Christmas: An Orgy in the Philippines
Well it’s been quite a couple of weeks here at the fun factory, so if I didn’t wish it before, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year — and if you are one of those miserable cunts who insist on saying ‘Happy Holidays’ well, fuck that, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See, I’m not vindictive.
Anyway, it has been quite the Festive Season. Here I am in sunny Pampanga, Philippines, with the delightful Sam Villasencio and we are getting along just fine. On Christmas Eve we went to see friends of hers who live nearby, which turned into a typically Filipino party with Red Horse shots and much music and dancing.
We men were treated to a twerking display by the girls and I am happy to say that Sam help up the side very well. Food was courtesy of Renz and his wife Joanna but Renz did most of the cooking while Joanna, a classic Pinay beauty, entertained.
Sam and I got back to our apartment around 2 am I think; we were supposed to get up for 5 am, the plan made by my beloved being to go to Mass then attend a Christening. Well, that was never going to happen — Sam is under half my weight and had matched me all night on the beer; I was well pissed, she must have been aviating.
We were actually wakened at around 9.40 by Renz and Joanna, who arrived to take us to the Christening. It seems they know Sam pretty well and had figured a rescue mission was the only way she’d make it. After the fastest showers known to man — or ladyboy — we made it out of the house by 10:15. This, we were assured by Renz, would be okay because it was a Filipino Christening. That figured.
Renz is a tricycle pilot, so he scooted us over to the church in Balibago, where he was proven right: yes it was a Filipino Christening, 10 am was advisory and anyway there were to be two lots of Christenings, and the one we were to attend — and photograph, my services having been volunteered — was the second.
So we installed ourselves on benches outside the church and waited.
When our turn came, we dutifully trooped inside. The church was nice, modern, with a pervasive atmosphere of welcome. I felt at home — which, for a former committed atheist still getting used to becoming at least agnostic, was quite the thing. Sam, like so many ladyboys, is a devout Catholic and while I am certainly not, I want to take her to Mass. It’s important to her, so it should be to me and, even if I do not have faith, I should at least support hers.
So much has changed in my thinking since I wrote ‘Why Men Made God’. I see that now as the postscript to a period in my life, one in which I was extremely hostile to religion. Perhaps it is the Philippines that has moderated me; here, God — and The Goddess — is everywhere. You cannot be in the Phils and not breathe in the spirituality.
And I cannot condemn this. I look at the life here and I realise, they are right and we are wrong. The Western mindset, as it is expressed today, is, simply, wrong. The great thinkers of the Enlightenment, those who actually brought the modern world into being, were not by any means atheists; they were non-conformists, free thinkers, but still religious. They believed in the individual before God and rejected collectivism. Yet today, many in the West have reverted to collectivist attitudes and politics. These have never worked and for a very long time I wondered why. The answer is the one I found last year in Balante, where I lived in a true matriarchy. The contemporary collectivism of feminism and Communism is the antithesis of true matriarchy. Instead of clusters of nuclear families brought together in the clan network, in which every individual is valued, it posits Statism, in which no individual has any value, and the ghastly curse of Identity Politics, in which we are all measured by how we appear, rather than for what we are or do.
The West defeated Communism but left open the door to its vampire-like mirror, feminism, which has been sucking the life-force from our society. We need a return to a simpler model: Family, Clan, God, Country, to borrow from the silver screen. And that will be no easy thing to do, for we have created in the West a society in which men support women just as much as they ever did in traditional cultures, but with none of the respect they garner in them.
But these grave thoughts were far from my mind as I took my place on the pew amongst the 20 or so family and clan members who had invited me to the Christening of baby Mhea. Today was Christmas Day, the birthday of their Lord, and I had not the heart to tell them that it was just the Winter Solstice in new clothes and we were really at a service to the Goddess; although I think that the Filipino understanding of God is such that sex is not so important. God is Man, God is Woman; and it helps if you have a non-gendered language that does not have different words for ‘he’ and ‘she’.
After the service, it was back into Renz’ tricycle and off to Ipil-Ipil, where the clan lives.
Ipil-Ipil is a poor squatter area. Bizarre though it seems to a Westerner, people here have invested, built homes on land that does not belong to them. It is ‘public land’, or in other words, it belongs to the Government; and those who live there hope that said Government will never want it back. Again, a Westerner is puzzled by this until one realises just how many people live in areas like this and that they represent a powerful political constituency. In Metro Manila alone, in 2016, there were estimated to be 1.6 million squatters. That is around 10% of the population and not a group to be ignored.
To understand this, you need to understand that modern concepts of land ownership are, at best, not well embedded in Filipino culture. They derived from the era of Spanish colonisation and really, only from the latter part. For millennia, Filipinos put up their houses where they lived, and where they lived was a function of their birth; in other words, the idea of land ownership is understood in an ambivalent manner. Do people own the land they live on or are they a part of it?
This, of course, puts civic authority in an extremely tricky position. It can hardly enforce building codes when the buildings are illegal and if it legalises the buildings it de-facto legitimises their existence. In the West, especially in places like the UK which have been completely emasculated and transgressors are few, they might just send in the bulldozers; here that would risk riots of a million people or more. So, the squatters live in the houses they build and, if there’s an earthquake, it’s not the authorities’ fault if they fall down.
Here in Ipil-Ipil, there is piped water, sanitation, electricity and even cable TV and broadband. That puts it ahead of Balante — not a squatter area — where there is no piped water and every house has a well. I am reminded — with some schadenfreude — that that benighted place which ever seeks to tell the world how to behave, California, will soon have to buy tanker-loads of fresh water from places like the Philippines, just to survive.
Tagay! That thought is worth a drink. May the Phils grow wealthy on the thirst of Californians.
Speaking of which — tagay I mean — that was what the party moved on to after we got back to Ipil-Ipil. But first, we ate. Under some shade trees in a grassy square in the centre of the village, long tables had been set out, covered with white cloth. Bear in mind that the Philippines is considered to be a poor country and Ipil-Ipil is hardly a beacon of wealth, but still, a fine spread was laid on.
In fact, poverty in the Phils is somewhat of a conundrum. Yes, there are some extremely poor people here, but the overwhelming majority are well-fed, well-housed, well-dressed and generally content. I have seen sights that would make most people with a conscience bite their lips, but nothing like that which any visitor to India or Pakistan would be inured to. And a visit to any mall here will beg the same question: where are all the poor people? They were certainly not evident in MegaMall in the week before Christmas where, as usual in that season, money was flying into the tills like confetti — and out were coming 60-inch televisions, music centres, new cars — you name it.
It is another paradox of this most paradoxical of nations. Just today, the news is of a Gallup poll that sets the Philippines as the third happiest and most optimistic country in the world, with a net index of +84.
That this contrasts greatly with a similar survey carried out for the United Nations and published last March, in which the Phils was 72nd out of 155 perhaps adds to the paradox; or perhaps it tells us something about the UN’s purpose.
In any case, poor or not, the good folk of Ipil-Ipil were intent on having a happy day on little Mhea’s christening.
In fact, what they laid on was an orgy. Not of the type reputedly popular in Ancient Rome, where the consumption of comestibles was followed by a mass indulgence in the rites of Venus, but an orgy nonetheless.
Once the formal eating was done, the tables and chairs were rearranged and a most ghastly of monsters made its appearance. I do not speak here of the aswang or the other supernatural creatures, the manananggal, tiktik or kapres; nor of those weird others who kidnap the unwary and hide them from sight for decades, the engkantos. No, this foul beast is of far more modern provenance, but no less malevolent or horrible for being a recent invention: the videoke machine.
This infernal curse stalks the Philippines, blasting its deafening roar of almost-pure distortion out, night or day. If you are old like me and remember those drunken parties your parents had, when each sang in turn and the general quality of music deteriorated with the consumption of alcohol, then you have some idea of the torture. But ’tis not ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ or ‘The Sash My Father Wore’ nor even that raunchily modernistic ditty, ‘White Christmas’ that deafens the surrounding area like a sonic attack, but more modern fare. Still, I should consider myself lucky for thankfully, no Country or Rap music was selected — the former an inglorious melange of the trite and predictable, the maudlin and the melodramatic and the latter a ghastly testimony that not all niggers can sing — but, as last, a selection of mainly Filipino ditties, which are not so bad, you know. It’s just the increasingly tuneless singing that gets you.
I have been at such parties where three or even four videoke machines were in competition with each other, so that one had a variation in aural assault depending on which way one inclined one’s head; but again, here providence — or at least, Mhea’s clan, who were clearly dominant — came to my aid and the nearest rival was 30 or so yards away and honestly, could hardly be heard. Well, thinking was hard to hear, but you know what I mean.
In fairness, Filipinos are actually very good singers and natural performers and entertainers. The issue with videoke is that nobody actally knows the songs, they just follow the bouncing ball — and it shows. One of Sam’s friends, Michelle, turned out to actually be able to sing and for once the videoke was not a complete misery, at least when she had the microphone.
With the arrival of the videoke and the resulting redundancy of intelligent conversation, came the Red Horse. This is not an escapee from the Philippines’ bestiary either, but strong beer, the beloved tipple of Filipinos. It’s cheap, tasty, and packs a kick like a — well, a horse, really. And like that other favourite of the videoke party, Emperador brandy, better known as Empie, it has the surprising effect of getting the imbiber drunk from the waist down. Seriously; one feels quite normal, you know, chipper, eloquent — even able to sing — and not at all inebriated — until your seal breaks and you have to excuse yourself to take a leak, at which point you realise that you have no motor control whatsoever over your legs.
This will mean that you make your way to the place of relief — called the ‘comfort room’ or CR, in case you seek one — by holding on to various objects and praying that they don’t give way under the strain and land you in a pile on the deck — much to the amusement of the locals, who are well aware of the effects of these devil drinks.
These effects, by the way, are emphasised by the fact that Filipinos are such affably convivial and sociable people, so, rather than just each of you getting a bottle or a glass of beer, one person ceremonially fills one glass and passes it to the guest whose turn it is to drink. This is a ‘shots party’ and these finally remove any possibility of maintaining control over how much alcohol one consumes. I mean, after four or five shots, you just lose count, and then carry on blithely until you try to go and relieve yourself and end up in a heap. You have been warned.
Throughout the afternoon and evening, some 12 hours in all — and the party was set for the wee hours but we gave up — the food and drink kept coming. Never was there a moment when the tables were not replete, nay, groaning with many species of food — the traditional ‘pulutan’ or ‘beer-match’ of the Phils. One does not just drink, in this place where drinking is taken seriously; one drinks and eats, one talks and one sings and laughs and occasionally bursts into tears; especially if the shots are Empie. This was certainly an orgy, even if no sex were had and the participants much too drunk to try.
So it was that we progressed through the evening to the point where I even stopped noticing that tunes were not being carried — even in a bucket — and that rosy glow that we Scots know as ‘being well skeeched’ crept from my already drunken legs to my head.
And at that point I was saved by my delightful partner, Sam, whose already great beauty had magically magnified to the point that she was now, apparently, an angel descended unto Earth — upon Christmas Day, no less — intimated that horizontality was becoming more of an attraction as the minutes wore past. Sam is tiny and under half my weight; her alcohol tolerance is remarkable, but I have noted that about Filipinos generally. We made our excuses and meandered (literally) back to our apartment, where I shall, in the interest of good taste, draw a veil.
It was a very good orgy for Christmas.
I’ll tell you about New Year next time.
Follow this link to see more pictures from the orgy.
Originally published at Rod Fleming’s World.