Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Queer As Folk, Part 2

A few days after Queeriosity opened, whispers and murmurs spread lightning-quick through the pink grapevine: The police raided it! Twice! The owners of CB were the ones who tipped the police for the raid!

For me that was the biggest deterrent to trying out Q. What if the police raids it again? Luckily LT got the real story straight from the police themselves.

* * * * *

Before it became Q, the place was known as El Barako, one of the most popular and most notorious KTV joints in the city. Apparently K didn’t stand for “karaoke” but ka-kipay-an. They had private rooms where the girls could “sing” into the “microphone” the whole night. Because of that notoriety, the police had marked it as a hot spot for prostitution and closed it down several times.

When the former owners of Q opened the place, the police thought that it was still El Barako, but with a name change (despite the huge “queer” on the sign outside, our police had no idea what was inside—how come that doesn’t surprise me?). So they raided the place thinking they’ll catch some girls in the act. Lo and behold, Manila’s Finest found themselves facing men in towels—not a woman in sight.

Now they could have backed off right there and then. But because nagkahiyaan na, they decided to round them up and bring them to the precinct. They didn’t press charges and released them shortly after.

“Kung alam naming na baklaan pala yun, hindi na naming pinasok yun,” one of the policemen had admitted to LT. And the reason is fairly simple. Currently there are no laws against such kinds of establishments as a bathhouse. There is no prostitution happening inside because no payment is given in return for sex. There’s no “public indecency” because it’s a for-members private club. No law, no touch. Fascinating.

* * * * *

One of the main differences between the two is that CB offers both lockers and rooms, whereas Q offers just lockers, and the rooms are free-for-all, first cum (pun intended!) first served. The advantage of having a client book a room is that when he’s done, he surrenders the key to the reception; that allows the staff to clean the room and get it ready for the next client.

With a free-for-all system, after a couple (or more—hey, that happens too!) finishes using the room, they just leave all their, uhm, mess behind. It is a good idea to use beds covered with easy-to-clean material (leatherette? not sure). All that’s needed to get the room ready is to spray alcohol, wipe clean, let dry—done! But the problem is in making sure that a room is quickly cleaned up after use. Sure, there are clients who do not wait for the room to be cleaned up—either they’re the not-so-picky ones or they’re too horny to care. But if the mess left is, uhm, sizeable and cannot be ignored, then it will certainly screech things to a halt. That’s a major dampener to the proceedings.

When I was in Q, I saw a couple leave a room. I waited for the staff doing the rounds to arrive, look inside the room, and clean up. It took a long time for him to arrive, and when he did, it looked like he was going to skip the room and check out the others first. So I had to tap him in the shoulder and tell him to clean up the room. He cheerfully did so.

* * * * *

Mugen asked my opinion as to which bathhouse is better, Q or CB. My answer is, it depends on what one looks for in a bathhouse. Is it location, easily accessible? Is it the ambiance? Is it the crowd?

I’ve only been to Q once, so I cannot say for sure what the crowd is like there. But from what I saw, it seems slightly younger compared to the CB crowd. But I bet, since the two are quite near each other (they’re on the same street!), there are people who go to both.

In the end, it really is a question of which bathhouse are you more comfortable visiting. Prefer the crowd on this one? Like the amenities of the other one? Feel more at home here? Then again, you can always choose to be a member of both, and just go to wherever you feel like going to, depending on your mood.

1 comment:

~Carrie~ said...

Thanks sa link, Mr McVie. Try ko naman mag-Q once para makatikim ng bata. Nilangaw ang keps ko sa unang bisita sa CB. Pero in fairness, maganda lugar na iyun.