remember to deactivate upon arrival in the Philippines to restore voice calls.)

Once overseas it is free to receive texts as long as you maintain a 100 peso balance.

Checking your pre-paid peso balance while roaming
To check your PESO balance while roaming:
Type in ?1515 and send to 214
You will receive a text message stating your latest available balance.

To check your FREE text balance:
Type ?1516 and send to 214
You will receive a text message stating your latest available balance.

To Reload using a reload card thru text:

Through text, you can also reload SMART Buddy with a few simple commands:
a. Lightly scratch off the protective ink on your Call and Text Card* to reveal the 14-digit PIN.
b. Type in "RELOAD <’14 digit PIN’>" and send to 1510. NOTE, there is a space between reload and the pin number.
c. If you wish to load another phone number than the one you are texting the reload command from, type in "RELOAD <’14 digit PIN’> <‘phone number’>".
d. You will receive a text message confirming that the reload attempt is successful

Roaming with Globe
Just text GROAM ON [Start Date] [No. of Days] and send to 2884.

For example, if you want to activate your roaming on September 26, 2009 for ten days, just text GROAM ON 09/26/2009 10 send to 2884.

Make sure that you have P500 balance before activating your International Roaming. You also need to maintain P500 daily load while abroad to ensure continuity of your roaming service. You may request for roaming activation 7 days before departure or at least an hour before departure. Maximum number of days for activation is 180 days.

P100 maintaining balance while roaming is permanent.

RATE
Required Activation Balance Php 100
Required Maintaining Balance Php 100

The following grace periods will apply after completing your requested roaming days.

No. of Requested Days and Grace Period*

1 – 7 roaming days
8 – 90 roaming days
91 – 120 roaming days
121 – 180 roaming days
0 days grace period
3 days grace period
14 days grace period
30 days grace period

* Roaming service will remain inactive while under the grace period.

Reminder: You can only request for activation while you’re in the Philippines. If you go below the required maintaining balance, Globe Telecom will give you a text notification to reload within 24 hours, otherwise your Roaming service will be deactivated.

How to apply for extension of the Prepaid International Roaming Service:
To request for extension of your Prepaid International Roaming, just text GROAM EXTEND [no. of days] and send to 2884 before your roaming request ends. Maximum number of days for extension is 90 days.

You can extend as many times until you reach the 180 days maximum allowable roaming days.

Regular roaming text charges apply. Make sure that you have P 500 balance before making a request. You also need to maintain P 500 daily load while abroad to ensure continuity of your roaming service.

Reminder: You must request for extension at least a day before your roaming service ends.

How to make calls while roaming with Globe:
1. Dial *131* + country code + area code (or operator code) + called party’s number + #sign. Do not put spaces in between this number sequence. (e.g. *131*6327301000# ). Press SEND.

2. A confirmation message will flash on your screen.

"Please wait while we process your request."

3.Then wait for your phone to ring and you’re automatically connected.

Reminder: Maintain P80 in prepaid credits to avoid getting your call cut off due to insufficient balance.

Maintain P95 in prepaid credits to receive calls.

How to check your balance while roaming with Globe

1. CALL *122#

2.You will receive a confirmation message "Your balance is Pxxx", stating your current balance.

Checking your balance while roaming in CANADA, just by text BAL send to 2215

*Balance inquiry is free of charge and is available to you 8 times daily. On the 9th try, you will no longer receive a balance update.

For HELP while roaming, you can call Globe’s 24/7 Customer Service Hotline * Prepaid clients can call *131*6327301212# from your mobile (toll-free)

You can also email Globe at "custhelp@globetel.com.ph" for help on your roaming. You can even request to reactivate your SIM’s roaming feature thru this email.

SMART PASALOAD
The world’s first service that allows your friends and relatives in the Philippines to send load for as low as P2.00 from their SMART cellphones.

To send load to your roaming SIM, they just have to text < your roaming sim#> space < amount> and send to 808.

Ex: Text 09182211333 2 send to 808
Available PASALOAD denominations: P2, P5, P10, P15, P20, P30, P60

SMART Ask 4 load
With Ask4Load, you can now ask for load and pasaload from anyone subscribed to the SMART Network.

How to Ask 4 load with your Smart account:

dial *808 followed by the 11-digit mobile phone number of the person you are asking.

Example: if your friend’s mobile phone number is 0917 123 4567, just call *80809171234567

They will receive a text message asking them if they want to send YOU 5 pesos load, by replying with YES or NO before midnight. If one does not wish to, the request can simply be ignored as well. You can request askforload twice a day.

GLOBE ask-a-load
Globe Prepaid subscribers can Ask-A-load from another Globe Prepaid or Globe postpaid subscriber.This service is NOT available for Touch Mobile subscribers.

How can I Ask-A-Load?
Ask-A-Load by simply texting the (amount) to (26+10 digit handyphone number). NO need to register.

Example, to ask P25 pesos from 09176660353:

Step 1: Text in the amount, say 25

Step 2: Send to 269176660353

The person you are asking load from will receive a text advise asking for load. If the person who received the request agrees, he/she simply reply by texting his Share-A-Load PIN. If the person you are asking from doesn’t have a Share-A-Load PIN (first time users of Share-A-Load service), he/she can simply text YES and the P25 load request will be transferred. To accept succeeding requests the Share-A-Load PIN is required. To register, go here: Globe Share a Load

SMART Person Finder
Ok, so you have children or a wife girlfriend that you wish to be able to locate their general location. If you were told someone is in the province, you can do this search and if it shows Balibago, Angeles City, well, you’ll know something is amiss…

This only works with SMART so both phones must have a SMART sim card.

First make sure you have access to the cellphone of the person you wish to trace. Then using YOUR cellphone, type WIS


For example WIS Karl 09181111111 and send to 386

This costs 2.50 pesos per text

The person you want to locate will receive a text message asking for your permission to locate him/her on THEIR cellphone. Using THEIR cellphone, you can authorize yourself as someone allowed to trace them. You can also password protect this feature so it cant be turned off without the password.

Once you’re authorized, you can locate the cellphone by sending either WIS (name) or WIS (registered number) to 386. This costs you 5 pesos.





Then you will receive a text message with their general whereabouts. Make sure you delete all the sent and received texts, during this process, on the person’s phone you are trying to authorize to trace. This way there willl be zero evidence. It’s not very specific, but can be useful to see what city barangay, or province someone is in. Go here for more info: Smart Person Finder