Readers' Submissions

Angeles City: Same Same But Different Part 2



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

NEXT DAY

Begin the day with a late and leisurely breakfast at Kokomos, which does an excellent American breakfast (almost identical to a good old English breakfast!). It’s also a good place to take your barfine for a meal in the evening. It is situated about halfway down Walking Street, and is a good place to hang out and watch the world go by, as you can just about see in the picture (the car is in the way).

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BAD BOY

After breakfast, you could check out the phenomenon of the daytime bars. I only know of four, but I am assured there are more. Try Bad Boy in the morning. This is a small bar with several pretty girls. But don’t leave it too late, as most of the girls will have been barfined by Koreans by lunchtime. It seems that this bar closes in the afternoon and opens again in the evening.

 

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LEOPARD

I was well and truly gobsmacked (to use a Yorkshire expression) when I discovered that this bar is a daytime equivalent of Baccara. At 2 PM it was in full swing, with the same kind of packed stage, about 30 girls, almost falling off at the ends, and all young and cute – not a fatty among them! I didn’t care for their leopard pattern uniforms which covered too much skin, but the sight of that packed stage at two in the afternoon was mesmerizing. Koreans must like a bit of “afternoon delight” because I found myself to be the only westerner in the bar. I was made to feel quite welcome though. Once again, I had to sit at the stage because the place was so packed, but as soon as a seat became available further back (with a better view) the Korean manager directed me there. That evening I checked the bar again, and it was closed, so it really is a daytime only bar. Baccara is also open in the afternoon, but the girls were not dancing, just sitting around in ordinary clothes.

 

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That concludes my tour of a starter selection of Angeles bars. By now you will have seen enough to make your own way around. Stick to Walking Street and the 200 yards beyond, avoid freelancers and street vendors, and you will be safe enough.

 

THE GIRLS

So what are Filipinas like compared to Thais? Basically, they are as alike as peas in a pod. I stayed with my Filipina girlfriend in Pattaya a while ago, and everybody, including Thais, thought she was Thai until they tried to speak to her. There are some racial differences; the Filipinos, especially in the south, have a shared ancestry with the Maoris, but you can research that online if you are interested. I will just give you my impressions.

 

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Filipinas, like Thais, vary in skin colour, but most are what they call kayumangi – a beautiful honey-gold. They are slightly smaller than Thais (especially the current crop of Thai girls who seem to be approaching western proportions).

Their English is much better. English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, and they all learn it at school. Any bargirl who has passed her high school certificate (and many of them have) will have a reasonable level of English, so they are much easier to talk to.

Most of them are practicing Catholics, and I fear that the concept of sin weighs more heavily on them than the Buddhist concept of karma on their Thai sisters. After all, a Thai bargirl can offset any negative karma by supporting her family and “making merit” at the temple by buying a few frogs and snakes (caught specially for the purpose) and releasing them. Perhaps this is why Thai girls are more “hands on” in the bar, though Filipinas are not far behind, and can be just as much fun.

The main problem with Filipinas is that they love food; snacking together is one of their favorite pastimes. Though there are some excellent indigenous dishes, such as tapa, adobo and sisig, they eat too much junk food, the favorite being Jollibee – a Philippine fast food franchise, like MacDonald’s, but with rice instead of fries – leading to the phenomenon called pung in Thailand and “Jollibee belly” here. Only yesterday, I was in my “local” (Old Club – see above) and saw a waitress bringing in a huge bag with the Jollibee logo – the mid-shift feast for the bargirls. No wonder they were somewhat “heavy”. The situation is made worse by the fact that they never take any exercise, and they never walk – they always take a trike. The problem has got significantly worse in recent years, with many fatties in the bars. That said, there are still many petite girls around, more than I found in Thailand on my visit just a week ago.

 

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You also need to know that a few of the girls you will meet are Cherry Girls (see my submission of that title). On my last trip I rescued a very perplexed newbie who couldn’t work out what was going on, especially as his girl’s English was not good. Cherry girls are virgins, and you have to pay highly for the privilege (100,000 PHP) or marry them. No wonder he was confused – he thought that was the price of the barfine!

 

COSTS

Like Thailand, prices in the bar business seem to have outstripped general inflation, though not to the same extent. Since my first visit to the PI in 2006, prices in the UK have risen by about 50%.  But in 2006, barfines were 1,200 – 1,500 PHP, and today they are twice that. That is partly offset by the exchange rate, as the Philippine peso is weak against most currencies.

The bottom line for me is that I prefer Thailand and Thai girls, but it’s hard to party when the inner accountant keeps whispering “this will cost you an arm and a leg”. In the PI I don’t have to worry so much about cost, and just have fun, and for that reason alone, Angeles City is worth a visit.

 

Bangkok Byron

 

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