Add New Feed
X
RSS URL    
Please insert a full address, for example: http://www.yourrsswebsite.com/rssfeed
Page source: http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Click Now!

Want to be informed when this page is updated? Enter email here   Notify me       
X
Please note that content update alert service is much better then adding a page to favorites.

Once this page content is updated you'll receive an e-mail with a link to this page

Please enter email here
      
No thanks, continue to add to Favorites
Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
Add To Favorite

413577

You've seen that action done in countless movies and shows. It is the quintessential image of the stripper, male or female. "Magic Mike" made you curious to experience the same thing in Manila. You've wanted to do it. But then, you're just too afraid or too shy or too cash-strapped to even try. What's that action called in the local scene?
Those lucky dollar bills
Sabit.

But, wait. Doesn't the word "sabit" mean the following? 
Sabit 1: Hang clothes to dry
Sabit 2: Hang on to railings of jeepney's rear
Sabit 3 (or Sandara's "Walang Sabit"): Tangle-free hair












In the gay bar industry though, "sabit" gets a whole new meaning. There are no clothes (literally), no jeepneys, and no Sandaras (Koreans abound though). Magsabit ng pera involves tucking cash into the waistband of the macho dancer's bikini/underwear/cycling shorts as he is dancing on-stage or once a dancer approaches you. 

Click below to view full picture above and read more about "sabit":


My first ever sabit experience was not in Manila though, but in a gay strip bar in New York years ago. The male stripper was dancing on top of the bar ledge. I was near the bar, so I looked up to see the dark-skinned buff dancer with only a yellow towel tied around his waist. I saw the other patrons beside me also enjoying the sight and sneaking their hands inside the dancer's towel. So I tried it too. I took out a dollar bill, folded it lengthwise, and slid my hand underneath the towel. I felt the underwear strap and inserted my dollar bill. He smiled at me in thanks. I guess that allowed more access for my frisky fingers (I won't explain further what happened next, which I think he seemed to enjoy, even momentarily).  

So what you see in the movie "Magic Mike" really does happen. Customers throw their dollar bills on stage or tuck those inside the dancer's underwear. Hollywood can make something look so fun... and so cheap!

But not in Manila. 

Because sabit is not usually done, for countless reasons. Tipid for one. Hiya. Conservative kuno. Hindi alam kung paano. Even the set-up of Manila's gay bars doesn't help. Customers are made to sit on couches and chairs far from the stage, so walking up towards the well-lit stage in full view of other customers to insert a couple of bills takes a lot of guts. 

Unless you're a matrona, rich gay guy, or a foreigner, particularly Koreans. When their chosen macho dancer comes up on stage to dance, they whip out P5,000 or P20,000 or P50,000 worth of 500 or 1000 bills. They hand the money to their floor manager, and the manager approaches the stage to insert the bills, usually fanned out, into the dancer's waistband. Of course, the floor managers make a big brouhaha out of the act. Maybe to inspire other customers to do the same. But, to the contrary, that can intimidate the other customers who would only prefer to give only P50 or P100 or max P500.

For those customers giving huge amounts, sabit is all for show. The entire P20,000 or P50,000 doesn't go to the macho dancer. "Binabalik namin yun," according to a lot of MDs. Apparently, those customers ask their dancer to return 75%-90% of the amount. That means the MD only pockets around P5,000, or maybe even less.

"Syempre pag nakita ng bar na may nagsabit na customer sayo, alam nilang may kikitain ka," tells one MD. "Bago magsiuwian, lalapit na sa iyo ang floor manager. Hihingi. Pati DJ. Mga waiter, wardrobe, mabait na rin sa iyo."

If sabit is all for show to the richie customers, then for regular gay bar goers, sabit is all about chance-ing/tsansing. Aminin!

Thus, here are a few tips if you want to have your own "sabit" experience:

  • Customers can either approach the stage or wait for the dancer after his routine to approach you (referred to as "area": Read more) and tuck the bill discreetly at the bikini/brief strap once the dancer is in front of you. What you do after is at your own discretion.
  • In most gay bars though, "area" is seldom done. In these bars, you need to walk up towards the MD while he is performing. That will take a lot of guts. So better yet, while your preferred MD is dancing on stage, call your floor manager quickly and tell him/her to motion to the MD to approach you ("Palapitin mo si Joemar, may isasabit ako"). The dancer usually obliges.
  • The cheapest bar to do it is the one along Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City. They accept any bill, though the average is a P100 bill (lowest is P20, but be warned to be thought of as buraot). 
  • Be prepared with your bills beforehand. What I do: I buy a pack of cigarettes or candy with a P1000 bill, so the change I receive is composed of 20s, 50s, and 100s. 
  • Be warned: Give one, give to all, especially in those bars that allow "area." The rest of the MDs will find out if you've given money to one dancer. They're like predators: succeeding dancers  would keep on approaching you after your first "sabit." Again, as the customer, you have the power to say "No.
Finally, as promised.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://malestripperlover.tumblr.com/image/27652954429http://www.almanac.com/content/how-choose-clothesline,
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4306/588/1600/bscap0613.jpghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/briansahagun/7774684208/

.


I haven't updated my blog for the longest time. That's obvious. I just re-opened my blog and saw a lot of comments I needed to publish. Thank you again.

But before I head back to my new "thing" in the New city, I will be posting a few blog entries. Anything you want to know? Share your thoughts or questions in the comment section, and let me try to answer or write full blog posts about them.

(PS: I've finished and posted an entry that I started to write 3-4 months ago. The entry is backdated.)


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer


Tomas* has become one of the popular models at the gay bar he worked for, named after a lifelike wooden carving. A typical gay bar macho dancer, he has transferred from various establishments over the past couple of years. He only had a few regular customers in those previous bars. Yet, he only struck gold at the last bar he worked for. 

Only a few know the secret to his success. Unless you've really observed him before and after his latest transfer... or transformation. 

Tomas already looked promising before. Despite being a typical probinsyano lad (you could tell from his strong accent), he's tall and fair-skinned. Before building up his chest and shoulders, he already had a lean frame, but on the skinny side. But what kept him from truly standing out among his co-workers was his face; he looked ordinary. His high cheekbones or sculptured jawline were not enough to make him look like a top gay bar model.

Click below to read more:

So before Tomas transferred to his current gay bar, he looked as if he got a nose job. The bridge of his nose was made straight and prominent. The cartilage at the tip and the sides were reduced. Was this the same procedure that Papa Piolo supposedly had? (Incidentally, Tomas* gay bar name is shared with Papa P's younger, "straight and more masculine" lookalike in ABS-CBN). 

Just like the Philippine entertainment industry, the use of nose jobs to improve one's looks and "commercial viability" aren't really new to the gay bar industry. You won't notice it but some of the most good-looking macho dancers particularly in the huge Quezon City bars have already had their "jobs." 


Who do they run to for their uplift? There is one plastic surgeon, popular among those working in the gay bar industry, from male models to the transgendered impersonators. Why has he become the go-to guy? Referrals. And the fact that this surgeon also owns gay bars. There was even a rumor that way back, he didn't allow newbies to become macho dancers in his bar unless these men undergo the knife. Not sure if until now.

Oddly, I had the chance to chat with him when I got interested about getting my own. He said there are two types of nose jobs he does on his dancers. One is the "not so obvious" change and the other is "total transformation." Guys who undergo the "not so obvious" nose job already have a strong clientele base. Guys who have worked for a long time but don't seem to become top earning models (ie. not so kaguwapuhan), require a major makeover. The effect of the nose job needs to be so evident that the gay bar's loyal clientele won't recognize him the next time he goes on stage. He'd look as if a whole new macho dancer.

Investment pays off for the macho dancers, particularly those who shoulder the hefty sum. When an all-the-way macho dancer from Home Base* saved his earnings for months to take a 2-week break to undergo nose surgery (from sarat to less prominent), upon his return, he became an in-demand dancer among the ladies and the foreigners, despite his diminutive frame and -er-ish physique.

I've read how one's nose can make or break one's over-all facial features, as the nose is the face's central point on one's face. Who knew that a simple yet expensive procedure to the face can drastically improve one's earnings? Kung kara nga lang naman ang puhunan, e di pag gastusan na nga. 

Looking at Tomas's now near-perfection kaguwapuhan, I wouldn't distinguish at first what exactly was different with him. I knew something had improved. And my theory regarding Tomas was sort of proven when I saw a modeling photo of him from a male pageant last year. At that photo, he looked somewhat "average" compared to the now demi-god status he has at the gay bar named after a lifelike wooden sculpture (featured in a recent TV remake, whose main actor also supposedly underwent the same surgery to drastically improve his standing in his network).

So the next time you see a macho dancer who looks too perfect for the gay bar industry, scrutinize his  face again. The secret is all in the know.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer


*Names here are not the bars nor macho dancers' real names or their actual bar stage names. Though, the pseudonyms are somehow connected to their actual bar stage names.





Humiga na ako sa maliit na kama sa ikalawang palapag ng massage parlor. Parang walang ibang customer dahil medyo tahimik. O siguro malakas lang ang background music mula sa speaker. Hindi spa, Zen-ish relaxing music ang tugtog. Love Radio ata, at isang 90s Tagalong love song ang pinapatugtog. Parang nasa gay bar lang din ako, ngunit sa gabing iyon, sa massage parlor o sha-sha ako nagdesisyong magpunta.

Inantay kong dumating ang napili kong si Andrew*. Sa walong sha-sha boys na available noong gabing yun, isa na siya sa mga papasa na sa aking standards, na binabaan ko na noong gabing iyon. Payat, moreno, 5"6', spikey hair. Pwede na nga ito, kumpara sa mga ilang mestizohing nauupo ko sa macho dancing gay bar. 

Nang pumasok siya sa maliit na silid, hininaan na niya ang ilaw. Hinubad niya ang t-shirt nyang saplot. Tinanggal ang sapatos at medyas. Binaba na ang pantalon. Lumuhod na siya sa paanan ko, habang ako'y nakadapa't nakapikit. Narinig ko na lang ang squirt-squirt ng bote ng cheap milky lotion sa kamay nya, at sinimulan na ang masahe.

(medyo NSFW ang susunod na kwento. slight lang.)


"Ano po ulit ang pangalan niyo?" tanong ni Andrew. Sagot naman ako, gamit ang pangalang binibigay ko sa sha-sha man o sa macho dancer. Nagtanong ulit siya, na sinagot ko naman. Edad. Tirahan. Trabaho (fake lang sinagot ko). Napansin niya atang naengganyo ako sumagot sa anumang tanong niya, kaya't tuloy-tuloy na siya sa pagtanong.

"Matagal na po kayo nagpupunta rito?" 

"Hindi naman. Mga pangatlo o pang-apat na beses ko pa lang." Hindi ko na rin maalala kung pang-ilan na nga, pero gusto kong malaman niyang hindi ako first timer para hindi niya ako lokohin.

"Ah ganun po ba? Hindi ko kasi kayo nakikita," sagot niya. Sa isip ko, buti naman. Hindi pala maituturing na regular ako dito, kahit na nanggaling ako rito noong nakaraang linggo lang. Ngunit sa tatlo o apat na beses kong pagpunta, hindi ko rin siya naalala. Siguro madalas siyang mag home service. O maaaring nakukuha na siya sa bawat punta ko. Mabuting tanungin ko siya tungkol dito.

"Hindi nga rin kita maalala e. Bago ka lang ba rito?"

"Opo," (na kadalasan naman nilang sagot). "Mga isang buwan pa lang ako dito." 

"Talaga? E bakit nung mga huling punta ko, hindi kita nakikita."

"Hindi po kasi ako madalas pumasok dito e." 

"Bakit naman?" naitanong ko, kahit na hindi ito ang unang beses na narinig ko ito sa isang lalaking easy-money ang trabaho. 

Walang sagot.

Siguro hindi lang niya ako narinig dahil na rin sa lakas ng pagkanta ni Eric Santos sa radyo. Nasa likod ng mga binti ko na siya nagmamasahe. Inulit ko ang tanong.

"Bakit ka naman hindi madalas pumasok?"

"Ano po, kasi." Hesitation. "Quiet na lang po kayo, kung pwede."

"Sige."

Naramdaman ko ang paglapit ng katawan niya sa likod ko, at ang ulo niya sa may tenga ko. Bumulong siya. "Dalawa po kasi trabaho ko. Pumapasok din po kasi ako sa gay bar."

Gay bar! Magic words sa tenga ni GB Goer. Ngayon ko lang narinig ang isang masahistang macho dancer din. Gusto ko malaman ang kwento niya. "Saang gay bar ka naman pumapasok?" usisa ko, na kunwari hindi ako ganoong ka-interesado.

"Diyan sa may F4* sa Quezon City."

Ah, yung bagong MD bar. Hindi ba't may sikat na massage parlor doon sa tabi nito? Naalala ko nga ang unang punta ko sa bar na yun. Isang gabi ng kahayukan, katatapos ko lang magpamasahe sa H, napagpasyahan kong uminom muna kahit isa o dalawang beer sa bagong bukas na MD bar bago umuwi.

"Nakapunta na ako doon," ika ko. "Merong big night noon. Fashion show ng mga lalaking taga-labas, na see-through na bikini ang suot. Hindi ko naman masyado napansin mga macho dancer na hindi masyadong pinasayang. Parang hindi naman kita nakita."

"Madilim po siguro kaya hindi niyo ako nakita." Tumuloy na siya sa pagmasahe sa likuran ko, habang nakaupo siya sa aking puwitan.

"Paano ka nakapagtrabaho sa dalawang lugar nang sabay?"

"Minsan po nandito ako. Minsan nasa bar, lalo na pag Biyernes o Sabado."

"Buti hindi ka pinagbabawalan ng bar o spa?"

"Hindi naman po nila alam."

"Nakakatakas ka?"

"Hindi naman po kasi mahigpit. Pwede naman mag absent mga dalawa o tatlong araw."

"Bakit hindi ka na lang sa bar buong lingo?"

"Mahina po kasi e."

"E bakit hindi ka na lang dito?"

"Wala lang. Tsambahan kung merong makuhang malakas na customer sa bar."

"Nauupo ka ba sa bar?"

"Minsan lang po." Dagdag niya, "Sayang naman po kung sa isang lugar lang. Sinusulit ko lang."

Sulit.

Pinakamaraming makukuha sa isang halaga. Ayon kay Kris Aquino sa isang commercial ng gatas, siksik dapat para sulit. Sinisiksik ang anumang makakain, maiinom o matatanggap mula sa perang ibinibigay.
Boy: What's siksik, mama? What's sulit, mama?
Mudak: ETO! 

"Saan ka naman nakakakuha ng mas malaking kita?" tanong ko.

Tahimik ng ilang sandali. Pinisil-pisil ang aking balikat. Parang pinag-isipan ang isasagot. "Pareho lang po."

"Bakit pareho lang?" Sa isip ko, pwedeng mas malaki sa gay bar lalo na't kung may big time customer na magpapaulan ng pera. Ngunit pwede rin naman sa massage parlor dahil kahit mas maliit ang tip na binibigay, araw-araw namang may bading na hayok na magbibigay ng tip kahit paano.

"Pareho lang po kasi mahina ako sa pareho."

Kaya nga niya siguro sinisiksik ang dalawang trabaho sa isang lingo. Sulit nga naman ang pumasok sa massage parlor sa mga gabing hindi kalakasan ng gay bar, lalo na't kung hindi ka-guwapuhan at walang regular customer.

Hindi naman din kasi lahat ng gusto nakukuha sa gay bar. Lalo na sa mga customer... sa mga bading na mas maraming nais gawin kaysa sa manood sa sayaw at makipag-usap lang ng isa o dalawang oras. Oo nga't mas better-looking ang mga lalaki sa malalaking gay bar, pero maaari rin namang makaswerte ng isa o dalawang "pwede na" sa massage parlor. Wala nang ligawang magaganap para lang makatikim. Kung parausan lang ang habol ng bading, mas sulit ngang kumuha na lang sa mga sha-sha boys. Mahal na ngang mag-upo ng macho dancer, masyado pang mahal ang ibabayad para i-take-home sila, bukod pa sa tip na hihingiin nila mula sa iyo.

Naswerte nga naman ako noong gabing iyon. Makakasama ko rin ang isang macho dancer kahit na hindi ako magbayad ng pagkalaki-laking tip o bar fine. Nasulit ko rin ang pera ko sa sha-sha, na dahilan kung bakit hindi na ako napapadalas sa macho dancer o gay bar nitong mga nakaraang buwan. Hindi lang sa tawanan o tsismisan mapupunta ang pera. Mairaraos ko rin nang buong buo ang perang pinagpaguran ko. Instant balik!

Para lang din masulit ang masahe, hindi ako pumapayag na pipindut-pindutin lang ng lalaki ang likod ko. Dapat may tensyon mula sa kanyang kamay na dapat kong maramdaman, na tila pinipiga niya sa aking leeg, likod, o kamay ang bawat pisong maaari niyang makuha mula sa akin. At sa ES naman, hindi maaaring laila dee o nakahiga lang siya sa likod. Kahit paano, dapat may "illusion of intimacy", ika nga ng kaibigan ko. Kunwaring ako na ang matagal na niyang hinihintay na makapiling.  

"Sir, tapos na ang likod. Tihaya na po kayo," utos niya sa akin nang malumanay.

Dinilat ko ang aking mata. Inangat ko ang sarili. Umikot. Nahiga muli.

Sa tagal ng usapan namin sa dilim ng massage parlor sa gitna ng Maynila, Love Radio pa rin ang naririnig sa background speakers. Isa na namang love song na sumikat noong 80s. Sa naririnig na kanta at sa kasama kong masahistang macho dancer din, parang hindi na rin ako nawala sa gay bar.

Ginatas na namin pareho ang natitirang sandali.


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1028251/?forumpage=4


(continued from Manila Gay Bar Guide Part 2)

The Quezon City Macho Dancing Gay Bars

For those staying in Makati and who are willing to travel a few kilometers up north to experience the numerous macho dancing gay bars there, then I recommend visiting a few macho dancing bars in the Quezon City area. There are quite a number of macho dancer gay bars in this area, ranging from the bigger, more established, popular ones to the small seedy gay bars in the side streets. You will see the location of these bars in the map below.


To get to Quezon City from Makati, I recommend passing through EDSA, which is the main thoroughfare that connects the major cities of Metro Manila (see brief explanation from Part 1).

A taxi ride from Makati City to Quezon City (QC) will take around 40 minutes on a week night 10-11PM traffic, even if the distance is just 5 miles or 8 kilometers away. Otherwise, it's just 15 to 20 minutes past 1 AM (Pinoys, correct me if I am wrong). Just because of the distance and the traffic to get there, the bars in this area are ideal to visit if you are spending the weekend or more than a week in Manila.

Just like in the previous entry, let me get into detail how to get to those bars in Quezon City. There are two areas with gay bars. One is in the Timog (pronounced TEE-mohg) Avenue area, while another is in Aurora Boulevard. Let me start with the area with the most popular bars:



TIMOG AVENUE AREA
It's a highly commercial street filled with various eating places, banks, KTV bars, clubs, cafes, etc. The whole avenue starts at the GMA Network Building from EDSA, goes through the Boy Scout Rotonda (circular road with tall well-lit monument), then extends up to another major road, Quezon Avenue.

1. Adonis - Quezon City
118 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Underneath the sign, there's always a tarpaulin
banner announcing a big night event
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
What to expect: Most iconic gay bar in Metro Manila. Dark and cavernous, with a huge elevated stage. Perfect for the discreet because of the darkness. Couches near the stage (no extra fee to sit there). Average of 25 to 30 dancers on any given night. Mostly fair and good-looking men (not the typical dark-skinned "exotic-looking" guys that a lot of foreigners like). Mostly lean to buff, gym-toned bodies, to keep up with the "Adonis" physique. Average age range of dancers around 25 to 27; more mature age range among the gay bars in Manila. Continuous macho dancing from start to end, with no drag queen performances to serve as breaks and can thus get monotonous. Lots of VIP rooms for private conversations; Php 2090 for the first hour. Taxis abound at night.

By the way, its sister bar "Maginoo" along Timog Avenue is already closed.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Timog Avenue, right in front of the GMA Network Building. From EDSA, Timog Avenue is to the left, so the taxi may take a u-turn past the traffic lights. Once you reach Timog, the GMA building will be to your right (a 7-11 store in front of the building). You will find Adonis to your left, beside Lydia's Lechon and East Garden Grill and Bar. It's easy to find.

Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: You see the well-lit GMA Network Building to your right. The bar is right across the street.



2. Club Mankind - Quezon City

144 Scout Ybardolaza Street, Quezon City
"Hunks Bar" in Google Maps
What to expect: Typical macho dancer bar. Averages about 20 to 25 dancers. Average-looking men (with some standouts), lean to muscular bodies. Varied shows: typical macho dancing the entire night, interspersed with some themed sexy dances (eg. dances with masks, dancing while showering, ATW shows, etc) and drag queen performances. All-cast (when all the men will dance in front of the stage, and get introduced one by one) past midnight. No VIP rooms. Despite the darkness, customers can see each other's faces because of the stage's nearness to the customer couches. Clientele is a mix of gay men and older women.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Hmmm... Along Timog Avenue, go straight until you reach Amihan Restaurant, the landmark nearest the bar. That restaurant is at the corner of Timog Avenue and Scout Ybardolaza Street. The bar can be easily seen from this corner.

Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: You see Amihan Restaurant to your right and Shell Gas Station to your left if coming from EDSA side. The taxi needs to take a right turn at Amihan Restaurant. You know you're there when you see the poster of Gerard Butler's ass from the movie "300."




3. Makisig Entertainment Bar and Restaurant - Quezon City

59 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Look for the "No Entrance, No Service Charge" banner under the logo
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
What to expect: A small macho dancer bar. I haven't been inside the bar due to its very limited parking space. Thus I can't comment on the number of men and how good-looking they are. What I heard from a macho dancer friend who used to work here though is that there are only around 8 tables inside. There are two VIP rooms also.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Still along Timog Avenue, but nearer the Scout Rotonda / Rotunda (Boy Scout Circle). If you want to be discreet, just say "Dream Spa" or "Music Bank" along Timog Avenue.

Click map to enlarge
You know you're near when: You see the red neon lights of Music Bank KTV, then a giant billboard of Dream Spa to your right. Makisig gay bar is beside it.
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com

4. Mr. World - Quezon City
Timog Avenue corner Tomas Morato, Quezon City
You will see this logo on top of the Chowking sign, but it does not the sign to the door's entrance.
What to expect: The newest bar this side of town, the sister bar of Club Mankind. One of the nicest-looking and cleanest bars I've been to, all because it's new. Few men inside, less than 15 from my last visit. But they're constantly hiring. Their looks: Okay-ish, though a Singaporean friend liked the exotic-looking ones here. Mix of young and mature dancers. Mostly couches, all-comfortable. Some drag impersonator performances to break the monotony of the macho dancing, plus some shower dancing if you're lucky. No VIPs. A bit brightly-lit inside, due to the strength of the stage lights.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Scout Rotonda (or Boy Scout Circle) in Timog, Quezon City, near Chowking. Easy. The bar is located inside the building "Philippine International Life Insurance Co."
Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: You are at the Scout Rotonda / Boy Scout Circle and see the well-lit Chowking fastfood restaurant. If you wish to be discreet, you can alight in front of Chowking. The bar's not-so-obvious entrance, manned by a security booth/table, is to the left of Chowking and before Pier 39 ktv bar. For a visual of the entrance:
See that Chowking sign on the right? And don't be fooled by the "No Entrance" sign.
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com

5. Planet Xanadu (now known as Prince Xanadu) - Quezon City
#6 Scout Borromeo, South Triangle, Quezon City
This logo is different from the unlit sign at the front of the bar
What to expect: Typical macho dancer gay bar. Looks dark and old inside, but interiors try to project a modern, out-of-this-world look and feel. Average of 20-25 men working inside, average-looking men with a few stand outs. Some lean, a few boyish, some gym-toned, a handful of dark exotic-looking men. No VIP Rooms. Bar best known for their production numbers (choreographed themed dances with mood lighting and costumes).

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: The bar is tricky to locate. First, the Quezon City based taxis may know where the bar is, but those not familiar in the area may not. Second, the area is not along a major road, and you may need a few turns to get to the bar. Third, at night, the Planet Xanadu signage is not lit, and you can only see the lit Burger Machine stall in front of the bar. So to get to the bar, you need to tell the taxi "Puregold Supermarket" or "Tropical Hut grocery" along Scout Borromeo, which are the closest landmarks in the area. The bar is on the block before Tropical Hut (see map).
Click map to enlarge
From the map, you can see that there are lots of ways to get to Planet Xanadu from Scout Rotonda / Boy Scout Circle. I prefer to go straight along Timog Avenue, turn right at Scout Tobias before Music 21 Plaza, then after seeing the Puregold sign, left on Scout Borromeo.  

You know you're near when: First is a big green neon sign of Puregold, if coming from Scout Tobias street. Once you see the Burger Machine stand, you can alight here and you will see the bar slightly behind the Burger Machine stand.
Prince Xanadu / Planet Xanadu entrance behind the Burger Machine stand
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
Look for this unlit signage on top of the Burger Machine sign.
I also doubt they will change the name to "Prince Xanadu" soon.

ALONG AURORA BLVD.
If you're feeling more adventurous, and can spend more time in Metro Manila, then the macho dancing bars along Aurora Boulevard is for you. You need to navigate the dark and dingy side streets of Quezon City to get to the dimly-lit bars in this area.

1. DreamBoys Bar and Restaurant - Quezon City
774 Aurora Boulevard, Barangay Kaunlaran, Quezon City
What to expect: Small seedy dirty old macho dancing bar. Very dark, very discreet. Most of the clientele are middle aged, middle-to-working class discreet-looking gay men. ATW shows? Abundant. Most I've seen in a bar so far. Dirrrty, literally and figuratively. But sorry, no live shows. The floor managers here are the most pushy. The whole bar experience teases the customers with the idea that they can do anything they please inside the bar (no other bar dims the lights for a minute after each performance). Be sure to bring small bills; "area" is aplenty.

The men? Not-so-goodlooking for the general Filipino taste with a few notable exceptions, but may be appealing for the exotic-liking foreigner. Mix of thin young twinks barely 20s and very mature buff-to-stocky men barely 30s. The guys are quite open to meet outside for breakfast and then some. =)

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Betty Go Belmonte LRT Station along Aurora Boulevard. That's the nearest landmark, although the bar is not exactly underneath the station. The bar will be before the LRT Station if coming from EDSA.
Click map to enlarge
You know you're near when: Turning left from EDSA to Aurora Boulevard, after 5-7 minutes from the intersection, you'll see the bar to the left. It is beside a Reyes Barbecue restaurant. You will not miss this bar due to the Christmas lights decor lining the roof of its entrance.



2. Hotmen and Emotional Hunks - Quezon City
I've grouped these two together as they are right beside each other, at another area of Quezon City: Cubao.
Both bars: Stanford Street, Cubao, Quezon City
What to expect: Small macho dancing gay bars. Hotmen is old, while Emotion Hunks just started last 2011. As with small bars, expect quite a lot of ATW men who will go "area" on you after each performance. Looks? Average to Exotic-looking. Hotmen has some VIP rooms. As with small bars along Aurora Boulevard, customers have more freedom in touching the men when tabled beside you. Just choose wisely, as these men keep pestering the customers to choose them for the night. 

Can you brave the dark streets of Cubao to get to those bars?
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Say Cubao first. Then Hotel Sogo, along Aurora Boulevard, turning right from EDSA. See map below.

Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: Along Aurora Boulevard, you see Hotel Sogo to your right and a Mini-Stop Convenience Store to your left. The taxi will need to take a u-turn after Hotel Sogo and Mini-Stop to get to Stanford Street. You can ask to be dropped off at Mini-Stop then walk towards either gay bar, or choose to turn right at Stanford Street. Open your eyes for the lit signage of Emotion Hunks and neon signage of Hotmen (near the neon signage of Kakosa bar) to your left. 

Note: Batong Buhay KTV Bar, also in Cubao, is already closed. I won't include yet the infamous Prince Galaxy bar until the bar re-opens.

Please see also Manila Gay Bar Guide Part 2 for gay bars in Manila-Paranaque-Pasay area.

*Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits:
http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com for most of the night photos
Google Maps
http://121jigovatios.blogspot.com/2011/02/big-culo-day-2011.html
http://www.dreamboyzbar.blogspot.com/?zx=e8306b74a0c2efef
http://ph.openrice.com


The Department of Tourism of the Philippines recently launched their new campaign on "It's More Fun in The Philippines" (You can learn more by clicking the link here). Since its start last January 6 2012, the campaign has gone viral over social networks and blogs, with numerous Filipinos sharing their own reasons on why Philippines can be a premier destination due to its places made more fun by its fun Pinoy people. Even my friend Rocky has created his own versions (memes) of the campaign for one of Manila's gay clubs (See link of his blog here). 

So how are gay bars more fun in the Philippines?  

Runways. More fun in the Philippines
Night Photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com

Blind dates. More fun in the Philippines 
You get to choose your guy. But you get to pay for your date.

Gratitude (or gratuity or gratuitous showing). More fun in the Philippines
Thousand peso bills go a long way.

Stage Plays. More fun in the Philippines.
A half-naked man is always at the center of the stage.

Finding love. More fun in the Philippines
For matronas, lonely gay guys, bar girls and especially, the #1 tourists: Korean women

Just a few notes:
1. I am NOT promoting sex tourism. "Off-ing" the men or taking them out of the bar is very expensive, to restrain the customers. Some bars don't allow it at all. Besides, a lot of the guys working here don't see themselves as sex workers (they're only working there as entertainers).
2. The ones shown above are what we can claim as more fun in the Philippines. I've tried to consider others but failed. For example, "angry birds" can be fun in the Philippines, but it's more fun in the more risque gogo bars of Bangkok and in some cities around the world. Manila does not even have imitation sex on stage, sorry.  

What other ideas do you have? Is it really more fun in the gay bars of the Philippines? 

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



(continued from Part 1: Introduction)

The Macho Dancing Gay Bars at the Pasay-Paranaque-Manila City areas

For those staying in Makati City, the best bars I can recommend due to its proximity to the city are those located in the cities of Pasay (pronounced PAH-sai, not PAH-sei) and Paranaque (pronounced Pah-ran-NYAH-keh, not Pah-rah-nah-cue like bar-be-cue). It takes around 15 to 20 minutes without heavy traffic from Makati to get to these cities. 

If you take a look at the map below, you can locate where Makati City is and the areas where the most popular gay bars are.


Let me then get into detail how to get to those bars in the map. Let's start with the closest to Makati.


1. Big Papa Gay Bar - Pasay City

Big Papa Bar, 2315 Aurora Boulevard (Tramo), Pasay City
What to expect: typical macho dancer gay bar, average of 20 to 25 macho dancers and a few ATW. Average-looking men, lean to muscular bodies. Interspersed between macho dancing performances are shows by the in-house drag queen dancers. Has a few VIP rooms. Foreigner-friendly (I've seen foreigner customers before; staff can speak basic and conversational English).

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Tramo Road going to Airport Road in Pasay (now called Aurora Boulevard, but taxi drivers rarely know this)
Click to enlarge
  • To get to Tramo Road, you need to take EDSA Southbound from Makati. Then you will encounter two flyovers -- one is the Magallanes flyover (lots of billboards) and the other is the EDSA-Tramo flyover to the extreme left of EDSA (which also goes to Airport Road). You are on Tramo Road after your vehicle goes up this ramp (see below) that makes a wide left turn. The gay bar, housed in a blue building with the sign at the top, is towards the end of the road, a few buildings before the sole traffic light. 
You know you're near when: you see a well-lit Pan de Manila store to the right of the road. This bakery is open at night, and it's right beside the Big Papa bar. The store's sign is even more prominent than the Big Papa sign. 

To the left of the road, you'll see a KIA warehouse and after it is a Shell gas station, at the road's intersection.


2. Solution Disco and KTV - Pasay City

You really need to be alert at night to see this sign
369 Antonio Arnaiz Street, Pasay
What to expect: an OLD typical gay bar (a bit rundown, torn couches, very dirty restrooms), located in a dark dingy street in Pasay. Three floors -- 1st floor is the lobby, 2nd floor is the macho dancer bar, 3rd floor is a bar with live band and hostos. Average of 20 to 25 macho dancers on the 2nd floor with a few ATW. Show starts around 11pm. 

There is no stage; just a dance floor in the middle of the room. Average-looking men with a few gems, lean to muscular bodies. A few performances by in-house drag queen dancers. No VIP room (actually there is one, but it's NOT conducive to customers; cringe-worthy). NOT too Foreigner-friendly (only Korean women seen; doubtful if staff can speak conversational English). Only for adventurous locals. 

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Libertad Street in Pasay (now called A. Arnaiz Avenue on the map but taxi drivers rarely know this; just follow brown lines on the map above).
  • Difficult to explain how to get there, as there a lot of possible routes -- one is via EDSA then right on Taft Avenue (taxi driver would know this) or via the side streets of Makati going to Libertad. The bar is too discreet to be seen, as one can easily miss the bar's sign when is not looking properly. The bar's location is walking distance from the intersection of Libertad Avenue and Taft Avenue (where a fruit market is located).
Click to enlarge

You know you're near when: you see the following on the left side of the street (coming from Taft Avenue, turning right to Libertad Avenue): the building where the bar is located is in between a BDO bank and a well-lit 7-11. Beyond the traffic light will be a Mercury Drugstore and Jollibee.


3. White Bird Bar - Paranaque City
White Bird Bar, 715 Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran, Paranaque City
What to expect: the largest gay bar in this side of town, and one of the most expensive yet most professional. Average of 25 to 30 dancers per night, with some ATW. Average-to-good-looking men, lean to muscular bodies. Lots of young guys compared to the other bars. 12 to 1am will be peak: modeling/all-cast show-up onstage on weekends, performances by tranny drag queens and hiphop dance crews. No VIP rooms. Foreigner-friendly (I've seen foreigner customers before; staff can speak basic and conversational English).

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran (just follow the black to red lines on the map above).
  • Roxas Boulevard (pronounced RO-has) is a long stretch of road that extends from the City of Manila all the way to Paranaque City. So it is important to mention "Baclaran" (pronounced Bahk-LAH-rahn), the general area of the closest landmark, the Baclaran Church. The bar is very easy to find once you are in this area. 






Click to enlarge
You know you're near when: you see a series of neon-lit signs of the red light district: Dynasty Real Bar, then Binibini (biggest sign in the area), and a Lydia's Lechon sign. Don't go to either of these: Dynasty and Binibini will serve you girl strippers, while Lydia's Lechon will serve you suckling pig. 


4. Machette Bars - Manila and Paranaque City
Machette 1: Lourdes Street corner Roxas Boulevard,
Machette-Coast Bay: 141 Roxas Boulevard,  Baclaran, Paranaque
As of this writing, there are two Machette bars in this side of town, both are along Roxas Boulevard. One is near Buendia Avenue, called Machette 1 (see general map above), while the other is called Machette-Coast Bay Bar right beside White Bird bar. 


What to expect: Machette 1's location is very dark and quite scary as the bar is just beside an area full of shanties. Not recommended; only for really adventurous and curious locals. Machette-Coast Bay is small, cozy, very bright (not for the discreet), and modern-looking. Average of 20 to 25 dancers per night, no ATW YET. Average-to-good-looking men, lean to muscular bodies, a bit on the older age. Performances by hiphop dance groups and tranny drag queens. Has private rooms on 2nd floor without doors. Only Korean women foreigners seen. 
Click to enlarge
What you can tell the taxi for the general location of these two bars:
  • For Machette 1, Roxas Boulevard near Buendia Road (now known as Gil Puyat Avenue). Drive further along Roxas Blvd. to get to Dapitan and Lourdes Streets, where the bar is located. East Asia club is a landmark. 
  • East Asia Club near Machette 1
  • For Machette-Coast Bay Bar, Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran Church (same as White Bird Bar).
You know you're near when: For Machette 1, you see East Asia Club (which is a girly show club; don't enter!). You will not see the bar along main street. You will see its sign along a dark side street. For Machette-Coast Bay, you see White Bird Bar and all the girly bars beside it. 


5. Other smaller bars in the City of Manila
There are other smaller macho dancer or hosto bars in the City of Manila. But as these places are far from Makati or too small to be considered entertaining, the journey along the small dark alleys and traffic jams to reach them may not be worth it. Only for locals. These are: 
  • Boy Next Door, along Mabini Street in the Malate area (the road behind Aristorcrat Restaurant). 
  • Cruizin Manila, along Bocobo Street in Malate area, near Mini-Stop
  • Ginoong Modelo, at Dimasalang Street in Sampaloc, Manila
  • Apollo 14th KTV Bar, at Crown Center Mall, along Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila
There are other bars which already closed: Valentino / Mr. Valentines Bar (most popular macho dancing bar during its time) and the hosto bar I love Dream Boys (near the gay clubbing area of Nakpil / Orosa).   


*Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.


(To be continued...)


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://maps.google.com
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=471473&page=18
http://myrockingcradle.com/2009/11/do-you-miss-your-pan-de-sal/
http://ph.openrice.com
http://www.designink.info/whitebird/about-us.html
http://tomrich.sakura.ne.jp/nightspotpasay_paranaque.html


This week, to commemorate this blog's 1st year anniversary and to give a little holiday treat, I will finally feature my version of the Manila Gay Bar Guide. I've been planning to do this since September, after some conversations with a few foreigner visitors. But when I started creating this post, I realized that this task will require much effort. 

I am writing this with foreigner visitors in mind, as they are the most clueless about the gay bars in Manila. Local gay bar goers can also use this, but you guys would just have to adapt the information that's in this series of posts. Part 1 will mostly be about Introduction to Metro Manila, while Parts 2 and 3 will each focus on the two areas where most gay bars are located and how to get there. Insider information about those bars will be out of scope for this guide. 

Hope you find this guide useful in getting around Metro Manila to reach your target gay bar. 



Introduction to Metro Manila and its cities

You know your plane landed in Manila, but the airport is located in Paranaque City. Your hotel's address is in Makati City, which may be the same city where your company's local office is located. If not, it may be in Mandaluyong City or Quezon City. Your colleagues invite you for dinner at the Fort area, which is in Taguig City. With all these cities mentioned, you wonder if are you still in Manila. Confusing?

Don't be. You are actually in Metro Manila, which is the capital region composed of various cities that include the historic City of Manila and its surrounding areas. (You may want to read up on Metro Manila at Wiki for more information about this metropolitan city).

If you are a foreigner sent to Manila by your company for a business trip, you will most likely be staying at Makati City (see map below, in black rectangle). The Central Business District is located here, and many 5-star hotels, such as Shangri-La, Manila Peninsula, Intercon, etc. are also in this city. Yet, outside of Makati, there are other 3 to 4 star hotels located in Manila and Pasay City. For the purpose of these articles though, I will use Makati City as the central starting point.

Now, for gay entertainment. 

If you are the type who wants to go gay clubbing, then the gay center of Metro Manila is an area/district in Manila City called Malate (pronounced Ma-LAH-teh). The gay clubs are located at the intersection of Nakpil Street and Orosa Street. It takes around 20-30 minutes taxi ride from Makati at night. But I won't focus on those clubs in this blog post.

If you are the type who prefers to see some skin, then the macho dancing bars may be your thing. These bars are the closest that we have to the strip bars of the West and to the go-go boy bars of Bangkok; however, our macho dancing bars are vastly different from these bars for a lot of reasons. I have a few blog posts that explain the uniqueness of Manila's bars (Read one here that compares vs Thai go-go boys and here that compares vs male strip bars). Douglas Sanders of Fridae.asia also gives a good introduction on what to expect in what we call macho dancing bars or gay bars (Read here).

Other useful information from my blog are as follows:


There are two general areas in Metro Manila for macho dancing gay bars. The most popular ones are located in these areas (see map, encircled in red). These are: 
  1. The cities of Paranaque and Pasay: south of Makati
  2. Quezon City: north of Makati
Black box: Makati or Manila (where you may be staying)
Encircled red: the two areas where macho dancer bars are located.

When going to these two areas, I suggest to pass through EDSA (Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue), which is the main thoroughfare that connects the main cities of Metro Manila. Despite its daily horrible traffic, it will be your best friend during your stay. This road is the main artery or the lifeline of Metro Manila. It is your lifeline to the gay bars as well

**Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.

(To be continued...)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://www.bfhomes.net/metro_manila_map.htm



Dear Santa,

Hi. How are you? It's me, GB Goer. You don't know me? Maybe because I only started writing to you this year. Heck, my persona was only created just a few days before the end of 2010.

But check your lists again. I may be on your "nice" list. I wasn't that naughty the past year. Yes, I may have been going to the gay bars since last year, but both of us know I was well-behaved with the macho dancers. You can even ask the ____ number of men I've met just this year. Yes, ganun karami, and nope, I don't get affected nor offended when you say "Ho, ho, ho." Promise, those men will say something nice about me.

Because I was more good than bad this year, can I still ask for my Christmas wishes? Don't worry, my list is not that long, unlike some of my unedited, drawn-out, explanatory blog posts. Anyway, here goes. 

First of all, Santa, if you're thinking of giving me a gift, I think I am too old for toys already. Why not a boy toy, perhaps? Or even better, a serious non-macho dancer boyfriend. Someone whom I can take along for dates or dinners without needing to spend for their allowance. Someone whom I can bring home this Christmas to my family and introduce him as a macho dancer, errr, a corporate executive working for Solutions Bar & Disco, errr, Solutions Contact Center in Makati. Yet another night shifter? Going out with macho dancers the past years, I think I've already learned can work out our timings. So keri na yun.

Can he also not be too young nor too old? Around the age of 24-26 would be best. Based on my experience with macho dancers, they make good conversationalists, at that age. And yes, that's about the same age as Phoenix. My nice-on-the-outisde but naughty-on-the-inside friend Ringo said that among all the guys I've met over the years, it was Phoenix who was my best match. We could discuss anything and everything without walls or pretension. And Ringo could see that I was most comfortable and most myself with him. Plus, Phoenix restrains himself from ordering too much MD drinks when I table him. Two on the average up to three maximum, as he keeps saying "Hindi ka iba" (I'm not that different). Not bad, right? 

So why not just give me Phoenix? I'm not that choosy. Oh yeah, he has a long time partner. Fine.

But you know my type. Chinito. Someone who looks like Air, who is Hayden Kho-ish.

Speaking of which, I saw Air two weeks ago in the bar beside "Home Base", exactly after a year of not seeing the face of that s.o.b. Even though forgotten feelings resurfaced, it's a good thing I kept my calm. For sure, he saw me when I was walking out towards the bar's doors where he was chatting with his older companion "friend." Did I say hi? No. I just walked between the two of them. Glanced at him for a quick second. Glanced at his "friend" after. No smile from me. No acknowledgement from me. As if I never knew him. Ang ganda ko lang

Well, if you won't give me a non-macho dancer boyfriend, I'll ask for something reachable na lang.

Please give me a motorcycle, such as a Kawasaki, Suzuki, or any other brand from the land of the hostos and legitimate male entertainers. As long as it's brand new. So that when I'd fall deeply and blindly in love with a guy from these gay bars, I can tease him with the keys to a brand new "motor" for his daily "service." Once you give me that gift, you can finally make a wish of mine come true: tuck (make sabit) the keys on the guy's bikini strap while he's performing on stage. Just like any other matrona in the gay bar. Please make that happen.

Speaking of matronas and other gay bar patrons, I do hope they realize that the gay bar is just an "entertainment only" establishment. These bars may tease us with the prospect of having intimate relationships with the men of our choice, and being alone or lonely or incomplete makes us vulnerable to their slightest remarks of flattery. If we do decide to risk our hearts to someone in these bars, I do hope we can weed out those who are using us and those who are being true to us. It's so difficult and tiring to constantly giving out gift after gift after gift, just for our love to be reciprocated, Santa. We are not like you.

And with that, thank you for my non-attachment to a macho dancer boylet this time of year, for the 2nd year in a row. At least there are no grand Christmas gifts nor monetary aginaldos to worry about. My hard earned money is kept intact, to spend for my loved ones and myself this season.

So, to show my gratitude, when you're coming to town, I can take you to any bar you want. Not in the girly bars though. Not my thing. And I'll tell on you if we do. Mrs. Santa wouldn't be too happy to find that out. Unless I take her along again to her favorite gay bar spot along Timog. 

Oops. I shouldn't have said that.

Sincerely, 

GB Goer

P.S. Oh, and yeah, can you also lower the MD drinks price at White Bird? It's too expensive at P480 plus 10% service charge per drink. I hope they realize that the other bars in that area charge below P400 a drink.

*Merry Christmas to all of you, dear readers! Time to be out of the internet and out of the gay bar. Time to spend with  our families,  friends, loved ones... unless our loved ones involve macho dancers too. 


Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://www.bittenandbound.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/hunky-santa.jpg


"Natatakot akong magpunta sa gay bar kasi hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko sa loob. Lalo na't kung may hingiin sa akin at hindi ko alam kung paano ako tatanggi. (I am afraid in going to the gay bar because I don't know what to do inside. Especially if something is asked from me and I wouldn't know how to refuse). " 
"Minsan nagpunta ako sa gay bar, at napilitan ako magbigay kasi nahihiya akong magsabi na ayaw ko yun, hindi ko gusto yun. (Once in the gay bar, I was forced into something because I was too reluctant to say that I really didn't want that)."
When I read revelations like these from email senders, I can sense their worries in going to the gay bar. These can be money matters: worried about not having enough money or worried about losing all your money to one guy (parang lang casino, but isn't love just one big gamble? chos). It can also be guy matters: worried about choosing the wrong guy or worried about being thrown out the bar for not tabling a guy (no, this does not happen).  

I started going to the gay bars with the same feeling of being not in control. A stranger would approach me inside the dark bar, and I wouldn't know what to do. As I wonder what the proper response should be in certain situations, I worried I couldn't refuse anything this stranger would offer. Thus, I would always just say yes with anything they pushed me. Looking back, the fear I felt back was actually coming from a feeling of powerlessness.

But a gay bar goer shouldn't feel powerless. On the contrary, he or she has power of what would happen in the bar. It includes the power to say No.

For illustration purpose only, and not misheard lyrics.

So all you single ladies (and bekis), here are some examples of when to decline offers and tips on how to say it.

Read more:
Example 1: Manager coaxing you to table a guy
You went to the gay bar just to see the sights and you did not plan on getting a macho dancer to sit with you. But the makulit (persistent) floor manager continually bugs you to table a macho dancer. You are not prepared with enough money. He sits beside you for the 100th time to ask you, "Who among our gorgeous men will you get?" What to do?

Just say No.

How? Offer a lame excuse, like wanting to see all men dance before choosing someone. Or tell him that you want to just enjoy the view. Or you can be frank with a "No, sorry, I don't fancy anyone (Wala akong type)." Period.

Example 2: A macho dancer sits down beside you, uninvited, and you want him out.
You may have planned to spend some money with a guy, but a bad-looking stranger sits beside you. Your caring heart doesn't want to offend him by shooing him away. This happens regularly in smaller bars (eg. Dreamboyz), and they will plead all they can to ask you for at least one MD drink, while looking at you in the eye and caressing or squeezing your thigh as he pleads. What to do?

Just say No.

How? You have to be honest with them. They will not leave you unless you tell straight to their face that you're not planning to table anyone or you are fancying someone else. In declining, be firm. And remember to say No with a smile.

Unless you still want your thighs to be caressed.

Example 3: Massage guy starts to rub your neck
Dear, you thought that massage is a free service by the bar? Nope. While the massages given by the masseurs or waiters don't have a fixed charge, they require tips. But you're not in the mood for someone else's firm hands on your shoulders. What to do?

Just say No.

How? Once these uniformed guys approach and offer you a massage, you can just shake your head and politely decline with a smile. But keep in mind that turning them down means lost opportunity for their take-home income, may it just be P50 to P200 per client per night (their income is coming mostly from tips, FYI). 

Example 4: Men in the buff approaching you for tips, or "area"
What I very much HATE in the gay bars are NOT the persistent all-the-way men asking me for tips while whispering "Kahit pamasahe lang po (Even just for fare)", despite telling them you're not interested in handing out tips. It's those giggly screaming girls who cover their faces or hide behind the backs of their friends when an all-the-way guy approaches them (Mga malalanding teh, mag hunos dili! Hindi niyo kailangang magsusumigaw! Kala mo kung sinong ni-re-rape na kinikilig). It's obvious that these virginal-kuno women don't want to be approached, but they resort to screaming out loud. What to do when you don't want these men to approach you?

Just say No.

How? When these men are approaching your table, just raise your hand calmly and shake your head (just like the picture above of Beyonce). If that doesn't work, tell them that you're sorry that you don't have any spare change (barya). But be calm and firm. These guys actually love all the attention and brouhaha response they are getting from the wildly screaming giggly women covering their faces. Kala mo aalis sila sa pagtitili mo? Kabaligtaran. Aantayin ka pa nilang maglabas ng wallet. 

But again, these all-the-way rarely-tabled guys are only earning from the tips the customers are given them. If everyone in the bar refuses to give them even a P50 bill, imagine how they will feel going home without anything to bring. Think twice before saying no.

Example 5: Waiter approaching to ask for another MD drink
Oh, the ever tenacious, ever relentless, ever hardworking waiters. You are already sensing that your tabled macho dancer has been gulping their PHP300+ drink quicker than usual. And as your guy finishes off his nth drink, the waiter who's nakabantay near your table asks you if you want to give your tabled guy another one. But you are worried about going over budget. What to do?

Just say No.

How? Simple. Shake your head and raise your hand as if stopping oncoming traffic. But keep in mind that a bottle for your macho dancer is good for 30 minutes to 45 minutes with you, generally. If you've been with your macho dancer for four hours already with only two bottles, and you still refuse to give him another drink, don't be surprised if your macho dancer would suddenly disappear as he is "called by the manager" and won't return anymore.

Example 6. You are not happy or satisfied with the macho dancer beside you.
Boring. Offensive. Too quiet. Too talkative. There are many reasons why the macho dancer you chose isn't worth the money you are paying for, aside from realizing that he's not as good-looking up close as you thought he would be. The waiter asks if you want to give the tabled dancer another drink, or the floor manager approaches if you are happy with your choice. What to do?

Just say No.

How? By all means, send him back. Oh yes, you can do that, kala mo hindi? As you don't want to offend the guy, then tell your manager that you are unhappy with him and want him out. The manager will find a way to send the guy back to the dressing room. 

Example 7: Macho dancer asking for something beyond your means.
No need to explain whatever that something is. Higher tip? Ten bottles for the big night event? A brand new motorcycle? The latest i-phone? What to do?

Just say No.

How? You can always come up with any lie or lame excuse. Just be convincing when you do it. If all things fail, just say "Sorry, hindi talaga pwede. (Sorry, really can not)."

We fear too many things when we are in a situation outside of our comfort zones, especially in a strange other world called the gay bar. We fear being taken advantage by these macho dancers or their managers, especially when it comes to money. We fear to be judged as not being rich enough worthy of a night's fun in the gay bar. We can even fear hurting the feelings of a macho dancer, who, despite their half-naked uniform and stature in life, is really just another feeling and thinking human being. 

But remember that you are the customer, and not just any house guest. Customers are followed and entertained, and not pushed into something he or she doesn't want to. Thus, as in any establishment, you the customer are Ms. Sasha Fierce. Don't be afraid to use it (just do NOT abuse).

Keep in mind that a "No" can be very powerful in a gay bar. Always smile as you do, and don't be iffy saying it. 


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://hiphop.popcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Beyonce-Retires-Single-Ladies.jpg


You've seen that action done in countless movies and shows. It is the quintessential image of the stripper, male or female. "Magic Mike" made you curious to experience the same thing in Manila. You've wanted to do it. But then, you're just too afraid or too shy or too cash-strapped to even try. What's that action called in the local scene?
Those lucky dollar bills
Sabit.

But, wait. Doesn't the word "sabit" mean the following? 
Sabit 1: Hang clothes to dry
Sabit 2: Hang on to railings of jeepney's rear
Sabit 3 (or Sandara's "Walang Sabit"): Tangle-free hair












In the gay bar industry though, "sabit" gets a whole new meaning. There are no clothes (literally), no jeepneys, and no Sandaras (Koreans abound though). Magsabit ng pera involves tucking cash into the waistband of the macho dancer's bikini/underwear/cycling shorts as he is dancing on-stage or once a dancer approaches you. 

Click below to view full picture above and read more about "sabit":


My first ever sabit experience was not in Manila though, but in a gay strip bar in New York years ago. The male stripper was dancing on top of the bar ledge. I was near the bar, so I looked up to see the dark-skinned buff dancer with only a yellow towel tied around his waist. I saw the other patrons beside me also enjoying the sight and sneaking their hands inside the dancer's towel. So I tried it too. I took out a dollar bill, folded it lengthwise, and slid my hand underneath the towel. I felt the underwear strap and inserted my dollar bill. He smiled at me in thanks. I guess that allowed more access for my frisky fingers (I won't explain further what happened next, which I think he seemed to enjoy, even momentarily).  

So what you see in the movie "Magic Mike" really does happen. Customers throw their dollar bills on stage or tuck those inside the dancer's underwear. Hollywood can make something look so fun... and so cheap!

But not in Manila. 

Because sabit is not usually done, for countless reasons. Tipid for one. Hiya. Conservative kuno. Hindi alam kung paano. Even the set-up of Manila's gay bars doesn't help. Customers are made to sit on couches and chairs far from the stage, so walking up towards the well-lit stage in full view of other customers to insert a couple of bills takes a lot of guts. 

Unless you're a matrona, rich gay guy, or a foreigner, particularly Koreans. When their chosen macho dancer comes up on stage to dance, they whip out P5,000 or P20,000 or P50,000 worth of 500 or 1000 bills. They hand the money to their floor manager, and the manager approaches the stage to insert the bills, usually fanned out, into the dancer's waistband. Of course, the floor managers make a big brouhaha out of the act. Maybe to inspire other customers to do the same. But, to the contrary, that can intimidate the other customers who would only prefer to give only P50 or P100 or max P500.

For those customers giving huge amounts, sabit is all for show. The entire P20,000 or P50,000 doesn't go to the macho dancer. "Binabalik namin yun," according to a lot of MDs. Apparently, those customers ask their dancer to return 75%-90% of the amount. That means the MD only pockets around P5,000, or maybe even less.

"Syempre pag nakita ng bar na may nagsabit na customer sayo, alam nilang may kikitain ka," tells one MD. "Bago magsiuwian, lalapit na sa iyo ang floor manager. Hihingi. Pati DJ. Mga waiter, wardrobe, mabait na rin sa iyo."

If sabit is all for show to the richie customers, then for regular gay bar goers, sabit is all about chance-ing/tsansing. Aminin!

Thus, here are a few tips if you want to have your own "sabit" experience:

  • Customers can either approach the stage or wait for the dancer after his routine to approach you (referred to as "area": Read more) and tuck the bill discreetly at the bikini/brief strap once the dancer is in front of you. What you do after is at your own discretion.
  • In most gay bars though, "area" is seldom done. In these bars, you need to walk up towards the MD while he is performing. That will take a lot of guts. So better yet, while your preferred MD is dancing on stage, call your floor manager quickly and tell him/her to motion to the MD to approach you ("Palapitin mo si Joemar, may isasabit ako"). The dancer usually obliges.
  • The cheapest bar to do it is the one along Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City. They accept any bill, though the average is a P100 bill (lowest is P20, but be warned to be thought of as buraot). 
  • Be prepared with your bills beforehand. What I do: I buy a pack of cigarettes or candy with a P1000 bill, so the change I receive is composed of 20s, 50s, and 100s. 
  • Be warned: Give one, give to all, especially in those bars that allow "area." The rest of the MDs will find out if you've given money to one dancer. They're like predators: succeeding dancers  would keep on approaching you after your first "sabit." Again, as the customer, you have the power to say "No.
Finally, as promised.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://malestripperlover.tumblr.com/image/27652954429http://www.almanac.com/content/how-choose-clothesline,
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4306/588/1600/bscap0613.jpghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/briansahagun/7774684208/

.


I haven't updated my blog for the longest time. That's obvious. I just re-opened my blog and saw a lot of comments I needed to publish. Thank you again.

But before I head back to my new "thing" in the New city, I will be posting a few blog entries. Anything you want to know? Share your thoughts or questions in the comment section, and let me try to answer or write full blog posts about them.

(PS: I've finished and posted an entry that I started to write 3-4 months ago. The entry is backdated.)


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer


Tomas* has become one of the popular models at the gay bar he worked for, named after a lifelike wooden carving. A typical gay bar macho dancer, he has transferred from various establishments over the past couple of years. He only had a few regular customers in those previous bars. Yet, he only struck gold at the last bar he worked for. 

Only a few know the secret to his success. Unless you've really observed him before and after his latest transfer... or transformation. 

Tomas already looked promising before. Despite being a typical probinsyano lad (you could tell from his strong accent), he's tall and fair-skinned. Before building up his chest and shoulders, he already had a lean frame, but on the skinny side. But what kept him from truly standing out among his co-workers was his face; he looked ordinary. His high cheekbones or sculptured jawline were not enough to make him look like a top gay bar model.

Click below to read more:

So before Tomas transferred to his current gay bar, he looked as if he got a nose job. The bridge of his nose was made straight and prominent. The cartilage at the tip and the sides were reduced. Was this the same procedure that Papa Piolo supposedly had? (Incidentally, Tomas* gay bar name is shared with Papa P's younger, "straight and more masculine" lookalike in ABS-CBN). 

Just like the Philippine entertainment industry, the use of nose jobs to improve one's looks and "commercial viability" aren't really new to the gay bar industry. You won't notice it but some of the most good-looking macho dancers particularly in the huge Quezon City bars have already had their "jobs." 


Who do they run to for their uplift? There is one plastic surgeon, popular among those working in the gay bar industry, from male models to the transgendered impersonators. Why has he become the go-to guy? Referrals. And the fact that this surgeon also owns gay bars. There was even a rumor that way back, he didn't allow newbies to become macho dancers in his bar unless these men undergo the knife. Not sure if until now.

Oddly, I had the chance to chat with him when I got interested about getting my own. He said there are two types of nose jobs he does on his dancers. One is the "not so obvious" change and the other is "total transformation." Guys who undergo the "not so obvious" nose job already have a strong clientele base. Guys who have worked for a long time but don't seem to become top earning models (ie. not so kaguwapuhan), require a major makeover. The effect of the nose job needs to be so evident that the gay bar's loyal clientele won't recognize him the next time he goes on stage. He'd look as if a whole new macho dancer.

Investment pays off for the macho dancers, particularly those who shoulder the hefty sum. When an all-the-way macho dancer from Home Base* saved his earnings for months to take a 2-week break to undergo nose surgery (from sarat to less prominent), upon his return, he became an in-demand dancer among the ladies and the foreigners, despite his diminutive frame and -er-ish physique.

I've read how one's nose can make or break one's over-all facial features, as the nose is the face's central point on one's face. Who knew that a simple yet expensive procedure to the face can drastically improve one's earnings? Kung kara nga lang naman ang puhunan, e di pag gastusan na nga. 

Looking at Tomas's now near-perfection kaguwapuhan, I wouldn't distinguish at first what exactly was different with him. I knew something had improved. And my theory regarding Tomas was sort of proven when I saw a modeling photo of him from a male pageant last year. At that photo, he looked somewhat "average" compared to the now demi-god status he has at the gay bar named after a lifelike wooden sculpture (featured in a recent TV remake, whose main actor also supposedly underwent the same surgery to drastically improve his standing in his network).

So the next time you see a macho dancer who looks too perfect for the gay bar industry, scrutinize his  face again. The secret is all in the know.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer


*Names here are not the bars nor macho dancers' real names or their actual bar stage names. Though, the pseudonyms are somehow connected to their actual bar stage names.





Humiga na ako sa maliit na kama sa ikalawang palapag ng massage parlor. Parang walang ibang customer dahil medyo tahimik. O siguro malakas lang ang background music mula sa speaker. Hindi spa, Zen-ish relaxing music ang tugtog. Love Radio ata, at isang 90s Tagalong love song ang pinapatugtog. Parang nasa gay bar lang din ako, ngunit sa gabing iyon, sa massage parlor o sha-sha ako nagdesisyong magpunta.

Inantay kong dumating ang napili kong si Andrew*. Sa walong sha-sha boys na available noong gabing yun, isa na siya sa mga papasa na sa aking standards, na binabaan ko na noong gabing iyon. Payat, moreno, 5"6', spikey hair. Pwede na nga ito, kumpara sa mga ilang mestizohing nauupo ko sa macho dancing gay bar. 

Nang pumasok siya sa maliit na silid, hininaan na niya ang ilaw. Hinubad niya ang t-shirt nyang saplot. Tinanggal ang sapatos at medyas. Binaba na ang pantalon. Lumuhod na siya sa paanan ko, habang ako'y nakadapa't nakapikit. Narinig ko na lang ang squirt-squirt ng bote ng cheap milky lotion sa kamay nya, at sinimulan na ang masahe.

(medyo NSFW ang susunod na kwento. slight lang.)


"Ano po ulit ang pangalan niyo?" tanong ni Andrew. Sagot naman ako, gamit ang pangalang binibigay ko sa sha-sha man o sa macho dancer. Nagtanong ulit siya, na sinagot ko naman. Edad. Tirahan. Trabaho (fake lang sinagot ko). Napansin niya atang naengganyo ako sumagot sa anumang tanong niya, kaya't tuloy-tuloy na siya sa pagtanong.

"Matagal na po kayo nagpupunta rito?" 

"Hindi naman. Mga pangatlo o pang-apat na beses ko pa lang." Hindi ko na rin maalala kung pang-ilan na nga, pero gusto kong malaman niyang hindi ako first timer para hindi niya ako lokohin.

"Ah ganun po ba? Hindi ko kasi kayo nakikita," sagot niya. Sa isip ko, buti naman. Hindi pala maituturing na regular ako dito, kahit na nanggaling ako rito noong nakaraang linggo lang. Ngunit sa tatlo o apat na beses kong pagpunta, hindi ko rin siya naalala. Siguro madalas siyang mag home service. O maaaring nakukuha na siya sa bawat punta ko. Mabuting tanungin ko siya tungkol dito.

"Hindi nga rin kita maalala e. Bago ka lang ba rito?"

"Opo," (na kadalasan naman nilang sagot). "Mga isang buwan pa lang ako dito." 

"Talaga? E bakit nung mga huling punta ko, hindi kita nakikita."

"Hindi po kasi ako madalas pumasok dito e." 

"Bakit naman?" naitanong ko, kahit na hindi ito ang unang beses na narinig ko ito sa isang lalaking easy-money ang trabaho. 

Walang sagot.

Siguro hindi lang niya ako narinig dahil na rin sa lakas ng pagkanta ni Eric Santos sa radyo. Nasa likod ng mga binti ko na siya nagmamasahe. Inulit ko ang tanong.

"Bakit ka naman hindi madalas pumasok?"

"Ano po, kasi." Hesitation. "Quiet na lang po kayo, kung pwede."

"Sige."

Naramdaman ko ang paglapit ng katawan niya sa likod ko, at ang ulo niya sa may tenga ko. Bumulong siya. "Dalawa po kasi trabaho ko. Pumapasok din po kasi ako sa gay bar."

Gay bar! Magic words sa tenga ni GB Goer. Ngayon ko lang narinig ang isang masahistang macho dancer din. Gusto ko malaman ang kwento niya. "Saang gay bar ka naman pumapasok?" usisa ko, na kunwari hindi ako ganoong ka-interesado.

"Diyan sa may F4* sa Quezon City."

Ah, yung bagong MD bar. Hindi ba't may sikat na massage parlor doon sa tabi nito? Naalala ko nga ang unang punta ko sa bar na yun. Isang gabi ng kahayukan, katatapos ko lang magpamasahe sa H, napagpasyahan kong uminom muna kahit isa o dalawang beer sa bagong bukas na MD bar bago umuwi.

"Nakapunta na ako doon," ika ko. "Merong big night noon. Fashion show ng mga lalaking taga-labas, na see-through na bikini ang suot. Hindi ko naman masyado napansin mga macho dancer na hindi masyadong pinasayang. Parang hindi naman kita nakita."

"Madilim po siguro kaya hindi niyo ako nakita." Tumuloy na siya sa pagmasahe sa likuran ko, habang nakaupo siya sa aking puwitan.

"Paano ka nakapagtrabaho sa dalawang lugar nang sabay?"

"Minsan po nandito ako. Minsan nasa bar, lalo na pag Biyernes o Sabado."

"Buti hindi ka pinagbabawalan ng bar o spa?"

"Hindi naman po nila alam."

"Nakakatakas ka?"

"Hindi naman po kasi mahigpit. Pwede naman mag absent mga dalawa o tatlong araw."

"Bakit hindi ka na lang sa bar buong lingo?"

"Mahina po kasi e."

"E bakit hindi ka na lang dito?"

"Wala lang. Tsambahan kung merong makuhang malakas na customer sa bar."

"Nauupo ka ba sa bar?"

"Minsan lang po." Dagdag niya, "Sayang naman po kung sa isang lugar lang. Sinusulit ko lang."

Sulit.

Pinakamaraming makukuha sa isang halaga. Ayon kay Kris Aquino sa isang commercial ng gatas, siksik dapat para sulit. Sinisiksik ang anumang makakain, maiinom o matatanggap mula sa perang ibinibigay.
Boy: What's siksik, mama? What's sulit, mama?
Mudak: ETO! 

"Saan ka naman nakakakuha ng mas malaking kita?" tanong ko.

Tahimik ng ilang sandali. Pinisil-pisil ang aking balikat. Parang pinag-isipan ang isasagot. "Pareho lang po."

"Bakit pareho lang?" Sa isip ko, pwedeng mas malaki sa gay bar lalo na't kung may big time customer na magpapaulan ng pera. Ngunit pwede rin naman sa massage parlor dahil kahit mas maliit ang tip na binibigay, araw-araw namang may bading na hayok na magbibigay ng tip kahit paano.

"Pareho lang po kasi mahina ako sa pareho."

Kaya nga niya siguro sinisiksik ang dalawang trabaho sa isang lingo. Sulit nga naman ang pumasok sa massage parlor sa mga gabing hindi kalakasan ng gay bar, lalo na't kung hindi ka-guwapuhan at walang regular customer.

Hindi naman din kasi lahat ng gusto nakukuha sa gay bar. Lalo na sa mga customer... sa mga bading na mas maraming nais gawin kaysa sa manood sa sayaw at makipag-usap lang ng isa o dalawang oras. Oo nga't mas better-looking ang mga lalaki sa malalaking gay bar, pero maaari rin namang makaswerte ng isa o dalawang "pwede na" sa massage parlor. Wala nang ligawang magaganap para lang makatikim. Kung parausan lang ang habol ng bading, mas sulit ngang kumuha na lang sa mga sha-sha boys. Mahal na ngang mag-upo ng macho dancer, masyado pang mahal ang ibabayad para i-take-home sila, bukod pa sa tip na hihingiin nila mula sa iyo.

Naswerte nga naman ako noong gabing iyon. Makakasama ko rin ang isang macho dancer kahit na hindi ako magbayad ng pagkalaki-laking tip o bar fine. Nasulit ko rin ang pera ko sa sha-sha, na dahilan kung bakit hindi na ako napapadalas sa macho dancer o gay bar nitong mga nakaraang buwan. Hindi lang sa tawanan o tsismisan mapupunta ang pera. Mairaraos ko rin nang buong buo ang perang pinagpaguran ko. Instant balik!

Para lang din masulit ang masahe, hindi ako pumapayag na pipindut-pindutin lang ng lalaki ang likod ko. Dapat may tensyon mula sa kanyang kamay na dapat kong maramdaman, na tila pinipiga niya sa aking leeg, likod, o kamay ang bawat pisong maaari niyang makuha mula sa akin. At sa ES naman, hindi maaaring laila dee o nakahiga lang siya sa likod. Kahit paano, dapat may "illusion of intimacy", ika nga ng kaibigan ko. Kunwaring ako na ang matagal na niyang hinihintay na makapiling.  

"Sir, tapos na ang likod. Tihaya na po kayo," utos niya sa akin nang malumanay.

Dinilat ko ang aking mata. Inangat ko ang sarili. Umikot. Nahiga muli.

Sa tagal ng usapan namin sa dilim ng massage parlor sa gitna ng Maynila, Love Radio pa rin ang naririnig sa background speakers. Isa na namang love song na sumikat noong 80s. Sa naririnig na kanta at sa kasama kong masahistang macho dancer din, parang hindi na rin ako nawala sa gay bar.

Ginatas na namin pareho ang natitirang sandali.


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1028251/?forumpage=4


(continued from Manila Gay Bar Guide Part 2)

The Quezon City Macho Dancing Gay Bars

For those staying in Makati and who are willing to travel a few kilometers up north to experience the numerous macho dancing gay bars there, then I recommend visiting a few macho dancing bars in the Quezon City area. There are quite a number of macho dancer gay bars in this area, ranging from the bigger, more established, popular ones to the small seedy gay bars in the side streets. You will see the location of these bars in the map below.


To get to Quezon City from Makati, I recommend passing through EDSA, which is the main thoroughfare that connects the major cities of Metro Manila (see brief explanation from Part 1).

A taxi ride from Makati City to Quezon City (QC) will take around 40 minutes on a week night 10-11PM traffic, even if the distance is just 5 miles or 8 kilometers away. Otherwise, it's just 15 to 20 minutes past 1 AM (Pinoys, correct me if I am wrong). Just because of the distance and the traffic to get there, the bars in this area are ideal to visit if you are spending the weekend or more than a week in Manila.

Just like in the previous entry, let me get into detail how to get to those bars in Quezon City. There are two areas with gay bars. One is in the Timog (pronounced TEE-mohg) Avenue area, while another is in Aurora Boulevard. Let me start with the area with the most popular bars:



TIMOG AVENUE AREA
It's a highly commercial street filled with various eating places, banks, KTV bars, clubs, cafes, etc. The whole avenue starts at the GMA Network Building from EDSA, goes through the Boy Scout Rotonda (circular road with tall well-lit monument), then extends up to another major road, Quezon Avenue.

1. Adonis - Quezon City
118 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Underneath the sign, there's always a tarpaulin
banner announcing a big night event
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
What to expect: Most iconic gay bar in Metro Manila. Dark and cavernous, with a huge elevated stage. Perfect for the discreet because of the darkness. Couches near the stage (no extra fee to sit there). Average of 25 to 30 dancers on any given night. Mostly fair and good-looking men (not the typical dark-skinned "exotic-looking" guys that a lot of foreigners like). Mostly lean to buff, gym-toned bodies, to keep up with the "Adonis" physique. Average age range of dancers around 25 to 27; more mature age range among the gay bars in Manila. Continuous macho dancing from start to end, with no drag queen performances to serve as breaks and can thus get monotonous. Lots of VIP rooms for private conversations; Php 2090 for the first hour. Taxis abound at night.

By the way, its sister bar "Maginoo" along Timog Avenue is already closed.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Timog Avenue, right in front of the GMA Network Building. From EDSA, Timog Avenue is to the left, so the taxi may take a u-turn past the traffic lights. Once you reach Timog, the GMA building will be to your right (a 7-11 store in front of the building). You will find Adonis to your left, beside Lydia's Lechon and East Garden Grill and Bar. It's easy to find.

Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: You see the well-lit GMA Network Building to your right. The bar is right across the street.



2. Club Mankind - Quezon City

144 Scout Ybardolaza Street, Quezon City
"Hunks Bar" in Google Maps
What to expect: Typical macho dancer bar. Averages about 20 to 25 dancers. Average-looking men (with some standouts), lean to muscular bodies. Varied shows: typical macho dancing the entire night, interspersed with some themed sexy dances (eg. dances with masks, dancing while showering, ATW shows, etc) and drag queen performances. All-cast (when all the men will dance in front of the stage, and get introduced one by one) past midnight. No VIP rooms. Despite the darkness, customers can see each other's faces because of the stage's nearness to the customer couches. Clientele is a mix of gay men and older women.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Hmmm... Along Timog Avenue, go straight until you reach Amihan Restaurant, the landmark nearest the bar. That restaurant is at the corner of Timog Avenue and Scout Ybardolaza Street. The bar can be easily seen from this corner.

Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: You see Amihan Restaurant to your right and Shell Gas Station to your left if coming from EDSA side. The taxi needs to take a right turn at Amihan Restaurant. You know you're there when you see the poster of Gerard Butler's ass from the movie "300."




3. Makisig Entertainment Bar and Restaurant - Quezon City

59 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Look for the "No Entrance, No Service Charge" banner under the logo
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
What to expect: A small macho dancer bar. I haven't been inside the bar due to its very limited parking space. Thus I can't comment on the number of men and how good-looking they are. What I heard from a macho dancer friend who used to work here though is that there are only around 8 tables inside. There are two VIP rooms also.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Still along Timog Avenue, but nearer the Scout Rotonda / Rotunda (Boy Scout Circle). If you want to be discreet, just say "Dream Spa" or "Music Bank" along Timog Avenue.

Click map to enlarge
You know you're near when: You see the red neon lights of Music Bank KTV, then a giant billboard of Dream Spa to your right. Makisig gay bar is beside it.
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com

4. Mr. World - Quezon City
Timog Avenue corner Tomas Morato, Quezon City
You will see this logo on top of the Chowking sign, but it does not the sign to the door's entrance.
What to expect: The newest bar this side of town, the sister bar of Club Mankind. One of the nicest-looking and cleanest bars I've been to, all because it's new. Few men inside, less than 15 from my last visit. But they're constantly hiring. Their looks: Okay-ish, though a Singaporean friend liked the exotic-looking ones here. Mix of young and mature dancers. Mostly couches, all-comfortable. Some drag impersonator performances to break the monotony of the macho dancing, plus some shower dancing if you're lucky. No VIPs. A bit brightly-lit inside, due to the strength of the stage lights.

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Scout Rotonda (or Boy Scout Circle) in Timog, Quezon City, near Chowking. Easy. The bar is located inside the building "Philippine International Life Insurance Co."
Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: You are at the Scout Rotonda / Boy Scout Circle and see the well-lit Chowking fastfood restaurant. If you wish to be discreet, you can alight in front of Chowking. The bar's not-so-obvious entrance, manned by a security booth/table, is to the left of Chowking and before Pier 39 ktv bar. For a visual of the entrance:
See that Chowking sign on the right? And don't be fooled by the "No Entrance" sign.
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com

5. Planet Xanadu (now known as Prince Xanadu) - Quezon City
#6 Scout Borromeo, South Triangle, Quezon City
This logo is different from the unlit sign at the front of the bar
What to expect: Typical macho dancer gay bar. Looks dark and old inside, but interiors try to project a modern, out-of-this-world look and feel. Average of 20-25 men working inside, average-looking men with a few stand outs. Some lean, a few boyish, some gym-toned, a handful of dark exotic-looking men. No VIP Rooms. Bar best known for their production numbers (choreographed themed dances with mood lighting and costumes).

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: The bar is tricky to locate. First, the Quezon City based taxis may know where the bar is, but those not familiar in the area may not. Second, the area is not along a major road, and you may need a few turns to get to the bar. Third, at night, the Planet Xanadu signage is not lit, and you can only see the lit Burger Machine stall in front of the bar. So to get to the bar, you need to tell the taxi "Puregold Supermarket" or "Tropical Hut grocery" along Scout Borromeo, which are the closest landmarks in the area. The bar is on the block before Tropical Hut (see map).
Click map to enlarge
From the map, you can see that there are lots of ways to get to Planet Xanadu from Scout Rotonda / Boy Scout Circle. I prefer to go straight along Timog Avenue, turn right at Scout Tobias before Music 21 Plaza, then after seeing the Puregold sign, left on Scout Borromeo.  

You know you're near when: First is a big green neon sign of Puregold, if coming from Scout Tobias street. Once you see the Burger Machine stand, you can alight here and you will see the bar slightly behind the Burger Machine stand.
Prince Xanadu / Planet Xanadu entrance behind the Burger Machine stand
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
Look for this unlit signage on top of the Burger Machine sign.
I also doubt they will change the name to "Prince Xanadu" soon.

ALONG AURORA BLVD.
If you're feeling more adventurous, and can spend more time in Metro Manila, then the macho dancing bars along Aurora Boulevard is for you. You need to navigate the dark and dingy side streets of Quezon City to get to the dimly-lit bars in this area.

1. DreamBoys Bar and Restaurant - Quezon City
774 Aurora Boulevard, Barangay Kaunlaran, Quezon City
What to expect: Small seedy dirty old macho dancing bar. Very dark, very discreet. Most of the clientele are middle aged, middle-to-working class discreet-looking gay men. ATW shows? Abundant. Most I've seen in a bar so far. Dirrrty, literally and figuratively. But sorry, no live shows. The floor managers here are the most pushy. The whole bar experience teases the customers with the idea that they can do anything they please inside the bar (no other bar dims the lights for a minute after each performance). Be sure to bring small bills; "area" is aplenty.

The men? Not-so-goodlooking for the general Filipino taste with a few notable exceptions, but may be appealing for the exotic-liking foreigner. Mix of thin young twinks barely 20s and very mature buff-to-stocky men barely 30s. The guys are quite open to meet outside for breakfast and then some. =)

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Betty Go Belmonte LRT Station along Aurora Boulevard. That's the nearest landmark, although the bar is not exactly underneath the station. The bar will be before the LRT Station if coming from EDSA.
Click map to enlarge
You know you're near when: Turning left from EDSA to Aurora Boulevard, after 5-7 minutes from the intersection, you'll see the bar to the left. It is beside a Reyes Barbecue restaurant. You will not miss this bar due to the Christmas lights decor lining the roof of its entrance.



2. Hotmen and Emotional Hunks - Quezon City
I've grouped these two together as they are right beside each other, at another area of Quezon City: Cubao.
Both bars: Stanford Street, Cubao, Quezon City
What to expect: Small macho dancing gay bars. Hotmen is old, while Emotion Hunks just started last 2011. As with small bars, expect quite a lot of ATW men who will go "area" on you after each performance. Looks? Average to Exotic-looking. Hotmen has some VIP rooms. As with small bars along Aurora Boulevard, customers have more freedom in touching the men when tabled beside you. Just choose wisely, as these men keep pestering the customers to choose them for the night. 

Can you brave the dark streets of Cubao to get to those bars?
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Say Cubao first. Then Hotel Sogo, along Aurora Boulevard, turning right from EDSA. See map below.

Click map to enlarge
Night photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com
You know you're near when: Along Aurora Boulevard, you see Hotel Sogo to your right and a Mini-Stop Convenience Store to your left. The taxi will need to take a u-turn after Hotel Sogo and Mini-Stop to get to Stanford Street. You can ask to be dropped off at Mini-Stop then walk towards either gay bar, or choose to turn right at Stanford Street. Open your eyes for the lit signage of Emotion Hunks and neon signage of Hotmen (near the neon signage of Kakosa bar) to your left. 

Note: Batong Buhay KTV Bar, also in Cubao, is already closed. I won't include yet the infamous Prince Galaxy bar until the bar re-opens.

Please see also Manila Gay Bar Guide Part 2 for gay bars in Manila-Paranaque-Pasay area.

*Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits:
http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com for most of the night photos
Google Maps
http://121jigovatios.blogspot.com/2011/02/big-culo-day-2011.html
http://www.dreamboyzbar.blogspot.com/?zx=e8306b74a0c2efef
http://ph.openrice.com


The Department of Tourism of the Philippines recently launched their new campaign on "It's More Fun in The Philippines" (You can learn more by clicking the link here). Since its start last January 6 2012, the campaign has gone viral over social networks and blogs, with numerous Filipinos sharing their own reasons on why Philippines can be a premier destination due to its places made more fun by its fun Pinoy people. Even my friend Rocky has created his own versions (memes) of the campaign for one of Manila's gay clubs (See link of his blog here). 

So how are gay bars more fun in the Philippines?  

Runways. More fun in the Philippines
Night Photo by http://shootingatnight.blogspot.com

Blind dates. More fun in the Philippines 
You get to choose your guy. But you get to pay for your date.

Gratitude (or gratuity or gratuitous showing). More fun in the Philippines
Thousand peso bills go a long way.

Stage Plays. More fun in the Philippines.
A half-naked man is always at the center of the stage.

Finding love. More fun in the Philippines
For matronas, lonely gay guys, bar girls and especially, the #1 tourists: Korean women

Just a few notes:
1. I am NOT promoting sex tourism. "Off-ing" the men or taking them out of the bar is very expensive, to restrain the customers. Some bars don't allow it at all. Besides, a lot of the guys working here don't see themselves as sex workers (they're only working there as entertainers).
2. The ones shown above are what we can claim as more fun in the Philippines. I've tried to consider others but failed. For example, "angry birds" can be fun in the Philippines, but it's more fun in the more risque gogo bars of Bangkok and in some cities around the world. Manila does not even have imitation sex on stage, sorry.  

What other ideas do you have? Is it really more fun in the gay bars of the Philippines? 

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



(continued from Part 1: Introduction)

The Macho Dancing Gay Bars at the Pasay-Paranaque-Manila City areas

For those staying in Makati City, the best bars I can recommend due to its proximity to the city are those located in the cities of Pasay (pronounced PAH-sai, not PAH-sei) and Paranaque (pronounced Pah-ran-NYAH-keh, not Pah-rah-nah-cue like bar-be-cue). It takes around 15 to 20 minutes without heavy traffic from Makati to get to these cities. 

If you take a look at the map below, you can locate where Makati City is and the areas where the most popular gay bars are.


Let me then get into detail how to get to those bars in the map. Let's start with the closest to Makati.


1. Big Papa Gay Bar - Pasay City

Big Papa Bar, 2315 Aurora Boulevard (Tramo), Pasay City
What to expect: typical macho dancer gay bar, average of 20 to 25 macho dancers and a few ATW. Average-looking men, lean to muscular bodies. Interspersed between macho dancing performances are shows by the in-house drag queen dancers. Has a few VIP rooms. Foreigner-friendly (I've seen foreigner customers before; staff can speak basic and conversational English).

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Tramo Road going to Airport Road in Pasay (now called Aurora Boulevard, but taxi drivers rarely know this)
Click to enlarge
  • To get to Tramo Road, you need to take EDSA Southbound from Makati. Then you will encounter two flyovers -- one is the Magallanes flyover (lots of billboards) and the other is the EDSA-Tramo flyover to the extreme left of EDSA (which also goes to Airport Road). You are on Tramo Road after your vehicle goes up this ramp (see below) that makes a wide left turn. The gay bar, housed in a blue building with the sign at the top, is towards the end of the road, a few buildings before the sole traffic light. 
You know you're near when: you see a well-lit Pan de Manila store to the right of the road. This bakery is open at night, and it's right beside the Big Papa bar. The store's sign is even more prominent than the Big Papa sign. 

To the left of the road, you'll see a KIA warehouse and after it is a Shell gas station, at the road's intersection.


2. Solution Disco and KTV - Pasay City

You really need to be alert at night to see this sign
369 Antonio Arnaiz Street, Pasay
What to expect: an OLD typical gay bar (a bit rundown, torn couches, very dirty restrooms), located in a dark dingy street in Pasay. Three floors -- 1st floor is the lobby, 2nd floor is the macho dancer bar, 3rd floor is a bar with live band and hostos. Average of 20 to 25 macho dancers on the 2nd floor with a few ATW. Show starts around 11pm. 

There is no stage; just a dance floor in the middle of the room. Average-looking men with a few gems, lean to muscular bodies. A few performances by in-house drag queen dancers. No VIP room (actually there is one, but it's NOT conducive to customers; cringe-worthy). NOT too Foreigner-friendly (only Korean women seen; doubtful if staff can speak conversational English). Only for adventurous locals. 

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Libertad Street in Pasay (now called A. Arnaiz Avenue on the map but taxi drivers rarely know this; just follow brown lines on the map above).
  • Difficult to explain how to get there, as there a lot of possible routes -- one is via EDSA then right on Taft Avenue (taxi driver would know this) or via the side streets of Makati going to Libertad. The bar is too discreet to be seen, as one can easily miss the bar's sign when is not looking properly. The bar's location is walking distance from the intersection of Libertad Avenue and Taft Avenue (where a fruit market is located).
Click to enlarge

You know you're near when: you see the following on the left side of the street (coming from Taft Avenue, turning right to Libertad Avenue): the building where the bar is located is in between a BDO bank and a well-lit 7-11. Beyond the traffic light will be a Mercury Drugstore and Jollibee.


3. White Bird Bar - Paranaque City
White Bird Bar, 715 Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran, Paranaque City
What to expect: the largest gay bar in this side of town, and one of the most expensive yet most professional. Average of 25 to 30 dancers per night, with some ATW. Average-to-good-looking men, lean to muscular bodies. Lots of young guys compared to the other bars. 12 to 1am will be peak: modeling/all-cast show-up onstage on weekends, performances by tranny drag queens and hiphop dance crews. No VIP rooms. Foreigner-friendly (I've seen foreigner customers before; staff can speak basic and conversational English).

What you can tell the taxi for the general location of the bar: Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran (just follow the black to red lines on the map above).
  • Roxas Boulevard (pronounced RO-has) is a long stretch of road that extends from the City of Manila all the way to Paranaque City. So it is important to mention "Baclaran" (pronounced Bahk-LAH-rahn), the general area of the closest landmark, the Baclaran Church. The bar is very easy to find once you are in this area. 






Click to enlarge
You know you're near when: you see a series of neon-lit signs of the red light district: Dynasty Real Bar, then Binibini (biggest sign in the area), and a Lydia's Lechon sign. Don't go to either of these: Dynasty and Binibini will serve you girl strippers, while Lydia's Lechon will serve you suckling pig. 


4. Machette Bars - Manila and Paranaque City
Machette 1: Lourdes Street corner Roxas Boulevard,
Machette-Coast Bay: 141 Roxas Boulevard,  Baclaran, Paranaque
As of this writing, there are two Machette bars in this side of town, both are along Roxas Boulevard. One is near Buendia Avenue, called Machette 1 (see general map above), while the other is called Machette-Coast Bay Bar right beside White Bird bar. 


What to expect: Machette 1's location is very dark and quite scary as the bar is just beside an area full of shanties. Not recommended; only for really adventurous and curious locals. Machette-Coast Bay is small, cozy, very bright (not for the discreet), and modern-looking. Average of 20 to 25 dancers per night, no ATW YET. Average-to-good-looking men, lean to muscular bodies, a bit on the older age. Performances by hiphop dance groups and tranny drag queens. Has private rooms on 2nd floor without doors. Only Korean women foreigners seen. 
Click to enlarge
What you can tell the taxi for the general location of these two bars:
  • For Machette 1, Roxas Boulevard near Buendia Road (now known as Gil Puyat Avenue). Drive further along Roxas Blvd. to get to Dapitan and Lourdes Streets, where the bar is located. East Asia club is a landmark. 
  • East Asia Club near Machette 1
  • For Machette-Coast Bay Bar, Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran Church (same as White Bird Bar).
You know you're near when: For Machette 1, you see East Asia Club (which is a girly show club; don't enter!). You will not see the bar along main street. You will see its sign along a dark side street. For Machette-Coast Bay, you see White Bird Bar and all the girly bars beside it. 


5. Other smaller bars in the City of Manila
There are other smaller macho dancer or hosto bars in the City of Manila. But as these places are far from Makati or too small to be considered entertaining, the journey along the small dark alleys and traffic jams to reach them may not be worth it. Only for locals. These are: 
  • Boy Next Door, along Mabini Street in the Malate area (the road behind Aristorcrat Restaurant). 
  • Cruizin Manila, along Bocobo Street in Malate area, near Mini-Stop
  • Ginoong Modelo, at Dimasalang Street in Sampaloc, Manila
  • Apollo 14th KTV Bar, at Crown Center Mall, along Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila
There are other bars which already closed: Valentino / Mr. Valentines Bar (most popular macho dancing bar during its time) and the hosto bar I love Dream Boys (near the gay clubbing area of Nakpil / Orosa).   


*Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.


(To be continued...)


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://maps.google.com
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=471473&page=18
http://myrockingcradle.com/2009/11/do-you-miss-your-pan-de-sal/
http://ph.openrice.com
http://www.designink.info/whitebird/about-us.html
http://tomrich.sakura.ne.jp/nightspotpasay_paranaque.html


This week, to commemorate this blog's 1st year anniversary and to give a little holiday treat, I will finally feature my version of the Manila Gay Bar Guide. I've been planning to do this since September, after some conversations with a few foreigner visitors. But when I started creating this post, I realized that this task will require much effort. 

I am writing this with foreigner visitors in mind, as they are the most clueless about the gay bars in Manila. Local gay bar goers can also use this, but you guys would just have to adapt the information that's in this series of posts. Part 1 will mostly be about Introduction to Metro Manila, while Parts 2 and 3 will each focus on the two areas where most gay bars are located and how to get there. Insider information about those bars will be out of scope for this guide. 

Hope you find this guide useful in getting around Metro Manila to reach your target gay bar. 



Introduction to Metro Manila and its cities

You know your plane landed in Manila, but the airport is located in Paranaque City. Your hotel's address is in Makati City, which may be the same city where your company's local office is located. If not, it may be in Mandaluyong City or Quezon City. Your colleagues invite you for dinner at the Fort area, which is in Taguig City. With all these cities mentioned, you wonder if are you still in Manila. Confusing?

Don't be. You are actually in Metro Manila, which is the capital region composed of various cities that include the historic City of Manila and its surrounding areas. (You may want to read up on Metro Manila at Wiki for more information about this metropolitan city).

If you are a foreigner sent to Manila by your company for a business trip, you will most likely be staying at Makati City (see map below, in black rectangle). The Central Business District is located here, and many 5-star hotels, such as Shangri-La, Manila Peninsula, Intercon, etc. are also in this city. Yet, outside of Makati, there are other 3 to 4 star hotels located in Manila and Pasay City. For the purpose of these articles though, I will use Makati City as the central starting point.

Now, for gay entertainment. 

If you are the type who wants to go gay clubbing, then the gay center of Metro Manila is an area/district in Manila City called Malate (pronounced Ma-LAH-teh). The gay clubs are located at the intersection of Nakpil Street and Orosa Street. It takes around 20-30 minutes taxi ride from Makati at night. But I won't focus on those clubs in this blog post.

If you are the type who prefers to see some skin, then the macho dancing bars may be your thing. These bars are the closest that we have to the strip bars of the West and to the go-go boy bars of Bangkok; however, our macho dancing bars are vastly different from these bars for a lot of reasons. I have a few blog posts that explain the uniqueness of Manila's bars (Read one here that compares vs Thai go-go boys and here that compares vs male strip bars). Douglas Sanders of Fridae.asia also gives a good introduction on what to expect in what we call macho dancing bars or gay bars (Read here).

Other useful information from my blog are as follows:


There are two general areas in Metro Manila for macho dancing gay bars. The most popular ones are located in these areas (see map, encircled in red). These are: 
  1. The cities of Paranaque and Pasay: south of Makati
  2. Quezon City: north of Makati
Black box: Makati or Manila (where you may be staying)
Encircled red: the two areas where macho dancer bars are located.

When going to these two areas, I suggest to pass through EDSA (Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue), which is the main thoroughfare that connects the main cities of Metro Manila. Despite its daily horrible traffic, it will be your best friend during your stay. This road is the main artery or the lifeline of Metro Manila. It is your lifeline to the gay bars as well

**Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.

(To be continued...)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://www.bfhomes.net/metro_manila_map.htm



Dear Santa,

Hi. How are you? It's me, GB Goer. You don't know me? Maybe because I only started writing to you this year. Heck, my persona was only created just a few days before the end of 2010.

But check your lists again. I may be on your "nice" list. I wasn't that naughty the past year. Yes, I may have been going to the gay bars since last year, but both of us know I was well-behaved with the macho dancers. You can even ask the ____ number of men I've met just this year. Yes, ganun karami, and nope, I don't get affected nor offended when you say "Ho, ho, ho." Promise, those men will say something nice about me.

Because I was more good than bad this year, can I still ask for my Christmas wishes? Don't worry, my list is not that long, unlike some of my unedited, drawn-out, explanatory blog posts. Anyway, here goes. 

First of all, Santa, if you're thinking of giving me a gift, I think I am too old for toys already. Why not a boy toy, perhaps? Or even better, a serious non-macho dancer boyfriend. Someone whom I can take along for dates or dinners without needing to spend for their allowance. Someone whom I can bring home this Christmas to my family and introduce him as a macho dancer, errr, a corporate executive working for Solutions Bar & Disco, errr, Solutions Contact Center in Makati. Yet another night shifter? Going out with macho dancers the past years, I think I've already learned can work out our timings. So keri na yun.

Can he also not be too young nor too old? Around the age of 24-26 would be best. Based on my experience with macho dancers, they make good conversationalists, at that age. And yes, that's about the same age as Phoenix. My nice-on-the-outisde but naughty-on-the-inside friend Ringo said that among all the guys I've met over the years, it was Phoenix who was my best match. We could discuss anything and everything without walls or pretension. And Ringo could see that I was most comfortable and most myself with him. Plus, Phoenix restrains himself from ordering too much MD drinks when I table him. Two on the average up to three maximum, as he keeps saying "Hindi ka iba" (I'm not that different). Not bad, right? 

So why not just give me Phoenix? I'm not that choosy. Oh yeah, he has a long time partner. Fine.

But you know my type. Chinito. Someone who looks like Air, who is Hayden Kho-ish.

Speaking of which, I saw Air two weeks ago in the bar beside "Home Base", exactly after a year of not seeing the face of that s.o.b. Even though forgotten feelings resurfaced, it's a good thing I kept my calm. For sure, he saw me when I was walking out towards the bar's doors where he was chatting with his older companion "friend." Did I say hi? No. I just walked between the two of them. Glanced at him for a quick second. Glanced at his "friend" after. No smile from me. No acknowledgement from me. As if I never knew him. Ang ganda ko lang

Well, if you won't give me a non-macho dancer boyfriend, I'll ask for something reachable na lang.

Please give me a motorcycle, such as a Kawasaki, Suzuki, or any other brand from the land of the hostos and legitimate male entertainers. As long as it's brand new. So that when I'd fall deeply and blindly in love with a guy from these gay bars, I can tease him with the keys to a brand new "motor" for his daily "service." Once you give me that gift, you can finally make a wish of mine come true: tuck (make sabit) the keys on the guy's bikini strap while he's performing on stage. Just like any other matrona in the gay bar. Please make that happen.

Speaking of matronas and other gay bar patrons, I do hope they realize that the gay bar is just an "entertainment only" establishment. These bars may tease us with the prospect of having intimate relationships with the men of our choice, and being alone or lonely or incomplete makes us vulnerable to their slightest remarks of flattery. If we do decide to risk our hearts to someone in these bars, I do hope we can weed out those who are using us and those who are being true to us. It's so difficult and tiring to constantly giving out gift after gift after gift, just for our love to be reciprocated, Santa. We are not like you.

And with that, thank you for my non-attachment to a macho dancer boylet this time of year, for the 2nd year in a row. At least there are no grand Christmas gifts nor monetary aginaldos to worry about. My hard earned money is kept intact, to spend for my loved ones and myself this season.

So, to show my gratitude, when you're coming to town, I can take you to any bar you want. Not in the girly bars though. Not my thing. And I'll tell on you if we do. Mrs. Santa wouldn't be too happy to find that out. Unless I take her along again to her favorite gay bar spot along Timog. 

Oops. I shouldn't have said that.

Sincerely, 

GB Goer

P.S. Oh, and yeah, can you also lower the MD drinks price at White Bird? It's too expensive at P480 plus 10% service charge per drink. I hope they realize that the other bars in that area charge below P400 a drink.

*Merry Christmas to all of you, dear readers! Time to be out of the internet and out of the gay bar. Time to spend with  our families,  friends, loved ones... unless our loved ones involve macho dancers too. 


Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://www.bittenandbound.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/hunky-santa.jpg


"Natatakot akong magpunta sa gay bar kasi hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko sa loob. Lalo na't kung may hingiin sa akin at hindi ko alam kung paano ako tatanggi. (I am afraid in going to the gay bar because I don't know what to do inside. Especially if something is asked from me and I wouldn't know how to refuse). " 
"Minsan nagpunta ako sa gay bar, at napilitan ako magbigay kasi nahihiya akong magsabi na ayaw ko yun, hindi ko gusto yun. (Once in the gay bar, I was forced into something because I was too reluctant to say that I really didn't want that)."
When I read revelations like these from email senders, I can sense their worries in going to the gay bar. These can be money matters: worried about not having enough money or worried about losing all your money to one guy (parang lang casino, but isn't love just one big gamble? chos). It can also be guy matters: worried about choosing the wrong guy or worried about being thrown out the bar for not tabling a guy (no, this does not happen).  

I started going to the gay bars with the same feeling of being not in control. A stranger would approach me inside the dark bar, and I wouldn't know what to do. As I wonder what the proper response should be in certain situations, I worried I couldn't refuse anything this stranger would offer. Thus, I would always just say yes with anything they pushed me. Looking back, the fear I felt back was actually coming from a feeling of powerlessness.

But a gay bar goer shouldn't feel powerless. On the contrary, he or she has power of what would happen in the bar. It includes the power to say No.

For illustration purpose only, and not misheard lyrics.

So all you single ladies (and bekis), here are some examples of when to decline offers and tips on how to say it.

Read more:
Example 1: Manager coaxing you to table a guy
You went to the gay bar just to see the sights and you did not plan on getting a macho dancer to sit with you. But the makulit (persistent) floor manager continually bugs you to table a macho dancer. You are not prepared with enough money. He sits beside you for the 100th time to ask you, "Who among our gorgeous men will you get?" What to do?

Just say No.

How? Offer a lame excuse, like wanting to see all men dance before choosing someone. Or tell him that you want to just enjoy the view. Or you can be frank with a "No, sorry, I don't fancy anyone (Wala akong type)." Period.

Example 2: A macho dancer sits down beside you, uninvited, and you want him out.
You may have planned to spend some money with a guy, but a bad-looking stranger sits beside you. Your caring heart doesn't want to offend him by shooing him away. This happens regularly in smaller bars (eg. Dreamboyz), and they will plead all they can to ask you for at least one MD drink, while looking at you in the eye and caressing or squeezing your thigh as he pleads. What to do?

Just say No.

How? You have to be honest with them. They will not leave you unless you tell straight to their face that you're not planning to table anyone or you are fancying someone else. In declining, be firm. And remember to say No with a smile.

Unless you still want your thighs to be caressed.

Example 3: Massage guy starts to rub your neck
Dear, you thought that massage is a free service by the bar? Nope. While the massages given by the masseurs or waiters don't have a fixed charge, they require tips. But you're not in the mood for someone else's firm hands on your shoulders. What to do?

Just say No.

How? Once these uniformed guys approach and offer you a massage, you can just shake your head and politely decline with a smile. But keep in mind that turning them down means lost opportunity for their take-home income, may it just be P50 to P200 per client per night (their income is coming mostly from tips, FYI). 

Example 4: Men in the buff approaching you for tips, or "area"
What I very much HATE in the gay bars are NOT the persistent all-the-way men asking me for tips while whispering "Kahit pamasahe lang po (Even just for fare)", despite telling them you're not interested in handing out tips. It's those giggly screaming girls who cover their faces or hide behind the backs of their friends when an all-the-way guy approaches them (Mga malalanding teh, mag hunos dili! Hindi niyo kailangang magsusumigaw! Kala mo kung sinong ni-re-rape na kinikilig). It's obvious that these virginal-kuno women don't want to be approached, but they resort to screaming out loud. What to do when you don't want these men to approach you?

Just say No.

How? When these men are approaching your table, just raise your hand calmly and shake your head (just like the picture above of Beyonce). If that doesn't work, tell them that you're sorry that you don't have any spare change (barya). But be calm and firm. These guys actually love all the attention and brouhaha response they are getting from the wildly screaming giggly women covering their faces. Kala mo aalis sila sa pagtitili mo? Kabaligtaran. Aantayin ka pa nilang maglabas ng wallet. 

But again, these all-the-way rarely-tabled guys are only earning from the tips the customers are given them. If everyone in the bar refuses to give them even a P50 bill, imagine how they will feel going home without anything to bring. Think twice before saying no.

Example 5: Waiter approaching to ask for another MD drink
Oh, the ever tenacious, ever relentless, ever hardworking waiters. You are already sensing that your tabled macho dancer has been gulping their PHP300+ drink quicker than usual. And as your guy finishes off his nth drink, the waiter who's nakabantay near your table asks you if you want to give your tabled guy another one. But you are worried about going over budget. What to do?

Just say No.

How? Simple. Shake your head and raise your hand as if stopping oncoming traffic. But keep in mind that a bottle for your macho dancer is good for 30 minutes to 45 minutes with you, generally. If you've been with your macho dancer for four hours already with only two bottles, and you still refuse to give him another drink, don't be surprised if your macho dancer would suddenly disappear as he is "called by the manager" and won't return anymore.

Example 6. You are not happy or satisfied with the macho dancer beside you.
Boring. Offensive. Too quiet. Too talkative. There are many reasons why the macho dancer you chose isn't worth the money you are paying for, aside from realizing that he's not as good-looking up close as you thought he would be. The waiter asks if you want to give the tabled dancer another drink, or the floor manager approaches if you are happy with your choice. What to do?

Just say No.

How? By all means, send him back. Oh yes, you can do that, kala mo hindi? As you don't want to offend the guy, then tell your manager that you are unhappy with him and want him out. The manager will find a way to send the guy back to the dressing room. 

Example 7: Macho dancer asking for something beyond your means.
No need to explain whatever that something is. Higher tip? Ten bottles for the big night event? A brand new motorcycle? The latest i-phone? What to do?

Just say No.

How? You can always come up with any lie or lame excuse. Just be convincing when you do it. If all things fail, just say "Sorry, hindi talaga pwede. (Sorry, really can not)."

We fear too many things when we are in a situation outside of our comfort zones, especially in a strange other world called the gay bar. We fear being taken advantage by these macho dancers or their managers, especially when it comes to money. We fear to be judged as not being rich enough worthy of a night's fun in the gay bar. We can even fear hurting the feelings of a macho dancer, who, despite their half-naked uniform and stature in life, is really just another feeling and thinking human being. 

But remember that you are the customer, and not just any house guest. Customers are followed and entertained, and not pushed into something he or she doesn't want to. Thus, as in any establishment, you the customer are Ms. Sasha Fierce. Don't be afraid to use it (just do NOT abuse).

Keep in mind that a "No" can be very powerful in a gay bar. Always smile as you do, and don't be iffy saying it. 


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
http://machosandhostos.blogspot.com/
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer



Photo credits: http://hiphop.popcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Beyonce-Retires-Single-Ladies.jpg