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In the Scene

Pioneering Gay Space

The oldest place of its kind in the Philippines (opening in 1977), Club Bath remains somewhat of a must-visit for the curious about everything that gay Manila has to offer.

Here are the basics.

Yes, Club Bath is a “private club,” and, as such, is not open to the general public.

Yes, it is a gay oriented business, and “if you are offended by association or by behavioral contact with gay persons, we request that you do not patronize this establishment,” stated in the Web site of the venue.

Yes, they demand proof of identity for membership (costing P250, with a renewal fee of P100) that, obviously, allows access to its facitlities, whose amenities include, among others: dark cabins, Jacuzzi in an outdoor terrace, mini-gym, TV lounge, and a cruisy steam room.

Yes, you have to pay extra to use some of the amenities – for the lockers, additional P200 (Monday to Thursday) to P230 (Friday to Sunday); and for the private rooms, additional P350 (Monday to Thursday) to P400 (Friday to Sunday).

And yes, they are quite strict as far as adherence to their policies is concerned, e.g. members must use a towel while inside the club, no alcohol or drugs are allowed inside, chewing gum is not allowed inside, and, under no circumstance should a member use foul, loud, or slanderous language, or harass, molest, or solicit other members. They will kick you out – for good, if/when any of these happens.

No, you may not become a member when you’re under 18.

No, you may not register anonymously – “In order to comply with city ordinances for private clubs, we cannot allow our customers to purchase memberships without identifying themselves,” the club further stated.

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No, you may not share expenses – every visitor has to rent either a locker or a room upon entry, no excuses.

No, you may not bring your girlfriend at the club.

For the interested to visit Club Bath (see map for directions), there may just be some surprises waiting there.

And no, you may not bring your dogs at the club.

Having done away with the basics, let’s discuss if the place is worth a visit (the main reason why it exists is, after all, to be visited).

For one, for the oldest place of its kind in the Philippines (opening in 1977), much of Club Bath has been renovated at some point or another, so amenities-wise, it is competitive with the likes of the now-dead Epitome and still-alive Fahrenheit in modernism and, thankfully, cleanliness, too. And, by the way, the steam room doesn’t break down as often…

Secondly, the guys coming here are, well, somewhat better looking – at least especially when compared with the visitors of, say, Mansion, particularly on weekends. This is always a surprise, as if proving that there are oh-so-many more gorgeous guys out there, out of the scene…

Thirdly, as is the seeming norm in such venues, safer sex kits are not available for free – pay up to use some. This continues to be disturbing, considering the ongoing rise of HIV and/or AIDS transmission among men who have sex with men (MSMs), who these venues target as markets.

Fourthly, having been around this long, this place is definitely comparatively safer – i.e. among non-out MSMs, less raids here, since, you’d assume, the owners have already established itself on the locality (and the know-how, if not pockets, of local authorities/law enforcers). Meaning, less the risk, and more the fun as far as this is concerned.

And fifthly, yes, this place is the most expensive among its peers in the Philippines (if they existed at all outside Metro Manila) – of course this is discounting the sexual viability of Fitness First, Slimmers World and Gold’s Gym. So it you are willing to cough up the price, drop by. Who knows what you may just find here…

For information on Club Bath, visit 2456 F. B. Harrison Blvd., Pasay City; call (+632) 8332866; email; or visit
The club is open from Monday to Friday, from 6.ooPM to 2.ooAM, and Saturday and Sunday, from 3.ooPM to 2.ooAM.

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"If someone asked you about me, about what I do for a living, it's to 'weave words'," says Kiki Tan, who has been a writer "for as long as I care to remember." With this, this one writes about... anything and everything.


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