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What to do when you get a STD in Puerto Galera?

Puerto Galera has many sides to it. Beautiful nature, nice beaches, and buzzing nightlife. And it is one of the Philippines’ hotspots for sex tourism for both gay and straight.
In Sabang, you find nightclubs and freelance prostitutes that offer their company, while ladyboys serve you drinks and food on White Beach.

It might be me, and the way I observe, but it seems that male prostitution is not as visible as female prostitution is.
For women, there is not much fun in the Philippines when it comes to finding a casual sex partner. Most male prostitutes only serve men.

Finding your company for the night or even for the day is very affordable in the Philippines, compared to the Western world. For an average of 30-40 euros, you have alone time that lasts all night till after breakfast. As for the girls, some have a regular day jobs to attend to.

The girl helping you in the shop during the daytime might be the same girl in your bed at night

I am not passing judgment here on anyone. It is for people to decide what they do and how they spent their lives. But what worries me is the emptiness of it all, the lazy attitude of making a lot of money fast, and the attitude of the foreigners towards the girls. The girls sometimes are so young. Sex with mutual consent in this country is allowed from the age of 12, but one has to wonder if that bored 14-year-old girl pole dancing in a bar knows what she has gotten herself into.

For most foreigners, those girls (and boys) are merely meat. The way they talk about them, handle them and the way forum discussions about ‘banging girls in PG’ are going, raises my eyebrows.
There seems to be little respect and for most men, it seems to be a boastful thing, like I had sex with plenty for free while I was there, they are just there for the grabs!
Most stories are so out of reality and far from the truth that you wonder who believes them. Yet many men do so it seems.

Not all of the prostitutes are regularly tested for STDs

It is said that the girls working in the clubs and bars are regularly tested. In Sabang, there is even a small clinic for those purposes. Girls have a health card, they show you before you agree on having sex with them.
The street talk also states that girls outside the clubs did not pass the health test and will probably give you an STD. No idea if that is true, but that is what I’m told. It is my guess that with the short incubation time of some STDs, it will be hard to tell if a girl is healthy or not.

For some girls taking care of their health means as much as taking a shower and washing yourself down with Bioderm soap, for that kills the germs. (Don’t even ask!)
There is a lot of make-believe in the Philippines. I spoke with a girl once who strongly believed that after having unprotected sex, you just take a shower and wash your vagina, and you can’t get pregnant. Needless to say, she had children. Just a matter of a bad wash I guess.

Most girls do not use birth control, for the church does not approve. Condoms are free and obtainable in the barangay health clinic for Filipinos and you can buy them in any grocery store or pharmacy and even at HandyMan hardware store. Mostly Asian brands, Durex is available at some shops, or you can order them on Lazada. Please note that the Asian brands may be too tight or small for Western penis sizes.

If the remark about condoms and sizes triggered your imagination you might like to read Sex with a Filipino man

What to do when you picked up a sexually transmitted disease in Puerto Galera?

Condom or not, there are many ways you can get infected with a sexually transmitted disease. If it happened to you, you can visit the clinic in Sabang. Or St. Gilbert Medical Clinic in Minolo, they both have a lab and can do the first testing, further testing will be done elsewhere, and will cost more or less 350 pesos. Consultation from the doctor costs 500 pesos per time.

Or you visit the (Medical Missions) MMG Hospital in Calapan. It is a private hospital and they have an upscale laboratory and a good reputation. And they seem to know how to handle STDs pretty well.
Where the Minolo clinic is a bit vague, the MMG Hospital is pretty direct about its approach.

Just have yourself registered and visit the lab. Like any other hospital in the Philippines it is a matter of getting a test form, getting a bill, paying the bill, getting tested, seeing the doctor, getting a bill, paying the bill, getting your diagnosis, getting a prescription, getting a bill, pay the bill, get the medication. A bit of back and forth between offices and departments. Just follow the staff’s instructions, they speak English.

In the clinic in Minolo the testing takes a few hours, they ask you to return after 2-3 hours depending on how busy the lab is.
In Calapan a swab test takes 24 hours, but by the urine sample they can already make a diagnosis and you leave the hospital within 2 hours tested, examined, and treated with medication for follow-up.

I have a cost breakdown for Gonorrheas testing and treatment for you, 2 prices, the first price from  MMG Hospital and the second price from Minolo Clinic

  • Urine test and Swab 375/400
  • consultation 400/500
  • injection 858/n.a.
  • pills 477/n.a.

Total of full treatment 2,110 = 37 euros

*the Minolo clinic was used for the follow-up check

The openness around the treatment of STDs feeds the thought that they see a lot of that here. Yet, there is little awareness in this country about passing on STDs. Let alone any sort of campaign or a moment on the (annual)agenda from the Health Department.

TIP: Do go for the follow-up check, there is a good chance the bacteria is resistant to antibiotics! (since the Filipinos use antibiotics as if it were vitamins)

Prostitution is illegal in the Philippines, yet it is a thriving industry

Telling a girl she made you sick is a risky business. They will get very upset. And I mean: very upset. That conversation can be very ugly. She will accuse you of making her sick, of robbing her of her income. And maybe you did or didn’t. Who is to tell? You know your recreational time spent and she knows how many customers she had and if she missed a checkup.
When you ask in the clinic if you should inform your partner, they just shrug, the Filipino way of saying: it is up to you.

A few tips for those picking up a girl in the Philippines

  • you are in charge of condoms, use them always and in the right way
  • keep in mind that a health card is just a card and not a guarantee, it may be falsified
  • some STDs show after a few days, get tested as soon as you feel sick or notice anything out of the ordinary, or think you were at risk
  • in the Philippines, it is called STI, not STD
  • be safe in every way, also money-wise, when you bring a girl/guy home, make sure no valuables are in plain sight, that includes a passport and cell phone.
  • treat the woman or man like you would treat your GF/BF, pamper him/her, be nice, and respect him/her


*prices 2017