The Wingman: Single Guy’s Best Friend in the Philippines

My new American expat friend "Jim" needed some help. In my previous post, I related a story in which my single amigo was having some difficulty in meeting some cute Filipinas of which Iloilo has an abundance. We were on our way to the SM Supermarket at SM City, and we decided to stop by the cosmetics counter so I could introduce Jim to a pretty pinay that had spoken to me earlier in the day.SM Sales Associate 

As we approached the counter we could see she was busy with some customers so we wandered off in the store until she was available. In the meantime we chatted with various sales associates located on the second floor of the SM Department Store. 

As the wingman, I explained to the pretty pinays that we chatted with that I was an American married to a Filipina for over 12 years. I told them I've lived in the Philippines almost three years and wanted to introduce my friend who is in Iloilo City to stay. I advised them he is not on vacation and is looking for a girlfriend to hang out with.  

Jim and I both told the pretty pinays that the sales associates at SM City where much friendlier than the ones at our local Robinsons Mall. We both felt the sales girls at Robinsons were "stuck up." I then attempted to explain that slang phrase without much success. 

After 30 minutes my American expat friend and I headed back to the cosmetics counter. "Jovie" was now free. Jim asked if she would get into trouble talking to us. She advised her manager was nearby, and she would get into trouble. But she said it was "OK" and continued to chat. 

I stood by, as any faithful wingman would, and after seeing the conversation was going well for my amigo, I stepped back. I could see them exchanging phone numbers.

"Mission accomplished!" I thought. Chalk one up for the wingman.

It was approaching 4:00 pm, and I wanted to stop at the SM Supermarket for a few items before heading back home. Jim went to the grocery store with me. I passed by the poultry department and spotted the Magnolia Chicken crew. 

Magnolia Chicken Station

Whether I am at the SM Hypermarket in Iloilo or this outlet, I always make this remark to the workers: "Love those caps!"  I wish I would have had my camera with me that day or on previous visits to show you the outlandish hats they make the employees wear. Picture a large floppy red rooster comb perched on top of the cap in the photo above  and you get the general idea. 

The SM City market has a young Filipina that works there, and I spied her stooping down on the floor. "There's the chick!" I yelled to her two male co-workers as I pointed to her. The guys both laughed. I've spoken to all of them before. Friendly, good-natured group. Sometimes they even thank me for my sarcastic remark about their headgear. 

I called over to Jim who was checking out some fruit, kiwi that is. "C'mon, Jim, you've got to meet the Magnolia chick!" Customers surrounding the chicken station seemed to be amused. My American expat friend walked over. I introduced him to the "chick." She was smiling broadly. I teased her about her duwende-sized height, she is only 4'11" (which is actually the average height of Filipinas.)

Jim and the young lady, 25, chatted for awhile. Too many customers around to attempt to get her number, but my amigo advised her he would be back. 

A successful day for the wingman. Glad I could help out my single friend in the Philippines. Jim and I parted ways and headed to our separate destinations. He's sent me emails since that day, and things are going well for him. I'm glad to hear that. 

16 comments

    1. Thanks, Fearless Frank. You didn’t need a wingman when you were visiting in Guimaras recently, however. Your good looks and charms had the ladies buzzing around you like flies on horsecrap. 😛

  1. The Wingman, eh? Okay, I like it. Are we to assume that you are now comfortable going out and about on your own, without the asawa nearby? That is good to know, as I am not yet “allowed” to do that in Talavera. I think Tom Ramberg also travels solo down in his neck of the woods. I know we cannot be complacent or stupid about it, but it’s nice to think we can roam freely in our own towns without fear.

      1. Hey, RandyL, good to see someone else up at this hour! Most of our wives think it is not safe for us to wander about by ourselves. Just when that false sense of security settles in, we might become victims of who-knows-what. Well, we know “what”. It’s not all bad; we are, after all, strangers in a strange land; but sometimes I feel like I don’t need a baby-sitter.

        1. I probably was in Guimaras for seven months, Ice Man, before I “learned the ropes,” my surroundings, and the asawa was comfortable with me making the solo trip to Iloilo. She had no problem with me walking around our small town in Guimaras. I used to do my morning walk there around 4:45 to 5:15 am, when it was kind of dark. The solo trip to the big city of Iloilo via jeepney and pump boat was a different story. But I kept a cell phone handy and kept in communication most of the time. That one incident at “The Moon Cafe” when I had a one few too many and didn’t know she was trying to call me or text me, well, that was a different story.

          Macho guys like yourself and I, feel we don’t need a baby-sitter, but we know we have to try and keep the asawa happy. 😛

          1. Dave,
            I remember when you got in trouble with the asawa for not calling her. You know the bolo was getting shined up and read for use lol Take care

    1. Absolutely safe to roam around Iloilo City solo, Ice Man. I’ve been doing it for almost three years now. I don’t go out at night, but my other new expat friend, Scott B, does and never has any problem. My asawa has given me the “OK” for the weekly meeting at the UR Zone every Thursday. She likes Scott B, who will also be, there, and probably is glad to get me out of the house. 😀

  2. Ice Man ~ I’m thinking the same thing about walking around most large cities in the U.S. I think many Filipina wives are just a bit over zealous with caution and I can understand that. Common sense will keep you safe. But if it is a “trust” factor that is the basis for their concern well, that’s altogether another horse! I happy to say I have no problems or issues in that arena and I come and go as I please, and so does she. No permissions needed! Life is so much more enjoyable that way. 🙂

    1. I agree, Randy, common sense will get you a long way, no matter if you’re walking around in a big city in the U.S. or the Philippines. That’s one of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to anyone moving or retiring to the Philippines. Just use some common sense and show some respect. You’ll be fine.

  3. Hi Dave, I am Mike from the Bay Area in Cali. We have a place in San Miguel Iloilo, which give us a reason visit every so often. We are heading that way on the 6th of July and should make it to Iloilo around the 17th after traveling a bit. I will have to come and check out the UR zone…I have been all around Iloilo, but I have never been there. We are going to spend a few days in Guimares starting on the 18th. I always stay at Raymen Beach resort. Not a five star, but the people are friendly. Maybe I will run in to you during my travels…If I do, I will buy a round of cold SMB’s.

    1. Hi Mike, good to hear from you. My own asawa has a place in San Miguel, Guimaras. Can’t beat the name. We’re planning to visit Raymen Beach, our favorite beach in Guimaras, later in July towards the end of the month. The people are friendly, as you stated, and the food at the canteen is cheap and pretty tasty. Will be glad to meet you at our new hangout, the UR Zone. Once you get to SM City you’re practically there. If we happen to be in Guimaras on the 18th or a few days later, I’ll send you an email. Hope to meet you. A round of cold SMB’s sounds pretty good. 😀

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