Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inter Gay Bar Competition: Part 1

Imagine one gay bar, filled with macho dancers from various gay bars across the city. Each performs one after another, with his own set of props, costumes, or back-up dancers, revolving around a certain theme. The winner among them would hold a title, together with a cash prize and bragging rights for both the dancer and the bar.  

The only stolen photo I can get in this event. 
I can't even find where the banner is. 
Last Sunday, May 31, the lone gay bar in Libertad, Pasay, Solution Disco, played host to an inter gay bar competition. Entitled "Jungle King 2011", the event would crown the supposed "hottest and wildest macho dancer of the jungle." Okay. Roar.

Being the curious GB Goer, I was there to observe the competition. Good thing it was postponed to this date from its original date of May 18 due to a heavy rains and power failure (aka brown out), or else, I couldn't attend the event.

I arrived to the venue at 1130 PM. It was a good decision to be early, as I got a perfect seat near the stage. The bar wasn't full yet, but most of the clientele were the mature gays. The rest were women, with a few matronas, small groups of curious office-working ladies, and quite a lot of bar-working girls (the regulars of that gay bar).

While waiting for the event proper, we were entertained by the regular performances of the macho dancers working in the bar. I wasn't too bored, as I tabled my regular dancer, "Russell"*, who gave me a few tidbits about the competition. Apparently, none of the macho dancers working in the host bar is allowed to join the contest, for obvious reasons. So their task is mostly to entertain via dances before the event and during breaks.

The gay manager approached me if I wanted to judge the event. Of course, with much honor of being called a judge in this supposed prestigious event, I almost said yes. Good thing, I asked "Russell" what being a judge entailed. That meant "sponsorship", or donating some money or cash prize. Huwag na, I thought; I'd rather spend the money on "tabling" a guy, maybe even two.

At 130 AM, thank goodness, the event "Jungle King 2011" started.

There was a big and lengthy opening production number by the host bar, with their tranny impersonators in tribal attire and eight of their most good looking macho men in skimpy brown bikinis. By introducing these men one after another, the bar seemed to send a message to the crowd that even if this was a competition among the supposed best among the gay bars, they still had the best-looking men. Right.

To host the event, the bar invited one of their regulars, an out-and-out gay celebrity, "Venga Gay" (gay version of Vengaboys). For 30 long freaking minutes, he went around the room to do his stand-up comedy, akin to gay comedy bars. He reminded the room, "whatever happens in the bar, let's just keep it here. So what, if I go to a gay bar? Where do you expect me to go, in a beer garden? I might just barf." Noted, Venga Gay. 

(to be continued...)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email: char.affairs@gmail.com

Photocredits: http://www.123rf.com/

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Anniversary: One Year Later

(a personal reflection)

This time last year, one of the largest macho dancing gay bars in Metro Manila, "Home Base"*, had their biggest event of the year. They celebrated their 10th year anniversary, to commemorate a decade's existence from being just-another girlie bar along Roxas Blvd. to being the premier (and most expensive) gay bars in that area.

At that time, my friends and I were only neophyte regulars -- we just started going to that bar two months prior. But with each of us meeting and developing relationships with our own partners from that bar, we became frequent regulars, as often as going twice on weekends. 

Thus, taking part of a historic moment for the bar was exciting for us. We were looking forward to the "big night", or what bars call their special events, for weeks. 

Talk about "big night" -- that night turned out to be one of our biggest nights for the year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lord II Gay Bar: An Update

I wrote a few months back about a rumor that the hosto bar in Manila, "Neighborhood"*, would be turned into a full-fledged macho dancing gay bar "Lord, 2nd coming."* That rumor we actually confirmed, as my friend, Ringo, and I visited that bar two months back. We also found out that the gay bar "Lord II" was co-owned by the owners of "Neighborhood" and that of "Lord" in Quezon City; hence, the use of the widely popular gay bar name in this bar.

Rumor now has it that "Lord II" is already closed, and was re-launched into another bar. I first heard this from my hosto friends who we met in "Neighborhood", but were now working in "Answer for The Emotionally Needy (ATEN)" bar disco level. 

I wouldn't be surprised if this rumor would be true. Based on our first and only visit to this gay bar, the dancers working here were so-so. Not so good-looking. Mix of oldie-looking veterans and provincial-type boys. The venue and interiors were fantastic, fine. Modern. But even if the bar borrowed the name of the lord of all gay bars in Quezon City, it failed to achieve the mystique of the original gay bar. Add to that its hard-to-find location, it isn't surprising if "Lord II" would close down.

According to a macho dancer friend, the reason why "Lord II" was closed down was because it failed to obtain the right business permits from the local government (they didn't get approval, I think). Just like how the supposed new gay bar along Roxas Blvd couldn't operate because of business permits they couldn't get (and why some former "Home Base" dancers and managers are still jobless now).

When I passed by M.H. Del Pilar Street in Malate last night, on the way to ATEN gay bar, as I saw with my own two eyes last night, the gay bar where Lord II used to be located was still open. Except that the "Lord II" sign was already brought down. 

What remains is the "Neighborhood" sign, which was never taken down when "Lord II" occupied the spot.  

So it's true. "Lord II" Gay Bar was re-launched, back into the "Neighborhood" bar. Not just the hosto bar of before, but with macho dancing as part of the entertainment. 

Want clues about the actual name of the gay bar? Next time I visit, I hope to see a true neighborhood or village of good-looking boys, including those from next door, the next street, or the next town. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Time In, Arriving Late

After arriving in Manila last night from a business trip, I wanted to grab some dinner before going home. My two friends, Mary and Ringo*, were already in their respective homes as it was already past 9 PM on a work night. So I had another option -- meet up with a macho dancer before he goes to work.

Yeah it might be a bit far-fetched idea, like "where did that come from?" or "huh, of all the people you could have dinner with?" But having a hunky or cute guy to accompany you to eat didn't sound too bad. I just had to pay for his meal, nothing more. 

I invited Russell*, who has been my dinner partner a few times already. I knew he was still available at that time. In our previous dinner, we started around 1030 PM and he went to the bar around 1130 already, 30 minutes late. So inviting him for dinner that late a night didn't worry me that much...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gay Club and Gay Bar in One

In Jakarta just last Friday night, my gay Indonesian colleague wanted to bring us out. As the gracious host of the night, he asked our group, composed of two girls and two gay guys (me and him) all at the age of late 20s to early 30s, what type of fun we wanted.

It was a Friday night, and naturally, I'd be in one of Manila's macho dancing gay bars. While I didn't want to broadcast to the whole group that I wanted to see some half-naked "macho dancing" men, I just suggested to take us to somewhere "sleazy."

The two tipsy girls, of course, giggled at the idea, as they were open to experience something new. My colleague thought I was joking. We've always gone out to enjoy the gay clubs during our business trips across various cities -- Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Madrid. And he thought I'd enjoy these gay clubs like him.

So off we rode the taxi at 11 in the evening. He led us to this place where he knew all four of us would enjoy...

What it is, and how it surprised me, after the jump:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Binibilog ang Ulo

Matagal na kaming sinasabihan ng ilang mga kaibigan naming nagtatrabaho sa gay bar. Mag-ingat daw kami. "Huwag ka maghanap ng relasyon dito. Dapat enjoy lang," ang ilang beses na nilang sinabi. 

Noong sinabi yun ni "Minnie"*, isang gay impersonator ng bar, hindi ko siya naintindihan noong una. Madalas na kaming mag-upo sa tabi namin ng mga macho dancer. Madalas na rin kaming lumabas kasama sila para makipag-date. Nag-eenjoy naman akong pinaliligiran ng mga boys, sabi ko sa kanya. Tinanong ko siya kung bakit.

"Syempre sa trabahong ito, kailangan nilang bilugin ang ulo ng mga customers," sabi niya. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Macho Dancer's Pole

Think of strippers and strip bars. What's the usual image one imagines? Naked bodies, fine. And bills tucked to their bikinis. But because I mentioned "pole" already in the title of this post, pole-dancing also comes to mind.

Every strip joint, especially girlie bars, has a pole. One can find it on the stage, either at the dead-center, or at one corner of the bar. American movies show this long, slender rounded piece of steel at the far end of the stage or a runway, near the customer tables. As I said, just mention "pole-dancing" to anyone, and the first thing that comes to their mind is the girlie strip bar, with strippers turning around a tall slender steel bar.

But a pole used by a macho dancer inside a macho dancing gay bar?

Continue reading:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Love and Other's Drugs

Guess who left the macho dancing gay bar "Home Base"* last March and has now returned two months after? It's that money-hungry dancer Derek* whom I passionately wrote about a few months back (read the first, second and third entries on him). He didn't sit well with the perahan ways of that macho dancing bar, so he decided to look for greener pastures in another bar "Kingdom Come." 

During his absence, I found out from his co-workers some stories about him, particularly about his addictions. At first I thought it was his addiction to money, as I encountered that first hand. But what surprised me was his true addiction.

Posted this pic for inspiration. And no, it's not sex addiction.

What it is, and how rampant it is? After the jump:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Odd Couple in a Gay Bar

"What are they doing here?" I asked my transvestite impersonator friend from the macho dancing gay bar, Home Base*. I was pointing to the couple at the front of the stage.

They were different from the usual gay bar customers I see. They weren't gay men, either in their 20s or  40s, who'd like to see some live man-flesh. They weren't matronas with their alalays who who were scouting for their next boy toys. They weren't even those noisy first-timer women who went to the gay bar just for a fun night out.

It was like a mismatched couple, who seemed out of place in this bar -- a very mature Caucasian foreigner, who looked like the stereotypical overweight D.O.M. (Dirty Old Man), and his young Filipina companion, who looked like the stereotypical skinny bar girl, working for a seedy girlie bar. 

This was not the first time I saw this set-up inside a gay bar. Tall white man with a short brown woman. Middle-eastern men in casual clothes with girl escorts in skimpy attire. A Japanese businessman, the client of the Pinay "business" woman. Always a foreigner with a local.

For them being in the gay bar, I doubt that the old foreigner wanted to see half-naked guys, with the girl as his mere on-the-side companion, like a translator. How can a guy who was kissing his lady the whole night be interested in seeing another man's body?

If they wanted to watch a strip show, why didn't they just stay in the girlie strip bar? I bet the old guy would've enjoyed ladies stripping for him, than watching muscular guys gyrate on the stage. But they decided to spend that late night in a macho dancing bar that catered to women and gays. 

So that means...

"It's for the girl," the tranny impersonator replied. "Pampa-init.

The guy wants to make her in heat? 


"So now you know what they're gonna do after," my friend remarked nonchalantly, as if this was nothing new. 

The odd things I notice.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email: char.affairs@gmail.com; follow me at twitter: @gbgoer

Photocredits: http://www.vivaviagra.co.uk/viagra-stars.html

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The All-the-Way Who Shouldn't Be

Half past midnight, in one of the top macho dancing gay bars in Manila, the dj introduced the next set. Eight men stepped onto the stage. They were naked, with only a piece of cloth tied around their waists. As the romantic ballad song crescendoed into the chorus, all of them stripped all-the-way, removed their only clothing, to reveal what was hidden underneath it.

Except for one. The newcomer.

This was Luigi's* second stint as a macho dancer. This 5'8, fair, gym-fit, 25 year-old had some macho experience three years before, in another top bar in Quezon City. At that time, he only danced "sexy", as the gay bars called those dancers who would only bare their torsos and legs, but nothing more beyond a bikini. In these gay bars, not all macho dancers are all the way, only a select few.

But this was his first job as an all-the-way macho dancer.

What happened to Luigi, after the jump:

Friday, May 6, 2011

What's With The Chicken Lauriat?

It never fails. That specific dish.

When I meet up with a macho dancer outside of a gay bar, I usually invite him for a meal, like for dinner before he goes to work. For dinner with these less-than-privileged men, I am expecting to foot the bill for the both of us, so I am prepared to spend quite a sum for our meal. And as with dates, I always ask him beforehand where he wants to eat. 

Anywhere. Their standard reply.

After a few more questions to squeeze out where they really want to eat, after some minutes of walking around the mall or driving around the city, they reply with a specific place in mind.


No, seriously, I tell my date. I am prepared to spend some money.

Chowking, he does insist.

Even when I present him options. There's Italianni's at the side, a Jollibee store, a Japanese restaurant, and an American casual diner. Or even when I am driving him to his bar before work, where I can park my car at any establishment. Or even in the mall, where he can choose from any restaurant in that whole building. 

Whoever macho dancer or hosto I am with, they say Chowking. Always. Well, okay, let me admit, it's just like 5 or 6 out of the ten times, that particular Chinese-style mass fastfood is their choice, when asked what they want. The others were the other Filipino fast food chains like Jollibee or Mang Inasal, or the nearby local Filipino mini-restaurant like Binalot or Aristocrat (no, not karinderya).

As to why they prefer Chowking and not a more expensive place to go to, even if they know I am paying, I am not sure if it's hiya, as not for me to spend a lot for them. It can also be intimidation factor, with going inside a fancy expensive place -- not knowing what to get because they don' understand the names of the dishes, which of the items on the picture tastes good, how to act or eat appropriately inside. There's also less risk involved with food that is familiar, that is ordered before, that one is assured of a good meal especially if it's free. Maybe they don't want to waste good money for a meal they aren't assured if it will taste good (especially for the more exotic Japanese cuisine). 

Fine, so then we go inside.

As we're waiting in line and look at the lighted menu on top of the cash registry, I ask him which dish he'd like to get. The macho dancer with me at first looks puzzled what to get, as if he's having a hard time choosing. But then, after asking again what he wants, he orders this: 

Yes, it's the Chowking Chicken Lauriat. The value / combo meal.

Now that's what all of them 100% order. Even when I was with two MDs at one point, both of them had the same order. It even came to a point when I went out with some MD for the first time, and I didn't ask anymore what he'd get. After telling the cashier our order, he replied behind me, "How did you know that I'd get that?"

When I noticed that the same dish gets ordered by various men, date after date, I asked one of them why that specific dish. 

"It's complete. It has chicken and rice, then pansit noodles, which is filling to the stomach, a pair of dumplings, then some Chicharap crisps, and a fried dessert," he said. Value-for-money, get more in offerings and in variety, obviously. Tummy-filling, also known as "busog" factor. He even said that this value meal offers more than the two-piece chicken of Jollibee, because of the added noodles, crisps, and dessert. 

Calling the Chowking marketers out there! Insight here! You can get a lot just by asking your target market. And I am not saying that they should target macho dancers only (hmmm... but a TV ad with half-naked dancing men isn't a bad idea).

From then on, I always initiate where to eat. It's been upgraded already to Pancake House, where I'd like him to try what a crisp golden brown waffle tastes like, or to North Park, where I'd like him to taste what a better lauriat selection is. Honestly, good as it is, sawa na ako sa Chicharap.  

Photocredit: http://chowkingdelivery.com 

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email: char.affairs@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Heard Through the Gay Bar Grapevine

Three months ago, I had a series of posts about gossip I heard about gay bars in the south-west areas, specifically from Manila, Paranaque, Pasay (you can read through them, entitled "Heard Through the Gay Bar Grapevine" Parts 1, 2, 3). Most of them actually turned out to be true, especially the last of the series, about new gay bars that opened and closed.

So for this entry, I'd like to write about a particular gossip I've heard just last week. What I learned was too juicy not to be shared. Anyway, keep reading if you wish to know more: