Stickman Readers' Submissions September 24th, 2009

Letter From Manila

I had known about this trip for some time so I had the rare opportunity to properly prepare for the journey. I would be staying at the Renaissance Hotel in Makati, in the heart of the Manila business district, for a 2-day enablement session of our local
staff and business partners. As the session started on a Monday, I decided to arrive late on Friday night; a day earlier than usual but I had a lot of new areas to explore. Manila was a city I had never been to before but I had read very interesting
things about it; the food, the clubs, the very available beautiful girls. When I arrived, I went by taxi from the airport looking closely at all the stores and small shops along the way, so common to many other Asian cities. Only here, unlike
Bangkok, the people walking the sidewalks or working behind shop counters, did not have the normal relaxed look or friendly face. They looked more like zombies or disgruntled proletariats. Although I wanted to walk into the night at 1 AM, I thought
better of this idea and decided to wait until the next evening, so I grudgingly took another Melatonin tablet to sleep after I settled into my hotel room.

This was sound advice as I slept all night and awoke clear minded and ready for a new day. I started with a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast, as the Philippines is one of the few places in Asia where you can get a real American
breakfast vs. the British version that includes a lot of other crap on the plate. <Give me a good old-fashioned British fry up for breakfast over an American one ANY DAY!Stick> Afterwards, I answered some email
and prepared myself for the 2-day session, and then went for a long swim in the hotel’s massive pool. I returned to my room and took a quiet nap until 5 PM. A long shower, a meal in my room, and a couple of drinks in the hotel bar, and
now it was 8 PM. The city was starting to wake up to a new Saturday night and I set off on foot to meet it.

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A few meters from my hotel, I was accosted on the sidewalk by what I thought were working girls. Their strong grip as they tried to grab my arm convinced me I was dealing with ladyboys. I reacted with a forceful pulling back of my arm and
a loud “leave me the hell alone”. That did the trick, and soon I was walking unmolested towards a nightclub I had read about that was close by. After a couple of blocks I realized I was lost, so I asked several passersby if they
knew where this club was. The second person I spoke to did and explained how to get there. In what looked like a family restaurant, I entered a narrow hallway and was led to larger hall with tables along the walls. I was the only foreigner in
the place so I quickly found a dark table and started to observe my new surroundings. Although there were a few couples, it looked like it was mostly groups of men and women sitting separately at tables, with the latter being the clear majority.
There was a small dance floor next to the stage from which a 3-piece band was blaring bad 90’s rock music. I decided the night was going to be a wash so I ordered a San Mig and resigned myself to my fate. I should have remembered that life
is not what it seems in Asia and that where there is life, there is possibility.

After I finished my beer, I quickly became bored and started to walk around. Now the stares from the groups of women started. I assumed it would have been too forward for either of us to just say hello so I said nothing. I walked to the bar
and ordered another beer and then planted myself against the wall near the dance floor. Now the women started to walk by to and from the dance floor and each eyed me more closely as they did. With one girl, short and with a sweet smile, I stepped
forward a little as she walked by and said hello. She stopped instantly and said hello back in American English with just a flavor of some other language. I asked her to dance which we did for a few songs and then I asked if she wanted to sit
at my table. She agreed and after we sat down I asked her what she was drinking. She said some name I did not understand so I made her repeat it for the waitress. When it arrived, it looked like some kind of small lime and rum drink on the rocks.
As we talked, she continued to order these until I counted 5. She was very shy in her talk and often looked away from me. I wasn’t sure if she was looking for someone else or just distracted. She said her name was Maria and she was a student
at a local university. After an hour, another girl approached who apparently knew Maria. Her name was Anna and I almost didn’t hear her say it as I was looking at her huge breasts. She noticed my stare but instead of looking angry, she
gave me a slight smile. I asked her to sit down and join us.

After another hour and a few more drinks, Maria became much more animated and asked me to dance during a slow song. She hugged me closely and asked me in a whispered voice when we were going to my hotel room. I replied as soon as she wanted.
When we returned to the table, Maria announced to Anna that we were going to the hotel, but instead of Anna saying good-bye, she rose from her chair to join us. Although thrilled at the prospect, I was concerned about the logistics of how it would
work, as I had never done a threesome before. Anyway, we stumbled to the door and into cab, and then into my hotel room within 10 minutes. After some chat, Maria and Anna took their blouses off and we danced to some music video on the TV. Maria
asked me to take my pants off which I readily did. Then Maria grabbed me and off we went to the bathroom for some reason, where she broke out in a frenzied burst of passion. This was great at first but as she wouldn’t let me go beyond schoolyard
petting, I was confused as to where this animal lust was all about. After a few minutes of this, I separated myself from her and walked out of the bathroom. When I did this, Maria became incensed and started to flail her arms at me until I grabbed
her and yelled WTF are you doing? Maria put her blouse on and stormed out of the hotel room. After a few seconds of shock I realized that Anna was still there, sitting on the long chair, looking sadly sheepish. I asked her what had just happened.
She shook her head and said she wanted to warn me but couldn’t. Looking at my pants on the floor in front of her, my wallet bulging from one of the pockets, I understood what the plan was supposed to be. Anna said that I seemed like a nice
guy so she didn’t want to do this; that was why Maria had become angry. Anna said she could stay with me tonight but after walking eyes-open into such a silly rip-off, I just wanted to be alone. She put on her blouse and gave me her phone
number and then asked me to call her some time. After she left, I put her phone number in the trash can; I didn’t want to be reminded of this night in which I had acted like a complete fool.

The next evening my friend Tony would arrive as he was helping me with this session. Tony was a transplanted Italian-American now living in Singapore who was the source of authority for all things naughty in South East Asia. He had emailed
me earlier that he had a great evening planned for us. That day, I tried to stop thinking of the previous evening’s misadventure and concentrate on a much better time to come. He arrived in his room at the hotel around 7 PM and called me
as soon as he dropped his bag. He told me to meet him in the bar in 10 minutes. I did as instructed as Tony was always very punctual when it came to the affairs of pleasure. In the bar, he said that a friend of his had arranged for us to meet
2 girls that evening. They were not working girls but they liked to party with western men his friend had told him. We were to meet them at a local bar at 8 PM. Tony sucked down 3 beers in the 30 minutes and then we were off into a taxi. We soon
arrived at what looked like a small bistro that featured a Cuban menu and exotic drinks. We walked into the almost empty bar and Tony took one look around and walked to a table with 2 girls. A little chat and Tony declared these were our dates
for the evening. If I had had my radar on, I would have run for my life but instead I stuck close to the heal of my good friend.

We sat down opposite the girls. One was a natural beauty with a beautiful smile; the other was tall and thin and didn’t say too much. We ordered drinks and after finishing them some 10 minutes later, the beauty said she knew of a hot
disco close by. I paid the bill and we left the bar and started walking down the street. After a 15 minute walk, we reached another small bistro-like place but this one had a line of people and large man at the entrance. The beauty whispered into
the large man’s ear and he immediately welcomed us inside. As we entered, I noticed that the thin girl had an unusual walk but as it was dark and I only caught a glimpse, so I forgot about it. This place was much more crowded and loud rock
music was blaring. We found a small table with 4 chairs and ordered drinks. Tony was definitely trying to come on to the beauty but after she finished her drink, she announced that she had another engagement and stood up to leave. As she left,
Tony protested vigorously as he followed her towards the door. Now I was alone with the thin one and both of us were looking very sheepish. After a few minutes, she moved her chair close to mine and started speaking softly. This made me lean forward
so that our heads were very close together. From what I could fathom, she was speaking gibberish yet I stayed with it for almost 10 minutes, shaking my head yes at appropriate moments. Then I began to notice the very angular face, the square shoulders,
and the strong hands. I jumped up and said “piss off” and walked to entrance, now knowing I was yet again a victim of another ladyboy. Outside the door, I spotted Tony leaning against the building in despair. I told him what I discovered
and he suddenly guffawed loudly. “Let’s get a drink, mate” he yelled and soon we were back in hotel bar telling ladyboy stories to each other and laughing hilariously at each one.

The next morning we started our sessions and at the end of the day, Tony and I were both pooped and decided to call it an off night and go to bed early. The next morning at breakfast, Tony said he had found a new place we could go that evening.
I told him I had a flight to catch the following morning at 10 AM but he said this was a slam-dunk and not to worry. After the last day’s session, we met in the hotel bar at 7 PM but Tony wanted to leave after only one drink. Before long
we were in a taxi heading for some place called Athena. Knowing Tony, I thought this would be some crowded bar of hip locals, but instead we entered a large room of tables with an elevated balcony at the back. The hostess took us to a table near
the stage and then brought us beers. I asked Tony what was this place but he only gave me a sly smile and said nothing. After a few minutes, lights came on the stage and out pranced about 10 scantily clad girls dancing to disco beat of loud pop
music. Almost immediately, someone slapped my shoulder and sat down next to me. It was an older woman with a big smile, “So, which one you like?”

The scales began to fall from my eyes as I realized I was in a well decorated brothel. Tony was watching me the whole time and when I came to this realization he started laughing very loudly. Now I had a wide smile on my face and asked the
woman I now knew was the mamasan, whom she would recommend. She said the third girl from the left was brand new and was very eager. Surprisingly, unlike other mamasans I have known, this girl did look very beautiful and was dancing very energetically.
When she saw I was looking at her, she gave me a big smile. I asked the mamasan how business worked here and she explained there was a barfine to take her out and a set fee for her to sleep with me. It was very reasonable so I readily agreed.
The mamasan waved her hand at the girl who immediately left the stage. Five minutes later she was dressed more modestly and sitting, as the mamasan promised, eagerly at my side with a big smile on her face. As we left, the mamasan hugged me and
soon all three of us, the girl flanked by Tony and myself, in the backseat of a taxi heading for the hotel. The girl was still smiling brightly as I leaned over and asked Tony where his girl was. He said he decided not to get one as he was heading
for some place called Angeles City the next day for some R&R. I had never heard of this place so I returned to looking at the bright smile of my new best friend and holding her hand tightly.

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Back at the hotel, I said good-bye to my friend Tony who wished me good luck with that sly smile he had. In the bedroom, she was very shy and disrobed quickly and got under the covers. She was a tentative lover at first but lived up to her
reputation for eagerness at the end. I gave her money as she left my room around 2 AM, now she was almost singing with happiness for some reason, but I kissed her softly before she gave me one last big smile before she darted down the hallway.
I set the alarm for 6 AM, knowing immigration and customs would be a bitch for my returning flight. As I tried to relax, I reflected on my time in the Philippines. I had 2 ladyboy encounters, almost been robbed in my hotel room, but then discovered
a sweet working girl thankful for a night away from dancing and making a little money for herself. Did she enjoy being with me? Would she enjoy being with me again? In a more perfect world, could we have become true lovers? As reality set in again,
I knew that the only reason a beautiful young girl would sleep with a man twice her age was for money. If money made her as happy as sleeping with Brad Pitt, and I got to be Brad Pitt, then maybe life wasn’t so imperfect after all.

Stickman's thoughts:

For someone who supposedly knows South East Asia well, Tony seems totally clueless. From what I have heard about Manila, the LA Cafe sounds like it is worth visiting.

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