Dec 13, 2008

Getting to Club Bath


Photo by Macoy.

It’s one thing to say that the address of Club Bath is #2456 F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City, but it’s definitely a different thing actually finding it. However, basing on the fact that one of my readers found it means that it’s quite easy to go to Club Bath. But for those of you who need more guidance, then continue reading on!

Check out the photo above to see how Club Bath looks from the outside along F.B. Harrison. There’s actually no indication that this mansion houses a bath house inside it, lending it a very discreet air. The entrance is at the side (to the left of the photo) along Valhalla Street while to the right is Moana Street. Club Bath is located very near the Pasay City Hall to the south, while Libertad is within walking distance to the north where at the intersection there is a Chowking outlet. Some people like to eat at here after having fun in CB. The nearby Andok’s Restaurant is another frequented place.

Shown below are maps highlighting the location of Club Bath. The first one depicts northern Pasay between EDSA and Buendia while the second map zooms in for a closer look.

Bringing your own car

It’s quite safe to bring your own car to the area. The location is well-lit and it’s not a seedy place at all. It would be best to ask the guard on duty where to park. The usual parking areas are beside the mansion along Valhalla and Moana streets and secondary parking areas are along the buildings leading towards Libertad. Warning: do not try to park along Valhalla, Moana, or Pasadena streets past the gates. The local barangay has a curfew and they close the gates late at night, which could get your car trapped inside.

If you’re coming from EDSA, the landmark to watch for to know F.B. Harrison is the diagonal MMDA footbridge spanning EDSA at the intersection. F.B. Harrison is also the street just before the neon-lighted Pasay Edsa International Entertainment Complex. If you’re coming from Buendia, F.B. Harrison is the major street where jeepneys turn into.

Taking public transportation

If you plan to go there by taxi, the best landmark to give the driver is the Pasay City Hall. You can have yourself dropped at the City Hall and just walk to CB, or you can stop at CB itself.

There’s also a jeepney route passing along F.B. Harrison. These are the routes that start at Pasay Rotonda (where the LRT-EDSA and the MRT-Taft stations are) and pass by F.B. Harrison going to Manila. If you’re coming from Manila, make sure that the jeepney passes by F.B. Harrison instead of Taft Avenue. If you’re coming from EDSA, you can either take the jeep at Pasay Rotonda or you can ride at the intersection of F.B. Harrison and EDSA—there are several jeepneys that stop here to wait for passengers. (This is also the place where you can get off an EDSA bus).

Dec 7, 2008

Pride and the closet


So yesterday was the Manila Pride March 2008 in Malate, Manila. I’ve gone to a June White Party once years ago, but never been to the December March. And I don’t think I’ll ever go to one in the near future. I guess being discreet and partly closeted means that one would naturally shy away from attending such “out, loud, and proud” affairs. But it’s not for lack of appreciation; I fully support equality and gay rights, like when I lamented the passage of Proposition 8 in California and condemned the raids on gay establishments. However, looking at the whole thing, the right question to ask regarding the Pride March is, “Are you proud to be PLU?”

My answer is no: I’m not proud to be PLU. But, I’m neither ashamed to be one. While I’m a proud Filipino and a proud alumni of my University, I don’t feel the need to have pride in my sexual orientation. I’ve gone through the phase where I could not accept that I was attracted to guys and I’ve eventually learned to accept myself for who I am, but I don’t think that it’s important to flaunt it.

I will admit that the reason why I am still mostly in the closet and why I try to be discreet is I don’t like to be discriminated against. I also don’t like people gossiping about me behind my back and to have their impressions of me clouded by their perceived stereotypes. I know it would be better in the long run if I come out and then educate the people around me about People Like Us and shatter their stereotypes, but my life is complicated as it is right now and I don’t want the added drama.

That said, is it possible to be proud while still being in the closet? I cannot answer that question personally, but one thing’s for sure: learning to accept and love oneself is the first step, and I certainly got that.

Photo from the Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center at Flickr.

Dec 1, 2008



I’ve been following and reading a few blogs from fellow PLUs who are HIV-positive. Two of the most active are Back in the Closet and The Chronicles of E. The latter didn’t actually start out as a blog about living with HIV—the positive result came during the blog’s lifetime (see this post and this follow-up). Two other Pinoy HIV blogs are I have HIV! and Confessions of A Pinoy HIV plus (+) though these two are long not updated.

HIV and AIDS is a scary thing. Though I consider myself quite informed about the subject (i.e., I know more than the fact that you don’t get AIDS from toilet seats and the fact that the Philippines is considered as one of the low-prevalence countries, having less than 0.1% of the population infected even with liberal estimates), the reality of living with HIV is quite an alien thing for me. Even with what I know, the information is far too sterile and clinical and it doesn't reflect the fact that HIV/AIDS is a growing problem and that Filipinos need to see the reality of it. Reading these blogs gave me the much needed perspective about such a taboo area and one thing I’ve learned is that many HIV-positive people in the Philippines get antiretroviral medications for free from government-run medical institutions. This is a good thing since these drugs are very expensive.

One good thing that is coming out from this increased awareness about HIV and AIDS through the local PLU blogosphere is the teaser launch of Positivism, an e-zine that aims to combat the stigma and discrimination (that’s much worse than PLU discrimination) attached to HIV-positive people. This is one really commendable project and I look forward to seeing these people, whether HIV-positive or negative, succeed.