Month: December 2013

On Ginoong Modelo Bar’s Unique Location

This photograph is the property of the Gonograd Resident

WHO doesn’t like Ginoong Modelo Entertainment Bar’s location?  It’s right on the route plied by jeepneys and accessible by taxis and tricycles.  There is a petrol station just across the street in case you are driving and you need to gas up.  Convenience stores are found in the vicinity, the closest being at the corner of Dimasalang Street and Amoranto Avenue, formerly called Retiro.  There is also the nearby La Loma district of Quezon City, which is home to numerous lechoneros and smaller eateries.  SM San Lazaro is a good five minutes by tricycle.

And in case, and just in case, you need to be taken to the emergency room, there is the nearby Chinese General Hospital on Blumentritt Road which forms a T-junction with Dimasalang Street on which the macho dancer bar is found.

And best of all, there is the North Cemetery in the neighborhood, which cemetery shares a border with the Chinese Cemetery which, in turn, shares a border with La Loma Cemetery.

Who knows an enterprising man will, one day, open a mortuary twenty meters away from the bar?

He Is One of A Kind

INDEED, he is different in numerous ways.

He likes to be comfortably seated in an area that’s neither too near the stage so he appears conspicuous nor too far for him to miss a good view of the stage activities.  Because he loves good entertainment, which is the reason for his presence in the bar, he always pays close attention to the shows management puts on.  Good entertainment comes first.  Tabling a dancer comes second.

This customer is biased against serious-looking entertainers but enjoys the company of dancers gifted with winning smiles.  Quite simply, he does not table strippers who do not grin no matter how gorgeous and attractive they are.  All-cast shows afford him the opportunity to spot guys worth “tabling”, if you will, as do the boys’ unguarded moments when he discovers their personalities.

He also knows which strippers don’t like to spend time with him and who, instead, wait for their regular guests who, they believe, give bigger tip money.

This patron doesn’t harass his table-mates and he tells them this in advance through a floor manager.  He doesn’t like to be petted either.  He just doesn’t like the idea of seeing an entertainer placing his arm around his guest’s shoulders or resting his arm on his lap.  He keeps a distance.  When sitting at a coffee table-type table, he and his stripper-mate are seen sitting opposite each other, an arrangement which does not work for most macho dancer bar customers who enjoy being locked in an intimate embrace with their table-mates.

He opts for fruit juices instead of alcoholic beverages, which choice causes eyebrows to raise.  On rare occasions, he asks for a chocolate drink which he alternates with instant coffee.

He doesn’t smoke but is comfortable with a smoking stripper.

This guest is generous with food orders for his tabled macho dancers, even granting the occasional food requests of waiters themselves.  You may not be aware of it, but there are waiters who sometimes ask for free food to be shared amongst themselves, especially at times when they have not supped yet and are starving.

Everyone loves him, preferring him to other customers for many different reasons and, by “everyone”, we mean the macho dancers.

If the latter are most comfortable with him, there are bar folks who hate him.  But “hate” is too strong a word.  Perhaps, “dislike” seems more appropriate.  These critics are the floor managers.  But it’s wrong to generalize them as his “haters”.  Their only issue with him is his refusal to leave tip money for the floor manager who handles the strippers he tables.   He has valid reasons, he claims, for not tipping a manager, who, in the first place, is not his dancer-table-mate.

He gives tip money when and where needed.  And he is damn generous or he can elect to be frugal in the wink of an eye.

He is popular with the macho dancers of his favorite strip bars yet he always maintains a low profile.  His presence in other establishments of similar nature, which places he seldom visits, intrigues the staff who starts becoming curious about him.

If and when he senses boredom has set in, he requests a skilled dancer to perform and both boredom and sleepiness begin to vanish.  For the dance show, he pays the performer and he pays him well – with no strings attached.

This guy can exit the scene unnoticed even by the manager assigned to handle his needs or his table-mate.

He shows up in a strip bar because he wants to have a good time, to watch, to be entertained, to meet people, to make friends with the strippers and waiters, and to observe.

One bar owner is awed by this customer’s idiosyncrasies while one bar manager calls him “the best customer” she has ever met.

He is one of a kind.

Remembering Pretty Boy Macho Dancer Bar

This photo is the property of the Gonograd Resident

The business name was attractive but at the same time deceiving.  The young entertainers were not pretty boys, only average looking but they were courteous and humble.  The location was kind of dangerous, which must have scared some potential customers who would not risk their precious lives for some erotic shows, as the macho dancer bar was housed in a building on a dimly-lit portion of Quezon City’s notorious Aurora Boulevard.  Pretty Boy Entertainment Bar was more famous with the lower-class crowd for its occasional live male-to-male sex shows, the same shows staged by those smaller similar bars found along Manila City’s Rizal Avenue.

Remembering Valentino/Mr. Valentino Macho Dancer Bar

This photo is the property of the Gonograd Resident

IT’S gone.  But memories of it still linger and are worth recalling.

Valentino was huge and spacious but the shows were not entertaining.  But despite this, Trog, always escorted by a good-looking, gym-fit straight friend for this purpose, would visit the place, after feeling bored in other macho dancer bars.  It was here that he discovered the presence of a pool of male guest relations officers whose job it was to simply keep the customers company.  His presence would always attract the attention and curiosity of the strippers and models who could not believe that Trog was a different kind who hated being intimate with his dancer-tablemate.  He was at Valentino or Mr. Valentino (or Valentine) to observe, to ask, to gather information in ways only he knew, to make friends with the entertainers, and to discover something or someone.

 

Remembering Prince Galaxy Macho Dancer Bar

This photo is the property of the Gonograd Resident

LESS popular than the more established and bigger rivals in the industry, the establishment was the favorite destination of many effeminate men and closeted homosexual and bisexual men who liked the unusual friendliness and straight-forward attitude of Prince Galaxy’s macho dancers.

Formerly known as Manila Boyz Club, Prince Galaxy Bar was housed on the second floor of a commercial-residential building at the corner of Ramon Magsaysay Avenue and Ampil Street in Manila’s Sta. Mesa district.  When asked about the floor location of the strip bar, young men loitering in the building entrance would say they did not know, which was ironic.  And the same persons would beg departing customers for some money for transportation fares or for coffee drinks upon seeing them, which was pure harassment!

If there was one thing Prince Galaxy Macho Dancer Bar was proud of, it was the fact that it was dubbed Metro Manila’s King of Strip Shows.  And it’s these notorious nude shows that must have caused its demise.  A popular television investigative show’s so-called expose “compelled” the local police to raid the establishment and the rest was history.  So whatever happened to the apprehended strippers caught baring their wares?  Raids are raids but hard-hitting, sinless, self-righteous moralists don’t and can’t offer sustainable alternative employment to these nocturnal entertainers whose limited education could not land them a much more decent job (is macho dancing not decent?).

Remembering Batong Buhay Macho Dancer Bar

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This photo is the property of the Gonograd Resident

TROG and Alexy visited this place four times and on those occasions, the former gathered information about the bar, the strippers, the type of customers, the drink costs, etc., undetected.  Only he could do it.  It’s true the bar was down-market but there was something he liked about Batong Buhay, which many did not share: the bar was simple and unassuming.  Also, the vicinity was well-lighted and safer.  It’s now part of the statistics but there are moments when you enjoy reminiscing those experiences at Batong Buhay, where there were different “batos” that were damn alive!

Note the graffito on the wall, the job vacancy and promotion notices, and the underwears hanging to dry in the upper left corner.

When The Unexpected Happens

HE was just starting on stage, dancing to the beat of a popular love song when a casually-dressed woman came in.  He did not notice her presence; at least for now.  She did not seem to mind the performer who was gyrating comfortably in his sexy denim shorts.  He seemed focused on his performance tonight, a Friday, which was the night before the big night.  It’s half past ten and the bar was well-nigh filled to capacity.

While some Filipino male strippers would not care to check on the people in the audience, this macho dancer-father of two had made it a point to review the faces of the folks watching him on stage.  He had every reason to do so: except his wife, no one else knew of his “actual” night job.  His children, all boys and under four, were too young to understand his nocturnal activities.  Now, he sensed he saw someone familiar in the crowd.  He thought she recognized him, too, or he could be mistaken.  He had to be sure.

He executed moves that made many gay customers applaud him, which deafening applause he reciprocated with a wide smile.  Moving towards one side of the platform, he thought he caught sight of one of his female neighbors in his village in Makati.  He tried to turn away but the urge to double check on her face made him move closer to the side to which the familiar face was spotted sitting close.  Positive.  It’s her!  For seconds, nervousness overwhelmed him.  Worry was now written all over his face, which, minutes earlier, was showing a huge grin.  But then he had to do something or, else, be recognized by his neighbor, who he now thought might photograph him with a camera phone.  But he could not allow this to happen.  What if she stood up, came up to him, and asked “Is that you, Rodel?” He needed to do something.  He quickly regained his composure.  He looked up at the in-house disk jockey, who was monitoring his activity, and with a gesture only they knew, he hurriedly left the stage.  And he was not even half-way through his performance.

“Ladies and gentlemen”, the DJ interrupted, “a warm of applause, please, for Aljon (the stripper’s bar name).”  The customers obliged, though a bit surprised by the rather unusually short dance show.

The macho dancer, who kind of bore a keen resemblance to local actor Wendell Ramos, conferred with the disk jockey on the second floor and later with the owner about his aborted show.  The owner understood.

As the disk jockey dimmed the lights for another stripper to mount his own show, our worried macho dancer slipped out of the bar unnoticed by the crowd.  He was heading home.

His early departure resulted in the forfeiture of tonight’s allowance.  He also gave up the possibility of making big money tonight.  But forget about all these things.  He knew the repercussions of what his neighbor might have done had she recognized him.