Journey through the past

Sheryl the sweetie.

Back in the day (circa 2006) I was a member of internet information board devoted to visitors and expats in the Philippines.  Once I got married the wife insisted I divest myself of all things Philippines and so my membership lapsed.  After the wife jettisoned the marriage, I renewed my membership.  Unfortunately, all my old submissions were nowhere to be found and I assumed they had been consigned to the dustbin of internet history. But it turns out that all my old posts had been archived, and with the help of a board moderator I was able to recover them.  So I’ve been enjoying reliving those optimistic times when I first discovered the PI.

The best day ever was in July 2008.  I had returned to Angeles City and hooked up again with Sheryl, a gal I had met on my first visit.   To set the scene, the bargirls were provided lodging by the bar, which was called a “stay-in”.  The first time I saw where the girls lived I was shocked and saddened.  It was a one room apartment, with bunk beds lined wall-to-wall.  I’d say each girl had maybe 4 feet of personal space.  No aircon, just a solitary fan. Sheryl assured me however that compared to life in the provinces this was a big improvement.  For example, most of the girls had never enjoyed indoor plumbing prior to moving to Angeles.  Anyway, here’s the story of that special day all those years ago:

Sheryl’s niece has a birthday coming up so I had promised a trip to the mall to pick up some presents. It has been a LONG time since I shopped for a two year old (heh, other than my granddaughter) so it was kinda fun. We picked out a couple of cute outfits and I said, mom will love this, but a kid needs a toy. Preferably one that makes noise (which mom will of course hate). So we got a pull toy and a “teddy-rabbit” and I said now its your turn. Sheryl is always shy about accepting my gifts, but I insisted, so she picked up a nice skirt and a couple of tops. Unlike Koreans, Pinays are quite easy to please and I do appreciate that fact.

So, we headed back to the stay-in to drop off her bounty. Man, that place still depresses me. The girls seem alright with it though and it beats the hell out of living on the street I suppose. Anyway, the plan was to invite the girls over to the Wild Orchid for a little swim party. We wound up with eight happy takers, and off we went. Speaking of easy to please, an old fat guy walking down the street with a covey of young brown-skinned beauties sure did put a smile on my face! 

Soon enough the party was in full swing. I guess it is natural to love the water when you are born in a country made up of 7000 islands, and these girls were no exception. The music of their laughter as they frolicked in the pool just warmed my heart. And the stares of the other guests as we all partied and goofed was kinda cool too. Hell, I will just let the pictures do the talking…

They enjoyed the water, they devoured lunch, and finished it off with a gallon of chocolate ice cream.  It was a day full of smiling faces!  Not the least of all, mine. 

All too soon the sun was sinking on the horizon and the girls had to head home to prepare for another night entertaining the monger horde. God love ’em. I’ll tell you what, I had the best time that afternoon, and I didn’t even get laid. There is more than one way to find satisfaction in AC, and this was my way. Got them out of the hot stay-in, put some smiles on their faces, gave them some good food, and got it all for less than 3000 pesos (about 60 dollars). I’d call that a bargain!

These days I’m not into the go-go bar scene at all, but I still respect the hard lives these young women experience.  I hope the men they entertain treat them with kindness and dignity. They certainly deserve it.

What became of Sheryl?  Well, she wanted me to take her away from the bar life, but I didn’t have it in me to have a long term relationship with a 25 year old Filipina.  What I did do was pay her tuition to become a certified caregiver.  Once she graduated she was able to escape the bar and return home to Manila.  Last time I heard from her was in an email from Australia.  She had married an Aussie and she was trying to be a good wife and therefore would not be staying in contact with me.  I was very happy that she had made her dreams come true.  Thanks for the memories!

When the winter rains
come pourin’ down
On that new home of mine,
Will you think of me
and wonder if I’m fine?
Will your restless heart
come back to mine
On a journey thru the past.
Will I still be in your eyes
and on your mind?

One thought on “Journey through the past

  1. Quite a life, John! At least the girls got to have a day away from their troubles. And it was great of you to pay for someone’s education. I tip my hat to you.

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