Hot Men in the Philippines

Are gay bars still relevant?

Lazing around on a Saturday evening, some friends [F. and G., a couple who stayed for dinner] started to map out the weekend gay romp in town. Instead of going to the usual Malate or Makati gay bar, F. proposed that we go to a gay bar in Quezon City. Now, in Manila, a gay bar would mean really naked boys dancing on stage. The proposal was met with excitement, as I haven’t been to a bare-naked-boys-dancing gay bar in ages. Yet, G. started to rant: Are gay bars in Manila still relevant these days? He goes on to say that these are wrenching times for the gay bar as strippers and porn videos are not such a big draw now that bare skin is so accessible through other means [e.g. the Internet]. “Even Entrepreneur magazine listed the gay bar – along with piggy banks, record stores, used bookstores and payphones – as a dying business,” G. went on. “What used to be a hangout for people who felt unwelcome elsewhere is becoming less necessary,” he declared, quoting the magazine supposedly.

Maybe he has a point in there. Most younger gay guys now prefer to go to the dance clubs in Malate and Makati, and even Cubao. Unlike middle-aged and older guys, they see the gay bars in Timog and Potrero not as a weekly treat, but something more of a place where they can hold shower parties and the occasional i-want-to-see-live-dicks-tonight episodes in their night lives. Moreover, gay men in Manila have lots of options now – there are comedy clubs, sing-along bars and tony dance clubs, where they can freely interact with the straight ones.

I think gay bars [the ones with dancing really-naked boys] are not yet up in the extinction list. Maybe the owners should just up the ante a little bit. Diversify and upgrade. Most are turned off by the stinking toilets, the smoky-in-a-bad-way feel of the bar, the aggressive dancers and GROs and the pricey drinking list. Seedy, in other words. If only gay bars in Manila would just turn it up – swing the place around clean and spanking [not spunky], put a dance club with dancers just on stage, and make it more comfortable for the younger gay guys to get in. Now that would have to be a challenge to get the Manila gay bar off the extinction list.

And as for us, we ended up drinking at home till the wee small hours of the morning. This explains the late post.

Comments 35
  1. c james ereza at c Ivan ng calendar boys2007 ba yung nsa likod?? sana na sight yung sa kanila… james ereza is hot,pwede ma feature next time? thanx rd.

  2. Yes, the gay bar seems to be a dwindling institution, but it is not going to die for as long as there are gay folk around. E ika nga nila, bakit ang mga bading, hindi naman nanganganak pero dumarami. Iyan ang oversight ng mga gay bar owners. Akala nila porke may mga bakla sa lipunan, pagkakakitaan nila; tulad na nga ng nabanggit sa post, pricey ang mga drinks, masyado aggressive ang mga dancers o hosto, marumi ang toilet, masyadong intrimitida ang mga managers (tipo bang gusto mong sigawan na, “Leave me alone!”), etc. I’ve been going to gay bars since heaven knows when, mula pa sa tabe ng Besa boxing arena (Metropolitan theater) sa Liwasang Bonifacio, hanggang sa tabi ng Paco Park, sa “apartment” na malapit sa Espana Ave. near UST, and of course, the “institution” 690, hanggang sa Adonis, Gigolo, Mr. World, etc. Walang naiba, nag-deteriorate pa. Marami sa Timog ngayon pero ganun pa rin. Kulang sa marketing savvy ang mga bagong gb operators. Yes, I’m nearing my 70s kaya I cannot be one of those who go to Malate and Ermita for fun. Friends give me referrals for my usual fix. And that’s how I get by. They go to my condo unit where guards dutifully note down the “traffic” of visitors which I indirectly tell my guests lest they are tempted to do unpalatable things (sila rito ang “guests” hahaha!). Syempre, sa edad kong ito, my gay friends are equally tired of going out in groups and have an adventurous night. Don’t get me wrong. Life is still a party. Recntly, I just attended a private party, literally, where you see those bikini competitions kuno and have a ball. Donate ka lang sa party expenses and “talent fees” sa “contestants.” But more on that. Masyadong mahaba na ito.

  3. sa aming province, walang gay bar pero naming night clubs where women strip. if nagkaroon lang ng gaybar dun, naku even the politicians will gather there. haha.

  4. gay bars are just a sad relic. it is mostly young dancers and old men as is clearly flesh for sale for old men who can’t score without paying for sex. as these old men die out, so will gay bars.

  5. TO MR. NEARLY 70 & STILL HAVING FUN…i tip my hat to you sir. it seems from the evidence that your life has been full, content and gay. sana ipagpatuloy mo po ang story ninyo, i will eagerly await the continuation… GOOD HEALTH & GOD BLESS.

  6. as these old men die out, so will gay bars.

    What a silly comment. Have you found the gay fountain of youth? As if you’ll never grow old. tsk tsk tsk. In due time my dear. A time will come when you too would pay for sex. One can only hope you’ll have the money to pay for it. Else, you’ll be one miserable old fag.

  7. GAY MEANS MONEY…FACTS: gay people are one of the heaviest users of alcohol…gay people have some of the biggest expendable income in society…variety of businesses noted the facts and has diversified their business strategies, geared to this ample resources of green dough…high- end travel, clothing, grooming, dining, and the list goes on and on and not to say the least NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT…as long as money still flows from the bucket, be it from the professional fashionita or lowly parlorista, gay bars will come and go and re-born again in different evolutionary forms.

  8. I beg to differ anonymous “gay bar a sad relic”; as these old men die out young men replace them etc., etc. being human takes care of that and Dorian Gray is just a fiction.
    Over here in colder clime gay bars are no different than straight bars except for the clients; a mix of gays (young and old) fag hags, gigolos (fully clothed and definitely for sale) and better music.

  9. how wonderful to read Mr. Nearly 70’s na post. Ang ganda siguro pag irecall mo yun mga lifestyle ng 70’s and early 80’s. Im now in my 40’s pero maalala ko na mga gaybar ay 690 lang at yun dugyot na malapit sa coco banana nuon. yun may spiderman nanagtatahi nga web sa kisame using his nota. please tell us more of your reminiscence ha. Ciao!

  10. i share the belief that gay bars are on the downside. gays now have multiple options for appreciating and relishing the male form: in billiard halls and malls where a subtle eye contact can lure a hunk into your bedroom, text messaging, internet chat rooms, gay clubs, etc. and mind you, gays don’t have to shell out pesoses for macho drinks and “bar fines” for a night of sharing body fluids.

    i have shunned gay bars 2 years ago. i don’t relish the sight of women swarming all over the place, like predators on the prowl for male flesh. these women who frequent gay bars have made the word “gay bar” a misnomer. now tell me: what self-respecting gay would want such competition in their own turf?

    i too doff my hat to anonymous #2, for sharing his best practices in handling gay bar situations, and making the most out of it. i never knew there was a gay haunt in espana? please continue sharing, sir. you have all my respect!

  11. Thank you, anonymous (November 25, 2007 9:03 PM). At my age, I still get regular texters who ask me when we will “meet” again. I am not ashamed to admit that the bottomline of these continuing encounters is still commercial. At my age, it’s realistic not to expect young guys to get attracted to you, but in the past, I have had a string of lovers (straight and straight-acting gays) who I loved in return. I’m amused that three of them are now fathers of grownup kids. Ninong pa nga ako. One wife is clueless about my past relationship with her husband, but the two others know full well, and I am friends with these wives. The guys are past their prime now and we still love each other as friends. The moral here is that good sex can be had not in gay bars or dark corners. More important, sex isn’t the lasting joy in life, but love. Corny ba? I take care of my health kaya I still lead a vigorous sex life with other consenting (and delicious) adults. But I’m prepared that one day, hindi na pwede, and I won’t regret it. I will have loved ones to love and love me back.

  12. I don’t think gay bars with male strippers are dying out, but I do agree that if they cleaned up the premises they could attract a younger crowd.

    While most gay men nowadays who are out of the closet can easily find sexual partners online, through friends or in their neighborhoods, I still feel its exciting to watch male gogo dancers strip and dance in public. There’s a thrill to public displays of sexuality that I’m sure most gay have felt before. There surely must be a fine line between a male dancer completely nude and letting you feel his cock during the lights out session, and orgies–diba?!

  13. pa english english pa kayo at daming chu chu epek, debate here debate there sa lahat ng posts ni rd. basta isa lang ang alam ko: gay, bakla, badaf, bading, bayot, homo, shukla, shuki, bi, discreet, bading na parlorista to bading na social climber to bading na social talaga to bading na d na ma reach ang level and etc….. lahat sila mahilig sa nota!

  14. gusto mo magkaroon ng bf? nag advertise ba naman dito. kaloka. sulat ka sa mga tabloids at ilagay mo ang cp number mo..pero kakaaliw ka iha.

  15. try Club Mankind along Timog corner Scout Ybardolaza (I think), just right behind Amihan. It’s a fairly new bar with very clean bathrooms.

  16. Chris, Club Mankind is very accessible from Timog. Just a stone’s throw away from Bambbi Fuentes’ salon. Mankind used to be an office of ABS-CBN. Unfortunately the night I was there, there were fewer dancers and even fewer desirable ones. Moreover, the gaps between performances were soooo loooong I could have slept. But the place itself is not so bad. I just hope it enjoys a long existence. My observation is that the bars in the Timog area do not “live” long except Adonis and the “younger” Gigolo. For example, Hunks gay bar. Them there’s the one beside Music 21, and the upper-story bar across Jailhaus, etc. They are all gone now. Maybe Adonis and Gigolo have survived because they have better-looking boys and facilities or they have better protection from the authorities.

  17. one gay bar that struck me deep was the one that was along quezon ave way back in 1996. KLUB MAGINOO actually ‘perfumed’ the demi monde as it edged to be quite unpegged with its peers. it was all because of a certain XIXI MATURAN who initiated such fabulously insane big night shows. the guys there were obviously well screened and were very courteous. the club shut down after celebrating its 1st year…

  18. It’s been over 4 years since I visited Adonis. Perhaps on one of my trips back home I’ll manage to pay them a visit.

    It’s better if one goes straight to a private room. It’s less expensive and more action for sure.

  19. On a point of view of an 18-yr old in-the-closet bisexual, it’s difficult for us to enter such premises as we are not sure of what will be the treatment or the welcoming we will receive from the “out” men. Especially for those (like me) who are indeed straight-looking. Personally, I would love to have such experience entering a gaybar, but then, more and more differently-oriented bars open. Plus, most of the audience in gaybars are old.

  20. Pwede po bang paki Tagalog yung mga Ingles na komento dahil nahihirapan po akong unawain. Gred 5 lang po kasi ang tinapos ko….

  21. lucky are the gay guys in their 30’s now (like me). we experienced how it is during the era when gay bars are a big thing (we were in our teens and early 20’s then). now gay guys seldom go to these bars since there are spas, gyms and other establishments that we can go to and still be accepted by the crowd.

  22. i agree w/ yeah.. i am also an 18-year old.. its really tempting to enter gb’s its just that its kinda weird.. oh well.. sana may magsama saken.. hehe

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