Month: January 2014

For The Sake of the Ratings

IF a particular news reader-cum-television host has a penchant for making an issue out of a macho dancer bar, you, as a patron, must begin to suspect that the latter must be a member of the purple corps, a painful truth he declines to accept, that he must have an abhorrence for the strippers, whom he has found tough to convince to make love to him, that he must have envied those hunky, gorgeous dancers who have the fortitude to work as such…which was, and is, his frustration in life…

There are people who project themselves as messiahs for these boys and men they have always claimed “were trafficked as prostitutes”, yet these same upright-walking apes offer no alternative employment to these nocturnal entertainers whose circumstances in life drove or compelled them into this kind of work.

These arrogant, self-righteous media people and the police condemn macho dancing and equate the latter with prostitution, but they have no gall to openly condemn the activities and atrocities of those Indio insurgents in the countryside because they are damn terrified to bother and touch them.  Besides, talking about insurgency does not up the ratings.  Helping, or shall I say telling?, the police to launch a crackdown after crackdown on macho dancer bars causes the ratings to skyrocket, which is, of course, best for the program.

Eighty-percent of the Philippine islanders are damn poor and will continue to remain poor, and what better way for numerous impoverished Indios to temporarily forget about hunger pangs and other problems than to watch news programs tackling social issues to which they can relate.  There is this thirst for something shallow and there are television programs that feed on this thirst.  Which is why the content of their reports always comes out as shallow.

But raiding a bar and making arrests do not solve the problem.  In fact, such actions only contribute to the arrested persons’ problems.  Little does the world know that the arresting officers extort money from the apprehended persons.  The police employ intimidation (we will ask for media people from this and that station), incarcerate them beyond the time stipulated by law, will cite provisions of a certain law relative to nude dancing, and will proudly announce there is a city ordinance banning lewd dancing, what not.  Oh, but they can’t recite from memory and read the arrested persons’ Miranda Rights, which they copied from their mother country, the US of A.  Worse, they probably don’t understand what “You have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law, that is, if you, the arrested person, opt to give up that right to remain silent.”  Oh, how pathetic they appear when they try to read them their Miranda Warning from a piece of paper!   That’s the consequence when you imitate another culture!

So macho dancing is a criminal offense while extortion is not illegal!  Amen!

If macho dancing is a crime, then owning a cache of firearms as a member of a secessionist group in a more impoverished part of Catholic Philippines must be an awesome thing to do.  This is because you see on television that the Catholic government simply lets them be.  Hmm, I might as well join this “state-licensed” armed organization as a foreign mercenary and, then, during fight lulls, I will visit strip bars.  I think I will like this idea.

And to the television moralists:  Can you feed the strippers and the people who depend on them?  You can’t even make a difference in the lives of those starving, illiterate mountain dwellers!

Provocative Macho Dancer Bar Business Name

THE most provocative and controversial macho dancer bar name I have ever seen was Male Bol’s Entertainment Bar on the second floor of a decrepit structure on Manila City’s Rizal Avenue.  The business name could be seen even from the passing LRT coaches.  Shows were more daring.  This down-market establishment was a strip bar in the real sense of the word.  Sadly, it eventually faded into history.

Of course, before this name was invented there was Male Dog Entertainment Bar on Oroquieta Street, also in Manila.

It would be interesting to see a male strip bar with a similar-sounding business name mushroom someday, somewhere in Quezon City, which is a more ideal place to run a business of such nature than neighboring Manila City.

On Foreign Customers As Walking ATMs

THEY look, think, and speak different and just because they are not the locals’ kind, they are to be treated disadvantageously.  But foreign customers are virtual walking automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the eyes of local macho dancer bar folks.  The ability of, say, a Caucasoid North American man to travel overseas reinforces the idea that all non-locals are wealthy or, at least, financially privileged and they are to be taken advantage of.  It’s absolutely wrong to assume that an Irish customer who walks into a Parañaque-based male strip bar is moneyed, by virtue of his racial background and his looks.  Overseas tourists planned their trips well and they saved money for such purposes, something most locals do not do.

There is this dangerous mentality amongst the locals that foreign guests must be treated like royalty, if only to get bigger tip money.  Unbeknownst to the strip bar folks this thinking only makes the foreign guests think of the locals as predators who are ready to pounce on their preys.  It also makes them reconsider their decision to make a return visit to the same place.  The narrow-mindedness and opportunistic attitude of these bar employees are advertising macho dancer bars as havens for desperate suckers for money.

It’s about time macho dancer bar folks start behaving professionally and broad-mindedly and shed whatever misconceptions they have about foreign guests.  But then it’s like asking for something that will never come.  The mentality seems deep-rooted and you can move heaven and earth but it still remains embedded.

Remembering Hotmen MDB

Hotmen on Standford Street in Cubao, Quezon City.

This photograph is the property of the Gonograd Resident

 THE Gonograd journal entry on Hotmen Macho Dancer Bar, a small strip bar at 41 Stanford Street, Quezon City, reads:

“It is in such small macho dancer bars as HotMen and Dreamboyz where macho dancers do not mind being fondled by guests, in sharp contrast to their Timog-based counterparts where strippers have the right to leave guests who sexually harass them in full view of other customers.  And one manager claims many people prefer going to Cubao-based male entertainment establishments to Timog area-based strip bars as they can spend more intimate time with the dancers.

“Indeed, Hotmen is small, simple and unpretentious… and is good enough for equally simple customers who know what they want.  The manager is accommodating, friendly, and a good conversationalist but comes off pushy, but not rude, when it comes to offering a private room.  The door folks, the service staff and the dancers are courteous and smile back when grinned at.  It is accessible and a convenience store, a popular mall, and small hotels are not too far. 

“It is easy to locate Hotmen if you open your eyes and keenly remember landmarks and street names.

 

Reminiscing About White Bird

This photograph is the property of the Gonograd Resident

THERE was no need for some lowdown from someone or some information from an online journal to help him.  The instant he saw the signage bearing the words “White Bird” he knew exactly what the nature of the business was and what went on inside the place.  He was a brave man driven by curiosity which led him to the establishment one August night not too long ago.  His first visit was followed by several visits all in the name of a personal project.

The journals he kept contained some funny stories and revealed that there, indeed, were people in the service industry who didn’t remember their customers’ faces.

On his second visit, the serious-looking doorman asked the irritating question: “First time n’yo po ba, sir? (Is this your first time, sir?)”

Staring straight into the poor guy’s face, the shocked but amused guest shot back: “First time and tomorrow night, it will also be my first time in here.”

Consider this conversation between a waiter and a dancer that was overheard in the restroom:

Waiter: Mukhang agent (He looks like an undercover agent), referring to Trog.

Dancer: Oo, nga.  Mestizo yung itsura.  Pogi, tol (Yes.  He looks mestizo.  He is handsome, bro.).

Occasionally, macho dancer bars hold so-called bikini competitions that are participated in by non-strippers.  Our “undercover agent” did not realize even bikini contest participants could be tabled until one particular night he showed up at White Bird.

“Pwede nyo rin po silang i-table, sir (You can also table them, sir),” suggested one waiter, referring to the contestants of a bikini contest.

Who would have thought that one particular executive at a male strip bar went by what could be the weirdest pseudonym anyone could ever have?

A transvestite bar executive, who looked tall by Philippine standards, announced to a newly arrived customer:  “Just call me “Rosanna Anaconda.”

It won’t be a good idea to mess up with this floor manager who “sounds” like a huge, powerful constrictor.  No pun intended.

In common with floor managers in other macho dancer bars, the same “Anaconda” had to do something to generate additional revenue for the business when she saw a lone figure at a corner table.

“You look lonely.  Why don’t you get a dancer to join you?” the manager suggested, thinking the gym-fit man sitting at a corner table needed some company.  Little did she know the guy was busy inputting information into his mobile device unnoticed by the people around him.

At past midnight, though, the  guy finally got a stripper to keep him company and he chose him from among the dancers in the holding area or aquarium without the assistance of any of the managers.

One online site boasted that White Bird was Metro Manila’s best macho dancer bar but our agent begged to disagree.  There is a tiny strip bar somewhere in bustling Quezon City that can put on far more entertaining shows and has far more skilled dancers.  But Puting Ibon, as some refer to Parañaque’s only macho dancer bar, seems far more familiar than an obscure rival somewhere in Manila.

What’s interesting about White Bird is the fact that it’s patronized by many East Asian female tourists (including men who look as straight as arrows) who simply want to unwind and have fun.

The MD Is Now a Callboy

HIS heyday is over and he came to a point when he was dead broke.  Turning to his friends and former work-mates was unthinkable as they too were hard-up.  Robbing someone or a store was out of the question since he is a church-going Roman Catholic who believes in karma.

He recognizes he has no employable skills.  He completed only a semester of college work, which could not even land him a decent job.  All he has are his good looks, because he knows how to take care of his health, and his still nice body, courtesy of weekly fitness training.

All he could think of was sell his body just so he could make ends meet.  And that’s exactly what he has been doing since leaving the macho dancer bar industry.

There’s nothing wrong with being a prostitute so long as you are responsible and professional.  Stealing or duping others all in the name of money is what’s bad and unethical.  You just have to make sure you don’t get into trouble or you are dead.  Speaking of dead, he will die a painful death, and die he shall, if he contracts HIV.

Fortunately for him, he has remained single at 33 and has not sired any children.  He continues to live alone in his small rented room somewhere in Cainta, Rizal.  His two siblings are employed while their widowed mother runs her own sari-sari store.

He won’t and can’t stay long in this kind of work.  With his savings, if he has any, he can certainly start a small lucrative business.  All it takes is the will to do it.  Of course, he has to put passion into it for it to become even more successful.  He also must not let shyness get in the way.

Let’s hope for the best for this guy.

Look-Alikes of Local Movie Stars

IT’S fascinating to meet and even to talk to look-alikes of local actors and other showbiz personalities in an unlikely place called a macho dancer bar.

You try to figure out how this has happened but the thought only makes you smile.  Hey, it’s possible to have look-alikes.  You imagine what it feels to be adored for simply resembling a certain actor, but even a particular macho dancer-look-alike of a local showbiz star is not flattered!  Fact is he is ashamed of the attention he is getting.  Is that so?  You think it kind of boosts his ego but it does not.  But you know there are strippers you assume enjoy the attention they are getting for being look-alikes of some stars.

You are awestruck at seeing them from a distance, which is when they bear even more striking resemblances to certain personalities.   The idea of having them up close tempts you and, when you finally do find yourself sitting next to them, you realize they look rather different from when you see them from a far.  You discover things you wished you had not seen at all.  But then that’s the painful truth.

Seeking an audience or wishing for a dinner-date with a particular star is unthinkable so having his look-alike on a particular night is like spending time with the real one.  At least, it’s almost a reality.

Every now and then, names like Jolo, Jordan, Alfred, Stanley, King, Cesar, and Justine still ring a bell.  These strippers did look a lot like some particular local actors.  Jolo was diminutive just like Jolo Revilla and was almost a lot like him.  Jordan, in some ways, looked like Jordan Herrera and was famous for his winning smile.  Alfred was always mistaken for actor-turned-politician Alfred Vargas.  Boyish-faced Stanley bore a striking resemblance to actor Niño Mulach and was adored by a few financially privileged customers despite his pimple problem.  Floor managers in his work place all agreed Cesar closely resembled Coco Martin.  Justine could pass for Wendell Ramos.  What about King?  Well, King was often mistaken for a particular East Asian pop star and he kind of enjoyed that recognition.  There was even this tall, thirty something stripper with Caucasoid features and his colleagues always referred to him as “Tom Cruise”, because, according to them, he looked like that famous Hollywood actor.  And there was this floor manager who was almost an exact replica of show business personality Boy Abunda.  It’s worth reminiscing about those times you were once with them.  Perhaps, on your next visit to a macho dancer bar, you might bump into a look-alike of Christian Bautista.