To the Philippines and beyond…..

(For a detailed account of what Angeles City is like… these old postings are spot on)

At last – made a trip to the Philippines after lots of whining from GM and Bubba…..

GM is a big noise at some Casino in Manilla.   For years he keeps saying I should pop over there for a weekend.  Thing is,  he seems to come to Bangkok most weekends, so there was little point?

After a lot of planning (abusive whatsapping) we came up with a plan.  Just so happens that GM was in Bangkok (again) so we both flew to Manila together.

The flight with Flip-Air was about 3000.    I usually fly with Emirates (work) and am fortunate enough to be able to use the Fast-Track route – and not have to queue with ‘other’ people.

However, I am no snob (really… I am not) – so was happy enough to queue with the peasants at immigration.    Is it me, or has anyone else noticed the Asians (Chinese this time) are rude little bastards when it comes to queuing?   As I moved forward one place, the person behind me didn’t fill the gap immediately – resulting in a little Chinese girl abandoning her queue and slot in behind me!  Amazing.  If I were the one behind, I’d have picked her up and thrown her across the hall to the back of the queue.  And I could have done it.  What gets me is… she was parallel to the queue she jumped into.  She probably only saved herself 30 seconds?  Odd.

When walking up the gangway onto the plane – again, we were over taken by some other Asians (Flips) who seemed to have a semi-sprint on to get to the plane.  I don’t get it.  It’s not like we were walking slow.  They just walked around us as we reached the plane door and had to queue.

It’s odd behaviour.  I would have loved to kick off.. call them all a bunch of idiots and even give a few (a lot) a slap.  But this wasn’t my Country.   Not my rules.   Instead, all GM and I could do is shake our heads and laugh at them.  Flips English is good – so I was hoping to offend one at least – so they would engage in an argument where I could at least beat them up verbally.  Nadda.

Nothing of interest about the fight or airport.  Usual.    Outside into a taxi pretty quick.  Same as Bangkok, it’s hit or miss getting a cab where the aircon works.   There was a little trickle of air but I am unsure if it was aircon or the driver farting.

Luckily the 1st hotel I was staying in is about 10mins from the airport.  The Golden Phoenix.  Sounds grand.  It isn’t.

The staff seemed uninterested – handed me a key-card and let me figure out for myself that I had to take the escalators to the second floor – then walk along a corridor to find the elevators.  Thanks.

The room was…. Well…   crap.   It was like a sauna when I opened the door.   Old room – quite long and a tiny little aircon in the corner.

It was only one night.. how bad can it be?

Quick freshen up – water stuffed in the fridge, aircon on to cool the room down and out I headed to meet GM before heading to Meklati – where all the action is.

Who needs aircon?

Action he says.    For some reason I was expecting something quite grand.  Something like Walking Street or Soi Cowboy.  The only connection I could make with Soi Cowboy – was that Meklati was like the Wild West.   Sleazy, dirty and grubby.

We trawled a few bars – meeting up with Bubba and Bruce (Aussie).  Bubba & Bruce live/work in Manila.

The 1st few bars we visited were pretty nondescript.   I was shocked that all the girls are mainly ‘plump’ and in need of a good orthodontist.  My only experience of Flip women – is the flips in Dubai.  The service staff, girls in the office, airport, restaurants etc.. all of whom seem rather pleasant.  I was expecting the Philippines to be filled with much of the same.  I was wrong.

It was apparent to me that if you are good looking, well presented and in shape – then you leave Manila.

The last bar we went to was a significant improvement.  Bruce and Bubba seem to be well known there and were getting all the attention.  It reminded me of me.. back in the day when I’d visit Pretty Lady with a fist full of dollars.   Times change….

I was the newbie here. Didn’t know the rules (although whoring is universal, I wasn’t there for that).

A few girls spoke with me – I was polite of course.  Drinks are very cheap so we bought some.  Then we were asked for more as the girls slammed each drink. Then they asked if we could buy the Mamasan, Pappasun and Daniel-sun a drink.. and then the waiter… and the door staff… the beggar on the street etc…  hmm.. sounds familiar?

We couldn’t get smashed – as we were heading to Angeles City the next day.

Time to call it a night.   Can’t say I was impressed.   But, it’s my 1st time there so I am not going to pass judgement so quickly.

Back to the sauna at a respectable time.   I slept under the aircon. It was still hot.

Couldn’t wait to check out the next morning.  After a long trek I managed to find the Reception.

Now, I travel a fair bit and have stayed in many hotels.  Many.  Many good and many bad.  After a while you get a feeling of what level of service to expect.    For example,  on check out I am used to the Receptionist to ask if my stay was o.k.  Do I need a receipt.  Would I like a taxi etc….

Not this place. Nope.  Nothing.  Apart from asking me for my credit card – there was no interaction whatsoever.  That’s the last time I’ll stay there.    When Agoda e-mails me asking if I’d recommend the phoenix hotel to a friend.. they’ll be getting a big fat NO.

Angeles City was the destination.   I’d say AC was the Pattaya of the Philippines

Well done to Bruce for sorting a minivan and not a shitty taxi..

The hotel (ABC) was a blast.   Everything you could ask for.    That is, if everything you asked for has an adult theme.

The receptionist was a pleasant and friendly girl.   Forget nettle juice and a cold towel, they gave us a welcome Tequila shot!

Hats off to GM – he took the Tequila (with me) – Bubba and Bruce declined.  I had no choice.. I am the artist formally known as Daywalker.  I had a reputation to protect.

I had chosen the best room they had available.  It had it’s own dancing pole, hot tub, sound system and a selection of litre bottles of booze.

The Suite…

We had planned to meet at the roof bar of the hotel in a few hours – to cash in on our free drink vouchers.

bring your kids….

The bar is very ‘adultish’.  There was some girl gyrating on a guy who was on a sunbed.   How rude.

After a few cocktails of pure sugar and a feed – off we headed into the night.

There is nothing I can really say, that hasn’t already been said.   The bars were average and the girls were below average.  What was fantastic though, was the price of drinks!   As the booze was so cheap, after a while we didn’t care about the place being a crap-hole.

Maybe I am being a bit hard on Angeles City, but I don’t like the amount of street beggars (kids), I don’t like the copious amounts of street vendors trying to sell me fake crap and I really didn’t like the amount of males trying to beckon me into a bar.

We hit many bars – none of which sticks in my mind.  The last bar we ended up at seemed to be the most popular.  Atlantis.   They had a group of pole dancers, coyote dancers, break dancers and ugly dancers.   Something for everyone.

I tipped the pole dancers as they actually put on a show worthy of Philippines Got Talent.  I noticed that no other customer offered any tips to any of the show-girls.  I guess they were saving their money for their next Hyundai.

Anyway, when I offered them a tip – they were all extremely appreciative and all left the stage and joined GM and myself for a drink.  They were a good friendly bunch.   I assume they were all P4P – but that wasn’t discussed.  I was genuinely impressed with their pole dancing abilities!

GM and I drank well into the night – making us drunk and hungry.  Time to hit the road via a food house.  I can’t be sure – but I think I may have thrown up?  Time for food.

Joliebee!  Is a popular (I assume that because they’re everywhere) chicken place.  Off we stopped for a bucket of chicken. Each.

Having ordered some chicken – and being told to wait 15 mins for it (I guess they didn’t plan ahead – knowing people would come into a chicken house and ask for chicken?).  While sitting there with GM, we noticed a little Security Guard darting all over the place.   He was wiping down tables,  moved some chairs around,  bagged up a load of buckets for customers and was generally doing whatever it was he could do to help.   This guy also had a gun.  What a fantastic worker!  This guy couldn’t do enough and it was fascinating to watch him.

It did however get us wondering if he was employed a general assistant – and told he is also the Security Guard,  or was he taken on as a Security Guard and told to help out serving Chicken?

The reason I wonder – is because I’d like to think that Armed Security Guards would undergo some sort of firearms training.  And I don’t just mean point it and squeeze.  Before pulling the trigger on your ‘piece’ and unloading your magazine clip – there are many things you have to analyse. I am not going to claim I know all there is – but I do know you have to conduct a risk assessment.  So I am hoping this guy has had training – and isn’t just a cleaner with a gun who will shoot you if you don’t clear up after yourself.

We staggered back to the hotel   Bubba and Bruce had long since gone.  Once again GM and I were the last men standing.

The plan was to meet at 11(ish) for breakfast……

To be continued…

2 thoughts on “To the Philippines and beyond…..

  1. LOL Love the trip report. Have traveled a lot throughout Asia, but Philippines is the one country I have yet to hit. Graham, it seems like your take is similar to what I have heard. Has its good points and bad points, but nothing to make a person go “wow – need to return here”

    • Update!!! The Agency has offered half of the deposit this week – and the balance next week?

      Really? They are claiming a cash flow problem.

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