Wednesday December 14, 2005, 8:29 AM
I live in a normal hotel and do normal tourist things, I know I can avoid certain persons in certain places. I am in just a normal Hotel doing what normal tourist do, I am experiencing less than less than most because I do not drink alcohol.
I am experienced and fully aware of many small ploys of people to snag my money. It appears impossible here to sit and talk with a person in a restaurant without them trying to bill me for the other person.
I got an email saying to be aware of the smiling faces, and I have to say this is true, every time a person starts smiling at me here I am getting nervous. I was in two situations in two days where I was expected to pay for the person that was close to me, the bad parts it the restaurants and hotel all help in the situation.
They have this tab or write down the price and then pay later, this is the methodology of the little scam. Hard to check the bill at the end, as it is in Tagalog and confusing. I am now going to only pay as I go and not accept anyone coming up and talking, I will have to say leave me alone, or just leave the place. There is also this cover charge that is hooked onto the entrance to many small places. I was trying to go for a walk last night and stopped at a couple of small Karaoke Places. I have to admit, I will never trust the word Karaoke again in my life, it is always more than a sing along place here in Asia and most of the planet.
In the El Dorado Hotel in Port Baron Lucy tried to put a shot of Tequila from the girl at the table on my tab. There was about 8 persons at the table, I just sat down.
I walked down the street and sat in the Keraoke Bar, restaurant, and girl came over and sat, I ordered a coke and the next thing I am being asked to pay to enter the place an to pay for the drink of the girl. I had nothing to do with anything, tried my best to understand the system, I thought I was in obviously just a small family like Karaoke bar and not one of the pro versions. I guess like Mexico the corruption never end, the spirit of the person is always on the con, from the top to the bottom of the society.
Most person just ignore this stuff, they are on a three week trip, they feel sorry for the people and think they are special, a rich person that should give to these person that steal their money.
Fortunately the Philippines has some chain restaurants like Jobilees and I can avoid the smaller places where is always feels like I am walking into a strip joint. I am getting this constant feeling like I am getting something on me.
What is good is the Sun is shining today, the first time in about 7 days.
i didnt check how old this post is... nevertheless, i felt compelled to reply and possibly give some tips.
yep, stay away from karaoke beer house / bar places because they all have this unwritten rule (but has been here for ages) that once you go in, you have to pay for the table charge (or entrance fees) and then a pimp or the girl/woman would come and try and strike up a conversation with you and then invite themselves to sit beside you... before you know it, you'll start getting charged.
there's other places that are good, though, and have smarter/better-educated filipinos.. but also be careful. you can try finding cafe saguijo for some indie/pinoy alternative music. it has 150-200 entrance fee with 1 free drink (the rest goes to maintenance and payment for the bands playing). you can check their website out at www.saguijo.com. i would say saguijo is the other side of those karaoke places and fastfood chains you've been to. the "better" side.
people who go to saguijo normally don't mind other people and don't strike conversations (like scammers do). best to stick close to the bar and if you need to ask, ask the bartenders.
there's other places like saguijo but try it out first.
Hey I came across your blog and found it to be very interesting. I grew up in the philippines but moved to the US when I was 13. Anyway, you are right about those sleezy places, if it feels wrong, and if its dim inside, by all means RUN! but I also saw a picture of some "weird" looking eggs (as you have implied it to be), those are actually quail eggs. I dont know if someone already told you that, but just in case you have no idea yet. anyway, keep up with the blog! once I save up enough money and when my boyfriend leaves me for another girl I'm gonna travel the world hobo style like you do!
that would be nice - travelling hobo style. if you ever get to the philippines by then, hit me up. :)
I hear all the time about the people being over charged and paying for other peoples drinks and food i only have this to ask: Do you pay? and if you do why? I stand my ground tell them to get out of my face and i will find a cop then they back down quickly because they know me tipping a cop will get them nothing.
Further if you are alone hire an escort no not a whore a real escort and tell her you want to make sure your not getting ripped off. I have a Fiance in PI and she will slap someone silly if they try to take advantage of me.
I am an european dude and love the philippines - been there 4 times now and speak tagalog i will be retiring in the philippines - For me the philippines is the best I just love it !
Mahal ko ang pinas