Boracay Beach, Philippines Blog Four.
I’m at Nigi Nigi Nu Noos “e” Nu Nu Noos with Blue Eyes. Nigis is one of the popular local hangouts for ex-pats and “white” tourists who have left their homes and native lands to travel to this exotic destination rich in culture—if poor in conditions—only to coagulate with their own flock in a beach bar with hot wings and cheap beer on the menu and Cheap Trick on the radio.
I sit at the bar drinking bottled water (as I’m not much of a drinker) and observe the crowd while Blue Eyes chats with the bartender, who plunks down another Blue Eyes “regular” (as he is more of a drinker).
It’s relatively early. There aren’t too many customers yet, but the ones who are here look like they started drinking yesterday (or this morning, or perhaps—probably—continuously).
There are also a lot of Asian tourists—from Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand, but none from China at the moment.
Blue Eyes tells me, There’s some political tension and restrictions … otherwise, this place is usually overrun with them. He means Boracay Island in general.
I can’t imagine it being more overrun than the swarming crowds I’ve already seen, but he assures me Boracay is relatively quiet with tourists right now. Thank God. I’m not big on crowds, and my constant straining to hear familiar English words has me exhausted. No wonder Nigis is so popular.
Everyone you meet here who speaks English is a friend regardless of length of time of acquaintance. A “friend” of Blue Eyes shows up and chats with us.
He asks me, So, how do you like it here?
I reply, Well, I’m not a beach person and I don’t really drink, but the worst is all the cigarette smoke. Disgusting. I make a gag-me face.
Blue Eyes laughs, He just quit smoking. He uses one of those inhaler things.
I reply, Sorry.
It’s too late; he’s offended. I can tell by the change in his countenance and stance.
I try to soften my opinion: But good for you for quitting. Sort of.
He’s a bit defensive: It’s the habit.
Then he motions like he’s putting a cigarette to his mouth: Changing one thing at a time.
I change the subject: Right, yes. Hey, listen to the music. It’s interesting to hear Western 80s tracks here.
He says, Is there anything you do like?
Oh my, someone needs a fag. (Fag: UK talk for cigarette.)
Speaking of which …
A little later—after “Ex-“Smoker has taken his leave—I watch people strolling past the bar. Blue Eyes and I discuss local customs and sexpectations.
There are indeed old men (60 years, 70 years plus) with young Asian “ladies” (30 years, 20 years or less), some of whom I’m told are Lady-boys—
That was one. Blue Eyes tells me as a codger walks by hand in masculine hand with a pretty young thing.
Really?? She’s gorgeous. He. She? He/she? Whatever.
He laughs in a way that raises my eyebrow. I ask, Have you ever mistaken one?
Yes. But nothing actually happened. (That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.)
So what’s the deal? Is it like we Westerners assume it is? He knows what I mean: women and Lady-boy locals are mostly promiscuous in hopes of finding a foreigner husband or are prostitutes in some way.
Yes, pretty much. He confirms.
The happy ending? I giggle.
He corrects me, You [anyone] can get a working girl [prostitute], there are ways of knowing, actually it’s pretty obvious the way they dress, but the massage girls aren’t like that. Well, maybe a few would would for enough money, but it’s not like people think.
I’m sure he’s telling me a through-the-grapevine story. (Sideways glance.)
He continues: Some guys come here and get together with a girl [not prostitute], and she puts out, but then he’s buying her a new phone—their phones are always broken or are [owned by] “their cousins”—and dinners and giving them money for their “sick kids.” Their kids are always sick—not really, but that’s what they say. These guys get reeled in, and it costs them a lot more than a big tip if they’d stuck to the happy ending [with a prostitute].
I can’t help but interject with—Just the tip? Just to see how it feels … Sorry, potty brain.
He laughs but continues his serious rant: Then they get married and the girls get fat and lazy and don’t want sex anymore, and the guy is stuck.
I say, So … pretty much like back home.
The thing I’ve noticed here is that everyone seems pretty much okay with the sex culture, or maybe they’ve just accepted it. The people here are poor by any standards, so a lot of the young ladies (with or without a dick) only see the value of a comfortable life. I’ve got to give them credit for not being attached to physical vanity. It doesn’t matter what a guy looks like as long as he can take care of her. I’ve seen some damn old and/or damn unattractive men (by Western standards, not just my own) with some damn attractive Filipino ladies (again, with or without the third leg).
Not all of the women here are looking for a sugar daddy/husband. Not at all. It’s just more prevalent and obvious at the beach where the tourists are.
Blue Eyes tells me, I stay away from the good girls. Some of them are religious or might still be virgins at 29 waiting for the guy they’re going to marry. But they want love, marriage, and kids—not money. Well, probably that, too. I know my limitations, and there are enough others [women to have noncommittal companionship with] who know that about me. I don’t need to go hurting some innocent girl.
One of the things I love about my friend is that he lives his life authentically with no apologies to anyone. And if honesty is a measure of goodness—in my book it ranks #1—then he’s a good guy.
What have I (re)learned? Judge not lest ye be judged. Who are we to decide what’s right and what’s wrong? As long as we’re happy and not hurting anyone (and not pushing our self-interests onto the innocents of the world: children, animals, elderly, invalids) then it all goes back to my motto: “If it feels good, do it and, if it doesn’t feel good—knock it off already!”
Bike ride, hike. Check.
Cheesecake. Double check. (And counting.)
Massage. Triple check. Blog to follow …
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