Prices of Barfines in the Philippines
Barfines in the Philippines can be bit confusing and vary in price (see below for Angeles, Cebu and Manila).
Interestingly the first Google hit for barfine / bar fine pertains to the Philippines. From Urban dictionary, it’s the money paid to a bar to take a girl out or home with you, as compensation for them not being there to work, waitressing or dancing. This avoids the legality issue of prostitution:
Some bars call it an ‘early work release’ instead of a barfine to keep it even more ambiguous. Everyone knows it’s usually for the purpose of sex, but that part of the transaction (the tip) is behind closed doors.
Officially you’re only paying to take them out of the bar – for some guys that’s all they want, just some company for dinner and no sex, but the barfine is required either way.
Many girls will be happy to stay with you overnight (‘long time’) and leave in the morning, but confirm that beforehand.
How Barfines in the Philippines Work
It is up to the girl if she will go with you or not, most will as long as she thinks you are safe. The cost of barfines in the Philippines varies from place to place. The cheapest are around 1200 pesos ($26), while the most might be around 4,000 ($88).
In Angeles and Manila you will usually be expected to pay a tip (the cost of sex) on top of the barfine, and how much to tip is up to you and the girl. Some girls may negotiate this up front, but most won’t. Might range from 300 ($7) to 5000 ($110) depending on the city, time spent together (e.g. a whole 24 hours in Manila, at the high end), and how generous you feel.
In Cebu in some bars the girl keeps the whole barfine, and no tip is required as the cost of sex is included in a larger barfine (3000 – 4000). As said barfines can be really confusing.
In Angeles the girls keep a bit under half of the barfine, and all of the tip. In Manila often the bar keeps 100% of the barfine, and the tip is larger.
So working girls in the Philippines receive roughly $20 – $100 for everything, varying by by bar and area.
Barfines in Angeles
Angeles barfines mostly range from around 1500 – 3000 pesos, cheaper at Perimeter bars (e.g. Ice Bar is 1500, Blue Sapphire 1800), more on Fields Avenue (e.g. Club Atlantis 3000, Monsoon 2500).
Jspill recently wrote a full list of the Angeles walking street gogos and their barfine rates. No tip is necessary after the barfine.
With a ‘freelancer‘ met outside the bars, e.g. at HISO disco on walking street, there’s no barfine as they work for themselves. They charge 1000 pesos short time or a bit higher if they’re hot and think they can get more.
With freelancers you pay after sex, not up front. Most of the ‘massage girls’ that hand out cards on Fields will be up for sex too, for 1000 upwards. Some just do handjobs.
Often you also have to pay 500 ‘for the company’, i.e. the one-hour massage fee, regardless of whether you got a massage or not.
Some quote 2500-3000 for sex, knowing some guys will think well that’s the same as a barfine I might as well pay that. If you get their number though and walk off they’ll often text you offering a lower rate, plus 500 for the company.
Barfines in Manila
Somewhere like Burgos Street or EDSA in Manila they will expect a much higher tip and will be more likely to negotiate that before you go. Most ask for a 3000 tip (e.g. at Kojax or Hotspot on Burgos), on top of a 2900 barfine (plus they want you buy the girl two lady drinks at 300 each before barfining, or pay 3500, but they’ll probably cave in if you protest).
The north end of P. Burgos charges 3900 barfine for some reason, e.g. Ringside bar. Also Enchanted bar two doors down.
In Manila the bars get the majority or all of the barfine (I’ve had different girls say they keep none, 200, or 900) and that’s why the tips are expected to be so much more. Since the prices are higher with those girls you should make sure you’re clear on whether she’ll stay short time or long time, and what you’d like to do together. Some will want to leave after 1-3 hours, some will stay well into the next day hoping you’ll like them and barfine them again. It varies a lot.
Sometimes if a Burgos gogo girl likes you and / or you buy her some lady drinks, she’ll be ok with 2000 – 2500 instead of 3000. And then after the first time, that could drop even more.
In the EDSA complex in Pasay all 7 bars in the plaza have a 1950 barfine, then tips start from 2500 up depending on the girl and short time / long time. More on EDSA barfines here.
Some KTVs (karaoke bars) like Apeiro quoted me an 8000 peso barfine but no tip on top. More on KTVs here.
Barfines in Cebu
The girly bars a short walk East of Mango Square typically ask for a 3000 – 4000 barfine, however in my experience it’s paid to the girl, not the bar, and they keep all of it.
Then no tip was required on top of that. Some girls would stay overnight, some short time, for the same price, so it’s not an exact science. When asking the mamasans in the bars they’ll usually reply ‘up to the girl’ and they’re reluctant to make the transaction obvious.
Sometimes the 3-4k is paid in the bar, sometimes in your room afterwards. Sometimes the girl walks out of the bar with you, sometimes they leave by a back exit and a security guard comes into the bar to give you the nod, then you’re quietly ushered into a taxi waiting out front.
The largest barfine I was quoted in Cebu was 5000 in Volvo but that quickly dropped to 4500 when I said it’s expensive, and probably could have negotiated further. More on Cebu barfines here.
Overall barfines in the Philippines are a lot less clear cut than Thailand – barfines in Bangkok Gogo bars are smaller (around 700 Baht), always paid in the bar, the girls always receive a cut from that, and an additional tip for sex is always required (around 2000 Baht short-time or 3000 Baht long-time).
Before You Go
When talking with the girl before you leave the bar and pay the barfine you should let her know what you will be wanting to do that evening. If you want to do multiple rounds you should make sure that is ok. You should also set a time that you expect her to stay with you until.
If you want any kinky stuff ask about that as well. Some girls may not like to give bjs, and of course most won’t want to do anal. Try to let her know what you are expecting so she can tell you she won’t do something and you can find another girl.
It’ll be awkward, just try to keep the mood as light as you can. Last thing you want to do is be expecting 3 rounds and have the girl be expecting 1 and then get into that awkwardness later.
That may happen anyways, it’s not that uncommon for a girl to try and pretend like she has some emergency after the first round. Just remind her that you had agreed that she stay until a certain time and she likely will.
As pictured above sometimes I try to get girls’ numbers to meet them outside the bar, to avoid the barfine and have them end up getting paid more. Win win.
Some bars insist on you buying two lady drinks before you can barfine, if you hold your ground though they won’t refuse you though as they want the money and are keeping most of it. You paying the barfine is much more profitable for them than you just drinking solo and not having a girl sit with you, unless they can guarantee another customer will give in to their pushiness for lady drinks on top of the barfine.
Girls keep around 60 pesos for every lady drink you buy (of 180-400 pesos). If you really like the girl, don’t want her to get drunk, and hate a particular bar, you can tell her you’ll give her the cost of the lady drink.
I usually do buy one though as it feels a bit awkward otherwise, and gives the girl a chance to warm up to you while you get to know each other.
In some places you can opt to choose a ‘single’ or ‘double’ lady drink, the former being cheaper. Certain cocktails can also be expensive – if you don’t want to be surprised by a 400 peso Margarita, ask first.
Overall I think the bars are a waste of money. Freelancers (prostitutes not attached to a bar at the time) are everywhere, cheaper, and I don’t like paying a bar for doing basically nothing and taking a large cut of the girl’s money. Some bars fine girls large sums for any absences, and pay them basically slave wages of 50 – 120 pesos on the days they do turn up. Pushy mamasans and being short-changed on the bill are also not uncommon.
However if you are only on a short trip, or have money to burn then the bars can be worthwhile. As a repeat visitor you should expect to start getting some small discounts on the barfine too.
I paid a barfine in the Philippines once in my first week after arriving, then switched to mostly freelancers. Later still I just switched to mostly using dating sites like FilipinoCupid, Pinalove and AsianDating, especially outside Angeles.