Lunch With a Hooker

By: Donna

Greetings from Panglao, one of 7,000 islands that comprise the Philippines. I didn’t expect this to be a working vacation, but the convenience of laptop computers and E-mail make it so easy!
Meet 23-year old Sammy, a five-year veteran of prostitution. “At first I just do it a few times, because I need money, you know. But it was easy and fun so I still do it.” On a good day Sammy makes about $100 trolling the airport and hydrofoil dock of this idyllic island and plans to keep working as long as the men keep coming (no pun intended!). In peak tourist months (April-August) she lives on Panglao or Bohol Island working for herself. In slow season she works in Manila with a pimp, but she hates it there. “I could make more in Manila if he wasn’t with me—but it’s not worth staying there all the time. Here, it’s like vacation!”
For travelers, it’s impossible to avoid ending up in Manila at least twice, since all flights use Manila as a base. Lewd & crude strip joints are everywhere in Manila, but, according to Sammy, it’s a dangerous town for prostitutes and the men seeking release. “Manila too mean,” she said in slow, broken English. “Here, the men be more relaxed, the air more clean and I keep all my money. They give me 20 US dollars.” American dollars are big in the Philippines; their own pesos rank second.
Thinking about trying the Philippine sex scene? Sammy’s advice: get out of Manila…fast. Frequently, pimps and their girls work together luring the customers into ‘baited’ hotel rooms or taxis where they are beaten and robbed. Many are robbed leaving banks or drugged in bars. Sammy says sex with young girls is acceptable in the Philippines, but they turn vicious at a very tender age in Manila. Get a flight to one of the smaller islands (like Panglao) for about $125 R/T. The hydrofoil is less than $10 R/T.
Girls will approach you when you get off the boat (or plane). On the islands it’s safe to let them lead you to a hotel. (Don’t fall for this in Manila!) You’ll be taken around the island in a motorcycle rickshaw costing about 15 cents for a bumpy, 30-minute ride that will deposit you and your ‘date’ at a bamboo-thatched bungalow right on the beach. (This is your hotel!) Also dispersed along the beach are tiny huts that rent for less than $10 a night; Sammy prefers these because “we don’t have to be so quiet.” Most hotels have snorkeling gear they will rent you for about $4 a day, and your date can tell you the best boatmen and areas for snorkeling. (I’ve said it before: whores make great tour guides!)
“Here, if the man is nice to me and I like him, I don’t watch the clock.” The usual fuck time is about two hours, but with a tip most girls will escort you anywhere. On Panglao your choices are beautiful beaches or tropical forests. But what the heck, nature fucks are fun! Nude sunbathing is ‘tolerated’ here if you keep it decent and low key.
Sammy said American men are rare here, so the ones that show up are treated like royalty! “Mostly we get Japanese.” For her story, I bought Sammy a sandwich and a coke (95 cents). Lavish meals are less than $10; a room will cost slightly more. Do your arithmetic, pack your condoms and book your flight now.
Several airlines serve Manila from PDX. Fares are around $900. No visa required; hepatitis A vaccine recommended.