Memoirs of a Philippine Mongerer
The Happy Hooker my introduction to Angeles.
For my first night in Angeles I didn’t even go out preferring instead to stay in the hotel and get a good nights sleep. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds weird, but I was dead tired, didn’t really know my way around, and Wally already had a girl, so there would have been nobody to keep me company or show me the ropes.
After a good nights sleep I woke up at ten and headed downstairs for breakfast. They had a small little restaurant in the Bonanza which served decent enough but basic food and always had a cold beer or a hot coffee. Wally was already there having just said goodbye to his girl so I joined him and we made plans for our bar hop that was going to happen later that day.
Over breakfast Wally gave the basic lowdown on Angeles telling me about Fields Avenue and some of the bars there. At this stage I had no idea of the lay of the land and I could feel my excitement level rise. After Wally had imparted his words of wisdom I was ready to set out and explore Angeles, so summoning up a trike, that seemed to be constantly parked outside the Bonanza, I made my way to Fields Avenue.
Just as I hit Fields some of the bars were opening and as I stumbled into one it was very obvious I was the first customer. My first impression was that these bars were a far cry from Manila. I had gotten used to Visions Firehouse, Superstar, Mistys and bars of this ilk, where there were large numbers of girls and the girls were all dressed in bikinis. Here in Angeles it was totally different. Many of the bars had five or six dancers and I was often the only customer in the bar. This seemed to be a much more simple and relaxed scene, with an emphasis on personal communication between the girls and the customers.
In Manila there was a sense of almost frantic urgency that pervaded the whole scene, everybody was in party mode and it was very much a night scene but here in Angeles the bars started happening a lot earlier and there was a definite afternoon market where the emphasis was as much on drinking as it was on chasing girls.
I wandered into about four bars stopping to have a drink in each buying a few ladies drink and just talking with the girls but not seeing anybody who attracted me I kept on moving. To be honest I was thinking this ain’t bad but it’s nothing compared to Manila and I was giving some thought to checking out tomorrow and heading back to the big smoke. Just as these negative thoughts were beginning to formulate I saw this hot looking girl standing outside a little bar called the Happy Hooker and all thoughts of returning to Manila completely left my head.
I am not sure what it is but I have always found myself attracted to a hard working girl and this girl was certainly that. There she was standing outside Happy Hooker with clingingly tight lurid yellow hot pants that left absolutely nothing to the imagination.
I didn’t know it at the time but Daisy and myself were going to develop a sort of relationship. Now when I say relationship I do not mean in the traditional sense, but in a sort of sexual and friendship sense. Daisy was to become a regular sex partner plus a friend. One thing that I really like about the Filipina bar girl, is her ability to combine a sexual relationship with friendship. Very few girls can admit to themselves that they are prostitutes and they live in denial, softening the reality with feelings of attachment and friendship. Sometimes this was real friendship and other times it was an act they put on for whatever reason.
When Daisy saw me her face literally lit up and she ran towards me, grabbed by the arm and said, come inside gwapo. Of course this being a hot girl I wasn’t about to say no, and next thing I knew, I was being pulled into the Happy Hooker. I have often wondered how a small little Filipina can haul a 200 pound plus man into a bar and I always have a quiet little chuckle when I observe it. Whenever I see this happening I always laugh and think to myself, it’s true men really are led around by their dicks.
Anyway back to Daisy the vision of lust whom I eagerly followed into Happy Hooker. To be honest my memories of the Happy Hookers layout are only vague. I think there was a little stage on the left hand side which boasted about 8 girls all of whom looked like this wasn’t their first rodeo and the seating was mainly two tables and chairs and a lounge in the back. Back then they had the little patio just like it does today and on many occasions this was the busiest section of the bar. Since back then it was mostly a daytime trade many customers would enjoy sitting in the patio drinking a cold beer and watching the world go by while playing with some girls. There was little money to be made back then, and indeed, money wasn’t the primary driving force like it is today. Back then it was more about hanging out and having some fun with the girls and your mates. In terms of bar ownership I think a lot of guys just kind of fell in love with the idea of free booze, a constant stream of hot available women and a laid back lifestyle, where if one could make a little bit of money along the way, it was considered an added bonus.
The owner of the Happy Hooker was an Australian guy whose name was Jake but was always referred to as Daddy Jake particularly among the girls. Jake was an older bloke obviously in his late fifties early sixties (yes in those days I considered this old) with a pasty complexion and the beginnings of a classic alcoholics nose. Jake was a retired screw and although this is a position that requires regulations, slavish following of rules and a tough exterior, I never got any indication of these elements from Jake. He always seemed like your classic laid back Aussie who liked a quiet little drink on a regular basis.
The girls all seemed to like Jake and in the case of Daisy I got the impression the feeling was returned. She seemed to be his little favorite and she would flirt outrageously with him, always gently rubbing against his crotch, and giving him titillating and delightfully promiscuous glances. Jake was married and the bar was in his wife’s name, but this never seemed to bother Jake or the girls, in the slightest. When Jake’s wife was in the bar the girls would tone down their flirting a little bit but still they made it perfectly clear that inside the bar they had equal rights when it came to Jakes attention. To be honest I wasn’t privy to any behind the scenes talk between Jake and his wife but I can imagine his wife would have not been to impressed with the girls flirtatiousness being directed towards her husband. On the surface however Jake’s wife always kept a friendly demeanor towards customers and the girls, although it was clearly obvious, she was the boss when it came to her man.
I found out in later years that like so many of the small bars back then most of the girls came from a specific part of Samar where Jakes wife also hailed from and it was merely a semi annual visit back to the province by Jakes wife and the bar would be replenished with five to ten new girls with literally mud between their toes. this same area that supplied a regular flow of girls to work in the bar. Back then there was no big deal about Human Trafficking and it was seen as a perfectly natural happening to send ones daughter to Angeles to earn some money or even better land a foreign husband, move overseas and send money home on a regular basis.
As I got to know Jake and his wife a little better over the next two years I would ask her how she did her recruiting in the province and she would relate pretty much the same story every time. Basically she would get another girl already working in the bar and they would head down to the province together.
Normally her and the girl companion would have some nice jewelry that they would put on prior to entering the village, of course all the local girls would gather round and besiege them with looks of adoration and envy and then ask where did they get this jewelry and how can they get some for themselves. This of course was the lead in that the bar ladies wanted and next thing you know there were stories about the great life in the Angeles bar scene and how easy it was to make money there. Half the time the exact nature of the job was skirted around, with the parents being told their daughter will be a waitress or a GRO and to this day I am not sure if the parents knew exactly what their daughter would be doing or they actually believed the bar peoples tales. Personally I think they have a fairly good idea as to the nature of the job but chose to ignore it and just take the money.
I spent that afternoon chucking back a few beers with Jake and at 5 he asked me to accompany him to the front patio where we sat and talked and drank while Jake watched the happenings on the street. This was a great little voyeurs spot and we willed away about two hours watching the parade of beauties pass by. Jake had been in AC for at least five years and during that time had built a lot of friendships, many of whom would hail him or drop by for a drink. The guy also knew a ton of girls but I got the impression he had to be more careful when it came to approaching the girls because the wife had eyes and ears everywhere. Still being cautious is very different from being monogamous and I am sure wily old Jake got more than his fair share of tail.
While I sat and chat with Jake Daisy was milking ladies drinks from me and at the same time acting as door girl. I am sure she would have much rather gone with me and knocked out a short time but here she was still stuck in the bar, so she had decided to make the most of it. Daisy was one of those girls with an enervating personality that meant she could attract customers with very little work. In days to come I would watch her flirt and play with customers and lure them into the bar like a good door girl should. She had that unique ability to make every man no matter how old or how young, feel like he was the center of her attention and king of the world.
By about 7 Jake was ready to call it a night so I requested Daisy to go bar fine with me to which she eagerly agreed and we headed back to the Bonanza for a good old fashioned romp.