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Angeles City Revisited Part 5


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I began Thursday evening by looking into Bar Nana, but there were only two girls on stage, so I went to Baccara. My first visit to this bar was in 2019 and it blew me away. At a time when the girl shortage was at its worst, it was a bar which was packed with slim, attractive girls.

 

Angeles City.

Angeles City.

 

By the way, there is no link with Baccara in Bangkok or Pattaya, so don’t expect a glass ceiling! It is worth looking up, though, as the girls are arrayed in two tiers on a stainless-steel stage and mezzanine – which has quite a stunning effect. There is one row of seating opposite the stage and another row at mezzanine level. I counted 31 girls dancing at any one time. They were not organised in sets, but as a few came off at one end of the stage, another few joined the line at the other. They were wearing short, red dresses – what is it with AC and dresses? More and more bars seem to attire their girls in this way. But surely customers pay more for their drinks to see more of the girls!

When I visited this bar in 2019, the girls were well managed, but now they seem lackadaisical, often not dancing, and checking their phones. They were of a good general average, but only one took my fancy – #1018, petite, with full red lips, and one of the few girls who smiled occasionally. This is a Korean bar, and the Koreans seem to do it by numbers rather than try to catch a girl’s eye and weigh up her response, so the girls don’t bother to make an effort. I considered inviting #1018 for a drink, but it was still very early – about 7:15 – and I needed a few San Migs to get myself in the mood. That’s because it is often very hard work, as the average Filipina bargirl has limited English and not much in the way of conversation. That said, it is amazing how many have passed high school (equivalent, more or less, to AS level in the UK). It is usually the waitresses who have not passed high school, as, with a high school diploma, they would be qualified to work in a department store or a call centre.

After studying the form, I took a closer look at the infrastructure of the bar and found it to be rather run down. The mirrors behind the girls were grubby. Two light-fitting brackets on the mezzanine were empty, and one was fixed with duct tape. Several customer tables had been modified with panels of plastic held together with duct tape, and the sign for the bell was clumsily handwritten. Another thing, typical of all Korean bars, is that the atmosphere was thick with cigarette smoke. Even some of the girls awaiting their turn to dance were smoking. This is illegal in the Philippines, but the Koreans think they can get away with it. I don’t mind a run-down bar as I have often found an algorithm something like: IF BAR = RUN-DOWN, THEN GIRLS = RAUNCHY (the old Rawhide in Bangkok around 2010 being the best example). But Baccara is the wrong sort of run down; high tech stainless steel doesn’t run down as gracefully as the wood and fairy lights of the old-style gogo bar.

 

Angeles City.

Angeles City.

 

After Baccara, I took another look inside Bar Nana and, as the stage was full, went inside to sit down. This is another Korean bar, so once again I had to put up with cigarette smoke. There were 16 girls on stage, once again in dresses. They were of a good average standard and 2 or 3 were quite cute. There is a central stage, and the girls dance a well-choreographed routine which takes into account the main problem of a central stage – that you never get to see some girls from the front. In Bar Nana they dance in two rows on each side of the stage, then make one long line facing one way, and then the other, and then the lines swap over, and the pattern repeats itself.

When my drink arrived, I checked the bill – a whopping 170 PHP! The most expensive in AC! I also took the opportunity to check other prices, and they were also higher than average: lady drink, 380, barfine, 5,000.

The bar was better kept than Baccara and the girls were well-run, but I just didn’t feel comfortable in there. There was something cold and transactional about it – and why should I pay more for drinks and girls who are no better than in any other bar? The only good thing about this bar is the play on words in its name.

After two K-bars, I needed to immerse myself in the cosy atmosphere of the old-style gogo bar, so

I thought I’d try Insomnia again, which is the next to the last bar to the west, beyond the Walking Street barrier. I looked in on several other bars along the way – including many new bars, the names of which I can’t remember, though one of them used to be the highly popular After Dark (now with a new name and hardly any girls or customers. It seems that most of the bars inside the Walking Street barrier are doing well, but bars further out are struggling. As a result, I was running out of places to go – and it was only my third night! That, by the way, has always been one of the problems with AC – it has only one very small bar area, about the size of Soi Cowboy. There is nothing to do in the daytime, and Subic, a beach resort with a few gogo bars, is two hours away.

 

Angeles City.

Angeles City.

 

In desperation, I went to Dollhouse. I never liked this bar (though I love the Art Deco façade!), even back in the day when the stage and the mezzanine above it were packed with cuties. In 2019 it was in a desperate state, with just a few UFO’s on stage. It was better this time, with 18 dancers, but too many of them were overweight. Thankfully, the prevailing appearance of girls in today’s AC is young and slim. I calculated the average age of all the girls I talked to at 23.66. Of course, that’s not very scientific, because I only buy lady drinks for young-looking girls. Do the girls lie about their age? Sometimes. In 2019 I barfined a girl who said she was 18, but later confessed she was 25. I’m quite happy to believe what they tell me, because as their ID’s are (by law) on display, clipped to their waists or hung round their necks, it’s not difficult to check.

The gogo dancers were replaced by 6 “spotlight girls” who lumbered heavily around the stage trying to act sexy. Sorry ladies, it doesn’t work. A slim, well-shaped girl is sexy just standing still. A plumper trying to flaunt it is just a parody.

I got chatting to an attractive waitress called Emma. She told me that she was the eldest of three sisters, all of whom worked in the bar, and pointed them out to me. She is 34, and her sisters, who are dancers, are 32 and 28 (those 3 alone were responsible for hiking my average age calculation from 21.9!). Just then, some money balls were thrown on the stage by a Korean who was sitting with his friends at mezzanine level. Each ball is worth 10 pesos to the girl who gets it – a lot less than Thai money balls and hardly worth bending down for. A little later, the same guy threw down a shower of 20-peso notes. Emma shook her head and said, “Why do they do that?” I wondered the same. From the little I have seen of Koreans in the bars, it seems that some of them like to show off.

The barfine in Dollhouse is 4 to 5,000, depending on the girl, and Emma pointed out some girls who commanded the higher price. I wonder who decides what they are worth. If I were the manager, I’d work out an algorithm based on the girl’s age and waist measurements (young and slim being what most of us are looking for – though perhaps our Indian friends have different tastes). A San Mig Light lady drink is relatively cheap in this bar – 300, and my own San Mig Light was the standard 135.

Talking to waitresses is one thing, but talking to the dancers is quite another, as it can lead to more, much more – and I hadn’t found a dancer I wanted to talk to all evening. Time to try another bar.

 

Angeles City.

Angeles City.

 

I looked into Club 123 and saw a long line of cute, slim girls, but it was immediately obvious that it was another K-bar, with a majority of Korean customers and the telltale smell of cigarette smoke in the air. Club 123 is a long, thin bar with a stage down one side and seating down the other. It has light, modern décor with lots of stainless-steel, pink fairy lights and flashing coloured LED’s. The girls were attired in dresses (what is it with dresses in AC? – we like to see skin!) and were the most badly managed lot I have ever seen anywhere. Most did not deign to dance, and several sat on the bartop in front of the stage, 3 or 4 even sitting with their backs to the customers. Many girls seemed to be obsessed by their phones. Once again, I witnessed the phenomenon of a Korean guy with more money than sense. He walked from one end of the stage to the other showering the girls with 20-peso notes. It didn’t seem to do him any good with them, though no doubt he gained much face with his friends.

Club 123 quickly earned the Bangkok Byron award of “Least-Favourite Gogo Bar in AC” and I got out as soon as I could finish my beer, not even bothering to ask about pricing.

After Club 123 I felt in dire need of a traditional gogo bar and where better than my old-time favourite, Lollipop? As always, the atmosphere was electric, and every seat was taken, mostly by customers with girls – but – there were no girls on stage. Where were they all? Had they all been barfined? So in desperation, I moved on to Gecko’s with the idea of picking up Marisa (bad idea! – never go back!).

I was amazed when I walked in. It had all the atmosphere of Lollipop plus girls on stage! A moment later, I saw her. She was dancing at the end of the stage near the door in the T-back + body painting get-up worn by most of the set 2 girls and looked mouth-wateringly fantastic. I went up to her, said, “Hi Marisa,” and signalled her to join me. Moments later she was by my side and I ordered her a drink.

“What’s your name?” were the first words she said. I was gutted. She had forgotten my name already! I took a deep breath, swallowed my pride, and reminded myself that I am just a customer, not the love of her life. Moments after that, she draped her legs over me, and a little later, started dry humping in my lap – which is hot stuff with nothing but a T-back and body paint, especially with that petite body and flat stomach. As it was late, I decided to barfine her straight away and take her back to the hotel. The word, “barfine” had the usual magical effect and the dry humping got even more enthusiastic.

While this was going on I became aware that the waitress was trying to tell me something. “This not Marisa!” she said. “What?” I replied. “Marisa is upstairs. This girl is Maya.” I looked hard at her and sure enough, she was different, but not so different. She had almost exactly the same kind of body, though she was a little taller. Her face, too, was similar, especially around the mouth. Well, it was dark in there, I had the wrong glasses on, and my brain was awash with 7 San Migs. I quite liked her though and as I had already made the offer of a barfine, decided to go ahead with it.

In retrospect, I realise that I acted badly. I had got carried away by the T-back and body paint and broken my rule about treating the girls in a gentlemanly manner. In Gecko’s, Marisa was my girl – at least for this trip. I should have taken her, or no-one. It was bad karma to barfine Maya and I paid for it later.

The bad karma kicked in as soon as I got her out of the bar. That’s the time when a negative attitude shows up. They go quiet on you and adopt a more business-like manner. Fortunately, I had remembered to ask how long she would stay, and she had said “until morning”, so at least I had her for the night.

The first problem was the hotel. The Royal Amsterdam is a girl-friendly hotel, but asks to see the girls’ ID’s and vaccination cards. Maya had forgotten her vaccination card, so we had to take a trike to an apartment a few blocks away which was owned by the mamasan and in which many of the girls stayed. – 400 PHP there and back. Take note – Angeles’ trikes are pricey!

We went to Kokomo’s for a meal and chatted while we ate. Her English is not good, but is better than Marisa’s, so we were able to communicate. She told me she is 25 and from Bicol. I’d never heard of it, so she showed it me a map on her phone and I saw that it is a small town in northern Luzon. She told me about her problems with her feckless Filipino boyfriend, and I told her a bit about my marital problems, hinting that I am looking for a new girlfriend. She seemed interested in filling the bill. We talked about places we had visited, and I mentioned Boracay, and she said, “You take me there?” “Maybe. Let’s see how we get on,” I replied. When I told her that I had a visa run to Thailand coming up in a few weeks’ time she got even more excited. She is keen to travel (aren’t they all?). By now, I was beginning to think that things would be OK and that she would be a good barfine. She kept saying, “Are you OK?”. She even said I was “gwapo” (handsome) – I bet she says that to all the guys! Just before we left, she gave me a knowing smile and said, “I take good care of you.” I was looking forward to it.

Then it was back to the hotel. We lay on the bed and watched a Filipino soap for a while. These soaps are all the same. There is usually a girl sobbing her heart out to romantic background music, and intense conversations with a guy, alternating with bitter arguments and more tears. While she was absorbed in this, I eased her out of her dress to find the T-back and body paint underneath. She started to peel it off (most of it is bits of tape, or paint over tape), but I said to leave it as it was something a bit different and a turn-on in itself. Then I turned her over and admired her T-backed derriere before easing her out of that.

So far, so good. But the main action was a big disappointment. She cried out, “Oh, oh, oh!” in a voice that was more faked than a JAV pornstar, then, after only about two minutes, said, “I’ve cum,” when she obviously hadn’t – meaning, “Hurry up!”. It was a turn off, and I felt annoyed and angry. Partly at her ham acting, but mainly at myself for behaving badly towards Marisa. Well, I deserved it! it was my karma! Instead of hot sex all night long, I was stuck with a deadbeat, who was now putting on her next act – pretending to fall asleep. She worked so hard at this act that she would have snored to convince me if that hadn’t been unladylike.

I consoled myself by resolving to behave better next time, and by reminding myself that Maya was not to blame. After all, it was me who had virtually pulled her off the stage and offered to barfine her barely minutes later – and she was only doing her job. If her English had been better, I might have recommended a course of Stanislavski’s “Method” acting, after which she might really be able to convince her next customers that he had managed to satisfy her with a few dozen thrusts. Perhaps I am blaming myself too much as it was partly Marisa’s fault. I had warned her the night before that I didn’t want to sit in the bar all evening, but she didn’t want to come barhopping with me. If she had come, and if she had kept up her command performances in the bedroom, I would have kept her for the rest of my trip.

In the morning, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and acted as though everything was fine. However, before I let Maya go, I asked her to speak to Marisa and explain the mistake. I hope she does, but I doubt that she will as she doesn’t seem to have much empathy with others. Her lack of empathy was never more obvious than when she asked me when I was coming back, assuming that she was my girlfriend. No chance! I will never darken the door of Gecko’s again unless it is to find Marisa, say sorry, and give her a big tip.

Here is a photograph of Maya in her street clothes. I chose a side view with her hair hiding her face to preserve her anonymity.

 

An angel in Angeles City.

An angel in Angeles City.

 

This trip has done wonders for me physically and psychologically after the stagnation of the Covid years in a European country. I was beginning to accept the pigeonhole that western society put me in – a grandad fit only for slippers and fireside (or should that be ‘heat-pump’ side?). But I found that the bars were full of guys with 50 shades of grey. I only saw one young westerner, though most of the Koreans are young men. So I felt that, despite my years, I fitted in, and better still, that the bargirls accepted me. Better than accepted. Most of them have a sob story, especially the MILFs, and what they want, above anything else, is a man who will “take care”. This is especially true among the waitresses, so I don’t feel “out of it” like I do in the west.

To be continued after my next trip – a visa run in late September/October which includes a 3-night stopover in AC and 6 nights in Bangkok.

 

If you enjoyed this article about my recent experiences in Angeles, you might also enjoy my book: Amorous Adventures in Angeles City which includes trip reports from 2006 to 2020.

 

The author of this article can be contacted at : rumblejungle19@gmail.com