DO – Come prepared to have a good time.
DON’T – Think that the Philippines is nothing but a place full of bars and women that will have sex with you at the drop of a dime. The majority of females (including bargirls) in this country are extremely devout Roman Catholics, thus are extremely conservative. Approach the wrong one in the wrong way and you will either have your hands full, or feel like an extreme asshole.
DON’T – With the above in mind, absolutely DO NOT put down Catholicism. Filipino’s are extremely tolerant of many things, but you will lose A LOT of face to them if you insult God or the Catholic Church. I made the mistake ONE TIME of sharing my lack of belief in organized religion and it turned into a 3 hour-long debate with my ex’s uncle. Personally, I could have thought of more constructive things to do with my 3 hours.
DO – Use common sense when walking around. The Philippines is a relatively safe place, especially compared to the U.S. Let me put it to you like this though, would you go down an unfamiliar street in the dark if you were back home? Probably not, so why would you here? The majority of “problems” that you hear about involve a person being in a situation that could have been totally avoided. How many tourists or expats do you hear about being robbed on Fields Ave. or P. Burgos St? Virtually none compared to them take a little adventure that went astray……
DO – Leave the “freelancers” and “pick-up” girls on the streets alone, DO NOT pick them up. Yeah, maybe some could be looking to just get a little extra money, but think about it…if they are “working” for money, WHY aren’t they in a bar?! Underage? STD/VD? Bakla?! All of these could render some serious consequences for you, why try to save the tiny bit of money compared to getting a much safer girl. Be aware that Police in Makati will pickup underage girls and then transplant them on P.Burgos. As soon as she gets a customer, an undercover radio’s another guy that is waiting down the street and THEN YOU ARE FUCKED! I have seen it right before my eyes, trust me Police in Fields Ave in Angeles City have been known to plant underage girls and then bust into your hotel room, catching you “red-handed”. Both of these result in a lot of hassle, a lot of embrrassment and a lot of money.
DO – Always leave a tip for waiters/waitresses, ALWAYS. It absolutely kills me that some foreigners DO
NOT. The only time that I will fail to leave a tip is if the service is absolutely horrid. Think about this, that waitress that brought you food makes P200 ($4) a day!! Even your 20-peso tip will put a smile on her face and she will remember you, thus paving the way to better service in the future.
DON’T – Entertain a vendor unless you are really interested. BELIEVE ME ON THIS. you show the slightest sign of interest and you will be pestered for the rest of your trip. You acknowledge them with more then a “No” or a “no thank you” and they WILL follow you. you have been warned…
DO – If you have a favorite bar, tip the bartender. I do this regularly and my drinks come almost immediately, always in the bigger glasses and never lean on the alcohol. I walk in, they know me by name and my drink is on its way before my ass even touches the chair.
DO – Buy the mamasan a drink if she is being nice to you. I have quite a few here on Burgos that ALWAYS make sure I have exactly what I want and strike up a conversation with me (a REAL one). If the girls see the mamasan has respect for you and likes you (not like that, pervert!) they tend to be more relaxed because “mommy knows best” and you are obviously a “nice guy”. If you live here or are a regular here/plan to stay awhile, your reputation is EVERYTHING.
DON’T – Carry a conversation with a Filipino-male that is “extremely-nice” that you just met on the street. The majority of them want to sell you something, offer a “service”; basically it will revolve around them trying to get money from you. Just walk past them. This isn’t to say ALL are like that, but if you are reading this then you are obviously a newbie, so why take the chance??
DON’T – Think that your shit doesn’t stink. ALOT of us foreigners go to exchange our money into pesos and get a fat stack back. Some then feel that since they have all this money that they can do whatever the hell they want to. Again, your reputation is very important and asshole guys that act like they own the country get NO RESPECT from anyone. Sure, they will take your money and offer you service, but they also talk behind your back when they are away from you.
DO – If you barfine, tip. PERIOD. In Angeles City the girl gets 1/2 the barfine and guys feel inclined NOT to tip them. In Makati and Sabang Beach, the girl gets NONE or VERY LITTLE of the barfine and the tip is pretty much all that she gets. It seems to revolve mostly around European guys. Case in point: Sabang Beach. Many European’s go there and barfine. When the girl is done with her service they don’t tip, which obviously makes the girl rather upset. Now, because of you, some of the Sabang Beach mamasan’s are asking for the Barfine plus the Tip before you take the girl out.
DO – Tip appropriately. Tip too much and you are taken advantage of, tip too little and you are a cheap bastard. P500 in Angeles, P2000-P2500 in Makati, P2000 in EDSA and P1000 in Sabang. You CAN tip more and it’s always good to clarify with the girl before you take her just to make sure. Yes, it turns it into more of a “business deal”, however if you are starting to think money, then you do not like this girl enough to the point where the potentially extra P1000 doesn’t bother you..
DON’T – Listen to every foreigner that you meet. There is a decent amount of people out here that are flat out off their rocker. These days I prefer meeting and talking with Filipino’s in Makati more then a foreigner. Keep people at arms length until you get to see how they really are.
DO – Always be nice, always try to have a smile, and always keep a cool head. Remember that you are not in your country and the concept of “rapid service” flat out DOES NOT exist here. People move slower, lifestyle is slower. Don’t expect things to be the same here as they are in the States. I would refer you back to the tip hint above. Typically after I leave a tip, I will get a regular waitress that will serve me every time
DO – Go to the “Bar-lingo” area to learn a few words. It pays heavily, and the more you learn the language the better your experience will be. On top of that you can create many a good opening lines if you catch the girl talking in Tagalog to her friend saying that you are cute and you respond, “Thanks!” She will be surprised and giggle and it will pave the way to a good time. Be forewarned though, you go overboard with the Tagalog and they will try to talk to you exclusively in Tagalog. So when they ask, “Oh! You know to speak Tagalog”, you better make damn sure that you clarify that you know only a little!
DON’T – Be pressured to get a girl from the mamasan. It’s her job to introduce you to girls. Some guys like this, most DO NOT. Typically I will tell them that I am “window shopping” and they seem to appreciate this because it’s amusing and they know that you are at least looking. Try it, it works.
DO – Always clarify BEFORE you barfine that the girl IS NOT a cherry girl and that she doesn’t have her menstruation. If you find yourself in a bar and it seems that almost every girl there is a cherry girl (or claiming to be), then it should be a hint to you that it’s time to take your ball and go home (read: to another bar). It’s obvious that you are NOT well received here, so you might want to think about what you did wrong.
DON’T – Carry your passport or a large amount of money with you. It’s plain foolish. I know that technically you are required to carry your passport, JUST MAKE A COPY! Remember: you lose that and you are SCREWED. Also, take only the amount of money that you think you will need, leave the rest in the hotel, including your ATM Card. Remember: you lose any of these and your vacation is DONE! Some people are speculative of the hotel safe typically in the room. Personally I put my money in an random pocket in the clothes that I have packed.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
DO – Come prepared to have a good time.