Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Stage Light Effect

"Napuntahan ko na ang gay bar na may pinakamaraming guwapong macho dancer na nakita ko (I have been to the gay bar with the most handsome macho dancers)," I keep telling my friends over the past few weeks. 

I've been to that gay bar once previously, but was not really impressed with the selection of men they had that time, which were few and a bit on the oldie side. However, when I visited the bar again, together with my MD friend, two weeks ago, I was surprised to see a great bunch of guys that fit in my concept of male beauty. 

When I returned to that gay bar after my first visit a year ago, I sat down non-chalantly and expecting nothing new would surprise me.  The one dancing when I arrived was just so-so (I can't even remember who he is or how he looked like). But then those who followed him made me re-think my view of the bar. 

I even remember texting my friend at that time, "Ngayon lang ako nakakita na sunud-sunod na guwapo ang umakyat sa stage (This is the only time I've seen handsome guys going up the stage one after the other)."

The next dancers were mostly good-looking, matched with bodies that ranged from lean to slight stocky-muscular. A testament to the true macho-look of a Greek god-like body.  

One was a young chinito lad who can pass of as a Taiwanese teen pop star. Following him was the dancer who looked half-Caucasian with the shaved head. Then upping the handsome level was a Wendel Ramos lookalike. After him were the all-the-way dancers, but the one who caught my attention was the moreno one with almond eyes and thick lips, the most good-looking dark-skinned tigas I've seen so far (He even looks like the "model / dancer" I've seen in a highly publicized charity photoshoot for HIV, and whom I've been stalking since then on Facebook). 

The bar's title holders followed with Mr. Gay Bar 2011, whom they say is a chubbier mix of Dingdong Dantes and Tyrone Perez. Oddly, a former Mr. Gay Bar title-holder was also a celebrity lookalike, a mix of Luis Manzano and Dennis Trillo. Succeeding him in the sequence was previous year's Mr. Gay Bar title-holder, who by his name alone, seem to have that strong and sensuous Arab blood in him (not to mention Arab-sized "treasures"). 

Let me refresh your memory
Then the most good-looking macho dancer I've seen ever in my history of gay-bar going, at least face-wise, went up the stage and blew our panties away. He had matinee idol features: 5 foot 8, lean, with hair parted sideways, perfect nose, cleft chin, and most of all, fair-skinned, as if glowing on-stage. Ang puti! And his smile, ampucha. No wonder this Frank Garcia lookalike gets frequently tabled. 

(I just realized, most of the actors I've mentioned come from one TV network. Perhaps, the location of this bar has an effect on the look of models they choose?)

I wondered where the appeal came from. How is it that one gay bar can capture the concept of "handsomeness"?

"Nakaka-guwapo yung ilaw no?" my MD friend beside me that night mentioned. As to how, I asked myself.

I looked at the stage lights on the ceiling. There were like 6-7 white-yellowish bright lights on the left of the stage, then another set of those on the right. At the front facing the stage were three soft white spotlights, and near the corners were two really strong white spotlight beams. None of those were the typical colored (blue, red, yellow) spotlights, as seen in other gay bars or disco clubs. All of them produced bright white-yellow lights.

When the front spotlights shone, they can illuminate the dancer on-stage, highlighting his light-toned skin, but still dark enough to hide the guy's imperfections. When the two stronger spotlights are added, it's at the right level of brightness that the dancer just becomes whiter, but the light can sometimes becomes too bright that the audience near the stage can already see the fine features of the dancer's face (including his few imperfections).

But the over-all effect on-stage: creamy-whiter-looking skin contrasted against the black stage wall and general darkness of this specific gay bar. Even their exposed creamy legs seemed like slightly-tanned marshmallows that looked just too tempting to bite. Yummy effect.

Stage lights do play certain effects, even in other gay bars. The soft colored lights in a gay bar along Libertad in Pasay produce a nakaka-linlang effect from the play of hues and shadows to hide a dancer's imperfections. What seems to be a hot dancer onstage just looks ordinary when brought out in the sunlight. Another bar in Quezon City uses a red spotlight on top of the pole, so that it casts a sensuous red skin tone on any naked dancer. The confusing, disco lighting effect in one gay bar in Malate can not effectively illuminate the faces and bodies of their macho dancers, and thus, the dim lighting makes them look too dark and sorry to say, unattractive.

The best at lighting, I feel, is coincidentally the one with the most number of handsome macho dancers. I noticed that all of that bar's guys, including the occasional not-so-handsome men, became fair-skinned as they stepped on stage. Even the moreno guys didn't look that moreno anymore, and seemed two to three shades lighter in an instant.

With the Filipinos' concept of beauty as having near-Caucasian-white skin, as evidenced by obsession on whitening creams and papaya soaps and tsin tsan tsu, I am not surprised how the guys in this specific bar would be considered even better-looking than their counterparts in other gay bars in the city. (They say it's the opposite for non-Filipinos or white guys, who prefer the darker, "exotic"-looking beauties, which can be found in the other gay bars). Well, the boys in this bar are naturally fair to light-skinned to begin with, plus some powder or foundation on the face, and was just enhanced by that gay bar's lighting.

Alam mo naman ang Pinoy, basta maputi, maganda. Basta maputi, guwapo na.

Of course, I won't discount the fact that some of these men do have artista-like facial features, with a  quite a number of them physically altered or surgically enhanced, and regularly take care of their lean and muscular bodies. I even heard that the bar's owner or OIC is even strict with the looks of the bar's applicants -- not all who apply are accepted. They have a so-called standard to maintain, from a name that's associated with male physical beauty, youthfulness and extreme attractiveness. 

That may be the reason why Lord* Gay Bar along Timog Avenue lords over the other gay bars in Metro Manila. 

But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Especially, if blinded by very bright stage lights.

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

*Not the real gay bar name. Though, the pseudonym is somehow connected to the actual bar name.

Photo credits: http://www.malestrippers4u.co.uk/malestrippers/chrissallis/photo03.jpg


  1. adonis..malapit sa kapuso network? how is it 'somehow connected to the actual bar name'? lord,adonis??

  2. hi kamote I notice ikaw always first to comment sa mga posts. Hehe. Anyway, It's related. Search mo sa Google yung term na Lord in Hebrew (or Phoenician). Or go to Wikipedia and search mo yung pangalan ng bar na tinutukoy mo. You'll see.

  3. hi G.B. Goer... honestly im an x-hosto.. hope we cud be friends... heres my digits 09156006793..

  4. hi miko weird that you post your number. baka kung sinu sino magtxt sayo. hehe email mo na lang ako. =)

  5. G.B. Goer. Now you made me think if I am missing out on what is out there because of my "fondness" with pugad...

  6. Hi Anonymous A tranny impersonator friend of mine, who joined me during my last visit in this bar, said "walong na taon na akong nagtatrabaho sa bar. akala ko nakita ko na ang lahat, ang iba-ibang klaseng lalake. pero nagulat ako. ngayon lang ako nakakita ng ganitong kaguwapo. nakakaloka!" In fairness, naka-8 siya na type niya... mas marami pa sa 4 ko. haha!

  7. I wonder how you feel about your relationship with managers in the bars you visit. Maybe you can write about this as one of your next topics. How to discern a good one, how to tip them, when to spot a manager playing politics behind your back, how to avoid a bad manager when u ended up with one, perks for having a good manager, gaybar politics, etc.

    My boys and I would usually strike a conversation related to the managers whenever i sit with them. I find that this topic tends to be the more truthful conversations they would have with me and somehow show their real personalities. ~donnie

  8. Hi donnie thanks for the idea. haven't really thought about it. but yeah. let me write it down as a possible future topic (yeah, i'd have to list it down, literally), so that i start to observe already on this. thanks again!


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