THIS question concerns a macho dancer’s nightly allowance given by the opportunistic bar owner. “Budget” is the macho dancer bar parlance for the measly amount that a dancer receives for dancing all night and entertaining the guests or customers.
A macho dancer or stripper has no fixed salary. He depends on an unbelievably small budget augmented by commissions on drinks. The standard budget is 200 pesos, but a few obscure bars grant only between 75 pesos and 150 pesos. Some dancers receive 200 pesos while others get anywhere between 250 pesos and 400 pesos. Still others take home at least 500 pesos.
Certain factors sometimes affect a dancer’s budget. Absence from work may result in the forfeiture of one’s allowance, and the only way he “can possibly get it back” is by downing a certain number of drinks upon his return to work – that i, if he is lucky to be requested to spend time with a guest who likes him. A dancer who is late for work for at least one hour and a half, or for two hours in most male entertainment bars, stands to lose his allowance for the night, on which allowance several mouths may possibly depend.
He can still earn it back if he is fortunate to have a guest who is kind enough as to buy him some drinks. In addition to the budget, he gets to earn a cut per drink ordered for him by his guest.
However, a budget is not a fixed allowance. On nights when business is not brisk, some bars slash the budget by at least 25%, or even 50%, making life miserable for the exhausted dancers who dance all night still hoping to get a full allowance even when there are only a few guests. In extreme cases, a particular macho dancer bar in Barangay E. Rodriguez in Quezon City’s Cubao district will give only 50 pesos of the 150 pesos due the dancers.
The dancers can only sigh and grumble in silence as they know there is not much they can do with 50 pesos.