For many, Manila is a city with everything. It is also a city of stark contrasts. With a huge population, many crammed into dense living spaces, the city manages to be chaotic and hectic, yet relatively laid back at the same time. Excellent, modern shopping centres and luxury hotels, high class condominiums and a millionaire’s row of luxury housing in Forbes Park.
Then there is the crippling poverty in the shanty towns and slum areas. Over population by the poor, encouraged by the omnipresent Catholic church. The same church which stifles educational opportunities and free thought, in order to keep the populace subservient.
Manila is a city where entertainment of almost any variety, type or form is available. An active ladyboy dating scene. Boy bars, girly bars. Trans-pinay venues, nightclubs, great cabaret shows (regular girls and Ladyboys) and so on.
So, how do Ladyboys or Trans-pinay manage to fit into this sort of society? Actually, surprisingly well. Whilst not totally accepted and still subject to many prejudices, Ladyboys are widely tolerated. They are very visible in Manila society working in shops, offices and, of course bars and nightclubs. Not to mention the famous cabaret shows where it is possible to see dozens and dozens of stunning Trans women. To many, in Asia, to many, Manila is the capital or “queen” of Ladyboy cities!
Many Trans-pinay have achieved regional and international fame in beauty pageants such as Miss Tiffany Queen or Miss Universe. Only Thailand with its own Ladyboy beauties comes close to the record of success enjoyed by Trans women from The Philippines.
Cherry, Doreen and Flora followed each other back into the dressing room after their evening cabaret show had finished. “Phew, I’m tired tonight,” said Flora, as she sat down in front of the large wall mirror. “We’ve only got ten minutes rest before we need to go outside and take photographs with the tourists.”
“And get some nice tips,” laughed Cherry. “Usually Chinese tourists are quite generous tippers if they like you.”
“Oh.., Cherry tell me more about that DateLadyboys website,” Doreen asked. “I’d really like to find a nice, genuine man to date and have a long-term relationship with. I’m so tired of getting messed around by men in Manila. They date you once or twice and if you won’t have sex with them by the second date, they dump you.”
“Yes, I know what you mean,” said Flora. “Many men from Manila are scared to be seen out with or dating a Ladyboy, in case their friends find out or even worse their family or work colleagues. It’s like they’re ashamed of us.”
“Is that why you joined DateLadyboys?” Cherry asked Flora.
“Yes, it’s the ideal place for Ladyboys like us looking to date. It saved me so much. You know how tired we are after work. Well, I can go home and take a rest, then log on to the dating site. By the way, it’s free for Ladyboys to join. Then I can spend time either answering the messages I get from men from all over the world or looking for men I’d like to contact. You’ll be surprised just how many men message me. And from all over the place: UK, the US, Sweden, Germany, Spain, even Australia. It seems like so many men are aware of Trans-pinay and see us Ladyboys as their perfect woman!”
“But what do you talk about?” asked Doreen.
“Oh, we talk about each other’s likes and dislikes. Hobbies, jobs and ambitions. I like a man with a good career plan but also someone who understands Ladyboys. Who understands that we are fundamentally women and need to be treated like one! I avoid anyone who objectivises Ladyboys or see us as some sort of fetish. And I can do all this from the comfort of my apartment so can pick and choose when I want to talk. Of course, security comes into it too and I only meet someone I feel comfortable with.”
“I thought you’d found someone?” asked Cherry.
“Yes, Jurgen will be here next week. I’m so looking forward to meeting him. We’re going to some of those nice seafood restaurants in Manila Bay. Plus, some sightseeing, maybe Fort Santiago. And definitely Quad 4 in Central Makati to do some clothes shopping!”
Cherry and Doreen looked at each other and smiled. “See, Doreen, I told you,” said Cherry. “Don’t be the one that gets left out!”
“I’m convinced,” added Doreen. “Okay then, I’ll join up to the Ladyboy dating site DateLadyboys after we finish the photos with the tourists. Come on, let’s go…”