“I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.” -George Bernard Shaw
First and foremost I must say that some of this guide was inspired and partially plagiarized, though highly modified for my own use, from a man that wrote a similar guide to surviving in Korea. I use his words (such as the legal disclaimer part) because he has stated in the best possible way what I couldn’t if I tried a thousand years. He is adept at words and getting complicated thoughts into simple expressions. I would give him all the credit he deserves but he himself has chosen to remain anonymous so who am I to give his name. However he is a much more cynical man than I and his guide comes across as very negative and an “everyone is out to get me” portrayal of Korea. My guide is more of a positivist’s view of Angeles City and how to make the best of your time here. While some of the ideas and situations are the same if you have read both manuals you will notice very little in common between the two guides.
While I’m at it I might as well say that this Survival Guide is based on my experiences but has a lot of information gathered from a great many people and sources. For example the information on how to get to Angeles City from Manila is based on information from a guy nick named Kabayo who posts on the AC2 board. (If that phrase AC2 Board is confusing it won’t be when you finish reading this guide) Anyway, as I have always taken a pre-arranged cab from Margarita Station or Kokomo’s, or the Swagman Fly The Bus, I did not have the practical experience of traveling by Jeepney or local bus to Angeles City. But more on that later. I use this as an example of how we all can benefit from each other’s experiences. If you feel parts of this guide are in error or have more information that would help a newbie maximize his enjoyment in Angeles City, by all means email me. In all cases possible I will quote the source of information or data that is not my original thought or idea. This is meant to be a living document and always being updated as more information or advice becomes available.
I would be remiss if I did not say at the beginning of this thesis I am not an expert on Angeles and its surrounding areas. In fact I have only been a tourist of this wonderful town a finite number of times and now living here for over a year. There are many aspects of this small town that have either escaped me or I simply have not gotten around to exploring. Thus I say for the record and hopefully to minimize flames and negative e-mail “I have not and will not ever claim to be the sole authority on the subject of Angeles City and the Philippines.”
But think about it, how could any one person know everything going on in this crazy place? I don’t claim to know all the answers; I just know a lot of the questions asked. This is not so much a “how to” guide as it is a “how not to” guide. Where possible I have researched this material to the best of my limited ability. This means I have spent countless hours consulting with many wiser and usually older individuals who have definitely paid their dues in this town. Of course, much of the information was gained firsthand on one of my many research fact-finding missions. Now I just need to figure a way out to write all this stuff off on my taxes!
I must also point out that this guide is written from the perspective of an American male and while I realize that brings a lot of baggage to the table it can’t be helped. I was born and raised in the states and most of my perspectives are tainted by this simple fact. I was however in the Army for twelve years of which eight were spent in Korea. A lot of my overseas living and survival skills were learned there and you’d be surprised on how much those skills have helped me here in Angeles City.
Also, while I will try and write from the perspective of a single man and the pursuits this type of tourist has, it is common knowledge that I have had a steady in the RP for a long time though I am still an incurable flirt and understand the motivations this type of guy has and I hope some of what I have learned will help you.
There is a growing gap between the newbies visiting Angeles City for the first time and the Expat community that lives here. It seems that a lot of people have become jaded and hoard information as if sharing their knowledge will somehow infringe on their ability to have a good time and live in peace. There are some expats that do a great job helping those in search of information (See Profile: Angeles City Locals) and some other prolific tourists will answer questions quickly but even these gentlemen sometime tire of answering the same questions over and over and all the real “good” information is only shared amongst friends. I will try to give as much information as I can but as I said, it’s a shallow well but hopefully you’ll get a small drink of knowledge.
Lastly I must say that I have never liked the term “Sex Tourist”. Although many would argue that this is the only reason one would want to visit Angeles City, they are missing so much if the only reason they come to the Philippines is to dip their wick. While it is true that there is rarely a night that every man in town does not have female companionship if wanted, there is a lot more than that obtuse term to define why one would want to visit the Philippines and more specifically Angeles City. While this type of person can of course get valuable information from my guide it is not the specific audience that I am targeting. Besides, every time you see the word “Sex Tourist” in the newspaper or somewhere else it is closely followed by the word “convicted” or “jailed”. Let’s get away from that term and refer to ourselves as men looking for paradise. Sounds so much better, doesn’t it? And with very little effort you can find paradise right here in the Philippines.
The legal part:
Every reference to a nefarious event or act could very well be a figment of my imagination. (This is known in the legal community as a disclaimer and prevents me from incriminating myself in case I say something a little too unconventional or personal.) I can always say none of this ever really happened without fear of retribution. It’s sad that I have to do that here, but certainly prudent. We do live in a society slaphappy over litigation. After all, this material may offend many. Important words or phrases are highlighted, underlined or in bold print. These are worth a little extra time to think about.
Hopefully some of this information can help the newbie as well as seasoned Expat control their tempers and misjudgments because understanding complicated matters can reduce frustration and anxiety. If other groups of people can benefit from this material, that will be fine. People will always do what they want to do, but now ignorance cannot be used as an excuse. You are about to be thoroughly informed as I can make you.
Well, enough of all that let’s get to the guide!