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Lonely maids in Singapore, prey and predators


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#1 Bluecat

Posted 18 September 2005 - 04:41 AM

Lonely maids, prey and predators

By Jeremy Au Yong & Khushwant Singh. The Straits Times
Publication Date : 2005-09-18


Sometimes, all it takes is a meeting of the eyes and a quick smile to start a relationship.

Many men -- both Singaporean and foreign -- have been known to turn on their charm to prey on the loneliness of Filipino maids in Singapore.


But it isn't just the men who are doing the looking and the smiling.

"Some of the women are out to look for men, especially in the clubs," said Revlyn Mandac-Faizal, 31, who works at a provision shop in Lucky Plaza.

"They dress sexily and sometimes they will make the first move."

The social lives of the nearly 100,000 Filipino domestic workers in Singapore have come into sharp focus after speculation that a possible love triangle led to the grisly murder of 26-year-old maid Jane Parangan La Puebla.

Last Friday (Sept 9), her body was found chopped up and the parts dumped outside Orchard MRT station and at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Her close friend, Guen Garlejo Aguilar, 29, has been charged with the murder.

They were apparently fighting over the affections of a handsome 27-year-old Singaporean man, described as Aguilar's boyfriend. Both women are married and their husbands are in the Philippines.

Maids tell stories of men coming on to them everywhere, from clubs to shopping centres. Some are even hit on in cabs.

Said 23-year-old shop assistant Ane Alfaro: "Sometimes in a cab, the driver will ask if I am from the Philippines, and then they'll ask if I want to get some coffee before going to my destination. It's happened to me a few times."

Dyesebel Lobaton, 30, meanwhile, told The Sunday Times she was once chased around Lucky Plaza by a persistent Bangladeshi worker.

"He kept following me, wanting to give me his number.

"In the end, he shoved this piece of paper into my handbag. I took it out and threw it away," she said.

But some of the maids are no angels.

Bold ones have been known to simply go up to men and invite them to parties, to church or even to hotel rooms.

There are also some who moonlight as prostitutes to earn some extra income.

Alex, 34, runs a provision shop in Orchard Towers and estimates that as many as two in 10 maids may be part-time prostitutes.

He recounted a personal encounter with one: "Once I was talking to this Filipino maid in a club and then she just told me if I wanted to have some fun with her, it would cost me money."

The tea dances organised by clubs in Orchard Towers, Lucky Plaza and Balmoral Plaza are the most popular pick-up spots for men and the women. Most women are allowed in free as their presence attracts men, who have to pay a cover charge of between S$13 and S$17 (US$8 and US$10).

About half the men there are Singaporeans while the rest are workers from the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Operations executive Benji, a 33-year-old Sunday regular at the Naughty Girl club in Orchard Towers, is always there with his girlfriend, Aileen, 25, a Filipino maid.

While she was dancing with other maids, he whispered: "If you are having an affair with a Filipina, you better behave yourself, as they can get very jealous."

The couple had a big violent fight a month ago after he bought a drink for another maid.

The crowd which the clubs attract can be a nuisance to businesses in the vicinity.

Said Danny, who runs an electronics shop near Ipanema Club in Orchard Towers: "It becomes very noisy and rowdy, so on Sunday I close and go home at 3pm. If not, I open until 9pm."

Successful hook-ups -- in clubs or shopping centres -- often lead to trysts in budget hotels.

Some of these establishments in Balestier Road and Joo Chiat Road, especially those that charge hourly rates, are often full on Sundays. It is not uncommon to see scores of maids and their boyfriends waiting in the lobbies for rooms to be available.

But many of the maids interviewed stressed that the wild ones were the minority.

"I'm here with other maids on my day off and I don't want anything to do with any man, Singaporean or otherwise," said Rose, 33, a Filipino maid at a tea dance in Orchard Towers.

Others simply avoid such places.

Bergie Borja, 33, was furious at how a few bad apples had given Filipino maids a bad reputation.

She has been working here as a maid for 13 years and has never been to a tea dance. Instead she spends her days off playing volleyball with friends from the Filipino Association of Singapore.

"It's very unfair to us. I can see the way people sometimes look at us. It's just the few behaving badly but they spoil the name for the others," she said.

#2 yohan

Posted 18 September 2005 - 06:30 AM

Singapore is, according to its own propaganda a multiracial and multi-religious society.
On the other side it seems they do not like people to mix between the rich and the poor, between the local well-off Chinese and the Filipinas.

Quote

"They dress sexily and sometimes they will make the first move."

Why not? Are we not talking about gender-equality? I like that....

#3 Axel

Posted 18 September 2005 - 08:56 AM

Hong Kong and Singapore take the main share of Philippina maids. Hong Kong closed the main roads in Central on Sundays to help them to meet with others on a day off. Singapore opens the Orchard Towers and some places in there are really just for tea dances. OK, I do not like tea.

If 20% are looking for other contacts, married or not, I can understand this, they are in a young generation, far away from home. Why not?

Singapore is quite tolerant and usually closes both eyes.

In HKG it is similar. Go down to Wanchai to the proper Filipina clubs.

Now who is prey and who is predator? Just a matter of opportunity.

The remaining 80% could easily reflect the general situation as in the the Philippines, as well.

#4 yohan

Posted 18 September 2005 - 01:24 PM

View PostAxel, on Sep 18 2005, 05:56 PM, said:

.....If 20% are looking for other contacts, married or not, I can understand this, they are in a young generation, far away from home. Why not?
Singapore is quite tolerant and usually closes both eyes.
In HKG it is similar. Go down to Wanchai to the proper Filipina clubs.
.....
You are right, Axel, I myself do not really understand, who is complaining - the Filipinas about the Chinese, or the Chinese about the Filipinas....

#5 britmaveric

Posted 18 September 2005 - 02:13 PM

Maids :rolleyes: Think most lads fantasies are a maid walks into his room and well shagging begins.

#6 กำนัน

Posted 18 September 2005 - 07:01 PM

Downtown Central in Hong Kong on a Sunday, you could be forgiven for thinking you we're in Manila... Fascinating sight.

I agree with the jealousy statement... Filipno girls get insanely jealous if you even so much as look at another woman... insane to the point of madness. I learned this the hard way :rolleyes:

#7 Axel

Posted 19 September 2005 - 05:07 PM

Mandrake. I do agree with you on both counts.

But to think positive, hop into Wanchai's New Makati (hope it still exists, did'nt go there for over 1 year)

You might make new friends, until (a bit later) she calls out:

"Sir, I re-COCKnize you!"

I said it before, I just love this Tagalog - Engrish :rolleyes:

#8 Bluecat

Posted 20 September 2005 - 01:01 PM

10 years back, the Filipina maids were pretty active in Orchard Towers, outnumbering by a wide margin other nationalities.
These days, I do not really know where they go (besides Lucky Plaza during the day on Sunday) because Orchard Towers is now 'Little Thailand'... :rolleyes:

#9 Axel

Posted 20 September 2005 - 02:30 PM

View PostBluecat, on Sep 20 2005, 08:01 PM, said:

These days, I do not really know where they go (besides Lucky Plaza during the day on Sunday) because Orchard Towers is now 'Little Thailand'... :rolleyes:

Thailand is on the way to become No.-1 exporting nation in S/E Asia.  :huh:

#10 Bluecat

Posted 01 October 2005 - 11:28 AM

View PostAxel, on Sep 20 2005, 09:30 PM, said:

View PostBluecat, on Sep 20 2005, 08:01 PM, said:

These days, I do not really know where they go (besides Lucky Plaza during the day on Sunday) because Orchard Towers is now 'Little Thailand'... :rofl2:

Thailand is on the way to become No.-1 exporting nation in S/E Asia.  :bum:

Besides, with the increased popularity in Singapore of girls dancing on the top of the bar while patrons are having a drink, they're facing a shortage of girls skilled enough to perform that job.
And Singapore has been giving visas more easily to Thai girls to fill the shortage...
By the way, the hotel I go to in Singapore, Orchard Parade hotel has a bar called the Devil's bar with bartop dancing a few days every week... :rofl2:  :rofl2:

#11 Oosik

Posted 05 October 2005 - 11:58 AM

View Postbritmaveric, on Sep 18 2005, 10:13 AM, said:

Maids :rofl2: Think most lads fantasies are a maid walks into his room and well shagging begins.

This is no longer a fantasy with me.  It has happened on several occasions.  I once had an arrangement with a very young (18 or 19 y.o.) maid with more than ample breasts to stop by my room each morning during my week long stay before she officially started working to "wake me up."  What a way to start the day.   :rofl2:

#12 Bluecat

Posted 05 October 2005 - 03:01 PM

View PostOosik, on Oct 5 2005, 06:58 PM, said:

View Postbritmaveric, on Sep 18 2005, 10:13 AM, said:

Maids :rofl2: Think most lads fantasies are a maid walks into his room and well shagging begins.

This is no longer a fantasy with me.  It has happened on several occasions.  I once had an arrangement with a very young (18 or 19 y.o.) maid with more than ample breasts to stop by my room each morning during my week long stay before she officially started working to "wake me up."  What a way to start the day.   :rofl2:


Never happened to me, where was it?  :rofl2:  :bum:


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