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Manila: Filipino Nightclubs in Cubao
(November 2003)

Last month I ventured out to some Filipino nightclubs in Manila. They are located in Cubao, a part of Quezon City, a few miles north from Megamall on EDSA, Manila's main north/south city highway. A taxiride from Makati is about 100 piso, and 130 piso from Pasay. They are located around EDSA corner Aurora close to the Arneta shopping mall and the new farmer's mall. Something like 20 joints, more or less within walking distance. The area is not the safest, but I had no problems at all. Keep a low profile and you should be ok. Just show some self-confidence and you will not be bothered by others than a kid begging for a 5-piso-coin - hell it is much cheaper than Pasay, where the minimum beg of street kids is 100 piso!
These clubs are frequented by locals, only. Mostly low class, like taxi drivers, merchants, bfs of the girls, etc. You don't see managers or well dressed people here. Seldomly you will find foreigners there, mostly Asians. On the streets they sell porno video CDs for 30 piso a piece, mostly bad copies of American films but also some original Filipino stuff.
Opening times: 8 pm to 4 am. Busy on Friday and Saturday. Other days not so.

Layout of clubs

The clubs all have the same setup. They are called discos but look like Nightclubs with Neonlights.
You enter the club after a security inspection to make sure you bring no arms and cameras inside. They check the type of cellphone you bring to make sure it has no camera!
Inside there is a stage surrounded by groups of normal tables with 4 chairs each.
Once you sit down you will be accompanied by a mamasan who will feel out if you know the place. There is only one dancer on stage at one time. Probably for 2 or 3 songs. As this draws more attention to them they are dancing and moving much more then in groups like in Angeles City or Passay bars that are aimed towards tourists. They get undressed all the way, afterwards they are available to sit with you. If you want to see the other girls, tell the mamasan and she will lead you to the dressing room, where you can see the other girls and have a chat with them. Some clubs have a fishbowl setup. Tell the mamasan you dont like the fishbowl, but would like to go inside to have a chat, and she will lead you inside. Barfines/takeouts are not available, but I am sure special arrangements can be made ..... we are in the Philippines, everything is possible for money or without money if you are tricky.

Expenses

Some clubs have an entrance fee of 50 piso, the rest are free. The initial minimum consumption is 155 or 165 piso plus 10% tax. For this you get 2 local drinks and a sealed refreshment towel.
Watch the dancing and invite a girl to your table. A ladydrink runs 165 piso and will last from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the attitude/mood of the attendand. You can touch and feel the girls. if you like a girl you can take her to a private VIP room. The cost for 90 mins in a VIP rooms is between 1600 and 1750 piso, that includes the ladydrinks during this time. The girls are expected to receive a tip of 500 piso for blowjob only and 1000 piso for full service. If you have multiple sessions during this time the tip would go up to 1200 or 1500, but 1000 should do it as well if you are on a low budget. You pay for the time and the girl, not for the event. Some clubs offer standard rooms beside the VIP rooms. 850 piso for 45 mins. However, they are most likely not to tell you about the cheaper alternative, because they think as a foreigner you will spend more money anyhow. Make a joke that you don't have to much time because your wife expects you back home soon, and the lower prices will be quoted. Some clubs have VIP rooms only.
The rooms are small with a couch, quite sleezy as the rest of the interieur and I am sure not to clean if lights would be turned on.
Besides the VIP-rooms you can come to an agreement with the girls to make a liveshow with them on the stage. You give her a tip of 500 piso and you will go with her on the stage where she will give you a blowjob infront of other guests or even more .... I saw a Filipino doing that with 2 girls. However he was drunk so the action was not arousing him as one could expect, but it was naughty, no question! Once I saw another guy getting a blowjob right at his seat. All other gusts stood up to surround him and watch the action.

Quality of Girls

Some of the Clubs I visited, had much nicer girls than you could expect from places like this. Ages from 18 to 25. U hardly see petite girls there. Most are tall and have decent sized breasts. As most Filipinas, they tend to be a bit overweight, but I never saw real ugly, copmpletely overweighted gals with bad teeth like you see them in some bars of Angeles City, also most of them have no children (stretchmarks). To much makeup ... a lot of white stuff to make their face look like a pancake, but the light is dimmed, so it is not as obviously.
The attitude of the girls is more professional. They don't joke around and are not shy. The rules of the trade are very well known and the term "blowjob" is a standard.
Although they have condoms available, I am sure most of the action is bareback. Bring your own equipment is the best bet. Asian comdoms seem to be fairly small and extremelyx thick. It is up to you to request a condom - I would advice for the use of it for sex, certainly.
Most of the girls said, that they go to the VIP rooms 1 to 3 times a week. Most of the Filipino males come in small groups of 2 to 6 guys. They drink and watch only. They don't have the money for ladydrinks and VIP action, many look drunk. Looking at the merchandise seems to hype enough for most of them. The attendance is very quiet. No loud joking or talking. I would advice to keep a low profile and go there in small groups only. IMHO it is certainly not appropriate for these places to have a party like in AC. The volume of the music is ok, so it is possible to carry on a conversation without screaming.
The mamasans were always eager to present their girls. The girls proposed were usually the top lookers. Can't quote on their services, as I did not try them. Maybe next time. I know many tourist bars in the PI and Thailand where the mamasans will typically introduce you to the dogs first, that nobody barfines anyway. The clubs in Cubao are very friendly and honest about their services. Thumbs up for that!
Names of clubs
The names of the most popular clubs are: Bartolina 2 (my recommendation), Hawaii Five 02, Bartolina 1, Havard Disco, Takusa 3000, Alibangbang, Flamingo, etc. The clubs in the sidestreet where Bartolina 1 is located are very seedy with ladyboys .... watch that Adams apple. Unfortunately most clubs are very little known among taxi drivers and most taxis guys speak very little English. Looks like the joints are mostly frequented by locals from Cubao or QC. Just tell them to go to New Farmer's or Araneta Mall.

My evaluation
Ok, typically you would spend something like 500 piso on drinks, up to 1750 piso on the room, and 1000 piso for the tip. Alltogether around 3000 to 4000 piso for up to 2 hours of entertainment and drinks (about 50 to 80 US$ or Euro). Satisfaction ist mostly guaranteed - multiple if wanted (but you have to make this clear to the girl before you go to the room as they tend to think 1 time is all you need)! It is a discrete alternative if you seek fun outside of a relationship with your girlfriend or if you don't like to take the girl to your room or an overpriced shorttime place. The sex is of good quality. You get what you pay for! Unlike in Angeles where you have to find out later .... but it is certainly less romantic.
The trade seems to be organized very well. The girls live in quarters provided by the barowners and have to work at a certain shedule unlike in AC or Manila's tourist bars where the girls can come and go whenever they want. A bit of caution is advised for meetings with girls outside of the bars. I had no problems in aquiring phone numbers of the girls, but I did not meet any of them yet.
The dancers have licenses and superficial healthchecks like in AC are required. They go to a smear to check for the clap once a week or biweekly, I received contrary statements about the frequency of the testing. No blood tests are conducted .... so you can get most of the STD except for the clap .... up to you to evaluate the risk.
The girls are professional and don't look for a future foreign husband or boyfriend. At least this is my imagination. I am sure they don't make much more than the girls in other bars so they will be open for proposals if you wish to see them outside of the bar on a long term basis.

Caution
IMHO the following would be advisable: If you go to these places, keep a low profile. Keep your valuables safe, don't show off and don't pretend to be a big shot. The staff and guests are very friendly towards foreigners, so play this to your advantage! As a foreigner you are like an Albino in a zoo, you can use it for your benefit or ruin it. To get more current info on the clubs, go to http://manilatonight.com. Plenty of up to date reports from Filipinos about the trade .... basic Tagalog knowledge is neccesary.
I would strongly suggest you don't go there to party with your friends and get drunk without control. I am sure such behavior would be inappropriate and offend guests and staff as well as it would provoke disagreements .... just my 2 cents worth .,... By the way; ladydrinks are non-alcoholic so the chicks don't fall asleep while entertaining. However, I am sure a good number of them is using other drugs.
They are sort of clipjoints, but it is up to you to control it. Show selfconfidence and they will leave u alone. If you get pushed for drinks, just be polite and refuse and tell them that you will notify them of your demand asap should it arise.
If you go to the room, show the waiter your clock or your cellphone. Tell him that you want 90 mins to be no less without being disturbed and give him 50 piso tip. If you don't do this, chances are he will knock on your door and ask if you need more drinks, if you want to extend or simply tell you after 50 mins that the 90 mins are over .....

Besides the sensation of this being new to me and the positive experiences I have made the following negative experiences
Lanai Club

Although they have some nice girls and cheap prices, 1450 for 2 hours of VIP and 725 for 1 hour, this place is a clip joint. They hassle you for drinks, the floor attendands just bring you girls that you did not request and the waiter puts drinks on your table you never ordered. When I refused to sign the slips they looked at me like they wanted to kill me.
I went to a VIP room for 1 hour with an 18 year old girl, Baila. Very good shape, smooth skin, very maganda. After we started some heavy foreplay, loud knocking at the door, that would not stop. I thought, shitt a police raid or a fire. But nothing. The waiter said, we had to turn out the light inside the room as the small blackened window was see thru kaunti lang. I refused and he transfered us to another room without window. But before we could continue the waiter would bring another ladydrink for 725 piso for an additional hour even if we were just 15 mins into the first hour and the initial ladydrink was still untouched. I had to get a bit unaccommodating to get rid of him. I was upset.
Finally everything was settled and I was alone with Baila again. She did not like to bj. She sucked 2 or 3 times and pretended to throw up. However she just turned away and spit a bit in a dark corner. It just looks different if you throw up .... But ok, so we just had sex in various positions. It was not so bad. I was lucky to bring my own condoms as there were no rubbers available, neither in the room nor from the girl. There were also no towels available and only 2 small napkins. Baila was always asking ... are you finished now? ... Me: maybe later .... and after I was finished I continued doing her for some more time as a little punishment ... she deserved it.
When I finally pulled out my tool, there was blood on the condom. "Why do you work when you have menstruation?" She: "I don't have mentruation!" I showed her the blood, she just raised her shoulders as if she never saw blood before. Ha, I was very happy that I brought my own condom and used it.
By that time it was about 45 mins of room usage and again heavy knocking on the door. The waiter: "Sorry Sir, time is over, you want to extend another hour? I expressed my dislike about his behaviour and showed him the stop watch on my cellpone that I started when I entered the VIP room. He apologized and went off, but I am sure this disgraceful behaviour is systematic in this establishment.
I tipped the girl 1000 piso. I am sure I overpayed since she did not bj and I used 45 mins of 60 payed only. To my suprise she held out the 1000 piso demanding more: "Is this all?"
Flirt Disco on Aurora opposite the street of Bartolina 1
Initial consumables are 100 piso for 3 beers. One of the bottles is fresh, the 2 other beers were recycled or watered. As I am a white foreigner and this was the first and only beer I was drinking but shortly afterwards I felt like I had drunk 10 or 15 beers, I suppose they put something into my beer. When I asked for the check nobody came to bring me the bill .... maybe they were just waiting to see me fall asleep. I just put the money on the table and left. Shortly afterwards I went to the store on the other side of the street and drank about 2 liters of mineral water. I still felt dizzy and drunk after this one beer. People in the store asked me if I was drunk .... I took a taxi back to Makati and fell asleep right away to wake up the next day late afternoon.
During the 20 mins that I spend in there, not even 1 girl was dancing. Very strange place.

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Makati Bars offer inhouse BJ .... and a lot of SCAM

Whenever I went to the clubs of Makati's Burgos street in the past, I only ventured out there as a barhopper with no carnal intention. The reputation of the clubs as being clip joints is well known and my first imagination verified this instantly.
Last Sunday I wanted to see a girl in Jools, that only works there for 2 weeks and is a real find. She does not have that negative bargirl behaviour and maybe a potential girlfriend. However, she was absent because of her mens. It was about 2 am and I was probably one of the last customers in the clubs. I said, ok one more club to see and I go home. I entered Montana. I was the only customer and was instantly surrounded by ten girls offering several services from servicing drinks, giving massage, sitting beside me or simply begging, begging and begging more for whatever tip they could possibly get. I instantly sent them off, but 2 remained. As they put no pressure on me, I let them sit and chat with me. After denying them ladies drinks, one of them proposed, to go into one of the small booths with a curtain. You can still look inside, but it is quite dark. She would give me a blowjob there. Aha .... 5 ladies drinks for 1500 pesos only. I kindly refused. Then her friend said, ok you buy each of us 2 ladies drinks and we both give you a blowjob and enjoy semi-privacy in the booth for 1 hour. 1200 pesos for blowjob with 2 girls, 69, kissing, etc. Not bad for a Makati Nightclub. We went to the booth and the waitress brought 2 ladies drinks instead of 4. After I signed the slip (in Makati you have to sign a paper with the amount of drinks and prices) one of the girls complained to the waitress, that it should be 4 ladydrinks alltogether. The waitress took off, brought another 2 ladydrinks, I signed a new slip for 4 drinks after the waitress assured me, she would destroy the first slip.
Ok. we proceeded to the deed. One girl was really good at her job, the other just tried to finish me off as soon as possible, so I kicked her out. Unfortunately she always came back and ruined my mood completely. After some harsh words she ceased to interfere. The first girl was really good, we changed to 69 and she wanted to have sex as well. Asked for a condom and we were about to start a session when the second girl interfered again by stating this would cost 2500 piso tip extra. HA, I laughed out loud! OK lang - no problem for me, bj only is much more work for you and cheaper for me .... The 2 girls started argueing as the first girl wanted to fuck because she was horny, but the other reminded her of some club policy or whatever. OK. Blowjob only. By this time the girl had to start all over again, because my errection was history. After quite a good time of a real good bbbj, I exploded. She did not swallow as previously agreed, but pulled out and my shirt was a big mess. Politely, I was upset, but as it was my last stop on the way home, I did not object.
OK. I wanted to pay. Suddenly it was 6 instead of 4 ladydrinks. They did not destroy the mistakenly issued slip, but added it to the bill. As I signed it, I guess I could not argue with police or a court afterwards, so I told them, I would accept (after long arguments), but the waitress who caused this dilemma would get no tip and they would get bad reviews. Silence - obviously, they thought I was just kidding or making a joke. When I payed with 4 x 500 piso bills, they asked me, if I would like to pay with my VISA card, because they had no change available (60 piso) . HA - I am sure this was the next SCAM. Of course she brought the change after awhile. When I was about to leave, the 2 girls asked me for 1500 piso tip each. HAHAHA ..... if I would not pay, they would write bad about me in the internet. Ok lang, write whatever you like. No tip and no more visit in Montana, that is for sure.
Another observation from P. Burgos Street is the increasing number of cherry girls. Almost every second decent looking gal is a cherry. Still a lot of dogs working in the clubs that are no cherries though.
My resume: P. Burgos bars are clip joints. They will try to cheat you the same way like in many other countries. It is still dirt cheap in comparison to countries like Switzerland, Italy, USA, etc. For merely 40 $ I got a great bbbj, had 2 drinks for myself and 2 ladies. However, the bad taste of being victim of a scam IS a very negative experience that is the same no matter how much money you lost. It just bugs!
Another word of caution about the girls in Burgos is the abuse of drugs. Inside the clubs you might not be aware of it, but once you meet several girls outside of the club, you will realize that a high number of them are drug addicts. Be carefull, fake documents and dubios health checks are common in Makati as in other places! The upscale look is only a fasade. If you just barhop cautiously and make arrangements with the girls outside of the clubs you will avoid the scams by the bars. I think the only scamfree club on Burgos is Jools, almost - they try to make you sign for watching a short dance show for 300 piso as I remember right from previous visits. Just tell them you are going to leave before the show starts and you save some cash. However, the show is pretty nice, so you might enjoy it for the surcharge. Other than that they seem to be more honest than other clubs - but they are more expensive ....

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Massage Parlors in Chinatown

I visited 2 health clubs in Binondo (Chinatown). Unlike the rest of Manila north of the river, it is quite safe to walk around alone at night around the location of the clubs. As far as I understand there are 3 massage parlours in this area around Paza La Cruz and Desmarinas Street. It is about 100 Piso taxi fare from either Makati or EDSA/Passay.
Barcelona
on Desmarinas Street opposite of Metrobank, inside Fumura Karaoke on 2nd Floor. open: 2 pm to 1 am.
This place was very busy on a monday night. All 28 rooms were occupied. They have girls in 2 fishbowls. The Mabuhay class costs 1100 Piso for 75 mins, the Economy class 560 piso for 60 mins. This price includes an oil massage in a hotelstyle room with shower and toilet ensuite. For an extra of 1000 piso you will get BJ and Sex in various positions after the massage.
Alltogether there are about 50 to 60 girls on duty. Average looks. Many of them a bit overweight and a lot of that white makeup in their face that they believe makes them look so great. The girls have either numbers or letters attached to the dresses. Number means it is a girl that works there for 2 or 3 months or longer and letters are for newbies.
The rooms are clean and ok, but worn out, beds are to soft for a massage. The experience with my girl from the economy window was acceptable. The massage was ok, you could feel that she did not learn it properly. The BBBJ was ok, the sex was rather unemotional and no kissing.
Top Royal
on T. Mapua corner Dngpin, about 500 meters east of Barcelona. Inside Bellagio Hotel. Same owners as Barcelona.
This MP has a selection of about 30 girls. Average looks. Less customers than in Barcelona. Regular price for 75 mins is 1600 piso, but they run a 30% discount promo, so it comes down to 1120. rooms are a bit nicer than Barcelona (the daily hotel rate is 800 piso, maybe 1+ or 2 stars). The girl I picked, gave a real good massage, but when it came to the extras she was not willing to perform a bbbj. typical Filipina habit, she would just say no, look away and dont talk to you anymore. After awhile I said, she could try to give me a covered bj is she liked, but it would be most unlikely to get me aroused if she behaved so childish. She refused to try that, so I went out and saved the 1000 piso tip. Quite a disappointment.
Merchant
That is the third MP in this area. I did not try myself, but it usually gets similar reviews on the manila discussions as the 2 previously visited MPs.
The MPs in Manila are a new experience for me. A nice change from the gogo clubs that get really boring after awhile. You get a nice massage and quick sex, then you leave. However, both - the massage and the sex - are of mediocre quality - as far as I can see so far. It does not compare to the services in Thailand. When I go into a MP in Thailand I am aroused most of the time during the massage and it is a floating experience between relaxation and sensual sensation. The Thai ladies are more sophisticated and better educated in their job. Once in awhile they accidentaly touch you at a sensitive spot and you are reminded about the erotic nature of the event. In Manila, the massage was ok, but neither on a high skilled level nor a sensually dominated event. It was: massage, suck and fuck, go home. Just to remind you on what to expect IMHO.
If you plan to come to Manila for this it is worth to read the following messageboard: http://manilatonight.com

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