Need a date?
SA 21 -Q
Last weekend me and my friends decided to check out a place called Café Havana and even if the name suggest that it’s a place where they serve lattes and cappuccinos made from Cuban coffee beans with a Bossa Nova soundtrack playing in the background, it’s a totally different image and scene from that.
Café Havana’s clients comprise of 3 types of people which are, the Expats, the exotics and the tourists but I’ll be focusing more on the relationship between the Expats and the Exotics. I know that these are such stereotypical and probably kind of derogatory labels but the way I’m about to describe them isn’t really a description to down them, I just used the labels since everyone already has that mental image in their minds once they hear these words, and as mean as it is the descriptions really do match them (physically). Before I start retelling our experience in Café Havana, first I’ll describe the people in the scenario.
First up on our list Is The Expat. So what exactly is an Expat? Expat or literally an Expatriate, is someone who has left his or her homeland to live or reside in another country. You may be wondering why I placed “her” and not just “his” in that sentence, if you look up the meaning in the dictionary (I tried my mac dictionary and the Merriam-Webster one) and it says “a person” not “a man”. Here in the Philippines, and expat is a man who moved to the Philippines since 1) he’s retired in the States 2) He was sent here by his company. A common notion on an expat here in the Philippines is that these guys are old, like a man around his forties to a man around his sixties sort of old and that they have a certain type of woman on their arm.
Which leads us to the next person, The Exotic. Why exotic? Based on our observation, these girls aren’t really the epitome of a perfect woman. They’re not your Natalie Portman, Emma Stone or Megan Fox sort of types. They’re all very Filipina looking. Not that looking Filipina is a bad thing, there are a ton of very beautiful Filipina women, I guess what makes these girls different is that their kind of beauty or their kind of appeal is that they don’t look like the typical image of beauty and I think that that kind of thing appeals to foreigners. Another thing about them, from what we observed is that they have a dress code. First thing we noticed were their clothing the length of their dresses, skirts and shorts should be at least 2 inches from the bottom of their butt and the neckline should show A LOT of cleavage. As for the hair, it has to be long (long = the tips should be below the chest) some had hair that was dyed blonde but I guess that’s not really as important as the length of their hair. Another observation was their heels, nothing below 5 inches.
Now that we have gotten to know the surface of the people involved, back to the observation. I’ve observed the people in Café Havana twice, once on a normal night and the 2nd on a rainy night. On the normal night, the exotics were all over the place (There are benches, a fountain an d a very large space in front of Café Havana Greenbelt) just standing around and posing. They were waiting to be approached by expats. To be honest, it really looked like a market with these women being the products being showcased. The men would talk to them and if they’re liked they become their dates if not, they still stand there and wait for someone else to come. I guess the excess of their revealing clothes is one way to “sell” themselves to these guys.
The second time I observed (on a rainy day), I realized that the other way around happens. The expats are seated in individual tables waiting and spotting for exotics who approach them. Aside from the switched up roles, I happened to overhear their conversations. The exotics would approach them with an opening line “Need a date?” and they start talking and drinking.
On the surface it looks like a form of prostitution or just a weird combination of people. I know some people look down on these women because they’re labeled as “gold diggers” or women who just want these people’s money. It’s easy for people to judge them that way since most of these women come from the provinces and they seek better lives in Manila, and selling themselves is probably their only option of doing so. People (including myself) are so quick to judge these people. I honestly am a victim of this but after observing I learned that maybe that was their reason to be there (on the surface.) It made me wonder why we never look at the situation on a possible note, what if they just really are interested in each other? What if they really enjoy each other’s company? Filipinas are known for their hospitality and their caring nature and someone who moved to a foreign country would be very lonely seeking company not someone like a prostitute, maybe these guys just want someone to talk to or someone to open up too. Nobody notices the reality that these people end up starting families too and starting a family and getting married is a big deal. As for the women maybe they just really want someone to love them as they are, and since they aren’t what majority would call “beautiful” they just prove that everyone has their own kind of beauty. We have to realize that not everything is what it seems, and even if judging is the easier thing to do we must understand that these people are still people who are capable of love.