Stickman Readers' Submissions July 11th, 2023

Angeles, Friday 7th June

One of my all time favourite bars in Angeles was Crystal Palace. You can read about it in a submission I wrote in 2019 (though the photos have gone missing), and you can get an idea of what it was like inside in its heyday (from about 2008 to 2012) from numerous YouTube videos (all low res). On my last trip, in November last year, I noticed that the bar was being renovated, so I was looking forward to visiting it.

As soon as I arrived at my hotel (The Royal Amsterdam), I dropped off my stuff and hotfooted it to Real Street – and there was my favourite bar, renovated – but closed! As you can see from this photograph, it has been done up for the purpose of sale.

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It was the same with Shobu, a few blocks up the road. I had heard it had reopened, but it was closed and up for sale. Nevertheless, Real Street was looking promising. There was a new KTV Lounge, Kiss KTV, and a place called Meiko’s Lounge. I asked the doorman what was on offer, and he invited me to take a look inside. It is what it says on the box – a lounge bar. Downstairs, there is a bar, tables and seating. Upstairs is a sports bar area with one rather small TV screen and three pool tables. I can’t see it doing very well in that location as there are at least three bars on Walking Street offering the same facilities, one of which, Phillies Sports Grill, has the largest TV screen I have ever seen. At the end of the street, Body Shop, (a good name for a gogo bar!) was still open, though it’s facade was uninviting, the colours of the signage being washed out.

Returning to Walking Street, I was surprised how run down it looked in broad daylight. The facades of Walking Street’s two flagship bars, Club Atlantis and Dollhouse, looked grubby. Other bars looked even worse, badly in need of a lick of paint, cracks, bits broken off, dirt, ugly concrete posts and wires everywhere. There is a trend on YouTube for videos of walks along Walking Street by night and day, and the place looks OK, but, believe me, it looks much worse in reality. A visitor fresh from the glitz and glitter of Soi Cowboy would be so shocked he would probably jump on the next flight out.

I almost felt the same, but I have learned that gloss and glitz are no guarantee that the girls will be any good. Indeed, it seems to go by contraries. The equation goes something like this: run down bars = poverty, poverty = plenty of girls who are desperate for cash and who are more likely to give you the fabled GFE. The old timers (often US ex-military) say that the best time in Angeles was in the 80’s and 90’s when it was just a dirt road with a few tin-roofed shacks. Look on YouTube for “Angeles City Old Bar Pictures”. It’s a sad equation, but it’s a fact of life, and I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt for taking advantage of it. But, hey, we’ve all got sob stories (me included, as readers who follow my submissions will know), and I’m here to take a break from mine. Cheered by this thought, I went to Kokomo’s for a late lunch (fish and chips – very good!) and then back to the hotel to rest up for the evenings adventures.

Most bars open at 6, and I usually sally forth at about 7, but I got chatting online and it was about 7:30 when I went out, so things had time to get going. I turned into Walking Street and – wow! I’ve not seen it so busy since before Covid.

I had intended to start the evening at Crystal Palace, but, that option being denied me, I went to another old favourite, Lollipop – and it was another “wow”! The place was heaving, with only two seats empty. There were 22 girls on the stage (a waitress told me there are about 70 in total) wearing white bras and white thong panties. Most were average lookers, though there were a few stunners and also a few plumpers – not a bad line up, all told. I recognised an “old flame” amongst them, whom I call Miss Olongapo (as that’s where she’s from), but she didn’t seem to notice me and I pretended not to notice her as I had no wish to renew our acquaintance.

I studied the form for a while and eventually began to warm to a girl on the stage directly in font of me who was chatting to a big bald guy sat at the stage. She had a killer body – absolutely perfect (if you share my tastes). She was (like most Filipinas) of the proper Asian size (not the overblown, 0-gauge version that is becoming the norm in Thailand). Slim, with a perfectly flat stomach, but with curves in all the right places (subtle curves, we’re not talking Kim Kardashian here!). The way that white thong disappeared between those delicious butt cheeks was to die for! Her only flaw was some mild pock marking on her cheeks, probably the result of bad acne as a teenager. Above all, she had a lovely, warm smile, cutened by a wide Visayan nose and a slight gap between her two front teeth.

The guy who was chatting her up was no oil painting (few of us are!) but she was laughing and joking with him as though she was his girlfriend, and made no objection when he touched those delicious butt cheeks and fingered her bra. I was jealous – but I had a hunch he wouldn’t barfine her. So I decided to try another bar and come back later to see if she was still there. Before I left, I checked prices: My San Mig Light, 135 PHP, lady drink, 350 PHP, barfine (which is all-inclusive), 3,500 and 4,000 for the “best girls” (who decides?).

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Next was Brown Sugar. There were seven girls on the stage in yellow rah-rah dresses and short blouse tops (overdressed!). They were OK, but nothing stood out. My waitress did, though. She was easily the most beautiful girl in the bar. I invited her for a drink and we exchanged the usual introductory nothings, during which I found out that her name is Althea, she is 19 and from Pampagna. After a while, I complimented her on her beauty and added, “Why aren’t you up there?” nodding to the stage. She said because she was a virgin and wanted to stay that way. Now, there are virgins for sale in AC. They are called “cherry girls” (see my submission on the subject) and dance with the others. You can barfine them and take them barhopping and back to your hotel for a nude cuddle. If you want more, you will have to pay their fee, which is currently 150,000 PHP. But this girl is not a cherry girl as her virginity is not for sale. She is working as a waitress to pay her way through university. She told me that she is studying Philosophy, and that her main interest is Nihilism. I was gobsmacked! A waitress in a gogo bar who is into Nihilism! Her favourite author is Osamu Dazai – whom I have never heard of, but will look up. We also talked about Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche and Bernard Russell – so different to the usual gogo bar chat: “What’s your name? Where are you from? Will you give me a blow job?” after which there is not much more to say. It was sexier than a bubble butt in a tight T-back! So I asked her if I could barfine her and take her somewhere where we could talk properly over a good meal with a bottle of red wine, followed by a massage and a nude cuddle – an all-nighter of course! She agreed to that, but couldn’t stay all night tonight, so I said I’d come back tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it. She’s the most interesting girl I have ever met in a gogo bar (or anywhere else for that matter!).

I decided to try Champagne next (the sign now says “Champagne1” – they keep changing that last character). It was doing well, with the stage full of dancers and plenty of customers, though, as the dancers seemed to be a collection of plain Janes, I went straight out and across the road to Shooters. Shooters is “same same” Lollipop, though smaller. There is usually a good selection of lively girls who are up for a bit of hands-on fun. It’s an old-style gogo bar with a low ceiling, coloured lights and mirrors on the wall with the names of men who rang the bell. As soon as I walked through the curtain, I was spotted by another old flame, Joy, (whom I barfined twice last year). She asked if I wanted to barfine her, and I said, “Maybe later,” as I wanted to check out the Lollipop girl first. Variety is the spice of life, but if I failed to find my “Juliet for a night” (a quote from Arthur Symonds), at least I wouldn’t have to sleep alone.

I went to Lollipop to see if the killer body girl was still there, but she wasn’t on stage – but neither was Miss Olongapo, and they were in the same set. The suspense continued. Then I saw Miss O, and moments later saw that killer body on the other side of the stage. So I went round and invited her down. Her name is Aurora and she is 25. No children, hence the killer body. Slim waist, full breasts, height 4’11”. She was hands on straight away, massaging my hands and arms, and just as communicative with me as she was with the big, bald guy. She was good, but I wasn’t feeling any connection. Then she started to pull my fingers as part of the massage. I said, “Don’t do that. I’m careful about my hands because I play guitar.”

Her face lit up and she said, “So do I!” – and “click”, we connected! We talked for ages about guitars, ukuleles, bands, singing, karaoke (ouch!) and music generally. All the while, the massage was getting more and more intimate, including touching me there. I complemented her on her fine display of cleavage, but joked that her bra was padded. She pulled down her right bra cup, and gave me her nipple to suckle. A little later, she was dry humping in my lap while encouraging me to feel her breasts (through her bra – we didn’t want to get thrown out!). Looking down revealed the most perfect display of T-backed butt I have ever seen – easily as good as anything on MyCuteAsian – and sitting on me!

I asked her, if I barfined her, would she stay all night? Now, this is an important question in Angeles, as the barfine is the same whether she stays for 10 minutes or 10 hours. She said she couldn’t stay all night tonight, but would do so tomorrow night. I immediately thought of Althea, but I’m sorry to say that bubble butt and T-back trumps philosophy any day. After all, I’m here for the former, if I want the latter, I’ll sign up for a university summer school.

The waitress was sitting next to me on the other side and I got chatting to her as well, so it seemed only polite to buy her a lady drink. When Aurora went to the “CR”, the waitress, Lily, told me that she was a good girl with a good attitude (sounds like my type of girl!). She was not bad herself; attractive and with a lively personality. Aurora was soon back and the dry humping continued. At one point, Aurora moved onto my left thigh and Lily sat on my right, and they dry humped together – not West Virginia, but “almost heaven”.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. Aurora said she had a sister in the bar and would I buy her a drink? Of course I would. Her name is Dalisay and she is 18, new to the bar and very shy, but not too shy to take a turn in my lap a do a bit of dry humping. I was tempted to barfine them both, but the last time I barfined two sisters it went pear shaped. You can read about it here. No, I rather fancied Aurora on her own, especially as she seemed a one-girl orgy.

I am writing this over breakfast in Kokomo’s the morning after, and warning bells are ringing. The last “dry humper” I barfined turned out to be a starfish when I got her into bed. I’m also a bit chary of the “sister” thing as they didn’t look a bit alike, the younger girl having a broader face and a heavier body, including a spare tyre. She was also, at 5’2”, much taller. The “please buy my sister a drink” or “please barfine my sister,” are a well worn routines by which the girls help each other out. Nevertheless, I intend to give Aurora a try tonight. I’ll probably end up lying beside a starfish wishing I was stroking a nude 19-year old while having an existentialist conversation, but the chance to frolic with that killer body makes it worth the risk.

I had already brought two rounds of drinks for three girls, so when Aurora asked for Tequila shots, I decided it was time to call it a night. The bill was c. 2,500 PHP – not bad at all, considering all that body contact!

There was still plenty of time to find another girl for the night, so I tried Camelot. This bar is an old favourite that closed in about 2018 and has just reopened. My first surprise was that the deco (fake swords, suits of armour, etc.) was unchanged since my last visit in 2006. My second surprise was to see gogo girls in dresses. I knew at once what had happened – Korean takeover! And they’d not even bothered to update the décor. The girls weren’t up to much either, so I went straight out, reflecting that, as the Korean presence grows, the western presence dwindles, and with it, the quality of the experience for western visitors.

I looked into Champagne again, but saw nothing to tempt me to stay and decided to move on to Viking.

Viking must have been the vision of a European owner, probably Scandinavian, as the Viking theme is repeated everywhere you look. The outside seating area is shaped like a Viking longship and so is the stage. There are decorative wooden carvings on the door and inside the bar depicting Viking warriors. It is now Korean owned and I have to say, they are making a very good job of it (even though nobody I spoke to in there had the faintest idea what a Viking was!). There were three lines of girls on the stage. I counted 36, but it was hard to be sure because it was hard to see the back row, and they were dancing energetically – wearing dresses of course. Dresses and smoking are two of the hallmarks of a Korean bar. I asked the waitress why the Koreans preferred girls in dresses and she replied, “Modesty”. Well, if I want modesty, I’ll go to church. When I come to Angeles I want to see as much girl as the law allows (more on that later). She told me that the barfine was from 4,000 to 4,500, and a lady drink was 350. My San Mig Light was the priciest of the evening at 150.

Each dancer in Viking wears a large white card displaying a number and her name. Numbers are very much out in most bars in Thailand and the Philippines as they are considered demeaning, but they are really useful, especially in identifying a girl on a second visit, or asking after her if she is not there. Last time I was here the girls didn’t have numbers and I was trying to find a girl named Trixie. Nobody had heard of her when I asked for her by name (perhaps she used another name), but a number would have identified her straight away.

I quite liked #333, Rose, and asked a waitress to bring her to me. She was 22 and had worked in the bar for just four days. However, I found it hard to talk to her (partly because the music was too loud) and she made no physical contact. So I made an excuse as soon as I had finished my drink and got up to leave. However, I had noticed another girl, #202, Anne. She was even worse. Talk about social distancing! She sat at least 12 inches away from me and said hardly a word. I made several efforts to get through to her, but failed so badly that I did something I hardly ever do; left an unfinished drink to get away. Thinking about it later, I guessed it might have something to do with it being a Korean bar. I have heard that many girls in these bars prefer Koreans and won’t go with westerners.

That was my 8th San Mig and I was reeling. Also, it was after 12. So, either I went home alone, or I went to Shooters to barfine my old flame. Well, I didn’t come all this way to play the wallflower, so I went to Shooters. Joy was on stage with another 10 girls dressed in the polar opposite of the Korean bars – the minimum that the law allows. Nudity is illegal in Philippine bars, and the closest they can get to it is body paint over the breasts and a T-back. You can see this in a few other bars, most notably in the shows at Club Atlantis, but it seems sexier in Shooters because it’s a small bar and the customers are much closer to the girls. Prices are standard in Shooters: San Mig Light 135, lady drink 350, barfine 4,000).

Joy was pleased to see me, and after a quick drink, we were on our way to Kokomo’s for a meal. Then it was back to the hotel, and, by coincidence, the same room I had taken her to the last time I saw her. She agreed to let me take a few photographs in her stage apparel (or lack of it) as long as I didn’t photograph her face. Here she is:

I am making one of my Angeles books, An Artist in Angeles City, available as a free download from July 12, 2023, 12:00 AM PDT to July 16, 2023, 11:59 PM PDT. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please give it lots of stars and consider writing a review.

 

The author of this article can be contacted at : rumblejungle2019@gmail.com

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