11/25/07 Bad experience in angeles city (Common Scam)
God evening Dave....
I went through your pages and found out how informative it is.To the benefit of the most guys i am posting my personal bad experience i had in angeles city in last october.2007. I became friendly with a girl through a famouse web page. I was carring on with her for about 6 months and we use to chat with each other often. We use to excange photos on the web.She use to see me live onmy cam and she never appeared on a cam and her reason was that she dont have one. Her photgraph and biography still appears in de web page looking for a foreign bf. I had places so much trust on her and use to send money whenever she requested. In october i send her a message that i want to comeover to angeles city and meet her.She said, that she was very happy to receive me in her country. I arrived angeles city on the 16th oct, and looking for her in the airport she was not found ,although she promised she come to the airport to pick me up. I checked into to my hotel room and i phoned her and found out she was having a shower to get ready to come to meet me. I waited for about 2 hours and phoned her again.This time her aunty spokeand said that she is shy to come to meet me.I replied to her aunty that within 15 minuts i will arrive at your address. To my shock and embarrasement her aunty told me that she is a gay. Everthing happened like a dream.

Please publish my experience in AC for the benefit of the numerous guys who surf on the net loking for women.
Thanks Dave.....
Philip from Malaysia

9/9/07 Witch-hunt for Under Aged in the Philippines
Blue Nile Group Raid - Angeles City

This raid, like several recent raids, did not comply with many of the legal requirements that should be followed by the NBI (Similar to our FBI) when conducting a inspection or a raid in any city. In addition to not notifying the local government so city police could accompany the NBI on the raid, this time they took it a few steps further by detaining customers, pointing firearms at customers, threatening customers, and even attempting to arrest customers wives and girlfriends. Fortunately, no one was injured and all the customers were released after 2-3 scary hours. Five buses were brought in and 334 employees were taken to Manila. The majority were released within 24 hours without formal charges being filed. As of the date of this newsletter 2 foreign managers and 5 local floor managers were still being detained.

Later Followup Report: ANGELES CITY NEWS September 2007:
The seven individuals spent a total of five weeks in jail and all eventually all charges against them were dropped and the case dismissed.

The operation was large involving two teams of NBI agents and they hit Blue Nile, Blue Nile Executive, Neros and Bedrock simultaneously. While conducting the raid normal customers were detained in the bar they were visiting in some cases for nearly three hours. The NBI agents were armed and threatened to use their guns should people become unruly.

They took the people to the NBI headquarters in Taft Avenue Manila. Here in Manila the BNG employees were questioned and many of the dancers were subjected to dental checks in order to determine if any of the girls were under age. Out of all the girls they arrested they found a grand total of ZERO underage. Not one underage girl was found by the NBI.

After being detained the majority of dancers and staff were simply let go and put out on the street in Manila with no money and no means of transportation back to Angeles. Seven people were detained for a further five weeks at first in the NBI headquarters in Manila then at a later date in a jail in Angeles.

The mission order was drawn up on the basis of a complaint lodged by an anonymous representative of a group calling themselves the concerned citizens of Angeles city. This complaint stated that within the BNG bars there were cocaine parties involving minors as young as ten years old. This is of course a totally false statement and noticeably the complaint was not signed by any particular person and no person has come forward to claim responsibility for the complaint.

The seven people detained by the NBI were charged with human trafficking.

After a period of time the prisoners were transferred to jail in Angeles while the BNG lawyers fought to get the case and the charges dismissed. After a further period of time and intensive legal negotiations the case was dismissed however the people remained in jail in Angeles. The BNG lawyers produced a zerox copy of the dismissal notice and presented it to the acting district judge in Angeles (the usual judge was away on holiday) so she could then sign an official release order for the prisoners. When presented with the copy of the dismissal notice the Judge questioned its validity and said that it must be verified as real by a DOJ representative. The next day the dismissal notice was verified for the acting judge by a DOJ representative yet she still refused to sign a release order stating that it was not within her power to sign any release orders as she was only the acting judge.

This position went on for several days until the acting judge eventually relented and signed the release order. Upon receiving the release order our lawyers presented it to the prison warden and the prisoners were then released.

9/30/06 E-mail On not to judge all Filipinos based on scams
Hi dave!
Im a 24 y.o. Filipino Catholic from Cebu, Philippines and I just discovered your website and I think its really nice. What your doing is really an eye-opener especially for the Filipino-Catholic community, and I think its very nice and is not bounded by the laws of morality and traditionalism. I just have one comment though about your article: “Philippines Intimacy/ Sex Research Report”.

I was a bit shocked reading it because I haven’t been to Makati or Angeles City and these were the unlucky experiences of some foreigners. Though I can say that scammers and corrupt authorities are rampant in the area. Foreigners are not the only victims, even co-filipinos are victimized especially those not from the said area. Manila is the Capital of the Philippines, but I guess you know that already. However.. it does not represent the whole Philippines and the True Filipino Culture. Manila and Makati has the highest Criminal cases in the Philippines. So let us not be surprised about these scams and other criminal activities, no-one will be spared believe me.

To better see the Philippines and the Filipino culture, you should go to other places like: cebu, bohol, davao, palawan, negros. Etc.., especially on our many Festivals like the annual Sinulog Mardigras Parade here in Cebu. You may see the difference if you do so.. However I understand that your research is about “Awareness & Support For Sex Workers Sexual Intimacy Opportunities For Customers” and that is why you chose makati and angeles city.

We are all practicing freedom of press, but let us not please generalize the whole country as that. Because Filipinos are not all scammers, if you may talk to an Educated-Filipino who has traveled across the country, he will tell you everything what it is to know. We don’t hate foreigners, some of us just sometimes don’t like them because they also sometimes have superiority complex over Asians. Racism is everywhere. Local to Foreign, Foreign to Local even Local to Local & Foreign to Foreign. But im not a Racist,

There are also many bars, g.r.o.’s & workers here in Cebu by the way. About 20+ establishments I think. Most Caucasians come visit Cebu during December-January and rest of the months are Japs & Koreans. Cebu could be a nice place for your research. Only 45 mins away from Manila via plane.

9/28/06 Another Scam Report
I Traveled to the Philippines to meet a girl, I been talking to on the computer for about 6 months. She met me at 4:30pm with her father at the airport in Tacloban Latye Philippines ,I checked into my hotel room her father and little causein was with her. Her father then left from the lobby ,at the same time we decided to go shopping downtown. awe did some shopping at 6:00Pm we ate at McDonalds ,afterwards we met some morman missonarys ,talk with themfor a while ,the girl wanted to come back to the hotel with me to spend the night ,I had the the mormans 2 really nice guys ,I had them explain to her ,for respect for the parents she should return home not go to hotel with me.after our talking about 7:00PM she got on a jeepnee and returned home. All this after she say I rape her ,then we go out shopping and supper and talk to Mormans.

I then went back to my room alone and was going to meet the girl the next day. Early the next morning the police knocked at my door ,the girl was with them with her employer a woman who hates Americans.
the police arrested me illegally no warrent ,they said I rape the girl and will go to jail. The employeer was behind all this. to make a long story short,I got a attorney and would be innocent of all charges ,but who can wait months for a trial ,I had to return to my job and house payments etc at home the payoff to the girl to drop the charge was $4000.00 USD I had to pay.

Filipinas know a American who travels to the Philippines has to return to his job,and cannot afford to stay has to much to loose ,while the court system in the philippines takes months. I will never return there again.I even had affidavids from the 2 mormans ,McDonalds,the hotel that I returned alone and from time I checked in the hotel with her father with her..the filipina can file a case for anything at anytime for what ever they want .
The corrupt police and people there are the worst in the world. there are still some good people there not all I feel are bad.many get set up and the bars are the worst, to all stay away from the bar unless you want to loose your money and get set up.

I have never seem so many liers cheets scams, acting ,all for the American dollar ,I know many cases where men go there and are set up ,the filipina they lie ,they have lazy husband or live in boyfriends who not work,all they are good for is get the filipina PG and leave them for the next girl.and plan set up when you fly there to meet the girl. one friend of mine support a woman there he was doing the fiancee visa only to find out after he supported her for 2 yeras $400.00 a month USD ,she was married lives with husband and has 2 children. what a loss he had no idea .
for anyone who travels to the philippines ,beware could be set up it is to the point can't trust any filipina there,and you might end up in jail.or loose all your hard earned money.

More Warnings of Philippines under aged Scam  6/2/06
The scam does down that a girl on the street gets a date with you and then her friend asks to come along just to use the shower or some other excuse. The "friend" is underaged although has make up and look of legal age. The parents of the girl then report to the police that their "child" is with an older man at the specific hotel. The police (PNP) storm in with M16's pointed at the tourist. The child conveniently has her birth certificate with her showing she is age 15.The police get the scared guy to pay them as much as he can get from his ATM or has with him, often $1000 or more. According to the subject in one report said he was scared to death and they put the M16 to his head and threatened to kill him if he said anything to anybody about the incident.

It is well known that corruption and bribes are just a normal part of doing business in the Philippines, but this scam is being reported by tourists more and more.

An ACTA representative was able to meet with the police involved and procedures discussed and also the TP (Tourist Police that are separate from the local police who are suppose to help with tourists in trouble) were able to tighten up their procedures and learned not to leave a tourist alone until final action is taken. In this way, no money could be extorted with the TP presence or with an ACTA representative on the scene. However 3 nights later the same scam happened with a Japanese tourist who spoke hardly any English.

As one person said, "There definitely appears to be an organized scam taking place to entrap tourists in an attempt to extort money from them. There are hundreds of licensed ladies working in the various clubs so it is not necessary to take a chance on the street walkers. Those looking to save P1,000 to P1,200 could end up losing 50 to 100,000 pesos instead. Being caught with an underage girl is serious trouble, even if you were tricked into thinking she was older. The TP and ACTA cannot interfere with law enforcement, all we can do is assure that the foreigner is treated with due process and not abused in anyway or attempts made to extort money. Please guys, stick to the Clubs who have spent large sums of money to provide you with safe, decent, care free entertainment, that is your best bet to hold on to a "stay our of jail" card."

March 2006 Update:
Pleasure Tours to Thailand and Philippines Under New Federal Legislation
Discussion and Specific Tour Recommendation

These Guided Group Tours Help Avoid The Scams especially common in the Philippines

Fake Rape charge Scam in The Manila
In response to article on from 2/05 below, about underage girls accusing you of rape working with the Police to extort a few thousand US dollars to have charges dropped a visitor from Australia writes:
Dave, I read your letter just before I went to Manila recently and thanks to you I am back safely in Australia with no intentions of ever going back to the most dishonest land in the world.

Arrived in Manila 16/3/06 and booked myself at the Hotel Palm Plaza in Mabini. I tried to go to a safer area (Makati) but after an argument over the fare, the taxi driver refused to take me because, he said was too congested. I arrived at 10pm. And walked trough Del Pilar st. to a place I once knew ,called Rosi’s Dinar, (no longer there) .I noticed the absence of foreigners . I walked to a Beer Garden I remembered named The Rendezvous. There was a hair dressing shop next to it and sat down to have a trim, a few minutes later a beautiful young girl came in and started smiling and asking me the usual. Where do you come from? Where are you staying? Etc.

The Barber asked me if I liked the girl and I replied that she was beautiful, but I just arrived and was tired. The girl replied that was getting late and she would love to have a bed to sleep. I told her that with her in my room I would not be able to sleep, she said .that was no problem and followed me to my hotel about 300m. Please note the following mistakes I made so your readers know the signs… I walked into the hotel and the staff promptly asked her for some kind of I.D. she replied she left it at home and than he told me that was a problem, would I accept her without I.D. in my room.

By this time my brain was not doing much thinking and could not see any problem. Even when something was not right I agreed and we both went inside, without going into details, she was a 10 and I was snoring 49 mins. Later (you get faster as you get older). At 60 you think this could be your last one.

At 8am. I waked up and asked her if she would like breakfast with me but said she was tired so I went to the breakfast bar and within 20 mins. Was back only to find her leaving my room as I came in. I was surprised as I had not yet given her any money, she said she had to go to see her sister but would come back later. I gave her 3000 pesos and she went out. Not having much to do in my room I followed 5 mins. Later and upon leaving the lift I witnessed the most bizarre scene on the reception counter.

There was the same young lady crying her eyes out and filling some form. At this moment I felt my heart in shock and my brain trying to understand the situation. It took 3 seconds for me to see the complete picture of this puzzle. Without going one step closer I walked into the lift, pick up my backpack and walked out trough the restaurant into a taxi. I was in panic and went to Makati’s QANTAS office and told them an accident happen in Australia and needed to return urgently. They put me in standby as all flights were fully booked .I waited until 11pm. All the time thinking that if I can go past customs I will be free again.

Dave this has been the most horrible experience of my life and even if someone thinks I was a bit paranoid, I know full well that the police were next in the set up and extortion soon to follow. My trip was to last 16 days, instead only lasted 2. Please let as many people as you can know and you’re welcome to supply my Email to anyone in similar situation. Please note the following signs. 1/ She never mentioned money 2/No I.D.presented so I could not know for sure if she was a minor.3/ She would not allow the use of a condom, telling me that she trusted me.4/ Even when 3000 pesos ($US59) is a generous sum in Manila, she never mentioned getting together again.

Dave, I will never know for sure, the fact that she concealed her age could bring a charge of sex with a minor, as for the motive , it’s quite clear this girls are working for corrupt local police ,either being used for favors or on commission on the large amounts of money I would have to pay to get out of the country.

Life in the Philippines
August 10, 2005
Hey ther. I just read what you and other people have to say about their experiences in the philippines. I am sorry to say that I agree with them. I am filipino, regarded as filipino american in the philippines, and I am disgusted with everything I see and experience here in the philippines.

Before my first visit to the PI, I had pride in my heritage and of my forefathers. This view had slowly and surely changed since then. I am a 3rd year med student at UST, and my experiences on campus closely parallels the reality of life in the PI. At first I blamed certain individuals or organizations or groups. But soon I realized that the ultimate problem here is management. Congress is always talking about passing new laws or changing how certain things are done. New laws mean nothing if the laws already passed cant be implemented or enforced.

Just look at traffic in the PI, traffic enforcement is a joke. Why do they even bother putting lines on the streets? Thank god if you can actually see the MMDA people doing their job or not causing more traffic themselves. Jeepneys, busses, tricycles, and FX's have control of the road. They can go and stop pretty much whereever they want. There are supposedly laws on vehicular emmissions, these only apply to private vehicles.

One of the things I was told and thought to be true is the hospitality and kindness of the filipinos. I find this only to be true in a few instances. Most people will lie to you and try to rip you off with a smile and their arm around your shoulder. Forget family, I have been manipulated and lied to by these so called friends. A lot of times when I arrive here from the states, I bring presents from my parents to my relatives. More often than not, instead of being thankful for what they got, they ask if there's any more or say "that's all." These ingrateful bastards. My parents are willing to help. If you give them a finger, they want the whole arm.

I could go on all day about how the philippines discusts me, but that could probably fill a book. There are actually some good things here in the PI, but the bad traits exceeds the good traits by a large amount. For those who want to visit the PI, if their not filipino I wonder why they would, I suggest that they stay in a hotel-not with relatives, trust no one-they'll take kindness as a weakness and don't stay in the PI for too long.

Under aged Aggressive Girls Warning in Manila
February 2005
Just got back after a month in Manila on the 18th Feb, I stayed in Malate for a week and once again i came across the old scams, I went to Robinsons Mall about 200 yards or meters up the road from my hotel apartment, i decided to go to the games arcade center there and with in a short while was approached by an attractive young teenager about thirteen or fourteen, she played a few games with me and i did not think much about it until i left an noticed that she was stalking me through the Mall, thinking that i had lost her i arrived back at the hotel a short while later and who do you think said hello taking the lift before me, Mmm anyway i had a thought that she may have been staying there with her parents.

The scam starts as she watched what floor and room i had entered by looking across the belcony, she rang the hotel by mobile and contacted my room pretending to be the hotel reception and asking who was in the room or if i was the only occupant, ( i contacted the reception and no one rang) i told her that i was with my wife and four kids and that seem to end the scam, this hotel boasts to security and moniters all people who come and go , bullshit the guys at the door are part of it as there was no way of avoiding them at the foyer.

Take notice to all you new travellers to Manila, this young girl was attractive and willing if you are warped or into this type of child sex but remember that you may be called apon by her and officers charging you with rape unless a some of a few thousand US is paid to drop the charges. Anyway things still the same in Manila, a few Bombs going off but still had a great time.

Just reading an article about money exchange scams, American express travellers cheques are still OK in Manila, People say that they are hard to cash, this is not so as if you go to the express office on the ( 5th floor of the Mega Mall) you have no problem, no scams and a good current exchange, i use this all the time instead of taking cash funds, yes it is hard to cash them at other places but you just have to know where to go.

Writer wishes to be anonymous"

1/28/05 I'd like you to add my comments to your page.
I think perhaps the Philippines is getting a bad rap.
In any country, you will find the problems that you read on this page. There is corruption, graft, greed everywhere. Let us not forget the most true saying in all of world travel:

A fool and his money are easily parted.
I mean come on, you're going to pull out $2,000 cash on the street and hand it to someone you dont know? What an idiot!

Rule number one in world travel: Trust no one.
Rule number two: Keep your cash in your sock
Rule number three: Dont carry a wallet
Rule number four: Travel LIGHT. Dont take fourteen stupid suit cases.

Here's some more tips for travel.
Buy clothes there! They are cheap and you wont attract unwanted attention by wearing your $200 designer shirt.
Dont wear excessive jewlry. A cheap watch should do it.

Basically, the common sense thing is, dont travel with anything you're not willing to part with at the airport, in the taxi, at the hotel, etc. Carrying expensive cameras, video, jewlry, suitcases, clothes, sneakers, is asking for trouble. You want to be as inconspicuous as possible.

I lived in the Philippines for almost four years. While, it was frustrating many times, I did have good experiences there. I was never mugged, robbed, cheated, although i was raped a few times by a gang of girls but I think I paid them for that ;)

I fell asleep once on a Jeepney [DONT DO THIS] and arrived at my desitnation unharmed, with my shoes still on. I tipped the driver P100 and he said Salamat Po!

The moral of the story is, be a gracious guest, use common sense, and treat people with dignity and respect. To the Filipino, Respect goes a long way.

The tips about the taxi, are right on. The taxi driver can get a ticket if they are caught driving without their meter on, which, guess what, You'll be paying too! If the cop pulls a taxi over with an Americano in it, haha, you're gonna pay pal. The way to do it is, tell em to turn the meter on and you'll tip him good anyway. Just say to the driver "Maraming salamat" [thank you very much]. Dont be a cheapskate. Your money goes a long way over there, throw a little around but dont show em your wad.

Angeles City moves to shut down Internet prostitution
The Philippine Star 11/30/2004
ANGELES CITY — The police has created a task force here to clamp down on Internet prostitution following a series of raids that confirmed the existence of the illegal Internet activity.  Police Station 4 chief Efren Miranda said that city police chief Senior Superintendent Jimmy Restua created the Cybersex Task Force to conduct surveillance operations and raid establishments believed to be engaged in cybersex. Senior Inspector Luisito Tan was designated head of the task force.

Restua cited reports that women, mostly migrants from other provinces, have been employed by such establishments to pose naked before Web cameras (webcams) and follow instructions, almost always sexually oriented, of viewers from all over the world who pay via credit cards for access to pornographic websites.

Restua said that the creation of the task force was in line with the order of Mayor Carmelo Lazatin to transform this city, which used to host a US military facility at Clark Field, into a wholesome, family-oriented entertainment city.

November 2004 Economic Terrorism Against Foreigners in the Republic of the Philippines
Dear Dave,
I read your article dated 1999. I am in the Philippines now as with many foreigners that I know. We mostly are victims of Filipino business partners, girlfriends, wives and corrupt officials. Most believed before arrival that even though the Philippines was a poor nation the people were honest and good, that's why we came.

However, that is not the case, many foreigners have lost everything, through fabricated cases, extortion and shady dishonest officials. The foreigner is truly persecuted in the Republic of the Philippines, in a very racist and inhumane way.

Don't ever return and spread the news, it's like living hell here. We need help many Americans and other nationalities are kidnapped by government officials and are dying a slow painful death. I know of over 100 foreigners in a semi-personal way, and many other thousands, that I only know by word of mouth, the embassies are slow to react and don't know what to do, since the foreign victims are captive by government officials and the law is very dishonest, documents are faked and lives are destroyed.

We live in constant fear of being killed, tell the U.S. government don't send any more money until the Philippines changes and gives foreigners the same rights and freedoms as foreigners get in the U.S.A. and other western countries.

We need help, news, tv anything, people are dying.

Dave notes: Sounds like the corruptness is similar only worse than what I reported from my 1999 trip

Manila Scam Feb 2004
I am reading articles about money changer scams in Manila because I was ripped off for about 40,000.00P! Because of a commercial lease I was changing $2000.00US and we just happened to be coming out of Robinson’s Mall and a young man came up to me with a list of all the currency’s of the world and the U.S. dollar was right at the top showing an exchange of 57.00 pesos per dollar and the best I’d ever had before was 55.6 per dollar. I should have known but the man even said the markets were up. I was skeptical until he was able to point directly to a money changer booth with bars and all only 3 business faces up the street. Since I was with 3 close friends I decided to go for it. At first I handed only $100.00 and then I saw a huge pile of 500 peso notes so I said, “Ok wait, here’s $2000.00; can I use your calculator.” We did the math and it was 114,000.00. I swore I kept my eyes on that pile of money the entire time and it was counted out twice. The second time we counted it and separated it into 10k stacks even. We used his calculator but a man came into the money changer and I glanced at him for a split second. It’s the only time I can think that the man may have palmed a stack from the top of the pile. We ended up only putting 1 month down on the commercial spot instead of 6 months. So I went back to the rental house and plopped the huge wad of money back into my back. Several days later I counted it and it was severely short. I arranged polygraph tests for my two maids in Mandaluyong City for 1,500.00P per test. I highly suggest taking advantage of this valuable service for anything that comes up. It was only when I met with an American who has been coming to the Philippines for 16 years was it that I was able to understand what had happened to me. I’m severely bitter and missing a huge amount of my savings. In my opinion the only money changer safe for changing money is the changer in the Greenbelt malls by the Landmark in Makati. I had always gone to them before and never had a problem.

Another tip, never let a taxi driver in the Philippines keep his meter off. If they won’t turn their meter on then have them stop the car and get another taxi even if you have to walk a couple blocks to do it. It’s fine if the traffic is heavy and they want to add 10-50 pesos (depending on the traffic) on top of the actual meter amount. If their air-con is not working then you should collect information on the cab and submit a formal complaint to the Land transportation department because the base 25 pesos which flags on the meter as soon as they turn it on includes an amount for them having air-con. If you were in a car with no air-con then the meter would start less than 25 pesos.

Update October 2003
Dear Sir, I was surfing the internet and came across your webpage. I am a Filipino residing in my country and I feel saddened by the bad experiences and baised opinions of the tourists have visited the Philippines. They have not seen what the islands and the people has to offer. I think they önly had the opportunity to see the places not worth going to (girlie bars and clubs) and meeting the wrong kind of crowd. Should they have been interested to see the country in its raw beauty and meet the real hardworking pinoys, they should have packed their bags and escaped the urban jungle to head for the rustic splendor of the provinces. Happy touring.

Scam Warning October 2003
I have been going to Manila for 20 years, and know it very well. PLEASE let your readers know of this tired old scam. In the money changer houses in the ermita area, and all over the tourist areas in metro manila, people come in to exchange US money for the better than the bank rate on the peso. While the lady is counting out the pesos she slides the stack to you then says she needs to re check the count...she takes the money back and acts confused and starts to count and slide money back to you, the very second she is done a very well trained child you never see has slid around the counter and is crouching next to you, as she again makes a distraction and you turn to talk to her, the kid lifts about half of your stack and slides back into the tiny opening and is gone. I, like a fool took my money, after all it HAD been counted two times right in front of me, and put it in my front pocket and jumped back into cab, not knowing until later I had been ripped by these thieving Filipino sluts. This is why the money changers pay more than the banks or hotels, and all look alike. In the event you have a really large sum of Dollars she will signal for her thug who is always out front, and you will get a real surprise when you are about to get into the cab! The Police don't dive a damn, and get a percentage of the take. Mabini street is also flooded with illegal change shops just ready for a nice tourist like you.

Update January 2001
Estrada Resigns and Murder and "getting even" instead of getting mad continues as usual
Mobs take to the streets of Manila after the prosecutors all resigned in Estrada's impeachment /corruption trial. The trial was suspended when the Senate voted not to open confidential bank records that would prove that Estrada amassed $60.7 million in payoffs and unaccountable funds. The economy continues in ruins with only Estrada and his cronies getting rich by payoffs etc., but that is just normal in the Philippines.

Once at the pinnacle of stardom and power, President Joseph Estrada was pushed off the public stage Saturday in a downfall more dramatic than the plot of any of his films. Estrada spent a turbulent morning barricaded inside the presidential palace as hundreds of thousands of protesters marched toward the palace. An air force fighter jet buzzed past the palace and four military helicopters hovered overhead - reminding Estrada that his defense chiefs had deserted him. Protests swelled with at least 250,000 people demanding his resignation during a raucous rally at the Manila monument (near EDSA) to the 1986 "people power" revolt with the support of the military that threw out the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Estrada finally slipped out a back door after his resignation.

It was an ignominious end to a presidency that, when it started in 1998, Estrada called his "last and greatest performance."

He has acknowledged fathering children with several women other than his wife. He banked on this macho charisma and a pro-poor platform in the impoverished Asian nation of 76 million people to win the presidency with one of the largest margins in recent memory. But he squandered his popularity and extended his carefree lifestyle into the office. He loathed work and many meetings were more like drinking parties than doing government business.

During the impeachment trial, prosecutors accused Estrada of breaking the law "like clockwork," keeping a network of hidden bank accounts holding millions in illicit funds. They said he bought a mansion for one of his mistresses for $1.4 million while declaring only a net worth of $700,000 for the year.

Besides all the corruption the culture continues to be very violent. The news below was BEFORE the current protests. Source: Margarita Station mailing list - http://www.theville.com This excerpt, with full credit, is being shared under the Fair Use provision of the U.S. Copyright laws and International treaties for educational purposes with no financial gain:

As you all probably know, we some very devastating bombings in Manila. This is the sixth time there have been bombings in Manila this year. To make it worse, most of the Filipinos believe this round of bombings to be the responsibility of someone in government rather than one of the armed insurgent groups such as the NPA, the MILF, the MNLF, or the Abu Sayaf. (NOTE: The US state department has issued an advisory telling US citizens to avoid mass transportation such as the LRT and busses, and to avoid crowded areas like shopping malls. But, they have not recommended against travel to Manila or anywhere on the main island of Luzon.)

In my last newsletter I mentioned the killing of John Hammer, the owner of Thunderstruck. That murder remains unsolved, and the list of suspects is pretty long. John was always friendly when I met him, but he had a short temper and a record of beating up many guys. Additionally, he was involved in numerous businesses and had more than one investor that was looking for some return on their investments.

Unfortunately, there was another murder of a long term expat in the last month. A popular expatriate nicknamed “Santa Claus” was found dead near the Park Chicago Hotel in the heart of the entertainment district. His head had been bashed in from a hollow block found near his body.

These two murders IMO do not represent a change in our security situation. Rather, they are a wakeup call for some of us that live here to remind us we are in a foreign country where some people don’t get mad, they get even. It amazes me every time I see a long-term resident getting into a fight with a local over something small like ten pisos. Stay on the main streets at night, and take a trike home to your hotel after dark.

Ken, the owner of Silver Fox left the country after trumped up charges of "white slavery" filed against him by Marie, the younger sister of his ex-girlfriend. Because of his departure the Silver Fox has reverted back to Neville (owner of the Jolly Frog) who has also hired Marie as a "GRO."

Another local expat, Australian hotel chain owner Wesley J. Prentice was acquitted by Judge Perfecto Laguio of Regional Trial Court Branch 18 of two counts of rape filed by a 16-year-old girl in 1998 for insufficiency of evidence. The court cited her claims as "unimaginable, abnormal, doubtful, and cannot pass through the strain of reason, among others." Wes spent at least 11 months in jail where he paid about $800 a month to rent a small air-conditioned room. (Yes he paid for his room in jail!)

"The girl, who had work as dancer in the bar owned by Prentice, had claimed that she was drugged by the accused that caused her to fall asleep in August, 1998. She said that ever since, she was deprived of her freedom and was constantly under guard whenever she went out. The relationship of the two ended when Prentice's wife discovered their illicit affair and began harassing the complainant. The fact that the accused slept with (beside) the complainant instead of occupying another room, considered conjointly with the following factors inevitably tended to establish that there was no rape and the sexual intercourse was consensual," said Judge Laguio in his 13-page decision. The judge questioned the victim’s failure to cry or call for help a number of times while allegedly being raped and her failure to confide her ordeal to her friends and her classmates in the computer school, where the accused sent her to study. Further . . . (the victim) kept the matter to herself. It was only in December 1998 or three months after she was allegedly first raped, that she filed criminal charges on the matter. Such passivity and inactivity create in the minds of the court reasonable doubt as to her truthfulness and good faith, said the court."

Dave notes: He was acquitted but not until after being in jail for 11 months! This is small example of why I prefer Thailand so much more over the Philippines - a very peaceful society with far fewer problems where violence is totally against Buddhist beliefs. I felt so much safer walking the streets of Bangkok vs Manila. And as I reported all those private guards with big guns even in McDonalds in Manila didn't provide much comfort wondering why they were needed in most every shop in Manila!

Update October 2000
A Realistic Positive View of the Philippines:
Wise comments used with his permission from a guy who lives in PI and has a Filipina wife. Both are very well educated professionals. He says:

"I read your article with concern. You write well and your experiences are consistent with those I have had previously. I have spent a lot of time studying the PI culture and think that I can live within it for a while. Graft, utang na loob, pakikasama, poverty, exploitation and taking the long way to say "no" can all be disheartening. But, I recommend that you reconsider your decision to abandon PI. Not that I favor PI over Thailand as it concerns women, but because including PI provides a much wider base of movement with greater choices.

Erap will be out at the next election and another corrupt politican will take his place. Tan will continue to rape the country and the country won't complain.....too much. But, the women will still be beautiful, plentiful and charming. The beaches will be white sand, warm and the water inviting. The living will be inexpensive and luxurious. I have learned about the Philippines and Thailand that above all, we westerners have to keep a very low profile, create some "friendships" with medium officials, contribute to the Barrio fund, and have a great time."

After my supportive response, he continues:

"It is not sufficient that a person be versed in the huge cultural differences between Western countries and PI, but you have to buy into it at some level. If you are put off by graft, theft by domestics, gouging by taxi drivers, hearing "yes" when they mean "no", and political theft, then you will have a really hard time living in PI. If one's scruples require massaging when the barangay president requests your contribution for road improvements which are to be made by his brother-in-law, then don't live in that sub division.

Part of the charm and the challenge for me of living in the PI is prevailing against the centuries of domination which have reinforced a cultural mishmosh that combines catholicism, poverty, and political dishonesty with a presumed genetic predisposition toward a dependent society."

Update September 2000
Wall Street Journal Article exposes The Corruption in the Philippines Keeps Getting Worse With Estrada's Tactics and Cronyism

Update October 1999
Since my recent trip to Thailand, I have lost any interest I had in the Philippines.  With all the corruption, the horrible reaction to my honest sharing etc, I simply have no time for the Philippines.  Even without the political mess, I found the experience with women in Bangkok and Pattaya so much better than in Manila/Angeles City.   Many others have written me and feel the same based on their experiences.  See my huge Thailand report at http://www.sexwork.com/Thailand/contents.html with music and lots of pictures.  I also have include what I hope is a honest report comparing the pros and cons without overly emphasizing the dishonestly in PI but more the experience with women as part of my Thailand report (2nd from bottom right side on menu)

And why not completed!

As you will note I have not completed the report on the last leg of my return to Manila after Angeles. But I have done a very detailed extensive report of my experiences starting in Manila, Makati and then Angeles City

I had posted the first part of the report but quickly my simply sharing of my experience turned into sort of an international incident. I have been threatened and warned I could be deported or worse arrested by immigration if I ever return to PI. Why?

I clearly talk about barfines not being for sex, prostitution being illegal, and sex is not guaranteed just because you barfine a GRO. I mention the possibility of sex and report honestly on my experiences which didn't always include sex. BTW, why do GROs need weekly medical checks and quarterly HIV tests if it isn't for sex?

When a discussion arose about talking honestly about it on Angles2.com, an Angeles discussion board, all my posts with no notice and without anyone contacting me were removed. I also got E-mails from some of the Angles bar owners telling me how much a threat my report was to their business. Ironically its reports like mine that should bring the Angeles/Manila bars more business. A number of people have E-mailed me telling how helpful the report was and because of it they are going to visit Angeles. But instead because I talk about sex honestly, I'm the enemy of the bar owners and censored on their discussion board. I don't need these silly games.  There were also PI folks saying they were sending all the information about my report to PI government officials and "we will see how they like it"

You have to play the game of denying sex exists to be acceptable. We seem to have to follow the PI thinking that if you don't expose it or talk about it - it doesn't exist. Yet that of course is why people are interested in Angeles...coming for what officially doesn't exist!

These experiences reinforced my negative view from my experience at the EDSA Entertainment Complex. I was assaulted by security thugs, kicked out and banned from the complex simply because I sat in the central area and was writing some personal notes in a little book after visiting a few bars, buying lady drinks etc. That story is not in the report yet since it was on my return to Manila after Angeles which I hadn't completed.  I now have little interest in completing it  due to the censorship mentality of PI. I now expose the censorship instead of completing my mostly favorable report and I now encourage trips to Thailand over PI.  There are many advantages to Thailand sexworkers/bargirls  which I will start reporting on as I have time.

Although the website now is very positive, if I get time I may talk more about these situations as well as reporting on what I read in Manila papers about police bribes, tax corruption etc. They were front page news when I was there.  I've been warned if I ever return to PI after reporting both that sex exists and what is in their own paper I face the risk or being arrested or turned away at immigration as an undesirable. They don't seem to need any good reason to arrest you, they just hold you until you pay their bribe.

No, thanks, I want to enjoy where I go, and look forward to reporting on and promoting Thailand over PI based not at all on the girls or wonderful clubs, but the fact I can't tell it like it is and have to play games. There is no need for such games in Thailand, where tourists of all kinds are welcome. Plus the attitudes from a Buddhist background are so sexually positive vs. Catholic repression (although interestingly 2nd wives are common in PI but not talked about).

While people in Thailand don't like their sexual attractions advertised over other wonderful things in Thailand they don't censor or repress factual reporting as in the corrupt PI. Even their response to the recent Newsweek article saying Thailand's greatest assets were sex and golf, got a polite response from Thai government officials who pointed out some of the other wonderful attractions of Thailand.

Thailand has tourist police that help tourists, PI police look for bribes. There is a huge cultural difference which I think needs to be reported so men can make informed choices in their travel plans.

I've also had both E-mail and phone discussions the the founder of many of Manila's best clubs (Firehouse chain founder) who was featured in the 80s on the cover of Newsweek as one of the best clubs in the world. He called me since he liked my intimacy not just sex discussion on the website. He warned me of the political situation and how I could be in danger if I returned to PI. He told me how he decided to pull out instead of paying for protection, political corruption fees etc. Likewise I understand lots of the owners of PI clubs have pulled out over the years and went to Bangkok where it is much more friendly to sex related business.

I think these are all very good reasons why tourists, especially once they know what is going on prefer Thailand over PI. It is too bad since if it weren't for the political situation, PI has a great deal to offer and none of my bad experiences were related to the bargirls - I had some great experiences as my report discusses and it never mentions any of the bad experiences all of which except EDSA (which isn't in the report) happened after the report was written.

Apparently the censorship is now spreading to the PI newspapers:

I was surprised how the Manila Times was so up front in their reporting of all the corruption in Manila when I was there. From the attacks I got from my honest PI report which did nothing more than discuss bar girls, it is clear PI isn't into honestly or free speech.

The following post is from the soc.culture.filipino newsgroup 7/22/99;
I am afraid this may come to be known as a sad day in the history of the Republic of the Philippines. The Manila Times has been shut down as of today and the Philippine Daily Inquirer is under assault. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are being eroded if not yet completely eliminated, and uncertain, unspecified changes in the Constitution are being sought. These things all too closely resemble a portent of dictatorship much as during the Marcos years.

Cops and burly men seize copies of Final Edition Another example only wanting what they want to have published - Seek Government control of press since it was too honest!

Do we spend tourist dollars regardless of the local political situation or do some of us have a social conscious and even though it doesn't directly effect our "fun" do we consider the fact a government may be corrupt in our decision where we spend "fun" money?  That is for each individual to decide for themselves. 

Tourist Falsely being accused of Rape and having to pay off huge bride to Police and Bargirl

An E-mail I received about corruption and hypocrisy that needs to be exposed, and my reply

$10 million of funds for Philippines' poor Allegedly Diverted By President Estrada and his family/friends Just another part of the massive corruption of PI  

Scandal Hits Philippine Stock Market - Corruption as Usual in PI

Eva from Cebu - The real story of the guilt and issues of family of bargirls in PI
Eva from Cebu...seems to have the typical Catholic guilt issues that are so common. And the family situation is as I've read about. Family to support is also common with Thai bar/ gogo/ massage girls but they don't have the Catholic guilt over sexuality since Buddhism is quite sex positive and being a prostitute is no big deal. They are often welcomed with open arms by the monks in the villages when they return with $ to support the family from working in local brothels or from Bangkok or Pattaya. Too bad Catholism is so sex negative and cause so much unneeded guilt in pain.


Why The Philippines Introduction
And Table Of Contents For Extensive Research Report

Why the Philippines ?
Opportunity to be treated like a king. 
Even an older man like me (Age 52) who happens to like younger (like in 20's) women can enjoy being surrounded by attractive, sexy women anxious to meet you.  In the Philippines, like most of Asia and also Latin America and Russia, older men are often preferred for their maturity.  In the Philippines this is very true.  As one young women told me, "its not your age that is important but who you are". 

Good Intimacy
Filipinos tend to be by nature happy, warm people.  The women seem to enjoy my type of non-sexual intimacy which I discuss in detail later.

Regulated Good Health
All the bargirls are given weekly health checks and quarterly HIV tests. Each girl is given a health card that is stamped weekly. The customers are mostly very low risk heterosexual males that are very unlikely to have HIV.  Still, I highly recommend you always wear a condom for any sex you might have and most bargirls also insist on it.

English An Official Language
English is taught in all schools starting in elementary school. This makes the Philippines less foreign seeming then many other Asians countries.  However,  many of the girls didn't speak English very well since even while they were taught English,  they never use it at home, especially if they come from the provinces.  Also Filipino English sounds different than American English.

As I will discuss in more detail barfines ranged from about P850 to P1000 ($US26) This is for the right to take the girl from the bar for the evening to your hotel. Hotel rates were also very low. I paid P1080/night in Angeles City ($US28) and only slightly more in Manila for quite nice rooms.  Much less expensive rooms are also available.

Certainly Not Exploitive
What is a "bargain" to us foreigners is a fortune for most of the bar girls who choose this over other lines of work. The salary they are paid of say P150/night (I saw ads for dancers in Angela City) is about the same or more as being a store clerk or factory worker.

As one women explained, she worked in a hellhole sardine canning factory in Manila making P125/day, below legal minimum wage for Manila. Swaying one's hips till 5 AM is not necessarily easy but beats cutting off fish heads all day.

BUT...they only get P150 if all they do is show up for work and never get a customer to buy them a drink, be barfined etc. They make about P35 on every lady drink.  In Angeles they make 50% of the barfine (typically P950) and all the tips from the man the next morning. Common is for tips of P100-P500 in Angeles, P500-P1000 in Manila except except in Makati where higher tips are expected.  P1000 = $US 26 as of April 1999.

As one girl told me, she and many bargirls feel it is much more degrading to work in a sweat shop factory or McDonalds than to be a bargirl and makes LOTS more money to help their families. They much more and enjoy the company of men for much better money.

Filipino culture is much more open than American culture it seems since secondary wives are an accepted (but often not talked about) part of Filipino culture.  However Filipinos are also understandably sensitive about their women being exploited for money or the idea of sex tours.

Many Filipinos are modest, but not nearly as sexually repressed as Americans. They are not taught that sex is dirty outside of marriage, even from a Catholic tradition vs. American women.

The women in the bars can decide whether or not to be barfined by a customer.  A barfine is a fine you pay to the bar for lost lady drink fees to allow the girl to leave the club early and spend the rest of the evening with you. Barfining a girl is for companionship and is not a payment for sex. Consenting adults certainly can share sexually, but that is not what the barfine is for.

No women,  at least in the tourist area bars is forced to work or have sex with anyone.  There is no exploitation as some would like people to believe.  It sometimes is real exploitation and forced prostitution in houses used by the locals which in the past have been shutdown.  But this is not the case in the tourist areas where all women are licensed and bars regulated.

In this report I will discuss in depth travel hints, the culture, the bar scene and share very openly some of my most personal experiences.  The following table of contents links to pages with a great deal of discussion on each topic.

The women - A picture is worth 1000 words!



From Champagne Bar Angeles City.

Note registration card as "Guest Relations Officer" around first girls neck.  All bargirls are registered, have weekly STD checks and quarterly HIV testing in the Philippines.



Prostitution in the Philippines
Bargirls are Registered and are available to meet men for companionship.  Payment for sexual services is not legal.

Mail-order-bride Services Are Illegal

More to Come But this is a Preview

My Travel Experience & Hints
Eva Air & Mabuhay at MNLconfusion

Manila Hotels & Walking the Streets

Corporate Inn in Ermita & Copacabana Apartment-Hotel in Pasay City

Traffic and Driving (if you call it that) in Manila

Vegas Hotel Angeles City And Trikes To Fields Ave Bars

Exchange Rates Philippine Pesos / U.S. Dollar

Filipino English can be hard to understand at first

Health Information for Travelers

Women Students the Cabbies offer you

Cultural Information that relates to bargirl experience

The economics of bargirls and concerns

Intimacy & Companionship Guide & My Experiences

Dancers Don't Really Dance

The Bar Mamasan

Massage in Manila & Angeles City

My Physical Intimacy Interest and Definition of Physical Intimacy

Bar Intimacy - My Approach & Techniques

Very Detailed Experiences of Dave

Manila Bars EDSA Complex

Makati Bars- very interesting!

Angeles City Bar Girl Adventures- Introduction, Economics, Bar Costs and Great Map

Angeles City Bar Girl Adventures – Night 1 Details
April 9-10, 1999 Mostly Tahitian Queen & Roadhouse

Angeles City Bar Girl Adventures – Night 2 Details
April 10-11, 1999 Mostly Illusions & Margarita Station Wave

Angeles City Bar Girl Adventures – Night 3 Details
April 11-12, 1999 Mostly Papillion & Champagne Girls

Angeles City Bar Girl Adventures – Final Night & Conclusions

Manila Pasay Bars after returning from Angeles - Report  Never completed due to incidents

Links and much more information from others - Report Never completed due to incidents

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