Stickman Readers' Submissions September 22nd, 2010

The Story Of M And The Dark Side Of The Angeles City Bar Scene

I first met M in January 2008 in one of those smaller bars that are dotted along the perimeter road in Angeles. I was sitting at the bar when she passed by, not only was she very easy on the eye but when she stopped to say hello I was immediately impressed
with her good English and bubbly personality.

I have been around the bar scene on and off for a long time and frankly it takes someone I think is a bit special to spark my interest. I offered to buy her a lady drink, something I seldom do. When she finished the drink I offered to buy her another
but she said that she had to leave. It was during one of those crazy crackdowns in Angeles where you were not allowed to leave a bar with a lady. M apologised to me and said she had already been barfined and that her customer was waiting for her
in his hotel. I told that it was ok and that I understood that she had to do her job. Before she left she insisted that we swap phone numbers. I called in to the bar the next night but I only got to speak to her briefly because she was talking
to someone else. When I was leaving she came over and asked me when would she see me again and I told her I was going on a tour around the Philippines and would be back in Angeles in about two months.

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The next day I got a text from her which I responded to and this was the start of exchanging many texts over the period I was travelling around. When I got back to Angeles I spent all the time I was there with her.

Hers was not the typical story in that she had no baby.. Her father was not in the best of health and could not provide for his family so she made the decision to go to Angeles to earn some money. She knew next to nothing of the bar scene
when she arrived there.

She did not know what a barfine was or what it entailed. Apart from the odd bottle of San Mig light she had no experience of alcohol or of sex. She was a virgin. She thought that all she had to do was to serve drinks and talk to the customers
and for a nine hour shift she would get 120 pesos and maybe some tips. She told me she would not dance in the bar because she was too shy.

Anyone that has been around the bar scene will know that some bar owners and managers will usually have a few goats that they hang out and drink with. These guys are in the know and can get first call on the farm fresh, break them in so to
speak. The first night that M started working a friend of the bar manager called her over. He was very nice to her and bought her a lady drink.

He then began to ply her with alcohol, after a while he barfined her and took her back to his place where she passed out on the bed. The nice friendly man she thought she had met then took all her clothes off and raped her while she was unconscious.
To add insult to injury he then started to take pictures of her lying prostrate. Apparently his favorite pictures were the ones that showed the blood on the sheets between her legs. This sick predator had form and it was not the first time that
he had done this to a new girl .A number of people in the bar would have known this but no one tried to protect her. M also had to suffer the humiliation of going to work and watching her attacker drink and laugh and joke with her boss. She was
sure that the pictures of her were passed around as well. I asked her why she did not do something about it.

She said "What can I do? I just don't speak to him any more."

Of course she was afraid of losing her job. I wondered how many more of these ghouls prowl around the bars looking for prey.

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I have spent a lot of time with M since and she is doing fine. We went to Boracay for a while…. She was the girl I was with when the farang woman got down on one knee to take our picture! I have helped her to move back to Samar where she
continues with her education. I hope something good comes out of it for her.

I am not trying to run down Angeles as it is a fun place to spend some time but beneath the veneer there are some unsavoury facts.

I am afraid that I would have to agree with Korski when he says that barebacking is very common. I have asked ladies who work there why they take such a risk and they will say that it is what the customer expects. When you ask them why they
don't say no some or them will tell you that they will have big trouble with the mamasan if they do.

I have been told by ladies including M that sometimes they have to hide in the toilet if a customer comes in that they don't want to go with. Some of the other girls will tell the customer that the girl he is looking for is already barfined
in the hope he will move on.

I think in the bigger bars on Fields Avenue like Atlantis it maybe different but in my experience the mamasans exert greater control in the smaller bars and the girls have little or no choice in who they go with, which I think is really sad.

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Stickman's thoughts:

Absolutely no surprise in what you say. The industry can be very cruel to many involved, the girls and the guys.

With that said, I am surprised to hear a customer was allowed to take a virgin. My very limited understanding of the Philippines is that it costs about $1,000 for a guy to buy a girl's virginity.

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