A Guide For An Outrageous Vacation
Thailand vs. The Philippines
Thailand is the best that Asia has to offer - including The Philippines. For example, Pattaya and Angeles City (AC) are both on par as party places, but Pattaya is cleaner, safer, with better transportation, medical care, and food.
Pattaya has interesting daytime activities such as golf, gyms, movie theaters, and tourist attractions - in addition to drinking, eating, and screwing. AC can only boast of the latter three activities - and the novelty of those activities wear off fairly quickly.
While Filipina girls speak better English, there are fewer bars. If you want a wife then, yes, the Philippines would be a better choice as the girls are more than happy to escape from there.
I go to the Philippines quite often. Mainly because it's close and it's a nice break from Thailand. I always go with a male friend or two and generally end up having a boozy holiday.
I prefer it to Cambodia or Vietnam as a holiday destination, and I have always appreciated a good shit hole experience. AC certainly meets that criteria. But to suggest it is even in the same league as Thailand, to me, is a joke.
Manila is the worst city in the world. I have never liked being there, as it is dangerous. The traffic makes Bangkok look well organized and the GoGo prices are just stupid.
The freelancer scene is better, price wise, but the girls in the main are just not my type. The sensible monger on holiday goes directly to AC. So let's look at what AC has to offer.
Vastly improved over the past few years with 3-star places like the Wild Orchid, The Royal Amsterdam and The Pacific Breeze. All good hotels but they are expensive by Thai standards. For a large room I usually end up paying close to US $100 a night. You'd pay less to stay in a 5-star in Pattaya. The cheaper hotels in Angeles are horrible: Tiny rooms, no pool and bad vibes.
There are far fewer bars in AC. After three days, I have seen all of them and have to start revisiting them. Most of the bars are horrible ugly little places with ugly girls. The exception to this are the big bars on Fields, like the Blue Nile, La Pasha, Carousel and Dolls House.
While prices are a bargain compared to what you would pay back home, they are outrageously high compared to Thai prices. You could easily find a girl on your own for a lot less money in any of the tourist areas described in the Why Thailand guide.
Although most of the bars are "GoGo" bars, the girls generally have no idea what GoGo dancing is, or even how to act the least bit sexy.
To overcome this, many bars have the girls line dancing. For fuck's sake, can someone explain to the managers that line dancing is NOT erotic. If the girls are not line dancing they usually just shuffle on the spot. By 11 pm even the shuffling has stopped and the girls tend to just stand there like lumps of dead meat. I really hate that.
There is no nudity in any bars with the exception of the occasional tit flash or closed-door parties. Drink prices used to be cheaper than in Pattaya, but the last two years has seen a big increase with prices for ordinary drinks on a par with Pattaya with some bars charging an expensive 150 - 200 pesos for lady drinks.
Bar fines have been creeping up with 1200 pesos now standard in the Fields area and some even charging 1500. The perimeter still has 1,000 peso bar fines but most of the girls there are NOT worth it.
While the bar fine is promoted as an all-in rate, the expectation of a tip is growing. If you don't tip 500 pesos you will be considered a Cheap Charlie, so a long time could cost you up to 2,000 pesos. On a par with Pattaya EXCEPT you pay first, so performance and girls doing runners can be a big problem
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, this beholder feels strongly that the girls in AC are in a completely different league. The ugly league that is. They do not have the grace or charm of the Thais.
Filipinas are chubby with bad skin, and it seems virtually none of them knows how to tidy their hair. Most Filipina girls are flat-chested unless they are fat. There are lots of fatties to choose from though...
Filipina girls are immature. If one of them dances sexy for twenty seconds the rest will fall about giggling like schoolgirls. By the time a Filipina is 25 she is usually fat, pregnant and completely undesirable. So if you like girls with a bit of character you have to choose an ugly one. Most of the good-looking ones are 18 or 19 and act like 12 year olds.
You will find the GFE (Girl Friend Experience) more common in AC. Although it is called the GFE, I am more inclined to call it the "puppy dog experience".
These girls have so little in their lives to enjoy that they latch on to any half decent man like a leech. They will tell you they love you forever after one night and can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
While I appreciate a genuine GFE, Filipinas in the main leave me cold, as the experience is more like a cherished pet than an adult relationship.
Sadly, the girls do speak better English. I say "sadly" because their knowledge of English reveals just how vacant their minds are. Try to discuss Philippine history, politics or any weighty subject. Their ignorance is simply stunning.
The education system for poor Filipinos is a joke. Thailand, while still a poor educator, is vastly superior to The Philippines.
It is not unusual to find University students and graduates in the bars of Pattaya. I have yet to meet a girl in AC who has finished high school. This may not seem important to mongers but I find the ignorance level in Angeles depressing and the girls poor company for anything other than sex.
AC is a shit hole. So apart from bar crawling there is virtually nothing to do.
As far as I can see, there is no Filipino culture. What they have is a sad mishmash of their Spanish and American colonial past. They seem to have adopted the worst while being incapable of mimicking anything good that came out of those two cultures.
Most expats I have met in AC are not people I'd want to know very well. Maybe it's just me, but I have never seen such a sorry looking bunch of down and out degenerates.
Corruption is taken to a whole new level in The Philippines. The Thais are amateurs at that game compared to the Filipinos. The police are dangerous and best avoided if possible. The crime rate in AC is scary. You have to be brave to venture away from the main bar area. I find the sense of menace on the streets from Filipino men foreboding.
Food is getting better. If you like greasy Western food you will be fine. There is no Filipino cuisine so don't look for a different culinary experience. Has anyone heard of a Philippine restaurant?
The girls are all Catholic so they all think they are going to hell. This can be depressing.
There *are* some real good-looking Filipinas. Sadly, they are such a rarity in AC that when one turns up, she is instantly whisked out of the bar by the manager, owner or an expat in the know, to be live-ins. Holiday mongers are left to deal with the rest.
I am just staggered when I hear or read that someone likes AC more than Pattaya. Yes, it is different and sometimes a change is good, BUT come on! As a destination for holidaying or mongering, it's a joke, right? I do like to visit occasionally to get away from it all in Thailand and I do have a good time with my friends. If I had to live there though, I think I'd prefer to kill myself.
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Author, Why Thailand? A Guide for an Outrageous Vacation