We who write, pride ourselves on being detailed observers. Keeping in mind all the Internet surfers and Googlers out there, I like to keep an eye on my site-meter, because it tells me what people are trying to find out about. For instance, my most read post by far is my "Rizal vs. Bonifacio" commentary, especially during school season when the plagiarizers come out of the woodwork; I've had literally thousands of hits on that one. But not too far down the "searcher list" I see that a whole lot of folks are looking for info on AC living, and not just on how much apartments go for!
I've been here for more than 5 years now, so I feel somewhat qualified to offer a few observations--strictly as an on-looker of course--on "the darker side" of life here in "Sin City," Pampanga. I'm being a little facetious when I refer to this town as "Sin City," but being completely honest, THAT is exactly what it is. Virtually all of the hundreds of tourists who come here do so for the girls. Most come strictly for the sex, but many also fall in love with one of those comely lasses in spite of themselves. As you can imagine, the stories are legion.
As for the young ladies that come here, they arrive in their daily droves from all over the Philippines, and they come for exactly two things: 1) to earn money, and 2) to meet foreigners for a possible longterm relationship. Oh, and there's a third category: girls who come here to make money AND to meet their future husband.
So, why here? When it comes to the women what is so special about this place you might ask. Well, if you have ever been to the Philippines you wouldn't HAVE to ask. The women here are indeed special. Strictly on a looks basis, eight out of ten Filipinas, if not outright beautiful, are at the very least quite physically attractive, especially to Western eyes.
Then again, looks are not everything; and that brings us to THE most important aspect of the ladies here--their legendary sweetness. This is not a myth. It's interesting that even the most gorgeous girl here thinks she is just average, and THAT seems to be their most appealing quality. It seems that the only stuck up Filipinas in existence come from the very rich families, those that have been Westernized. You probably won't be subjected to one of those snobs anyway, although I have met a few snobbish ones outside of their home country AFTER they had lost that special unpretentious "Filipina quality."
Some of the AC girls working in one of the many bars might SEEM snobby, but in reality they are just extremely shy. This is certainly true for many of the girls that first arrive in Angeles City from one of the many Philippines provinces. Perhaps they are unsure of their English, or they haven't gotten used to being around partying foreigners, many of whom can be very forward and boisterous. This country is an extremely conservative place, so the newly arrived young ladies have to get their sea legs under them first. Once they learn how to interact though, watch out!
Having said all that, the luckiest people on earth are the men of the Philippines. Funny thing is, few of them realize it UNTIL they leave here and learn that the rest of the world's women are not nearly so sweet and loving as those they took for granted back home. Without exception, all my single stateside Filipino pals could not wait to come back here to get themselves their life mate.
You would think the girls here would play even a little hard-to-get, but it almost never happens that way. It's just not their nature, at least not until they leave the country and learn how truly desirable they are. (There's a lesson to be learned from that fellas!)
Getting back to the Angeles City angle, believe it or not, even an old ugly over-weight foreigner can come here to live and find himself a beautiful teenage beauty to be his "live in," or if he so wants, to be his loving bride. These are not idle words. I can think of several 50 and 60 year olds who have settled down with their very own little local lovely lady. Most have two or more children to show for their relationship "arrangement."
Just to make my point I'll give you THE most extreme example I can think of. Let's see, one of my buddies, I'll call him Ed, will be 79 next month. He proudly has an 18 year old girlfriend live-in who takes care of him and chases after him as if he was some 25 year old lady killer. Yes, my friends, she is jealous and worried that he might be two-timing her. Is she for real? Is she just after his money? Who knows anymore? And Ed really doesn't care. The point is Ed is loving life and he has got to be the youngest acting old man his age I've ever met. In the States he'd be looked at as a joke, as a ridiculous caricature, but not so here. Over here he's just a typical retiree.
I'll write more in future posts on this subject. I've met and "interviewed" scores of fellow foreigners and the girls they come here to meet, party with, and or settle down with, and there is a story behind each.