Friday, December 9, 2011

The Annual Mr. Gay Bar Title Competition

On a regular gay bar night, you always hear the gay bar DJ introduce some particular macho dancer onstage: "Up next is the 2010 Mr. Hot-Dream-God-Papa-Bird-King." And as you hear that single title, you turn your attention to whoever is coming next onstage. You ask yourself how this unique macho dancer might look like. As the song's first lines are played, your eyes are then expecting to see the most handsome, most muscular, and most talented macho dancer in that bar.  

Once you see the Mr. Gay Bar for 2011, you then ask yourself, how did HE win? 

It's already December, and to cap off the end of the year, most big gay bars would hold one of their biggest "Big Nights" (event) of the year. This event is the annual Search for the Mr. Gay Bar 20xx, a pageant held among the bar's existing macho dancers. This is supposedly the most prestigious title any macho dancer can hold, especially if the winner gets to carry the name of the bar for a year (as part of his resume for a future corporate job also?).  

"It's an honor", as the macho dancers say. "Makikilala ka talaga ng mga customer. Kahit sa mga first timer na customer, malalaman nilang ikaw ang pinaka sikat dahil may titulo ka."

So what happens behind these annual competitions? 

The bar promotes the event for a few weeks prior to the actual event, like late November or early December. You'll hear it announced by the DJ during intermissions. Sometimes you can even read the event on the newspapers... err... tabloids, with an article written by a gay entertainment writer. Of course, you can see the event banner posted on the bar's entrance, just like any other of the bar's "Big Night" events. 

On the actual night itself, depending on the entertainment format of the bar, the competition happens at the prime hours, around 12 midnight. Before that, what you will see onstage are the usual macho dancing from the non-contestants. Once the event starts, these guys then compete in various portions. Casual wear, swimwear, formal wear, and sometimes, talent portions (the focus is not macho dancing) and interview segments. Beauty pageant na beauty pageant talaga. What do you expect, bakla ang organizer.

In swim wear... or the excuse to see the half-naked bodies of these guys
Who can get to compete? Not all macho dancers employed in the bar. Only the top guys, as chosen by the management. And by top, I don't mean the best in dancing skills or the most fabulous manhood. Top just means highest in "macho drink" sales. And those among the top macho dancers either means that they are frequently tabled because of their sheer handsome-ness, or that they have regular customers/guests who are big time spenders.  

And that is where the secret of winning lies in.

Just like any other pageants, these competitions have their typical panel of judges. In some bars, they get to invite outside credible judges -- fashion designers, entertainment writers, movie directors or producers, etc. In some bars, they ask some customers to do the judging (with a "donation" to participate, of course). The bar prepares judging forms with various criteria, whatever the bar can think of and will always include audience impact. But what happens to these scores after the supposed "tabulation" during intermission numbers? They are just there, for FYI. That's right. Because what makes a macho dancer win isn't the judges score nor the audience applause, but the number of drinks the macho dancer can accumulate during the entire week prior to the event or on the actual competition night itself.

Rule is: most number of drinks gives the title to the macho dancer. Bagsakan ang usapan. And the macho dancer knows this. That's why competitive macho dancers sort of insist their big time spender regular customer to attend the event, as it can sort of assure a top spot in the competition. To win, I am not talking about just 15 drinks. We're talking hundreds! The highest I've heard is about 700 drinks (700 x P400 per beer = P280,000). Some customers even spend P400,000 in a succession of nights, just to make his/her enamored MD win. And the whole bar employees get into the act -- if your tabled macho dancer is a contestant, expect to hear again and again during the night "Yung customer po ni Nando, nagbagsak ng 70 drinks ulit. Nasa 250 na si Nando. Kayo po, magbabagsak para kay Lito? Nasa 130 pa lang siya.

But the smart macho dancers, as I've heard, have their own style. They will tell their customers to make them reach up to a certain amount of drinks, like 150, then tell them to give him the remaining cash that the customer is still willing to spend. So those strategizing macho dancers, despite not winning the title, will get to pocket home like twenty or fifty or a hundred thousand pesos.

Besides, these contestants won't get to take home the commission from the hundreds of MD drink bottles bought for them by their customers during these big night events. The P80 to P100 per bottle that the MD takes home per bottle? Gone... to the pockets of the bar owners.

"Mas mabuti na yung perahin ko na lang," these guys will say, "kaysa sa mapunta sa may-ari ng bar lang yung pera. Kapag nanalo ka naman ng titulo, maliit lang naman ang cash prize e." Some will even rationalize that being a title holder will not result to food on the table. "Para saan pa ang titulong yan diba? E di perahin ko na lang."

What happens to the titleholders after winning the event? Nothing grand, really. Only having the title announced every time he goes up on stage to dance. But some of them, those who have really gotten huge sums from their big spender customers, stop working altogether. A few spend their years living in a condo, paid for by their lovestruck matronic or rich old gay clients. 

So when the reigning Mr. Gay Bar titleholder leaves and resigns from the bar, does that mean he is stripped off the title? Yes, in most bars, even if he decides to return months after. That means that for whatever reason the winner can not fulfill his duties (ie. binahay ng customer), then the 1st runner up automatically becomes the title holder. In some bars like Adonis, previous titleholders still get to keep their titles, but are not allowed to compete on the following year. That's why you can hear about four Mr. Adonis working in the gay bar at the same time.

When I discuss these competitions with some of the veteran macho dancers, those in their late 20s or early 30s, they say that these bagsakan of drinks as a major component in contests only happened in recent years.  "Hindi naman ganyan dati," one former gay bar titleholder told me. "Pinipili talaga ng bar ang pinaka deserving na manalo, yung sa itsura tapos pati na rin sa galing sa pagsayaw. Ngayon, iba na talaga. Meron talagang nakakalusot na hindi talaga deserving."

As you attend one big night competition these coming days of December, don't be surprised with the outcome of the competition. Even if you want your macho dancer to win the title, by giving him a perfect score of 100 as a judge, or additional 20 drinks (20 x P400 = P8000), sayang ang effort at pera mo, dear

So to those asking me, given my experience, who my prediction is as to who will win this year's title? For sure, not the most handsome, nor the most muscular, nor the best dancer, nor the one with the longest tool, would be 2011's Mr. Hot-Dream-God-Papa-Bird-King Gay Bar winner. 

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
twitter: @gbgoer

Photo credits:


  1. alam ng mga gay bar owners siguro na december is the most lucrative month of the year para sa mga beki (i.e. 13th month pay, 14th month pay, christmas bonus), and ang mga ate natin parang walang panghihinayang magtapaon ng pera..hehe..SPEND WISELY mga sis!

  2. Kelan kaya ako makakapunta sa gay bar? :)

    Paki-redirect naman ang iyong traffic sa aking new blog:

    Salamat :)

  3. I asked that same question when i was a newbie gaybar goer. Most of the title holders doesn't have the 'it' to have the title until i learned how they earned it. That is why i don't even listen to how the md is introduced anymore because i will just be disappointed when they show up onstage.

  4. Hi ElToroBumingo, yup done! completely forgot about it.

  5. Hi youngbpoprofessional when will you have your first post in your blog?

  6. Hi Wizzdumb Agree! I think a lot of gay bar goers have the same thing in mind. But I do get a thrill to try to see what the Mr Gay Bar titleholder has in him that possibly made his customer fall for him. Looks ba, charm, appeal... ?

  7. Hi...I am from Singapore and will be visiting Manila from 14 - 18 Dec. Can anyone tell me is there a Macho Dancer Contest during this period? Or where can I find the information? Will truly appreciate if you can contact me through email:

  8. Hi...I am from Singapore and will be visiting Manila from 14 - 18 Dec. Can anyone tell me is there a Macho Dancer Contest during this period? Or where can I find the information? Will truly appreciate if you can contact me through email:

  9. wow GB, galing mo! thanks s detailed n juicy post mo about Big Night Pageants.. a very interesting read indeed.

    btw, nabasa mo na rin ba ung mga follow-up emails ko sa yo? i think 4 more emails after nung 1st email ko na na-reply-an mo na.. hope you enjoy reading them and looking at the pics there. let me know if you received it na. salamat..

  10. Hi Antonio Replied to your email already. =)

  11. @MBogs haha. yes, I received it already. Last week ko pa nabasa. Shocked nga ako. Haha. Let me reply to you tonight.

  12. GB, shocking talaga.. pati shocked nung una kong nakita ung pics ng mga m2m performances ng mga MDs onstage.. although mas maganda sana kung ginawa yun sa mga bars na talagang macho at may quality ang mga MDs (i doubt).. hinihintay ko na tlga ung mga reply/replies mo..

    regarding these Big Night pageant, bakit naman hindi ung mga pinakamaganda ang katawan, pinakaguwapo, o pinakamagaling sumayaw/mag-stunt ang pinakaginagastusan ng mga customer? di ba dapat nga, sila pa ung pinakanakaka-attract ng mga customers na gagastos at bibili ng mga drinks? anong meron sa mga so-so na MDs at ginagastusan sila para manalo?

  13. huwaw!ganun pla un?loving this blogs every day...dpt prepared tlga aq pg punta ng manila.ibang-iba!pero winner!

  14. nakasaksi ako minsan ng big night na yan sa mankind last dec 2010. although 10 ang contestant, dalawa lang ang totoong nag-lalalban sa pabagsakan ng drinks. kungdi ako nagkamali mga 15 cases yata sa nanalo at 12 cases ng beer yong kalaban. ang nakakaloka, babae ang supporter ni winner.


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