Tag Archives: bars

Living In Angeles City on a Budget

When broaching a subject like this one, it’s a good thing to remember that there is a substantial cross-section of budgets to be found in Angeles. Aside from the “Two-Week Millionaire” tourists, there are actual millionaires, fellows with great pensions, and men who have successful businesses that run themselves while they’re away playing; there are old boys with decent pensions, guys who need at least some work to get by, all the way down to persons who amaze us that they even survive, and actually leave us wondering why they’re here even bothering.

By its very name, this article obviously can’t be geared to someone who has more money available to him than he knows what to do with, but these fellows are in the minority around here. This will be geared to those who desire to settle in Angeles City, and don’t have that much backing them up, or need to find some kind of work locally to get by. If I outline my personal experience of living in Angeles a little, some might be able to get an idea of what to watch out for should they decide to try to settle here. Some of it just might apply to you.

When I came here as a tourist in the ‘90s, to say I was impressed is an understatement! After six bi-yearly trips, I got so sick of the depression I felt sitting at the airport waiting to get on that damned plane, knowing it would be six months before I could feel this happy again, I determined I had to find a way to stay. My personal life in my own country had gotten to where I was ripe to get out of there and give Angeles a long-term try.

I saved up $5000 and got a plane back to my new “home”, with an eye on finding a way to generate enough capital to stay in Angeles comfortably. I’d made a few friends in my previous trips, and out of these connections I got a room in a house with an American and his Filipina wife for P3,000 a month, all inclusive.

I found my first job at “The Abbey Road” (where “Las Vegas” now stands) as a singer, and helped manage the place, for P1000 a night, six nights a week. I also got into a four-month affair with Elaine, an insatiable 20-year-ol mini-Dolly Parton (giant breasts on a 4’8” frame!) who was the horniest person I’ve ever seen in my life. Night and day I was attacked by this voluptuous little nympho and she’d accept no money at all. As a result, at the end of four months, I had saved money (and was struggling to keep up with this tiny tornado)!

After four months of this affair, Elaine, much to my relief, was off with an Australian she eventually married, and Abbey Road decided they couldn’t afford me anymore. I’d already had an offer to move to Valhalla (now “Coyote Ugly”), and had been asked by the manager of The Swagman Hotel to sing there a couple of times a week, so now I was free to do so. I worked in tandem with Jhun Longhair at Valhalla from Tuesday through Sunday, for 750 pesos a night. On Sunday afternoon I sang at The Swagman for P750 right after Bingo, from 2pm to 6pm, then headed to Valhalla to sing all night from 8pm to 2pm. On Monday night I sang at The Swagman from 8pm to Midnight for 1000 pesos. So early Tuesday morning was the only time I used to go barhopping, right after Midnight. Bars like “Private Dancer” (where the right-hand side of “Insomnia” now stands) and “The Club” were great after-hours spots to meet girls to bring home. Working eight gigs in seven days every week, I was making a grand total of P6,250! I had moved into my own small apartment, In the PG Pawn Shop & Jewelry Complex right by the Balibago Post Office & Fire Station, which cost me only 3,000 pesos-a-month rent. My electric bill was always around 500 pesos, and water was about 150 pesos, so my overhead was very low. I don’t drink alcohol except when I’m drinking with customers, so that was not a factor, either. That sort of outlines my first year in Balibago. I then left The Philippines for three months to close out my affairs in Reno, Nevada, to sell off all of my furniture and band equipment. When I came back I started a pretty long string of various managing jobs.

This is not intended to be an autobiography, so I’ll get more to the point: what it’s like to exist in Angeles on a small budget. The fact is, in my years in A.C., I’ve worked, either as a full-time manager, relief manager, temporary fill-in, or singer, at thirty-two different locations (not counting LaBamba & Rhapsody, where I handled the M.C. chores for “Manic Monday” & “WOW Wednesday” for a couple of months, or Asian Escapades, where I worked for about four months in 2006), working for twenty-five different owners (some were partners), and about thirty-five different mamasans.

The thing I focused on the most was keeping busy. Being in bars most of the time, I didn’t have a lot of urge to hang out in them with what little free time I had. This, in itself, is a big factor in not over-spending on a less-than-tourist budget. You’re just forced to learn to live within your means, or get the hell out of here! I’m not a cheap man, by nature. I’m more generous with the girls that have become part of my life in Angeles City than many of the guys they know. If I can’t afford to be generous, I just go without until I can be. An added bonus of being here full-time, and being relatively visible in the scene is that one will usually get to know quite a few girls who want to visit, quite often more often than I can deal with.

I very rarely go for EWRs anymore. The bars have priced themselves beyond my budget, for all practical purposes. Most managers usually make per day (or less), about what it costs for an EWR, and when you factor in all the rest, like socializing, ladies’ drinks, and tips, it becomes pretty much out of the question to go that route.

Even though I cannot socialize like a I did as a tourist, I still love being in Angeles City. You might find you get more-than-pleasant surprises sprung on you by these young ladies quite often. I haven’t worked in any clubs since I started drawing my Social Security, and even though A.C. is far more expensive than it was when I moved here, coupled with the collapse of the peso-for-dollar rate in the mid-2000s, I’m still loving it. I’ve met some really good friends here who have helped me out in tight spots through the years, when times got tough. I owe a lot to them. I’ve never paid more than 6,000 pesos a month for my rent (often less), I don’t use an aircon except when it’s hot at night to the extreme, and eat most meals at home. All of this is pretty much what I’d do back in The States, except there’s no Filipinas there!

I would never recommend this lifestyle to anybody else, if they asked me, but it’s worked for me. I only need to remain conscious of how life was before I moved here. No matter how few beautiful ladies visit my premises each month, that is the exact amount of memorable experiences I wouldn’t have when I’m back in my own country. And, for me, that is priceless!

In closing, I’ll outline a few impressions I’ve come up with, as far as living on a budget:

1) It helps to acclimate so as to not depend on an air conditioner too much. Electric bills can get awfully high. When I bought a refrigerator, I acted on a tip from a friend not to get a frost-free one, because they use more power per month, and I find it’s very little trouble to defrost it every couple of months.

2) Sharing rent with friends in a house or apartment is a saver. It’s also a good idea to try to find a place that’s pretty close to where you prefer to hang out the most, so you won’t be spending much on transportation.

3) Save up as much money as you can manage to before making your move to Angeles, and look for a part-time manager’s position anywhere (if that’s what you have in mind to try to do), as fast as you can, at least to get your foot in the door somewhere (there are some internet-based jobs here-and-there for the computer-wise, though not plentiful). You really can’t afford to be too fussy if no one knows you yet. You need to get to know owners and people that surround them. The scene can really be quite a “buddy system”, and getting to know people is pretty important. A past resume from your life away from Angeles is normally quite worthless here. Network!

4) This one is pretty obvious: eat at home as much as you can. Eating in restaurants two or three times a day can really chew up your capital. The malls are pretty good for shopping, I have found. I rarely go to local marketplaces, though if you have a fulltime girlfriend she’ll probably spend less money shopping than you would, because she’ll shop places you might not be all that willing to go to. I have shopped for produce at The VFW on Thursdays now and then. They bring fresh-grown fruits and vegetables down from Baguio each week, and the quality is relatively good at decent prices.

5) Be budget-minded. Remember, you’re no longer a tourist! You have to plan out your monthly budget just like you would if you were back home. The better job you do with this, the more you’ll have left to play with the available ladies. Common sense goes a long way in making living in Angeles a good experience.

6) I don’t care what it is you’re trying to buy, it is a good idea to try to get a price for whatever through a local. When they see a foreigner is involved in the transaction, prices can skyrocket!

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!

Three Ways To Enjoy Angeles

With the proliferation of up market hotels and big flash new bars one would be forgiven for thinking that Angeles is now the playground of the wealthier mongerer, however the truth is, it is still possible for all types of mongerers to enjoy the town on different levels. This article will explore three different ways to enjoy Angeles. These include Angeles on a budget, Angeles as a mid level spender and Angeles as a high roller.

Traditionally Angeles has always been about affordable sex and partying and despite the numerous so called up market venues this still holds true today. For the visitor on a budget there are still many options available and a great time can still be had in AC despite limited funds.

The major expense is always accommodation and even though Angeles is developing rapidly with a number of big modern and more expensive hotels there is still a good number of cheaper options available when it comes to accommodation.

When staying at a cheaper hotel remember the old maxim you get what you pay for and this is certainly true of some of the hotels listed here. I guess it all boils down to your budget and your priorities. If you are on a limited budget and luxuriousness of your accommodation is not a priority then these hotels are for you. When staying in a cheaper accommodation you will most likely have to forego the little luxuries such as a swimming pool, room safe, king size bed, refrigerator in the room, modern air-conditioning unit, mini bar, hot water shower clean and comfortable linen, transportation service to and from Fields, proper thick curtains to shield you from the sunshine and heat, flat screen TV’s and audio visual machinery, lack of sound insulation, lack of quality room service and chances are you will not have the all important internet connection so you can access AE while in the room. In these hotels the rooms are often smaller and certainly more basic and the girls are more reluctant to stay there.

The girls are basically in it for the money and one of the ways they ascertain how much money you have is by which hotel you stay in. If you are staying in a cheaper hotel you may well find the girls a little hesitant to go with you simply because they will interpret your choice of hotel as being indicative of how much money you have and therefore how much money they will get. Another factor to be taken into consideration is that often these hotels are a little bit away from the bars and it can sometimes be quite a challenging proposition getting transport to the bars. Lastly there is the safety factor. In my experience Angeles is comparatively safe but like anywhere it has it’s seedier areas and many of the cheap hotels are situated in these areas which then presents a safety concern.

If you are on a budget there are a number of things you can do to minimize your expenditure firstly drink during the day time in Perimeter Road bars. The Perimeter Road bars are normally cheaper than Fields Avenue bars and that includes prices from drinks through to bar fines. Minimize the amount of alcohol you personally consume and if you feel the need to drink most hotels will have a sari-sari store nearby which will sell you a bottle of rum and a bottle of coke or some San Miguel or if you are in the mood to get intoxicated cheaply try the local brew, red horse beer. These can all be consumed in your room prior to your bar hop. When inside the bars do not drink top shelf or imported drinks stick with the local and therefore cheaper drinks. When buying ladies drinks insist on them being a single only and make sure you only buy one prior to the bar fine proposal. When it comes to minimizing the costs associated with drinking do some reconnaissance of the bars and make note of the bars happy hour times and the prices. Then if you really want to go cheap find out where the locals drink befriend and feel free to join them. Admission to their group will normally be one round of drinks and you’re in. If drinking in a bar during the non happy time then make sure you utilize your Asian Escapades discount card this can save you quite a bit of money.

Picture of guys drinking outside anchorage inn.

When it comes to getting around become proficient at walking or at least learn about the Jeepneys where they leave from at what time, what is their route and how much is their cost. Another way to save money with transportation is to rent out a trike on a daily basis and share the cost with a friend. This is called the service and normally works out cheaper and more convenient than hiring different trikes throughout the day. The cheapest way to get around will always be your own two feet but this of course can get wearisome even though it is good exercise and then there is the safety factor to consider.

Avoid frivolous expenditure for example throwing ping pong balls, letting off poppers, throwing money at the girls, purchasing unnecessary bar merchandise such as bar t/shirts bar towels or beer wraps. Keep an eye out for specials such as Manic Monday and doghouse where it is a set price which is normally cheaper and you will get good value for money.

When it comes to sex there are also several ways to save money. Firstly get on the internet and utilize face book, yahoo messenger, tagged, etc arrange dates with the girls outside of the bar. There are several disadvantages to this method but it is certainly cheaper. When in the bars collect names and phone numbers for outside of work. This will not exactly make you a valued customer and don’t be surprised if you are asked to leave the premises but it is certainly cheaper than paying a bar fine every night. Please note I am not instructing people to sneak the girl out but it is a fact of life that if the girls like you they will make the drop by proposals and if you are operating on a tight budget you should be alert for these offers.

This one is easier said than done but wherever possible control your sexual urges and settle for only one different girl each day or even cheaper the same girl for the entire trip. Another way to save money is to visit the Blow Job bars which will provide the blow job service which will give you the same end result for less than paying a bar fine and having to tip the girls. Talking of which always remember to be conservative in your tipping give the girls 200 piso and tell them that’s all the money you have but you will be good for some more tomorrow. Last but by no means least be careful of the type of girl you choose do not go for the money hungry superstars, go for the older ones who are more grateful for a good fuck and will probably ask for less money. As the old expression goes these girls don’t have as many tickets on themselves and if truth be known they are probably better in the bed than the so called superstars.

Another way to save money is make sure you do not take your bar fine bar hopping. When the girls go bar hopping this will invariably cost you money as nearly all of them have friends working in other bars and will use your money to buy them drinks and generally show off how they have access to your funds. If you have bar fined but still feel the need to bar hop simply leave the girl behind in her bar and tell her you will come back for her. If you feel compelled to take your bar fine out on a date take her to a karaoke joint on the road behind Fields. These joints are basic and the costs are low. Chances are she will enjoy it but she will be the only one as you will have to sit there listening to her screech over the microphone to which you will be expected to applaud and appreciate her fine vocal performance. These karaoke joints always remind me of a squealing pig just before it’s slaughtered.

One major expense is food but if you are prepared to eat like a Filipino then eating becomes a much cheaper proposition. The Filipinos always know the cheap places to eat and will mostly show you without any judgment. The upside of this is it saves you money and your date is perfectly happy with the food. The downside is your girl may be happy but chances are, for you the food will taste like crap. I can remember eating at the burger machine on numerous occasions. This always tasted like crap but hey at 30 piso a burger I wasn’t about to complain. That is until I got sick from some bad meat and I have never eaten there since.

The Mid Range Visitor.

The so called mid range visitor is the category most of us fall into. For the mid range visitor they have some money to spend but the emphasis is on a balance between spending wisely and conservatively with the occasional lashing out heedless of the expense. For these guys there is still a budget but it is a bigger one than the guys doing it on the cheap. Again the major costs are accommodation, drink, food and sex. For accommodation there are a number of different hotels all depending on what your price range is. Normally the mid range customers will spend anything from 1500 a night through to 3000 depending exactly on what they are looking for. There are numerous hotels which will cater to your needs in this price range ranging all the way from the Maharajah near Friendship gate to the Swagman down in Diamond. A few of my favorites that fall into this price range and offer good value for money are the Natalia, The Walkabout Hotel, Central Park, Hotel Hana and of course the ever popular Lewis Grand Hotel. When deciding on a hotel after you have determined your budget define what your priorities are and list them in order of importance. For example the location doesn’t really matter to me but I do like a nice big bed heavy curtains and of course a swimming pool. Other guys prioritize the location because they spend more time scouring the bars than they do in the hotel room. For these guys location is the number 1 priority. Others prioritize food or service or just the general ambience of an establishment. It is unlikely that you will find a hotel that encompasses all your needs so my advice is to find one that can meet your top three and stay there.

As a mid range customer you should set yourself a budget every day allocating an overall amount to be spent then allocate an amount to each segment. An average amount spent for mid range customers would probably be about 8 thou a day which would include 2500 accommodation 2000 for a bar fine anywhere from 500 to a thousand tip for the girl, probably 2500 for personal drinks and ladies drinks and anywhere from 500 to 1000 for food. This will by no means cover everything but I think it is a fairly accurate guide when it comes to loosely defining your budget. Keep in mind there will always be days when you go over budget and days when you will be under budget. There may well be emergencies which you should just have let’s say ten thousand piso put aside for. You never know when you may need this.

Mid range customers normally appreciate the various deals that are going around and will often be seen at the regular events eg: Doghouse and Manic Monday however it’s not like they have to attend them and they certainly don’t need to organize their agenda around them like the guys on a tighter budget have to.

Because the mid range guys are spending a little more money their enjoyment is less restricted as such they are often more inclined to party and be more free with their spending Ping Pong balls and poppers are often utilized by guys in this budget bracket. The mid range guys can also afford to be more picky when it comes to the girls. To some extent a guy on a tight budget must take what he can get when he can get it but the mid range spender is to some extent able to pick and choose at his discretion. The mid range guys have the advantage of being able to entertain the girls, they will often buy a girl and her friends drinks and they can afford to take the girl on a bar hop after bar fining her. The mid range guys budget allows him to lash out a little more and you will often see him buying a girl and a group of her friends dinner or having food delivered (pizza and Jollibee are classic examples) to the bar for a girl and her friends to enjoy.

Be aware that word of mouth is still extremely active in the bar girls social circle and the amount you tip a particular girl whether it be substantial or minimal will in a matter of hours be public knowledge. Your tip to some extent establishes your reputation as a customer amongst the girls and also your desirability. If you tip to much you are to some extent perceived as being a sucker, a desirable sucker but a sucker just the same. If you tip to little then you suddenly find your desirability amongst the girls has decreased proportionally to your tip. This does not apply to the 20 to 25 year old males but for the over thirties it is an undeniable reality. The mid range guys normally tip a minimum of 500 and anywhere up to 2000.

The mid range customers are not as hung up with the bill as the low range spenders. Some will check their bill but the majority simply pay it and leave a tip normally somewhere between 50 to 100 piso. For the mid range spending customer there is to some extent attention seeking as a motivation but this is not a major part of their behavior as many mid range guys will sit back and spend their money quietly preferring to stay out of the limelight. Talking about basking in the limelight that leads me to the next category of customer the high roller or as the Filipinos like to say “the big spender”.

The Big Spender.

By definition the true big spender has little to no budget restrictions and as such is more free with his spending. For these people conspicuous spending is the norm and there is always an element of attention seeking behind their spending. Frivolous expenditure is par for the course and often these guys will let of poppers stuffed full of money, throw copious amounts of ping pong balls, buy massive rounds of customer drinks and ladies drinks, quaff down Champagne, ring the bell numerous times, throw money on the girls from an elevated position etc, etc. The big spenders will often have a group of Filipinos with them who act as security personnel. In years gone by this was a rare occurrence but in modern times I have seen it become more and more common.

The big spender is by definition a bar managers and more importantly a bar girls perfect customer. Here is a guy who normally requires minimal working or encouragement because his stated objective is to spend money regardless of the amount or perceived value. Even though many of them do not want the overt attention their behavior is in my opinion attention seeking driven and there is certainly an element of look at me along with, I do this because I can afford to and you guys cant.

For the big spender it’s all about the party as one of the major reasons he is spending his money is because he wants to create a frenetic party atmosphere with him being the coordinator or put another way with his expenditure dictating the turn of events. Luckily the average Filipina is not backwards in coming forwards when it comes to earning a piso or two and as a result they know exactly how to create the party atmosphere conducive to free spending. On many occasions you will see a group of girls surrounding the big spender all raising their drinks which by the way will invariably be doubles and shouting cheers. Big spenders will often have a group of girls as part of their bar hopping retinue and it is expected that the girls in whatever bar they visit will accept these girls and they will work together to create the party.

The big spender by his spending alone establishes himself as a valuable customer and to some extent he can dictate the ebb and flow of the bar. Many big spenders have certain triggers which loosens the proverbial purse strings and often this trigger is music. Most of the DJ’s know the big spenders and you will often hear them play the spenders favorite song hoping this will put him in the mood to spend. Some other triggers I have found are attention from the girls, attention from the manager, the availability of a certain drink or even the way a certain drink is served, name recognition or recognition from mamasans, head waitresses or other senior personnel.

As in the case of the two previous customer types the major expenses for this group is the accommodation but the difference is the amount these guys spend on a room. For the big spender there are now several options available and they expect the rooms to be genuine 4 to 5 star equivalents of the rooms found in the so called first world or western countries. These rooms by definition must be expensive and be luxuriously appointed with all the mod cons and modern day comforts, they must be spacious with large beds have a Jacuzzi at least one large balcony and at least two flat screen TV’s. Most importantly the rooms must be large and luxuriously appointed to give an impression of wealth opulence and affordability of the finer things in life. Two such rooms which spring to mind are the Presidential Suite at the Lewis Grand which is 13,750p per night and the Penthouse suites at the ABC which are 17,517p per night and the soon to come 1000 dollar a night suite at the ABC. The fact that these rooms even exist at all shows that there is certainly some big spenders with copious amounts of cash visiting Angeles.

Picture lgh presidential suite

In terms of food you will often find the big spenders adopting the same I will spend money to get the best attitude. There are now some top class restaurants in Angeles that cater for the big spender three which spring to mind are Niji Japanese Restaurant, C-Italia and of course Yats out on Clark. These restaurants offer high quality dishes and can cater for the customer who doesn’t care about the amount he is spending. In fact the whole concept behind Yats is to offer fine dining which implicitly means high quality and expensive dining. They have the most extensive wine cellar in Asia and even some rare bottles of wine that cost over 1 million piso. The restaurant is marketed as a fine dining experience and will provide exactly that for those willing to pay. The big spenders will rarely eat alone but instead will be seen as the host of a party. Normal eating becomes a festive occasion with these guys and you will often see them renting out a private room at a restaurant enjoying fine food and wine together with their group of friends. Often they will invite Filipinas along thinking this will be an enjoyable experience for the girls and at the same time seeking to impress the girls however it is often the case that the opposite is true because the girls do not really like the food and they feel uncomfortable in the plush surroundings that they are not used to.



Niji Japanese Restaurant

When it comes to the girls it has been my experience that the big spenders will tend to go for the classically beautiful or the slightly aloof girl or the girl that is presented as being a cut above the rest and as such more expensive. The big spenders will always go for the more expensive girls because they want to prove they can afford to play in this league. Typically this sort of girl will be the show girls for example the Daddys girls in Golden Nile with their 4000 piso bar fine. For the normal customer they will look at the expenses and ask themselves am I getting value for money whereas the big spender is exactly the opposite. For him it’s a matter of not caring about the amount and the perceived value. The value to him is in showing others that he can afford to play in this league.

Often the big spender will be attracted to the slightly more aloof girl or the girl that he believes is picky about who she goes out with. This in a way is the trophy hunting mentality where the guys want a particular girl because they perceive her as being a trophy which by definition is a reward or a recognition of your power or an achievement. A trophy means you have won the competition and beaten other competitors and the trophy is recognition of this, it is your prize. In this case the girl becomes the trophy and the customer believes he has won her, he has beaten above others to her and she is the prize, she is proof of his victory.

In terms of the big spender it is about how much he spends as well as how he spends. Basically for the truly big spender there are no budget restrictions but if forced to make generalizations I would say to be considered a big spender in today’s environment it would be necessary to spend a minimum of 35 thousand piso a night. This includes ten thousand for the hotel room, 5 thousand for the food, another 10 thousand for the bar fines and another ten thousand just for drinking and partying in the bars.

The big spenders are of course highly sought after by the bars but in reality in my opinion they are not what make the bars survive. I do not view them as the cake but rather the cream on the cake. Simply put it is the combined bulk of guys or the mid range spenders that are crucial to the bars and the girls. This group represents the majority of customers and it is the bulk effect of their expenditure that allows the bars to profit and survive. This is the quantity rather than quality approach. In the ideal world the market will be composed of both middle and top end spenders but the top end spenders or the high rollers individually will never equal the combined bulk of money spent by the middle group.

Some of my figures may be well off as to be honest it has been a while since I was a customer in Angeles and if you feel my figures are wrong then please feel free to supply your own for myself and other readers. The whole idea of articles such as this is that they generate a sharing of opinions and experiences so others may learn and benefit.