Monday, December 27, 2004

Island Observations


Staying 8 days in this island has made Dutchman and I so exasperated. Life’s poignant reality really exist. Here are the three main depressing subjects that we noticed.

Lack of Business Initiative


It is quite noticeable that a number of the local owned resorts and bar-restaurants are lacking in lustre and ingenuity. They are left standing stationary with none or very little maintenance and some even looked deadbeat to me. It is such a pity when you look at the pristine nature cascading right in front of these establishments... crystal-like blue waters... and the chaste white sand... what a waste.

Moreover, these businesses can easily increase their profit by utilizing the extra mile effort at a very low cost.

How? Well create an ambience to attract customers! For many foreigners and local tourists, ambience is the come on signal.

“ …clean the beach regularly from debris, rake the sand, bring out the sun beds and place them by the beach, arrange and decorate the tables and chairs of the cottages facing the beach with appealing table linen tops and candle lights, etcetera… and lastly, employ some good music in the atmosphere… ”

It’s all about packaging and marketing but sadly none of these locally owned resorts and bar restaurants have a damn clue. There are only a couple of places that are customer magnets and most of them were owned and managed by foreigners, most often than not, Europeans.


There was this really cool bar restaurant managed by a gay Pinoy. He has a meticulous eye on details and was always calling his staff’s attention to focus on the customer. His partner was Swiss, a gay too. I think they are lovers.

Local Filipino By-standers

There was this Englishman who sitting beside us in a bar restaurant, he was complaining with a loud voice to his local friends that he could not play pool (billiards) whilst pointing his finger across the street towards the pool establishment. He continued to talk saying the local Filipino men are playing non-stop and are not giving chances to others.


Ah, I can sympathize with him because ever since we arrived in this island, I have seen these Filipino by-standers playing early in the morning until 2am. It seems that this is their life and nothing else more.

I do wonder where they get their money to pay for each game? Looking at these individuals, we don’t have to squeeze our brains to think if they have. It amazes me that they are so content with playing pool the whole day. Perhaps this is some sort of addiction?

And what about those other guys just sitting idly in the benches of the bars or standing glued by varied business establishments like statues by the streets?


Kanto boys (street boys or by-standers). They can surely do better than by hanging their lazy butts by looking for a job!

Modern Day Prostitution

Whenever I see a mismatched couple in the beach, I still think with naivety that they are real lovers on a weekend getaway, but the scrupulous Dutchman says so otherwise. With his observant trained eye and 6th sense, he can see through the ethereal of things.

Like our next-door neighbour in the resort… the foreign guy, a middle age German... the girl, early 20’s Filipina. She looked somewhat shy and decent so I thought, “She must be the wife or the GF.” But little did I know that she wasn’t?

I found out later that she was a local and as the Dutchman pointed out earlier, a prostitute. Good lord geezus, it’s pretty hard to distinguish them. They look and act like girlfriends!

But wait, I am not only talking about foreign men with young Filipina prostitutes. We also saw a number of foreign men with older Filipina prostitutes and get this, foreign men with young Filipino-male prostitutes too!

Well, as I write (in a cottage by the beach), my next cottage neighbor is occupied by a foreign white man, middle 40’s and looks like a banker to me. With him is a young Filipino lad, perhaps around 19 or 20 years of age. Now why is it that I have a gut feel that something is not right with this picture?

The other night too, in the bar right across where we were sitting, Dutchman and I witnessed a very drunk older prostitute trying to negotiate a deal with her elusive 55-ish prospect. Uh, much to her chagrin, he turned her down.

Reality of things suck, really.


We are leaving PANGLAO ISLAND in BOHOL today for Cebu.

25 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:04 am

    So even Panglao Island is now a destination for foreign men to bring their so called "girlfriends". This is sad because I was in Panglao two years ago and didn't see much of this happening. Admittedly, sometimes I also get paranoid about traveling with my husband because of what other people may think of me given the impression about Pinays. But in the end, people just know the difference especially when it's time to pay the bills ;-) Oh well...Anyway, I'll wish you na a very happy new year because it's my turn to head to the islands. MissT, wishing you all the best for the coming new year! SARI

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:41 am

    SARI, panglao is not probably much infested with prostitutes and so called GF's than lets say boracay or puerto galera. i actually didn't see the underlying activity, it was dutchman who saw it! i still argue with him that these girls were real GF's but he says NOT.

    aside from paying the bills, another "new" tactic that i am sure you will implore also is "speaking dutch to each other". that way when you are getting defensive, people will quickly know that you guys are a real couple. i too get personally defensive at times, though people with a meticulous eye can see the difference but there are others who cannot (like me with out next door neighbor lol).

    Enjoy the holidays too, we are flying back next week!

    MissT

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:28 am

    nagkakalat na nga ang mga prosti sa bansa natin. masakit isipin kung morally inclined ka, pero economically maganda para sa bansa.
    siguro tamang panahon na maging aggressive ang pilipinas ngayon dahil yung ibang lugar sa south east asia kagaya ng thailand ay matatagalan pa dahil sa tsunami sa pag rebuild ng mga tourist islands nila.

    ako po

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm, your Dutchman is very observant. It's so sad to hear abt the current state in our pristine beach resorts. I guess they're not so pristine anymore.

    Happy New Year to you MissT and to your handsome Dutchman!! All the best in the coming 2005!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. ako po, yes its so sad what this tsunami did. fortunately, it didnt reach the philippines or else baka natamaan kami dun sa panglao. we stayed pa naman a few meters from the beach shore.

    celia, ay oo! the dutchman is a keen observant, thats his fulltime hobby lol! happy new year too :-)

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  14. I been there also last year and i witnessed this rampant spread of local prostitution on panglao,well worst for sure comes from PG, bora, subic and cebu. It reminded me of thailand in somewhat ways it does not only sell tourism to foreigners but along with the promotion many wouldn't miss the local girls and gays as well. Sad to know this fact have gotten to our country as well but i guess they come along together just like a pair.

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