Notes on Angeles City
Going from Clark Airport to Field's was painless as you can not miss the taxi stand which is right outside the airport exit. The ten minute ride costs 300 peso and I thought the surrounding countryside was quite pleasant. The main drag was shorter
and narrower than I recalled from ancient adventures, it takes about twenty minutes to walk the length of it.
At the one end of Field's there is a McDonalds on the corner – given the poor reputation of Filipino food and the expense of farang orientated restaurants, this came as a relief as I can always subsist on their fillet of fish – in Thailand
I would not eat in McDonalds nor KFC but it is a good fall back when all else fails.
At the other end of Field's you can hop, skip and jump through the traffic and take the walkway over to SM Mall, with its mix of shops and restaurants. Nothing astonishing compared to some of the malls in Thailand but somewhere to go
in the afternoon. There is a good internet shop on the second floor. Quite good rates at the money changers in this mall if you have currency other than US dollars and it feels a lot safer changing money there than right on Field's.
Surprisingly, the KFC chicken and rice was of very good quality although they don't serve coffee – there is a Starbucks at one of the entrances if you can run to 90 peso for their cheapest brewed coffee – bloody strong it is, too.
Quite a few stunning women wandering around SM Mall, BTW. Given the huge size a lot of the women end up when taken to live in Blighty, and the generally poor quality of women on Filipinaheart, I was very surprised at just how many of the
girls were svelte, sometimes tiny even by Isaan standards.
I chose to stay at Central Park hotel, a minute's walk to the main drag. It is quite an old two storey hotel laid out in several wings and without a swimming pool (you can use a free one at their other hotel but I didn't bother)
that was refurbished a few years ago and the rooms are in reasonable condition. The one I was given was at the end of the corridor on the second floor, therefore nice and quiet.
I chose this hotel as it has a good reputation for security – travelling solo you need all the help you can get. However, it is situated down some quite narrow streets that have a reputation for devious freelancers and con-artists, so I tried
to get home before midnight… no problem as I started drinking earlier to take advantage of the 6 – 8 PM happy hours. Cost was about 1500 peso a night – equivalent to Bangkok prices but more expensive than Pattaya.
Money changers abound on Field's and offer good rates against the US dollar but it does leave you rather exposed to watching eyes, so I only changed small amounts of money at a time. Most of my cash was in a money belt but I left the
credit cards and some loose change in the hotel safe as backup if I got hit with an iron bar, as per one correspondent.
I read a bit on the internet before going, and the local sexpats were complaining about a lot of the girls having Filipino boyfriends and the latter's insistence on riding down Field's on their newly bought motorcycles (paid for
by multiple sponsors), all shades of Thailand and potential ruination for visitors – this is a country where a loss of face is more than likely reacted to by a bullet to the head. Anyway, there were huge numbers of Filipino men hanging out everywhere
so I have no doubt that those gals so inclined to ruin their lives had plenty of opportunity.
Beggars I did not find much of a problem, certainly less persistent than I expected. Hilariously, some of the expressions of the go-go dancers faces when trying to cajole a drink or tip appeared identical to those of the begging bambinos,
making an obvious comment on their potential career path. The age of consent in the PI is eighteen but sometimes girls use elder sister's ID cards and if they look younger they probably are. The cost of staying out of jail if caught with
someone under eighteen is 50,000 peso up, and can be a lot more if you let matters progress through the system. I am sure that the locals are aware of how such a prosecution would completely ruin a farang's life even if they win in court.
Central Park, like many hotels, simply does not allow minors across the threshold, so getting caught with an underage girl in your room should not happen (there are many scams based on this).
There are some huge go-gos but I decided to avoid them – the beautiful girls wanted a double bar-fine (3000 peso) and they just did not have the right feel. Hollywood had a moment of infamy when one of the mamasans and doorman beat up a customer,
almost to death, over a very minor problem with his bill – sure enough, a rather large, twitching with repressed violence, security guy was outside when I walked past. One to avoid, as a lot of the local farang have done.
Anything can happen in the neon zone. Whilst it is easy to get the mamasan to do all the work, it is much better to make eye contact with the girl on the stage, and if you get a positive response, gesture for her to come sit with you – she
does not have to wait for her dance shift to end, nor does she have to return to the stage during the time she has a drink. Ladies drinks are 140-150 peso whilst beer is 50-100 peso (excluding the super bars here) and barfines 1300-1500 peso (the
girl gets half and it is nice to give her 100-200 peso tip in the morning). This works out cheaper than Pattaya where you would have to pay 300-500 barfine plus 1000 baht long-time (if you are lucky). BTW, check what the girl is buying as there
is a double lady drink, which includes beers, which costs twice as much as the normal lady drink.
Any kind of babe can turn up in the neon. The first bar I entered, called Alaska, I ended up with someone right out of Isaan, could have passed hundred percent for a Thai girl. She was 31 with a svelte twenty year-old body that generated
an awful lot of heat but she had one of those faces that did well in the neon but from certain angles and in flashes of white light she looked her full age. I am fairly sure she would've been a great lay but having done Thailand for an awful
long time, it wasn't quite enough to part me from my money. On one level it would have been absurd to take the first girl I talked to in the first bar I walked in to; on another, you were never entirely sure which way your luck was running
and if you were throwing away the best chance of the night.
It was only seven pm and there were a hundred odd bars to explore. The next bar I ran into what I would deem my dream girl, sitting a few yards from me – a really petite body highlighted by a white bikini and the kind of face that blended
a bit of Spanish blood into the Asian meld to make you think movie star or model. She actually looked about fourteen in fairly bright neon, an arrestable offence just to be in the same room as her (in my mind). She said 21 and had an ID card to
back it up but I could not see it. Turned out to be a cherry girl so maybe that self-regard made her kind of luminous, kept the ravages of The Life off her. She was a bit shy at first but the way I smiled, fit to burst, won her over.
She had twelve brothers and sisters, which immediately suggested a meltdown of the local ATMs. I bought her a drink (turned out to be a SM Light at 240 peso) and I did not resent the commission she would make on it. The heat running out of
her thigh suggested she was running a fever but her brow was cool – seemed to me she would turn out to offer nuclear powered sex. Her English improved as she drank her beer and she seemed happy enough, for the moment, getting drinks' commission
and doing the go-go gig.
The mamasan wanted me to barfine her, said she could sleep with me but no sex but I had already checked with her and she would only barhop (which would ruin my chances with any other girls I saw). The mamasan then suggested she would come
along as a chaperone! Luckily, I had only had two beers and was well aware of the potential fiscal disintegration that might ensue if I was caught with someone who looked fourteen in my hotel room.
Given that she really was 21 and I was in Angeles for months rather than days, I might have given it a shot – in the end, it would depend on whether she wanted money for her virginity or someone to steal her out of the bar, and if she turned
out to be as lovely inside as she was outside, actually marry her. Someone like her in my life, I would never have any interest in other women. The problem here is delving into how deep she was in the mamasan's pocket as I certainly was not
willing to hand over any serious dosh to such people – and a lot of these mamasan's have a direct connection to the local police, with potential fiscal chaos if you get it wrong.
The mix of neon and beer can make you get things very wrong. A few more bars down the line, I was in a fairly large joint and sitting next to the stage. I got a beer in my greedy mitts, trying to politely repulse one of the nearby dancers
and avoid getting into conversation with the hard-looking waitress. I ended up gesturing a babe with a sublime body down to have a drink. This seemed to piss the waitress off and she demanded I buy a beer at 280 peso for the dancer but I said
no, only the cheaper lady's drink. That made the temperature drop by about ten degrees!
Anyway, closer up, the twenty-one year old dancer's face wasn't what I thought it was up on the stage under the red neon but, you know, you have to be pleasant to these gals. I had half my attention on the stage and saw this real
stunner with a face to die for… just my luck to pick the wrong girl. I already had a scowling waitress getting powered up by my lack of interest in her and did not want to add a disgruntled dancer to the list. But the girl on the stage got the
message via eye contact…
The waitress wouldn't leave things alone and suggested I should order another beer even though there was a bit left in the remaining one. Then she wanted me to pay up and go drink in another bar – I have no idea why she was all wound
up, as she wasn't old enough for me to have insulted her in the distant past and forgotten it. Anyway, I waved her away and she went to sit with some of the dancers who tried to soothe her down. About ten minutes later I waved my empty beer
bottle at her and let the dancer go back to dancing, hoping for a chance with the stunner, though she seemed to be in the throes of physical disintegration, with either a stomach or pussy ache running through her svelte body.
The only problem with all this, no idea what kind of connections the waitress had – quite common for the waitress or mamasans to have police boyfriends or some huge savage type of a local waiting for an excuse to beat up foreigners. All it
would take, a distressed telephone call. Exiting the bar, the stunner gave me a farewell hug and kiss – possibly warned off by the waitress from actually coming to talk to me, no idea, but she said come back tomorrow. Er, not, who needs the hassle?
I tried a few more bars in the side lane on the way back to the hotel but after too many beers I am more interested in sleep than sex… actually, another stunning eighteen year-old grabbed my attention but the mamasan said she was a virgin
and I did not bother buying her a drink. It was only eleven thirty in the night but I had started drinking a couple of hours earlier than normal – by then most of the women were looking very rough, especially in the side sois. In about ten bars,
I saw only three attractive virgins, there may have been a few more no-hopers but nowhere near the high levels suggested by the venerable Korski, who I suspect wants all the sex tourists flocking from Pattaya to Angeles, so he can wander around
the former ravishing the then near destitute Thai b-gals.
Quite a few farang were ringing the bell in the bars, others bar-fining a handful of babes – it was low season June but there were plenty of punters around. I would not want to come in the high season, that's for sure. I do find myself
somewhat burned out by the Thai go-go scene (which has priced itself out of the market to an extent) and it would take a real stunner to get my blood flowing and get me digging in my pocket for some serious dosh – alas, I don't have the time
to win the heart of one of the virgins (no point buying her virginity and then throwing her away – bad karma).
Second night, I started at the McDonald's end of Field's, after a reasonable fillet of fish (90 peso). Over the years, my face seems to have adapted to the neon, in the same way as a lot of the girls, and under that ambience I look
a rather dashing forty rather than my real age of fifty. I do have to work at flashing the smile, it is very easy to sink into a cynical scowl which is a total turn-off for Filipinas but a nice smile goes a long way in Angeles – and these b-gals
seem a lot more enthusiastic than their Thai counterparts. Even on the street when being hassled by dubious vendors (everything from vitamin V to sunglasses) when a smile and shake of the head dissuades them without throwing them into a resentful,
barely restrained vein of violence.
Being ignored by three beautiful women in three different bars is bad luck. Don't ask me the name of the bars but walking back from McDonalds… the first bar I went into was buy one get one free happy hour (beer not girls), which is
probably bad news. I immediately fell for a slightly Spanish looking babe on the stage who ignored my smile of joy… later, judging by the way they exchanged glances, it was evident she had something going with the toilet boy so a complete waste
Samar seems to be the Philippines equivalent of Isaan but don't expect Angeles to be full of newly arrived innocents – these Samarian girls liked to act in a rather sluttish manner that even when they had nice bodies ruined the ambience
– a few had beautiful faces but it was fairly rare to find a beautiful face atop a nubile body. Even when they were slickly slender there was something off about most of them, something of the primate in their faces and gestures. An awful lot
of them seemed convinced that they could win me over by sticking out their tongue and puckering their mouth – Filipinas b-gals are famous for their bareback, deep throat blow-jobs. And convinced that no farang could resist the offer of a blow-job.
The second stunner was in one of Nero's smaller bar – another group with something of a sour reputation amongst local sexpats. She again mostly ignored my existence whilst her plainer sisters buzzed around me trying to exhort drinks.
Most of the women in this bar looked a bit wrecked, as if they had spent five years in a local brothel, doing whatever the Filipino guys wanted without a condom in sight. Bad skin, bitter smiles and saggy stomachs straight out of a bad Patpong
bar… ah well, with beer still at happy hour prices and no-one worth buying a drink for I was at least saving a lot of money. Turned out, the one beautiful lady in the joint was waiting for her farang amour to turn up, so fair enough.
The third stunner turned out to be a cherry girl and had the innocent smile of joy to prove it. She smiled at most people, getting them all excited, but would not accept a drink – maybe already had a suitor lined up. This was a Filipino run
bar with a few dubious looking local men in one corner but the boss seemed friendly enough and gave me a free beer. A lot of energy ran through the bar with plenty of svelte women on the stage but up close, without the help of the neon, their
faces fell apart. By the time I finished the free beer, without fronting up any ladies drinks, they were all but snarling in discontent – I almost felt sorry for their simple-mindedness; I had 150,000 peso in hundred dollar bills in my money-belt!
The final bar for the night was one of those large jobs with a circular stage, which I sat next to so I could grab a babe if any took my fancy. The stage was packed out with slender Filipinas… I got a bit of eye contact going with one and
gestured for her to descend to the stool next to mine. 23, no baby, broken in by some French guy and abandoned to her fate… she hadn't taken it too well. She wanted a 300 peso bottle of beer but got a 150 peso glass of the same. In almost
every way she was a great match to my desires except it became evident she was very angry at the world and I had had enough female vileness in my life to last a lifetime. Being fifty rather than thirty I am quite happy to sleep alone and save
lots of money by not taking the girl home.
The next day I should have been down, put off by my lack of success, but I felt mildly elated in the morning before even getting into the Starbucks coffee. Travel of any kind is a matter of faith in your own luck and ability to survive whatever
comes your way, which could be anything from dodgy aircraft engines to the babes turning nasty – for a while I'd lost that faith, been slighted by experience and self-loathing but somehow synapses were slowly reconnecting and I had started
joking with some of the female staff in SM Mall, who if they had any sense should've sent me on my way rather than encouraging me! There were an awful lot of worse places to be if you were fifty with a pocket bulging with disposable income.
I decided to do a short circular circuit around the bars near the hotel. It is impossible to suss what kind of bar it is from the outside. Las Vegas turned out to be the most boring bar in Angeles. It had three tall girls doing a routine
on the stage, then singular girls strutting their stuff. I didn't even bother finishing my beer. The next bar was more amusing with the usual twenty girls stashed on the stage… ended up talking to one who was already sat down near me. She
had a great face but what looked like the detritus from dropping a kid around her waist, but she claimed it was just a bit of fat she was trying to get rid of… she was 24 and from Manila, had worked in a 7-11 and claimed to be putting her younger
siblings through college.
A Manila girl in Angeles, what was the world coming to… she was nice enough after I bought her a lady's drink but when that ran out and I refused a second, a somewhat harder edged bitch emerged. She had been working for four months
and had a couple of regulars on the go who kept her in easy money. Sure enough, she had a call-out and was into her dress and out of there in a flash of rapacious haste. I could imagine her, halfway though the sex, demanding to know what kind
of tip she was going to get so that she could match that to the amount of energy she wanted to put into the encounter.
The next bar I almost did not go into, first thing I saw was a huge snooker table but beyond that the bar snaked along the far edge of the room. A couple of slack-bodied waitresses waved me to a stool but, giving them a gentle hint, I went
to the other end of the stage and sat there. These waitresses were all over me like a rash and well pissed when I did not come up with any ladies drinks but even then did not want to go away… I had my beady eye on a few of the dancers.
Ended up talking to a nineteen year-old who had a minor amount of puppy fat on her body – nothing a vigorous couple of weeks of sex wouldn't dissipate – and one of those faces that veered towards cute rather than beautiful and would
react to the ravages of time – if she got lucky with the right guy she could end up stunningly beautiful but too long in the bar would do her in; there wasn't the mind bending resilience in her features that some of the b-gals had. I liked
her, not least because she started telling me her friends' secrets – that one was getting married in a couple of months to a Brit but was still in butterfly mode, another had a Filipino boyfriend back in the province…
Can't recall her province but it was 48 hours away, requiring multiple buses and ferries to get there or 24 hours if you went to the nearest airport. She had been working for four days and wanted me to take her to her province after
a fifteen minute conversation! WTF? She had yet to get the official ID card so there was no way I could even get her into the hotel, not that I would chance it without some official indication of her age. There were nine girls from her province
there, including an elder sister and a couple of cousins. I gave her my mobile number and told her to ring or text if she got bored. But I do fear that if I come back in a few months time for a longer visit then she will have been ruined by the
life. If she had an ID card I would have grabbed her there and then and maybe run with my luck.
The next couple of bars seemed to be Korean orientated, friendly enough just that the westerners were completely ignored by the girls who had glassy, drugged eyes that they kept flitting to the excessive number of Filipino men who were working
the joint. I almost went into one of the grand go-go's but after poking my head in it was big enough to turn into a movie theatre and you'd need binoculars to suss the women dancing on the stage. I suspect the ethos was more brothel
It was getting on for midnight as I meandered back to the hotel, and sure enough there were a pack of unsavoury looking katoeys on the corner but they left me alone; they weren't the crazed bitches you used get on Burgos in Manila. If
you are wandering around alone it is probably better not to test the patience of the natives at 4.00am in the morning.
If you do the back alleys off the main drag there are all kinds of entertainment, from short-time cafes to basic spit and sawdust pubs – the kind of places the girls end up once they have been done over by the odd farang or local, not a pretty
sight but no worse than the women in soi 6 in Pattaya, where completely bizarrely some farang go looking for a wife.
This short trip more about soaking up the ambience and sussing the possibilities, getting into some sublime babe thirty years my junior is a serious, full-time business and should not be taken lightly. Angeles isn't any kind of place
to live but there is such a huge divergence of women there that it is not a bad starting point for a Philippine adventure.
The kind of women you end up talking to a reflection of the type that interest you, what you want out of the deal and, indeed, how they view you. Each traveller would end up with completely different memories of the place, which perhaps explains
the many divergent views on Angeles that have appeared on this site. Just like Thailand, nothing is quite what it seems and those smiles can hide a deadly edge…
I was supposed to go to the Philippines later this month but cancelled the trip. It really seems to me that it's predominantly a booze and babes kinda place and being off the booze and not playing with the babes means it's just not the right destination for me.