A trip to a macho dancer bar is not something I thought I would make with Ella and Jessica. With Ella, I always knew it was a possibility. Ella is open-minded and totally unpretentious. Jess is another issue altogether. Jessica, being the sheltered girl who cannot get the punch lines of green jokes, has always struck me as a little frigid. I love her dearly but I didn’t think she would last a minute in a macho dancer bar once the dancers/models on stage start gyrating (though not naked but clad in short shorts or bikini briefs—and might run out shrieking if they dance naked). But that was just where Ella, Jessica and I ended up going after a calorific (but nonetheless yummy) dinner and some cocktails: to a macho dancer bar or more popularly called gay bar in the Philippines.
As far as I was concerned, I just wanted some laughs with the girls. I figured it would be interesting to see Jess react as she watches the dancers/models on stage wearing close to nothing while macho dancing to songs like Careless Whisper or Total Eclipse of the Heart and the like.
Mostly, I associated with Ella and Jess in the past during our teen-age years. I haven’t really been out with them as real honest to goodness adults save for a few short dinners with our other friends every now and then. It was a very good social experiment as far as I was concerned. Eye-candy would be a bonus, I admit. That night was not my first time in a macho dancer bar (it wasn’t Ella’s either) so I have no illusions that all workers in a macho dancer bar are good looking or have toned, sculpted physiques. It was my first time in a macho dancer bar in a good number of years though. I was but a pup the last time I stepped inside one of those bars. Now, I’m a not-so-much a pup.
Jess was surprisingly excited and very amenable to going to a macho dancer bar for the first time in her life. Ella gave a name of a macho dancer bar she heard about that neither of us have been to: “Earthling” (not the real name of course). We didn’t even know exactly where it was. We only knew the general vicinity of the supposed address of Earthling. We managed to locate it without much trouble though. It’s a place that’s hard to miss.
We had more trouble alighting the vehicle and getting our butts inside Earthling. Jess and I were on the verge of having another giggle fest. Ella herself was a tad shy that night. Ella is actually a conservative at heart. She gives the appearance of being tough or even modern but her deepest nature is that of a traditionalist.
Girls who just want to have fun have a way of making things happen. So Andrina, Jessica and Ella managed to walk inside Earthling despite the people outside looking at them (us—why am I writing in the third person all of a sudden?!). We were met at the door by a gay floor manager who immediately asked if it was our first time in Earthling. We said it was. Ella was walking ahead of Jess and me. Jess and I were walking together (my arm was linked to hers, if I remember correctly) like two girls walking behind their mother or elder sister.
It was dark inside (duh?!) and the show was underway. It was already past 10 in the evening by then. Earthling was about one-fourth full. The floor manager was friendly. He was thin, in his mid forties and was wearing his hair in a ponytail. We didn’t catch his name but he helped us settle in a long couch to the side of the stage. It was a safe place, not too close to the stage. Jess also preferred that place since it was near the exit. I was thinking she intended to walk out if the show at any point scandalizes her.
The floor manager inquired if we were interested in getting a model to join us but we declined. We ordered drinks. The first order was obligatory twin drinks, the elderly waiter explained to us. Onstage, the dancers/models were at it. Jess, to her credit, didn’t react violently.
The dancers/models one at a time danced to slow pop songs, making eye contact with the audience. The dancers were topless, clad in bikinis that come in every possible print (from leopard print to stripes to polka dots) and black boots. Every dancer who got onstage attempted to make eye contact with the three of us. I assume the dancers wouldn’t mind being tabled by three ladies, two of which were occasionally giggling and whispering to one another. Or maybe it was just my imagination that the dancers were eyeing the three of us more than the other customers. I don’t know if any of us gave the impression that we were big spenders and/or loaded. If money were the motivation, we wouldn’t be the ideal customers.
After about five to seven performers, Earthling staged an “all-cast”. All-cast is when all the untabled models/dancers gather onstage to perform a choreographed dance number. The audience can then tell a floor manager if they desire to table any of the dancers assembled onstage. After the group dance, the DJ introduces the dancers one by one. After being introduced by the DJ, a dancer will step forward and do some dance moves before getting off the stage. About twenty dancers were in that night’s “all-cast” in Earthling.
The all-cast dance was entertaining to watch. Jess and Ella agreed with that opinion. It was the first time Jess and I ever saw an all-cast. I think it was the first for Ella, too. The dance was to a mash-up of songs. The moves featured motions that were intended to entice the audience to notice the dancers. The dancers, of course, would point to the audience during pertinent parts of the song (during the “I want you” part of the lyrics). They were all clad in bikini briefs except for two who were in front. The two in front were wearing tight black boxer briefs.
Ella and I were just there watching when the floor manager dropped by our table again to inquire if we were interested in having any of those who danced in the all-cast join us. To Ella’s and my surprise, Jess suddenly had the idea that we should get a dancer to join us. She pointed out the lead dancer called “Ramon” as her suggested pick. Jess preferred Ramon due to his Korean-inspired look, boy-next-door wholesome appeal and the fact that he was wearing shorts instead of scantily clad. I lauded her choice since Ramon was in possession of the most facial value among the dancers onstage. Ella, who fancied the dark and toned dancer called “Carlo”, acceded to Jessica’s choice. Jessica was going to shoulder the cost of Ramon’s macho drinks in any case.
I reminded Ella and Jess that we are not to use our real names or to divulge any personal information when conversing with Ramon or any other dancer from Earthling. They had earlier agreed over cocktails that we should use names other than our own. I made sure we know each other’s “fake” names just before Ramon arrived. In any case, I knew Ramon was just a stage name. The dancer’s real name could be Clark Kent or Peter Parker or Harry Potter for all I know.
The floor manager returned to our table with Ramon in tow in just about two minutes. Ella, Jess and I introduced ourselves using our “fake” names. No Andrina, Jessica and Ella right then.
Ramon was in his early twenties, about 5’7 in height, had good biceps and thighs. He was wearing a black wife beater with his shorts and boots when he sat down to join us. He ended up seating in the individual seat next to Ella since Ella, Jess and I were seated in one row in a long couch. Ramon ordered a San Mig Light Beer and the interrogation began.
Being the farthest from Ramon, I got only about two questions in. I couldn’t hear most of his conversation with Ella and Jess either but I gathered later on a few information they squeezed from Ramon. I learned that Ramon was 23, has been with Earthling for four months and always dances wearing shorts instead of bikini briefs. He claimed it was one of his conditions for agreeing to work in Earthling. Ramon claimed that his family doesn’t know that he works in a macho dancer bar. They think he’s a dancer for a TV show and traveling with a known showbiz group.
Ella asked Ramon if his girlfriend knew he worked in a macho dancer bar, Ramon smiled his angelic, sweet smile and said that his girlfriend broke up with him after finding out he now works in a macho dancer bar. Other information we gathered about Ramon included him having to stop studying to support his family.
Ramon took his time drinking his beer. Unlike other dancers/models I read about, Ramon didn’t rush to chug down his beer so he could immediately order another bottle and earn more commission on macho drinks.
We didn’t stay long in Earthling. We left about an hour after having Ramon join us. I don’t recall seeing any dancer go all-the-way (read: show what the bikini is covering in front) in Earthling that night.
Jess gave Ramon a tip. Ramon seemed reluctant to accept but Ella pressed the note in his hand. Ramon walked us to the door. He seemed perfectly pleasant. Too pleasant for a macho bar. At that time, Ramon seemed better suited for a hosto bar where his angelic smile and boy-next-door looks will be more emphasized.
Jess didn’t seem traumatized by her first macho dancer bar trip. If anything, Jess looked happier than she did earlier that evening. If anything, I was simply happy that going to Earthling seemed to have done some good. It seemed to have cheered up Jess (she was going through some personal stuff). Ella was harder to gauge. She had a bored look in her face several times. She constantly checked her mobile phone while we were in Earthling. I knew she found Carlo attractive but I wasn’t sure if she enjoyed the entire experience as a whole
Me? It was okay. Not too many eye-candy but definitely so much to write about. Being the aspiring writer that I am, my head couldn’t stop churning with plots and twists. I was more interested in the lives the dancers lead than in the dancers themselves, I admit.
Jess, Ella and I called it a night. I thought that was the last I would see of Earthling and Ramon but apparently, I was very wrong.