What I Look for in a Friend

What I Look for in a Friend
I have an American friend from Kerala, India who I occasionally talk with on Skype.com. I realized why I like in him today. We had a long conversation and I told him was happy to be in Baguio, and out of Manila where every man is a Bar Fine expert.

He said,
“What is a Bar Fine?”

He did not know what a Bar Fine is, wow what a great friend, I am so excited to know one of my better long-term friends did not have a clue.

Baguio, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Friday, July 24, 2009


With the invention of Skype.com, I can live in a country with men who know everything about Bar Fines and talk to a good friends on a regular basis who do not. I can diversify my friendships in any country thanks to Skype.com.

I do not drink, I do not like to go to Bars, I will stop in, drink a coke, and have a good conversation, however mostly during the day. The Philippines has some the most educated Expats on the planet. However, I try to slow them down, minimize their ability to explain in unlimited detail about the Bar Fines world.

I think I was in Thailand about 10 times before I finally learned what a Bar Fine was; normally everyone around me assumed I understood. I finally got it defined.

You can enter a Bar, and if you want a girl working in the Bar, you can pay the bar to allow here to leave early with you. I am not sure why they call it a fine. I guess I truly do not want to understand or even explain better.

Dan is quick; he looked it up on Wikipedia while I was talking and started to explain.

Bar Fine

Travel can take a nice corn fed Indiana boy and turn him into a jaded person, I am still holding my own thanks to friends like Dan, there is still hope I have some innocence, I truly do not want to be sophisticated…. (I apologize for coming from a good family and Indiana. Hehehe)

Thanks Dan for calling me today on Skype.com and reasserting reality, rebooting my Indiana culture.

A man asked me last night
“Would you like to be back in Indiana shoveling corn from the corn crib?”

I said,
“I was never tempted in Indiana to hit a man person with a shovel, while walking down the street here I am tempted daily.”

He said,
“Good point.”

The art of travel is to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives, the road less traveled.

What I Look for in a Friend


By clicking on the "Subscribe to Comments" you will receive an email when members post new comments on this page

The cheap guys cruise the mall because there is no bar fine.

What mall did you prefer Andy ? was it Robinsons ? I think you mentioned it once or a hundred times.

I love LA !

Really Chuck, what a silly reason to go the mall, and now I understand why LA Cafe is so popular, because there is no Bar Fine.

I know you have many corners Chuck of your mind, and a person who stays in Thailand or the Philippines can does not learn this is truly stupid. Situational awareness is zero for some people.

I try to give peoples a heads up to know what to expect so they do not get angry.

I like LA Cafe, I think it is humorous, there are few places in the world where I am the most popular man in the bar for stupid reasons. I do not like to watch Soap Operas, however I admit, I enjoy observing the true soap operas of the world.

The Philippines is a never ending reality Soap Opera on steroids.

I was just told that men go to the Cebu mall to walk around a few days ago here in Baguio, I thought this was anal. I like malls, I like to people watch.

Which mall do I like?

Well, after Africa I like Robinsons mall because it is very clean.

After relazing for a few weeks, I think I like the Baguio market, there is everything under the planet for sale. People repairing cell phones, people selling vitamins, it is truly an experience to see what the world buys.

Girls, I am a good looking guy surrounded by some really fat ones here in Philippines. I like a good conversation, even from the most corrupt person on the planet. I am not tempted to change, I am a recovering alcoholic of 22 years or more, not sure I forget.

But, I am not tempted to change, I arrogantly like myself way too much to become like the people around me. The biggest failing of travelers is they become like the country they enter.

Jeroen in Thailand always ask
- You just came back from Africa, why do you not have on some Africa clothing?

I went to Africa to visit Africa, not to become African. I come to the Philippines to take the shiny stuff off the top.

Do not get involved in any type of business here.

I believe travel is a Reality Culture show.


Comparing Baguio to Bangkok or Manila, is like comparing Sparks, Nevada to South Bend, Indiana...they are worlds apart!

Sparks Nevada is home to places like the Mustang Ranch (Once owned and operated by the IRS/US Govt) and is the famous whore house that the IRS decided to keep open and get their tax money from bar fines ...

South Bend, however, is home to Notre Dame University, and most guys get laid for free while in college, but also get a great education in the process. Baguio and South Bend both have great Universities (Baguio has 9 Universities!!) and if there are cat houses, they are far and few between in either city. There are no bar fines in many Philippine cities, only those areas like Angeles city, Manila, Cebu, etc..that cater to the sex tourism trade.

The main difference for us old geezers in the Philippines is that a younger women (my wife is 20 years younger at 44 years old...) treat men here in a very different manner than American or even European women do. My wife is an intelligent, lovely mom of 2 bright and respectful children and is a grandmother to a 4 year old boy. You will find that in the Red Lion, most of those old expats have been in Baguio dozens of years raising families and doing decent good in the communities they support.

You can drink coke and enjoy great and colorful conversations in the Red Lion...or you can do San Miguels or Tanduay Rum and cokes and STILL have a good time without the hassle of a bar fine....just ask the Chief Guest Relations Officer (G.R.O) ...Tony Perlas hisself gtgtL O L...

Cruising the Mall (SM MALL) in Baguio can be an art form to a man with a sharp eye, as long as you are courteous, of good humor and respectful! Girls at the mall are mainly educated professional ladies who enjoy a good flirt or compliment as much as any western woman would...or they are students at one of the universities and likely as not, single!! No need to bar fine...just be a gent and you will find the sweetness of the Filipina can be as captivating and as alluring as any south sea island adventure you have ever read...



Funny, now I am less naive.. aagh, I now know about Spark Nevada.

Love and friendship is simple on the whole planet, however Baguio is part of the whole. I am an American, I am part of the whole, when an American person is doing something bad, I say,
- That is my culture.

Where does everybody learn this stuff? The art of enjoying life is not searching for fun, it is removing the annoyances out of my day, what is left over is normally fun.

Philippines, the best reality soap opera on steroid I know of on planet earth, generalizing about the country.

I was in Mindanao, I was talking to a girl, here boss said, you can date her if you prove you are single. I was laughing, it was the first time in my life and only time in my life a person wanted me to prove I was not married.Hard to understand this level of mistrust, but thanks to the Philippine men, they really make me a good guy.


Although I do appreciate the other cultures and embrace the diversities of the world, I am so pleased that I am living where I am instead of being Ms Traveling Pants working at a bar entertaining to only be taken away by a patron with a bar fine. Yikes!

Also, I like your take on prove that you are single. Sure doesnt give the local men a good name.

Ms Traveling Pants

The Bar Fine term is outdated and supposedly shunned now so EWR ( early work release ) has replaced it and is a better explanation. Good for you for not drinking alchohol since your late 20s! I often find drunks boring with a tendency to repeat themselves and their stories but I really enjoy those who have lived their lives as a constant adventure and know many things from experiences. It seems many people are introverts which can open up to strangers only after having a few drinks.

Judging foreign expat men here in the Philippines and S.E. Asia needs to be done in comparison to their lives and lifestyles in their, often, VERY LONELY and expensive home countries. Everything is relative! Probably the majority have been divorced and previously married to housekeepers their ex-wives after the divorce keep the house leaving them to start all over again.

My Account