The Filipino ladyboys that you’ll come across share many similarities with their counterparts in Thailand but there are also some significant differences.
The Catholic faith is not as tolerant of transsexuals as is the Buddhist faith and this has had an impact on people’s lives. With that said, the intolerance is nothing like you find in the west.
There are plenty of unashamed Filipino ladyboys to be found in all parts of the Philippines.
Evidence of the tolerance, and lack of shame, in non-traditional sexual practises is given by a 2002 sexuality study by the University of the Philippines, which states that 11% of young people have had sex with someone from their own gender.
Even in the south, where the Islamic faith is dominant, there are plenty of openly transsexual men leading reasonably normal lives.
In contrast to that, there is also some evidence of intolerance.
I’ve read reports that a common penalty for criminal offences committed by ladyboys, e.g. pick-pocketing, is for the police to forcibly shave all the hair off of their heads!
So, if you see a ladyboy wearing a wig in Angeles City, it might be an idea to tighten your grip on your wallet and valuables…
Here are a quick few words about names and differences:
In Angeles City you might hear ladyboys being referred to as Billyboys; the term is not considered particularly offensive but neither is it particularly appropriate to use it with people you are not familiar with so, if talking to a ladyboy, I’d avoid the term and stick with ladyboy.
In the Philippines first language, Tagalog, the term Bakla is commonly used. Again it is not really appropriate to use it with someone you don’t know.
I think that one of the main differences with Thai ladyboys is that Filipinos are not granted access to hormone replacement treatment (HRT) early in life.
Prepubescent usage of HRT by Thai transsexuals is very common and produces a more feminine bone structure, softer skin, softer voices and so on, but there’s little chance of a prepubescent child in the Philippines, whether male or female, being granted this treatment.
The impact of this on the child’s later development does lead to all the problems that you might expect; Filipino ladyboys tend to look distinctly more masculine than their Thai counterparts.
This is not to say that there are no feminine ladyboys to be found, there are, but they are fewer in number and there is a larger proportion of them that do have a clearly more masculine look compared to Filipina women.
The problem for Filipino ladyboys is further compounded by the fact that the expertise in gender transformation surgical procedures is far less developed than in Thailand, and it is far more expensive.
This is a formidable problem in a country where the average income level is one of the lowest in Asia, and a lot lower than in Thailand.
The result is that, where it is commonplace in Thailand to see ladyboys that have undergone breast and hip implant operations (and even the full vaginoplasty operation is not uncommon), these things are much rarer in the Philippines.
With opportunities to meet ladyboys in the major tourist areas a little thinner on the ground, and especial thin if you want to avoid the relatively hard-core sex-workers, the online opportunities to meet someone suitable are probably your best option. This is particularly true if you are intending a visit to one of the quieter beach resorts.
If, on the other hand, you are visiting or planning to visit the Philippines on a long-stay visa then the online option is less relevant to you. You will be able to take your time searching out the right person in shopping malls and any number of other traditional romantic hunting-grounds.
For the majority of westerners, I think it would be a good idea to invest some time in browsing my recommended Philippine dating site. You can do this for free and you might be surprised by the ease with which you find and arrange meetings with Filipino ladyboys.
A good strategy might be to arrange lots of meetings in Manila, and then head off with your favourite companion to a more scenic and sparsely populated part of the country.
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